Date:     June 10, 1997
                                           Dept.     File No. 
                                           CC File No.: 5551

   TO:       Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic

   FROM:     General Manager of Engineering Services

   SUBJECT:  Transit Service to Fraser Lands, Riverside and Champlain
             Heights South


        A.   THAT Council approve the extension of the #29 Elliott route to
             Champlain Mall via Fraserview Drive to Victoria Drive, Marine
             Drive and through Champlain Heights as shown in Appendix B.

        B.   THAT staff report back on new bus stops, shelters, litter
             containers, necessary to implement the route.


   Council has approved a Transportation Plan which recognizes that Transit
   and not the automobile will have to accommodate future increases in
   travel demand.


   The purpose of this report is to recommend a transit option that meets
   the needs of the residents of Fraser Lands, Riverside and Champlain
   Heights South.


   The residents of Riverside, Fraser Lands and the southern portions of
   Champlain Heights do not have direct transit connections to the north
   and therefore are reliant on the automobile for most, if not all, of the
   trips made from their neighbourhoods.  These neighbourhoods are the last
   areas of higher density residential in the City without acceptable
   transit.  The estimated population affected is about 5900 residents(1996
   census) including a number of non-market housing complexes and co-ops.

   The development of the transit network in the South East corner of
   Vancouver followed, for a time, the development of the Champlain Heights
   community.  Since the early 1980's, several transit options have been
   proposed to serve emerging developments in Riverside (south side of
   Marine Drive between Victoria Drive and Elliott Street), Fraser Lands
   (south side of Marine Drive east of Riverside to Boundary Road) and the
   southern portion of Champlain Heights.  However, none has been approved
   that meets the needs of the residents. In the end, Council did approve
   the option shown in Appendix A, but this is not effective.  A summary of
   the history of the various proposed options is contained in Appendix E.

   The Vancouver Regional Transit Commission has not approved the proposal
   in Appendix A.  The route is very circuitous for residents in Riverside 
   who wish to reach destinations to the north.  As well, the route would
   not serve certain schools, including David Oppenheimer, the local
   elementary school, Champlain Mall, the Champlain Heights Community
   Centre and Killarney. 

   In February 1996 Council reviewed BC Transit's Annual Service Plan for
   the coming year.  The principal of the David Oppenheimer Elementary
   School appeared at committee expressing a need for improved transit
   connections.  As a result, Council passed a motion expressing concern to
   BC Transit that service to Fraser Lands was not yet implemented. 
   Further, Council directed staff to re-poll the residents of Fraserview
   Drive regarding the possibility of linking the #29 and #26 bus routes. 
   This poll was taken and the results were very conclusive.  There were 65
   survey forms sent out and 59 returned.  Of these 59 returned, 54 or 93%
   were opposed to the use of Fraserview Drive by transit.

   In November 1996 a meeting was organized by the Fraser Lands residents
   to discuss the lack of transit and other basic amenities shops, school,
   community services) in their community.  Approximately 100 residents
   attended and the need for a transit connection to the north to access
   schools, services, community centres, other transit, and shopping was

   The Fraser Lands Riverside Residents' Association subsequently appeared
   as a delegation to the Vancouver Regional Transit Commission in January
   97 reiterating their concern with the lack of transit service to their
   neighbourhood. Transit staff  reported back in February on this and the
   VRTC subsequently directed staff "to develop a detailed service plan for
   revised services to South Vancouver and forward the proposal to the City
   of Vancouver for approvals and that staff include this service plan in a
   future quarterly service plan for implementation".

   Following this recommendation, BC Transit staff, in consultation with
   City staff, have reviewed a number of route options that address the
   needs identified by the residents of Fraser Lands and Riverside.  These
   options have been reviewed by a committee of residents from these
   communities who have recommended an option for Council to consider.


   Previous route proposals were reviewed by staff and a number of new
   options developed.  The two options that best serve the needs of the
   neighbourhoods are shown in Appendices (Options) B and C.  Options B and
   C operate along Marine Drive in both directions. 

   Option B (Appendix B)

   This option is an extension of the #29 Elliott route which starts and
   finishes at the 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station and operates via Elliott,
   Muirfield, Fraserview Drive, Victoria Drive, Marine Drive and through
   Champlain Heights to Champlain Mall.  The buses return to 29th Avenue
   Station via Champlain Heights, Marine Drive, Victoria, Fraserview Drive
   and Elliott.

   Direct service is provided to David Oppenheimer School (on Muirfield
   Drive), the Champlain Mall and Champlain Heights Community Centre,
   SkyTrain, buses on 49th Ave., 41st Ave, Kingsway and Victoria Drive.
   Only one bus added to the route is necessary to provide an initial 30
   minute service to the Marine Drive area.  Two buses added to the route
   are necessary to provide a 15 minute service.

   Option C (Appendix C)

   This option also starts and finishes at 29th Avenue Station but operates
   as a large loop via Elliott, Muirfield, Fraserview Drive, Victoria,
   Marine, Champlain Heights, Kerr/Rupert, Kingsway, and Earles.  The
   service would operate in both directions, ie, clockwise and
   counterclockwise.  This option combines the #29 Elliott route with the
   western half of the existing #26 Champlain Heights route (See Appendix D
   for the existing #26 Route).  The eastern half of the #26 route which
   starts at Joyce Station would turn around using streets in the vicinity
   of Champlain Mall and return to Joyce Station.

   As in Option B, direct service is provided to David Oppenheimer School,
   Champlain Mall and Champlain Heights Community Centre, SkyTrain and
   various bus routes.  Overall, 3 additional buses are necessary to
   achieve a 15 minute service.

   BC Transit supports Option B as it achieves the necessary connections to
   other transit routes, SkyTrain, the schools and other facilities and
   services to the north.  It also requires only one additional bus for a
   proposed, initial service of every 30 minutes.  As well, it does not
   impact the existing #26 route and therefore minimizes the disruption to
   other transit users.

   In summary, both Options B and C achieve the necessary connections to
   other transit routes and serves the schools and other facilities north
   of Marine Drive.  Option C is somewhat better for the residents south of
   Marine Drive than Option B because the looped service provides more
   choices in how to reach destinations.  For example, a resident returning
   home from 29th Avenue Station could return home via Elliott or
   Rupert/Kerr depending on when the first bus was leaving.  On the other
   hand, Option C does impact other transit users because it requires
   "breaking" the existing #26 route. Finally, Option C requires two more
   buses than Option B.  This is a concern to BC Transit as they did not
   budget for providing service to SE Vancouver this year.

   The residents' committee, in reviewing the two options, supports Option
   B, noting that it provides direct transit service to most of the
   destinations they wish to reach.  Direct service is provided to David
   Oppenheimer School, the Champlain Mall and Champlain Heights Community
   Centre, SkyTrain, buses on 49th, 41st, Kingsway and Victoria Drive.  The
   residents are also sensitive to existing transit travel patterns and do
   not wish to disrupt other residents normal travel habits.

   Use of North and South Kent Avenues

   North and South Kent Avenues are narrow streets (27 feet/ 8.3m) with
   parking.  Operating between the two streets is the CP Railway.  The Kent
   Avenues are also discontinuous at various places.

   North and South Kent Avenues are desirable streets  to route buses as
   residents would not then have to use Marine Drive.  A number of options
   exist and involve the use of North and/or South Kent between Kerr and
   Jellicoe (in Fraser Lands) and even as far as Victoria Drive

   The present width of both Kent Avenues, coupled with street parking and
   the rail line between the two streets, makes it very awkward for BC
   Transit to operate conventional 40 foot buses on these streets and to
   stop at, and cross, the rail tracks in a conventional manner.  However,
   the City and BC Transit, in consultation with the residents, will
   undertake a review of what street changes would have to be made to
   accommodate conventional buses. The use of Kent Ave remains a future

   The use of small buses was considered but is not an option, especially
   if service is to start this year. BC Transit is not expanding the small
   bus program at this time.  Further, transit demand will be high enough
   to warrant large buses.   

   Public Process

   The Fraser Lands Riverside Residents' Association has been involved in
   the review leading to a preferred option.  

   The residents of Fraserview Drive were polled in 1996 and the poll
   clearly indicates they are not in favour of buses on Fraserview Drive
   between Victoria Drive and Nanaimo Street.  Muirfield Drive, the
   easterly extension of Fraserview Drive, is the same pavement width and
   has the same land use as Fraserview Drive, and has successfully
   accommodated transit for decades.

   The west side of Champlain Crescent between 54th Avenue and Maquinna
   would be used by buses operating in the southbound direction only in
   either option.  This is not presently a bus route.  The west side of the
   street is undeveloped green space.  The east side of the street is town
   house development set back and oriented away from the street. We have
   not contacted these residents as the impact of the buses would be


   Fraser Lands, Riverside and the southern portion of Champlain Heights
   lack transit connections to the north to other transit services and many
   of the community services lacking in their neighbourhoods.  As a result,
   these neighbourhoods are largely auto dependant. Many transit options
   have been considered over the years to serve these residential areas,
   including the use of small buses.  All options that serve the needs of
   the residents inevitably have to use Fraserview Drive as one of the
   connecting roads buses must use. 

   A transit route option acceptable to the neighbourhoods south of Marine
   Drive and BC Transit has been forwarded to the City for approval.  This
   option, shown in Appendix B, requires the use of Fraserview Drive
   between Victoria Drive and Nanaimo Street.  The residents along
   Fraserview Drive continue to oppose the use of this street by transit.  

   Staff recommends Council approve the route shown in  Appendix B,  so
   that the residents of Fraser Lands, Riverside, and Champlain Heights
   South will have transit access to the various community services to the
   north, other transit routes and SkyTrain.

                               *   *   *   *   *

   Page 1 of 2


   Before 1980    Champlain Heights is under development and transit
                  service is extended from the Kingsway area as development

   1981      Council approves an extension of transit service to a proposed
             transit loop at Marine and Matheson Crescent with an "interim"
             routing planned to Matheson Crescent and Champlain Heights
             Crescent until such time as the loop is constructed.

   1985      The Riverside area south of Marine Drive in the vicinity of
             Victoria Drive and Elliott street is under development and an
             extension of the #29 Elliott service via Fraserview Drive and
             Elliott Street is proposed.  Council defeats the proposal but
             recognizes that as Riverside is in the early stages of
             development, this proposal should be reviewed again.

   1988      Transit is prepared to commit funds to the construction of a
             transit loop at Marine Drive and Matheson Crescent.  A
             rezoning of the land set aside for the loop is required. 
             However, Council refuses the rezoning on the basis of
             residential concerns.

   1989      Council revisits the matter of an off-street transit loop and
             recommends staff discuss alternatives to an off-street bus
             loop with the community.

   1991      Council reviews a "looped" route option (similar to Option C
             in this report) and requests BC Transit hold an open house to
             solicit input on the option.  Overall, attendees of the open
             house support the proposal.  

             At the May 30, 1991 Traffic Commission meeting, the Commission
             reviewed a staff report recommending implementing the looped
             service.  The Commission, noting the concerns of the
             residents, directed staff to explore with BC Transit, three
             other route options raised at the Traffic Commission meeting. 
             The Commission recommended that Fraserview Drive be deleted
             from further consideration.

   1991      In December 1991, the Traffic Commission reviews the three
             options discussed at the May meeting of the Commission and
             recommend the route option shown in Appendix A of this report.

   1992      In August 1992, the Vancouver Regional Transit Commission does
             not support the City s proposed option (Appendix A) and
             requests staff review other route options.

   1993      BC Transit staff, in consultation with City staff and the
             Fraser Lands Development consultant review a number of small
             bus options and a conventional bus option.  Council reaffirms
             its previous approval of the route shown in Appendix A.

   1996      Council reviews a report on the 1996/1997 Annual Transit
             Service Plan and expresses its concern that transit service to
             Fraser Lands has not yet been implemented and that this
             service be initiated quickly.  Further, Council directed staff
             to re-poll the Fraserview Drive residents regarding the
             possibility of linking the Elliott and Champlain Heights bus