Vancouver Skyline (wikimedia)

Zach Shaner has a very provocative and well-researched post on the advantages of Vancouver’s bus service over Seattle’s.  The post is wonderfully quantitative although its central thesis is kind of squishy and subjective:

In Vancouver there’s just a real je ne sais quoi; I really feel like I can go car-free, put on my backpack, and walk anywhere I want and take transit anywhere I want without planning any of my journeys.  The routes are intuitive, frequent, and they just work.  In Seattle, even though I know I’m surrounded by options, they somehow seem indecipherable.

The key is that King County places more emphasis on peak-only commuter routes and geographic span of service, while Vancouver has more frequent all-day routes.  Shaner comes up with a bunch of good reasons, and there are several more good ones in his comment thread.  ECB at Publicola piles on some more.

I don’t have much more to add, but few rail corridors, a robust highway/HOV network, and at-grade light rail are a combination that will perpetuate this problem.  Unreliable buses create reluctance to transfer and increase demand for one-seat rides; freeway routes straight into the city mean that indirect routes are not competitive, time-wise, with driving; and although it serves many other objectives, rail routes that are on-paper slower than express buses make it hard to divert bus hours to serve rail stations.  That’s a shame, because as a rail advocate I’m really about having excellent service in a few key corridors rather than marginal service everywhere.

70 Replies to “Vancouver, Seattle, and Bus Allocation”

  1. Not to mention, the sad truth is, and as we’ve already seen with Link reallocation, changing or removing routes entirely is a near political impossibility.

    1. Really, it’s about Metro’s extreme culture of consensus, and not related to Link. The February route changes were an anomally that, I’m afraid, we may not see again in our lifetimes.

      Without outside pressure, Metro doesn’t even so much as remove a bus stop if one citizen objects.

      That’s what happened with the attempted straightening of the 22. So now, Metro is being asked to help with expensive safety improvements where they are keeping the zig-zap. Those two citizens who didn’t want to walk an extra block should either come up with the money for the safety improvements and the extra cost of running buses down the zig-zag, or remove their objections, IMHO.

      We can’t get the 132 to reach that extra mile to TIBS because Metro knows that there will be a passenger somewhere who objects to not getting a 1-seat ride between his house and some out-of-the-way place he likes to go. (If I were living on that stretch between Highline Medical Campus and Burien, I would definitely prefer a short route between Burien and TIBS to the current 132 meander.)

      As for saving the 122 from going somewhere (like the airport), there’s nothing to save. It’s almost always nearly empty. (except for the express between Burien TC and downtown Seattle, which also has plenty of empty seats) The 131/121 provide the Normandy Park / Des Moines corridor ample, and more direct, service to Burien TC. If the 122 goes to Airport Station instead of Burien TC, it might actually attract some riders. Imagine that!

      It’s like pulling teeth getting Metro to take actions that actually *save* money.

    2. They’ll be replicated as other Link segments come online. Especially in the north end which is more pro-rail and more willing to tolerate routing changes for Link. And where the changes will be more extensive because truncating the 71/72/73 and 41 will free up a huge amount of service hours. And if the Shoreline and Snohomish expresses are also truncated at Link, which was always in the plan and one of the main reasons for building Link in the first place, that will also free up a large number of service hours.

      Southeast Seattle will probably end up being the area with the fewest changes because there were few express routes to cut. It’s not like chopping off a 5- or 10-mile freeway section at 45th or Northgate Way. The equivalent would be if most Rainier Valley buses got on the freeway at Swift or Columbian Way, which they didn’t. Plus, the hills prevent Rainier, Beacon, SODO, and West Seattle from being treated as a single unit; they each needs a separate set of bus routes, which limits the ability to consolidate N-S routes and provide effective E-W routes like on 45th, 85th, Northgate Way, 145th, and 185th.

      The south end will probably have the second-fewest number of changes because the population centers are further from Link and there’s less existing E-W service to start from.

      1. I’d love to see the more urbanized areas of King County adopt a more grid oriented route system. While terrain means this will work less well than somewhere like LA or Vancouver BC it could still be a major improvement over the mostly radial service and meandering routes much of the service hours currently cover.

        The big trick is the high demand corridors need to be frequent (10 minute mid-day headways or less) and reliable enough that transfers at intersections with other frequent service lines don’t result in average wait times longer than 5 minutes.

  2. I wonder how much the highways into downtown Seattle have to do with this (Vancouver of course doesn’t have any). It’s easier to focus on express commuter service when you’ve already built the highways.

    1. The pretty much have everything to do with it. People used to – and still do – like to make fun of Canadians for not putting freeways through all their major cities. Well, in the case of Vancouver, it was intentional, and now I’m jealous.

      1. In Vancouver’s case, the lack of road infrastructure is arguably one reason the port business shifted away from False Creek.

        Anyhow, Vancouver DOES have a freeway running through it (as does most any major Canadian city), it just doesn’t run right through downtown. Actually, that’s in contrast to Canadian cities, too.

  3. One of the reasons Vancouver’s bus routes make sense is because they have a rail system that allows them to do so. You don’t need a bus route to go down 65th st, and then takes the freeway to Downtown. You can take a bus route that goes all the way down 65th st., and intersects with a rail route.

    1. Of course, some of the commuter routes that Zach beats up on are almost the same as local routes, such as the 76-79 past NE 65th.

    2. Yeah once we have Link they could eliminate the 71, 72, and 73 south of 65th, as well as the 76, 77, and 79, and maybe even the 64 and some others. Imagine canceling those but having 15 minute service from Wedgwood and Ravenna to Roosevelt all day… That would be so nice!

  4. He’s absolutely right. Vancouver’s bus planning forces more transfers and a bit more walking, but in exchange for that they get a system that works so much better.

    1. This is key. We need feeder routes to the light rail stations, not parallel bus routes to downtown. One problem is that Seattle residents have only experienced bus-to-bus transfers where you have no idea how long it will take. They don’t realize that bus-to-rail is so much better due to frequency and reliability of the rail.

      1. Except that in some cases – for example, the 34 express to downtown – the transfer, while reliable, is still a waste of time (and a missed transfer later on!).

      2. I believe Metro missed the ball on Route 34 – and Martin may disagree with me.

        I think rather than keep it as an express to downtown, revise the route to serve Boren and South Lake Union. People in Seward Park could still take a 39 either way or Route 34 to Link, Route 34 would still provide connections for Seward Park residents to the I-90 services, and it would provide new commuter service to other employment centers. There could even be a stop on Boren near Olive so someone could transfer to a tunnel bus. The same could have been done with the 7 Express.

      3. That’s an awesome idea. I can’t believe there’s still no bus service that goes down Boren from Rainer Ave.

      4. Kaleci, for what it’s worth I think the 34 should have been eliminated. The point of some of my posts on the subject are to point out why that kind of thing is difficult, and why the complaining of neighborhoods is entirely legitimate.

      5. Martin,
        Thanks for the update. We had chatted about Route 39, but I wasn’t sure we had discussed Route 34.

    2. “He’s absolutely right. Vancouver’s bus planning forces more transfers and a bit more walking, but in exchange for that they get a system that works so much better.”

      You hit the nail on the head with that word, EXCHANGE. In Seattle, bus-to-bus transfers are a nightmare because they’re often done in the middle of nowhere, and the two buses are scheduled independently. Meaning, if the 372 is running behind schedule, and the 75 is on time or a little ahead of schedule, I might miss my connection in Lake City, and wind up standing on the side of Lake City Way for 20 minutes or more, waiting for the next bus.

      Contrast that with Vancouver, where bus-to-bus transfers often happen in “exchanges”, where all the buses at that exchange are scheduled to arrive at the same time, and all of them wait until every bus has arrived, before departing again. This ensures quick transfers, and no missed buses. I think if the exchange system was implemented in Seattle, most Seattlites would soon get over their love for the one-seat ride.

      I would be interested to see how cost-effective the Vancouver system is.

      1. This. Forcing transfers without adaptations like the above will kill ridership in a big way.

      2. Similar cases exist with larger suburb transit center and P&R such as Bellevue & Lynnwood in order to accomodate express routes transfer to local routes. However you are right in the case within Seattle it gets much trickier.

      3. Vancouver only has a handful of exchanges with timed transfers. Very often you’ll be transferring between two routes where they happen to intersect. The reason this isn’t as painful as it could be is because both routes run frequently enough that you will never wait more than a few minutes for a transfer.

        To take your example if both the 372 and 75 ran every 15 minutes your average wait time would be only 7.5 minutes and your worst case would be only 15.

        It is nearly impossible to offer timed transfer service at every transfer point without greatly slowing down many routes. Sure you won’t miss your transfer in Pierce County but the routes tend to be slow and waste a bunch of time waiting at every transit center they serve.

        Metro does do this to a limited extent at some of their transit centers and park and rides. Though typically the only routes that will wait on other routes are local feeders, especially those that turn around at the transit center.

  5. One of the things that skews this analysis is, sadly, Pierce Transit. Aside from three or four routes, PT operates almost exclusively at 30 minute headways or less because it was designed as a sprawling, county-wide, timed transfer system 30 years ago.

    Transit advocates in the South Sound have been working on transitioning to a grid system within Tacoma proper for months. This summary of community feedback indicates a direction that we’re headed.

  6. The other thing that makes Vancouver excel is they plan bus and rail projects equally. If TransLink goes forward with the UBC and Evergreen SkyTrain routes, they will add another 200,000 (no, that is not an error) daily riders to the system. Chatter of extending the Canada Line 2.5 miles south would add another 25,000 riders.

    It is amazing how well SkyTrain/Canada Line works. It is even more impressive to think TransLink believes it will come down to capacity limitations that will dicate the future of the system rather than how much it expands after UBC and Evergreen opens up. Waterfront will surely feel a dramatic increase in pressure after they both open up, with trains coming every 58 seconds during rush hour.

  7. i have to believe the lack of a freeway system is THE key reason for Vancouver’s lead.

    i think geographic/topography is another, vancouver has its confined downtown on a rather small peninsula accessed by only a few key points (the bridges & hastings st) great for radial lines. then it has a rather flat grid between false creek and the fraser river, great for crosstown buses. and these neighborhoods havent been sliced up and diced up by freeways. the alternative to riding the bus in vancouver is to drive on the same ordinary streets that the bus operates on (vs. the freeways in seattle where the buses run express but that system is only good for suburban rush hour commuters).

    even the small city of victoria has a very good bus system on par with those of much larger cities.

  8. Another thing I should have considered, surely related to density and the absence of all-day rail service, is the average length of bus routes in the two cities. Not only does Seattle love 30-minute headways and peak-only routes, but some routes are just unbelievably long. Among the more egregious examples are the #342 (32 miles, 90 minutes) and #578 (47 miles, 2 hours). Who in their right mind would ride these from end to end?

    It’d be interesting also to do a theoretical analysis of just how many routes could feasibly be cut or reduced simply by the addition of all-day Sounder service. Since most of Sound Transit’s I-5 routes run (more-or-less) express to their termini (such as 510, 511, 577, 578, 586, 590, 592, 593, 594, 595, etc…), the particular routing in between doesn’t really matter. With all-day Sounder service and North Link built out, would we need any of these routes?

    1. One more problem Vancouver doesn’t have to deal with: The railroad tracks aren’t owned by private railroad companies that give freight priority over passenger rail.

      We would have more Sounder and Amtrak service if we could buy up the rail lines.

      1. But Vancouver’s commuter rail has 5 round trips, and no off-peak or reverse-peak service at all, which is already worse than Sounder. And intercity rail isn’t any better than what Seattle has either (6 corridor trains and 2 long distance trains departing daily).

      2. And my wife is currently commuting from Tukwila to Auburn for a 2-week contract gig…so we’re very thankful for those Sounder reverse-commute trips!

      3. WCE has one advantage however, they run 9 to 12 car long trains, so the ridership is the same as Sounder.

      4. Brent,

        The railways over there are owned by Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railroads, both of which are privately owned and trust me, they give priority over freight than VIA Rail. Been stabbed on both VIA and WCE many, many times.

      5. “One more problem Vancouver doesn’t have to deal with: The railroad tracks aren’t owned by private railroad companies that give freight priority over passenger rail.”

        Actually, they are. “Canadian National” was privatized in… hmm… the 90s, I think? Canadian Pacific has always been private (although subsidized, just like US freight railways). The other railway going into Vancouver is BNSF, the same one as in Seattle. British Columbia used to own its own railway, BC Rail…. but sold it off in a *huge* scandal a couple of years back.

      6. Actually, the RoW under the Westcoast Express is owned by the private CPR, which greatly increased costs and constrained freq. Some progress was made 4-5 yrs back, but a lot more could be done to facilitate reverse running of the 1st 2 trains, to offer limited counter-rush service plus expanded pro-rush frequencies

    2. Zach,

      Most likely the 594 will always exist because it is cheaper and faster than Sounder. The Sounder-Bus (ST578) has been increasing popular and the few times I have ridden it, it has been well received since they changed over to the MCI coaches from the Gilligs.

      The 59x series does need to be consolidated to a degree. The 590’s hours for example should be turn into the 594. The 592/DuPont will continue to DuPont because of the strong ridership gain, though I doubt transfers to/from Intercity Transit happen much here. The 593/South Tacoma Station will end in 2013 when the Lakewood Sounder extension opens. The 595 will continue since it goes over to Gig Harbor.

      Even with hourly all-day Sounder service, until ridership increases dramatically, I don’t foresee more trans being added, other than what was provided in ST2. The 578 is a good medium and follows in line with other peak-hour only transit services. As much as we can ask for all-day service, running a 2-3 car train for 60 people just doesn’t make sense.

      Now if there are special events, then I could see more of a reason to run a train instead of a bus. I personally would prefer to have Sounder service to/from Mariners games on the weekdays but the last Sounder to Seattle does get there in time for gate openings. The 578 shuttle, while it does take some time, will be available.

      One of these days I’ll get around to posting how to take transit to the games. It isn’t that well known that the services are available to those who desire it.

    3. Metro also loves really long routes with really short stop spacing, like the 7, 8, and 48 to name a few. This seems to be a fatal combination for reliability. A friend recently suggested that they should just have a certain number of stops no matter how long the route is. So whether it is 1 mile or 3 miles long, only have 12 stops. That kind of policy would make sure they are creating either a local circulator or a long-haul route, but not both.

      1. Metro does not “love” them. It was just the fashion to put stops every block when the routes were set up decades ago (and the region had half the population). Metro has been increasing stop spacing over the past decade, on University Way, in Bellevue, and now on route 8. But it hasn’t gotten to everywhere yet.

      2. That excuse only really works for the 7 and the 48 which haven’t really seen major changes since Metro took over from the City of Seattle. I believe there are stops being eliminated on the 8 that have only ever been served by the 8. As Seattle routes go the 8 is fairly “new”.

    4. When North Link is built out a lot of the I-5 express runs from North Seattle, Shoreline, and Snohomish County are likely to feed the nearest Link station instead.

      North Sounder really isn’t worth talking about since this route is more about politics than what provides the best service (express buses from Everett Station and the Edmonds Ferry terminal to downtown Seattle are faster than Sounder).

      As for the South King and Pierce county routes I suspect they will be with us for a long time. With ST2 Link only gets to Star Lake and Sounder is going to be mostly a peak hour only service.

      At peak times both the buses and the trains tend to be full too.

  9. Let’s blue sky for a second.

    How about this…imagine a transportation system where the stops are all widely spaced. And where most of the routes are rapid expresses or trains with their own corridor (Sounder, Elevated Link, BRT Roadways).

    Local bus service is cut to the bone; however, in it’s place, a computerized system of taxis, subsidized by Metro, gets people who can’t walk or bike long distances to their destination. The computer optimizes trips so that 3 people share a cab or cab-van, like the Airporter.

    People who use the Express routes pay a mimimal fee. People who use the local shuttles pay a steeper fare, but not the current exorbitant taxi fees.

    My thought? This is the one way that “mass transit” would ever get people out of their cars by providing reasonable cost door-to-door service for those who want it.

    1. That last mile is always the most expensive, isn’t it. What I’m afraid of with your system is that you’re adding effectively thousands of new drivers to the system. What’s expensive in our transit system isn’t just the buses, it’s the drivers. Picturing hundreds of new (subsidized!) taxis in, say, Bothell driving people all over the place all at commute hours just sounds wasteful.

      What I do like about your idea is it would certainly push people toward dense hubs, since that would be cheaper, easier, and faster than taking a taxi for the last mile.

      1. One way to look at it.

        Another way is to think of the fungibility of the bus+driver combo.

        That is, for much of a bus trip, the bus+driver is taking people to places that only a few of them want to go, so you’re hauling around a lot of non-optimized infrastructure. With a taxi system, you break down the bus+driver combo in more targeted ways. It works especially well in off-peak…not having empty buses plowing around looking for customers. Instead, letting the customer “direct” where the transit goes.

      2. Looking at the photo accompanying the post, you might think everyone in Vancouver lives in Statos.

        Nothing could be further from the truth.

        They live like this:,+Greater+Vancouver+Regional+District,+British+Columbia,+Canada&gl=us&ei=dZ_XS-6_HovysQPA05ibBg&ved=0CBEQ8gEwAA&ll=49.199654,-122.721405&spn=0.141331,0.891953&z=11&layer=c&cbll=49.224931,-122.977243&panoid=xthuPmLwfpRT7eFy9_PzkQ&cbp=11,13.38,,0,2.37

        In nice low density neighborhoods…the thing that Seattle planners seem bent on destroying…

  10. Shaner’s article (and Publicola’s recap) notes that in Seattle, “37% are commuter routes without any mid-day service at all”.

    37% is also the same percentage of Metro drivers that are Part Time Operators.

    I find both articles enightening – and thoughtful. Seattle/King County *could* learn a lot from the Vancouver model. Those making the comparisons should be aware however that the issues aren’t merely a matter of planning and scheduling -but of funding, attempts to cut costs, and to placate geographical taxpayer boundaries that are not factors in the Vancouver system.

  11. Here’s a map I made for an earlier post illustrating Vancouver’s bus frequency on the west side of the city. I think it really helps Americans like me visualize (1. just how frequently Vancouver’s peak buses arrive, and crucially for my argument, how (2. virtually no non-grid services are offered. There’s alot of blank space on that map, and that HELPS ridership dramatically. If you’re walking down a residential street in Vancouver, you know that there is no bus service there. You’ll walk to the nearest arterial, wait 5 minutes, and you’ll hop on. And that structure is reliable across the network.

    1. Wow, that’s a clean map. A similar map of Seattle would be an absolute mess.

  12. The Seattle area has the advantage of being so vertical. With only a few lines of rail, all north/south travel can be covered. Cross trown travel can rely on buses and streetcars.

    The problem is political will to pay for it and get things done. People in Seattle – falsely considered to be progressive – are afraid of change. They just like to complain.

    1. A lot of ’em complain about seeing empty or near-empty buses – hence a focus on routes that maximize ridership vs. service hours.

      1. I wonder how many of those complaining are Eastsiders who would also throw a fit if Seattle was able to get Metro to ditch 40/40/20?

      2. would Nevermind, I should have done a search for the term before asking. It’s an interesting policy though. I wonder how effective it be if you eliminated the one-seat rides. That is, new routes focused on creating regular continuous service on the eastside instead of the limited-use one-seat rides.

      3. If it did that, it would actually be fantastic.

        What would be even more fantastic is requiring new suburban/exurban King County development to be tied to transit service improvement. You know, that whole land-use planning thing…

        We can’t undo the mess of the last fifty years but we can mitigate further messes.

  13. This is a rather topical post for me as I just returned from a weekend in Vancouver. I got to experience their transportation system that just seems to work. I used all 3 SkyTrain lines, they were convenient and had perfect frequency. There is great TOD around the stations and high ridership at all times of day. The bus service was frequent on Robson, though always packed. I took the 99 to UBC and that was also very crowded. The frequency seemed less but it was a larger bus.

    To Vancouver’s credit, they’ve had the SkyTrain in operation for almost 25 years. I’m sure all the TOD and frequency wasn’t there when it first begun. They’ve had years to perfect everything. Seattle just got it’s first rail line last year and will possibly be where Vancouver is in a few years. It won’t be overnight, but at least we can have input into making the system here just as good as Vancouver’s.

    To Seattle’s credit, I have been to many other US cities and our system here runs rings around their systems and these are cities with trains as well. I think it’s US cities in particular that have the issue of this non-seamless networks and it’s because of the common thread working it’s way through this post…the freeways. Most foreign cities don’t have freeways running through them so they are reliant on trains and buses.

    1. That and seattle’s rail line barely extends outside city limits (and is not very fast in city limits). Once we get a subway or BART type system linking Tacoma to Everett than great strides can be made in re-allocating and streamlining service to a more full time model vs. a Peak and one seat ride model.

    2. I’m sure all the TOD and frequency wasn’t there when it first begun.

      There are before and after pictures of some of the Skytrain station areas. Some of the stations really had nothing around them when Skytrain opened and now have clusters of towers around them.

      For example the Metropark station was surrounded by parking lots and empty lots and it is now one of the busier stations in the entire system.

  14. One big advantage of the Skytrain is it goes diagonally. That allows more grid-running buses to meet it. And my friend in Vancouver confirms that outlying suburbs don’t have one-seat rides to the city: they just have a shuttle to the Skytrain. TransLink was quite aggressive about that when the Canada Line opened. Of course, TransLink and the BC government have more freedom to set pro-transit policies than our agencies or councils do here.

    San Francisco’s Market Street also runs diagonally, and that again allows many grid-based buses to naturally meet it.

    1. A diagonal route is why I think at some point we need to look at the interurban right-of-way between 85th St and Lynnwood. It’s a perfect diagonal that could eventually connect or cross three major north-south routes (I-5/Highway 99/Greenwood).

    2. Well, they don’t have JUST a shuttle to SkyTrain… most routes serve real suburban destinations as well. :\

      But yes, they wisely don’t run every route into downtown Vancouver.

    3. In West Vancouver it is a long way between the Expo line and UBC. The E/W routes tend to go all the way to the Expo Line rather than stopping at the Canada Line. The N/S routes don’t necessarily go anywhere near a Skytrain station unless they happen to go downtown or to Richmond. Still they have a very nice grid network in West Vancouver.

      OTOH the E/W routes have good anchors on both ends with UBC and the Expo line.

  15. Zach’s post is great, but he is missing the critical difference in the numbers. Translink’s 6 million annual service hours cover a service area of about 700 sq miles (1800 sq km). KC Metro alone covers 2000 sq miles – and I believe his analysis included Pierce, Community and Everett to get the 6 million annual service hours in greater Seattle. So those same service hours are spread over a MUCH greater area. You can argue bus vs rail all day, but the difference between Seattle & Vancouver is density.

    1. Seattle metro area does spread further apart and are less dense than greater Vancouver. However the difference in size of the service area are not that great. Metro does not cover 2000 sq. miles, which is the total land area of King County (2126 sq mi or 5506 sq km according to Wiki), and two-third of the county is part of the Cascade Mountains and foothills plus some farmlands. The service areas in Pierce and Snohomish county are even smaller.

  16. Big Elephant in the room…..
    Question from a transit neophyte – Why are the “geniuses” with ST & Metro burning thru all these $$$$ trying to shoehorn Light Rail into the greater Puget Sound, rather than modeling the SkyTrain system from the Vancouver BC area, a region with like topography, like population sprawl (Density is coming) and similar environmental challenges? We are wasting so much $$$ on a light rail system that will never carry even 10% of what the SkyTrain system capacity is….Can anyone provide any insight???

    From Capital investment to operating costs, why in the H#$L don’t we/didn’t we seriously consider a SkyTrain type of HCT system? 345,000 riders/day? Metro’s capacity is 400,000….Link Light Rail will never be more than a monument to government waste. Please one of you sage thinkers, explain this to me and the rest of the “unwashed masses!!!”

    1. SkyTrain is even more expensive than light rail. It’s a proprietary technology, has to be completely grade-separated, and it’s capacity isn’t that much greater. Sound Transit’s 2 lines are expected to have 286,000 daily boardings by 2030, compared to 345,000 on the 3 SkyTrain lines. I don’t think a fully elevated system would have been any easier to build here than light rail, because of people’s aversion to elevated structures. Just look at what the SMC went through trying to get a monorail through downtown.

      1. Probably the biggest advantage of SkyTrain is automated operation, but that is true of any 100% grade separated system.

        I’ve seen one wag say SkyTrain has all of the capacity and speed of light rail with all of the expense of a heavy rail metro.

        One reason the current skytrain system was relatively cheap to build was due to use of existing ROW, especially freight rail corridors. It is also why the elevated construction didn’t get many objections from surrounding businesses or residents.

        I think it makes sense to extend the Millennium line out Broadway and 10th to UBC. This would allow end to end service between UBC and the end of the Evergreen line. A LRT with similar capacity out to UBC would need to be grade separated and that would have a similar cost level to building skytrain.

        Do note that a Broadway Skytrain Line will most likely be in a bored tunnel rather than elevated down the middle of Broadway. Expensive to be sure but this is a dense and massively congested corridor.

        Further rail transit extensions in the Vancouver BC area should probably consider alternatives to Skytrain technology whenever possible due to the proprietary nature of the system. For example the Arbutus corridor would seem to be a good place to use light rail more along the lines of Calgary including surface access to downtown via the Granville transit mall.

  17. The newer buses in Vancouver also shows the upcoming stops via a display, which I think is a major plus.

    1. Interestingly I think Pierce Transit have already implemented that (display plus recorded annoucement for each upcoming stop)in all of their buses plus the Sound Transit ones operating by them.
      (People from the area please correct me if I’m wrong)

      1. Intercity transit also has automated stop announcements and displays.

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