TransLink plans to remove bus stops along Nanaimo Street, Dunbar and Powell starting January 17, 2022 (Routes 4 and 7): It’s called ‘bus stop balancing’

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TransLink has announced plans to remove bus stops along Routes 7 (Dunbar-Nanaimo) and 4 (Powell-UBC) starting on January 17, 2022. It’s still possible to send feedback to TransLink regarding the proposed changes to these two routes. The bus stops would be removed under the guise of ‘providing faster and more reliable service’.

There’s an excellent summary of many of the changes proposed for Dunbar Street: TransLink seeks feedback on plans to cut nearly half of Dunbar bus stops in January (Carol Volkart, Dunbar Residents Association). This is all part of an ongoing TransLink program known as “Bus Stop Balancing” (Translink.ca/busstopbalancing) with the task of “consolidating and removing bus stops that are too close together to improve travel times and reliability for customers across the region.” Some of this chopping is probably due to financial strains from COVID-19 dramatically cutting transit use, but we suspect another factor is that billions of dollars are being sucked from transit-related funding resources to pour into mega projects such as the Broadway Subway.

In this post we’ll focus on the changes proposed for Nanaimo Street.

The Number 7 bus along Nanaimo (starts at Nanaimo Station and goes all the way to the Dunbar Loop) runs rather infrequently, about once every 13 or 15 minutes (see the full schedule here). The City of Vancouver recently upzoned much of Nanaimo Street to 4-storey and 3.5-storey forms (East 12th to East Hastings). A new 4-storey building is nearing completion at Grant Street and Nanaimo near one of the stops slated for removal. There are a number of development applications in progress in the area, as well as completed lot assemblies. Why would TransLink remove capacity just when the City is increasing density here? We’ve included a number of slides that include stops that are being removed.

On Powell Street, the bus stops between McLean and Woodland at the Flint (the SRO with about 90 units run by Atira) would be removed for both bus Routes 4 and 7.

There are some questions that perhaps TransLink can look at. Why are the Dunbar and Nanaimo Streets buses combined into a single route in the first place? Would it not be worth considering doing short turns for each in the downtown or a major arterial or interchange? Speaking of bus service, why is there still no bus service along East 1st Avenue? As the City grows, would it not make sense to increase bus service and frequency?

TransLink has already removed stops from a number of routes. Please see: TransLink looking to remove bus stops from select routes 25 King Edward/UBC and 17 Oak/Downtown (CityHallWatch, March 21, 2021)

Here are the proposed changes to bus Routes 4 and 7 from the GoogleMap on the TransLink website:

2 thoughts on “TransLink plans to remove bus stops along Nanaimo Street, Dunbar and Powell starting January 17, 2022 (Routes 4 and 7): It’s called ‘bus stop balancing’

  1. Thank God they’re finally doing this! I can’t speak to Nanaimo St in particular since I never go there, but overabundance of bus stops in this city renders the transit system utterly useless in some neighbourhoods. In busier areas there is often a stop on every block. As a result the buses spend more time standing still than moving. They can never get up to speed. In these neighbourhoods public transit is literally no faster than walking. Riding on one of these things and watching pedestrians speed past you is like burning money while punching yourself in face. Who wants to get out of bed for that? Sometimes I wonder whether Translink is just a conspiracy to sell more cars. (But then why do they keep reducing road vehicle capacity and replacing it with bike lanes that are only useable 4 months of the year, unless you’re equipped with a waterproof wardrobe?) I have no idea why Vancouverites submit to these hellish conditions. Wouldn’t you rather walk just 1 additional block if this would cut your travel time in half? It’s no wonder the managers of Translink don’t even use this service. They probably never even enter the city, because they know that the insanity they’ve created would drive them out of their minds.

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