214 Bus Schedule Changes – Update

Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

The 214 Bus Schedule changed (for the worse) back in Fall 0f 2014. Since then a small but committed group of residents has been hard at work trying to fix what is broken with the 214 bus. Their efforts included a meeting with the DNV mayor yesterday (Thursday Jan 29th) at which they made the following presentation.

If you want to get involved with the 214 Bus Sub-committee – please contact us at info [at] blueridgeca [dot] org. The more voices, the more likely there will be change.

Good evening, Mayor Walton and Tegan,
First of all, thank you so much to both of you for spending the time with us this afternoon and finding out about our issues concerning the 214 Blueridge Bus.
The whole community really appreciates that you were willing to do that.
Below you will find the presentation about the issues that we discussed in your office. Nothing is different at all from the hard copy we gave you this afternoon, but it may be easier for Tegan to copy and paste from the below notes when she drafts her letter to TransLink.
We thank you profusely for agreeing to help the Blueridge residents with this project.
Please do not hesitate to let us know if any of the comments in the presentation are not clear, and we will be happy to clarify same.
We look forward to hearing further from Tegan when she has news to report back from TransLink.
Regarding Alberto’s amazing suggestion for revamping the entire bus schedules in the Seymour area, we will get back to you in due course, when we have had a chance to fine-tune his project further. It is certainly worth taking a look at, and it may open a positive dialogue which may benefit many more residents than just those living in Blueridge.
Thanks, again, very much for your consideration.
Best regards,
Eric
Dear Mayor Walton,
Thanks for listening to our issues about the 214 Blueridge Bus.
The OCP stipulates an increase from 21% to 35% of trips are by walking, cycling and TRANSIT.
It all started with five lines in the Blueridge Community Association’s November newsletter…
What we had.
What we lost.
Our key message is that people in Blueridge/Seymour Heights are very unhappy with the loss and deterioration of service, and this is impacting people’s lives, jobs, families, neighbourhood and the environment. We would like our service back – such as it was. We are willing to be a part of the solution and work towards adequate service. We have demonstrated our willingness by forming this group and collecting data and thinking about alternate proposals. 
Translink is not just a business but also a service.
1/ It is an absolute MUST that drivers wait for the connecting buses at Phibbs Exchange.
WESTBOUND the connecting 210 bus going downtown is often leaving when the Blueridge bus arrives to Phibbs. Of the two directions this is the lesser problem, since there is a better frequency from Phibbs to downtown, but it is still an issue.
EASTBOUND the 214 is more often than not leaving Phibbs Exchange before or at the very moment that the bus from downtown arrives. For Blueridge residents there are no alternatives (short of walking all the way up from Mount Seymour Parkway). This missed connection automatically results in a 30 minute delay when returning to Blueridge.
It should be MANDATORY that the shuttle drivers be instructed to wait for the connecting buses from downtown.
Apps exist for passengers to track when their bus arrives to their bus stop – drivers should be instructed to use these effective immediately.
2/ Wrong info was provided on the bus stops in Blueridge/Seymour Heights. TransLink should clarify why this wrong info has been distributed.
It is stated (see below) that the service frequency will remain the same during peak service periods, but this is not the case.
WESTBOUND: The 7 AM bus (now 6.59) from Sechelt and Hyannis used to go directly downtown (no longer the case)
The 4.54 PM5.24 PM and 5.56 PM buses from Sechelt (all at peak hours) no longer exist
EASTBOUND: The direct bus from downtown arriving at Sechelt and Hyannis at 4.42 PM (at peak hour) no longer exists
The 6.01 PM bus from Phibbs to Blueridge is published, but doesn’t run consistently.
 
3/ A short-term, quick fix/service improvements AT NO EXTRA COSTS:
AAA/ Due to the repeated missed connections at Phibbs Exchange (more serious when returning to Blueridge due to the lack of available and viable options) we are suggesting SKIPPING A NUMBER OF BUS STOPS to give more time in the schedule.
In Blueridge/Seymour Heights:
Westbound bus stop 54118 – Emerson Way at Mount Seymour Parkway
Eastbound bus stop 54101 – Emerson Way at Mount Seymour Parkway
We are suggesting that the 214 bus be RE-ROUTED as follows to AVOID the Seylynn development altogether:
WESTBOUND the bus will proceed from bus stop 54076 (Mount Seymour Parkway at Seymour Boulevard) directly towards Highway #1, but instead of entering Highway #1 (southbound) it will proceed towards Phibbs Exchange and turn left on Oxford Street.
By so doing this will eliminate the following FOUR westbound stops for 214:
51757 Mountain Highway at Fern Street
51758 Mountain Highway at Charlotte Rd
51759 Mountain Highway at Rupert Street
51760 Oxford Street at Mountain Highway
EASTBOUND the bus will start on Oxford Street, but will turn left immediately on the road from Highway #1 (southbound) to Main Street. It will turn left on Main Street and take the exit towards Highway #1 (northbound), but instead of entering Highway #1 it will take the exit towards Mount Seymour Parkway (next to Real Canadian Superstore) with the first stop being 54029 (Mount Seymour Parkway at Seymour Boulevard).
This will eliminate the following THREE eastbound stops for 214:
51748 Oxford St at Mountain Highway
51749 Mountain Highway at Crown Street
51750 Mountain Highway at Hunter Street
It is felt that the SEVEN above bus stops in the Seylynn area are already very well served with the several buses connecting to/from the Seymour area. Further it was felt that not a lot of Blueridge residents would need access to/from the above bus stops.
Avoiding the Seylynn area will both eliminate SEVEN bus stops (see above) AND traffic lights. TWO traffic lights will be eliminated westbound (Keith and Mountain Highway, and Mountain Highway and Oxford). 
Eastbound THREE traffic lights will be eliminated (Mountain Highway and Oxford, Mountain Highway and Keith, Mountain Highway and Fern Street). On the other side ONE traffic light will be added when the bus turns left on Main Street.
If we need to eliminate further bus stops on Berkley, below are the options/possibilities.
WESTBOUND:
54113 Sechelt Drive at Berkley Avenue
54114 Berkley Road at Byron Rd
54115 Berkley Road at Shelley Rd
54116 Carnation Street at Berkley Road
EASTBOUND:
54103 Berkley Road at Carnation Street
54104 Berkley Road at Shelley Road
54105 Berkley Road at Boswell Avenue
54106 Berkley Road at Layton Drive
54107 Berkley Road at Sechelt Drive
54108 Berkley Avenue at Derbyshire Place
54109 Berkley Avenue at Hyannis Drive
BBB/ Regardless of whether our bus gets rerouted, we must insist that the flagpersons (through Council/staff’s instruction to the developer) during the entire construction period at Seylynn will ALWAYS give priority to the traffic lane WITH buses. This is not presently the case, and this can often cause sufficient delays that a connection can be missed next time the bus arrives at Phibbs.
CCC/ Staggering of 211/214 services.
It was suggested that a better staggering of the 211 Seymour and 214 Blueridge be implemented, as this would at least give the people living in Seymour Heights better options.
DDD/ Skipping routes – it is recognized that the drivers will occasionally skip entire bus stops when their buses are late. Although this is unfairly penalizing the commuters, it is strongly suggested that if any stops have to be skipped by the drivers, these should be the ones in the Seymour Heights area (Carnation south to Mount Seymour Parkway), since the commuters from that part of the area generally have better options by walking to/from Mount Seymour Parkway where many more bus options exist (than the 214 Blueridge). Presently the opposite seems to be the case, which is totally counter-productive.
4/ Future potential changes with larger implications
Alberto’s admirable work in terms of an entirely revised bus schedule for Seymour to be discussed and this should be presented to (DNV Council and) TransLink as well. We are not expecting that this will be implemented immediately (!), but it may start a dialogue in terms of better bus options for everyone in the Seymour area, which would lead to more ridership, which, in turn, would lead to more buses etc.
5/ Who do we approach about 214 Blueridge Bus? What are our next steps?
It was decided that we should first approach DNV Council, since it is a concern for District residents, bus ridership is important in the OCP, and inasmuch as the DNV has control over the flag people (since the DNV issues the building permits). In view of Mayor Walton’s good connections with TransLink we hope to obtain support and ask for guidance as to whom we should approach with TransLink to see some action.
Delegation time has been requested, would it help our cause to proceed with same?
Thanks for listening!
 
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