TransLink eyes removing Champlain Heights bus stops
TransLink plans to remove the 54th Avenue detour from the No. 49 bus route. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
A City of Vancouver councillor has filed a motion to stop a proposed TransLink change that would remove a dozen bus stops used daily by 1,100 people.
Coun. Geoff Meggs said the No. 49 bus — connecting Metrotown to the University of B.C. — had for the past four decades served the Champlain Heights neighbourhood in Vancouver by turning away from 49th Avenue to serve 54th Avenue.
TransLink plans a more direct route that would see the bus only travel on 49th Avenue without detours.
Meggs, whose motion is expected to go before council on Tuesday, said seniors, people with disabilities and young families often use the route.
“TransLink is proposing to reduce service (wait) times on the overall route to UBC, by cutting this off, and that’s a laudable goal,” Meggs said. “But we should find a solution on protecting consistent service to the neighbourhood.”
He added service for the only alternate route serving the area, the No. 26, was recently reduced. According to TransLink, the No. 26 now runs three times an hour during off-peak hours, where before it was every 15 minutes.
TransLink manager Jeff Busby said the No. 49 bus sees 21,300 passengers daily and the affected bus stops are used by just 5% of the ridership.
“TransLink will work with the City of Vancouver on introducing new stops on 49th Avenue to improve access to the service and reduce walking distances for some passengers,” he said by email.
Busby said the changes would mean TransLink can add 600 more No. 49 bus trips each year and reduce future costs.