Major public transportation projects in the Vancouver area, such as bridge construction or transit expansion, are attracting first public attention, but TransLink also has a few projects under consideration that might intrigue you.
Some proposals were discussed Thursday at a gathering of mayors from the region. Here are five.
1. Possibility to pay fare with smart phone
TransLink hopes to allow mobile phone payment on its buses or at Skytrain stations from early next year.
The idea was designed for everyone, but it would make life easier for tourists and day users who do not have a Compass card.
TransLink president Kevin Desmond says the technology is already integrated into the main application already in place, and that it can be launched quickly.
2. Double-decker buses
Two-storied buses operate in several transit fleets around the world, including Victoria. TransLink is exploring the idea of setting up two-storied buses on some long trips to the suburbs.
A pilot project with two-stage buses will be launched later this year on roads in Delta and Surrey (routes 351 and 354) for two months.
The new buses will offer 80 seats instead of 47 in those currently on the roads. If successful, TransLink will purchase additional two-stage buses.
“Users will be able to try them and give us feedback,” says Desmond.
3. Ecological bus
TransLink wants to migrate to a fleet of “low carbon” buses and plans to purchase more battery-powered, hybrid and natural gas-fueled buses in the years ahead.
TransLink estimates that it would cost an additional $ 300 million in capital to bring this change to its fleet. An expenditure “too large for the benefits anticipated,” believes the Mayor of Burnaby, Derek Corigan. He says that public transit is already an environmental initiative and that investing the same amount in a larger number of “traditional” buses would offer a better investment.
4. Cable car to SFU
Joining the top of Burnaby Mountain by cable car is the dream of many students and workers at Simon Fraser University (SFU) who find themselves stuck down when buses are stuck when snow falls.
The idea was forgotten by TransLink in 2012, but re-emerged in 2016 in the 10-year transport plan.