New Westminster · TransLink

Proposed changes to New Westminster community shuttle routes

TransLink is blowing up New Westminster’s community shuttle routes. Or, at least, they’re proposing it. Here, in a nutshell, are their proposals:

  • Discontinue the C3 and C8 routes that service Quayside Drive, Victoria Hill, and southern Sapperton, replacing them with a “New J” route that would service Quayside Drive and Victoria Hill.
  • Discontinue the C4 route that services Downtown, Queens Park, and Uptown, replacing it with a “New H” route that services Downtown, Queens Park, Uptown, and parts of Sapperton and Glenbrook North.
  • Reroute the C9 to service Richmond Street.

Here’s why this is awesome:

  • The C3 is always busy during the morning rush hour. It picks up people from Sapperton before hitting Victoria Hill. Anybody who follows me on Twitter knows that this route frequently leaves people behind in Victoria Hill. Starting the “New J” route in Victoria Hill means it starts with an empty bus, so people won’t get left behind.
  • The C3 is always busy during the evening rush hour. When it leaves from New Westminster SkyTrain Station it’s almost always full, so there’s no room to pick people up at the Columbia SkyTrain Station. With only Victoria Hill on its drop-off route, this means fewer pass-ups.
  • The rerouting of the 154 in 2013 led to a less direct route for seniors between the Royal Square Mall and Uptown. Adding the “New H” route directly addresses this, and restores that vital connection.
  • There are no more bus routes on McBride Boulevard, which is always rammed with people trying to get to the Pattullo Bridge. This means improved reliability, as buses won’t get caught in traffic as often.
  • Combining the C8 and part of the C3 into one route makes sense. Yes, the new route is one between residential areas, which isn’t typically good for routes as they end up being under-used, but putting a SkyTrain station in the middle changes things. Both halves of the route can be full towards the SkyTrain station in the morning, and full away from the SkyTrain station in the evening, and everybody’s happy. I hope that the frequency of service won’t change, as both routes are currently at a cadence of every 15 minutes during rush hour.

These proposals aren’t set in stone, mind you. TransLink is asking for feedback on this and other changes, so go look at the proposals and speak your mind before November 6!

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