Calls for added service on transit systems are nothing new. We have seen lots of them in Toronto as we struggle to implement the Ridership Growth Strategy despite a shortage of operators, vehicles and, I suspect, budget headroom.
Meanwhile in Vancouver, riding is growing apace, and the additional challenge of the coming winter Olympics has yet to be digested.
A very fine blog from Vancouver is run by Stephen Rees. In a recent post about service quality to outlying sports venues, he included the following:
If transit is to be an attractive, useful alternative to driving then Translink has to get much better at understanding how to make routes easy and convenient to use. The biggest block to transit use in this region is lack of service frequency and the planners at CMBC and Translink are both way out of line on what they feel is a “frequent” service. It does not mean ‘more buses than we had last year’. It means that people do not get passed up at stops – and do not have to wait for interminable periods of time due to chronic unreliability. It is not just how many buses you have, but how you use them and how much priority the bus gets in congested traffic. In my travels recently I have been been frequently struck by how easy it is to use buses elsewhere – and how frustrating it is to be stuck at a bus stop here not having the slightest idea of when – or if – the next bus will arrive.