The Victoria Times-Columnist embarrasses itself today with a deeply lame editorial.  Here’s the lede:

If you’re planning to leave the car at home, take the ferry to Tsawwassen and hook up with the Canada Line rapid transit to get into Vancouver, good for you — but be prepared for a long ride.

Islanders — and tourists bound in this direction — appear to be an afterthought in the planning for transit links to the shiny new subway line. Although buses are scheduled to coincide with ferry arrivals and connect to the Canada Line at Bridgeport station in Richmond, no express runs exist.

That’s right.  They’re saying that Translink’s failure to put in an express bus between the ferry terminal and the Canada Line is a “lost opportunity.”

Look.  I take the 620 a few times a year whenever I go to Victoria to visit my aunt.  I know that bus.  It’s a fast bus.  And it’s a fast bus precisely because it rips down the 99 and the 17 making way fewer stops than most buses do.

But, you say, who cares about “most buses”?  The T-C’s editor wants the 620 to be an express bus!  Okay, let’s compare it to the B-Lines:

  • The 99 does a 13 kilometer route in about 32 minutes when it starts at Commercial, and it makes 10 stops along the way.  That’s a stop about every 1.3 kilometers, and an average speed of about 26 kilometers an hour.
  • The 97 does a 12.5 kilometer route in about 30 minutes, making 18 stops along the way.  That’s a stop about every 1.4 kilometers, and an average speed of around 25 kilometers an hour.

Right.  So what about the 620?

  • The 620 does a 26 kilometer route in about 40 minutes, making 11 stops along the way.  That’s a stop about every 2.4 kilometers, and an average speed of around 39 kilometers an hour.

In other words, the 620 is already a lot faster than the main express buses in the region.  It could be faster, of course, if stops were eliminated from the route.  But which ones?  They all get used.

If I were the pope of Translink, I’d probably just rename the 620 the 66 B-Line and then tell the T-C they’d got what they wanted.

Update:  More on this from Stephen Rees.

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