I sometimes get the sense that people who don’t take transit, or who don’t take transit in Vancouver proper, don’t fully appreciate what a gong show the 99 B-Line on Broadway is.  Here’s Jhenifer Pabillano at the Buzzer telling us about the lines to get on the B-Line at Commerical this morning:

COMMERCIAL-BROADWAY – trains are standing-room only, but no one’s getting left behind – turnbacks and additional 4-car Mark II trains (12 running in rush hour, compared to 6 prior to the fleet expansion) are helping‬ – lineup for 99B-Line runs past Booster Juice … approx. 10-15 minute wait to board.

That bus runs every three minutes on a Monday morning.  If you’re waiting for 15 minutes, that’s because you’re getting passed up by four buses before you can get on one.  This isn’t like a bus that runs every 15 minutes, where you can look at a schedule and show up three minutes early.  To get on the 99 at rush hour, you need to actually stand in line for ten to 15 minutes first.  There’s a reason we talk about rationing by queing.  The difficulty of getting on a bus turns people away.  The number of people riding the 99 is likely depressed by the fact it’s so hard to get on.  Which, I guess, is just another way of saying it’s overcapacity.

I don’t want to fight about subways, light rail, or better BRT on Broadway.  I’d rather emphasize the fact that everyone having that fight agrees about one important thing.  The B-Line isn’t cutting it, and the Braodway corridor needs something better.

(By the way, the Buzzer’s live-blogging the post-Labour Day commute, which I think is both hilarious and cool.  It’s a good read for anyone who wants to get a sense of how the transit system works when it’s totally slammed.)

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