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City of Vancouver votes against cuts to No. 49 bus proposed by TransLink

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Reported by Lauren Collins

A motion to stop changes to the 49 UBC/Metrotown Station bus service passed unanimously at a city council meeting, but TransLink can still overrule the decision.

TransLink proposed cutting 14 stops in the Champlain Heights area because only five per cent of passengers get off at those stops.

The route runs along 54th Avenue between Kerr and Tyne streets.

Vancouver city councillor Geoff Meggs submitted the motion because he said he wanted TransLink to “protect the service of the people of Champlain Heights.”

“I think it’s important that we try to speed up service along 49th as well, but I don’t think we should do it at the expense of neighbourhood service,” said Meggs.

Students catch the 49 Metrotown Station bus on campus, a route plagued by delays and overcrowding. / LAUREN COLLINS photo

TransLink spokeswoman Jiana Ling said there is no decision about the service cuts yet, but TransLink will post a full report on their website later this spring.

“We are still analyzing feedback received during consultation, and developing recommendations for TransLink management,” Ling said.

Criminal justice student Devin Burton said the buses are too busy; and even when there appears to be room, the bus drivers go right by, which she finds “irritating.”

“I hate the 49. I hate it with a passion I could not put into words,” said Burton.

The provincial government is holding a TransLink referendum next year to get more funding for buses.

“TransLink is shuffling their buses around trying to make the best of it and it’s not working out very well,” said Meggs.

He added that funding is needed to pay for more buses and, in order to achieve that, students need to get involved with the upcoming referendum.

“We need more service,” said Meggs. “We just don’t have any more buses.”

 

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