Some Killarney residents hope to stomp out TransLink’s proposed changes to the No. 49 bus route.
TransLink proposed a makeover for the No. 49 bus route that runs along East 49th Avenue with major stops like UBC, Langara College and Metrotown Station. The “diversion” TransLink hopes to eliminate is located between Kerr and Tyne Street. Instead of riding along East 49th Avenue to reach the two streets, the bus travels towards East 54th Avenue to service businesses and residents near Champlain Square.
Translink advocates for 95 per cent of the users
TransLink says 95 per cent of its passengers don’t get off in any of the 14 stops along this route, which results in commutes five minutes longer for the rest of the passengers. However, long-time resident and executive director of Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhoods, Heather McCain says the number is a “distortion” because TransLink is narrowing in on a small neighbourhood. She is alarmed about how different groups of people may be impacted by this change.
Who will be most impacted?
”It impacts everybody, but the three main groups are seniors, people with disabilities, and families with small children. We got a couple of seniors here who are on oxygen, who can barely make it to this bus stop. There’s no way they can make 600 metres.
“Personally, I use a walker or a wheelchair. I can use a walker to get to this bus stop, but I’d have to use my wheelchair to get up to 49th. And using a wheelchair versus a walker on a transit system is a big deal. I’ll get passed up with a wheelchair,” she adds.
For Langara student Veni De Guzman, she doesn’t oppose TransLink’s proposed makeover of No. 49 bus route. She’d like to see the current diversion maintained, as well as the express route that bypasses the diversion so that she can opt for the faster commute.
The future of ‘diversion’ on No. 49 route
Coun. Geoff Meggs is a staunch supporter of the current route. In Vancouver council’s upcoming meeting on March 11, he plans to propose a motion that will “advise TransLink that the City of Vancouver opposes any reduction of service to the Champlain Diversion neighbourhood and recommends that service be increased on Route 49 to reduce pass-ups and overcrowding,” said Meggs on his website.
TransLink did not respond to my request for an interview. However, media representatives says a full report from the consultation meetings will be released in spring.
View No. 49 Bus Route ‘diversion’ in a larger map
Reported by Jenny Peng