Vancouver South candidates on the need for bus decongestion

Student voices transportation concerns at all-candidates forum

The all-candidates Vancouver South candidates meeting at the Langara Student Union building. Photo by Gina Rogers
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Reported by Kristen Holliday, Anita Zhu, Lauren Garguilo, Ray Chopping, and Soubhik Chakrabarti

Green Party and NDP candidates in Vancouver South say they use public transit, while other candidates did not confirm so during an all-candidates forum at Langara College.

Most of the candidates agreed that the 49 bus route which runs in front of the campus is too crowded.

“Right now, we have more busses on 49th and 41st,” Harjit Sajjan, the Liberal Party candidate and incumbent for Vancouver South said.

“There is a plan still in place to be able to increase that. But we need to do even more,” he said.

Bus pains

The 49 bus is the second busiest route in Vancouver with 20 per cent of the trips being overcrowded despite running every five minutes.

Garima Mittal, a Langara Health Sciences student, says while bus service has improved, the wait for a bus is a frustrating part of her rush-hour commute.

“Normally, I wait for ten minutes, but during evenings, it gets to 20 minutes,” she said.

Green candidate Judy Zaichkowsky, a frequent transit rider, said she understands what students have to go through.

“That line should be a B-line from Metrotown to UBC,” Zaichkowsky said, referring to the 49 bus. “You would have two buses on there, one more local and one that only stops at intersections where people transfer.”

Plans for the future

Sajjan said the Liberal party had a plan to increase bus service on the 49th and 41st arteries, but also mentioned the importance of looking at other routes.

An NDP government, candidate Sean McQuillan said, would incorporate different transportation services, including more Skytrains.

“We would make sure there will be infrastructure for more light rail systems,” he said.

The PPC has no transportation platform at this time, while Conservative candidate Wai Young did not attend the forum.

 

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