– Bus riders say Canada Line may not be faster

CTV BC

The $2 billion Canada Line rapid transit system is supposed to make commuting faster and easier for people living south of the Fraser River in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. But some transit users claim the new line will do just the opposite.

That’s because Delta and Richmond-based commuters who are used to getting directly downtown via the 601 bus and others, will now have to switch to the SkyTrain at one of two Canada Line stations in Richmond.

“It will honestly make [the commute] a lot more difficult than it is,” said Bryan, who frequently makes the trip.

Another commuter named Vivien said she has heard that the advent of the Canada Line would take seven minutes off the trip from Delta to the downtown area. “But I can’t see how,” she said.

“And in the rain, who wants to be transferring [from the bus to the SkyTrain],” she said.

“I mean this isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” she said.

Drew Snider, a spokesman for the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink) says he has heard such complaints before.

“There’s been that single seat trip that has taken them into downtown Vancouver,” he said.

“But I think what they’ll find here is a trip that’s more reliable.”

Canada Line is expected to be more reliable because it will bypass the congestion of the Oak Street and Granville Street bridges, which made it nearly impossible for the buses like 601 to stick to their schedule.

“On paper yes it looks like it will be faster. When you get into practice we will see how it shakes down,” Snider said.

Commuters will have a few weeks to check out the new system. The Canada Line opens August 17th, and the 601 and other direct downtown buses will keep running until September 6th

“I really hope it’s going be smooth and efficient and all of those kinds of good things,” said Delta Mayor Lois Jackson. “But it hasn’t been proven to us yet and only time will tell,” she said.

With a report by CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson

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