Now that the Canada Line exists, I don’t take the Cambie bus very often. Generally, it’s only if I want to shop in the Cambie village, as there’s no convenient skytrain stop there (aside: Why on earth there’s no stop at either 16th or 17th is beyond me – it seems to me that the village suffered hugely during construction, but gets almost no benefit now that it is re-opened, because there’s no nearby stop. I suspect most increased business is due to how much easier it is to get there by car & bike, rather than transit).
Down at the north end of Cambie St, right by the bridge, it seems to me that Translink is missing out on a natural transfer opportunity:
Currently, there’s a Northbound stop at W. 7th ave, outside the Save On Foods – this is great! But then, the bus has to change lanes to get on to the Cambie Bridge. Once on the bridge, the bus has to change langes again, back to the curb lane, and the next stop is not until the north side of the bridge, at Pacific Blvd.
What I propose is this: Rather than have the bus go on the ramp here, keep it in the curb lane, and have it continue down the hill to the intersection at W. 2nd ave, outside the Police building. Add in a bus stop right there, where W. 5th comes in to meet Cambie & W. 2nd. To help traffic flow, take out part of the sidewalk there, which is impressively wide given how little foot traffic there is. Then, cross W. 2nd ave, go on the on ramp to the bridge there. This has several advantages:
- It eliminates 2 lane changes on a busy street – a sure way to reduce the chance of accident.
- With a bus stop at W. 6th, it makes it really easy to transfer to the Canada Line at the Olympic Village station.
- It creates a new transfer point for both the eastbound & westbound 84 bus line & additional transfer point for the 50 bus.
- As the south side of False Creek grows, having a stop here becomes increasingly useful place for people to hop on transit to get to the Library, SFU Downtown & even gastown, as the bus passes by it at Cambie & Pender streets – a route not well served by the Canada Line.
- For (lazy) bike riders, it’s a nice place to get put your bike on the bus at the bottom of the hill to ride up to Queen Elizabeth, the Cambie Village, etc. after coming over the bridge, or along the seawall, or along 5th ave, etc.
I see one potentially large downside, which is that the bus has to go through an additional traffic light, which could add some time to the overall route. My personal feeling is the upside to this outweighs this issue.