Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Nov. 30, 2021

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The Vine will get rolling on Jan. 8

Region’s first bus rapid transit system starts on second Sunday of 2017

By , Columbian staff writer

After years of planning and construction, C-Tran’s bus rapid transit system, the Vine, is set to roll around Vancouver on Sunday, Jan. 8.

C-Tran spokeswoman Christine Selk said the agency chose Jan. 8 as the launch date because it coincides with some service changes planned for other bus routes and also for operator schedules.

C-Tran plans to hold a community celebration on Jan. 7 to usher in the new system. The event will include food, games and giveaways, but the finer details are still being worked out.

There is still work to be done between now and January. Drivers are out right now training in the new, longer buses. A few Vine shelters are complete, but the majority of shelters still need handrails and roofs installed. At Vancouver Mall, workers are finishing construction on the driver relief building and roofing the covered walkway that leads from the mall entrance to the transit platform.

“But it all continues apace,” Selk said.

In September, C-Tran underwent its largest service change in about a decade, impacting 375 bus stops on 18 routes. The January service change will be significantly smaller, but the agency is still working out what it will look like.

“We’re still in the process of looking at the successes and not successful moments of the September service change,” Selk said. “There’ll be some tweaks that are in conjunction with the launch of the Vine.”

The Vine will replace routes 4 and 44, which provided around 2 million trips per year along the Fourth Plain and Fort Vancouver Way corridors. Everything about the Vine, from having riders pay on the platform to giving buses priority at traffic lights, is designed to be more efficient than traditional bus service.

The Vine will be served by 10 60-foot-long New Flyer Xcelsior articulated hybrid buses that will be used exclusively on the route.

Riders will pay at the platform before boarding and inspectors will be on the bus to ensure fares were paid. The buses are wider and designed to make boarding easier for disabled passengers. Bikes will be stored inside the bus, rather than on a rack at the front of the vehicle.

Columbian staff writer