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News / Business / Clark County Business

C-Tran unveils plan for new route

Third bus rapid transit line would link Salmon Creek to Vancouver waterfront

By William Seekamp, Columbian staff writer
Published: February 16, 2023, 7:19pm

C-Tran officials have unveiled their tentative plan for a third line of bus rapid transit, connecting the Vancouver waterfront and the Salmon Creek area via Highway 99.

C-Tran’s third Vine route will feature larger buses, seamless fare payments and level-boarding platforms for more efficient access. It will join the Vine routes along Fourth Plain Boulevard, which opened in 2017, and Mill Plain Boulevard, which is scheduled to open later this year.

The northern terminus would be either the Salmon Creek Park & Ride off Northeast 139th Street or the Washington State University Vancouver campus, according to a proposal presented on Feb. 14 to C-Tran’s board of directors.

C-Tran staff have recommended that the university become the northern stop because that route transports riders more quickly — by about 90 seconds — and is simpler, making it easier for riders to comprehend.

Whether the route will stop at the Highway 99 transit center, off Northeast 99th Street, is also undecided. C-Tran staff have recommended against a stop because it would add 20 to 45 minutes per round trip, and riders can transfer to other buses at stations along Highway 99.

The project has an estimated cost of $57 million; however, the final cost could change as the alignment, number of stations, transit center modifications and other details are finalized.

The C-Tran board is expected to vote on the proposal, referred to as the locally preferred alternative, on March 28.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

Columbian staff writer