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News / Business / Clark County Business

Mill Plain Vine on track to finish early, under budget, says C-Tran board

Effective Oct. 1, some routes will see changes

By William Seekamp, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 15, 2023, 6:07am

A new Red Vine is coming to Clark County this October.

No, it’s not the licorice brand, but C-Tran’s second line of its bus rapid transit system, also known as The Vine.

Along with the Red Vine, as it was dubbed by Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle at Tuesday’s board meeting, C-Tran’s Mill Plain Transit Center on Southeast 184th Avenue and a handful of service changes will all go into service on Oct. 1.

C-Tran’s Board of Directors approved the changes at Tuesday’s meeting. The bulk of the changes directly tie into the new services and improve regional connections.

Early and under budget

On track to be completed ahead of schedule and under budget, The Vine on Mill Plain will serve 37 new stations along a 10-mile corridor between downtown Vancouver and the Clark College Columbia Tech Center campus in east Vancouver. The new line replaces Route 37.

To differentiate the Vine segments operating on Fourth Plain and Mill Plain boulevards, C-Tran will use color designations. The Vine on Fourth Plain Boulevard is known as the Green line, and Mill Plain will be served by the Red line.

“Mill Plain is one of the most important corridors in our community, and we’re thrilled for the new opportunities The Vine will bring,” said Shawn M. Donaghy, C-Tran’s chief executive officer in a press release. “The addition of this line builds on the tremendous success of the original Vine route, and sets the stage for continued growth in the coming years.”

The Vine is set to expand in the coming years with the proposed route on Highway 99 and the Fourth Plain extension — respectively colored blue and lime green.

A grand opening for The Vine on Mill Plain is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30. Additional details about the event will be announced later this summer.

Service changes

C-Tran staff proposed a handful of service changes at its April board meeting. After hearing feedback from the board and the public some of the proposed changes were altered.

The original proposals for Routes 41, 48, 74, 92 and The Vine on Mill Plain stayed the same.

Route 41: Route 41 will extend to Camas and Washougal. Today the route operates between downtown Vancouver and Fisher’s Landing along Highway 14. Buses would continue to stop at the Fisher’s Landing Transit Center.

Route 48: Currently connecting Hazel Dell and Ridgefield, Route 48 will extend north to ilani. Morning and night schedules will also be adjusted to better correspond with rider demand.

Route 74: Route 74 will extend to the Mill Plain Transit Center along 162nd Avenue and Southeast First Street, filling a service gap between 162nd Avenue and Fourth Plain Boulevard.

Route 92: Route 92 will be realigned to serve the Mill Plain Transit Center via 192nd Avenue. The route currently connects from the Fisher’s Landing Transit Center to Washougal.

C-Tran staff did not advance Routes 30 and 35 proposals.

Route 30: Route 30 would have been rerouted to serve Mill Plain Transit Center instead of the Fisher’s Landing one, offering a direct connection between Clark College’s main campus and its Columbia Tech Center location.

After hearing public feedback about the importance of maintaining service to the Fisher’s Landing Transit Center, where the regional and express buses depart, and continuing to service 164th Avenue between Southeast First Street and Mill Plain, C-Tran staff decided to not alter Route 30.

Route 35: Route 35 would have worked in tandem with Route 34, offering service between the Mill Plain Transit Center and Fisher’s Landing Transit Center. Route 35 would’ve used 164th Avenue and Mill Plain Boulevard. Route 34, which did advance, will operate via 192nd Avenue and 34th Street.

With Route 30 not changing, there would have been a duplication of service between Route 35 and Route 30 along 164th Avenue. To avoid the duplication and to invest in more service along 192nd Avenue, Route 35 was scrapped in favor of investing the resources into Route 34, allowing for 15-minute frequency at peak times.

Route 72: Not originally presented to the board at the April meeting, after hearing public feedback C-Tran staff proposed extending Route 72 to serve segments of Ward Road and 162nd Avenue in order to maintain service coverage along those segments and maintain connections to Route 74.

Route 60: C-Tran originally planned for schedule changes along Route 60, but the changes did not make it into the final proposal approved by the board.

The service changes are scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1.

Community Funded Journalism logo

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.

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Columbian staff writer