Editorial: TransLink to blame for low ridership

This month Metro Vancouver’s transit authority, TransLink, will be considering a “realignment” of bus routes throughout the region. Once again, there is little for transit users in South Delta to be happy about.

TransLink is proposing to cut service on the No. 404, having it terminate at Riverport in Richmond, instead of continuing south of the Fraser River to Delta. The 606 and 608 routes will see their capacity reduced by becoming community shuttle buses, and won’t continue on to Richmond from Ladner Exchange.

TransLink cites falling ridership and high costs as why those routes are being scaled back in favour of increased service elsewhere in Metro Vancouver.

However, TransLink only has itself to blame for the poor local ridership.

In the not-too-distant past, there was a time when one could hop on a bus in Tsawwassen and be taken all the way to Downtown Vancouver.

With the addition of the Canada Line, transit goers now have to connect at Bridgeport Station. On the way home, that connection can result in a wait of up to 20 minutes in the cold.

That move has turned many local commuters away from the bus and put them back in their cars. These latest service will have a similar effect.

One is left wondering why Delta is part of TransLink at all?

If Delta Mayor Lois Jackson’s numbers are correct, every man woman and child residing in the Corporation of Delta pays close to $400 per year for TransLink’s services.

And what do we have to show for it in South Delta?

The answer is: Very little.

So why would anyone choose a mode of transportation that provides such poor service?

If TransLink is serious about increasing ridership locally, it needs to offer better service, not worse.

-South Delta Leader

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