TransLink: Restore direct Coquitlam Station-SFU bus service
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The problem regards the loss of direct Coquitlam Station-SFU bus service. Whereas the original purpose of the 143 was to connect Coquitlam and SFU directly by bus, the Evergreen Line's opening in 2016 has marginally improved the Coquitlam-SFU commute by about seven minutes. Now, the 143 runs only from Burquitlam Station to SFU which isn’t its original purpose.
If we compare the old and new travel times, they are basically the same. Thus, SkyTrain may have connected Coquitlam to Vancouver faster, but there are still issues from removing direct bus service.
Given travelling to and transferring at Burquitlam Station is now required, students living in northern Central and West Coquitlam suffer most (TransLink themselves said this was a tradeoff). Transferring was not needed in the past since there was direct connection to SFU, but as the transfer alone costs another 7-15 minutes their commute has unnecessarily increased by half an hour. Sure, the increased bus services to Burquitlam Station may be beneficial to some, but that isn’t a factor to the 143’s original purpose.
Edit: Although the reason for changing the 143 was to avoid service replication from the Evergreen Line, the former 143 served a completely different area. So it could have still run consistently with the Evergreen Line at present.
Because the 143 has no weekend service, commuters (regardless of living anywhere in Coquitlam) must go to Production Station, should they visit SFU. Production Station is 5 minutes from Burquitlam, so a close alternative for SFU service exists and shows it is not very different to commute from there. Nevertheless, travelling to Production Station on a weekend still costs more time.
Solving these issues only requires restoring direct bus service between SFU and Coquitlam, but including weekends. For example, the 143 as is could expand service to the former route. Commute time would be reduced greatly for students living around Como Lake and provides all Coquitlam students a direct route home despite SkyTrain. This would do a service to all Coquitlam commuters to SFU.
Edit: As an aside, this would also relieve commute congestion, and do a greater service to handicapped students who face frustration to transfer from bus to train.
Scope of the solution:
Restore direct Coquitlam-SFU bus service, while reconciling with current bus services.
The direct service should also run on weekends.
Expand the current 143 to cover the former route to Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam Stations (i.e. Burquitlam Station becomes an intermediary) This will affect how current 151 runs, however. OR
Implement a new bus route that runs the same identical route as the former 143 (running about 4 times per daylight hour) To compensate for students wanting to go to Burquitlam Station, a bus stop could be installed on Clarke Road. OR
Have the current 143 occasionally run the old route without stopping at Burquitlam Station
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