Back in Portland…

Ok, so currently I’m staying with family in Vancouver, which provides a nightmare of a commute. I’m however determined to make it an adventure though. Today I’m heading downtown (Portland, not downtown Vancouver). The trip is a multi-transfer and long walking distance trip.

Segment One

The first part of the trip is about a half mile up and down hills. There is a sidewalk, which seems odd in Vancouver, as it seems nobody actually walks here. I see someone maybe every 1000ft. But then of course Vancouver has focused on car happiness and not people happiness, so it all makes sense.

Segment Two

I arrive at fourth plain after this walk/ride/bike up and down a 1/2 mile of hills to board the #4 to Delta Park. The #4 route is pleasant, at least so far. In the morning the bus appears to be clean with a well below half load of people. I counted 14 this morning. Strangely, there was also no traffic to cause delays crossing the great I-5 Bridge bottleneck either. So maybe it is a slow day?

Segment Three

Once I transferred to the Yellow Line MAX at Delta Park things immediately bumped up a notch. By the Rosa Parks Station Stop the MAX has no less than 82 people for the two car light rail train. By the next stop it had 106, which is a little low for a Monday, but sure beats the capacity a bus line could handle.

The day remained gorgeous with the sun shining and even slightly warm compared to previous days. Most were silent on the way in, which isn’t abnormal for the morning rush hours.

The Return Trip

The reverse trip was about the same thing. Easy, super quick transfer to the #4 C-Tran, and overall about 45 minutes between downtown and where I got off the bus in Vancouver.

Observations

  • 95% of the riders of the #4 C-Tran are all going to the Yellow Line. Obviously there is significant ridership demand.
  • Considering ridership in a particular are usually goes up about a 1/3rd past equivalent bus service when light rail is put into place, the Vancouver Ridership would be that or more. Matter of fact, I’d bet a fifty on it.
  • If the #4 was BRT, and connected with light rail in downtown Vancouver (ya know, if they actually build the bridge monstrosity across the river), that would see at least a 5-10% increase in ridership over the current bus operations. It would have to be at least 10 minute frequencies. Having this 15 minute headway during peak hours isn’t going to help all that much even if reconfigured to BRT. Yes, I’d also put a 50 spot bet on this too.
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