Macdonald corridor still needs scheduling coordinationPosted: 25 June 2012
Part 2 of my thoughts on TransLink’s seasonal service changes for summer 2012. Part 1 is here.
Last year at this time, I noted how, despite TransLink’s claims to coordinate schedules for routes 2 and 22 serving the Macdonald/Cornwall corridor between Downtown Vancouver and 16th Avenue, there are still noticeable gaps in the combined departure times. This can mainly be traced with the different frequencies for the two routes during the middle of the day: 15 minutes for the 2, which short-turns at 16th Avenue, and 12 minutes for the 22, which serves the full corridor to 41st Avenue.
This year, there are additional promises of coordination between the 2 and 22, as well as extended hours for the 2 on Saturday. I did the same exercise from last year (putting all departure times on a spreadsheet, merging them, and calculating the difference between buses). Here are some things I noticed, when looking at those differences:
One glaring change can be found in the southbound direction, Monday to Friday after 19:00. Last year, there was some effort in coordination; because both routes operated at 15 minute frequency, the departure times at Burrard and Davie were spaced apart to 7-8 minutes. This year, the departure times for the two routes are almost simultaneous, which results in a gap of as much as 15 minutes before two buses are scheduled to show up.
And on Saturday afternoon, in the southbound direction, the same problem can be found between 16:00 and 18:00, when both routes are operating at 12 minute frequency, but leave Burrard and Davie at the same times. And even though route 2′s service hours were extended to 21:00 on Saturday, its frequency for the early evening period is 20 minutes, but the 22′s is 15 minutes. The combined scheduled is therefore not balanced, just as it is in the midday.
I still think the best way to provide a coordinated schedule for the Macdonald/Cornwall corridor is to increase the midday frequency for route 2 to 12 minutes. I would love to have a chat with a planner at TransLink if this can be done within its current constraints under the service optimization program.