Time to drop the “C” from TransLink’s shuttle services

TransLink bus R9254 at the Airport South terminus, signed "C92 Bridgeport Stn"

It's hard to read, but the destination sign on this bus reads "C92 Bridgeport Stn".

Buzzer Blog: September service changes and optimization

Thanks to TransLink’s ongoing service optimization, the service changes for the fall are quite modest compared to previous years. This year, they mainly involve frequency changes. One significant update is the change in route number for the Fraser Heights route from C74 back to 337. In addition, a few routes will be using Community Shuttle vehicles during periods of light use, such as in the evenings, or in the case of the peak-period 388, at all times.

When the Community Shuttles were introduced, routes that used them were given numbers that had a “C” prefix. Over time, the distinction between using a shuttle and having a “C” route number diminished greatly. When the old 337 was converted to the C74 in 2004 [PDF], demand on the route remained so high that conventional buses were soon brought back during times of heavy use. Even now, the resurrected 337 will use conventional buses during weekdays, but have the shuttles serving Fraser Heights on weekends.

I was always weary of the use of the “C” prefix on shuttle routes; they brought discontinuity with the other conventional routes that service the same area. (To be fair, at least TransLink/Coast Mountain had some presence of mind to have regional continuity within the shuttle route numbering, such as C6x in Langley or C9x in Richmond.)

As more and more routes with conventional route numbers are beginning to use shuttle vehicles for most or all of the day, I feel it’s time to scrap the “C” convention and re-integrate them with the route numbers they had previously (or within the same range if it’s a new route). I’m hoping re-numbering the C74 back to the 337 is only the start…

(Photo credit: flickr @ Stephen Rees)

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