Translink has proposed a cut to the 480 bus route as part of the Southwest Area Transport Plan and is now seeking input from the public. Runs from Bridgeport Station to UBC, the 480 is known as one of the main bus routes that students take to get to campus from Richmond.
For Translink, the proposal is intended to increase efficiency.
“The 480 duplicates other, more efficient routes between Richmond and UBC, and has seen declining ridership in recent years,” wrote Jill Drews, a Translink media relations advisor, in an email to The Ubyssey. “The majority of people making this journey use Canada Line to access a number of east-west routes, including 49, 41, 43, 25, 33, 99 and 84.”
Drews also said that Translink would be adding a B-Line along 41st Avenue as part of Phase One in the 10-year Vision, as well as purchasing 22 new rail cars for the Canada Line to reduce overcrowding.
“These improvements will provide more frequency and improve capacity for our customers who travel between Richmond and UBC,” she wrote.
In response, students have expressed dissatisfaction with the plan online, with many saying that it would impact their ability to get to campus. Posters reflecting the same sentiment could also be found at bay 6, the route's stop.
“The elimination of the 480 is Translink's way of closing multi-zone bus travel and funnelling everyone to the already crowded Canada line,” one poster wrote. “If you enjoy having less transfers, paying for only 1-Zone, and avoiding the Canada Line, have your say and fill out the Survey on Translink's website.”
Many are further dissatisfied with the alleviating measures, saying that they would take time to be put in place.
“I’m not banking on Translink to fulfill their promises in a timely manner,” said Kevin Ang, a third year arts student, in the UBC Class of 2019 Facebook group. “The 480 should only be cancelled when Translink actually executes these reforms and these changes actually work.”
In contrast, other students stated that they believed that the bus line should be reduced in frequency or rerouted. Some even agreed with the proposed cut.
“Rerouting #480 onto either SW Marine or W 49th will improve reliability and speed, and selected trips can even be considered extending to South Richmond with the resources freed up from the re-route and slight reduction of frequency,” said Reddit user “okaysee206” in a r/UBC subthread called TransLink Releases SW Area Transit Plan Consultation; Proposes to Discontinue Bus Rt. 480.
“While the 480 does have a weak performance during off-peak hours, I personally believe peak hour services should be kept for those who are looking for a one-seat ride without transferring onto already overcrowded rt. 10, 43, 3.”
With many differing opinions, students who want to voice theirs can still fill out Translink's survey until June 19.