After months of planning by the City of Vancouver Engineering with Translink to formulate an Olympic transportation plan VPD and VANOC and without notice and consultation shut down Robson to the #5 according to a local bus driver who updated a bus of riders this afternoon.
All though there are other reports that it was the City the closed the street to the #5 bus on recommendation from VANOC and VPD, none of this is confirmed yet.
Community Update: MLA Spencer Herbert Constituency Office
West End #5 Bus southbound / #6 westbound buses are no longer running as of 11:40 am on Tuesday February 16.
A decision was made today by Coast Mountain Bus Company and Translink to stop service on this portion of the route until the end of the Olympic period. Apparently their decision was made due to the fact that the City of Vancouver has extended the pedestrian corridor on Robson, from Thurlow to Bute. Buses that were previously turning off Thurlow onto Robson (southbound) are now unable to do so.
North/eastbound service for the #5/#6 is still in effect on the same route (Davie to Denman-to West Georgia-toPender-to Homer-to Richards-to Davie). Representatives from Translink have stated that the reason for closing the south/westbound route is due to the road closure and that it is unable to reroute the bus southbound down Georgia because the infrastructure for the trolley wires turning south off West Georgia south onto Denman does not exist. They have also stated that they are not able to place a diesel bus (non-trolley) on that route as they have no buses whatsoever to spare.
Our office has raised the question as to why this decision was made on February 16 and not in the months leading up to the Games so that residents could plan their routes and lives accordingly. West Enders were assured that their bus service would not be disrupted and that they would continue to receive service in both directions along Davie, Denman and West Georgia (parallel to Robson).
Our office met with representatives from VANOC and the City of Vancouver months prior to the Games who made these same assurances. We have also been informed by Brent Granby of WERA that their members met with Engineers from the City of Vancouver who made the same assurances. In fact one member of WERA raised the concern that the trolley infrastructure at the corner of Denman and Georgia was not in place, but no commitments were made to addressing that problem or closing the route at the beginning of the Games.
We have spoken with residents of the West End who are very upset about this change, in particular because they were promised full service and because today residents, many of them senior and some disabled persons are currently standing at bus stops without any southbound service or any indication that service has been halted.
A representative from Translink have stated that signage indicating this route closure would be up tomorrow. We raised the concern that the signage should have been put in place prior to the closure.
To view the road plan for Robson as of February 2010 consult P. 2 of the City of Vancouver’s pedestrian corridor map which shows that Robson street remains open eastbound from Thurlow to Bute.