In the AMS Great Debate with the Ubyssey, Dario made two questionable promises on his Transit lobbying plan that I’d like to address.
1. To lobby Translink to bring back the 99 Special, and
2. To consider “alternatives” past Arbutus into UBC, like Light Rail Transit (LRT)
The 99 Special was a bus route that ran to UBC in 2004-2005, and was eventually dropped to service more stops on the Broadway corridor. Dario wants to lobby Translink to bring back the 99 Special, even though the average time difference between the 99 B-Line, and the 99 Special is only around 4 to 5 minutes. To confirm this, all he had to do was plug in the directions into Google Maps to UBC via Broadway by car (as the 99S), and by bus (99B-Line). The time difference is negligible at best, so there’s absolutely no way that Translink would support a plan as shortsighted as this.
Many UBC students are disappointed with the fact that the Broadway subway will terminate at Arbutus, as there isn’t enough density in the area around UBC to warrant completing the line. Although most planners would agree that Arbutus can’t handle a bus loop, Dario’s solution to this is even more dubious. In passing, he promoted LRT, which shows that he hasn’t absorbed the information in the Translink feasibility report. Although this is debatable and has worked well in some cities, LRT is generally more unreliable, more expensive than buses, would be forced to follow the rules of the road, and doesn’t provide faster service than the 99 would in a dedicated bus lane. Most importantly, should an accident with a vehicle occur, delays can be hours long.
The cost of lobbying can be quite high, which is a waste for plans that do absolutely nothing for commuter students. The 99 Special was only around for a year because it wasn’t efficient, so there’s no way Translink will waste precious resources on it. LRT is slow, inefficient, and prone to delays which could easily hinder what Dario is trying to accomplish.
Long story short, his plans sucks.