Letter to TransLink re: Inadequate route change consultation process

November 4, 2015

Cathy McLay
Acting CEO
400 - 287 Nelson's Court
New Westminster, BC V3L 0E7

November 4, 2015

Dear Ms. McLay,

I am writing to you on behalf of constituents who have contacted me regarding planned route changes to our local transportation network.

One of the primary concerns that have been relayed to me is the lack of awareness in the community regarding the consultation process, which I understand ends November 6. Seniors, specifically, have told me that they were unaware of the proposed changes, and were unable to participate in the consultation process because much of it has taken place online, in the form of an online survey.

I am told that TransLink has hosted two public consultation meetings, in White Rock and New Westminster, and advertised the online consultation process in the Vancouver Courier, as well as through posters and postcards at local community centres. However, the majority of constituents who
have contacted my office were unaware of the consultation until last week, when a local individual voluntarily began to distribute home-made flyers regarding the changes in the neighbourhood.

While I acknowledge that some of the proposed changes represent an improvement, such as direct access from the Burrardview neighbourhood to Hastings, there has been consistently negative feedback regarding the proposed changes to the No.7 trolley, which currently runs along Powell, Dundas, and Nanaimo.

If the proposed changes take place, the No.7 would no longer travel along Dundas, but would be re-routed to Hastings St., leaving approximately six city blocks between Dundas and Nanaimo without direct bus service to shopping services and nearby community amenities.

Those six blocks of Nanaimo Street currently serviced by the No.7 are densely populated, and contain a high proportion of low-income families and seniors, who rely on transit service to access grocery stores and attend community programs. I have also heard concerns regarding the reduction of bus service on Powell Street, which would occur under the proposed re-routing of the No. 4. Powell Street bus, historically an important commercial thoroughfare, has recently experienced a renaissance, and it appears to make little sense to reduce service to the newly bustling commercial light industrial area.

I respectfully request that TransLink extend the consultation period regarding proposed route changes in the north east sector of the city, and commit to hosting a public consultation meeting in the community
that is easily accessible to those who will be impacted by the proposed changes.


Shane Simpson
MLA Vancouver-Hastings


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