BC Transit president and CEO Manuel Achadinha spoke to the audience at Transportation Conference 2015 in downtown Burnaby, B.C. about managing the growth of future integrated transportation networks.
Achadinha began by saying the biggest challenge when managing growth is gridlock and congestion. With mobility comes freedom and opportunity, but our mobility is under threat from population increase, compounded by most of the population wanting to live in cities.
Gridlock threatens to bring this mobility to a standstill.
The mobility model of today will not work tomorrow, Achadinha said. The solution, he said, is integrated transport systems that take people where they want to go when they want to get there, as well as keeping goods flowing.
The 2030 Strategic Plan, Achadinha said, guides BC Transit's decisions.
One objective of the plan is to support and shape livable communities. To do so, Achadinha said, it has to be integrated with other sustainable travel. BC Transit looked at community plans and created the Transit Future Plan, which guides and prioritizes future investment.
Engagement, he said, works in two phases, which is listening to the community and echoing back what is heard.
Corridor improvements include bus lanes, queue jumps, signal priority and densification among corridors.
Tamim Raad, the director of strategic planning and policy for Translink, also spoke at the conference.
Raad explained that while there will be one million more residents by 2045, there will also be 700,000 new jobs in the same time period, as well as 460,000 new cars.
Without work we will revert to former transportation levels, Raad said.
Besides investment, we need to coordinate how we grow communities, Raad said. The best transportation plan is a good land use plan, he added.
Bus service is of critical importance, Raad said. You can extend the reach of rapid transit by tapping into the network using buses.
The principle behind the Frequent Transit Network is to make bus frequency convenient enough to not need a schedule. This makes transit an option not just for work but for all trips.
Raad said a transit network is greater than the sum of its parts, recognizing complexity and interconnectedness between modes and service types.
Raad said other key features of the plan are expanding capacity of existing rail lines, with 220 additional fleet vehicles for the Expo, Millennium and Canada Line. There will also be 10 new fleet vehicles for the West Coast Express.
As many people ride bikes as use light rapid transit, and that should also be addressed, Raad said.
The Pattullo Bridge is an important capital investment, he added, as it is expanded from four to six lanes.