North Vancouver Transit Centre to close in 2015
May 16, 2012
Closing historic site will save $20m over 10 years
In a move that anticipates future growth on the North Shore while creating more efficiency within the system, TransLink will take the North Vancouver Transit Centre (NVT) out of service in 2015. The depot and maintenance yard, which opened in 1942, is nearing the end of its useful life, and without any other suitable site in the area, buses that serve North Vancouver routes will be based out of the Burnaby Transit Centre (BTC).
NVT is now at its full capacity of 85 coaches. TransLink had been searching for a new location in North Vancouver since as far back as 2000, and in 2005 had identified a site on 1st Street between Pemberton and Philip. TransLink consulted with the District of North Vancouver and the Norgate Residents’ Association, but the council of the day did not support the necessary re-zoning and the deal could not go through.
In 2008, NVT was upgraded to allow maintenance of low-floor accessible buses, which were introduced to the North Shore to improve accessibility for people with mobility concerns.
“TransLink is continuing its efforts to implement ways and means of operating more cost effectively and efficiently; and closing the Third Street site is the wisest use of tax dollars,” says CEO Ian Jarvis, “Based on engineering condition surveys, we would have to close the depot in 2022, anyway. Just to keep it open that long would cost $4 million in upgrades, plus about $16 million in regular operating costs. Quite simply, NVT is no longer suitable for servicing and maintaining our buses properly.”
“We will maintain the same standard of customer service,” adds Chief Operating Officer Doug Kelsey. “Forty per cent of the buses that serve North Vancouver routes are based at BTC already, and they account for 60 per cent of the service hours in North Van. The buses start moving into position around 5:30 am, when historically, there’s very little traffic congestion on the Ironworkers’ Memorial Bridge, so buses will be ready to go at their usual times each morning. What’s more, all our people will be re-located.”
TransLink also considered expanding the West Vancouver Transit Centre on Lloyd Avenue, which currently holds up to 80 coaches, but it was not possible to expand it to accommodate the 250 buses that growth projections estimate will be required to serve the North Shore by 2028.
The timing of the closure will coincide with the commissioning of the new Hamilton Transit Centre (HTC) in Richmond. Some buses currently based at BTC will re-locate to HTC, making room for North Vancouver buses.