C-TRAN Board of Directors Gives Green Light to Fourth Plain BRT - 07/09/14
VANCOUVER - At their July 8, 2014 meeting, by a vote of 6-3, the C-TRAN Board of Directors approved a resolution committing sufficient local funding that allows the agency to move forward with the Fourth Plain Bus Rapid Transit Project.
The vote commits $6.7 million of C-TRAN's uncommitted cash reserves and investments, fulfilling the required local match for federal funding, and provides authority to C-TRAN's Executive Director/CEO to sign a grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for $38.3 million in federal project funding.
"Fourth Plain is by-far, our busiest transit corridor, and bus rapid transit will significantly improve service reliability for existing riders, while attracting new riders well into the future," said Jeff Hamm, C-TRAN's Executive Director/CEO.
In the coming months, C-TRAN will work closely with the FTA on the Small Starts Grant Agreement which is scheduled for completion before the end of this year. C-TRAN will then begin the first in a series of procurements, to include bus acquisition, construction management services and a construction contractor, with actual construction beginning in the Summer of 2015 and the Fourth Plain BRT beginning service in the late Summer of 2016.
Once built, the Fourth Plain Bus Rapid Transit Project will be a state-of-the-art transit link between downtown Vancouver, the Fourth Plain community, Clark College, the Veterans' Administration complex and Westfield Vancouver Mall. BRT buses will operate in mixed traffic along this 6 mile route, serving 34 curbside stations, and will replace existing Routes 4 and 44. The project will retain most of the existing bus stops and plans for the stations to be within 1/3 mile of each other. During weekdays, BRT will operate with 10-minute frequencies during peak periods and 15-minute frequencies during much of the off-peak. Peak weekend times may also see more frequent service.
About the Project
In recent years, travel by transit in the corridor has suffered by longer and more unpredictable travel times, delays caused by traffic congestion, bus overcrowding and difficulties getting to and from bus stops. In January 2011, C-TRAN initiated the Fourth Plain Transit Improvement Project Alternatives Analysis. This 18-month study identified a set of problems with existing transit service along the Fourth Plain Boulevard corridor, developed and evaluated 23 different alternatives and culminated in adopting a Locally Preferred Alternative to implement Bus Rapid Transit from downtown Vancouver to Westfield Vancouver Mall. C-TRAN has received $4 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grants from the Regional Transportation Council (RTC), matched with $1,000,000 from C-TRAN's adopted 2013-2014 budget, to undertake the current phase of project planning, called "Project Development". Project Development has been underway since April 2013 and focuses on developing the project's design, station features, as well as completing environmental studies and permitting.