The Canada Line pains me

Going back to my post about having the new day job and becoming a commuter via the beauties of TransLink, I have developed a relationship with the Canada Line that tugs at the feelings I once had for it.


I’ve watched this project take off with extreme enthusiasm, anxiously waiting for that day that we can grab a train from downtown to YVR to escape to some (hopefully tropical) destination. I also hear a lot about this “Richmond” place, and if there is a train that will take me there, I’m more than likely going to drag Rebecca to some other place that I wanna go explore just because we can. That’s not to say that she isn’t usually up for my crazed ideas of exploring places people often don’t think of exploring, but you get the idea.

I’m still trying to nail down my commuting route, and there is no easy way of getting from home to work without transferring to at least one bus. That’s really no big deal, but the easiest way to get there is by taking the, sometimes elusive, #15 Cambie.

Broadway & Cambie construction for Canada Line

I took this picture while waiting for the #15, heading back downtown. That hole is where the street should be, and the bus stop is carved out on a ledge with only a metal, construction fence protecting you from a fifty foot drop.

I know that most Vancouverites are saying, “Dude, there’s your problem.” Trust me, I knew that going into this because for those not in the know, Cambie is the street that, starting on the same side of False Creek that I go to every morning now, is in the wanning stages of being tore up and tunneled through for said Canada Line.

In the mixing and mashing of routes that I’ve been taking, you can’t rely on that Cambie bus ever being on time. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes of waiting at the transfer point, and a few times I’ve been lucky to have it pull up just as the first bus pulls away. A few other days, it’s been much worse, 35 minutes of waiting at the worst point. Even after waiting, you might get two #15’s following each other. Pleasant and frustrating all at the same time.

Taken: August 18, 2006 | Location: Queen Elizabeth Park

I realize that I’ve only been doing this in a total of about two weeks, but it wasn’t until that awful day of waiting of more than a half hour and being crammed in a bus full of people that I figured that this wasn’t all in my head. I guess I wasn’t just some newbie transit rider that didn’t know the system well enough yet. Some woman, somewhere in the pile of people, yells out, “More people should complain to TransLink about this because I’m tired of being the only one!”

So that afternoon, I wrote a complaint via email, and TransLink replied. They said, “I have checked our records and I do not see anything in particular regarding any service problems with this route. I do apologize, I will document and process for Vancouver Transit Centre.”

It wasn’t so much that I was late for work as to the amount of people calling on their cellphones to let work know that they’d be late, not to mention the one woman who was really ticked that she would have to miss her morning coffee break, was enough to lay effort to the cause. Trust me, I wanted a coffee that morning, too, but being on time to a new job is more uber-important.

Some mornings are good, some mornings are not. It doesn’t help that once you get on the False Creek side of the Cambie bridge that there are numerous other developments, not to mention an Olympic village being built by an army of cranes, mucking up everything. Single lane traffic, lane closures, heavy machinery, cement trucks taking numerous tries of backing into a work site just right, stupid people, high traffic volume, etc. There is always the #50 False Creek, which is way better but comes less frequently downtown.

It’ll be nice when it’s all done, and that’s all you can really say. Just really hoping it’s soon. It shouldn’t take an hour to get from the West End to Southeast False Creek. At that point, it’s easier to just walk.


5 Replies to “The Canada Line pains me”

  1. I was listening to the radio this morning, and there was an advertisement for the upcoming Rogers Santa Claus Parade in downtown Vancouver. At the end of the advertisment, it was stated that the Parade is being proudly sponsored by, among others, the Canada Line. How is a (literal) hole in the ground that’s not making a single dime, yet draining our tax funds, funding a huge parade?

  2. You should get pictures from where the trench is twice as deep as pictured here – it’s pretty wild.

    #15 has been *okay* for me but I thanked my lucky stars that I only took it once a week. It’s only the second-most unreliable route. #17 is far worse.

  3. There’s not much to say. That’s construction for you. I’m sure that if you could take another route, or even a slight detour, you would already being doing so.

    From what I understand most of the line’s work will be complete very soon, with just the station construction left through 2008.

  4. And you know, I know I’m just another commuter in the crowd complaining, but there might be truth in at least noting it, even if I am just one person out of a few out of many.

    My stress is that of having a new job that is compounded over the stress of dealing with this short term problem. When it’s done, it’ll be great. Until then… it kinda sucks. :p

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