British Columbia

These are the 10 Metro Vancouver bus routes with most rider complaints

TransLink has released a list of the top 10 most-complained-about bus routes, and they're all over the map. According to a spokesperson, most complaints relate to overcrowding issues.

319 route between Scott Road Station and Newton Exchange topped the list last year

TransLink has released a list of the top 10 most complained about bus routes. The 49 route from Metrotown to UBC made the seventh spot. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

If you've spent much time riding the 319 bus route between Scott Road Station and Newton Exchange in Surrey and Delta, you probably won't be surprised to find that route has topped the list of the 10 TransLink bus routes that received the most rider complaints in 2019.

According to the transit authority, most of the nearly 30,000 complaints received about buses last year related to overcrowding issues, and the 319 route saw the second largest growth in ridership — about 1.23 million more rides, or a 24 per cent increase in 2018 compared to 2017.

"Some of the routes, like the 319, the 116, the 49, are some of the fastest-growing bus routes in terms of boardings increasing in the region, so it's not surprising that they would turn up in this list of complained about routes," said TransLink spokesperson Jill Drews.

Laila Kott travels from Burnaby to Maple Ridge by public transit. Part of that route includes the 116 route in Burnaby. She's not surprised it's ranked second on the list of most complained about routes. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Laila Kott was riding the 116 route from Metrotown to Edmonds Station in Burnaby on Wednesday during evening rush hour. She managed to get a seat, but said she wasn't surprised to find it near the top of the list.

"It's never on schedule," said Kott, adding that the bus she was riding at the time had shown up nine minutes late. "I connect through three trains and a bus, and if the bus is late, I'm late for all my subsequent trains."

According to TransLink, these routes, ranked in order, received the most complaints last year:

  1. 319 - Scott Road Station - Newton Exchange (Surrey/North Delta)
  2. 116 - Edmonds Station - Metrotown Station (Burnaby)
  3. 410 - Richmond-Brighouse Station - 22nd St Station (Richmond/New Westminster)
  4. 301 - Newton Exchange - Brighouse Station (Richmond/North Delta)
  5. 023 - Main St Station - Beach (Vancouver)
  6. 351 - Crescent Beach - Bridgeport Station (White Rock/Delta/Richmond)
  7. 049 - Metrotown Station - Dunbar Loop / UBC (Burnaby/Vancouver)
  8. 240 - 15th Street - Vancouver (North Van/Vancouver)
  9. 335 - Newton - Surrey Central Station (Surrey)
  10. 100 - 22nd St Station - Marpole Loop (New Westminster/Burnaby/Vancouver)
Riding the 116 route is a squeeze during rush hour on Wednesday. There were no passengers who were passed by, but the bus filled right up. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Stephen Allinger was waiting for the 410 bus in Richmond on Wednesday when he asked about the route.

"Just last week I waited two hours for it," Allinger said, adding that he wasn't surprised to see the route in third place on the list.

"[There are] not enough buses. There needs to be more," he said. "Two years ago it was a lot better."

According to TransLink, the 410 had the 12th most boardings last year — nearly six million.

At the same Richmond station, Lovejeet Kaur wasn't surprised to learn her bus, the 301, landed fourth on the list. She said overcrowding was a big problem, and watching a full bus pass you by was a familiar experience.

"On the weekends it's not good. If you miss one bus it's like one hour," said Kaur.

Nizzar Kabalan hasn't been riding the 116 route for long, but he's already noticed significant problems with overcrowding. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Back on the 116 bus, Nizzar Kabalan was heading home from a relatively new job. He hadn't been using the route for long, but already had a complaint about the full buses that pass by without stopping.

"It kind of sucks, especially after a long day at work. It doesn't feel very good to have to wait," said Kabalan.

"Let the bus run more often or make it the longer bus," he said.


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About the Author

Rafferty Baker is CBC Vancouver's mobile journalist. Follow him @raffertybaker

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