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Bus stop upgrades in PoCo

The Coast Meridian Overpass is one piece of Port Coquitlam
The Coast Meridian Overpass is one piece of Port Coquitlam's transportation infrastructure that has been added in the last few years.
— image credit: TRI-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Efforts to make bus travel easier for people with mobility issues are underway in Port Coquitlam but will likely take more than five years to complete.

Currently, 34% of all bus stops in the municipality are considered wheelchair accessible by TransLink and that is expected to jump to 38% when 10 stops are upgraded in 2012.  Dave Currie, the city’s manager of transportation, said at this rate, the city’s goal of 100% wheelchair accessibility at bus stops is in the range of five to 10 years away.

Costs are the biggest hindrance to the effort, with the average upgrade running approximately $2,500, depending on the location.

In order for a bus stop to be designated wheelchair accessible, the passenger landing area needs to be a certain width and the sidewalk needs to be widened. Areas that are on a hill can be particularly pricey to upgrade, and the city has opted to break up the work into phases over multiple years.

Currie said the city has previously completed many of the lower-cost locations and about $25,000 is being requested for the 2012 upgrade program. A city staff report said half of the funding is expected to be covered by the Coast Mountain Bus Company, which operates the routes.

Locations are selected based on a number of factors, including usage and their importance in the overall bus route system.

“We look at community requests and transfer points between buses,” he said. “If a route has accessibility in one direction, we will look at accessibility in the other direction.”

There are currently 230 bus stops in the city of Port Coquitlam and 65 of those are designated wheelchair accessible.

• Residents who have suggestions for the placement of wheelchair accessible bus stops are encouraged to email dcurrie@portcoquitlam.ca or phone 604-927-5205.

 

SPEAK UP ON TRANSPORTATION

The city of Port Coquitlam has launched a survey asking residents to weigh in on the municipalities transportation system as it seeks to update its Master Transportation Plan.

A short online survey will be on the city’s website (www.portcoquitlam.ca/mtp) until Nov. 4 and will be used to determine how people get around the city in the future.

Input from the first phase of the consultation process, which included an open house earlier this week, will be considered as the document is drafted in November and December.

The new Master Transportation Plan will update the one adopted in 2000 and will address the city’s current situation, objectives and strategies for reaching its transit goals.

The online survey asks residents to set priorities for the transportation network as well as identify issues and challenges, potential improvements, and how the city should spend its transportation dollars in the future.

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

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