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The Vine (bus rapid transit)

The Vine is a bus rapid transit (BRT) route in Vancouver, Washington that is operated by C-Tran. The 6-mile-long (9.7 km) line runs from downtown Vancouver to the Vancouver Mall, serving 34 stations primarily on Fourth Plain Boulevard. It opened on January 8, 2017, becoming the first bus rapid transit system in the Portland metropolitan area.[2]

The Vine
The Vine BRT logo.svg
Bus at Washington & 12th Vine station in 2017.jpg
A Vine bus at the Washington & 12th station
in downtown Vancouver in 2017
Overview
OperatorC-Tran
VehicleNew Flyer Xcelsior XDE60
StatusOperating
Began serviceJanuary 8, 2017 (2017-01-08)
PredecessorsC-Tran routes 4 and 44
Route
Route typeBus rapid transit
LocaleVancouver, Washington
StartDowntown Vancouver
ViaFort Vancouver Way, Fourth Plain Boulevard
EndVancouver Mall Transit Center
Length6.7 mi (10.8 km)[1]
Stations34
Service
Frequency10 minutes
Weekend frequency15 minutes
Journey time30 minutes
OperatesWeekdays: 4:30 am–1:06 am
Weekends: 6:00 am–12:51 am
TimetableThe Vine map and schedule
←   {{{system_nav}}}   →

The corridor was identified as a possible BRT route in 2005 and was originally named the Fourth Plain BRT Project. The routing was approved for BRT development in 2012 by C-Tran, the Vancouver City Council, and the Federal Transit Administration and construction began in August 2015. The $53 million project is primarily funded by a Federal Transit Administration grant that was secured in late 2015. The Vine replaced two bus routes that carried over 6,000 trips daily.

Contents

RouteEdit

 
7th Street at Turtle Place station

The Vine begins at Turtle Place, a former park that was once home to a C-Tran bus station,[3] located on 7th Street between Washington and Main streets in downtown Vancouver and one block east of Esther Short Park. Within downtown Vancouver, buses travel in a one-way pair, southbound on Washington Street and northbound on Broadway Street, before turning east onto McLoughlin Boulevard and crossing under Interstate 5. The Vine then stops at the Marshall/Luepke Community Center on the east side of the freeway and turns onto Fort Vancouver Way, heading northeast to serve the campus of Clark College with two stops as well as the Vancouver campus of the VA Medical Center. The route turns eastward once again at Fourth Plain Boulevard, following the corridor as it parallels the State Route 500 freeway to the north. At Thurston Way, The Vine turns north towards its final approach to the Vancouver Mall, where the line terminates.[4]

Along the route, The Vine has several queue jumps installed to give buses priority at traffic signals.[5]

StationsEdit

 
A Vine bus pulling into the Marshall Community Center station in 2017
 
The Broadway & 13th station, in downtown
 
Real-time arrival information display at a Vine station

The Vine serves 34 stations located in the city of Vancouver, Washington, primarily on Fourth Plain Boulevard between Downtown Vancouver and Vancouver Mall, located approximately 13 mile (0.54 km) apart.[6][7] Stations consist of a 50-foot-long (15 m) platform that is raised for level boarding, and includes shelters and windscreens, ticket vending machines, real-time arrival signs.[8]

Stations[4] Direction(s) Notes
7th Street at Turtle Place Western terminus
Washington & 12th Street Westbound
Broadway & 13th Street Eastbound
Broadway & 15th Street Eastbound
McLoughlin & Washington Street Westbound
Marshall/Luepke Community Center Bidirectional
Central Campus Bidirectional Serves Clark College
Gaiser Hall Bidirectional
Fort Vancouver Way & Fourth Plain Westbound
Fourth Plain & Fort Vancouver Way Eastbound
Grand Boulevard Bidirectional
Todd Road Bidirectional
General Anderson Bidirectional
Stapleton Road Bidirectional
57th Avenue Bidirectional
65th Avenue Bidirectional
Andresen Road Bidirectional
78th Avenue Bidirectional
86th Avenue Bidirectional
Thurston Way Bidirectional
Vancouver Mall Transit Center Eastern terminus, uses bays A and B

Service and faresEdit

 
A Hop Fastpass reader and ticket vending machine at a Vine station

The Vine runs every 10 minutes during peak hours and 15 minutes during off-peak periods and on weekends.[9] Buses run from 4:30 a.m. to 12:40 am on weekdays and from 6:00 am to 12:25 am on weekends and holidays.[10] A $1.75 adult fare, the same as existing local C-Tran service, is charged to ride The Vine.[11]

The Vine accepts the Hop Fastpass contactless smart card fare system, a new system available throughout the Portland–Vancouver metropolitan area in coordination with TriMet and the Portland Streetcar.[12] The system has been in public beta testing since February 2017 and is scheduled to be launched for the general public on July 1, 2017. Hop card readers have been installed at all Vine stations.

C-Tran also runs a shuttle bus, route 60, from Downtown Vancouver to Jantzen Beach, Hayden Island and the Delta Park/Vanport light rail station to cross the Columbia River like former routes 4 and 44.[13][14][15]

FleetEdit

The Vine uses a fleet of ten New Flyer Xcelsior XDE60 diesel-electric hybrid buses that measure 60 feet (18 m) long and carry up to 100 people.[16] The articulated buses are low-floor, have three doors, and include three interior bicycle racks. The first buses were delivered in April 2016.[17]

HistoryEdit

The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) began studying high-capacity transit for Vancouver and Clark County in 2008, and determined that bus rapid transit would be viable on four main corridors: Highway 99, Fourth Plain Boulevard, Interstate 205, and Mill Plain Boulevard.[18] C-Tran, the county's transit agency, adopted a 20-year long-range plan in 2010 that recommended building the first bus rapid transit line on Fourth Plain.[19] The Fourth Plain corridor had been served by local routes 4 and 44, the two busiest in the C-Tran system, which continued to northern Portland, Oregon.[13]

Design concepts for a Fourth Plan bus rapid transit service were presented in 2011 and 2012,[20] and a locally-preferred alternative was adopted by C-Tran, the Vancouver City Council, and RTC in 2012.[21]

On November 6, 2012, C-Tran placed a 0.1 percent sales tax increase on the general election ballot to fund a light rail extension from Portland to Downtown Vancouver via a new bridge, as well as operating costs of the Fourth Plain bus rapid transit project. While the ballot measure was rejected,[22] the bus rapid transit project moved forward and was granted Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding in 2014.[1][6] Opponents of the project filed a lawsuit in the Clark County Superior Court in 2014 to prevent C-Tran from receiving federal funds, arguing that the project did not meet the definition of "high-capacity transit" as required in the ballot measure language.[23] The suit was dismissed in 2015, with the judge ruling in favor of C-Tran.[24]

 
The paint scheme used exclusively for the Vine buses features the large V logo and thin, vine-like wavy lines.

The project was named "The Vine" after a public naming contest in 2014, beating out other candidates by "evoking greenery, leaves and branches".[25] A groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 24, 2015, kicking off construction of the $53 million project.[26] The FTA confirmed its $38.5 million commitment to the project in September;[27] the rest of the project is funded by C-Tran, and grants from the Washington State Department of Transportation and RTC.[28]

In October 2016, C-Tran announced that The Vine would open on January 8, 2017.[29] C-Tran held a community celebration on January 7, 2017, including a street fair and preview rides attended by 200 people.[30] Service began on January 8, 2017 using 40-foot (12 m) buses in place of the service's articulated buses, and stopping at route 4 stops rather than stations, due to a winter storm.[30][31] The articulated buses, which lack drop-down tire chains that would allow for operations in winter conditions, debuted the following day instead.[32] In its first year of service, The Vine carried 45 percent more riders than Route 4 and operating costs decreased by 21 percent.[33]

In February 2018, the C-Tran Board of Directors approved a design contract for a potential bus rapid transit project on Mill Plain Boulevard, an east–west corridor to the south of The Vine's Fourth Plain Boulevard.[34]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Baker, Dean (April 30, 2013). "Bus rapid transit still on track in Vancouver". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on March 30, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  2. ^ Njus, Elliot (December 4, 2015). "Portland's next ride: super-sized buses that act like light rail". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on November 14, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  3. ^ Florip, Eric (June 11, 2014). "C-Tran plans new downtown bus rapid transit station". The Columbian. Archived from the original on October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Fourth Plain Bus Rapid Transit Project (PDF) (Map). C-TRAN. March 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-02-26. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  5. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (May 24, 2017). "Signals give The Vine buses a head start". The Columbian. Archived from the original on May 25, 2017. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Quintana, Jim (July 9, 2014). "C-TRAN Board Gives Green Light to Fourth Plain BRT" (Press release). C-TRAN. Archived from the original on August 26, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  7. ^ Green, Susan (July 10, 2014). "Fourth Plain Bus Rapid Transit project gets $6.7 million in C-TRAN funding". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  8. ^ "The Vine Interactive Map". C-TRAN. Archived from the original on October 17, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  9. ^ "The Vine Fact Sheet" (PDF). C-TRAN. January 27, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-02-26. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  10. ^ "The Vine Schedule" (PDF). C-TRAN. January 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-07-13. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  11. ^ Florip, Eric (April 7, 2015). "5 things to know about The Vine: Vancouver's bus rapid transit system". The Columbian. Archived from the original on May 16, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  12. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (March 8, 2017). "C-Tran, other agencies beta testing efare system using smart card". The Columbian. Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)". C-TRAN. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Route 60: Delta Park Limited" (PDF). C-Tran. November 2016. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  15. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (June 20, 2017). "C-Tran says changes positive, more work to do". The Columbian. Archived from the original on June 21, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  16. ^ "Clark County in Vancouver, Washington Awards New Flyer a Contract for 10 Xcelsior® Articulated Buses" (Press release). Winnipeg, Manitoba: New Flyer Industries. May 20, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  17. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (April 4, 2016). "First two of C-Tran's biggest buses roll into town". The Columbian. Archived from the original on October 17, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  18. ^ Clark County High Capacity Transit System Study: Final Report (PDF) (Report). Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council. December 2008. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 18, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  19. ^ "C-TRAN 2030: Board of Directors Adopt C-TRAN 2030". C-TRAN. July 2010. Archived from the original on October 17, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  20. ^ "Fourth Plain Transit Improvement Project Evaluated Alternatives". C-TRAN. Archived from the original on 2016-08-26. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  21. ^ Damewood, Andrea (May 21, 2012). "Council approves 4th Plain bus plan". The Columbian. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  22. ^ "Clark County election results: C-Tran sales tax measure failing". The Oregonian. November 6, 2012. Archived from the original on May 7, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  23. ^ Achen, Paris (November 28, 2014). "Opponents sue C-Tran to stop bus rapid transit". The Columbian. Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  24. ^ Florip, Eric (July 17, 2015). "BRT lawsuit against C-Tran dismissed". The Columbian. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  25. ^ Florip, Eric (July 15, 2014). "Survey says: The Vine wins BRT name game". The Columbian. Archived from the original on November 22, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  26. ^ Florip, Eric (August 24, 2015). "C-Tran head: The Vine milestone 'historic'". The Columbian. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  27. ^ Florip, Eric (September 10, 2015). "FTA head praises The Vine, makes it official". The Columbian. Archived from the original on October 18, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  28. ^ "The Vine Project Cost and Funding". C-TRAN. Archived from the original on November 22, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  29. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (October 16, 2016). "The Vine will get rolling on Jan. 8". The Columbian. Archived from the original on October 16, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  30. ^ a b Flanigan, Pheobe (January 8, 2017). "After 6 Year Battle, C-Tran's Bus Rapid Transit System Ready To Launch". KUOW. Archived from the original on January 9, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  31. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (January 8, 2017). "Wind, freezing rain cut power for thousands". The Columbian. Archived from the original on January 10, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  32. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (January 9, 2017). "C-Tran's The Vine begins rolling in Vancouver". The Columbian. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  33. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (January 9, 2018). "The Vine: 1 year old and going strong". The Columbian. Archived from the original on January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  34. ^ Pesanti, Dameon (February 16, 2018). "C-Tran gets rolling on design of Mill Plain rapid transit line". The Columbian. Archived from the original on February 17, 2018. Retrieved February 19, 2018.

External linksEdit