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Commuting in Metro Vancouver: 5 things we learned on 2 buses and a SkyTrain from Langley to Vancouver

01/20/2015 08:30 EST | Updated 03/22/2015 05:59 EDT
As the vote on the future of TransLink funding approaches, Metro Vancouverites are considering whether to support a 0.5 per cent Congestion Improvement Tax to pay for transit service and infrastructure improvements in the coming years.

In Langley, B.C. the township is divided on the issue; Langley Mayor Jack Froese is in favour, even though the Chamber of Commerce is opposed.

With that in mind, The Early Edition's Jeremy Allingham went to one of the Lower Mainland's lesser served areas to see what a morning commute on transit from Langley to downtown Vancouver looks like. Here is what he discovered:

1. Transit takes a really long time

I left my parents' place in Brookswood at 6:00 a.m. PT sharp. The commute didn't seem too bad, until I was riding on the 590 bus and realized I had been commuting for 43 minutes and was still in Langley. In a car I'd have been within Vancouver city limits in that same time frame. The whole trip clocked in at two hours and two minutes. Listeners have told me the trip home takes even longer. That's a whole lot of commuting to do on a daily basis.

2. There is demand for more

Even at that early hour, the 590 bus through Langley got pretty full. The 555 express bus from the Carvolth Exchange in Langley to Braid Station in New Westminster was packed. Standing room only. People living on the outskirts of Metro Vancouver want accessible and affordable transportation.

3. Express buses do work

It took a really long time to get to the 555 Braid Station express bus, but once I was on it, we were flying. Despite a traffic snag on the exit, that part of the trip went well.

4. Two hours was efficient

Aside from one five-minute traffic snarl, this trip went very smoothly. Both buses were on time. There were no delays on the SkyTrain. Missing a bus, hitting more congested traffic or a significant SkyTrain delay would have added a lot more time to this particular commute.

5. Transit requires a big sacrifice

It currently takes a big sacrifice to commute on transit from Langley to downtown Vancouver.There's no two ways about it. If you sleep for eight hours, a daily commute like this would eat up 1/4 of your waking hours.

To hear more about the transit vote debate in Langley, click on the audio labelled: Langley transportation vote debate

Follow Jeremy's journey in tweets

On mobile? Click here to see Jeremy's #CBCCommute tweets

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