*UPDATE: TransLink says service to the East Hastings Street bus stop will be restored Thursday. The company said it’s aware that many people depend on service in this area with around 700 passengers using the stop daily.
TransLink has stopped service to one bus stop on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside because of an increasing number of close calls with pedestrians.
It’s located on East Hastings Street, just east of Carrall Street.
TransLink spokesperson Jill Drews says, “bus operators have told us there’s been some narrow misses and it’s become a safety concern.”
Drews says pedestrians and patrons from a makeshift street market were spilling onto bus lanes.
“It’s safety for our customers, for our bus operators and for other drivers on the road. If we have to swerve to miss something to someone, we could cause an accident and that’s not a risk we are willing to take,” adds Drews.
She says TransLink is working with community groups and the city to find an alternate location, but in the meantime passengers will have to use alternate routes.
Drews says depending where you are in the area the next stop is about 600 meters away on Main Street and Hastings or Abbott and Hastings.
Karen Ward, a long-time Downtown Eastside advocate, has a solution.
Ward says, “for right now, my suggestion is to integrate that bus stop with the express B-line bus stop which is just less than half a block on the west side of Carrall Street.”
Ward says there are areas in the city with similar heavy pedestrian areas like the Granville district and Broadway and Commercial, but those areas still have bus stops.
The bus stop serviced five routes, and picked up about 700 passengers a day.