More service for TransLink’s busy No. 23 West End bus route

Forthcoming summer season changes to TransLink’s bus service levels include higher frequencies for the No. 23 Main Street-Science World Station/English Bay bus route.

The No. 23 is a major link to access the West End neighbourhood, English Bay and Sunset beaches, and Stanley Park, primarily running along Pacific Boulevard/Pacific Street, Expo Boulevard, and Beach Avenue between the Expo Line’s Main Street-Science World Station and the intersection of Davie and Denman streets. It also connects with the Expo Line’s Stadium-Chinatown Station and the Canada Line’s Yaletown-Roundhouse Station.

However, due to current road spatial limitations, it currently only uses the small community shuttle bus vehicles. This has greatly contributed to the route’s growing issues of long delays and multiple pass-ups.

Starting on June 24, 2024, when summer season changes begin, there will be increased frequencies on the No. 23 for essentially all service hours each day.

For instance, weekday service will improve to every 10 minutes from 6 to 7 am and from 10 to 11 pm, every six to seven minutes from 7 to 9 am and from 6 to 8 pm, every seven to eight minutes from 9 to 10 am and from 8 to 10 pm, and every seven to 10 minutes from 9 am to 3 pm.

There will be improved weekend service as well, such as every six to seven minutes from 11 am to 10 pm on Saturdays.

This is in addition to the seasonal No. 23 express bus, which uses a conventional higher capacity 40-ft bus for limited-stop trips between Main Street-Science World Station and English Bay, but maintains key stops such as Yaletown-Roundhouse Station.

translink no 23 bus route community shuttle f

No. 23 Main Street/English Bay bus using a community shuttle bus vehicle. (TransLink | Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

In 2023, the No. 23 recorded a total of 1.384 million boardings, with averages of 4,060 boardings per weekday, 3,600 per Saturday, and 2,850 per Sunday/holiday, making it TransLink’s 55th busiest bus route out of about 200 bus routes. This is up 1.129 million boardings in 2022, with averages of 3,300 per weekday, 2,990 per Saturday, and 2,330 per Sunday/holiday.

The No. 23 sees the highest ridership for any bus route that regularly uses the small community shuttle buses, and it is also the highest frequency for a bus route that uses such smaller vehicles. Each community shuttle bus has a capacity for between 20 and 24 seated passengers, with zero standing capacity.

In late 2023, TransLink indicated it is looking to permanently upgrade the No. 23 into the use of a convention 40-ft bus, which would involve major route changes to overcome the road spatial constraints due in large part to the Beach Avenue bike lane. This includes changes to the existing route, and extending the route along Denman Street, Robson Street, and Burrard Street to terminate at the Expo Line’s Burrard Station. It is expected this major upgrade will be implemented at some point in the future beyond 2024.

Other summer seasonal improvements beginning on June 24, 2024, will cover these bus routes serving popular beach and park destinations:

  • No. 2 Macdonald/Burrard Station
  • No. 5 Robson/Downtown
  • No. 6 Davie/Downtown
  • No. 15 Cambie/Olympic Village Station
  • No. 19 Metrotown Station/Stanley Park
  • No. 50 Waterfront Station/False Creek South
  • No. 150 Coquitlam Central Station/White Pine Beach
  • No. 211 Seymour/Phibbs Exchange/Burrard Station
  • No. 262 Lions Bay/Caulfeild
  • No. 362 Seaside/White Rock Centre

Also, TransLink will be bringing back the seasonal-only No. 900 Bike Bus route along Highway 99 between the Canada Line’s Bridgeport Station and BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The service will run hourly on Fridays, weekends, and holidays until Labour Day, and it uses buses with interior bike racks from the removal of seating.

In 2022, the inaugural summer season of the No. 900 Bike Bus saw about 3,100 passengers with approximately 1,320 bikes.