This letter is for frustrated 320 and 321 bus riders.
I ride transit every day and like you, I have seen the situation on the 96 B-Line, 320 and 321; adaptation has been slow, 320s and 321s are often sardine-can full and the 96 is not always sardine-can full.
Before you decide to be dismissive about the 96, I would like to suggest that you look at what it is providing for other riders, and to potentially you.
The 96 B-Line may be the single biggest improvement TransLink has ever granted to a corridor in history: it is the only B-Line route ever introduced that is not replacing previous express buses. The 99, 98 and 97 all replaced express buses that were well utilized.
If you’re riding the 320 and 321 and not having a great experience, I encourage you to take note of the 96 and see how it fits with your commute – try it first. One letter writer who dislikes the 96 could walk two blocks in either direction to a stop served by it.
As a 337 rider from east of Guildford, one of the things I have noticed about express buses with fewer stops is that they are far more reliable and far more predictable. Experiences can vary on routes with lots of stops, and this is especially true on crowded local routes in both Surrey and Vancouver.
I still ride 337 and sometimes the 96, and I find I don’t have to worry about getting to my destination on time once I’m on board. The 96 has a double advantage: with articulated buses and high capacity, you’ll hardly (if ever) miss a bus.
P.S. the 96 is better-utilized than you think. I posted a pic on Twitter a couple of days ago of a full (yes, sardine-packed) 96 B-Line leaving Surrey Central for Newton. I’m also seeing regular-sized buses serving the 96 on less busy times like weekends. Rest assured, TransLink is paying attention to our concerns.
Daryl Dela Cruz, Surrey