DR. SU-JAN'S FAVORITES TEAM B3
PROJECT PLAN: BROADWAY CORRIDOR 10 APRIL 2022 TEAM MEMBERS: JEREMY SINGER, CLAIRE SONG, DAMIAN AUGUSTYN, HAFSAH DASTGIR
A BOOK REPORT ON
C O N T EBNOTOSK T I T L E 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Problem Definition
1.2 Stakeholders 1.3 Issues for Stakeholders 1.3.1 Issues Continued 1.4 SCOC Analysis 1.5 Site Analysis
2.0 Vision 2.1 Vision Statement
2.2 Concept 2.3 Case Study
3.0 Proposed Solution 3.1 The LCD Screen
3.2 The Features 3.3 Reusability
8 9 10
4.0 Continuation of Solutions 4.1 Temporary Kiosks
4.2 Statistics and Dissemination Areas 4.3 Long-term Additions 4.3.1 Biophilic Design
5.0 Proposed Timeline References Page 2
12 13 14
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We would like to acknowledge that this project was developed while residing in the unceded, traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Figure 1. https://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/broadway-plan-virtual-open-house-introduces-emerging-policy-directions-for-future-of-the-community.aspx
1.0 Site Introduction The Broadway Subway Project is an impactful initiative undertaken by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which attempts to improve connectivity to BC’s second-largest jobcentre. However, construction for this project around Broadway-Cambie has resulted in an area that is difficult to navigate and traverse for citizens arriving or catching transit. With bus stops being moved to temporary locations and some road access being removed, this construction creates issues for both departing and arriving users. This proposal aims at addressing issues that this project has created for some of the city's most vulnerable groups.
1.1 Problem Definition The 9 and 99 B-line are the major transit routes that conflict with the construction around Site B (See Figure 4, p.6). Importantly, the 99-line is recognized as one of the busiest bus routes in North America. Along Broadway, the 99-B line has about 56,850 boardings per weekday (Chan, 2018). Additionally, Fairview features Vancouver's largest hospital (VGH) and multiple community centers, making this area an important stop for many (Statistics Canada, 2016). With the ongoing construction, it has the potential to delay many people reliant on either finding the right bus stop, who are unaware of the conditions at the site, or those who rely on the area as a convenient transfer point.
1.2 Stakeholders Those without access to technology or who are tech-illiterate. Seniors and other mobility-impaired individuals who rely on Vancouver General Hospital and other community services located around the site Non-English speakers or those who struggle with English
1.3 Primary Stakeholder Concerns Due to the location of the construction, transportation is likely to be a significant barrier to healthcare. This has been shown to impact about 3.6 million people in the United States each year (Health, 2017), while such transportation barriers are the third leading cause of missing a medical appointment for seniors (Health, 2017). Specifically, the proximity to Vancouver General Hospital means disruptions could impact those relying on transit to access healthcare. Further, according to Boisjoly et al., Vancouver residents already suffer from a lack of easy access to healthcare based on poor transportation links to major hospitals (2020).
Specifically, this increases the difficulty of accessing healthcare for residents removed from central locations. This results in a higher than average barrier to healthcare compared to other Canadian cities, even without taking into account the closure of Laurel street (Boisjoly et al., 2020). This issue specifically impacts vulnerable groups that are trying to access necessary services. Non-English speakers 5.9% Citizens in Poverty 10%
Rely on transit 29.7%
Figure 2. This circle graph shows the proportion of our target stakeholders out of Vancouver's total population. *Note: Poverty and non-English speakers data come from social Policy and Projects (2020). Data for those who rely on transit is from Statistics Canada (2016).
1.3.1 Primary Stakeholder Concerns (cont.) Upon reviewing the information systems that the city is currently utilizing, primarily the Transit app, we noticed a few information gaps. This app, the dedicated partner to Translink systems, only offers its services in English, which excludes many residents in considering the cultural diversity that exists in Vancouver. We also noticed that though the app theoretically offers accessibility information, it does not usually provide the user with any more accessible route alternatives, leaving the user without the information they need. With changing conditions on the ground for the bus stops at the Broadway extension, it is important for those with accessibility needs to get up-to-date information about the accessibility of the stop. The City of Vancouver does attempt to address this issue but combined with the lack of information available on the app, only about 80% of stops appear to be accessible (City of Vancouver, 2022).
This means that individuals with certain accessibility needs may not be able to access about 20% of bus stops. This is particularly concerning if the individual is using transit to reach the hospital and must figure out beforehand how to best navigate the area. With this in mind, we developed a vision and proposal to address these issues such that transit users can ideally have the information they need before they arrive at the Broadway-Cambie site. In the case where they cannot access the information beforehand, we have explored solutions that will provide the required information on-site while being the most accessible possible to our target stakeholder groups. Specifically, we have looked at developments to the current LCD bus stop screens combined with improvements to the transit app to ensure that our users are capable of arriving and departing the area with little hassle or delays.
1.4 SWOC Anaylsis 1.4.1 SWOC Table This SWOC (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Challenges) analysis illustrates the costs and benefits that factored into our calculations in the planning of this project. Strengths Building on available technology. Improving information network available for Vancouver's transit users. Focus on the most vulnerable stakeholder groups Long term plan covers additional vision and outlook for the area, with a focus on improving the image of transit options over personal transport
Opportunities Could be the beginning for a future vision of a more technologically advanced Vancouver LCD screens provide an opportunity to integrate surveys for data collection. Updating the app to be more accessibility-friendly could reduce multiple barriers and increase transit use. Could act as a case study for further implantation around Vancouver.
Weaknesses Has a higher cost than other options due to it's consideration of reusability in the future. Requires public education on the use of LCD screens, particularly for those who are less technologicallyinclined. Does not directly address issues faced by individuals who fall in 2 or more of the stakeholder groups (ex. blind and mobility-impaired)
Challenges While short-term changes can be put in motion quickly, the full project vision does not roll out immediately. LCD screens are still in the pilot stage and may require multiple stages of implementation.
1.5 Site Analysis Vancouver General Hosptial
Broadway-City Hall Station @ Bay 6
Broadway-City Hall Station @ Bay 1
Construction staging and storage area
Mount Pleasent Community Centre
Figure 3. Edited image based on Google Earth Version 220.127.116.11 (2022) 49°15'47.4"N 123°06'53.9"W.
2.0 Vision and Concept 2.1 Vision Statement Our vision is to implement short-term solutions that will eventually transform into more permanent changes that will enhance the Broadway Corridor's bus system to be more sustainable, dynamic, and efficient.
2.2 Concept Our concept is to adopt a mix of low-tech and hi-tech solutions to help communicate any bus stop relocations to transit users by adding multiple language options and signs with braille. This solution solves the current bus stop relocation issue at Site B while also paving the way for large-scale adaptations of these solutions in the future. To a greater extent, we aim to improve the overall transit experience by integrating biophilic design to the bus stops location.
2.3 Case Study: Jurong, Singapore
Figure 4. The Smart Bus Stop in Jurong, Singapore
Elements Adapted Complimentary Wi-Fi to bridge the gap for transit users who do not have data.
Greenery through transportable planters for the short term implementation of biophilic elements.
In the US, ⅔ of transit users walk to the bus stop. Transit users need a place to rest in the form of adequate protection from the weather and seating (Lanza & Durand, 2021) LCD Screens are a form of smart technology that will assist with transforming Vancouver bus stops.
USB ports for charging electronic devices. All powered by solar panels, making them carbon neutral.
JURONG, SINGAPORE The leading case study that demonstrates the efficiency of smart technology is the Smart Bus Stop in Jurong, Singapore, which integrates smart and biophilic design to promote a vision of a greener and more efficient city. According to a 2018 report by consulting firm McKinsey, residents of the city greatly enjoyed the evolution of electronic features in transit (Knupfer et al., 2018).
3.0 Proposed Solution As UBC students, we have been able to personally experience the positive impact of the Next Bus Digital Screen Pilot project in the UBC bus loop. With LCD screen bus stop signs still in the development phase, we believe that there is an excellent opportunity here to integrate additional features to cover information that would be useful for navigating a bus stop change. Not only would this help mitigate the impacts of a bus stop change but is also an excellent driver of more technological innovation for Translink.
3.1 LCD Screen Design
Figure 5. Proposed LCD Screen Design
Figure 6. Current LCD Screen Design
3.2 LCD Screen Features A first feature to include is support for different languages which would allow the LCD screens to be used by a much larger audience of transit users. A simple push of a button would let users select the language that they feel most comfortable working with. Bu adding Google Map API integration with the current LCD screens, we could include brief directions to the new stop and alternative routes for common destinations. This information would be particularly useful for individuals without smartphones to ensure they can navigate to the correct new location. We would also add a phone number and button to contact for assistance from the Translink employees who would be on-site for the first week to offer support. This addition would be essential given the messy ongoing construction and busy traffic in the area. Where possible, information would be available in text-to-speech audio and braille.
3.3 Transit App Upgrade Upon testing the Transit App, the main Translink app currently used by most transit users for transit and navigation information, we noticed a few deficiencies that we would like to propose to solve as part of this project. We expect that these would be quick changes given that the majority of the technology is existing and requires minor modifications. The first gap we observed was the lack of alternative language options. Transit users who are not yet very familiar with English may avoid using the app since they are unable to understand the information provided when it could otherwise provide them with key information that would save them time and confusion. Secondly, while a feature currently exists to show accessible routes for your destination, after testing many destinations, our team noticed that there were rarely any alternative accessible routes that appeared. Since many current Translink bus/Skytrain stations do have additional accessibility features it would be beneficial to highlight those in the Transit App. These changes would be relevant to bus stop changes since they would inform stakeholders with mobility limitations and/or seniors of alternative routes that might be more accessible than navigating the bus stop change as well as ensure that no language barriers stand in the way of receiving the information needed regarding a bus stop change.
3.4 Reusability Given the short-term nature of many of these bus stop changes, we must make some adjustments to the LCD screens as they are now. A more portable LCD screen design which could be attached to regular metal poles could help accommodate short-term stop relocations in the future and promote reusability of these signs for different bus stop changes. Additionally, we believe that adding information to the pre-existing digital kiosk outside the Broadway-Commercial Skytrain station and other stations can help disseminate and convey up-to-date information accessible to both transit users and pedestrians to plan their trips to avoid or minimize disruptions because of ongoing construction. The ultimate vision with the removable LCD screens is to create a solution that is replicable, and goes beyond the scope of our current site only. Page 10
4.0 Continuation of Solutions 4.1 Temporary Kiosks The secondary temporary solution for bus stop changes along Commercial Broadway is to implement digital kiosks. These kiosks can be mobile and can move around the site as bus stop locations change. They will provide quick, accessible information regarding bus stop changes in the area and help travelers navigate their transit route. Translink workers can be located on the site and direct passengers to their destination and help those who are not comfortable using technology. These kiosks would be especially helpful for those with visual or hearing disabilities. Audio information and alternative languages for text would also help with people who do not speak English. Surveys can also be added to the digital kiosks to get immediate feedback from the public regarding changes to the site.
Figure 5. Current digital kiosks found at Surrey Central and other Skytrain stations.
4.2 Statistics and Dissemination Areas In Vancouver alone, 93,675 individuals use public transit frequently to get to their destination. 41,935 people do not speak English or French in Vancouver. This can be especially difficult for these stakeholders to navigate the transit system without assistance. Within the direct vicinity of the site 1,900 individuals claim to use public transport daily. This busy corridor also has 759 individuals who do not speak English and 5 with hearing disabilities (Statistics Canada, 2016). This further supports that these particular stakeholders would be impacted by bus stop changes.
Figure 6. Dissemination area 59153146 (Commercial Broadway).
4.3 Long-term Additions
4.3.1 Biophilic Design
Eventually, construction for the millennium line extension of the Skytrain will pass Commercial Broadway. Some suggestions for long-term changes are more benches near bus stops. Currently, there is very minimal seating along Commercial Broadway which consequently can be a problem if buses are delayed.
A proposed solution to add more greenery to Commercial Broadway is using transportable planters. These can be readily planted at temporary bus stops to add some greenery. This is a temporary short-term solution considering that the transportable planters are small, easily mobile, and adds greenery to the site. However, once construction has subsided and long-term changes can be made to the site. Translink and the City of Vancouver can work together to plant larger trees and other vegetation along with the bus stops. Both the short-term and long-term solutions contribute to biophilic design. The concept of biophilic design can be defined as apparent or subconscious methods to improve the physical, spiritual, or mental health of an individual in an environment. For example, a direct connection with nature has been shown to decrease blood pressure and heart rate, improve concentration, and stimulate positive thoughts (2014).
Figure 7. Solar panels on bus stop in Bangkok. Solar panels provide energy for LCD screens and USB ports for charging phones.
Secondly, stakeholders such as those who do not have data will find it difficult to stay up to date with changes or navigation. Complimentary Wi-Fi would help to eliminate this problem and also reliably provide internet for those waiting for their bus. Lastly, the implementation of solar panels will be a step towards a greener and cheaper Vancouver. Solar panels would capture energy from the sun and use it to power the LCD screens and other USB ports to charge phones.
Figure 8. Outdoor transportable planter.
5.0 Proposed Timeline Immediate Changes
On the Ground
Immediate Changes 1. Improve the Transit app by including up-to-date alternative routes for those with mobility issues while and adding additional language options. 2. Employ additional TransLink workers at the site to help transit users navigate to new bus stop locations. There, workers will be employed for two weeks when the bus stop has just been moved, and when conditions are hazardous. 3. Modify existing technology of LCD Screens with directions to the new bus stop, additional language display, and text-to-audio information. 4. Existing kiosk's at the Commercial-Broadway Station will be updated to include an optional survey. Gather information from transit users about efficiency of LCD screens and locating bus stops. Long-Term Changes 1. Biophilic design is a long term solution that seeks to improve the atmosphere along the transit corridor. Short-term applications of biophilic design include transportable planters which will provide immediate greenery. However, in the long term we aim to improve the area surrounding the transit corridor. 2. In the long run the implementation of these solutions will transform the experience of transit users to be more efficient, dynamic, and sustainable.
References Boisjoly, G., Deboosere, R., Wasfi, R., Orpana, H., Manaugh, K., Buliung, R. & El‐Geneidy, A. (2020). Measuring accessibility to hospitals by public transport: An assessment of 44 eight Canadian metropolitan regions. Transport and Health, 18, 1‐14. Chan, K. (2018, July 27). TransLink by the numbers: Bus, SeaBus, and SkyTrain ridership in 2017. Urbanized. https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/translink-2017-ridership-statistics-part-1
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