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C-TRAN's bus rapid transit system expanding to Mill Plain Boulevard in 2023

The agency is expanding its bus rapid transit system to Vancouver's second-busiest transit corridor after seeing success along Fourth Plain Boulevard.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — C-TRAN's bus rapid transit system, The Vine, is expanding to Mill Plain Boulevard in 2023. 

The agency says Mill Plain is Vancouver’s second-busiest transit corridor and expects The Vine will greatly improve service. Crews broke ground on the transit line in September 2021. 

This comes after success along Fourth Plain Boulevard, C-TRAN’s busiest transit corridor, which averages nearly 2 million trips a year. 

The agency began running The Vine on Fourth Plain about five years ago to ease congestion. It has made traveling between downtown and the Vancouver Mall a lot more efficient.

The Vine runs through Vancouver’s most diverse area, known as the International District, where you can find roughly 150 businesses serving the people there.

“It's a good safe district to come and share with your family and some great family restaurants,” said Paul Burgess.

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Burgess leads Fourth Plain Forward, an organization that promotes International District and works to improve it. He said the district offers a wide array of reasons to visit, and it's catching on.

“Certainly people are slowly starting to get to know that, and part of the work that we do here at Fourth Plain Forward is to boost the opportunity and that recognition that the people should be coming in,” said Burgess.

Businesses say the bus rapid transit system has been part of what's seen the area through a few tough years.

"The Vine, I feel like it is progressive for our community, especially when it comes to the way COVID has hit everybody, and I feel like it's accessible makes it easier access for businesses and for the community to be able to travel," said Zaynab Afu, manager of Hawaiian Style Grill on Fourth Plain.

Business is good at the restaurant, and chef Chinta Reselap gives some credit to the bus service.

“Because we’re busy every day. Before, it's not really, but now it's crazy,” Reselap said with a laugh.

And The Vine is not only good for the options is provides. Burgess said for many people, the bus is a necessity.

“It's very difficult for a number of community members to own cars, and so The Vine has really opened up that transportation opportunity and really makes a big difference.”

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