Letter: TransLink fails bus riders

Dear Editor,

Since deciding to make Langley my home over 26 years ago I, like all other long-term residents, have witnessed the growth of Langley.

I’m not writing to comment on that, as I am not a opponent of change.

What needs to be addressed is the fact that transit service growth for Langley has in no way been improved to accommodate for the population growth, especially in the Willoughby community.

In 2011 the estimated population of Willoughby was 18,000 people, and the current population is estimated at 28,000, with no slow-down in sight (Estimated at 80,000 people by 2041).

What public transit routes were added to accommodate this growth?

None have been added.

What Translink has done is moved an existing bus route from 200th Street to service 208th Street.

This is not an improvement.

This is a classic example of “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

This 208th Street route went into effect on Dec. 19, 2016, and since it has gone into effect, I have been left stranded at my bus stop at 200th and 84th Avenue 10 times as the bus goes right by me with a “Sorry bus full” sign flashing. It is standing room only.

On the odd occasion, the bus I would normally catch at 4:30 p.m. does not show up at all, the 5 p.m. bus goes right by me with a “Sorry bus full” sign flashing; again it is standing room only.

Is this an improvement when it takes me over two hours to get home from North Langley to Murrayville when it used to take only 45 minutes?

I understand that I am seeing the ridership only at peak times in the a.m. and p.m., and maybe the ridership is low the rest of the day.

The real improvement would be to have more frequency in the a.m. and p.m.

Once every half hour is archaic service for a city that has seen such huge population growth.

I am not going to rest with just this one letter to the editor.

Since the Township and City mayors sit on Translink’s Mayors’ Council, I plan to lobby them to get involved and speak up ‘loud and clear’ for the residents of Langley who pay our fair share of Translink taxes.

I plan to petition the riders on the 501, especially if they are like me and have experience the dreaded “Sorry bus full” sign.

Helen Brooke, Murrayville