Transit rider numbers rise in Langley

As Langley Township council met with their counterparts to discuss transit, TransLink announced it has seen a major increase in bus ridership.

Township Councillor Steve Ferguson had suggested the meeting of South of the Fraser councils to discuss their mutual issues around transit.

They met with the chair of the TransLink Mayors’ Council, Richard Walton of the District of North Vancouver, and had a chance to both throw out questions and concerns.

Ferguson said the common view south of the river is that the communities from Delta to Langley are still lagging behind when it comes to transit service.

“It’s been one challenge after another,” said Ferguson.

Overall he said it was a good meeting.

One of the issues currently facing any transit improvements is the lack of a completed plan on how to fund TransLink.

The Mayors Council has come forward with an ambitious proposed plan that would include light rail from Surrey all the way to Langley City, along with a hefty increase in bus service in communities like Willoughby and Brookswood.

However, the plan and its funding methods, which could include road pricing, is to be put to the public in a referendum that will likely not be held until next spring.

According to a TransLink report issued Wednesday, the number of bus boardings increased by 11 per cent in 2013, adding 4.3 million more times people used the system.

Many communities like Richmond, Delta, and Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, saw increases in ridership of 10 per cent or more.

New routes like the 555 express bus that takes riders from Langley over the Port Mann Bridge to connect to SkyTrain, helped drive a lot of the increase, according to the report.

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