Riders boarded a 555 express bus at the Carvolth Exchange Tuesday morning. The buses will run more frequently starting in the new year.

TransLink plan boosts Langley bus routes

What does a transit deal mean for Langley residents? Langley Advance reporter Matthew Claxton delves a little deeper.

Langley will see several new bus routes and improved service after Metro Vancouver mayors finally approved the first phase of a 10-year transit upgrade plan Nov. 23.

“We’ll see increased frequency right away,” said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.

Changes are expected to begin in January for the overall system, but bus changes will likely begin in April.

The phase one budget is $2 billion and includes $370 million from Ottawa and $246 million from the province for capital projects.

The money for extra operating costs – the human and maintenance costs of actually operating more buses and SkyTrains – comes from TransLink, including property tax and transit fare increases.

Some of the riders waiting to catch the 555 bus from the Carvolth Exchange were happy to hear about the upgrades Tuesday.

Anita Ensor lives in Walnut Grove and has been commuting on the 555 across the Port Mann Bridge since it started. She used to have to take a bus across the river to use the West Coast Express.

“This is cheaper and more frequent,” she said.

But, sometimes there are issues with long lines and trouble getting on the bus, she said. She’d welcome more service and isn’t worried about a fare increase.

BCIT student Derek Everard sometimes drives, and sometimes takes the bus.

“It saves me about $25 a day,” he said of using transit. That’s parking, tolls, and fuel compared to using his student transit card.

Routes that are expected to see improvements include:

• 320, Langley City exchange to Surrey via Cloverdale

• 501, from the Carvolth Exchange to Langley Centre, will see hours extend to 10:30 p.m.

• 502, from Langley Centre to Surrey connecting with SkyTrain, will add more service during peak hours.

• 555, from Carvolth across the Port Mann to connect to SkyTrain, will add more runs, as often as every six minutes at peak hours.

• A new B-Line bus will take riders from Langley Centre to Surrey City Centre every 15 minutes down Fraser Highway.

• A new bike parkade will be built at Carvolth to secure bikes

• The re-routing of the 595 down 208th Street to serve Willoughby already took place earlier this year by re-allocating resources.

“I guess the biggest plus is going to be the new B-Line service coming down the Fraser Highway,” said Schaffer.

It will operate until late at night and give riders more options, Schaffer said.

Both mayors also noted that the plan includes money to actually plan for a light rail or SkyTrain link from Surrey out as far as Langley City.

“I’m very pleased that we’re at least at this point,” Schaffer said of SkyTrain planning. “Just a few years ago, Langley wasn’t even in the discussion.”

TransLink will increase the size of its physical fleet by extending the life of its older buses while new ones are being built, Froese said.

There will also be hiring, for TransLink and Coast Mountain, of more front-line workers such as drivers and service personnel.

“This is money that goes directly back into our economy,” Froese said of the new jobs.

In the future, finding more operational funding will still be TransLink’s job, but will require help from the province, Froese said.

If TransLink is to implement road pricing, one of the favoured options for future funding, it will need provincial approval and legislation, Froese noted.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Fort Langley was celebrating cultural diversity before it was ‘populaire’

Sunshine and mild temperatures helped draw hundreds to the historic site’s French Canadian festival.

Team BC defeats its hosts at junior curling nationals Sunday

Tyler Tardi and his team have played and won three games in the Canadian championships, so far.

LETTER: Nothing wrong with Langley mayor sporting Oilers jersey

Maybe a Giants jersey would have been more politically astute, a letter writer suggests.

Langley runner nominated for B.C. university athlete of the year

Trinity Western’s Regan Yee ‘surprised and delighted’

Family band from Aldergrove wins youth music award

The Springmans won a Fraser Valley Music Award for their album Happy Beach.

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

Most Read