TransLink statistics that indicate a higher satisfaction with bus service amongst South Surrey/White Rock commuters came as a surprise to White Rock Coun. Lynne Sinclair.
“I gotta tell you – I don’t hear 7.9 (out of 10) from people,” Sinclair told Brian Mills, the transportation authority’s director of service and infrastructure, following Mills’ recent delegation to council.
In his June 27 presentation, Mills quoted the local figure and described it as “higher than the average for the bus routes in the system.”
But Sinclair said her experience – personal, and based on concerns she’s fielded from commuters – is quite different, with much of it relating to changes implemented since the Canada Line opened.
While the system has been “wonderful” for those who live in Richmond or Vancouver, it has resulted in lengthy waits for students travelling to UBC; and, challenges for seniors, particularly those with mobility issues, trying to navigate the Bridgeport Station, she said. She cited a lack of benches and no ‘down’ escalators among concerns.
“It’s getting on Canada Line. I can tell you from my own perspective… I wish you’d thought of the people with knee problems, ‘cause there’s way more of us,” she said.
Students bound for UBC have reported having to wait four buses before being able to board at Bridgeport, Sinclair said.
Mills, noting a schedule change coming to the Canada Line this summer, agreed with Sinclair that her comments “may be a little dated.”
Mills attended the meeting in response to several requests from White Rock council for a community consultation to review existing routes and service hours.
In discussing changes specific to the White Rock/South Surrey area, Mills described increased service to and from the South Surrey Park & Ride and an increase in the frequency of #351 buses to Bridgeport. He also noted the new C53 shuttle providing service to Grandview Corners, introduced late last year.
Regarding service to White Rock’s waterfront, Mills said TransLink continues to monitor demand.
Mills said one challenge of the waterfront is traffic congestion. Backups along Marine Drive impact service “everywhere,” he said.
Coun. Al Campbell disagreed with a suggestion that new traffic lights installed on Marine at Oxford have only added to the problem.
“The traffic lights… are moving traffic,” he said.
Campbell said he is concerned about the lack of bus service that is actually in White Rock.
“Most of the bus service is South Surrey. We go to it,” he said. “I would like to see the bus in White Rock more.”