COLUMN: No more excuses

Express-bus service in Surrey must be demanded by residents

Surrey residents need to pressure the city, the province and TransLink to implement an express-bus service across the Port Mann Bridge.

The service should be in place by September, when school resumes and transit use goes up dramatically. There is no excuse for delays.

Express-bus service was promised as part of the overall package which included a new Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 improvements. As the bridge is now tolled, an express bus which offers a reasonable option to driving is a vital part of the whole package.

Express-bus service from Langley was instituted in December. Buses are leaving from the Carvolth park and ride, just south of Highway 1 on 86 Avenue. Some Surrey residents are using it, but it is too far away from the most populated areas of Surrey.

A family member is using this service regularly, and I’m told she is able to get from the parking lot to work in downtown Vancouver in just under an hour – at the height of the rush hour.

The express bus leaves Langley and goes directly to the Braid SkyTrain station. There are no intermediate stops, which accounts for the speed of the overall trip.

A similar service from Highway 1 near 160 Street needs to begin. Sufficient temporary parking should be found somewhere close to the freeway, and an express bus needs to start heading from Surrey to the Braid station. There are more residents in Surrey than in Langley, and they were promised this service.

If TransLink can’t find the money for the service, the province should pay for it in its entirety until the TransLink budget issues have been solved. The buses will likely be packed from the first day, so the subsidy would not be high.

The city was planning a bus exchange just off the new 156 Street underpass, but a private-sector partner pulled out. This has been cited as the reason why there is no express bus service from Surrey across the new bridge.

But this is simply an excuse, nothing more. If decision-makers really wanted this bus service to go ahead, it would already be up and running.

Surrey residents, despite what some opinionated people may say, want better transit service. Many would be very happy to park their cars on this side of the bridge and avoid paying tolls, particularly if there was an express service.

Interestingly enough, one used to exist 40 years ago between Surrey and downtown Vancouver. Today, the express bus only needs to go as far as the SkyTrain line.

There are many more residents in Surrey than there were 40 years ago, and such a service would also offer fear better access to the buses serving the Tri-Cities area.

This issue came up during the provincial election, but there were no pledges by any of the candidates to do anything about this unfulfilled promise. Now is the time for residents who would use the service to apply pressure to the city, province and TransLink.

A transit service that would be well-used from the start, and would offer relief from tolls, would be a winner.

Frank Bucholtz writes Thursdays for the Peace Arch News. He is the editor of the Langley Times.

Just Posted

Saddle bronc rider earns highest score in Cloverdale Rodeo’s history

In 73 years, no one had achieved a 94 in saddle bronc —until last night

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop, closes section of Fraser Highway

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Surrey RCMP search for missing 17-year-old girl

Mikayla Logan was last seen in Guildford on Tuesday, May 14

COLUMN: ‘Smart growth’ lacking in Surrey

Surrey council’s approval of infrastructure projects in the Tynehead area shows the… Continue reading

GALLERY: Cloverdale Rodeo Parade brings thousands through the town centre

From ponies to hot rods, the 73rd annual parade had it all

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Most Read

l -->