A double-decker 351 bus rolls north along 152 Street Monday (Oct. 26) after leaving White Rock Centre. (Tracy Holmes photo)

A double-decker 351 bus rolls north along 152 Street Monday (Oct. 26) after leaving White Rock Centre. (Tracy Holmes photo)

LETTERS: Bus service in White Rock ‘drastically’ reduced

Editor:

We were notified by Translink that, as of Sept. 7, 2020, “several improvements to transit services in White Rock and South Surrey have been made.”

The truth is exactly the opposite – the services have decreased drastically.

Coming in on the new 351 from Bridgeport Road to White Rock the bus will stop at 16 Avenue and 152 Street on the Surrey side and continue heading west in Surrey following 16 Avenue to Oxford Street.

This route is missing thousands of apartments units in White Rock Centre, which previously enjoyed direct 351 service:

• along Johnston Road further south serving all apartment buildings south, east and west; and

• along Thrift Avenue all the homes north and south up to Oxford.

With the new routing, Translink expects that passengers coming from Vancouver heading to White Rock Centre do another transfer in South Surrey from bus 351 to bus 321 or 345.

This means that everybody must transfer in South Surrey now – not only the people going to Crescent Beach.

Is this fair to the White Rock residents, many of whom are seniors, including those who have walking disabilities?

In other words, it looks like that these so called ‘improvements” are done for TransLink only and not for the benefit of the public.

Furthermore, we can read in TransLink’s flyer that “the new 351 will have more room with double-decker buses” and the “352 will come more often.”

Indeed, it is a pleasure to see the wonderful new buses. But more frequency, increasing capacity – for whom?

People are working from home or using their own cars for safety when they go to Vancouver; seniors are staying mostly at home.

It is a shame that the buses, going every 10 minutes in peak times, are empty or driving with just a few passengers.

I would like to see:

• the 351 service rerouted south along Johnston Road and than west on Thrift Avenue to Oxford Street with a turnaround via Vine Avenue/Andersen Street and North Bluff Road;

• minimizing capacity by using the smallest buses only;

• reducing the schedule on all bus routes, especially the 351; and,

• finding an acceptable agreement with drivers (compensation for short-time workers?).

Every dollar saved will help all of us as well as future generations.

This is particularly important because we do not know how the pandemic will develop over the next 12 months and thereafter.

Lutz Haack, White Rock

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