New double-decker buses will begin carrying passengers from the Carvolth Exchange in Langley next January, TransLink announced on Wednesday.
A four-month pilot project, which included the 555 Express bus route from Langley’s Carvolth park and ride to the Lougheed SkyTrain Station, wrapped up last year.
TransLink ordered 32 double-decker buses, and the first part of that fleet has now arrived. They’ll be replacing the aging “highway coaches” that served routes like the 555, but other routes will get them before Langley.
The first double-deckers will service the 301 Newton Exchange to Richmond’s Brighouse Canada Line station, and the 620 Bridgeport to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal route. Both of those will start in October.
In January, the buses will arrive in Langley running from Carvolth.
The buses will have almost twice the seats of the old-style highway coaches, which frequently depart full or nearly-full from Langley. According to Translink, the 555 route had more than 1 million boardings in 2018.
“This addition to our fleet not only improves capacity on our busier long-haul routes, but also provides a unique experience to our customers,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.
The buses will also have USB charging outlets and a screen allowing passengers to see if there are vacant seats before heading upstairs.
There will be full accessibility for disabled riders including a low floor and boarding ramp.
A second order of 25 double-deckers is expected to arrive by autumn of 2020 and the buses will expand to more routes.
TransLink will be showing off one of the double-deckers at the PNE from Aug. 17 to Sept. 3.