Langley Times File Photo

Fraser Highway B-Line to start in 2019

New bus from Langley Centre to Surrey Central expected to be 20 per cent faster than current service

Come fall 2019, it will take about 20 per cent less time to travel by transit from Langley Centre to Surrey Central.

TransLink is rolling out a B-Line bus service to connect the two communities along Fraser Highway.

The new service is part of Phase 1 of TransLink’s 10-year vision, and a public consultation process will begin April 3.

READ MORE: TransLink to roll out four B-Lines as ‘prelude to rail’ by 2019

“Fraser Highway is an important corridor. It connects a series of centres, and putting out a high quality bus service will really help build transit ridership as we continue planning for rapid transit on this corridor,” said Sarah Ross, director of system planning at TransLink, in a presentation to Township council March 19.

“The new service will reach 58,000 residents, 40,000 jobs, and we know the growth in this part of the region is very significant.”

Ross said a B-Line, compared to the current 502 and 503 bus services offered along the corridor, is fast and reliable.

With only 14 stops, it doesn’t take as long to travel up Fraser Highway, and the street will be redesigned in some areas to allow the bus to have priority.

The service will run every eight minutes during peak times and every 10 to 15 minutes at other times.

“The increased frequency is going to mean people will have to wait a lot less, and it is an 80 per cent increase in capacity coming out to Langley,” Ross said.

“This really enables people to start thinking and having it in their consciousness that there’s a high quality transit service. They don’t necessarily even need to look at a schedule. They just know that when they go out, on average they probably only have to wait about four minutes.”

When the new route starts, the current 502 service will be reduced to every 15 minutes until 9 p.m., and every 30 to 60 minutes at night.

The 503 bus from Aldergrove to Surrey Central will serve all local stops, instead of its current limited stop pattern.

Mayor Jack Froese asked for more information on the type of transit services Phase 2 of the plan will bring to Willoughby and Brookswood.

Ross replied that in 2018, TransLink will do a review of the entire Langley bus network, particularly the community shuttles. They anticipate seeing increased frequency of the 501 service, connection up 200 Street to the Carvolth Exchange, and the 555 service from the Carvoth Exchange to the Lougheed Mall SkyTrain station.

“The draft of that plan includes about a 10 per cent increase in shuttle service in Langley; the exact allocation of that to be determined through our review and work with the community,” she said.

Coun. Charlie Fox requested that TransLink take a look at increasing service to Aldergrove, especially with the new recreation centre opening soon, and to Gloucester.

“Right now Gloucester is a bit of an oasis, and not in a positive way, with access for transportation,” Fox said. “And having been the principal of the high school out there, I know that young people look for jobs, and they can’t get to Gloucester. And there’s a lot of entry level jobs, warehousing, that sort of thing, for students that would be very beneficial.”

Coun. Blair Whitmarsh asked how many additional buses the new B-Line will have.

Ross said she didn’t know the exact number of vehicles, but said each bus can handle a capacity of 100 people.

Froese asked Ross if she had any results from the double-decker bus pilot project, which was tested in Langley in January.

Ross didn’t give many details, but said the response so far has been positive.

“People have really loved them, and we’ve heard that from other agencies as well,” she said.

READ MORE: TransLink rolls out its double-decker buses in Langley



miranda@langleytimes.com

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