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Township wants TransLink to make fast buses on 200th Street a priority

Mayor calls on staff to work with transit authority for rapid bus program
Langley Township council is trying to get TransLink to make a new, fast bus route a priority on 200th Street. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley Township’s mayor wants to make it clear that getting a bus rapid transit line down 200th Street, from the Golden Ears Bridge all the way through to Willowbrook, is a top local transportation priority.

At the Monday, May 8 meeting, Township council approved a motion by Mayor Eric Woodward to emphasize that to TransLink.

“This is in relation to getting ahead of it here with TransLink, giving them comfort that this council support it, that staff have direction that this is what the Township is looking for,” Woodward said.

Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a transport link using buses on dedicated lanes. The buses can move faster because they aren’t constrained by the speed of traffic, making them an attractive option for commuters, and it’s considerably cheaper than building rail-based rapid transit projects like SkyTrain – about $15 million per kilometre for BRT, versus $400 million per kilometre for SkyTrain.

TransLink announced plans last year to create a network of 130 km of BRT lanes and infrastructure across the Lower Mainland over 10 years.

One of those lanes is planned to run through much of Langley, with TransLink’s plans showing a route that would run from Maple Ridge, across the Golden Ears Bride, south on 200th Street as far as Langley City, where it would end near the site of the terminus SkyTrain station, planned to open in 2028.

Another phase of the route could go further south, through Brookswood, and then west towards the South Surrey/White Rock area.

There are nine such routes planned across the region, and none of them have officially been funded yet, noted Woodward.

“It’s not clear where this one ranks,” Woodward said.

His motion aims to demonstrate that the Township is committed to getting the BRT route built, asking that TransLink work with the Township to open it either before, or simultaneously with, the start of SkyTrain service five years from now.

It asks staff to work with TransLink on getting the Langley BRT route priority. He also mentioned working with Maple Ridge, which is to have its own BRT route that connects to the 200th Street route.

“I think it’ll be fantastic for the Township once it starts to move forward,” said Councillor Michael Pratt.

Earlier this year, the Township council approved $150,000 to begin a re-envisioning of the 200th Street corridor through Willoughby, from the Trans Canada Highway south to the Willowbrook area.

The terms of reference for the plan, dubbed 200 Street 2040, mentions the bus rapid transit corridor, as well as the possibility that sometime in the future, the same route might be used for light rail.

READ MORE: Light rail envisioned as possible future for Langley’s 200th Street

READ MORE: BRT could speed up public transit down Langley’s 200th Street

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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