B-Line bus getting closer to rolling in Maple Ridge

TransLink announces line from Haney Place Mall to SkyTrain by 2019

(THE NEWS/files)                                The B-Line service starts in 2019.

(THE NEWS/files) The B-Line service starts in 2019.

An easier ride into Vancouver is now within sight for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows commuters.

TransLink announced Tuesday that B-Line service connecting downtown Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to Coquitlam Central SkyTrain station will start by the end of 2019.

The service will offer 10-minute or better frequency service along Lougheed Highway for rush-hour commuters and service on articulated buses every 15 minutes during off-peak hours. The service will run 18 hours a day.

A total of 58 such buses are being added to provide the new service under Phase 1 of the regional mayors’ plan on transportation.

But TransLink wants to make sure it gets the route right and is asking for feedback on where bus stops should be, the exact route the B-Line will follow and changes to the road that could help speed things along.

One way of getting that input will be a survey that starts on April 3.

“This is a region that embraces transit and is hungry for more service. We’ve had great success with our existing three B-Line services, but we know there are more ways to make them faster and more frequent as we expand the program to new areas,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.

B-Line bus service offers faster travel time, direct routing and connections to key regional destinations in areas that need it most. It’s a cost-effective way to reduce congestion and overcrowding on transit.

“We hope addition of four new B-Line routes with more amenities will make transit a realistic option for more people as we work to improve mobility and livability across Metro Vancouver.”

Three other new B-Line routes will also start up in Surrey and Vancouver.

Transit planners visited Pitt Meadows council last November to discuss the new service.

Geoff Cross, with TransLink, said then that the first question to be answered by planners is where the stops will be, and they should be strategic.

“We need to balance that there need be limited stops on it, to be able to make sure that it is competitive from a time perspective,” he answered. “You need to be very direct. You need to be reliable in the service, it needs to be fast and convenient.”