Conventional bus holds 75 passengers, versus 115 on B-Line bus. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge B-Line route known by year end

Will it be Lougheed Highway or Dewdney Trunk Road?

Maple Ridge will know by late summer or fall if the B-Line bus will be rolling down Lougheed Highway when it starts in September 2019.

TransLink staff told council recently that it might not be able to get the bus on to Maple Ridge’s main thoroughfare because of the lack of bus stops on the highway. Instead, the new express service may have to run along Dewdney Trunk Road, where bus stops already exist.

TransLink spokesman Chris Bryan said pull-over areas are required for both proposed bus stops on Lougheed Highway, at Laity and 203rd streets. That would require moving power and utility poles and seeking property or access to create those pull-over areas.

Speed limits of 60 km/h on Lougheed require that buses have separate pull-over areas, off the highway and out of traffic.

Buses can stop directly on Dewdney Trunk Road, however, because the speed limit is only 50 kmh.

Creating a bus stop will also require relocation of power and utility poles.

“It’s just a question of coordinating that and dealing with other parties that have their own agenda,” said Bryan.

Bryan said TransLink will know by later this year whether those obstacles can be overcome.

Coun. Craig Speirs says Dewdney Trunk Road may be more suitable, after all.

“It’s got to be on a route that works and is established,” and is more central, Speirs said.

The city has said, however, that it prefers Lougheed Highway.

Lougheed has been considered as a future corridor for rapid transit with a B-Line bus eventually leading to rail transit.

But Speirs wonders if there’s enough room on the highway.

“The good news is we’ve got a B-Line. If you get into Vancouver within an hour by transit, that’s going to be a winner and it will get people out of their cars,” Speirs added.

The B-Line will have limited numbers of stops in order to speed travel time. Proposed stops are in Haney Place Mall, at Laity Street, 203rd Street, and Harris Road on Lougheed Highway in Pitt Meadows. Future stops could be added at Meadowtown mall and 222nd Street.

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