R3 RapidBus arrives in January in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

R3 RapidBus arrives in January in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge councillors wonder, just how fast is RapidBus?

It will be quicker than current bus service, TransLink promises

Some members of Maple Ridge council are concerned that the new RapidBus line won’t be that rapid.

They want assurance that the new R3 RapidBus, carrying Maple Ridge commuters to Coquitlam Central SkyTrain, won’t get bogged down in traffic gridlock when it starts running on Jan. 6.

“Unless that bus goes faster than the traffic, it’s just going to sit along with the rest of the traffic. It’s not a rapid bus, it’s just a bus,” Coun. Gordy Robson said during TransLink’s presentation of the area transport plan at council’s Oct. 8 meeting.

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden said at council that the area needed clarification and added on Wednesday that council is still awaiting details on TransLink’s strategy for reducing the travel time for the R3 RapidBuses.

But Sarah Ross, director of system planning with TransLink, said bus lanes in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, along with changes on Lougheed Highway in Pitt Meadows all will make the service quicker than what’s running now.

“We feel quite confident that this will improve transit time on the RapidBus, compared to what we have today,” Ross told council.

R3 RapidBus arrives in January in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

R3 RapidBus arrives in January in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

She added that the R3 will have more transit priority than existing buses, adding that there’s also room to add more transit priority.

Robson acknowledged that the RapidBus will be faster than existing buses because they don’t detour into Pitt Meadows.

However, buses have to be quicker than autos if people are going to abandon their cars, he added. He said that signal devices to allow traffic lights to favour buses is one way to speed up buses. He also suggested that there’s room along the Lougheed in Maple Ridge in some areas to allow a bus lane.

But Ross said there is no traffic-light-signal priority system in place in this area, though TransLink is looking at that.

One challenge is that every city uses different signalling devices, although cities can also harmonize their traffic signals to make it easier for buses to move, Ross said.

TransLink says on its website that the speed of RapidBus will rival that of SkyTrain.

TransLink also claims that of the five RapidBuses launching in January 2020, the Lougheed RapidBus has the best time savings because its route takes it primarily over a highway.

The new R3 RapidBus service in Maple Ridge will offer rush-hour service every 10 minutes from Haney Place into Coquitlam Central SkyTrain line.

That is supposed to take just under 40 minutes, a time saving of 20 per cent.

The RapidBus is also supposed to be quicker than the 701 and 791 because it will travel directly along Lougheed all the way to Coquitlam Central, instead of detouring and will have only six stops along the entire route, compared to 35 stops for the 701.

There also will be queue-jumping lanes at Ottawa Street and Maple Meadows Way, that will allow buses to bypass traffic lineups.

As well, there will be another six kilometres of new HOV lanes added to the route, in addition to the existing four kilometres of HOV lanes, that will speed buses ahead of traffic.

There’s also a new bus-only entrance to Coquitlam Central Station, making it easier for buses to move in and out.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

R3 RapidBus arrives in January in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

R3 RapidBus arrives in January in Maple Ridge. (Contributed)

Maple Ridge councillors wonder, just how fast is RapidBus?

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s Bruce Coughlan. (Special to The News)
Robbie Burns day to be feted virtually by Maple Ridge musician

Bruce Coughlan will hold virtual concert in Campbell River theatre in honour of Scottish bard

Naturally Splendid employees working at a flow wrapper station at its facility in Pitt Meadows (Special to The News)
Plant-based Pitt Meadows business pivots during pandemic

Naturally Splendid partners with Australian company on bringing meat substitute to Canada

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Resident sad to see worsening Maple Ridge litter problem

A local letter writer said her concerns have fallen on deaf ears

Gordy Robson. (Contributed)
The intersection at Harris Road and Lougheed Highway (Google)
LETTER: Pitt Meadows resident wonders why traffic signals not updated

A local man has contacted the city and road contractor with concerns to no avail

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

Most Read