Maple Ridge mayor still not impressed with plan

Mayors' Council replies with timeline of promises for Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read hasn't changed her stance on the transit referendum despite assurances from Mayor's Council improvement in the city will follow after a YES vote.

Mayor Nicole Read has not changed her opinion of the transit referendum, even after reassurances from the Mayor’s Council that transit improvements will come to Maple Ridge soon after a “yes” vote.

Ballots have been mailed to voters to cast their votes on the Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, which will add a half a point to the provincial sales tax to pay for transit infrastructure.

Read has repeatedly said Maple Ridge residents need details about what improvements are coming, and on what timeline.

A letter from the Mayor’s Council, signed by interim executive director Michael Buda and dated March 5, offered more detail:

• A B-Line rapid bus route from Maple Ridge to Coquitlam, intended as link to SkyTrain would come in two to three years after the enactment of a PST increase.

• Increased bus service hours with the existing fleet would come as soon at 2016, and the busiest routes, 701 and 791, were specifically mentioned.

• West Coast Express service upgrades would include a new locomotive and 10 new train cars at a capital cost of $386 million, for an addition 1,500 seats daily. The Mayor’s Council said the locomotive and first five cars will enter service within three to four years, and the remaining five cars by 2024.

• West Coast Express Albion Station – “We commit to working with Maple Ridge municipal staff to study the potential of an Albion Station, and will report the results to the Maple Ridge Council,” said the letter.

But Read remained skeptical. She said Buda had advised council it is not possible to even order the B-Line buses and have them on the road in two years. There will also have to be infrastructure improvements on the route.

She noted that on the West Coast Express Albion Station, the council remains “very non-committal.”

Also, she said council has already been advised that the West Coast Express trains will not be added until TransLink can gauge Rapid Bus ridership, and what effect it will have on WCE. So she is skeptical of Buda’s timeline.

She said residents of Maple Ridge already feel they overspend for TransLink.

“They don’t feel they get enough service for what they already pay.”

One Maple Ridge resident is featuring in the “Yes” campaign for B.C. unions, saying in a video that the improvements will shorten his commute and add to his quality of life. Bill Reeve commutes to work in Queensborough.

“You get home late and you don’t have time to wind down,” Reeve says in the video. If he had that extra hour or more usually spent in traffic, Reeve says he would spend that time with his wife and son.

“I don’t have the opportunity to take transit because of where I work,” Reeve explains. “If more people were off the road it would make my life easier.”

The video is the third in a series co-produced by the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Local 378 (COPE 378), CUPE BC and the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 134 (ATU 134).

“Spending time stuck in traffic can grind down your quality of life,” said COPE 378 President David Black. “Like Bill, most people would rather spend that time with their loved ones.”

Just Posted

Start of Maple Ridge B-Line bus service may be delayed

TransLink says new service could start next year, some time

Council balks at new groundwater maps in Maple Ridge’s long-term plan

Wants staff to later vote on removing them, and refer issue to province

Maple Ridge businesses, residents looking for relief from tent city

Both have been challenged by being near homeless camp.

UPDATE: Province putting temporary modular housing on Burnett Street

Expected to take five months, will work with city on solution to homeless camp.

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

5 to start your day

Chilliwack mayor sits down with health minister, phone scam tricks seniors out of $3.1 million and more

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

Most Read