Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall takes the RapidBus during the launch of four routes in 2020, including the R3 route along Lougheed Highway from downtown Maple Ridge to Coquitlam Central Station. (The News files)

Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall takes the RapidBus during the launch of four routes in 2020, including the R3 route along Lougheed Highway from downtown Maple Ridge to Coquitlam Central Station. (The News files)

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows mayors endorse new transit plans

Public feedback on TransLink plan available until May 4

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is at the forefront of TransLink’s 10-year plans for transit upgrades in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, and mayors in those cities have endorsed the plan.

The transit authority is proposing to bring BRT from Langley to Haney Place via 200th Street, the Golden Ears Bridge and the Lougheed Highway. These will be zero-emissions buses on dedicated, traffic-separated lanes.

The plan will also upgrade the BRT service on the Lougheed Highway, from Coquitlam Central Station to Haney Place. It’s part of a plan to quadruple the size of the rapid bus network, from 100 to 400 km. BRT is touted in the plan as a less-expensive alternative to SkyTrain.

“For us in the northeast Fraser, I’m pretty excited to highlight that within 10 years the Lougheed rapid transit corridor will connect Evergreen Skytrain via downtown Poco through Pitt Meadows to downtown Maple Ridge with the new BRT service in dedicated bus lanes,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden.

He said Maple Ridge is also up for a 390 per cent increase in bus service hours in the plan, and noted $1.5 billion has been earmarked for 462 electric buses to meet climate targets through a low carbon fleet plan.

“I am particularly pleased to see much-needed improvements planned for public transit service in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall, a member of the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation. “The new high-capacity BRT will be greener, faster and more efficient, with new zero-emission buses on dedicated, traffic-separated lanes, and signal priority.”

READ ALSO: B.C. to force higher-density development along transit lines

TransLink and the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation released Transport 2050: 10-Year Priorities in April. Also among the priorities is double regional bus service levels, and up to 170 km of new rapid transit. There is also the possibility of new SkyTrain extensions in Newton and Port Coquitlam.

The plan would also buid an 850-km traffic-protected bike network, and dedicate more streets to transit, biking, walking and non-vehicle transit.

The strategy is designed to address climate change, housing affordability, traffic congestion and improved transit service, said a press release from TransLink.

There is a survey on the priorities open until May 4, available at translink.ca/priorities.

READ ALSO: New riding of Pitt Meadows-Fort Langley a ‘dog’s breakfast’ says MP


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