No. 701 bus ‘behind schedule’

Rider wants better service in east Maple Ridge, calls it 'Third World'

Bus rider calls Maple Ridge service 'Third World.'

Andrew Pozsar said the No. 701 bus in Maple Ridge is chronically behind schedule, and that other transit improvements are needed.

The bus doesn’t run on time, riders have to fend for themselves in wet weather or when there’s little daylight. And when he gets off the bus in east Maple Ridge, he’s often stepping into dirt or bare ground instead of even pavement.

Pozsar is visually impaired and has taken the bus twice a week from downtown Maple Ridge back to his house, in the 250th Street area, for the past three months.

He relies on the No. 701 to get him home. It’s supposed to leave Haney Place Mall bus depot at 8:42 a.m.

“It’s usually 10 to 15 minutes late, every single time. Not once have I caught that bus in the last three months, was it on time. Not once.”

On Nov. 2, he saw the No. 701 bus with a “Maple Ridge east” sign pull into a stall in the Haney bus loop at just after 9 a.m. The driver then put its “out of service” sign on the bus, and parked close by for about 15 minutes. The driver then moved the bus into another stall and put its “Coquitlam station” sign up that showed it was ready to head west again, without going to east Maple Ridge.

Pozsar said he called TransLink and explained what happened. TransLink told him the next bus at 9:08 a.m., wasn’t coming either because it had mechanical problems.

“It’s a Third World-country bus service that we’re having in Maple Ridge east.”

Pozsar said he had to catch a ride home, and on the way, saw crowds of riders waiting for the bus.

He notes that along the No. 701 route, once outside the downtown area, there are no bus shelters. At the stop in front of Garibaldi secondary, kids wait in the rain.

When he exits the bus on 250th Street, he steps down into mud or dirt, in the dark, with open ditches nearby.

If the stop was moved a block north, passengers could exit on pavement.

Pozsar has called TransLink’s customer service department and also left a message for TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond and Community and Sport Minister Peter Fassbender, who’s also responsible for TransLink, but hasn’t heard back.

“This is a serious issue. This is an ongoing problem with this route.”

TransLink just announced that it has completed its public consultation on Phase 1 of the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transit and Transportation.

TransLink received 5,183 public survey responses and hosted eight open houses across the region during the consultation, which took place Oct. 11-31.

The plan is supposed to give Maple Ridge 64 per cent more bus service than it has now, including service to Silver Valley and a rapid bus from downtown Maple Ridge to Evergreen SkyTrain line in Coquitlam.

TransLink media relations manager Cheryl Ziola said the bus involved on Nov. 22 was 22 minutes late.

However, buses are often delayed by traffic congestion, motor vehicle accidents and detours or road construction, among other factors.

“When they fall too far behind schedule or “bunch up” behind each other, operators sometimes get permission from a duty manager to shorten their route, turning back in order to return to their normal schedule.”



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

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Herd of deer camp out in Yennadon front yard

Four bucks and two does rested under the shrubs of a Maple Ridge home Friday

Pitt Meadows technology to help grow leafy greens in Okanagan

Cubic Farms sold 16 of its machines to a company in Armstrong, B.C.

Maple Ridge mom wants justice on two-year anniversary of daughter’s death

Megan Kinnee, 19, died July 13, 2018 after motorcycle crash in Abbotsford

Maple Ridge neighbourhood rallies together for Saturday garage sale

Event aimed to bring Albion residents together – but not too close – while the financially strapped

‘It’s really frustrating’: B.C. Indigenous groups share impact of border closures

The closures have resulted in disputes between Indigenous groups and local businesses

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

Most Read