Taxes rise but TransLink cuts in Maple Ridge and elsewhere

Open houses Dec. 5 and 6 in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge

People who want to vent against possible tweaks or cuts to bus routes will have a chance Dec. 6 in the Arts Centre Theatre, where TransLink holds its information meeting in Maple Ridge.

They may, however, discover they agree with TransLink’s changes.

As part of its “service optimization” plan, TransLink is looking at trimming the community shuttle routes C-48 and C-49.

Both serve the eastern part of the district, either Ruskin or Thornhill.

TransLink is proposing to cut the southeastern part of the C-49 that runs along 272nd and 280th streets to Lougheed Highway and instead have the service only go to 112th Avenue in the Whonnock Lake area.

As for the C-48, TransLink is proposing that the shuttle make a loop route in the Albion area (instead of serving east Thornhill along 100th Avenue), then head westbound to connect to the Port Haney train station.

TransLink manager Marisa Espinosa told council Monday that some of those runs have little or no ridership.

Route C-49 to Ruskin, she pointed out, had only one or two riders per trip, while the C-48 only had that number every day.

The changes mean the shuttle service would circulate in the more populated parts of the district, which could increase ridership.

Coun. Al Hogarth suggested that the two routes could be combined into a loop, although he added he hadn’t ridden a bus for years.

Espinosa said they have to keep in mind the length of rides when planning routes.

And shouldn’t the Haney bus loop be the eastern terminus for the No. 701 bus, he asked.

Coun. Michael Morden asked if TransLink was contemplating any improvements in service.

“At this point, unfortunately, TransLink doesn’t have the resources for expansion,” Espinosa replied.

TransLink also met with Maple Ridge Recycling Depot to see if it’s possible to keep serving River Road. About nine people in the supported work program rely on the bus to get to work at the depot.

Changes are also proposed for route C-41 in Pitt Meadows by turning it into a two-way route, though with only one hour rather than 30-minute service.

An open house for that takes place Dec. 5 in the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre, from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Maple Ridge meeting is from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.