TransLink looking to quit TrainBus in Maple Ridge

Replace it with extended run of No. 701, including Mission.

The TrainBus that rolls through Maple Ridge five times a day could die as soon as the Evergreen SkyTrain comes to life in Coquitlam.

TransLink is proposing to stop the TrainBus service once the new SkyTrain line opens in 2017 and wants to hear what people think of the idea. It’s also proposing to extend the No. 701 bus route to Mission, to make up for the loss of TrainBus to that city.

The change is just one of dozens proposed in order to adjust to the new rapid transit line connecting Coquitlam to Port Moody and Burnaby and the existing SkyTrain line. For the rest of October and to Nov. 6, TransLink is hosting an online survey for commuters.

“This is the largest round of changes we’ve ever proposed,” said TransLink spokesperson Chris Bryan.

“These changes will be tied to the opening of the Evergreen Line.

Byran said that the TrainBus would become redundant as the combination of SkyTrain and the No. 701 will provide similar service and the same travel time to downtown Vancouver.

The TrainBus, a Greyhound-style coach bus, follows the route of the rush-hour West Coast Express during the middle of the day to Port Haney to give commuters some options during times the train doesn’t run. Five TrainBuses run on weekdays from Vancouver to Port Haney, with only three carrying on to Mission.

Two TrainBuses run westbound, with one leaving from Mission. There is no weekend service.

If that service is eliminated, TransLink is proposing to extend the No. 701 bus that runs from Coquitlam to Maple Ridge, into Mission to replace the one westbound TrainBus trip and three eastbound trips.

Pickup for the No. 701 would be at the same point used by the TrainBus, the Mission West Coast Express train station.

TransLink said bus riders who use the No. 701 to get from Coquitlam Central to Haney Place Mall and farther east shouldn’t notice any difference.

“The schedule will be maintained for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows as it is today,” Bryan said.

“All the 701 trips would continue to travel to Haney Place as they do today.”

Although running a bus service from Maple Ridge to Mission will take about an hour round-trip, TransLink said through scheduling and use of different buses, it can maintain the current frequency of No. 701 in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows.

Whether the cancellation of the TrainBus would put more demand on the No. 701 remains to be seen.

That would be monitored.

When the Evergreen extension opens, SkyTrain passengers will be able to ride from Coquitlam or Port Moody without transfer to VCC-Clark on the Millennium Line.

“There’s going to be lots of things … we’re going need to watch and see how ridership behaviour is going to be impacted by these new opportunities to travel,” Bryan said.

TransLink is proposing more than 85 service changes throughout Metro Vancouver.

“No final decisions have been made and we’re listening to our customers so we can take their concerns and feedback into account,” TransLink vice-president Colleen Brennan said in a release.

The SkyTrain section currently called the Millennium Line from Columbia in New Westminster to Production Way-University will become a branch of the Expo Line. Passengers boarding southeast bound SkyTrains in Vancouver or Burnaby will choose between Expo Line trains bound for King George if they’re heading for Surrey or else ‘Expo Line to Production Way-University’ to reach stations such as Sapperton or Braid.

Passengers taking SkyTrain between Surrey and the Tri-Cities will have to transfer twice, at Lougheed and Columbia stations.

• Survey: survey, http://www.translink.ca/tnc.

 

 

 

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