The long trudge to the bus stop on 280th Street at Lougheed Highway is wearing on Darlene Harris, and wearing out her wallet as well.
“It’s really long getting up there,” says Harris, who lives in a trailer park a few kilometres north of Lougheed, along 287th Street.
Harris is tired of the two- or three-kilometre hike from her home to the stop on 280th Street, where she catches the C49 Ruskin-Haney Place community shuttle bus for trips into Maple Ridge.
The hike, to catch the shuttle – which runs only every two hours – means she has to walk along the shoulder of busy Lougheed Highway where it narrows from four lanes to two.
“Sometimes you get three of these huge semis, concrete trucks and lumber trucks, you get three of them in a row. It almost blows you down.”
With winter approaching, catching the 7 p.m. shuttle from Maple Ridge means Harris gets dropped off in the dark for a long hike home.
“If you forget your flashlight, you’re screwed.”
Without a car, the only option is taking a taxi, which she does to get to doctors’ appointments. But it’s a $35 trip one way.
To make it easier for her and others who live along 287th Street, Harris wants the bus stop moved from 280th to 287th Street. That would mean extending the C49 route a kilometre east.
She made that request to TransLink, twice, a couple weeks ago, but hasn’t heard back.
TransLink this year reviewed its community shuttle service and changed the C-48 route so it connected with the West Coast Express Port Haney station.
TransLink spokesman Derek Zabel said extending service to 287th Street means spending more money on a route with low ridership.
“In many cases, we simply can’t provide public transit in a reasonably efficient way to some low-density, rural, remote or hard-to-reach areas.”
However, extension to 287th could be considered next time the area transit plan is reviewed.
“Right now, there are no current plans to expand coverage further in the area.”