Letter: A positive addition to B-line

Connect Route 555 across Golden Ears Bridge.

A B-line is coming to Maple Ridge in 2019. (files)

A B-line is coming to Maple Ridge in 2019. (files)

Editor, The News:

Re: More, faster buses.

I’m excited about the new B-line bus coming to Maple Ridge.

Many would agree that it’s about time to get faster and more reliable transit to our city. But for those of us going to Vancouver, Burnaby, New West, Langley, Surrey, or many other places beyond the Tri-Cities, there could be a possible way to get there faster than the B-line can take us.

The B-line can take us to Coquitlam Central in 40 minutes from the Haney Place bus loop. But what if there is a way to get to Lougheed station in 40 minutes (whereas with the B-line it would take 53 minutes, according to SkyTrain travel times posted by TransLink)?

For some of us, this new option also means connecting to the Expo Line directly without transferring at Lougheed Station.

Also there’s an added bonus: some trips you might get to ride on a double-decker bus.

Route 555 (the Port Mann Express) is a highway bus that currently runs from Lougheed Station to Carvolth Exchange (right across the Golden Ears Bridge in Langley) in 20 minutes, with only one stop in Surrey.

It’s the fastest TransLink bus I’ve ever taken. It could be extended, across the Golden Ears Bridge, then either through Lougheed Highway or Dewdney Trunk Road, to Haney Place, with one stop in between (for example, near the boundary of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows), with a travel time of about another 20 minutes.

What it is useful for is beating all the stop lights, as well as the bad morning and afternoon traffic that occurs on Lougheed Highway en route to Coquitlam Central.

As far as I know, traffic on the Golden Ears Bridge and Highway 1 is generally quite smooth throughout the day. I should make it clear here that this is not meant to replace the B-line, but rather an addition to it to provide a faster transit option.

I’ve written to mayor and council about this. It got positive reviews and was forwarded to TransLink. I’ve pitched my idea at one of the public consultations and it was also well-received.

But that was it, and I realized later that to get TransLink to seriously consider ideas from the public, one voice is likely not enough, no matter how good the idea.

If residents of the city think this is a good idea, it would be awesome for people to show their support for this to TransLink.

One of the common suggestions in the recent public consultation is faster transit – extending the 555 to Maple Ridge could help realize that.

Showing support through emails and calls can and do make a difference. It would also be great if council can fully support this and relay it to TransLink.

I do believe that it’s an option that should be seriously considered by TransLink and hopefully be included as part of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Area Transport Plan.

Andrew Wang

Maple Ridge

Editor’s note: Mr. Wang is also a student at the UBC campus in Vancouver.