Delta wants TransLink's new Scott Road Bus Rapid Transit line prioritized

Sep 14 2023, 11:07 pm

TransLink should prioritize Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for the Scott Road and 72nd Avenue corridors, according to Delta City Council.

On Monday, City Council unanimously approved a member motion by City Councillor Dylan Kruger to confirm the City of Delta’s support for TransLink’s planned project to bring a BRT route to Delta.

“TransLink is looking for expressions of support from the City of Delta and City of Surrey. We are, without funding, still years and years away from actually seeing construction on this line, but we have to start right now with the planning process on detailed design,” said Kruger during the public meeting.

BRT for Delta would be an eventual upgrade of the future R6 Scott Road RapidBus service, which is set to be launched in early 2024. The R6 will be a 12-km-long, L-shaped route running along Scott Road and 72nd Avenue between SkyTrain Scott Road Station and Newton bus exchange.

Construction will reach completion by late 2023 on a $33 million project on the R6’s bus priority design alone Scott Road and 72nd Avenue, including nine km of bus-only lanes from largely repurposing existing vehicle lanes where there are currently three vehicle lanes in the same direction, and narrowing existing vehicle lanes and medians to make space for a new bus-only lane.

Other street design changes entail queue jumpers, upgrading bus stops with features such as real-time next-bus digital displays, adding a bus layover parking lot at Newton bus exchange, and some new landscaping.

R6’s bus priority measures will improve bus travel times by up to 10 minutes in each direction.

translink r6 scott road rapidbus route map surrey delta

Route and stop map for the R6 Scott Road RapidBus. (TransLink)

The future BRT will build on the same infrastructure constructed for the RapidBus.

TransLink has already indicated the BRT mode standard will have fully traffic-separated dedicated bus lanes and transit signal priority at intersections across the length of the route, along with the use of special buses, special bus stop shelters, and other passenger amenities.

The approved motion states the City will endorse BRT’s concept of “prioritizing transit, including willingness to reallocate space from parking, changes to property access, turn restrictions, and transit signal priority,” with the municipal government allocating resources in support of the public transit authority’s efforts.

“The City of Delta supports a BRT line featuring dedicated bus lanes, transit signal priority, enhanced customer amenities at stations, and specialized vehicles to support fast, reliable, high-quality rapid transit to along the Scott Road Corridor.”

Delta mayor George Harvie stated he will ask his counterpart, Surrey mayor Brenda Locke, to approve a similar expression of support from her municipal government.

Next month, TransLink and the Mayors’ Council are expected to select the BRT route projects that will be prioritized for implementation over the first few years of Transport 2050’s 10-year priorities between 2025 and 2035.

On Wednesday, the City of Maple Ridge also expressed its formal support for TransLink to prioritize two BRT routes that will serve their community — the upgrade of the existing R3 RapidBus along Lougheed Highway between SkyTrain Coquitlam Central Station and Haney Place into BRT, and the creation of a brand new arterial bus route as BRT between Langley City Centre and Haney Place via 200th Street, the Golden Ears Bridge, and Lougheed Highway.

“TransLink and the Mayors’ Council are currently undertaking a prioritization exercise to determine the order in which BRT corridors will be implemented that emphasizes a ‘work with the willing’ approach so that the first phase of BRT projects can be built quickly and to a high quality, with maximum support from municipal and other local government partners, to serve as a showcase for this type of rapid transit to the rest of the region,” reads the motion.

Here is a full list of the nine BRT routes in TransLink’s 10-year priorities:

  • RapidBus to BRT upgrade: R3 Lougheed Highway (Coquitlam Central Station to Haney Place in Maple Ridge)
  • RapidBus to BRT upgrade: R5 Hastings Street (Burrard Station to SFU Burnaby)
  • RapidBus to BRT upgrade: R6 Scott Road (Scott Road Station to Newton exchange). R6 will be launched in 2023 before its eventual upgrade to BRT.
  • New BRT: Surrey to White Rock via King George Boulevard
  • New BRT: Langley to Haney Place in Maple Ridge via 200th Street, Golden Ears Bridge, and Lougheed Highway
  • New BRT: Marine Drive Station to 22nd Street Station via Marine Drive/Marine Way
  • New BRT: Richmond Centre to Metrotown via Knight Street Bridge, Victoria Drive, and 49th Avenue
  • New BRT: Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale via Lions Gate Bridge
  • New BRT: Metrotown to Park Royal via Ironworkers Memorial Bridge

“The south of the Fraser region is ready for bus rapid transit. Senior levels of government have been clear – cities that build new housing should be rewarded with funding to improve infrastructure and enhance public transit. Over the last few years, Delta has been working hard to attract investment, with a number of high rise and low rise applications approved and currently under consideration along the Scott Road Corridor. Meanwhile, our neighbours across the street in Surrey are growing faster than any other city in Metro Vancouver,” Kruger told Daily Hive Urbanized.

“BRT would revolutionize Scott Road into a transit-oriented neighbourhood that serves as the nexus between two cities, and the gateway into Delta. Already boasting the highest ridership south of the Fraser, BRT would make Scott Road truly accessible to the region, and bring a seamless passenger experience for local riders comparable to SkyTrain. It is this kind of revolutionary transportation investment that would finally incentivize those on the borderline of choice to ditch the car and buy a Compass Card.”

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