Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, and Maple Ridge will be connected by a new B-Line rapid bus service starting sometime next year.
According to TransLink, the 18-km-long route on Lougheed Highway will have a 40-minute end-to-end travel time between Coquitlam Central Station in Coquitlam and Haneu Place in Maple Ridge. This is nearly 20 minutes faster than existing services, with frequencies set at every 10 minutes during peak, every 15 minutes during mid-day, evening, and weekend, and every 15 minutes during late night.
Buses will be operational daily from 5 am to 12 am.
The new rapid bus service is part of the Phase One transit expansion plan, which calls for a total of four new B-Line routes in 2019.
Three-door articulated buses with all-door boarding and a unique look that immediately identifies the B-Line as a superior service will be used for all of the routes.
All stops will have a new special bus shelter that includes real-time information screens displaying the arrival times of the next buses, and route information will be available inside each bus.
These are the proposed 14 stops for the route:
- Coquitlam Central (Millennium Line and West Coast Express connection)
- Westwood Street
- Shaughnessy Street
- Ottawa Street
- Harris Road
- 203 Street
- Laity Street
- Haney Place (Haney Place Mall)
East of Golden Ears Way, there are two options the route could take to the terminus at Haneu Place: It could continue on Lougheed Highway or travel along a route one block north on Dewdney Trunk Road.
The Fraser Highway B-Line is one of the longest new B-Line routes being introduced, but it is also the route with the least number of stations.
If demand warrants it, two stops could be added in the future at Meadowtown and 222 Street.
A brand new service for the corridor
This is a brand new level of bus service for the corridor, and for that reason – unlike the other three new B-Lines – no existing local bus routes are being cut back or rerouted to make way for the new service. But it does parallel the West Coast Express commuter rail service, which only operates limited runs during the peak direction.
However, the existing No. 595 route from Langley Centre via the Golden Ears Bridge will be extended to the corner of 203rd Street and Lougheed Highway to provide passengers with an option to connect to the B-Line.
The new B-Line could be a precursor to a SkyTrain extension, if there is any future interest in such an extension as the physical capability already exists.
Over the long-term, the Millennium Line could be further extended eastward as a separate branch from Coquitlam Central Station. A short section of separate track with track switches, for a possible future extension to Port Coquitlam or even as far as Maple Ridge, was built at the station as a part of the new Evergreen Extension.
Speeding up the B-Line through street design changes
TransLink is working with a number of municipal governments on street design changes to optimize the speed and increase the reliability of the new B-Line services.
This could include traffic signal priority for buses, changes to allow the bus to pick up passengers while still in the traffic lane so that it does not have to re-enter traffic, turn restrictions and queue jumpers at key intersections, and bus-only lanes.