Maple Ridge wants to be prioritized for TransLink's new Bus Rapid Transit routes

Sep 13 2023, 10:37 pm

The City of Maple Ridge is making a case that the planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes serving its community, as outlined in TransLink’s Transport 2050 plan, should be amongst the public transit authority’s first BRT projects later this decade.

“With the Maple Ridge Moves plan, the City is taking action to ensure our community is positioned to manage population growth and a strong economy while preserving the quality of life that our residents cherish,” said Mayor Dan Ruimy in a statement today.

“Maple Ridge is ready to be one of the first in the region to bring Bus Rapid Transit to the city. The transportation improvements in the Maple Ridge Moves plan will enable residents to have access to faster and more frequent buses, better connecting the city centre to the rest of the Lower Mainland.”

TransLink’s Transport 2050 10-year priorities between 2025 and 2035 call for the implementation of nine BRT routes across the region, with an aim to implement 30% of the overall bus service expansion, including some of the new BRT over the first few years from 2025 to 2027.

Two of the nine BRT routes will directly serve Maple Ridge. The municipal government wants to see at least one of these BRT routes in the first round of implementation.

This includes an upgrade of the existing 2020-launched, east-west R3 RapidBus, which runs along Lougheed Highway between SkyTrain Coquitlam Central Station and Haney Place in Maple Ridge.

According to TransLink statistics, in 2022, the R3 RapidBus saw 811,000 annual boardings and an average of 2,440 boardings per weekday, making it the 72nd busiest bus route in the region and the least busiest of the five existing RapidBus routes.

There would also be a brand new arterial north-south bus route, with a BRT linking Langley City Centre and Haney Place via 200 Street, the Golden Ears Bridge, and Lougheed Highway. Transport 2050’s 10-year priorities call for initiating this route as a RapidBus within the first five years of the plan before later upgrading it to BRT.

Here is a full list of the nine BRT routes:

  • 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 existing RapidBus typology is primarily distinguished as a more frequent, limited-stop, express bus service using fully articulated 60-ft buses, with all-door boarding and special real-time, next-bus digital signs at bus stops. Some degree of bus lanes and other bus priority features, such as queue jumpers, have already been incorporated into the region’s existing RapidBus services.

BRT will expand on the RapidBus typology with 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.

“Our community is the best place to champion the Bus Rapid Transit concept with separated lanes to move citizens from our growing civic centre to the centre of our neighbours in the Tri-Cities and Langley areas,” continued the mayor.

“Transit and growing the density along these routes go together to help create the housing and access that we need in the region. As we work to speed up the efficiency of bus transit service, we are providing more options for people to get around.”

Next month, TransLink’s Mayors’ Council is expected the finalize the list of the first phase of projects under their 10-year priorities.

The municipal government states BRT is part of their “Maple Ridge Moves” campaign of securing funding from the provincial and federal governments for transportation infrastructure projects.

There will also be an enhancement and capacity expansion of Golden Ears Way west of 210 Street to address the current bottleneck, the construction of a new bridge at 240 Street across the South Alouette River to create more direct access to Golden Ears Park and the growing Silver Valley neighbourhood, and a multi-phased expansion of Abernethy Way to serve industrial lands and create a more direct route to Golden Ears Park.

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