TransLink plans to make 22 bus route changes on December 19 in a move prompted by the December 2 launch of the Evergreen Line SkyTrain extension into Port Moody and Coquitlam.
“The Tri-Cities are seeing a big net increase in transit service,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond told reporters outside Coquitlam Central station on December 14.
“What we’re trying to do is utilize the speed and reliability of the rail,” Desmond said. “To the extent to which customers have maybe a one-seat ride on a bus today, we believe that if they have to transfer to the rail, they will still get to their destination faster and more reliably, potentially by quite a bit.”
Some improvements should get transit riders to downtown Vancouver 15 minutes faster from the Tri-Cities than if they were to take a current route.
Two key areas in the Tri-Cities that currently do not have transit service but will get transit service include Burke Mountain and Dominion Triangle.
The biggest change is likely the elimination of the 97 B-Line – a service that accounts for about 10% of bus service in the Tri-Cities.
All bus route cuts that free up buses will enable other routes to get either more frequent service or extended service, Desmond said.
For example, some trips on the 701 bus route will be extended to Mission.
The spine for the new system is the Evergreen Line, which connects seamlessly with the Millennium Line so that riders can get on the train in Coquitlam and travel all the way to the VCC-Clark SkyTrain station, which is a short walk from the Commercial-Broadway station.
The Evergreen Line added six new stations and 11 kilometres of track to the service, and made Vancouver’s SkyTrain network the longest automated transit network in the world.
Desmond urged riders to go to the TransLink website and to use the Trip Planner application.
“Know before you go,” he said.
“If you put in December 19 as your travel date and your origin and destination, your start and finish point will tell you what the new network is.”