Mayor wants B-Line bus to run through Pitt Meadows

Suprised that route will follow Lougheed Highway, says John Becker

A B-Line bus route is coming to Maple Ridge next year. (THE NEWS/files)

A B-Line bus route is coming to Maple Ridge next year. (THE NEWS/files)

The B-Line bus line that will start rolling through Maple Ridge in 2019 will go through Pitt Meadows, but not off Lougheed Highway, says TransLink.

“This comes as a surprise to me,” said Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker.

He assumed that a westbound B-Line service would divert down Maple Meadows Way, along Hammond Road and up Harris Road to pick up people at the West Coast Express station there.

“We have yet to have any consultation with TransLink on an alteration to what’s been promised to our community for a number of years now. I’d be surprised and disappointed if that historical arrogance was perpetuated in the current roll out,” Becker said.

TransLink announced Tuesday that the B-Line service will start in late 2019, running from Haney Place Mall in Maple Ridge, stopping somewhere along Lougheed Highway in Pitt Meadows, then on to SkyTrain at Coquitlam Central station.

Exact locations of stops haven’t been determined.

Becker said he supported the proposed half per-cent increase on a provincial sales tax in 2015, based on the premise that the B-Line would improve transit within Pitt Meadows, by connecting with the West Coast Express station.

He added he’ll check with city staff to see if the B-Line route has actually changed.

“At the end of the day, it’s a TransLink decision. It pretends to be consultative. The decision that, once made, will be something our residents have to live with.”

But Becker would be surprised if the city missed the decision not to run the B-Line through Pitt Meadows.

If that’s the case, the city will have to adjust its local transit routes. Becker said it makes sense to connect the B-line to the West Coast Express station.

TransLink said Tuesday that the B-Line will follow the “general Lougheed corridor.” Consultation is continuing with the cities to finalize the exact route and locations for bus stops. It’s also seeking public feedback on the exact route.

But detouring through Pitt Meadows would add 10 minutes to the travel time from Maple Ridge to Coquitlam. Buses would also have to contend with two railway crossings.

“This would impact the reliability of the service with buses having to stop for trains,” TransLink said.

Maple Ridge Coun. Gordy Robson said the B-Line will change the fabric of Maple Ridge and help people get into Vancouver. The city has proposed that a parkade be built at Haney Place bus exchange to serve as a park and ride.

The service will offer 10-minute frequency service during rush hours and 15-minute service during off hours, for 18 hours a day.

Maple Ridge News