Residents of the densely populated 208 Street corridor in Willoughby will be getting bus service — just not yet.
TransLink is creating a new bus route along 208 Street in Willoughby from the Carvolth bus exchange to Langley City.
While the announcement of bus service along the busy and populated road is great news for residents, it isn’t known yet when it will be up and running, said TransLink.
“We anticipate in the next two years the new 595 route on 208 Street will be up and running. Bus stops will have to be put in and we won’t know the frequency of the buses until closer to when it begins,” said Tim Savoie, TransLink VP of planning.
“We are very happy to provide the 595 route based on what we’re hearing from Langley residents.
“We are thrilled to see a bus route being added to the 208 Street corridor,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese in a press release.
“With so many people choosing to make this their home, there is a huge need to give Willoughby residents reliable transit service that will get them to work, school, and allow them go about their daily lives safely and efficiently.”
TransLink regularly surveys the public to identify where tweaks may be required to enhance transit service and last fall, the transportation authority held its largest consultation ever. The public was asked for feedback on 85 service changes proposed across Metro Vancouver and TransLink received 12,000 survey responses.
Of those who participated, 81 per cent supported expanding transit service to 208 Street, noting it will give them direct access to transit, rather than forcing them to drive to the Carvolth Exchange.
Through the service update, the 595 bus will be rerouted to 208 Street instead of 200 Street, where ridership is low. The 501 bus will continue to accommodate customers who travel along 200 Street, so that more customers can be served.
“We heard Langley residents loud and clear,” said Savoie.
Changes are also coming to bus routes in Brookswood, with changes to the 531 bus and rerouting the 501 and 590 into a single route.
The 509 bus from Walnut Grove in Langley will run be rerouted to connect to the Lougheed Station, which will also ease overcrowding on the 555 bus that runs across the Port Mann Bridge from Langley to the Lougheed SkyTrain station.
But all of this is being done without extra funds, said Savoie.
“We are trying to match service with demand with no new funding.”