It’s been seven months since the Port Mann Express bus #555 was running and North Surrey residents are still left behind – literally.
Initially a stop was promised under the 156 Street underpass as part of the Highway 1 improvements, but nothing was delivered – to the disappointment of all Surrey residents. The reason? Not enough money.
For a solution to this problem I think TransLink should think creatively and use the existing infrastructure they have to bring service to under-served communities. I for one propose two simple solutions that are also free.
One, re-route the existing #555 bus by exiting on 160 Street and taking 108 Avenue and re-entering the highway at 156 Street.
Alternatively, exit the highway at 160 Street, connect at the east Guildford stop and re-enter the highway at 156 Street. This small detour of three to four minutes would greatly increase the reach of the 555 bus and also serve Surrey residents.
The second solution would involve partially re-routing buses, like the #337 Fraser Heights, that currently go down 104 Avenue to connect to Surrey Central SkyTrain Station, to take 156 Street and connect to Braid Station in New Westminster. This is even a simpler solution with no cost.
I think having a growing community like Surrey, with one of the widest bridges in the world in its backyard, not being serviced by public transportation is something that needs to be addressed by TransLink right away.
Perhaps conducting open houses with residents in Surrey regarding re-routing busses that usually use 104 Avenue to use the new Port Mann Bridge is a conversation that needs to happen. The bridge is there and TransLink should start to use it.
I call on all levels of government, TransLink and the City of Surrey to work together and get this done right away.