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  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2007OTP0151-001241

Oct. 5, 2007

Office of the Premier

Ministry of Transportation

TransLink

 

RAPID BUS SERVICE ON PORT MANN TO BENEFIT 21,600 DAILY

 


VANCOUVER – An agreement signed today between the Province of British Columbia and TransLink will ensure rapid bus service across the Port Mann Bridge, benefiting 21,600 commuters daily.

 

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Premier Gordon Campbell and TransLink chair Malcolm Brodie, outlines the terms for the $180-million cost-sharing project, which is part of a broader vision for rapid transit throughout Greater Vancouver. It will provide reliable, fast, frequent bus service between Burnaby, Coquitlam, Surrey and Langley, with connecting buses to Abbotsford and communities north of the Fraser River via the new Golden Ears Bridge. 

 

“Providing rapid bus service across the Port Mann Bridge for the first time means that commuters can travel all the way from Langley to Coquitlam or Burnaby in less than 25 minutes,” said Campbell. “An effective, efficient transit system is vital to ensure we are able to develop sustainable communities. This agreement is another step towards providing people with an option to get out of their vehicles and to get to and from work quickly, with a reduced impact on the environment.”

 

The new, eight-lane Port Mann Bridge will restore transit service across the bridge, as well as expand networks for high-occupancy vehicles (HOV), cyclists and pedestrians, for the first time ever. The express bus service will be connected directly to HOV lanes and will not mix with general traffic, so travel time for the full trip between Langley and Burnaby will be less than 25 minutes – as fast, or faster, than by car.

 

“Bringing transit back to Highway 1 after 20 years will be a significant improvement to our rapid transit network, providing quality service that will give thousands of people an effective and efficient public transit option for their commute,” said Brodie. “An express bus service will establish transit’s presence along this corridor, which leaves the way open for future rail options depending on growth and development in the south-of-Fraser region.”

 

Government is contributing $150 million, and TransLink is contributing $30 million for buses and facilities needed for the project, which will include: 

o       Initially, 20 buses, providing 10- to 15-minute frequency during rush hours (increasing over time as ridership increases).

o       A transit-only priority two-way access ramp to/from the median HOV lanes via Government Street, for access to Lougheed Town Centre Station in Burnaby.

o       Median on/off ramps for HOV and buses at the 156th Street interchange in Surrey.

o       A transit loop either within or in the vicinity of the 156th Street interchange in Surrey.

o       Median on/off ramps for HOVs and express buses in the vicinity of 200th Street to 204th Street in Langley.

o       A transit loop in the vicinity of the 200th Street interchange in Langley.

o       A minimum of 1,000 park-and-ride spaces south of the Fraser River.

 

The announcement reinforces the Province’s commitment to improving quality of life for all British Columbians – economically, environmentally and socially. Rapid bus service over the new Port Mann Bridge is an important part of the Province’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020, to 10 per cent below 1990 levels.

 

The new express bus service will be an integrated component of the overall transportation network, with connections to SkyTrain, West Coast Express, other bus routes via transit hubs and loops, and new park-and-ride facilities. A map showing these linkages is at www.gatewayprogram.bc.ca online.

 

Last week, Premier Campbell announced $50 million this year to purchase new, clean buses and expand public transit service across the province.

 

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To view an artist's rendering of rapid bus service across the Port Mann Bridge, visit www.th.gov.bc.ca/gateway/transit/artists_rendering.jpg

 


 2 backgrounder(s) attached.

 

 

Media

contact:

Mike Morton

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

250 213-8218

 

Ken Hardie

TransLink

604 220-2450

 

 

Jeff Knight

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Transportation

250 356-7707

 

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.