WTS – What the Surrey #32: Bus Service

Comments 9 by Rebecca Bollwitt

I’ve written about the aggravation I have felt trying to catch a bus in Surrey, one that only comes every 45 minutes. I used to have to deal with that every day (during the work week) but somehow it seems even more annoying now that I know the difference in service between regions.

Surrey Central

When I was at Surrey Central last I noticed the service improvements to weekend and holiday schedules so I’ve decided to look up the rest.

314 Sunbury/Scott Road Station/Surrey Central Station
Route revised near Surrey Central Station; service on Old Yale Road and 134A Street discontinued.
323, 324, 325 Surrey Central Station/Newton Exchange
Weekend/holiday service improved to run every 30 minutes along each of the three routes.
329 Surrey Central Station/Scottsdale
Route revised near Surrey Central Station; service on Old Yale Road and 134A Street discontinued.
345 White Rock Centre/King George Station
Monday – Friday service improved to run every 30 minutes, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Also, schedule adjustments will create better service coordination with the improved 375 service.
375 White Rock South/Guildford
Service improved to run every 30 minutes, Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. and weekends/holidays 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Also, schedule adjustments will create better service coordination with the improved 345 service.

Surrey Central

Also of note, Surrey Central bus loop has reassigned its bays so check out the new map on the Translink website before you form a queue for the wrong bus [PDF]

Although these improvements are a step in the right direction I still don’t feel as though commuters are getting fair and frequent service. If I miss a bus on Robson Street I can either wait for the next one in 5 minutes or simply walk to my destination downtown. If I miss one at Surrey Central it would take me hours to get where I need to go or 30-90 minutes for another bus. Given that there are pretty much as many people living in Whalley as the downtown core of Vancouver (roughly 80,000 each), this just doesn’t seem balanced to me.

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9 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. RodFriday, September 5th, 2008 — 8:17am PDT

    It’s not balanced at all, although I think that there are some people who’ve lived in the city of Vancouver (or the downtown core) for so long, that they think that the bus service in the suburbs is the same as it is in Vancouver proper.

    Where I’m located is certainly better than it used to be (roughly every 15 minutes pretty much throughout the day), but the community buses run a lot less frequently than that, so unless your start and end points are along the main bus route, you’ve still got a longer wait than you should have.

  2. CandiceFriday, September 5th, 2008 — 9:25am PDT

    this is the 2nd time in the last so many months that the bus loop has been reassigned. its a joke – the first time – no notice it was going to happen – just QUICK where’s my bus now and running around trying to make the bus. Service in Surrey sucks – i take the bus daily – not even the same bus everyday – depends if i miss my normal bus – then i have to run a few blocks to try and get the other one in time.

    i don’t live in south surrey – but they are definately lacking service there – Geoff & I were considering moving out that way – but there is no service there – so tossed that idea. Translink REALLY needs to step it up considering how big Surrey has gotten over the years.

    though i must say – i love their text service now – one can text the bus stop number (on top of the bus stop sign) to ‘33333’ and u get a text back of the next 6 busses…. love it.. now if the busses actually showed or came on time!

  3. Miss604Friday, September 5th, 2008 — 9:30am PDT

    Yeah I wish they could magically tap into GPS on the buses themselves and let you know how far away the next one is. I could even do that from home and know how much time have to get down to the stop hehe.

  4. Keith ReztonFriday, September 5th, 2008 — 9:51am PDT

    I think it is simply a matter of economics and density. Think of how many buses they would need to put in service to cover the vast expanse of the Vancouver suburbs. I’m guessing hundreds, maybe thousands of additional buses. With the initial cost, maintenance, additional drivers, we’re talking tens of millions of dollars per year. This money would have to be generated somewhere and I’m sure it would come from steeply increased transit fees and/or property tax increases. This never sits well with people as it affects their bottom line. Although I do not live in Surrey, nor do I ever take transit, I think the current system seems reasonable as long as they post accurate and detailed schedules whilst keeping the system affordable for most.

  5. ColleenFriday, September 5th, 2008 — 9:57am PDT

    I can walk to coquitlam center in about 50 minutes from my house. If I took the transit from nearest my house it would take two different buses and ~ 55 minutes. If I walk 20 minutes out to the highway, I can get to coquitlam center in about 35-40 minutes. Both transit options are if you get good connection times. Drive time ~ 5-10 minutes (if no accidents are tying up the bridges in POCO.

    Transit will not take place of the Car anytime soon.

  6. ColleenFriday, September 5th, 2008 — 10:03am PDT

    @Keith Rezton

    I am not to upset with the transit situation, its just that I have been labeled by somepeople I know as scum from driving a Single occupancy vehicle. I car pool to work, and try to limit the trips I make, but still I am scum for not spending a huge amount of my day on transit. Hell I use to bike to work, but the danger/ stupidity factor of crossing the Pitt River bridge right now is crazy.

    I bought a bus pass for July, used it three times, before I suffered heat exhaustion after waiting for the bus (55 minutes late) in a gravel feild with no shade in 35′ weather.

    The Car is my only option.

  7. Urban DwellerFriday, September 5th, 2008 — 11:00am PDT

    I think its unfair to compare Whalley to Downtown Vancouver in terms of population alone as the day time populations are far different. Also it’s the economical, tourist, sports and arts hub of our region. The next hub is the Broadway corridor which is the houses the 3rd largest concentration of jobs in Western Canada after Downtown Cowtown and Vancouver.

    That being said. Translink does need to improve service to the regions south of the Fraser so commuters have more options. Good post.

  8. RobFriday, September 5th, 2008 — 12:37pm PDT

    I personally think that they could take a good look at the Skytrain too. This morning from Scott Road Station, the train was absolutely packed with people, and that’s at the far end of the line. There are an awful lot of grouchy people to cuddle up to in my morning commute.

    Yet the thing that’s most problematic for me is the lack of post-rush hour service during the week. I’ve learned that going out with my colleagues for a pint after work also means taking a Skytrain to 22nd Street Station where there are no washrooms, is no shelter from cruddy weather, and where I am guaranteed to wait a (scheduled )45 minutes for a bus with absolutely nowhere to go to kill the time, seeing as 22nd street station is the most arbitrarily placed station in the whole world. Apparently no one in Surrey/North Delta works downtown and goes out for a pint with their colleagues, and if they do, they are not disparate for a pee by the time they reach friggin’ 22nd street station.

    As it happens, I’m not in the pub that much after work, being as I am a North Delta resident on a curfew. I suppose I owe Translink a word of thanks for helping me to avoid the extra calories.

  9. RobSaturday, September 6th, 2008 — 12:11pm PDT

    Rob, know exactly what you mean, being a 22nd street bus riding North Delta resident myself. However, I’m also a university student (for 1 more semester) and every now and then there comes a time that I wouldn’t mind staying out a little bit late on the weekend.. until I realize that it’s 5 after midnight and I won’t make it to the station on time to catch the bus. That said, the bus is not often packed in the evenings, so I guess it’s back to that problem of does more service = more use?

    And to Keith, perhaps try living in Surrey and taking transit and see if you have the same opinion. If I want to get to my church in cloverdale via transit, it would take quite literally 2 hours and 3 or 4 bus transfers, if everything is on time. That is compared to a 25 minute drive. To get to my sisters place in Langley, the fastest route is to bus out to 22nd street station, to train back in to surrey central and bus down fraser highway… I’m sure that makes sense in some crazy alternate universe, but not this one.

    Thankfully there are some groups making some progress on viable transportation options south of the fraser. If anyone is interested, feel free to visit http://www.sfot.info

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