Surrey pushes for region’s first bus rapid transit route

Surrey wants the region’s first separated bus rapid transit (BRT) route in that city, as the mayor describes the municipality as “overloaded and underserved.”

City council voted to direct its staff to consult with TransLink to “advance” the proposed BRT route, which would run along King George Boulevard from Surrey City Centre to South Surrey.

Mayor Brenda Locke says it’s “all too common” to see huge crowds waiting at transit stops during peak travel times.

“As well as regularly seeing buses that are full to capacity. That is why TransLink should put its first BRT in the region in Surrey,” Locke said in a statement Friday.

The calls come as TransLink continues to expand its RapidBus routes, including the R6 along Scott Road in Surrey and Delta, ahead of choosing its first BRT route within Metro Vancouver.

In its pitch to TransLink, the city says since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ridership in Surrey has “recovered faster than any other city in Metro Vancouver, exceeding pre-pandemic levels.”

“Based on a review of the nine proposed BRT corridors in the region, King George Boulevard has the highest existing population, the highest existing transit ridership, and is the only corridor that can be advanced without coordination between multiple municipalities (as the corridor is solely within the boundaries of the City of Surrey). The City has also recently widened key infrastructure along the corridor, including the Bear Creek Bridge and Nicomekl Bridge (currently under construction).

“These factors support quick implementation of a BRT, which would provide immediate benefits including reduced traffic congestion and increased transit ridership on King George, making it the most favourable option for rapid implementation,” the city said.

TransLink’s proposed BRT routes were approved as part of the transit provider’s 10-year plan, which was released last year.

The plan hopes to construct up to nine new separated rapid bus routes in the region, which TransLink explains can be built “quickly” compared to other rapid transit options like a SkyTrain.

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