Port Mann express bus from Langley to give Surrey a miss

Surrey’s mayor and residents are angry that rapid bus service over the new Port Mann Bridge will not stop in their city, despite the fact they are being hit with the brunt of the tolls and live in the region’s second-largest city.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts compared the absence of a bus stop in her city for a new express bus between Langley and Burnaby to a comedy skit.

“The tolls are being implemented on the Port Mann Bridge, and now you’re not going to put a stop in Surrey?” Watts said, adding that it is “unreasonable” for the rapid bus line to bypass a city of half-a-million people.

“You’ve got the province that built the infrastructure, you’ve got the city (of Surrey) that’s always expected it and you’ve got TransLink saying it was never there. It’s like a Monty Python skit.”

Plans floated by the provincial Ministry of Transportation as part of the Gateway program depict a new transit loop and park-and-ride at the intersection of 156th Street and Highway 1 as part of a rapid bus service between Langley and Lougheed Mall. But there are no plans for that bus, which will start running when the new bridge opens Dec. 1, to stop in Surrey.

Watts said she is continuing to press TransLink and the province for a Surrey stop on the rapid bus line.

“However it gets worked out, we need to have a bus stop and pickup for those residents in that part of the city.”

Watts said that until a few days ago, city engineers were working under the assumption that there would be a stop at 156th and were discussing it with officials from both TransLink and the province.