Cloverdale needs more transit options, writes columnist Frank Bucholtz. (Black Press Media file)

BUCHOLTZ: Cloverdale leaders need to advocate for more transit solutions

Ridesharing suggestion is good, but organizations such as the Cloverdale BIA need to do more

The Cloverdale Business Improvement Association makes a compelling case for ridesharing — it would give residents of the area a viable alternative to what has to be characterized as poor transit service.

Executive director Paul Orazietti says transit service is “woefully inadequate and the future does not look promising.” The BIA believes Uber and Lyft are good options to improve the ability of people to get to and from Cloverdale.

Regular bus service came to Cloverdale when the NDP government of Dave Barrett expanded B.C. Hydro’s transit service area to include Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley in the early 1970s. At that time, two bus routes served Cloverdale – the 320 to Guildford, Whalley and New Westminster and the 640 to Delta and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Both originated in Langley City.

Fast forward 46 years or so. Cloverdale has grown greatly. Areas which were rural are filled with housing — in West Cloverdale, south of Highway 10, north of 64 Avenue, in Clayton (which has almost become a self-contained town centre) and in almost all the once-rural areas between 184 Street and the Langley border.

With the exception of transit service along Fraser Highway, which serves Clayton and a portion of North Cloverdale quite well, there has been almost no change to bus service. The 320 still operates, usually on a 15-minute schedule. Another bus runs along 64 Avenue, and there are a couple of infrequent community shuttle bus routes.

While SkyTrain is proposed for the Fraser Highway corridor, it won’t come any closer to Cloverdale than Fry’s Corner (Fraser Highway and 176 Street). Residents of Cloverdale who rely on bus service won’t see much in the way of improvements.

Where the Cloverdale bus service really falters is in off-peak hours. In the evening, it is barely possible to go to and from Cloverdale by bus. Weekends aren’t too much better. This is despite the fact that the fairgrounds and casino complex attract a lot of people to Cloverdale for many different events.

A number of community events in the downtown area are also hard to get to, unless you have a car. The newly-renovated Museum of Surrey, the largest Remembrance Day event in Surrey and many shopping opportunities are all very hard to access if a car isn’t available.

A significant number of people in Cloverdale do not have cars — particularly in the core downtown area. New multi-family housing projects are attracting more people to the downtown area, but it will be hard for them to use transit to get to and from work. This makes Cloverdale a less attractive place to live, as many people rely on transit to get to their jobs.

Ridesharing is one of the solutions, but it is not enough. Community leaders and organizations such as the BIA need to press Surrey council, the Mayors’ Council and TransLink to make significant improvements to transit service in Cloverdale. There needs to be a dedicated shuttle bus to SkyTrain when the line opens. The 320 needs to run more often, and later at night. More community shuttle routes are needed to penetrate various Cloverdale neighbourhoods.

Cloverdale residents all pay taxes to support TransLink, and there are enough of them that improved transit service is a necessity.

Frank Bucholtz writes weekly for the Cloverdale Reporter, as well as at frankbucholtz.blogspot.ca.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Teens charged in stabbing death of South Surrey man at shopping mall

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of Paul Prestbakmo

Surrey family donates $125K to hospital’s children’s centre, with a 55-day fundraising campaign

Bob Hans says the initiative is meant to coincide with the 550th birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak

Cloverdale-Langley City candidate attended event with blackface characters

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

WestCoast Big Band Festival on the move from Surrey to Vancouver

‘It’s time for our festival to go to the next level,’ organizer says of mid-November event

‘Spooktacular Newton’ to close down part of 137th Street this year

Train rides, face-painting, dancers and more at annual Halloween event hosted by Newton BIA

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Human case of West Nile virus reported on Vancouver Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control confirmed case reported in August

Forestry watchdog warned B.C. government about Bamfield Road in 2008

Ombusman’s specific concerns re-surface in wake of bus crash that killed two students

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

Murder charges laid after body pulled from Fraser River ID’ed as missing man

Accused also face one count each of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

Unionized workers launch ‘open-ended strike’ at three Vancouver hotels

Workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront walked out

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

Most Read