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Today: open house for #531 and #399 routes at Semiahmoo Mall

There’s an open house today at Semiahmoo Mall, asking for feedback on two new routes for Surrey, White Rock, and Langley!

The open house is being held until the mall closes at 9pm tonight, and will show service concepts for the proposed #531 White Rock/Langley and the #399 King George Highway/104th B-Line service. Everyone is invited to come down and offer input on the routes.

Also, if you’re interested, Surrey blogger Paul Hillsdon attended an earlier open house on the routes and wrote about many of the details on his blog.

(And so, so sorry for the lateness on this one—I just found out about it today!)


  • By Eugene Wong, May 7, 2009 @ 3:25 pm

    Paul said that it’s not an actual B-Line service. I’m okay with that. I think that they shouldn’t make B-Line service right now. Just give us the bus frequency, please. That’s all I care about. They should call it the #390, instead of the #399. If it’s not a B-Line, then please stay away from ?99! Jhenifer, please pass on my suggestion. I don’t know how to contact the people in charge of this, & I can’t make it out. I’m tired today.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 7, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    Definitely — I’ll pass it along.

  • By Andrew Joyce, May 7, 2009 @ 7:53 pm

    King George Hwy is route 99A so 399 makes sense to me.

  • By Dain, May 7, 2009 @ 8:48 pm

    Andrew: Ditto.

  • By CJ Stebbing, May 8, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    I would agree that the 399 needs a new number. It doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue (sort of speak.)

    Jhenifer, when you go to the ppl about the 399, can you also tell them that there should be a name change on the 531. I think that if its gonna be a community shuttle, then it slould start with a C, like all (except for the 609) of them are. Can’t they use any of the numbers from C54 to C59….that’s all the numbers for the WE area anyway:p

  • By Andrew Joyce, May 8, 2009 @ 10:33 am

    The reason why they aren’t using a C** route number is because they plan to use bigger buses once ridership picks up. I think bus routes should be numbered based on what road they take for most of the route where possible. Anybody know what route the proposed 531 is supposed to take yet?

  • By Eugene Wong, May 8, 2009 @ 11:22 am

    I agree with Andrew Joyce that the number should reflect the location of the route. That being said, buses have never been numbered according to highways, as far as I can tell. The #?99 format has been used, customarily for the B-Line services. So #599, should be a Langley B-Line, & #499 should be a Richmond B-Line.

    Jhenifer, thanks! I feel better after a lot of sleep. Now, I feel bad for bothering you! :^D Sorry.

  • By nname, May 8, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    I think they should get rid of the C** designations all together and use the 3-digit route numbering for all routes. It creates more flexibility as they can convert some less busy routes to community shuttles late night, or even create new service using community shuttles on routes that currently stop running at 8 or 10pm. On the other hand, they can use conventional buses on busier community shuttle routes during peak hours. Right now, its quite common to see a group of 3 or 4 shuttles traveling up Pinetree Way – all with the “Sorry, Bus Full” sign on.

  • By C.Cassidy, May 8, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    531 Langley-White Rock Ctr.
    There are two options for the route. Terminate it at Willowbrook Mall or Langley Ctr.

    From White Rock the bus will take 152nd, 24th, 192nd, 32nd, 200th and then down into Willowbrook Mall or Langley Ctr.

  • By Eugene Wong, May 9, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

    I agree with nname. I think that I grumbled & complained about this on the Buzzer Blog already. Just in case I didn’t, here it comes again.

    I think that the C?? numbering schemes make no sense. It’s hard to memorize where the buses come from or where they are going. As long I can remember the first digit of a normal bus, then I’m okay. The C?? number scheme seems so arbitrary. I haven’t memorized a single community shuttle route number after all these years.

    The “C” tells us absolutely nothing. If I’m waiting at a stop to go from point A to B, then I’m not going to pass up a regular bus just to ride in a community shuttle. It all depends on where the bus is going & how long it takes to get there.

    I’m quite happy, at the time of typing this, so I’m not in the mood to be blunt, but I think that I might have to be frank. The poor quality numbering scheme implies to me that the company is out of touch with passengers. In Surrey, there are so few routes as it is. Even when there are alternate routes, both buses leave and/or arrive at the same approximate time, which makes the alternate route absolutely useless. Even when there is a new bus route [e.g. #388], there are no bus stops in residential areas for 3 miles! Wow. So, with so few routes, and so few choices, how would putting a letter “C” in front of an arbritrary number make a difference? With Night Bus, the “N” is very helpful. I appreciate seeing that, and knowing that the number reflects where it is going.

    I agree with what nname said about using each bus on other routes, depending on the demand. That’s a wonderful idea.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 11, 2009 @ 11:51 am

    Hi guys,

    Just wanted to mention that there aren’t current plans to change the community shuttle numbering right now, but the debate you’re engaged in is definitely interesting and certainly valid — I know of people at TransLink who hold strong opinions about the community shuttle numbering and whether it should have a C or not!

    So, in the meantime, I would suggest that you also send your thoughts to our Customer Relations, where it will be formally tracked and logged and sent to the right department so they’re aware that this is a customer issue. Having it in our formal customer feedback database lets us keep track of this whole debate, and will make sure your comments are aggregated and are easy to retrieve!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 11, 2009 @ 11:55 am

    Oh, btw, one more thing. Mixing community shuttle and conventional buses on a route is not actually as simple as it sounds! I wrote a similar response on a post at Paul Hillsdon’s blog, but essentially the gist is that there are just some processes we must follow to make the vehicles available for routes, and to get community shuttle and regular transit operators lined up to drive the route. (Community shuttle drivers and regular transit operators have two different licensing classifications, so the operators can’t just be interchanged.) For example, for the C74 shuttle/regular bus arrangement, it actually took a year to get that vehicle lineup sorted out and in place.

  • By Eugene Wong, May 11, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

    ***begin quote***

    Thanks for taking time to create the shuttle bus service. I remember being told that it saves you guys money, so I really appreciate that.

    My complaint is about the community shuttle bus route numbering system that you use. I find it very confusing. I, with all respect, request that you please change the route numbers back to what they used to be.

    For example, #C76 used to be called the #318. I still remember the route number, “318”, but I had to go to the web site & search around for the “C76”. It’s much easier for me to remember the “318”, because it starts with the “3”, just as all Surrey & North Delta numbers do. I just looked over the community shuttle bus numbers right now, and only now, after all these years, am I beginning to realize that the Surrey routes begin with the “7”. That’s helpful, but it still upsets me, because that just gives me more information to memorize. If it were changed back to the #318, then things would be easier.

    Not memorizing the route numbers can probably create a sense of insecurity. How would you feel if the government told you that you couldn’t call “that room” your “kitchen” anymore? How would you feel if you had to call it by a bunch of random punctuation marks, such as “%$@!@&&@!#$#$@$#@&*&@!#!&*”? It would be very confusing.

    I politely plead with you, please change the numbers back.

    That being said, please leave the NightBus service the way that it is now. The “N”, in the NightBus route number, provides information, but the “C”, in the Community Shuttle Bus, doesn’t.

    Thanks for taking time to read this.

    Sincerely, and with thanks,
    Eugene T.S. Wong

    ***end quote***

  • By Eugene Wong, May 11, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

    I forgot to mention in the above post, that I sent off a letter to customer service as Jhenifer suggested. The above post is a quote of what I sent.

    Since we are on the topic, I decided to send off another shorter letter.

    ***begin quote***

    Thanks for providing the B-Line service. I think that it is great.

    In case you decide to revise the route numbering for the entire system, I suggest that you rename the #97 to something like #199.

    The #97 is a Vancouver number.

    If you change this number, then you wouldn’t have to change the routing. It’s just changing the numbers to make it more consistent with the current schemes.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Sincerely, and with thanks,
    Eugene T.S. Wong

    ***end quote***

    I sent off another letter. Here it is.

    ***begin quote***

    Jhenifer seems to work so hard on the Buzzer Blog. I’m very impressed with all the effort that she puts into getting real answers. Thanks!

    If you were to give her an extra assistant, then maybe somebody from customer service would be helpful. I don’t know if she enjoys tracking down all these answers. If she wants to concentrate on the editing of the Buzzer & writing the Buzzer Blog, then maybe somebody from cutomer service could track down the answers.

    Thanks for taking time to read this. Take care.

    Sincerely, and with thanks,
    Eugene T.S. Wong

    ***end quote***

  • By CJ Stebbing, May 13, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

    I like the C for the community shuttle because it tells you what type of bus is coming to your stop. Plus it didn’t tale me long to memorize the numbering systen that our buses go by. Its scary, but true….:p

  • By Eugene Wong, May 14, 2009 @ 6:35 am

    Why do you need the “C” when you can see the type of bus that it is? The shape of the bus should already tell you what you need to know. The routing name should also tell you what you need to know. The routing number should also tell you what you need to know.

    I don’t understand.

  • By Linda Roggeveen, May 14, 2009 @ 2:04 pm

    I am so thrilled to hear that there will be a bus going along 24th Avenue into White Rock Centre. Is there any word as to when the first bus will be going west on 24th in the morning during the work week?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 15, 2009 @ 8:50 am

    Hi Linda,

    The 531 has a proposed start of December 2009. As for what time it will start in the morning, here’s the proposed schedule design that was presented at the open houses:

    Monday-Friday – 30 minutes 6:00am to 9:00pm
    Saturday – 30 minutes 6:00am to 9:00pm
    Sunday/holidays – 30 minutes 6:00am to 9:00pm

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