Yesterday was a big day for the Surrey Transit Centre. It was the commemorating ceremony for two new facilities that will greatly upgrade and benefit transit operations in Surrey. I attended the event as an excuse to see the new digs and the centre itself.
The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec; Dave S. Hayer, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Surrey-Tynehead, and Doug Kelsey, TransLink’s Chief Operating Officer joined Coast Mountain Bus Company employees, reporters and bloggers to officially open the newly expanded centre. The Federal and Provincial government provided $4.6 million dollars while TransLink paid for the remainder of the $12.7 million upgrade project.
New refueling facility
To start off the event, a bus drove through a ribbon of paper in the new refueling facility. The fueling facility can fill up to three buses at a time including 60-foot buses. One of the plans for the future of transit in Surrey is the King George B-Line, which would require 60-foot articulated buses. This new facility will allow for longer buses in Surrey as there would be a place to service them.
State-of-the-art bus wash facility
I spoke with Justin Pedley, Project Manager of Project Management for the Engineering & Project Services Group with TransLink, about the new wash facility. He told me that at the end of every day, each bus in Surrey gets washed. Justin went on to say,
“The old wash facility could only clean standard buses. With the new facility, you cannot only clean community shuttles but articulated buses as well. It has sensors that change the width of the wash to suit the bus, so it’s very versatile. As well, it reclaims 80 per cent of the water it uses. It continuously reclaims water… Water gets washed, it goes through a system that filters out the hard particles, cleans it a little bit, then sends it back out to be washed.”
Expanded and improved bus maintenance facility
Like the other two building, this facility is equipped to handle larger buses and has specialized tools, including new hoists, to accommodate them.
Before the upgrades, the Surrey Transit Centre could house and work on 187, 40-foot buses. Now, with the new upgrades, the facility can handle 300 buses. With Surrey set to eclipse the population of Vancouver by 2040, these upgrades will help deal with the increase in transit demand in the future.
Here’s some more info on the upgrades if you’re interested. Having only had a short visit at the centre, I think I’ll return for a proper one. If any you would also like to get a tour of the facility, I’m game to setting a date and a time in the future to do so!