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Riding the 531 to Willowbrook

[1]

The #531 sets off toward Willowbrook

This morning marked the launch of the new #531 White Rock/Willowbrook bus route [2], connecting Langley with White Rock. To mark the occasion and experience the trip themselves, three TransLink planners headed out for an early-morning ride along the full route, joining a few transit riders and commuters eager to try out the new route.

Bus bay 9 at White Rock Centre [3]

Bus bay 9 at White Rock Centre

One of those transit riders called the new bus route “awesome” because it probably shaved off at least half an hour from his daily commute, which would normally have required a less direct route and multiple transfers. The route has generated a lot of interest among transit passengers – one of our Facebook followers told us today, “I’m truly grateful, and so is my mom about the new bus in White Rock to Willowbrook Mall.”

The new #531 route was identified by local communities as a key link in the South of Fraser Area Transit Plan [4]. It connects two regional town centres (White Rock Centre and Willowbrook Mall) as well as growing residential areas and business and industrial parks.

The route operates every half hour in each direction, from early morning until mid-evening seven days a week. It serves the busy areas along 24th Avenue at 160th Street and goes by Campbell Heights Business Park, an industrial area in Surrey that’s set to become a popular commuting destination. The 531 even offers service along the busy 200th Street in Langley with several stops along the way from 32nd Avenue to Willowbrook Drive.

Total time from one end to the other? Just 44 minutes.

As for our planners, they enjoyed the ride, had a quick breakfast, hopped on the #502 and then switched over to the Expo Line at King George to head into the office. Richmond to White Rock to Langley to Burnaby all on transit—with only three transfers!

Author: Tina Robinson