Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP) finalized
Restaurant manager Nirav Surani employs many teenagers and young adults at the Tsawwassen Mills mall’s KFC, who travel from communities throughout Metro Vancouver to work there part-time.
The younger ones are enjoying their first work experience, while earning spending money. Others are post-secondary students working to help offset student loans.
While some drive to work, most rely on transit to get to-and-from the mall, or to connect to the mall’s employee shuttle service near SkyTrain’s Scott Road Station.
That’s why it’s welcome news for Nirav that transit, cycling, walking and road infrastructure are set to improve in Richmond, Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation with TransLink’s Southwest Area Transport Plan (SWATP)  finalized.
The plan serves as a blueprint for how we can best allocate our resources over the next decade to improve transit and transportation in the area, including important connections to North Delta.
Most notably for Nirav and his employees, a Tier 1 recommendation in the plan is adding the 601 Bridgeport Station/South Delta/Boundary Bay to the Frequent Transit Network  (FTN). This route is one of three that directly serves the mall.
The FTN are corridors where transit service is frequent enough that customers don’t need to refer to a schedule. They operate at least every 15 minutes in both directions throughout the day and into the evening, every day of the week.
“Definitely, I’m excited that more improvements will be coming,” says Nirav. “It will not only help employees get to the mall, but also the general public. The weekends are always so busy, and I’m sure more people want to come to the mall.”
Tier 1 recommendations in the plan will be advanced first, as funding allows and alongside other regional priorities. The first improvements begin rolling out in September as part of our Fall Service Changes —stay tuned for details!
Other Tier 1 recommendations include:
- Additional frequency on the 301, 311 and 430
- Redesigning both the 401 and 410/C98 routes, each becoming two routes
- Upgrading the 403 and 601 to the Frequent Transit Network
- Expanded employment area coverage for the 104
Visit translink.ca/swatp  to learn more about the Southwest Area Transport Plan!
Also, just last week, the Mayors’ Council and the TransLink Board of Directors approved the $7.3-billion investment plan for Phase Two of the 10-Year Vision . The first of the new service begins rolling out in 2019. Included in Phase Two for the southwest area:
- A new B-Line connecting Richmond to the SkyTrain’s Expo Line
- Extending the 640 from Ladner Exchange to connect with the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
- Extending the hours of service on the 606, 608, N10 and N15
- Reducing wait times on the 301, 401, 402 and 407
- Reducing overcrowding on the 351
A big thanks to the more than 3,200 people who participated in the public engagement on the Southwest Area Transport Plan in spring 2017 , and for those of you who offered feedback on the draft report that was made public in winter 2017 ! We also worked closely with our local government partners in Richmond, Delta and the Tsawwassen First Nation to finalize this plan.
The SWATP is a living document, which means we will continue to work collaboratively with local government partners to stay on track to deliver the recommendations in the plan.
We are committed to reaching out to the public again when addressing changes that are more challenging and would require some trade-offs in benefits.