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Proposed rapid bus route from Richmond to Burnaby sparks city concerns

The potential rapid transit bus would replace the existing 430 bus, but calls for exclusive bus lanes all the way to Burnaby.
The proposed R7 RapidBus route between Richmond city centre and Burnaby Metrotown. City of Richmond photo

A new rapid bus route is being proposed between Richmond and Burnaby, but city staff are not on board with the exclusive bus lanes plans.

TransLink is working on plans for an R7 RapidBus route, which will replace the existing 430 bus in Richmond, connecting city centre and Burnaby-Metrotown.

The R7 will start at the Brighouse bus loop, run along No. 3, Lansdowne and Garden City roads before going along Cambie Road and onto the Knight Street Bridge.

TransLink is suggesting a dedicated bus-only lane for the entire route to Burnaby “with transit stations replacing conventional bus stops” as part of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, according to a city staff report.

While city staff endorses the BRT project, they are concerned existing lanes for vehicle traffic, parking lanes or roadway shoulders converted into exclusive lanes for buses would “increase traffic delays by at least 50 per cent.”

Use HOV lanes instead: City staff

Instead, staff is recommending using HOV lanes as a strategy to improve bus speed and reliability.

“One of the benefits of (an) HOV lane as part of an initial Bus Rapid Transit implementation phase is that it can be monitored over time to assess traffic pattern changes and determine if travel demand along the corridor warrants a dedicated bus lane in the future,” reads the city staff report.

“Staff believe a transit system for Richmond’s arterial roads that packages a suite of transit enhancements will achieve significant travel time savings for buses while balancing the needs of other traffic on the R7 corridor.”

The proposed R7 bus is one of 11 new additional RapidBus routes under TransLink’s Transport 2050’s 10-year priorities between 2025 and 2035.

Richmond councillors will look into the proposal at the upcoming general purposes committee meeting on Monday, Oct. 16.

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