After enduring months of construction disruptions and traffic congestion on Surrey’s busiest road, daily commuters along Scott Road can now breathe a sigh of relief. A collaborative investment of $33 million from TransLink, the cities of Surrey, and Delta has culminated in the launch of the R6 Scott Road RapidBus.
The R6 Scott Road RapidBus which will run between Scott Road Station and Newton Exchange, aims to reduce travel time by up to ten minutes in each direction thanks to bus speed and reliability enhancements.
The service features fewer stops, all-door boarding, articulated buses with increased capacity, bus priority lanes, and a center-median bus boarding area at Scott Road and 72nd Avenue for quicker boardings and travel times.
There will be improved bus stops with live next-bus digital signage and audio information available for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. These signs will finish installing in the coming months. Temporary bus stop signs are in place in the interim.
The bus has been launched to provide faster and more frequent bus service for residents in Surrey and Delta, along with catering to the transit needs of Kwantlen Polytechnic University students.
Kevin Quinn, CEO of TransLink, highlighted the significant time savings the R6 RapidBus would offer, stating, “The R6 RapidBus will save Surrey and Delta customers up to 20 minutes and provide much-needed relief on the busiest bus route south of the Fraser River.”
Ridership in places like Surrey and Delta is growing faster than any other part of the region and transit services must keep up as Metro Vancouver’s population grows.
TransLink described the R6 as its largest service expansion since 2020 and the sixth RapidBus introduced throughout Metro Vancouver.
Jasmine Kaur Kochar, VP External Affairs, Kwantlen Student Association, said, “In the current scenario where time is so crucial, it becomes more hectic for students to juggle jobs and academics. So this initiative taken is incredible as it would assist students and employers to manage their schedules. As an International Student myself, I know it’s really hard to manage everything parallelly and moreover we tend to rely on public transit. With fewer stops R6 can be really helpful for everyone and can assist in making their lives smooth.”
Community art has been installed throughout the corridors by three local artists. This includes a mosaic for the median centre-island bus boarding area, as well as bus shelter art at the stops located outside of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and at Scott Road and 72nd Avenue.
Street changes have also been implemented to enhance safety. This includes adding new crosswalks, protected left turn lanes, signal improvements, and allowance for making U-turns at selected locations.
Route 319 will continue to run alongside the R6, serving each local bus stop between Newton Exchange and Scott Road Station. The R6 will operate between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. every day of the week, and both the R6 and the 319 will maintain 15-minute service or better all day. During peak hours, the R6 will arrive every seven and a half minutes and the 319 will arrive every ten minutes.
This $33 million investment was delivered jointly by TransLink, the City of Surrey, and the City of Delta. It was paid for through the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision, of which the Government of British Columbia contributed 40 per cent of all capital costs. TransLink plans to upgrade this route to bus rapid transit (BRT) and will continue to alleviate overcrowding through the Access for Everyone ten-year plan, should the plan receive funding.
Brenda Locke, Mayor, City of Surre, said, “With 4 out of 5 of the regions most overcrowded bus routes in Surrey, increased transit service is critical to support continued growth and housing needs in Surrey. I thank TransLink for its investment in the R6 RapidBus to speed up bus service for our community.”