Most of my council colleagues and I just spent the past 90 minutes talking with Translink folks about "service optimization" in Coquitlam. This is the latest step in a months-long process leading up to some significant changes by mid to late 2013.
The biggest sticking point involves service to Burke Mountain. A new direct route linking Coquitlam Centre to the intersection of Coast Meridian and David is being planned. That is good. But concerns were expressed that the service isn't keeping up with the fast pace of growth in the area, and that some better community-bus-type service into the neighbourhoods is needed now.
Apparently, the same general conversation took place at an open house a few weeks ago, and some residents left with the impression that one Translink official had said that if people want front-door service, they should move into existing medium or high density neighbourhoods that are already getting such service, and that they should never expect such service on Burke Mountain. This alleged declaration was repeated at council.
We brought this up at our meeting today, and the official in question issued a mea culpa, saying that his remarks came in the midst of what he considered to be a philosophical discussion, and that he never meant to say that Burke Mountain would never get good transit service.
In fact, as explained by session leader Marisa Espinosa, Translink is working diligently, by way of annual optimization and service performance reviews, to try to keep up with changing and growing population. Apparently, the last time the Tri-Cities area enjoyed an Area Transportation Plan update was 12 years ago. A new one is now in the works, though.
All in all, a good meeting.