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Bus service boosted to popular Tri-Cities beaches amid parking crunch

Bus routes to White Pine Beach at Sasamat Lake, as well as the Buntzen Lake Recreational Area will see increased service in the coming weeks in an effort to create social distancing space and get people out of their cars
Parking along Bedwell Bay Road, near Sasamat Lake led the city of Port Moody and village of Belcarra to ban some roadside parking and in Belcarra's case, triple fines. Now Metro Vancouver's is looking for a more permanent solution

TransLink is upping its seasonal bus service to two of the Tri-Cities’ most popular summertime destinations this month in a move to “maximize physical distancing where customers need it most.”

Buses running between Coquitlam Central Station to and from White Pine Beach and Buntzen Lake are among 29 routes across the Lower Mainland that will see a bump in service.

Beginning April 12, Route 150 Coquitlam Central Station/White Pine Beach will see weekend trips run every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Route 179 Coquitlam Central Station/Buntzen Lake, meanwhile, will see a boost in seasonal service starting May 1, with buses running every hour from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Other notable routes to see an increase in service across Metro Vancouver include:

  • Deep Cove (Route 211 Seymour/Phibbs Exchange/Burrard Station)
  • Stanley Park (Route 19 Metrotown Station/Stanley Park)
  • Spanish Banks (Route 42 Alma/Spanish Banks)
  • Lynn Canyon (Route 227 Lynn Valley Centre/Lynn Canyon)
  • Grouse Mountain (Route 236 Grouse Mountain/Lonsdale Quay)

In another move to create more space on buses, service will also be increased along the 187 Coquitlam Central Station/Parkway Boulevard route. Buses will run every 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., and every 15 to 30 minutes from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

TransLink recommends anyone who is looking for more detailed information on the route changes to consult Google’s Trip Planner


The increase in service to the popular beaches, mountains and parkland come amid a surge in demand. 

Last year, for example, Belcarra Regional Park recorded nearly 1.2 million visits, marking a 52% increase over 2019. The winter has done little to dampen park-goers: in January, monthly visits were nearly triple that of 2020. 

That’s led to a spike in traffic to the popular Port Moody area park, prompting Metro Vancouver to roll out a pay-parking program starting April 1. 

The new pay-parking scheme, which will run from April 1 until Sept. 30, will cost park visitors $2 per hour, with no time limit. No parking fees will be charged between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Traffic concerns over the last year mean the portions of Bedwell Bay Road within the city of Port Moody, and the village of Belcarra near Sasamat Lake, will remain no parking zones. 

It should also be noted that there is no public parking anywhere in the village of Belcarra, whereas Anmore has reduced the amount of public parking in its jurisdiction all year long.

For those driving to the Buntzen Lake Recreation Area, bylaw officers will be on-site more often to manage vehicle lineups along Sunnyside Road and to reduce traffic heading north when the parking gates are closed, according to a spokesperson for Metro Vancouver. 

“Vehicles that are parked illegally, blocking gates or emergency routes, or in a way that creates a hazard, including on Sunnyside Road leading to Buntzen Lake, may be ticketed and towed at the owners’ expense,” wrote the spokesperson. 

Parking spaces at Buntzen Lake will be available on a “first-come basis” after gates open at 8 a.m. Once the lots are full, the entrance gates will be closed for the remainder of the day.

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