Carney kids win their bus battle in Port Coquitlam

More resources put to ensure students get picked up

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, the saying goes, and for a group of students at a Port Coquitlam private school, the noise they made got their bus wheels rolling again.

TransLink has boosted service for the 701 bus between Maple Ridge and Coquitlam Central Station after some Archbishop Carney regional secondary school students complained buses missed their stop, leaving them stranded in the cold.
Dasha Pogrebinsky sent a letter and a 40-name petition to TransLink laying out her concerns after repeated calls about missed service were not acted upon.

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"Literally nothing would happen," Pogrebinsky said.

When the bus didn't show up outside their school, the students had to walk along an icy stretch of sidewalk along several blocks to Lougheed Highway to catch the bus at another stop — and when they arrived, it was already full and passed them by.

"Today, I waited at the bus stop in –8 C weather for 50 minutes again. This happens almost every day and it must stop," Pogrebinsky wrote in her letter.

TransLink spokesperson Chris Bryan confirmed the bus service to the stop outside their school — a morning and afternoon detour to Dominion Avenue from Lougheed Highway — was cancelled about eight times and said while disruptions can occasionally happen, "this this is on not the level of service our customers have come to expect — we take it seriously."

An operational issue is to blame for some of the gaps in service, Bryan said, and TransLink will "take measures" to address the problem, he promised. As well, the regional transportation authority will write back to Pogrebinsky explaining the situation.

This week the bus service finally resumed, giving the students much-needed relief, although the bus is still crowded, they managed to cram in.

Carney vice-principal Jo-Anna Nicolato said she is pleased with the efforts of the students to get their voices heard. "They had a legitimate concern and they took an appropriate approach to finding a solution," Nicolato said. "It is to be commended."

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