Marine-Main R2 RapidBus Upgrades

Latest Construction Update

The majority of work is now complete and the new bus and bike lanes are open. Minor construction activity will continue as finishing touches are completed throughout the corridor.

We’re partnering with TransLink to make upgrades to a section of the eastbound R2 Marine-Main RapidBus corridor. This work will improve bus speed and reliability along East 3rd Street and Cotton Road by extending the eastbound transit priority lane between Queensbury and Gladstone. 

Currently, the transit lane ends at Queensbury, requiring buses to merge into the general travel lane until Gladstone. As a result, this segment experiences the greatest delay along the R2 corridor, resulting in slow, unreliable service and over 320,000 minutes per year sitting idle in traffic. These upgrades will greatly improve transit travel times and provide a more reliable experience for the 40,000 transit customers who travel along this corridor each month. This project also provides an opportunity to make improvements for pedestrians and cyclists along the corridor, including a separated eastbound mobility lane on Cotton Road.

mobility laneOverall construction activities include:

  • Removing and rebuilding new concrete medians
  • Relocating traffic signal poles and light poles
  • Removing and adding new paint lines
  • Removing three trees at the southeast corner of Cotton Road and Gladstone
  • Transplanting five trees east of Heywood Street to a new location
  • Asphalt paving

  •  new rapid bus project area

What to expect during construction

Construction is expected to start in July 2023 and take approximately six months to complete. 

We anticipate moderate traffic impacts throughout the corridor and will make every effort to minimize disruption to local residents, businesses and people traveling through this area. To help ease traffic impacts, the construction schedule will be modified to include earlier work hours of 6am – 3pm, allowing us to end construction activities before the afternoon rush. We will also do some overnight work and complete the most intensive work during the summer months, when traffic volumes are lower. 

Signage will be in place and flag personnel will be on site to keep traffic moving and to assist pedestrians and cyclists. On-street parking will be restricted through the work zone.

Throughout the construction schedule, the City is committed to: 

  • Keeping one travel lane in each direction open at all times
  • Maintaining access to Low Level Road, Kennard Avenue and Gladstone Avenue
  • Maintaining access to local businesses
  • Ensuring safe routes for people walking and cycling through the area
  • Proactively managing traffic and noise impacts
  • Providing regular updates throughout construction on progress or any changes to the schedule

How will this project benefit the community?

This transit improvement project will provide faster and more reliable bus service for the 40,000 transit customers that travel along this corridor each month. When service is fast and reliable, it becomes a more competitive and attractive option for people, helping to alleviate overall congestion.

Currently, busses experience a significant delay through this short section, especially during the afternoon rush hour. 

  • A typical trip between Ridgeway and Brooksbank in the eastbound direction takes approximately 3 minutes.
  • Within that same corridor, 50% of the trips can experience a delay of 6 minutes or more.
  • 20% of trips during the week, during afternoon rush hour, can take 9 minutes or more to travel through this short section.


3 min trip6 min delay fifty percent trips9 min delay 20 percent of trips


These delays translate to 320,000 mins/year or more sitting idle in traffic. This variability in trip time impacts the overall reliability and competitiveness of the R2 service. Once complete, the average peak and non-peak travel time will be consistent at 3 minutes. 


320,000 minutes a year riders in traffic3 min trip


Thank you for your cooperation and patience while we complete this important transit improvement project.

View road upgrades

Click the image below to view the full corridor design and road upgrades:


RapidBus design


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are we doing this work now?

This segment experiences the greatest delay along the R2 corridor, resulting in slow, unreliable service and over 5,000 hours per year spent sitting in traffic. We’re also coordinating this work to take place while Phibbs Exchange is undergoing a major upgrade. This allows us to minimize the long-term impacts on congestion in this area. Together, these improvements will dramatically improve the experience of people who take transit on the North Shore.

Why wasn’t this work included as part of the original RapidBus launch in 2020?

This segment was deferred from Phase 1 of the RapidBus program. It required additional modeling efforts and complex detailed design work which would have delayed the overall launch of the RapidBus program on the North Shore.

Will noise be an issue?

We expect construction noise to be similar to that of other construction sites. All construction activities that are typically louder than other work such as milling and paving will take place within the City’s regular noise control bylaw. (7am to 8pm)

Will there be detours in place?

We anticipate that detours will not be required to complete this work. We will keep one travel lane open in each direction at all times along East 3rd Street/Cotton Road and Low Level Road. 

Will there be any closures?

Road closure will not be necessary to complete this work. 

Why are you removing trees?

This corridor is a critical east-west route through the City that supports the movement of people and goods – and there are many space constraints along this corridor. As a result, five maple trees located east of Heywood Street will be transplanted to a nearby area to accommodate a westbound mobility lane. Three poplar trees near Gladstone Avenue will be removed to allow for road widening to accommodate the eastbound transit lane and mobility lane. These trees have been assessed by a certified arborist. They each have begun to reach the end of their natural life cycle for this species and are beginning to decline. 

How will this project be funded?

This project is fully funded by TransLink.

About the Marine-Main R2 RapidBus

The R2 RapidBus is high-capacity express bus service that travels along Marine Drive, 3rd Street, Cotton Road and Main Street, connecting Park Royal and Phibbs Exchange in 10 stops. It operates between 6am – 1am, 7 days a week, and runs every 10 minutes during peak times. There are six stops in the City: Hamilton, Bewicke, Lonsdale Quay, Lonsdale at 3rd, Ridgeway, and Brooksbank.  The route launched in April 2020, as part of TransLink’s RapidBus network and provides faster, more frequent and reliable bus service to more than 40,000 people per month. 

RapidBus Benefits


Benefits of the new RapidBus project: Frequent all day service, fast and reliable, new look and features.


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