IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Dec. 16, 2015 – Surrey, BC
SkyTrain for Surrey has called for the cancellation of the Surrey Light Rail Transit (LRT) project in favour of a SkyTrain extension on Fraser Highway, appealing to both TransLink and the provincial government and calling for an immediate switch from the proposed Light Rail to SkyTrain. A new video (above) outlining our organization's vision for SkyTrain has been released on our social media platforms.
Campaign chair Daryl Dela Cruz presented to the TransLink Board of Directors, which included the Mayor of the City of Surrey, at the public meeting on December 9th, highlighting major LRT issues that were not addressed by the City of Surrey and the reasons to proceed with a SkyTrain switch. In addition, a letter has been sent to TransLink Minister Peter Fassbender.
Daryl Dela Cruz, campaign chair, said:
"A slow, street-level LRT with more stops and few time-savings will not attract high ridership. It would fall short in every aspect where SkyTrain has found success. There would be fewer customers, slower growth around transit, more suburban sprawl and more congestion."
The previous Surrey Rapid Transit Study analysis concluded that a SkyTrain + Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) combination option would bring the most ridership and the most quantifiable benefits, at the same cost as currently-proposed Light Rail in Surrey and with lower operating debts over the long-term. This proposal has been integrated as part of our organization's vision for Surrey, which specify a SkyTrain extension on Fraser Highway and BRT instead of LRT on the "L-Line corridor" (King George Blvd. and 104 Ave).
This alternative would benefit South-of-Fraser cities by offering faster and more reliable service, more capacity for future growth, higher ridership, and lower operating deficits. Extending SkyTrain would create the most travel time benefits, with a travel time of 18 minutes from Langley to the existing terminus at King George Station, and less than 60 minutes to Waterfront Station in Downtown Vancouver, with no transfers to existing SkyTrain. BRT on the L-Line corridor would enable through service to other corridors, less transfers, flexible routing and an ability to detour in case of road closures and accidents.
There would be less property acquisition, less construction inconveniences on the L-Line corridor, no loss of existing traffic lanes, no interruptions from road accidents and vehicle-train collisions, and less impact on Green Timbers Urban Forest.
It would cost the same to build (approximately $2.2 billion) as the current LRT proposal and cost less to operate ($6 million vs. $22 million, adjusted for fare revenues) over the long term. From the projections in the Surrey Rapid Transit Study, the new SkyTrain line would see 86,000 riders on opening day - 72% busier than an on-street LRT. The total opening day ridership including the L-Line BRT would be 128,000 riders.
The text of our campaign chair's presentation to TransLink (left) as well as our letter to Minister Peter Fassbender (right) are attached below:
About SkyTrain for Surrey
SkyTrain for Surrey is a local grassroots organization calling for a SkyTrain and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network instead of the currently-proposed on-street Light Rail system in Surrey.
Our campaign directors: Daryl Dela Cruz (Surrey, chair), Benedic Dasalla (Surrey), Jacky Au (Surrey), Spencer Whitney (Langley)
For further information
Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Chair, Phone: +1 604 329 3529, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org