People don't move faster with proposed Light Rail Transit in Surrey. It's just 1 minute faster than the current 96 B-Line.

Voters misled on Light Rail ridership, benefits

IMMEDIATE RELASE – Surrey, BC

We’re at odds with Linda Hepner’s erroneous claim that Light Rail in Surrey “will take 200,000 people out of their vehicles.”

At a recent all-candidates debate, Surrey First mayoral candidate Linda Hepner told voters that Light Rail “will take 200,000 people out of their vehicles” – a statement that has been featured on the Surrey First party’s Twitter page.

This is at odds with the City of Surrey’s own estimates, projecting daily LRT system ridership in 2041 at 166,000. Only a portion of that will be coming from drivers, as a portion of that will be coming from previous users of current bus routes.

“This makes no sense at all. It shows yet again that Light Rail supporters don’t do their homework and have no sense in what transit solutions Surrey needs,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a prominent Surrey transportation advocate and the campaign manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit.

Surrey First: "Light rail will take 200,000 people out of their vehicles" - @lindahepner #surreybc #SryElxn14; @SkyTrain4Surrey - incorrect. The official ridership prediction is 160000. 200k+ with SkyTrain #misleading #LRTReality

“Light Rail supporters don’t do their homework and have no sense in what transit solutions Surrey needs”
– Daryl Dela Cruz – SkyTrain for Surrey

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) has raised several issues with the LRT proposal backed by incumbent Surrey First candidates. The proposed Phase I LRT – with a 25-min. travel time between Newton and Guildford – saves just 1 minute over the current 96 B-Line.

“A 1-minute faster LRT isn’t going to do a thing in solving Surrey’s extensive transportation problems. I have, for a long time, insisted this proposal is ridiculous,” Daryl says.

We just released a campaign video to communicate LRT proposal issues. This video also promotes our “Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens” vision – a more practical rapid transit vision with SkyTrain and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) instead of LRT, attracting over 200,000 daily riders.

“The city’s plan does not make transit faster, and it does not make transit better.”
- Daryl Dela Cruz, in our campaign video

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For additional info, contact: Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager – Better Surrey Rapid Transit.
Email: daryl@skytrainforsurrey.org
Call: 81-80-3962-9281 or ask for Skype handle
(Note: Daryl is currently out of country; long-distance fees apply)

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Disclaimer: Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) is an ongoing, issues-oriented activism campaign and is NOT an election campaign.

 Below: this advertisement keeps our website up and running. Thank you for your understanding.

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Concept image: Mark III SkyTrain leaves 160th Street Station on Fraser Hwy in Fleetwood.

LATEST NEWS: SkyTrain for Surrey Campaign Video

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) responds to Light Rail Transit (LRT) supporters with the release of a campaign video.

The 2-minute video demands answers from Light Rail supporters and asks stakeholders for help in raising several Light Rail proposal issues. It also challenges candidates in the current municipal election to acknowledge major transit planning issues to stakeholders, and continue to do so after the elections have been held.

Animations outline issues found with LRT, including: lack of travel time savings (just 1 minute end-to-end vs. current 96 B-Line), vulnerability to traffic accidents and service disruptions, and added trouble – especially for seniors and young children – crossing widened streets.

“The city’s plan does not make transit faster, and it does not make transit better,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a prominent Surrey transportation advocate and the campaign manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit, who appears in the video.

The campaign video also promotes the “Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens” rapid transit vision, which advocates a more practical vision for Surrey with SkyTrain and enhanced Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) instead of LRT. It is a major step forward in our continued advocacy for the best transit possible for Surrey.

“The city’s plan does not make transit faster, and it does not make transit better.”
- Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager

***
For additional info, contact: Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager – Better Surrey Rapid Transit.
Email: daryl@skytrainforsurrey.org
Call: 81-80-3962-9281 or ask for Skype handle
(Note: Daryl is currently out of country; long-distance fees apply)

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Disclaimer: Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) is an ongoing, issues-oriented activism campaign and is NOT an election campaign.

Featured photo above: Future Mark III SkyTrain leaves 160th Street Station on Fraser Hwy in Fleetwood.

 Below: this advertisement keeps our website up and running. Thank you for your understanding.

A single accident along a light rail corridor, such as this one in Houstin Texas, could affect transit service along an entire corridor for several hours, until the track is cleared.

LATEST NEWS: LRT proposal a step backwards for Surrey

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) expresses disappointment in a recent election platform announcement by the Surrey First party in favour of Light Rail Transit (LRT).

“LRT would be a giant step backwards for our city,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a prominent Surrey transportation advocate and the campaign manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit.

“I had a City committee, which included Councillors currently running for Surrey First, review a detailed Rapid Transit report revealing numerous flaws in this LRT proposal. If that should say anything to voters, it says that Linda Hepner and her colleagues don’t listen to the stakeholders.”

Surrey First candidates, as Councillors, previously failed to address issues pointed out in the LRT proposal – like what happens to the 96 B-Line during LRT construction. The proposed Phase I LRT – with a 25-min. travel time between Newton and Guildford – saves just 1 minute over the current 96 B-Line, and will considerably disrupt 96 service, increasing travel times, during construction.

Among other issues pointed out, LRT is very prone to traffic accidents and associated service disruptions – and makes streets wider and more difficult to cross for seniors and young children.

“LRT would be a giant step backwards for our city.”
– Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager

Our 16-page “Rapid Transit Vision” report, which was sent to the city’s Transportation Committee for review last month, detailed and advocated a more practical vision with SkyTrain and enhanced Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) instead of LRT. This vision also points out LRT issues and is available on our website at skytrainforsurrey.org/vision.

We are continuing to expand campaigning efforts this elections, and are working hard to advocate the best and most practical transit for Surrey.

***
For additional info, contact: Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager – Better Surrey Rapid Transit.
Email: daryl@skytrainforsurrey.org
Call: 81-80-3962-9281 or ask for Skype handle
(Note: Daryl is currently out of country; long-distance fees apply)

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Featured photo above: On-street LRTs are vulnerable to accidents like this one, which disrupt other trains and passengers behind it.

 Below: this advertisement keeps our website up and running. Thank you for your understanding.

CONCEPT: A Mark III SkyTrain enters 160 St-Fleetwood Station on an extended Expo Line.

LATEST NEWS: Discussion on LRT, Rapid Transit issues urged

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

Election candidates are being urged by campaigners to raise Light Rail and Rapid Transit issues during the Surrey municipal elections.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) is concerned about the silence in discussion of Surrey transportation issues during the current municipal elections, and is urging campaigners to inform stakeholders on the issues of the city’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) proposal. The campaign, headed by popular Surrey transportation advocate Daryl Dela Cruz, is expanding its efforts for the municipal elections.

“The $2.44 billion Light Rail vision hurts the entire city, because it starves our city-wide bus system from receiving the funds it will need to expand in frequency and extent. To put it shortly, if we don’t stop this Light Rail vision, it might just stop us from receiving any more transit improvements,” Daryl says in a letter sent to each individual Council and Mayoral candidate (SEE BELOW TO VIEW LETTERS).

As part of Better Surrey Rapid Transit, Daryl has previously raised issues of a faulty Surrey Light Rail proposal and has worked hard to inform citizens of hidden and downplayed LRT project shortfalls. The campaign’s 16-page “Rapid Transit Vision” report, which was sent to the city’s Transportation Committee for review last month, advocates for a more practical vision with SkyTrain and enhanced Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) instead of LRT. The report’s segments point out a number of serious flaws in the current LRT proposal.

This rapid transit vision and the recent letters sent to candidates can be viewed on the campaign website here at skytrainforsurrey.org.

***
For additional info, contact: Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager – Better Surrey Rapid Transit.
Email: daryl@skytrainforsurrey.org
Call: 81-80-3962-9281 (Note: Daryl is currently out of country; long-distance fees apply)

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 Below: this advertisement keeps our website up and running. Thank you for your understanding.

A single accident along a light rail corridor, such as this one in Houstin Texas, could affect transit service along an entire corridor for several hours, until the track is cleared.

LATEST NEWS: Worse reliability found on At-Grade Rail systems

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 23rd July, 2014

At-Grade Rail systems, like the Light Rail Transit (LRT) proposed in the City of Surrey, are more vulnerable than SkyTrain in experiencing large service issues like the two issues with SkyTrain seen in the past week.

Three weeks ago, riders and news agencies were describing a major service disruption on the Portland, Oregon MAX LRT system as a “service meltdown”.

This was similar in nature to Monday’s SkyTrain incident, completely halting train service on the Yellow and Green LRT Lines and intermittently disrupting Red and Blue Line service. Portland’s transit authority and media reported that it took more than 7 hours to fix the problems and return normal service to all lines, during which passengers needed to be ferried around with shuttle buses and faced significant delays during the morning rush hour.

The June 30th meltdown was one of more than 6 service disruption incidents in the past three weeks on Portland’s MAX LRT, with delays to passengers exceeding 30 minutes, and the second “service meltdown” in 3 months.

On-time performance chart

“SkyTrain is one of the most reliable rapid transit systems in the world – which is part of why I want to see more of it in Surrey,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, lead campaigner for Better Surrey Rapid Transit. “At-grade rail systems, on the other hand, can suffer from worse reliability records – especially where they have on-street sections”

Daryl has voiced active opposition to the Surrey LRT proposal, and is pushing with Better Surrey Rapid Transit for an alternate, more practical vision for Surrey Rapid Transit involving investments in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and an Expo Line SkyTrain extension to Langley.

Recent research he conducted into rapid transit systems in North America revealed that on-time performance in rapid transit systems declines the less a system is grade-separated. Grade separated rapid transit systems like SkyTrain see on-time performance rates higher than 90%, whereas LRT systems in mixed traffic like the Toronto streetcar and San Francisco Muni Metro operate as little as 50 to 60% of service on-time.

Surrey’s proposed system will operate separately from mixed-traffic, but will still be entirely on-street – and be very vulnerable to service disruptions that can last hours, require shuttle buses and inconvenience passengers.

The City of Surrey has just released a CitySpeaks survey to gauge stakeholder support for Light Rail Transit. This survey conveniently omits mention of serious LRT project downsides and risks to project benefits and ridership.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit is working hard to point out flaws in the Surrey Light Rail proposal, and advocate for a more practical vision that offers better reliability for Surrey stakeholders.

For additional information, please visit skytrainforsurrey.org or contact:

Daryl Dela Cruz, lead SkyTrain campaigner – Better Surrey Rapid Transit
Cell: (604) 329-8082; E-mail: daryl@skytrainforsurrey.org

King George Blvd: Service Disruption Risks. Service disruption threat poses severe risk to LRT project benefits, business case, ridership

PRESS RELEASE: Proposed Surrey Light Rail would suffer worse service disruptions than recent SkyTrain meltdowns

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 22nd July, 2014

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts admitted a major weakness of at-grade rail technology in a recent radio interview with CKNW News Talk 980 radio.

“With an LRT system the problems may be different, you would have a driver, and you would be at grade, however if there is an accident there would be some challenges as well,” Watts said in an interview with CKNW that followed a SkyTrain disruption incident caused by human error.

Proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines in Surrey could suffer from a worse service disruption record than the SkyTrain has in recent service meltdowns – made especially vulnerable by on-street running.

Unlike bus services, LRT services do not easily divert: ANY disruptions – trains or no trains involved – that block the track can require lengthy line closures, shuttle buses and severe inconvenience. Daryl Dela Cruz – Lead campaigner for Better Surrey Rapid Transit – pointed out in a recent “Rapid Transit Vision” report that the proposed at-grade rail system in Surrey passes through some of the most dangerous, accident-prone intersections in Metro Vancouver – and that this poses a significant risk to project benefits, business case and ridership.

“88th Avenue and King George Blvd. saw 180 crashes in 2013. Every one of those could disrupt a 4km stretch of the proposed Surrey LRT system, on a fairly regular basis,” says Daryl. “If it’s really bad, the track is blocked and it takes hours to investigate and clear the intersection, then the LRT line has to remain closed for that entire time.”

Other intersections such as King George & 72nd, King George & 104th and 104th & 152nd also experience several accidents yearly. Multiple accidents at once would paralyze transit in Surrey.

Daryl is the lead campaigner for a group pushing for an alternate, more practical vision for Surrey Rapid Transit involving investments in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and an Expo Line SkyTrain extension to Langley. He has voiced active opposition to the Surrey LRT proposal since its announcement by Mayor Watts in 2011.

Study information indicates that this vision has the opportunity to generate twice the benefits – including twice the new transit trips – at a lower capital cost than the LRT plan.

“If we continue with the Light Rail alternative, shuttle buses and rider frustration are going to become a weekly ordeal for Surrey transit riders,” says Daryl.

For additional information, please visit skytrainforsurrey.org or contact:

Daryl Dela Cruz, lead SkyTrain campaigner – Better Surrey Rapid Transit
Cell: (604) 329-8082; E-mail: daryl@skytrainforsurrey.org

About us

Vibrant communities, productive citizens. Better Surrey Rapid Transit = SkyTrain for Surrey

We advocate SkyTrain because evidence shows that the City of Surrey’s decision to plan at-grade rail and oppose elevated SkyTrain rapid transit was not based on legitimate facts, statistics, or logical reasons. It made absolutely no sense. Learn more: visit our website at skytrainforsurrey.org.

See pages on Better Surrey Rapid Transit website: Light Rail Reality | Our Vision

Concept image: Mark III SkyTrain leaves 160th Street Station on Fraser Hwy in Fleetwood.

LATEST NEWS: “Rapid Transit Vision” exposes faulty Surrey LRT proposal

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

A new rapid transit vision for Surrey, released by Better Surrey Rapid Transit’s Daryl Dela Cruz, exposes serious faults in the City of Surrey’s at-grade rail (LRT) proposal approved by the Mayors’ Council.

The “Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens” vision, released Friday, details a “more practical rapid transit vision” for the City of Surrey. The 16-page report includes a segment on the Surrey LRT proposal that lists a number of serious flaws in the current LRT proposal.

One of the most serious flaws pointed out is a total lack of benefits on 104th Ave to Guildford, a corridor that was featured in a prominent City of Surrey LRT concept video. The report notes that express riders on the 96 B-Line will save just 1 minute on the proposed LRT, after facing significant travel time increases during construction – and also notes that the loss of nonstop express service will increases travel times for riders from Fraser Heights (337) and Walnut Grove (509).

Key slides from the report:

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Other faults were pointed out, including a serious service disruption risk to the project benefits. The LRT passes through the region’s most accident-prone intersections, creating a risk that riders face service disruptions as frequently as once every two-days as Light Rail trains are not as flexible for detouring around accidents unlike Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and cannot avoid them like SkyTrain.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (skytrainforsurrey.org) has pointed out in previous releases that the City of Surrey LRT proposal poses little transportation benefits to Surrey stakeholders with a negative business case, and has increased in cost to $2.44 billion, which could afford two SkyTrain extensions in the South-of-Fraser to Langley and Newton. SkyTrain campaigners like Daryl have worked tirelessly to raise issues with the current proposal and advocate for the adoption of more practical rapid transit solutions for Surrey and the South-of-Fraser.

Daryl is hoping to attract the attention of Mayor and Council candidates in the upcoming municipal elections, and has pledged to tour community associations this summer in presenting the vision and educating stakeholders on the downsides of the current LRT proposal that have been continuously ignored by advocates.

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For additional info, contact: Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager – Better Surrey Rapid Transit.
Email: daryl@skytrainforsurrey.org
Call: 81-80-3962-9281 (Note: Daryl is currently out of country; long-distance fees apply)

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Appendix

Our vision: bus priority upgrades on 104 Ave, a median busway/BRT on King George Blvd, and a SkyTrain extension to Langley.

The “Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens” vision proposes an alternate, more practical solution that involves the following improvements instead of the current LRT vision:

  1. Bus priority upgrades on 104 Ave
    Corridor enhancements for 96 B-Line: Increased service, signal priority system, introduce all-door boarding, new queue jump lanes and congestion management.
  2. Median busway/Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on King George Blvd
    Dedicated median bus-way from Surrey Central to 56 Ave, for enhanced/BRT operation of 96 B-Line. Has full signal priority and accessible, sheltered stations.
  3. SkyTrain extension on Fraser Hwy
    Extend the Expo Line SkyTrain from King George Station to Langley Centre on a mostly elevated right-of-way down Fraser Highway.

View the full vision

The vision compiles data from sources such as the TransLink Surrey Rapid Transit Study, finding that there is a potential to generate 2x the transportation benefits compared to the current LRT proposal, with a lower capital cost requirement of just $2.3 billion vs. $2.44 billion for the proposed Surrey LRT and a positive 1.13:1 benefit-cost ratio.

 Below: this advertisement keeps our website up and running. Thank you for your understanding.