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

Safe Surrey Coalition: Doug McCallum misled voters on SkyTrain viability

IMMEDIATE RELASE – Surrey, BC

We are taking issue with mayoral candidate Doug McCallum’s short-sighted opinion on SkyTrain viability on the Fraser Highway.

In an interview [link] with the Business in Vancouver paper, Mayoral candidate Doug McCallum, who endorsed Light Rail as a Safe Surrey Coalition platform component, told the paper: “[SkyTrain on Fraser] doesn’t work because you go through huge agricultural land with no ridership”.

However, both sides of the Serpentine Floodplain are characterized by heavily-used transit lines and very heavily-built urban areas. To the west: a heavily travelled #502 corridor; to the east: Clayton Heights, the most densely-populated single-family neighbourhood in Metro Vancouver.

“You can think of the Serpentine Floodplain like a big river through a city; at the end of the day, there’s people to be served on both sides. McCallum misunderstands this because like every other LRT supporter in Surrey, he didn’t do his homework,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a prominent Surrey transit advocate and the campaign manager for SkyTrain for Surrey. “I’m saddened that he doesn’t seem to know the geography of his own city. That kind of incompetence isn’t fit for office.”

“I’m saddened that (McCallum) doesn’t seem to know the geography of his own city. That kind of incompetence isn’t fit for office.”
– Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager

A SkyTrain line down Fraser Highway would provide faster service and attract twice as many new transit trips as proposed LRT. Each SkyTrain crossing the floodplain between town centre would be well-utilized by tens of thousands of daily riders, disputing McCallum’s “no ridership” claim.

SkyTrain to Langley is part of our “Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens” vision – which advocates both SkyTrain and enhanced Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) instead of LRT. The vision has a positive business case, creating 2x the benefits and ridership for less cost than proposed LRT.

“McCallum misunderstands this because like every other LRT supporter in Surrey, he didn’t do his homework”
– Daryl Dela Cruz, Campaign Manager

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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.

CONCEPT: A next-generation TransLink articulated bus running on an upgraded #96 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line on King George Blvd! BRT in Surrey on the 96 B-Line route would meet demand for rapid transit without chronic overcrowding, and could feature comfortable waiting areas and median busways (pictured), traffic signal priority, all-door boarding, fare pre-payment, up to 3 times the current service frequency and a far more reliable service that, unlike LRT, isn't stopped when there's an accident blocking the right-of-way!

LATEST NEWS: Campaign launches bid to overturn Surrey LRT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

Better Surrey Rapid Transit has launched an updated SkyTrain for Surrey campaign in a bid to overturn Surrey’s Light Rail Transit proposal. A new web-page (skytrainforsurrey.org/takeaction) links to social media pages and directs viewers to a petition asking decision-makers to reconsider. A new campaign video to communicate with citizens was also recently launched.

New material follows after more than 700 people declared support for SkyTrain for Surrey in a poll on the Vancity Buzz. Despite only small mention of the SkyTrain for Surrey effort in an accompanying article, 54% of respondents supported SkyTrain expansion, vs. only 28% for LRT.

The effort is being led by prominent transit advocate Daryl Dela Cruz, who had previously successfully advocated the construction of a #555 rapid bus stop at Highway 1 and 156 Street.

“Light Rail supporters are out of touch with what Surrey needs. They haven’t done their homework, and are supporting something that causes more problems than it solves. We must act now to prevent LRT mayhem and ensure the best transit for Surrey” says Dela Cruz in a statement.

The proposed Phase I LRT – with a 25-min. travel time between Newton and Guildford – saves just 1 minute over the currently operated 96 B-Line. Other issues raised include issues with centre-street running, vulnerability to accidents, and slower service. The system won’t get a fair share from TransLink, who have expressed disinterest in splitting regional funding evenly among cities. More information about these shortfalls can be found on our website’s “LRT Reality” page (skytrainforsurrey.org/lrt-reality).

SkyTrain for Surrey promotes the “Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens” vision – which advocates both SkyTrain and enhanced Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) instead of LRT. The vision has a positive business case, creating 2x the benefits and ridership for less cost than proposed LRT.

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A new poll on the Vancity Buzz demonstrates support for SkyTrain over LRT.

More than 700 people (54%) voted SkyTrain, despite only small mention of the SkyTrain for Surrey effort in an accompanying article centered on LRT. Only 28% of respondents voted LRT.

SkyTrain for Surrey is winning in this recent poll on the Vancity Buzz.

SkyTrain for Surrey is winning in this recent poll on the Vancity Buzz.

See poll on Polldaddy: https://polldaddy.com/poll/8421793/?view=results
Vancity Buzz article: vancitybuzz.com/2014/11/surrey-light-rail-project-passes-first-hurdle-secure-federal-funding/

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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 a Skype or Line 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.

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

Surrey First: Linda Hepner misled voters 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

***
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.

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.

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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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.

***
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.

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

LATEST NEWS: Surrey LRT money can buy 2 SkyTrain extensions

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

Campaigners are urgently calling on stakeholders and decision-makers to drop support for at-grade Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Surrey after discovering an increase in the cost of the proposal.

The capital cost of the proposed system has increased to $2.44 billion, meaning that it now costs the same to build two SkyTrain extensions in the South of Fraser as it does to build the two LRT lines.

SkyTrain campaigners like Daryl Dela Cruz for Better Surrey Rapid Transit (skytrainforsurrey.org) were behind the discovery of the cost increase, which is hidden in the appendices document of the Mayors’ Council’s Regional Transportation Vision.

“The dismal cost-effectiveness of at-grade rail is now clearer than ever,” says Daryl. “For the same price as a proposed LRT that alienates communities with traffic mayhem and fails our region’s modal shift targets, we can build a truly rapid transit network that creates veritable benefits for our citizens. Obviously, our decision makers have some work to do.”

A double extension of SkyTrain to both Langley and Newton would pose a positive benefit-cost ratio of 1.47:1, unlike the proposed LRT which now poses a negative benefit-cost ratio of 0.56:1. Such extensions would generate 2.5 times the transportation benefits, including over 3 times the travel time savings, over 2 times as many new transit trips, and over 2 times the reduction in annual vehicle-kms travelled (VKT) – at half the cost per added rider compared to LRT. The SkyTrain extensions would provide faster, more frequent service and superior on-time reliability with a fully grade-separated right-of-way.

SkyTrain campaigners for Better Surrey Rapid Transit are completing a proposal that will call for SkyTrain on Fraser Highway, median busway (BRT) on King George Blvd and bus priority enhancements on 104 Ave – creating vibrant communities and productive citizens in Surrey at a more affordable price. A presentation of this plan, which will be touring advisory committees, business groups and community associations throughout the summer, is in the preparation process.

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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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