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.

About these ads
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.

LRT Negative Business Case

LATEST NEWS: Surrey LRT won’t get fair share from TransLink

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

TransLink is unwilling to split LRT funding for Surrey evenly among municipalities, due to a poor business case found in a previous joint study.

Minutes from a July Transportation Committee meeting report that TransLink had asked the City of Surrey to contribute municipally to its at-grade LRT project. This indicates disinterest in having the region’s funding share be split evenly among cities and municipalities, as has been done for other projects like the Evergreen Line and the Golden Ears Bridge.

“People clamoured for years, advocating that Surrey get an equal share of its funding contribution to TransLink, and now that’s never going to happen. Because City decision-makers supported a poor LRT vision, it’s never going to happen,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a prominent Surrey transportation advocate and the Campaign Manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit.

The study also contradicts City efforts to develop a “P3 business case” to attract federal funding.

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.

“People have advocated that Surrey get an equal share of its funding contribution to TransLink, and now that’s never going to happen. Because City decision-makers supported a poor LRT vision, it’s never going to happen.”
Daryl Dela Cruz – Campaign Manager

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) has raised several issues with the LRT proposal, and has released a new campaign video on its website to communicate this to citizens.

The video also promotes the “Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens” rapid transit vision advocating SkyTrain and enhanced Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) instead of LRT. This vision has a positive business case, creating 2x the benefits and ridership for less than the cost of LRT.

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A TransLink study has already found a negative business case for Surrey LRT.

LRT Negative Business Case
Surrey Rapid Transit Study Phase 2 Evaluation – PDF page 358

Because of this, they don’t want the rest of the region to pay for it.

TransLink doesn't want the rest of the region to pay for Surrey's LRT. From City Transportation Committee minutes in July.
City of Surrey Transportation Committee Minutes – July 2014

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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)

###

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.

LRT Negative Business Case

LATEST NEWS: Contradicting business case for Surrey LRT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

A TransLink study has already found a negative transportation business case for LRT, which will contradict any future “P3 business case” for federal project funding.

The Surrey Rapid Transit study, conducted over the past few years, found that the LRT project has a transportation cost-benefit shortfall of $510 million and a negative cost-benefit ratio of 0.69:1.

“It will take decades to generate the transportation benefits offsetting the costs of LRT. That shouldn’t be in the interest of Surrey citizens, and won’t be in the interest of potential funding partners,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a prominent Surrey transportation advocate and the campaign manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit.

TransLink has previously asked the City of Surrey to contribute municipally to the project; indicating they are not interested in having the rest of the region pay equally for Surrey’s Light Rail project, due to the poor regional business case.

“It will take decades to generate the transportation benefits offsetting the costs of LRT.”
Daryl Dela Cruz – Campaign Manager

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.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) has raised several issues with the LRT proposal, and has released a campaign video on its website to communicate this to citizens. This video also promotes a “Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens” vision – an alternate, more practical rapid transit vision with SkyTrain and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for less than the cost of proposed LRT.

Reality of Light Rail: It will take decades to generate the transportation benefits to offset the cost of Light Rail in Surrey!

Reality of Light Rail: It will take decades to generate the transportation benefits to offset the cost of Light Rail in Surrey!

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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.

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)

###

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)

###

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.