VICTORY: The original referendum ballot (right) was changed by the provincial government to remove the lock-in for 'Light Rail Transit' in Surrey.

Province removes Light Rail lock-in for Surrey from referendum ballot

We have scored a major victory in the battle for better Surrey transit.

The oncoming transit referendum (the Metro Vancouver Transportation & Transit Plebiscite) had been centered on a 10-year-plan crafted by the region’s Mayors, that naturally pushed Light Rail Transit for Surrey and the Langleys. The initial intent was to lock future transit funding to the proposals in this plan (including LRT) to the extent that the tie-in was written on the referendum ballot. The provincial government has amended the referendum ballot to remove this preference. Here’s a comparison between old and new:

Here's a comparison between old and new. The original ballot mentioning LRT is on the right - the current revision, amended by the provincial government, is on the left.

The original ballot mentioning LRT is on the right – the current revision, amended by the provincial government, is on the left.

“Build Light Rail Transit connecting Surrey” has been changed to “Build rapid transit connecting Surrey”, a neutral description that does not center on any transit technology and leaves room for the proposal to change to a different one.

Additional info:

The provincial transportation minister has additionally maintained that the final decisions on Surrey rapid transit funding will be a matter of the project’s business case, not the referendum question. Our campaign head, Daryl Dela Cruz, confirmed this with the Minister in a Twitter conversation during the consultation process for a new provincial transit plan last year, before this amendment was made. Tweets below:

We applaud the provincial government for keeping the Surrey rapid transit debate open, and hearing our concerns about the Surrey Light Rail proposal.

TransLink’s rapid transit study found a negative business case for LRT (a less than 1:1 benefit-to-cost ratio). Meaning the city’s continued push for LRT is putting any hope of quality rapid transit in Surrey in jeopardy. We have been pushing for an alternate vision that builds a SkyTrain extension and bus rapid transit for the same cost a proposed LRT, resulting in 2x the ridership and transportation benefits. See link below:

Our Vision: Vibrant Communities, Productive Citizens

This amendment is a major victory in the push for better Surrey transit. We’ve been relentless in reminding decision-makers and residents that proposed ground-level Light Rail in Surrey creates more problems than it solves, and results in benefits so minimal that even transit riders won’t be saving any meaningful amount of time or seeing an improved quality-of-life in Surrey. See link below:

Light Rail Reality

We thank you for your support, and would like to reiterate that our push for better transit is continuing. We will shortly be releasing a statement on the transit plebiscite (including a “yes” or “no” position) as well as comments regarding the ongoing matters in Metro Vancouver.

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

Better Surrey Rapid Transit to continue campaign against Light Rail

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPh52UrHTBE IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC Better Surrey Rapid Transit vows to continue a relentless campaign to overturn ground-level Light Rail in Surrey, despite recent election results favouring a party supporting Light Rail. The campaign leader is calling out the LRT supporters for leaving out issues and effectively brainwashing citizens into supporting LRT. “The moment that shovel for Light Rail hits the ground, thousands of Guildford residents will be sacrificing their ability to get around during construction, for a 1 minute improvement. When I approached the City of Surrey with issues like these, the City refused to acknowledge them and continued to tell people to support Light Rail. That’s brainwashing, and Surrey citizens deserves better” says campaign leader Daryl Dela Cruz, a well-known advocate for better Surrey transit. Better Surrey Rapid Transit called for a voter boycott of (now-Mayor) Linda Hepner and the dominant Surrey First party, due to excessive misleading on Light Rail. Among issues raised were the issue that a 2-3 year completion timeline (“open 2018”) for Phase I Light Rail is unrealistic. Recent developments by the citizens’ campaign include:

*** 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) ### 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.

Citizens noting unrealistic LRT promise by Surrey First

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

Citizens all over Surrey are taking notice of an unrealistic campaign promise to deliver Light Rail Transit (LRT) by 2018, by mayoral candidate Linda Hepner and the Surrey First party.

Independent writer Laila Yuile, a popular political issues commentator, is among concerned Surrey citizens. She has recognized the insensitivity of the claim, noting that without the results of a spring 2015 referendum, a proper business case, and funding commitments, no LRT project can proceed. She has called out the promise’s fallacy on her blog site “No Strings Attached.”

Better Surrey Rapid Transit adds to this by having noted that no LRT projects in Canada have been completed within the 3 year timeline Surrey First requires. The misleading campaign promise, along with other examples of excessive misleading on LRT, had resulted in Better Surrey Rapid Transit calling for a voter boycott of the Surrey First party.

“Surrey’s transit future needs to be put into the right hands. The right hands don’t mislead citizens constantly on transit issues and proposals,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a Surrey transit advocate and the campaign manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) is the opposition campaign against ground-level LRT in Surrey. We’ve raised, among several issues, the proposed Phase I LRT – with a 25-min. travel time between Newton & Guildford – saves just 1 minute over the current 96 B-Line.

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Above: Excerpt from Laila Yuile’s “No Strings Attached” outlining issues with Surrey First’s “LRT complete 2018” claim. Full read: lailayuile.com/2014/11/13/countdown-to-surrey-votes-2014

Above: Excerpt from Laila Yuile’s “No Strings Attached” outlining issues with Surrey First’s “LRT complete 2018” claim. Full read: lailayuile.com/2014/11/13/countdown-to-surrey-votes-2014

MYTH: Light Rail can be completed and running by 2018; REALITY: Full LRT build-out will likely take longer.

No rail rapid transit project in Canada has ever made it from absolute zero (with no detailed design work completed at all) to project completion within this sort of timeline. Reference projects: 8.2km Calgary West LRT – 3 years, 2 months; 19km Kitchener-Waterloo ION LRT phase I: 4 years; Missisauga, 23km Hurontario-Main LRT: 5 – 8 years.

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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.

6 Myths on Light Rail Transit in Surrey

Here are six myths and inaccuracies about Light Rail, SkyTrain and buses from Light Rail supporters. Click or tap each question to open the answer:

  1. MYTH: Light Rail Transit is more cost-effective.
  2. MYTH: Light Rail is better for connecting town centres and supporting business.
  3. MYTH: Light Rail links the most communities with rapid transit.
  4. MYTH: Light Rail will attract more investment than other modes.
  5. MYTH: Light Rail takes only 5 minutes longer than SkyTrain on Fraser Highway.
  6. MYTH: Light Rail can be completed and running by 2018.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

SkyTrain for Surrey is responding to Light Rail supporters in the South of Fraser with the release of new, detailed “Debunking Myths” responses. The first 6 slides, which will eventually be part of a full presentation, have been released below.

“We will prove, down to every last misleading point that was made, that Light Rail supporters have not done their homework and are not worthy of the public’s support in Surrey”, says Daryl Dela Cruz, a Surrey transit advocate and the campaign manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit.

The detailed responses tackle misleading claims made by Light Rail supporters, including claims on cost-efficiency, practicality and completion date.

The finalized presentation will form a new webpage on skytrainforsurrey.org, and be sent to the City of Surrey and throughout the city to different organizations, including all 16 organizations affiliated with the Light Rail Links coalition supporting LRT.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) has raised several issues with the LRT proposal endorsed in Surrey. We often raise the issue that 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.

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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.

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

City understated Light Rail shortfalls, misled stakeholders

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

We’re taking issue with a dishonest claim by the City of Surrey that a SkyTrain extension to Langley is “only 5 minutes faster than LRT.”

This is on the City of Surrey’s website page on LRT, which also claims that Light Rail travel times would improve with further technical work. This doesn’t match up with estimates in the Surrey Rapid Transit Study, conducted by TransLink in conjunction with IBI group. The study initially projected LRT travel time of 29 minutes to Langley, versus the City of Surrey’s 27 minutes.

In addition, because the City is planning for additional, more closely-spaced LRT stops (mentioned on the same webpage), LRT travel time will INCREASE – not decrease – after more technical work. We presume this increase would be another 3 to 5 minutes.

“To understate Light Rail’s travel time shortfall is to twist the data to undermine a much better alternative. That’s dishonesty, and Surrey citizens deserve better,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a prominent Surrey transit advocate and the campaign manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit.

“That’s dishonesty, and Surrey citizens deserve better”
Daryl Dela Cruz – Campaign Manager

An Expo Line SkyTrain extension to Langley would take 22 minutes, 10 minutes faster than LRT to Surrey Centre and 15 minutes faster for those continuing to the North-of-Fraser. As part of our rapid transit vision (skytrainforsurrey.org/vision), which also incorporates Bus Rapid Transit, SkyTrain would create 2x the benefits and ridership in Surrey for a lower cost than proposed LRT.

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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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MYTH: Light Rail takes only 5 minutes longer than SkyTrain on Fraser Highway. REALITY: Light Rail shortfalls understated.

MYTH: Light Rail takes only 5 minutes longer than SkyTrain on Fraser Highway.

See here for the City's misleading claim on LRT vs SkyTrain

See here for the City’s misleading claim on LRT vs SkyTrain

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

Featured image: 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!

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!

Mayoral Candidates asked to listen to stakeholders on LRT issues

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Surrey, BC

Letters we sent to Mayoral Candidates ask them to listen to stakeholders on Light Rail issues, and calls to review Light Rail benefits and downsides, if elected to office.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) is taking action to encourage mayoral candidates to be aware of a call to review Light Rail issues if elected to office, and high support for SkyTrain over LRT in online polls.

Letters were sent by campaign manager (and popular Surrey transit issues activist) Daryl Dela Cruz, to candidates who have yet to demonstrate a will to address citizen demands and review LRT issues: Linda Hepner (Surrey First), Doug McCallum (Safe Surrey Coalition), Barinder Rasode (One Surrey), and John Wolanski.

The letters can be viewed on our website at skytrainforsurrey.org.

You must not deny and ignore the calls from future Councillors, Surrey residents, and other important spokespeople to review the city’s position in favour of Light Rail, if you are elected to office.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Campaign Manager

SkyTrain for Surrey has also previously released three “reality check” statements on faulty viewpoints on Light Rail shared by the mayoral candidates, who have near-unanimously thrown their support for proposed ground-level 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)

###

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

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

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

Traffic congestion is already a prominent issue in Guildford, and it will get worse with Light Rail.

One Surrey, Barinder Rasode are mislead about Light Rail

IMMEDIATE RELASE – Surrey, BC

Previous claims by decision-makers have misled Barinder Rasode and One Surrey into pushing on their platform for an LRT pilot project with no benefits for transit riders.

While residents throughout Metro Vancouver are benefitting from the prosperous, busy and vibrant communities shaped around SkyTrain stations, One Surrey mayoral candidate Barinder Rasode – a professed Light Rail supporter – incorrectly suggested in a recent comment on “Business in Vancouver” that SkyTrain does not support community-building and local business.

Similarly misleading comments were previously made by LRT supporters on Surrey Council, including Dianne Watts. The departing Mayor, in introducing LRT to Surrey in 2011, denounced elevated SkyTrain as a system that would “destroy communities” and “split them in half” due to the need for “monolithic” concrete pillars. This effect has not been seen anywhere in Metro Vancouver – SkyTrain, to the contrary, has contributed to more vibrant communities.

“There is a long history of Light Rail supporters making faulty claims and conveying that they didn’t do homework. It’s time for Surrey citizens to take notice,” says Daryl Dela Cruz, a prominent Surrey transportation advocate and the campaign manager for Better Surrey Rapid Transit.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) has raised several issues with Surrey’s proposed at-grade LRT. The One Surrey platform plan for an LRT pilot project on 104 Ave, with a 10 min. travel time, does not create a transit improvement versus current 96 and 337 service.

Enhancing current B-Line service, as outlined in our vision (skytrainforsurrey.org/vision), would allow for through one-seat service to Coquitlam and Langley and is the best solution for 104 Ave.

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One Surrey’s 104 Ave LRT pilot project will create no improvement versus current transit, and will create traffic mayhem in Guildford by reducing 104 Ave traffic lanes.

104 Ave: No benefits from LRT - Express riders save just 1 minute on the proposed LRT vs. 96 B-Line

TAP TO ENLARGE – #LRTReality: No benefits for Guildford commuters on 104 Ave

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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.

Featured image: Traffic congestion is already a prominent issue in Guildford, and it will get worse with Light Rail.

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