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.

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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)

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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 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)

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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 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)

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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 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.

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)

###

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.

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.