Better Surrey Rapid Transit = SkyTrain for Surrey! [CLICK HERE] to learn more about why LRT is not the right answer

Get the Facts



About these ads
SkyTrain for Surrey NOW! Click here to learn more about the case for SkyTrain

The Case for SkyTrain

There is a real solution for a future transportation crisis,

…..but it’s not what is being asked for by the Mayor and Council. It’s not being properly recognized for the benefits it will deliver, and it is being labelled a “community splitter” when it will do the opposite by linking our communities with quality transit, building our communities, and addressing city-wide transportation needs.

Above are the reasons why we’re advocating. What the City of Surrey wants is LRT. What the City of Surrey really needs, on the other hand, is SkyTrain. We want the City of Surrey and TransLink to be prudent in planning for a system that’ll be ready for our needs in 30-50 years as well as today.

Don't believe the Light Rail lie! We're working hard on a new and improved website that will reveal EVERYTHING about the Light Rail lie.

We’re updating the website! [CLICK HERE] to learn more

We’re working hard on a new and improved website that will reveal EVERYTHING about the Light Rail lie.

In case you haven’t noticed, Light Rail lie is one of the new taglines for our Better Surrey Rapid Transit (SkyTrain for Surrey) campaign. We’re working on condensing our extensive research to a few main points – such as the ones suggested by our taglines – to simplify our message and extend our reach.

Light Rail lie is also the name of an upcoming report we are working on that will do as we say – reveal the Light Rail lie. This single-read report will contain everything you need to know about why you should be concerned about the City of Surrey’s current rapid transit proposal and the “Light Rail lie”, why Light Rail isn’t good for the future of the city, and what is the option Surrey needs to approach moving forward.

Our rough website layout is already up. Feel free to play around with the new design. Our original pages and petition (the petition is going nowhere, by the way) are still up for your viewing pleasure – use the links on the top menu bar to access them.

REALITY CHECK: Surrey light rail coalition massively misleads public

A Light Rail opposition group in Surery is displeased that a coalition for Light Rail Transit in Surrey is massively misleading and manipulating the public again.

A Light Rail opposition group in Surrey is displeased that a coalition for Light Rail Transit in Surrey is massively misleading and manipulating the public again, according to a media report by the Business in Vancouver report.

The report claims that Light Rail Links members saw problems with expanding SkyTrain versus building light rail.

“SkyTrain, in our opinion, does not build communities. It separates them with the big, tall concrete structures,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, a backer of the Light Rail Links coalition.

(From Business in Vancouver)

Light Rail Links members and supporters all over Surrey seem to think that SkyTrain separates communities with its visual impact, yet study after study and statistic after statistic has found that SkyTrain has done the opposite; in spite of its visual impact, it has had a phenomenal impact in shaping dense, transit-oriented communities and neighbourhoods throughout the region, and efforts continue to be made to utilize the SkyTrain system to attract dense, transit-oriented development. Major centres near SkyTrain such as Metrotown, Brentwood, Lougheed Town Centre, Oakridge, and Downtown Richmond are booming with transit-friendly developments due to their SkyTrain proximity.

In an internationally reknowned thesis submitted to the University of London Centre for Transport Studies, SkyTrain was found to be the most effective system between 20 around the world (including Light Rail systems) in shaping urban growth, and the only system of the 20 which had a significant revitalizing impact on slum areas.

Huberman also made a flawed statement with regards to Light Rail versus buses, reasoning that:

“Buses congest the road. They increase pollution, and they’re not efficient in terms of moving people around.”

(From Business in Vancouver)

This statement completely neglects the possibility that buses can be used in dedicated lanes (as has been planned by TransLink, the regional transportation authority) in the same manner as Light Rail, and can use overhead electric wires (as is done in Vancouver) and electric propulsion to provide emissions-free transportation.

These discrepancies again expose the lack of research and weak case among Light Rail Links coalition backers. On the day of their launch, Better Surrey Rapid Transit (a citizens’ group that opposes Light Rail Links and advocates for SkyTrain for Surrey rather than LRT) launched a REALITY CHECK [CLICK HERE] that revealed that no new research was brought forward by the Light Rail Links advocacy, which rehashes vague reasons that have already been used by other advocates and unproductively adds nothing new to the discussion.

“I am becoming extremely concerned with the amount of misleading information on Surrey rapid transit that is circulating among advocacy groups, and how it’s manipulating the public to accept an option that is clearly not the best option for Surrey, as some would like to suggest” says Campaign Director Daryl Dela Cruz.

The Better Surrey Rapid Transit advocacy has frequently pointed out that Light Rail is not a suitable option for the City of Surrey because it does not meet regional and local transportation goals, and offers transportation benefits that do not exceed the costs, which do not make the option very viable to either TransLink or the provincial government. Light Rail options are slower, less reliable, less attractive, and will fall victim to a service disruption every day. Neither emissions reductions nor mode-share shift from car to transit goals are met with Light Rail Transit options.

Attached to this press release and reality check are a collection of slides from the “Rapid Transit and Surrey’s Needs” report, which was prepared by Better Surrey Rapid Transit and recognized by the City of Surrey in a presentation this last April. (see below)

For more reality checks, [CLICK HERE]

Also see: Why SkyTrain | Why not LRT

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

ABOUT BETTER SURREY RAPID TRANSIT

Better Surrey Rapid Transit

Better Surrey Rapid Transit” (skytrainforsurrey.org) was established because Surrey is in need of a bigger solution than what is proposed. TransLink has proposed options for Surrey that do not meet mode-share reduction targets and are far behind what has been achieved in the City of Vancouver. Mayor Watts’ declaration of at-grade Light Rail Transit (LRT) over SkyTrain also does not make sense. Current options look forward to this city’s transportation needs to 2041 (within 30 years), but do not look forward to what the needs will be in 30-50 years and beyond. We want to tell Mayor Watts and TransLink that the solution that Surrey needs is bigger than what everyone wants, and we’re advocating for that bigger solution that Surrey needs – an expansion of SkyTrain.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit’s advocacy now includes a petition campaign that urges decision makers to plan for better Surrey rapid transit. This petition has beeny launched at [CLICK HERE] and promotion efforts (including new videos, online and on-location canvassing efforts, and associated media advisories) continue to advance.

For more information, please contact:

Daryl Dela Cruz
Better Surrey Rapid Transit – Campaign Director
Website: skytrainforsurrey.org – Email: info@skytrainforsurrey.org

Inside a Portland MAX LRT train

REALITY CHECK: Surrey Board of Trade CEO incorrect about Portland LRT development

Reality check: SbOT CEO small

In a news release by the Surrey Board of Trade promoting Light Rail for Surrey, CEO Anita Huberman stated that “Experience with light rail systems in other cities such as Portland, Oregon shows that housing developments and businesses will invest and build near the easy-to-access, at-grade light rail stations.”

But, a 1996 article in the Oregonian newspaper reports that housing developments near Light Rail Transit in Portland were incentivized with property tax breaks. That is, they were given additional subsidies to go forward because Light Rail and rezoning could not attract those developments on their own.

The article, which reports on the approval of the property tax breaks, notes that former Portland City Commissioner Charlie Hales referred to a map showing large blocks of undeveloped land near light-rail stations, and said that “We have an investment that hasn’t been well capitalized on.” The 10-year tax waiver on developments near Light Rail in Portland was introduced as a response to the lack of development near Light Rail.

This shows that, in the experience with light rail in Portland, attracting pedestrian-friendly development near transit has actually been more than about building at-grade rail. Transit critics in Portland have blamed infrequent service and lower service speeds in on-street sections for a lack of ridership and development demand. During the same decade, the Vancouver SkyTrain system (which provides consistently faster and more frequent service) attracted developments such as the $9 billion Metropolis at Metrotown development, with no extra incentives.

This article can be viewed in an archive at [CLICK HERE].

The disrepancy shows the lack of research and weak case among those like Anita Huberman, who have thrown themselves behind the new Light Rail Links coalition for LRT in Surrey. On the day of their launch, Better Surrey Rapid Transit (a citizens’ group advocating for SkyTrain for Surrey rather than LRT) launched a REALITY CHECK [CLICK HERE] that revealed that no new research was brought forward by the Light Rail Links advocacy, which rehashes vague reasons that have already been used by other advocates.

BSRT Campaign Director Daryl Dela Cruz has criticized Light Rail Links, the Surrey Board of Trade and the Fraser Valley Real Estate Association for not citing research and instead relying on these “vague reasons”.

For more reality checks, [CLICK HERE]

Also see: Why SkyTrain | Why not LRT

ABOUT BETTER SURREY RAPID TRANSIT

Better Surrey Rapid Transit

Better Surrey Rapid Transit” (skytrainforsurrey.org) was established because Surrey is in need of a bigger solution than what is proposed. TransLink has proposed options for Surrey that do not meet mode-share reduction targets and are far behind what has been achieved in the City of Vancouver. Mayor Watts’ declaration of at-grade Light Rail Transit (LRT) over SkyTrain also does not make sense. Current options look forward to this city’s transportation needs to 2041 (within 30 years), but do not look forward to what the needs will be in 30-50 years and beyond. We want to tell Mayor Watts and TransLink that the solution that Surrey needs is bigger than what everyone wants, and we’re advocating for that bigger solution that Surrey needs – an expansion of SkyTrain.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit’s advocacy now includes a petition campaign that urges decision makers to plan for better Surrey rapid transit. This petition has beeny launched at [CLICK HERE] and promotion efforts (including new videos, online and on-location canvassing efforts, and associated media advisories) continue to advance.

For more information, please contact:

Daryl Dela Cruz
Better Surrey Rapid Transit – Campaign Director
Website: skytrainforsurrey.org – Email: info@skytrainforsurrey.org

Metrotown Station in 2006

REALITY CHECK: Green party misleads voters about SkyTrain land use impacts

Reality Check: Green Party misleads voters about SkyTrain land use impacts

The Green Party of BC is misleading voters about the land-use impacts of SkyTrain rapid transit.

(From the Vancouver Courier – Vancouver Votes: Five hot provincial election topics for the city)

Green Party leader Jane Sterk said her party “is not a mega-project kind of party in its thinking.” That said, the Liberals’ idea of a referendum has its merits, she added.

“I do agree with the ability of citizens to have a say in these large expenditures, which is what a referendum does,” Sterk said.

But if a referendum were to take place, she wants to see more research on cheaper transit options such as light-rail and ensure citizens have the details before they vote.

The Greens, she said, favour transit that helps shape neighbourhoods rather than running kilometres and kilometres of SkyTrain track that contribute to sprawl.

The Green Party seems to think that SkyTrain contributes to sprawl. Yet, study after study and statistic after statistic has found that SkyTrain has done the opposite; it has had a phenomenal impact in shaping dense, transit-oriented communities and neighbourhoods throughout the region, and efforts continue to be made to utilize the SkyTrain system to attract dense, transit-oriented development.

In one study conducted by the GVRD Policy & Planning Department in 2002, the amount of population growth within 500m and within 1km of SkyTrain was found to have consistently exceeded the regional average. In another internationally reknowned thesis submitted to the University of London Centre for Transport Studies, SkyTrain was found to be the most effective system between 20 around the world (including light rail systems) in shaping urban growth, and the only system of the 20 which had a significant revitalizing impact on slum areas.

Modern examples of transit-oriented developments that resulted from SkyTrain include Metropolis at Metrotown (Burnaby), Plaza 88 (New Westminster), Aberdeen Square (Richmond), Park Place (Surrey), Coast Capital HQ (Surrey), Brentwood Town Centre redevelopment (Burnaby, upcoming). These developments have added or will add billions of dollars worth of sustainable transit-oriented economic development to the region.

Studies and surveys that support this include:

  1. 2001 CENSUS BULLETIN #1 – POPULATION & DWELLING COUNTS

    by GVRD Policy & Planning Department
    “Between 1996-2001, population growth within 500 metres of the existing SkyTrain line and within one kilometre of existing SkyTrain stations rose at rates of 14.2% and 11.8% respectively, considerably higher than the 8.5% average across the region.”

  2. Urban Rail Systsems: A planning framework to increase their success

    by Ela Babalik, University of London Centre for Transport Studies
    “The most effective system in terms of shaping urban growth is the SkyTrain. The corridor that the SkyTrain runs through became the main development axis of Vancouver with a notably denser urban form after the opening of the SkyTrain. Development densities along the SkyTrain route have changed especially as a result of the rezoning plans of the municipalities. These plans increased the densities at station areas, and encouraged office and retail centres at stations. Some of the SkyTrain stations became the `new town centres’ as proposed in themetropolitan development plan” – page 151

  3. Light Rail, accessibility and land use: a case study of Vancouver’s Light Rail Line

    by Kristin Olson and Faber Maunsell / AECOM (“light rail” refers to SkyTrain)
    “Since completion of Vancouver’s first light rail line, Vancouver has experienced an economic boom, one that is believed to extend to at least 2010, when the city will host the Olympic Winter Games. While it is impossible to link this economic boom directly to with the SkyTrain scheme, the light rail line attracted a greater level of development than the region on a whole.”

  4. Population demographics and transit use patterns in urban areas adjacent to SkyTrain lines

    by Niko Vujevic, Master of Urban Studies at Simon Fraser University
    “The data showed that Millennium Line neighbourhoods have undergone a change since the line opened and attracted new transit riders.”

  5. Rapid Transit Office Index

    by Jones Lang LaSalle
    “The disparity between vacancy rates of the two groups of buildings suggests that tenants are more interested in SkyTrain access than the suburb itself”

The Green Party and Jane Sterk did not mention any source for their claim about SkyTrain. Better Surrey Rapid Transit campaign director Daryl Dela Cruz, the lead statistics analyst of the group, has also found that this is not part of the B.C. Green’s transportation policy on their website.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit demands that the Green Party of BC stop misleading voters, and come clear on where this claim comes from and what is its basis.

For more reality checks, [CLICK HERE]

Also see: Why SkyTrain | Why not LRT

ABOUT BETTER SURREY RAPID TRANSIT

Better Surrey Rapid Transit

Better Surrey Rapid Transit” (skytrainforsurrey.org) was established because Surrey is in need of a bigger solution than what is proposed. TransLink has proposed options for Surrey that do not meet mode-share reduction targets and are far behind what has been achieved in the City of Vancouver. Mayor Watts’ declaration of at-grade Light Rail Transit (LRT) over SkyTrain also does not make sense. Current options look forward to this city’s transportation needs to 2041 (within 30 years), but do not look forward to what the needs will be in 30-50 years and beyond. We want to tell Mayor Watts and TransLink that the solution that Surrey needs is bigger than what everyone wants, and we’re advocating for that bigger solution that Surrey needs – an expansion of SkyTrain.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit’s advocacy now includes a petition campaign that urges decision makers to plan for better Surrey rapid transit. This petition has beeny launched at [CLICK HERE] and promotion efforts (including new videos, online and on-location canvassing efforts, and associated media advisories) continue to advance.

For more information, please contact:

Daryl Dela Cruz
Better Surrey Rapid Transit – Campaign Director
Website: skytrainforsurrey.org – Email: info@skytrainforsurrey.org

Slide 1

PRESENTATION: Rapid transit and Surrey’s needs Executive Summary

Rapid Transit and Surrey’s needs

Examining the modal shift in TransLink’s Surrey Rapid Transit Study alternatives

This is a presentation document that Better Surrey Rapid Transit has prepared for future presentations.

A longer, fully detailed version (which was presented to the City of Surrey Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in April 2013) is available at [CLICK HERE]

Flexity Freedom

REALITY CHECK: Cost of 3 LRT lines vs. SkyTrain to Langley

The City of Surrey has often stated, including on its current Rapid Transit Now advocacy page, that 3 Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines across the city would cost less than building SkyTrain to Langley. This claim is incorrect, and it may also be based on outdated data.

Flexity Freedom

A City of Surrey LRT Demonstration last summer was sponsored by a rolling stock manufacturer (Bombardier)

The latest cost estimate values in the Surrey Rapid Transit Study [1] anticipate that the capital cost at the assumed year of expenditure (i.e. when all work is complete, anticipated to be 2019 in the study) of alternative RRT1 is $1.8 billion, which is lower than the capital cost estimate of alternative LRT1 ($2.18 billion). When inflation to year of expenditure is not considered and costs are measured in proper 2010 dollars (year of study commencement), alternative LRT1 presents a capital cost of $1.99 billion versus RRT1′s $1.645 billion. This means the cost of 3 LRT lines is 21% higher (and not less) than SkyTrain to Langley.

When the net present value (NPV) of costs (which also account for operating costs as well as fare revenues – which are dependent on ridership) is compared, alternative LRT1 presents a capital cost of $1.63 billion versus RRT1′s $1.26 billion. This means that the net present total cost of 3 LRT lines is 29.3% higher (and not less) than SkyTrain to Langley, and is comparable to the net present cost of a SkyTrain extension to Langley with bus rapid transit (BRT) on other corridors.

However, Light Rail costs considerably more than SkyTrain in the study when the NPV of benefits (which accounts for measurable transportation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction benefits) is added to the comparison. Light Rail generates less of both, because slower service speed generates less transportation benefits and also results in less ridership, less new transit trips, and less GHG emission reduction. As a result of a low NPV benefit that does not exceed the NPV cost, alternative LRT1 has a total net present value (NPV benefits – NPV costs) of negative $510 million. When compared to alternative RRT1′s positive $690 million net present value (among the best of alternatives), alternative LRT1 costs 235% more than alternative RRT1.

For the City of Surrey, LRT has been largely about an incorrect perception that it will cost less since Mayor Dianne Watts announced a campaign for it in April 2011 and again in March 2012. This campaign has never been backed up with accurate claims, and the City of Surrey has still not released an actual, statistical written case for building LRT instead of SkyTrain.

For more reality checks, [CLICK HERE]

Footnotes/sources:

  1. IBI Group and TransLink -SURREY RAPID TRANSIT ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS PHASE 2 EVALUATION
Support better options for Surrey rapid transit

Better Surrey Rapid Transit featured on Surrey Now, News 1130

Support better options for Surrey rapid transit

Today, we have been blessed with the great opportunity of a double feature. Following a successful presentation of our Rapid Transit and Surrey’s Needs presentation [CLICK HERE] to the City of Surrey Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, two news agencies in the region have contacted us for a feature. Below are portions of the resulting online articles on the Surrey Now newspaper and News1130 radio:

Surrey Now – Rapid transit proponents urge city to nix light rail (Surrey Now)

A pro-SkyTrain group is calling on the City of Surrey to go with alternatives to at-grade light rail transit, noting that LRT won’t meet long-term transportation plans in the region.

On Monday, Better Surrey Rapid Transit made a presentation to councillors Tom Gill, Marvin Hunt, Barinder Rasode and Barbara Steele – all members of the city’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee – outlining the needs of Surrey and surrounding cities over the next 30-plus years.

Daryl Dela Cruz, campaign director for Better Surrey Rapid Transit, said LRT, backed by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, will not reach regional modal shift targets to reduce car use to 50 per cent from its current position at 84 per cent.

Among the many concerns of transit users, travel time is the biggest issue, and because light rail is limited to speeds of 50 to 60 km/h, he said that will turn many users off of the proposed service.

[READ MORE AT THE SURREY NOW - CLICK HERE]

jacobzinn@gmail.com -Twitter @jacobzinn

SkyTrain is better for Surrey than light rail: group (News1130)

SURREY (NEWS1130) – A group that wants to see better transit service in Surrey says expanding SkyTrain is a better option than a light rail system.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit Executive Director Daryl Dela Cruz says light rail is cheaper, but that doesn’t mean it’s better.

“Light rail provides an inferior transit choice,” he argues. “Similar light rail systems in other cities have not met ridership projections and have caused financial problems that are large in scale and affected transit all over the region.”

Dela Cruz made his case to Surrey’s Transportation Committee earlier this week. Committee Chair Tom Gill agrees the city’s transit network is in dire need of an upgrade, but he’s not sure SkyTrain expansion is the answer.

[READ MORE AT NEWS1130 - CLICK HERE]

BSRT presentation to Surrey

“Rapid Transit and Surrey’s Needs” presentation to Surrey

BSRT presentation to Surrey banner Banner

Better Surrey Rapid Transit is taking a remarkable step forward on Monday with a confirmed presentation to the City of Surrey Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to provide a report on Rapid Transit and Surrey’s Needs” Media may be interested in hearing this presentation as it details a primary case of the Better Surrey Rapid Transit advocacy, a group interested in seeing that Surrey is served by better rapid transit in the future than the current city Light Rail Transit proposal.

Slide documents for this presentation are available for previewing online here at the Better Surrey Rapid Transit website: [CLICK HERE TO VIEW]

The presentation will be occurring at Surrey City Hall’s Executive Boardroom, and is scheduled to occur at 2:35PM. The meeting itself will begin at 2:00PM.

LOCATION

Executive Boardroom,City Hall
14245 – 56 Avenue
Surrey, B.C.

ABOUT BETTER SURREY RAPID TRANSIT

Better Surrey Rapid TransitBetter Surrey Rapid Transit” (skytrainforsurrey.org) was established because Surrey is in need of a bigger solution than what is proposed. TransLink has proposed options for Surrey that do not meet mode-share reduction targets and are far behind what has been achieved in the City of Vancouver. Mayor Watts’ declaration of at-grade Light Rail Transit (LRT) over SkyTrain also does not make sense. Current options look forward to this city’s transportation needs to 2041 (within 30 years), but do not look forward to what the needs will be in 30-50 years and beyond. We want to tell Mayor Watts and TransLink that the solution that Surrey needs is bigger than what everyone wants, and we’re advocating for that bigger solution that Surrey needs – an expansion of SkyTrain.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit’s advocacy now includes a petition campaign that urges decision makers to plan for better Surrey rapid transit. This petition has been quietly launched at [CLICK HERE] and promotion efforts (including new videos, online and on-location canvassing efforts, and associated media advisories) will be advancing in the coming weeks.

For more information, please contact:
Daryl Dela Cruz
Better Surrey Rapid Transit – Campaign Director
Website: 
skytrainforsurrey.org – Email: info@skytrainforsurrey.org