Readers from around Metro Vancouver might have noticed writing from Better Surrey Rapid Transit’s campaign director in today’s issue of the Vancouver Sun.
The newsletter by Campaign Director Daryl Dela Cruz presents a strong message about the weak business case of LRT in Surrey, how the LRT pursuit weakens Surrey’s case for any rapid transit, and the need to pursue different options in order to make rapid transit in Surrey a reality.
LRT in Surrey won’t fly, stick with SkyTrain
Rapid transit decisions are about more than just capital cost.
There are other costs and measurable benefits that need to be considered. These together make up two different and more relevant numbers called “net present value” and “benefit-cost ratio,” which form the business case that determines the feasibility of a rapid transit project for approval and funding.
According to TransLink’s recently released final evaluations, Surrey’s preferred LRT option has a benefit-cost ratio of 0.69: 1 (meaning that every $1 invested will generate just $0.69 in cost return) and a net present value of negative $510 million. It is the worst out of all the options.
I have no idea how Surrey is supposed to get senior-level government funding, as needed to make any rapid transit a reality, if that is the business case for their preferred option. It is like trying to hit your target, but deliberately putting your foot in front of the barrel.
Surrey LRT will never become a reality.
I’ve been telling the city for two years to put LRT to rest and consider the positive benefit-cost ratios presented by SkyTrain options.
Daryl Dela Cruz
Campaign director at Better Surrey Rapid Transit
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