SkyTrain for Surrey is pleased to receive an announcement from TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond, who has said that SkyTrain is still under consideration for planned rapid transit on Fraser Highway.
Today’s announcement means that SkyTrain for Surrey is closer to winning a SkyTrain victory for transit users South-of-the-Fraser, after over 3 years of ongoing advocacy. Mayor Linda Hepner confirmed that dual business cases are under development for SkyTrain and LRT, and we are looking forward to reviewing these.
SkyTrain for Surrey, started in 2012 by local transit advocate Daryl Dela Cruz, has pushed SkyTrain on a platform centred on raising major issues with the Light Rail system promoted by Surrey. As of (updated: May 2018), more than 4,300 people have signed our online petition urging a switch to SkyTrain.
We’ve pointed out that a Light Rail system would result in significantly higher land acquisition (recently blamed for an increase in the projected cost to $2.6 billion), increased traffic congestion with narrowed roadways, lower travel time savings (with only marginal savings over existing B-Line buses) and higher long-term operating debts resulting from lower projected ridership.
We have also noted that the initial phase-2 Surrey Rapid Transit Study, conducted by TransLink and the province in partnership with Surrey, anticipated a less-than-positive benefit-cost ratio for street-level LRT.
SkyTrain for Surrey has primarily advocated for an elevated SkyTrain extension on Fraser Highway, but has also pushed for bus rapid transit on the “L Line” corridor which includes 104 Ave and King George Blvd.
Using BRT on the “L Line” corridor would allow the total initial costs for South Fraser rapid transit with SkyTrain to match the costs of LRT, plus offer less impact during construction, through-running services with less transfers, and easy upgrade-ability to LRT when needed.
Jeff Nagel – June 7, 2016 on the Surrey Now-Leader
The planned rapid transit line down Fraser Highway from Surrey to Langley – touted by the City of Surrey as part of its intended light rail network – could still end up being an extension of SkyTrain, according to TransLink’s CEO.
Kevin Desmond made the comments in a question-and-answer appearance before the Surrey Board of Trade Tuesday, highlighting one of the biggest uncertainties to be resolved around the transit expansion plan as area mayors and the province work to hammer out a funding solution.
“There are differences of opinion,” Desmond said, who in a later interview cited divergent views of the province, Surrey and Langley about what technology should be used for the Fraser Hwy line.
SkyTrain for Surrey is a local grassroots organization calling for a SkyTrain and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network instead of the currently-proposed on-street Light Rail system in Surrey. Our campaign has called on decision-makers to build the Langley Extension of the SkyTrain Expo Line, in conjunction with an extension of the 96 B-Line to Coquitlam Centre and White Rock as a Bus Rapid Transit system.
For further information, contact:
Daryl Dela Cruz, Founding Director
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]