MEDIA RELEASE ／ 2018 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 16, 2018 – Surrey, BC
A string of fatal accidents on Calgary’s light rail transit system should serve as a wake-up call for Surrey residents on the safety and reliability implications of the proposed ground-running light rail system.
On the same day, two separate incidents on Calgary’s C-Train LRT system caused the deaths of a ‘panicked’ six-year old girl and another man. In both of the incidents, C-Train service was shut down in both directions for several hours while police investigated. Hundreds of commuters were left scrambled, confused and frustrated as they faced delays and had to find shuttle buses or alternate means of transporation.
The recent incidents in Calgary had the attention of numerous concerned citizens who have been trying to draw attention to the issue of LRT safety for decades. The Calgary Herald newspaper recently published some of their comments, in an article that takes note of the “chronic danger of level crossings”.
“I thought it was a mistake. It seems the city has seen pedestrian fatalities just about everywhere the LRT crosses a major road.”
– Dave Fryett, engineer who wanted grade-separation of the LRT at Somerset-Bridlewood
“We all understand that if you put it underground, or raise the station, it costs more money. But what is the value of all these lives?”
– Allan Hunter, two-time Mayoral candidate and LRT safety advocate
Throughout our years of advocacy, we have emphasized that a rapid transit backbone built on street-running, ground-level trains would pose serious implications for both safety and reliability. The proposed on-street alignment introduces the possibility of collisions and accidents, which could affect perceptions of safety and reliability – as well as ridership – on a Surrey LRT system.
In the event of an accident, light rail trains cannot maneuver around another stopped train or vehicle. Buses can often get around incidents, and a SkyTrain extension avoids this issue altogether as there is no chance of collisions: the elevated tracks pass safely over roads and sidewalks.
With only a few days to go until a major election, it is critical that citizens use this chance to act. Many parties and candidates have offered to pause or cancel the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT and prioritize a SkyTrain extension, and we are encouraging our supporters to vote for those candidates.
A fully grade-separated extension of SkyTrain will not only bring higher time savings and attract more riders, it will not be prone to fatal collisions that can cost peoples’ lives and stop commuters in their tracks. Today we are urge residents, decision-makers and other stakeholders to recognize that street-running, ground-level trains in Surrey will be an enormously expensive mistake.
The second largest city in British Columbia deserves better and should not accept light rail.
October 20th is our chance to ensure that Surrey receives the best rapid transit system that will adequately and safely serve our city for generations. Vote for candidates that support SKYTRAIN!
Voters’ guide: skytrainforsurrey.org/vote2018
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]