FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 6, 2018 – Surrey, BC
Last night, Surrey City Council passed a motion instructing TransLink to stop all work on the previously-planned Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT and endorsing construction of a Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension.
More than 225,000 people will be within reach of the new SkyTrain extension on Fraser Highway, including 144,000 people in Fleetwood, Cloverdale and Clayton; 26,000 people in Langley City; and more than 55,000 people in the surrounding Langley Township communities of Willoughby, Murrayville and Brookswood.
Riders on the new SkyTrain extension will enjoy unprecedented travel time, reliability and connectivity improvements. The SkyTrain extension will feature full grade-separation from traffic and it will inherit the 96% on-time reliability experienced by SkyTrain riders on the rest of the SkyTrain system.
With the cancellation of street-level light rail on King George Blvd and 104 Avenue, Surrey will no longer be making the most expensive mistake in the region’s history.
The business case for the SNG LRT anticipated that the $1.65 billion line would offer a benefit-cost ratio of 0.7, based on a net present value of -$316 million. LRT would have delivered little improvements to travel times, and transit use in Surrey would have only increased by less than 1%.
|SNG LRT Benefit-cost ratio
|SNG LRT net present value
As a result of the SNG LRT cancellation, TransLink will be avoiding a project that would have posed little to no benefit to other cities in the Lower Mainland. The cancellation of LRT, approved unanimously by Surrey City Council, is not only a victory for Surrey but it is a victory for the rest of the region.
Although future SkyTrain will service Fraser Highway, TransLink can still deliver significant improvements to transit service on the King George Blvd and 104 Ave corridors for a fraction of the cost.
We have frequently suggested that TransLink pursue enhancements to the existing 96 B-Line and consider Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)—both of which would deliver travel time improvements, ride quality, and economic benefits comparable to LRT, but for a fraction of the cost.
As Surrey becomes the region’s largest city, TransLink and the City will eventually need to look into a permanent, rail-based solution to serve this corridor in the long-term.
As such, SkyTrain for Surrey will advocate for necessary right-of-way protections that will permit SkyTrain expansion down King George Blvd, 104 Avenue, and other key city corridors in the future.
(Click or tap the below image to view full-size!)
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]