SkyTrain for Surrey, not LRT!


Long-held misconceptions about SkyTrain's technology debunked

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 12, 2019 – Surrey, BC

Today, spokespersons from both the provincial government and TransLink have put a long-held misconception about Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrain system to rest.

Vancouver city councillor Colleen Hardwick previously motioned to place two major SkyTrain expansion projects in the city on hold, claiming that technologies used by our system are “proprietary” and that criminial prosecution charges against those who “hold technical patents” could impact our ability to use the technologies in further SkyTrain system expansions.

For over 7 years, SkyTrain for Surrey has challenged many similar assertions that the propulsion and control systems used by the SkyTrain system are ‘proprietary’. Our opponents in Surrey and Langley repeatedly discouraged SkyTrain expansion with a reasoning that decision makers should not choose a system that is “outdated” or “only offered by a single company” (usually cited to be either Bombardier or SNC-Lavalin).

“SNC Lavalin and Bombardier do not hold patents on equipment or components that could not be supplied by others. Automated train lines are popular around the world and that growth has brought more choice in the market.” – Provincial government in statement to News1130

We are incredibly pleased to hear from both TransLink and the provincial government, whose affirmations in response to councilor Hardwick ensure that future SkyTrain expansions—including the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension that was fought for by our campaign—can go ahead.

For the first time ever, regional stakeholders with an interest in rapid transit expansion can take part in a discourse that is not deterred by rampant misinformation about our system. We are proud to have played a part in achieving this monumental step forward for rapid transit in our region.

Our timeline of action against misleading SkyTrain claims

  • Feb 2012: SkyTrain for Surrey notes use of linear induction motors (LIMs) in numerous cities in Japan
  • Dec 2012: SkyTrain for Surrey calls out misinformation from South-of-Fraser based transit organization Rail for the Valley in a detailed response
  • Apr 2013: SkyTrain for Surrey responds a second time to Malcolm Johnston from Rail for the Valley
  • Sept 2013: SkyTrain for Surrey calls out misinformation from owner of Ontario-based Cassana Technologies in a discussion on Twitter
  • Sept 2013: SkyTrain for Surrey’s founder (Daryl Dela Cruz) publishes a list of Linear Induction Motor transit systems around the world
  • 2014-15: SkyTrain for Surrey’s founder uncovers plans for new LIM rail systems in Sendai, Fukuoka, Tokyo, Guangzhou, and Naha in Okinawa.
  • Nov 2015: SkyTrain for Surrey challenges “SkyTrain is outdated” news report aired on Global News BC (along with accompanying claims made by UBC professor Patrick Condon, and South Fraser On-Trax blogger Nathan Pachal) in a detailed response
  • Sept 2018: SkyTrain for Surrey’s founder (Daryl Dela Cruz) notes on his blog that claims of SkyTrain being “proprietary” in a 1999 consultant report may have contributed to the 2003 cancellation of what was to be the second phase of SkyTrain’s Millennium Line.
  • Oct 2018: SkyTrain for Surrey’s founder speaks with Bombardier engineers at the Rail~Volution conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dec 2018: TransLink staff clarify for the first time during Mayors’ Council meeting that SkyTrain is not proprietary technology: “We are not stuck with Bombardier”
  • Feb 2019: FAQ disclaimer on ‘SkyTrain technology’ is included in TransLink’s SkyTrain to UBC and Surrey-Langley SkyTrain web-pages
  • Mar 2019: TransLink and Provincial governments release statements regarding SkyTrain technology, first reported by Daily Hive Vancouver, confirming that no patents for our system are held by Bombardier or SNC-Lavalin.

About SkyTrain for Surrey

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.

Media Contact:

Daryl Dela Cruz ​– Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]

Long-held misconceptions about SkyTrain’s technology debunked