SkyTrain for Surrey, not LRT!
#buildSLS update – TransLink has indicated that the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain will now open in 2028, instead of in 2025.
We are exceptionally disappointed to hear today that our decade-long battle to get a Surrey-Langley SkyTrain built has been extended by another 3 years. It was not that long ago that TransLink’s outgoing CEO Kevin Desmond made a strong indication that the entire 16-kilometre Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension could be finished by 2025 if funding agreements from all levels of government were in place.
These comments were made at a time when the funding agreements from the provincial and federal governments had not yet been secured, and that has changed. Today we are proud to say that the SLS is recognized by both provincial and federal governments as a major infrastructure priority, with both having stated their intent to fund the full 16-kilometre extension. This is because YOU (the voters)—over consecutive local, provincial, and federal elections—have sent a strong message to all three levels of government: we need to get on with building the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain.
While the challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are undeniable, our need for this critical public transit infrastructure has not been erased. In fact, our need for the SLS is stronger than ever, given the need for affordable housing and the preparations being made by municipalities along the line (Surrey and Langley) to prepare for construction, accommodate rapid growth, and do so sustainably by planning for transit-oriented development.
The City of Surrey’s plan to add 100,000 additional residents and 12,500 additional employment spaces in Fleetwood will not work without the SLS. Neither will Langley City’s proposed changes to zoning and development as part of the new Langley City Official Community Plan. Furthermore, it is only in the last few weeks that Surrey City Council gave third-reading approval to Centre Block, a massive development that will locate B.C.’s tallest office tower and over 10,000 new jobs right next to the SLS’s downtown Surrey terminus at Surrey Central Station. And, this proposal is just one among many.
There is no way we will be able to accommodate these plans and developments, which are already underway, without construction of the SLS as planned. We have seen what happens in other Canadian cities when they don’t build, under-build, or select the wrong technologies for critical transit projects.
Today the SkyTrain for Surrey organization is coming back together to urge all three levels of government to make do on the mandate we have given them and expedite construction of the SLS. We want this message to go out to everybody: if you follow us, now is the time to write to your local MLAs, MPs, Councillors, and local leaders. A 3-year delay to complete the SLS is not acceptable, and it is important that the delay be reduced as much as possible.
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension. From our beginnings as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, we grew into a community of like-minded folk, taking on various projects such as making SkyTrain an election issue in 2018 as a registered advocacy group. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality transit infrastructure projects serving Surrey, Delta and the Langleys.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]