TRANSLINK has launched a new website “to help keep you informed about rapid transit planning south of the Fraser, including opportunities to get involved.”
The website – https://surreylangleyskytrain.ca/ – states: “Surrey Langley SkyTrain will transform Surrey and Langley into connected, complete and livable communities, making the cities and the region more vibrant, accessible, competitive and sustainable.”
It says: “To meet the needs of our growing region, expand our transit system, and reduce congestion on our roads, the mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation developed the 10-Year Vision for Metro Vancouver Transportation.
“South of the Fraser, the mayors identified 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway as key corridors in need of rapid transit to help support municipal development by providing more transportation choices for those travelling in and around their communities and those commuting within the greater region.”
The benefits: “Surrey Langley SkyTrain will decrease commute times, help keep the region connected and revitalize urban neighbourhoods.”
– Reduce Congestion: More people using public transit means fewer vehicles on the road.
– Increase Transit Network Capacity: SkyTrain can help meet long-term ridership demand along key corridors.
– Transform Communities: More transit options provide choice for commuters and helps create more livable communities.
– Protect the Environment: SkyTrain runs on electricity with no operating emissions, reducing greenhouse gases and the region’s dependency on fossil fuels.
– Create Economic Growth and Jobs: Major transit infrastructure projects help grow our economy by spurring development and land-use change, and creating diverse jobs opportunities.
– Meet Federal, Provincial and Regional Goals: Improve transit to help facilitate sustainable regional growth.
– Assure Reliability and Safety: With grade-separated tracks, travel times remain consistent. TransLink’s on-time performance rate for SkyTrain is 95% or better.
The route: “The 17-kilometre Surrey Langley SkyTrain will extend from Surrey’s King George Station along Fraser Highway to 203 Street in the City of Langley. Our current work includes updating the cost-estimate for this project and determining how far along Fraser Highway the line could be constructed with the approved $1.6 billion in funding. We are also exploring how work could be sequenced to complete the entire route.”
The website also has a section about Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the Surrey Langley SkyTrain Project?
In December 2018, the regional Mayors’ Council on Transportation directed TransLink to proceed immediately with planning and project development for a Surrey Langley SkyTrain Project.
Why now? According to the mayors’ 10-Year Vision, wasn’t rapid transit along Fraser Highway supposed to follow the building of rapid transit in Surrey-Newton-Guildford?
In light of the resolution passed by Surrey City Council on November 5, 2018 to cancel the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Project and instead extend SkyTrain along Fraser Highway toward Langley, the Mayors’ Council endorsed a TransLink recommendation to suspend the Surrey LRT Project, pausing all work and spending on it.
What does project development for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain involve?
This planning work includes design requirements, costing, public engagement, First Nations engagement, an environmental review, municipal partnership agreements with the City of Surrey, City of Langley and Township of Langley, and drafting a business case for senior government approval.
What is the timeline for this Project?
Project development will take approximately 15 months until spring 2020. Following this, a procurement process would take another 15 months, and construction would take approximately four years.
Has this Project already been approved?
No. The project requires business case approval by federal, provincial and the Mayors’ Council as well as TransLink’s Board of Directors.
How much will this Project cost?
In 2017, a preliminary cost estimate for a 17-kilometre Surrey Langley SkyTrain was $2.9 billion. Current approved funding for this project is limited to what remains of the amount that was originally approved in TransLink’s Phase 2 Investment Plan for the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Project – approximately $1.6 billion.
Part of our work includes updating the cost estimate and determining how far along Fraser Highway the line could be constructed with the already approved funding.
Will there be public engagement on the Surrey Langley SkyTrain Project?
Public engagement will be a key component of project development. We value your input and want to know what you think. Sign up [you can go to the new website] to receive project updates and learn about opportunities to get involved.
Will there be an environmental assessment?
TransLink is committed to sustainable best practices and will conduct an environmental review of the area.
What are the benefits of the Surrey Langley SkyTrain?
As the population in communities south of the Fraser continues to grow, so does demand for transit. A SkyTrain along Fraser Highway will help meet current and future transit needs. It will also connect commuters travelling between Langley and Surrey as well as the broader region, providing commuters with a frequent, reliable and convenient mode of rapid transit.
Are there still plans to build rapid transit where the SNG LRT would have gone – along 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard?
In December 2018, the Mayors’ Council directed TransLink to initiate a planning process to refresh the South of Fraser Rapid Transit Plan, consistent with the 10-Year Vision of building 27 kilometres of rapid transit on the 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway corridors.
Why was the new B-Line bus service along Fraser Highway cancelled?
While the Fraser Highway B-Line would be a welcome service along the corridor, until rapid transit is implemented, it isn’t cost-effective to invest resources in new B-Line infrastructure that would only be dismantled for construction.
Resources for the proposed B-Line bus service along Fraser Highway will be directed toward improving existing local bus services, such as the 502, 503 and the 96 B-Line.