METRO Vancouver mayors are moving ahead with the full business case for the proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain from King George to Langley City. With $1.6-billion in project funding currently available to build four stations ending in Fleetwood, the Mayors’ Council is calling on senior governments to commit additional funding for the Phase Three Plan of the 10-Year Vision so the line can be extended all the way to Langley in one continuous project as part of a region-wide transit expansion.
Jonathan Cote, New Westminster Mayor and Chair of the Mayors’ Council, said Thursday’s vote shifts the region’s transit debate from one about planning to action. “Today’s vote means the Mayors’ Council is now ready to work with its provincial and federal partners to secure the necessary funding for the Phase Three Plan as quickly as possible so we can build the Surrey Langley SkyTrain, continue to expand bus service to every corner of Metro Vancouver, including five additional RapidBus lines, and begin planning for new projects to be identified in the Transport 2050 plan.”
Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek said communities south of the Fraser need major transit investment, and the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension will bring benefits for the entire region. “It’s very exciting to see the plan moving into action. This project is a key part of the 10-Year Vision and will deliver the rapid transit residents have been calling for.”
The time to act is now, according to Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “The population of Surrey, Langley City and Langley Township is expected to rise by 280,000 people by 2035. We must be ready, or we will be stuck in congestion that hurts our economy and the quality of life of our residents. We need to know that the entire project has financial support from federal and provincial governments.”
In the lead up to the federal election campaign, the Mayors’ Council has called on political parties and candidates to commit to the creation of a permanent Congestion Relief Fund, which would provide the dedicated federal funding needed to proceed with procurement for the entire Surrey Langley SkyTrain project and the remaining projects in the 10-Year Vision – without delay.
With 85 per cent of Surrey and Langley residents supporting the project, according to an April 2019 survey, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says federal political parties need to tell voters where they stand. “We’re asking federal candidates to commit to a Congestion Relief Fund, so we can move forward with this important project, as well as the projects the final phase of the 10-Year Vision and those to be identified through the Transport 2050 planning process. Residents who want better access to rapid transit can make their voices heard by sending a message to their local candidates at CureCongestion.ca.”
The 16.5-kilometre Surrey Langley SkyTrain will provide fast and reliable transit for about 62,000 people per day by 2035.
TransLink staff will spend the next several months finalizing the business case, consulting the public and conducting environmental reviews. The business case for Surrey Langley SkyTrain is expected to be complete in mid-2020.