THE Surrey Langley SkyTrain project took a significant step forward on Thursday with the endorsement of the new rapid transit’s line business case by the Mayors’ Council. The City of Surrey has been growing at a tremendous pace, yet there has been no expansion of rapid transit since 1994. This new SkyTrain extension will bring SkyTrain’s fast, frequent, reliable, and convenient service to two of the fastest growing cities in the region.
“I am proud of what has been achieved in a little more than one year’s time,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “The switch in technology from light rail to SkyTrain is no easy feat, but this is undoubtedly the right thing to do not only for Surrey, but for the region as a whole. Since its introduction for Expo 86, SkyTrain has been a swift, reliable and accessible platform to move people in the Lower Mainland. I want to thank my colleagues on the Mayors’ Council for their support and for their recognition that rapid transit expansion South of the Fraser is long overdue. I also want to commend both City and TransLink staff for delivering the business case for this project in record time. When I was running for Mayor, bringing SkyTrain to Surrey was a major plank of my campaign platform. Today is proof that I keep my promises.”
With the business case completed and in the hands of senior government, final approval is anticipated by summer, triggering procurement later this year, construction beginning in early 2022 and the new system running by 2025.
Surrey-Langley SkyTrain (SLS) extension is a sound investment, advancing both local and regional prosperity.
- Over the next 30 years, the cities of Surrey and Langley expect to welcome more than 400,000 new residents and create 185,000 additional jobs.
- By 2035, 80,000 people will live within a short walk of the proposed stations; it will connect people to 380,000 jobs and 23,000 post-secondary education spaces; and it will reduce greenhouse gases by more than 17,000 tonnes through the diversion of people in vehicles and diesel bus service.
- The Benefit-Cost Ratio is high (1.24) demonstrating that its transit passenger, environmental, and wide economic benefits surpass costs over a 30-year period. In fact, the Benefit-Cost Ratio is comparable to previous SkyTrain projects (Canada Line and Evergreen) and 30% higher than LRT.
- SLS achieves its objectives of an optimal user experience — providing fast, frequent, reliable, and convenient service across the region, and increased access to employment, schools, housing, and services.
There is strong support for the SkyTrain extension in Surrey, especially built in one stage and on an expedited basis.
- Support for the Project remains very high, averaging 81%.
- 2019 saw record-breaking response to engagement (30,000 completed surveys, 3,000 attended 9 Open Houses, 5,000 participated in Telephone Town Hall)
- Residents have told us they want SkyTrain built quickly, and in one phase.
- Residents value ‘predictable travel time’, ‘efficient use of public money’, and ‘comfortable and safe experience’ over other factors. SkyTrain scores high in all these areas.
The City says, “We’ve kept our promise. Surrey’s SkyTrain extension is on track.”
Project schedule is right on pace and the City has been working closely with TransLink to meet the aggressive timelines set in the Workplan a year ago.
The City says it is hard at work ensuring that growth along the corridor follows its Smart Development Principles, delivering planned population and job growth through transit-oriented densification around station areas.
Several land use plans are in the process of being updated or created Surrey City Centre (2021), Fleetwood (Summer 2022), West Clayton (late 2022), East Clayton (late 2022), and East Cloverdale (late 2023).