Newly-elected govt needs to improve transit, says former premier

One of BC’s former premiers says the Lower Mainland needs better transit service and the newly-elected government needs to make that happen.

Mike Harcourt feels there are three areas in particular that should be priorities.

“There are three lines in Surrey, the line out to UBC, and the gondola up to SFU,” Harcourt told News1130. “Get them all done. Give people a really good transit system.”

There has been much debate in Metro Vancouver over which is a bigger priority: The line out to UBC or expanding transit routes south of the Fraser River. The mayors of Vancouver and Surrey have each made cases for their own cities.

Buses to UBC are stuffed with students every day and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson wants to see a subway line to the university.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts says her city has waited patiently with no significant transit upgrades while major projects, such as the Evergreen Line and Canada Line, have been built in other communities. Her city’s transportation committee is eying light rail transit down 104th Avenue and Fraser Highway toward Langley as possible solutions. Council is also looking at possibilities to serve South Surrey.

Harcourt says both mayors should get their wish. “We have to finish the transit system. We got three quarters of it done; let’s finish the rest.”