SKYTRAIN for Surrey on Tuesday took issue with what it said was a misleading claim perpetuated by the Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman related to the cost difference between light rail and the proposed Expo Line: Langley Extension.
In a recent interview with CTV News, Huberman claimed that SkyTrain “costs at least three times more to build than LRT”. This is completely false, said SkyTrain for Surrey.
Cost estimates for a SkyTrain and LRT on the same Fraser Highway route were published by TransLink and have been viewable on their website since July of this year. According to their estimates, a street-running LRT would cost $1.95 billion, while the SkyTrain extension would cost $2.9 billion.
This is a cost difference of approximately 49%, not in excess of 300% as suggested by Huberman.
In addition, both estimates were stated in year-of-expenditure (2022) dollars and included generous 25% contingencies on much of the construction and design costs. “We believe that the cost estimate for SkyTrain is overstated by as much as $500 million dollars,” said SkyTrain for Surrey.
SkyTrain for Surrey urged local leaders fighting for SkyTrain to stand strong in their dialogue with local business and community groups. Some of these groups may not have the correct information and may have special interests which do not align with those of the majority of Surrey and Langley voters who have demanded SkyTrain – not LRT, according to SkyTrain for Surrey.