The survey is a slap in the face of those Surrey councillors and others who have been trying to sabotage Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum
RESULTS from the first stage of public engagement on the proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain and rapid transit options for 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard show strong support for improved rapid transit in Surrey and Langley.
Between April 4 and 26, TransLink collected 21,267 survey responses, with nearly 17,000 of them from residents in Surrey and Langley.
“This engagement received the second greatest number of responses in the history of TransLink engagements, second only to a topic that affected the entire region,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “Ridership is booming, especially south of the Fraser, and the incredible number of responses from this engagement demonstrates how important it is that we continue improving and expanding our transit system.”
Survey results indicate widespread support for the proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain. In Surrey and Langley, 85% of respondents support the proposed project, and in the rest of the region, support lies at 84%. The following is a breakdown of support:
- Surrey – 82%
- City of Langley – 90%
- Township of Langley – 92%
- Rest of Metro Vancouver – 84%
The survey asked the public to rank values for consideration in rapid transit planning, including the 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard corridors. Survey respondents identified the following as their top three values:
- Predictable transit travel time that helps me get to my destination faster
- Efficient use of public money
- A comfortable and safe experience when I use transit
To help gather feedback on rapid transit south of the Fraser, TransLink commissioned a market research survey to help obtain statistically-representative responses. Findings were consistent with the public engagement survey.
To ensure broad access to information and to maximize public participation, the three-week engagement period included:
- Online opportunities, including a survey in English and Punjabi
- In-person opportunities, including four open houses and promotions at major transit hubs in Surrey and Langley
- Outreach to diverse communities, including South Asian, Korean, Chinese, and Filipino, through advertising; attendance at Surrey’s Party for the Planet and Vaisakhi Parade; and a presence at temples.
Feedback from the engagement will help to inform ongoing planning work and will form part of TransLink’s project update to the Mayors’ Council in July.
For more information, visit: www.surreylangleyskytrain.ca
What McCallum said on the SkyTrain issue in his State of the City Address earlier this month:
TALKING about rapid transition, McCallum told the audience: “We just received a new addition to Surrey Central station, my thanks to TransLink for that. Prior to this, do you know the last time any new rapid transit expansion happened in our city? Let me give you a hint. Mike Harcourt was Premier. The year was 1994. That was when Phase 3 of the Expo Line extended from Scott Road to City Centre. Three stations were opened at Gateway, Surrey Central and King George.
“Well ladies and gentlemen, it is now a quarter of a century later and there has not been a single kilometer of new track built in Surrey. In the meantime, a whole generation has passed, and Surrey has gone from being a suburb to BC’s second largest city and soon to be the largest within the next two decades.
“In the last 12 years alone, Surrey’s population has increased by more than 100,000 people. So, yes, we absolutely need to get moving fast.”
McCallum noted that what his slate campaigned on clearly resonated with Surrey voters.
He pointed out: “Our plan to cancel Light Rail and replace it with SkyTrain was the issue that sparked debate during the campaign. What I heard at the doorsteps and in the meeting halls were a loud call for SkyTrain for Surrey. To some of you, the switch to SkyTrain may appear to benefit only a portion of the city, but SkyTrain is good for all of Surrey and the entire region.
“When I was Chair of TransLink, I believed that rapid transit should never be about serving a single city. It should be about serving the greater whole. Case in point, the deal to build the Canada Line was done while I was TransLink Chair. I understood how important it was to have the Canada Line link the airport to Downtown Vancouver and beyond. No one would argue now that the Canada Line has proved its worth for all who live in the region. No doubt it was the right project for that time.
“Fast forward to 2019, the right project for the region is SkyTrain for Surrey. It is Surrey’s turn for rapid transit expansion, and while it has taken us decades to get to this point, SkyTrain is now truly a regional mover of people as we extend new service east through Fleetwood, Clayton and to Langley. I should add that Surrey’s new line along Fraser Highway is only the first phase as future plans have SkyTrain expanding into Newton and ultimately into South Surrey.”
McCallum added: “TransLink is hard at work on a business plan for the Surrey SkyTrain expansion and that report is expected to be tabled at the Mayors’ Council in July. I am very optimistic that we will be ready to go to tender next year, with construction beginning in early 2021.”