Tom Gill working towards better transport & housing bylaws for Surrey

Councillor Tom Gill says transit will be one of the most important issues for Surrey voters heading into the next provincial election.

Gill has been working towards providing better transport connectivity and residential bylaws for Surrey residents.

Gill said Surrey provides $41 million a year to TransLink and is not receiving value for that money.

Recently Gill successfully worked towards getting a new residential construction bylaw approved which allows owners to have a greater covered area in a residential plot of 5000 sq. yds. (Now they can construct 3500 sq yds, whereas earlier it was 2500 sq yds).

Speaking with The Voice, Gill said, “This is one of my biggest achievements as councillor, I would say. This move will help owners construct more in their plot of land. It will help owners with existing suites. It will also help builders.“

On the transport issue however, a group that wants to see better transit service in Surrey says expanding SkyTrain is a better option than a light rail system.

Better Surrey Rapid Transit Executive Director Daryl Dela Cruz says light rail is cheaper, but that doesn’t mean it’s better.

Dela Cruz made his case to Surrey’s Transportation Committee earlier this week. Committee Chair Tom Gill agrees the city’s transit network is in dire need of an upgrade, but he’s not sure SkyTrain expansion is the answer.

“Surrey has been very patient over the last number of years and looking at the infrastructure that has been built, we really feel it is our turn,” says Gill.

“We’ve got some specific lines that we’d like to see down 104th and the other track would go down Fraser Highway toward Langley and we’ll look at other opportunities to service South Surrey. The cost of a SkyTrain is significantly more than At-grade rail and we’re trying to understand how we can accommodate the city’s needs, so looking at a hybrid of two different technologies is the likely solution.”

Gill said the city’s been told at-grade rail will cost approximately $65 to $85 million per kilometre and SkyTrain at $100 to $120 million per kilometre.