Surrey will push ‘yes’ vote, White Rock is still unsure

SURREY/WHITE ROCK — Surrey council is officially committed to holding a campaign to encourage a "yes" vote in the upcoming transit referendum.

The motion was passed unanimously at the most recent council meeting and falls in line with the city’s long-term vision for Surrey light rapid transit.

But while Surrey has come out with a firm stance on the matter, White Rock council has yet to take an official position.

According to White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, council has not yet been able to meet about the upcoming referendum but noted they were hopeful TransLink would be able to come in soon to discuss it with them.

"We’re trying to work out a time for TransLink to come along and give us the lowdown on the referendum, what it entails and what are the actual takes for the City of White Rock," he said. "Once council has that information, we’ll be in a better position to take a position on it."

Baldwin, a member of the TransLink Mayors’ Council, said at first glance White Rock would likely derive some decent benefit if the referendum were to pass, but would like clarification from TransLink directly.

"What we’d get would be a B-Line bus from White Rock into a new light rapid transit station in Surrey, somewhere towards King George and Newton," he said.

"I believe we would get better handyDART services and some new buses as well. The indirect benefits are much bigger probably."

Baldwin also noted the new Pattullo Bridge would provide more opportunities for people to take public transit, as "if we don’t do that, our gridlock situation is going to be worse so it’ll make it much more difficult for anyone in White Rock to go out of the city and do anything else."

Baldwin said something needs to be done soon, as the region cannot continue as-is for much longer.

"It’s going to be way, way worse than we currently have it," he predicted. "For those who still have to drive and aren’t able to use transit, (the referendum) may directly reduce the load on the streets. With another million (people) moving into the Lower Mainland, people are going to have cars and you can’t stop them from doing that, so we have to be prepared for it."

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