City of Surrey envisions 150 kilometres of light rail transit

City of Surrey envisions 150 kilometres of light rail transit

It’s an ‘initial long-range rapid transit vision concept, at a City of Surrey population of one million people and 500,000 jobs’

As TransLink prepares to update its Regional Transportation Strategy in 2019, the City of Surrey is working on its own long-term rapid transit vision that is hoped to influence the regional plan.

City staff have prepared a report, titled Surrey Long-Range Rapid Transit Vision, zeroing in on just how large the city’s rapid transit network needs to be decades from now.

To make its recommendation to Surrey council, city staff compared long-term transit plans for Vancouver, Calgary, as well as other comparable cities across North America, Australia and Europe, according to a report.

After that analysis, staff determined the City of Surrey should target a rapid transit network in the range of 140 to 150 kilometres in size (similar to what is planned in Vancouver and Calgary).

On Monday night, staff presented city council with a draft map, for discussion, showing a wildly larger LRT system than the 27-kilometre system currently proposed along King George Boulevard, 104th Avenue and Fraser Highway.

The draft image of Surrey’s long-range rapid transit vision shows “future LRT” extending to South Surrey (via King George Boulevard), as well as along 96th, 64th and 24th Avenues, as well as 120th and 192nd Streets.

Click here to see the full report, and a larger image of the map.

See also: All eyes on Newton as Surrey LRT plan rolls forward

See also: Surrey to contribute $24M to LRT costs

Surrey’s Engineering Communications Manager Rosemary Silva said in an email that the image “is an initial long-range rapid transit vision concept, at a City of Surrey population of one million people and 500,000 jobs, targeting a rapid transit network of 140 to 150 kilometres delivered in phased implementation over the next 10 to 20 years and beyond.

“It includes future investments after the Surrey-Langley LRT line is delivered and contemplates a high-frequency, grid-based network that would provide service to over 90 per cent of people and jobs would be within a five to 10 minute walk from a transit stop (i.e., LRT, SkyTrain or B-Line service),” she wrote.

The report suggests a “grid network” is one of the most efficient and effective rapid transit network types, which provides service to a high number of people and has “the ability to attract many new riders because they are simple, direct, easy to understand and useful to a broad range of people.”

City council voted unanimously to accept the report as information.

Surrey First Councillor Dave Woods said the report “really capitalizes on what we’re trying to do here in the City of Surrey and the long-term vision.”

Woods said when people challenge him about Surrey’s decision to build light rail instead of SkyTrain, he tells them the city is “trying to build a system here that will last for 100 years and will accommodate probably three times the amount of population that’s here in the city right now.”

See also: VIDEOS: LRT car showcased for first time in Surrey

See also: Surrey light rail price tag hits $1.65 billion

Woods asked City Manager Vincent Lalonde to put the report online so the public had easy access to it.

“I’m frequently getting emails from the public criticizing this council for the decision we made to go with LRT and quite frankly, I don’t think it’s justified,” said Woods. “I think this report here provides some pretty sound rationale as to why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Mayor Linda Hepner said she shares Woods’ opinion.

“Not a lot of people understand it’s actually a network we’re building, not a straight up line,” noted Hepner.

She said as the regional transportation plan is updated, “we should be sharing this with that committee so there’s lots of conversation over the next couple of years before those final decisions on transportation are made.”

Surrey First Councillor Vera LeFranc said the report was “very inspirational.”

According to LeFranc, LRT “makes more sense in the larger context of how we want to connect every single neighbourhood in Surrey.”

“I can imagine in the not too distant future when every resident of Surrey will be within five to 10 minutes walk of a frequent transit network,” said LeFranc. “That’s really what we want for our city. I think we have a dream where our grid is significant and we can reach every neighbourhood. I think we’re supporting also small business, we’re not going to have LRT flying over top of small businesses, small business will be well connected by LRT. I think as well you can see the city will develop around these LRT networks in very family friendly and sensitive way and I think that’s critically important for a city like ours that’s really all about families.”

LeFranc said the system isn’t about moving people from Surrey to Vancouver, but about helping people to move around neighbourhoods in their community.

“Most of the people who take transit in Surrey just want to get from their home to the local shop or to work which is usually in the City of Surrey,” she noted. “So I’m really excited but his plan and I do think we should make sure our citizens know about it.”

See also: SkyTrain for Surrey wants LRT pulled from Mayors’ Council plan

See also: Some Surrey intersections may be safer with LRT: TransLink

Surrey First Councillor and mayoral hopeful Tom Gill noted the Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrain system has grown to “just shy of 100 kilometres” in the last 30 or 40 years.

“So in the context of what we want to accomplish, our line will be longer, bigger, wider, stronger, than what we currently have in terms of the region,” he said. “We’ve got a great plan, I think we just need to embrace it with the community and how we can fund these opportunities moving forward.”

Councillor Bruce Hayne, who recently split from Surrey First to sit as an independent on council and run for mayor, said “a lot of public consultation and a lot of work needs to be done.”

“This is something that’s going to be rolling out over the next 20 years or so. My goal or my hope is that this is the start of a very broad and open conversation with the public about the future of our transportation,” added Hayne. “So I’ll be voting to receive this as information.”

Steele, who also split from Surrey First to run with Hayne in the upcoming Oct. 20 civic election, said “this is a good start to make sure we start to meet with the people and go out… and show them how it will work and explain it to them.”

According to the report, city council’s decision on its long-term rapid transit vision will provide “important input into TransLink’s update of the Regional Transportation Strategy, in particular, pertaining to its vision for the future of rapid transit in the city.”

Vote: POLL: Light rail or SkyTrain for Surrey?



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

TEASER PHOTO ONLY - Hillcrest Drive-In's sign at the end its run in Surrey, in a photo uploaded to cinematreasures.org by hermangotlieb.
SURREY NOW & THEN: The city’s last drive-in, Hillcrest showed movies for 50 years on site turned shopping mall

‘It was a good memory, being the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland, at the time,’ says former operator Jay Daulat

United Truckers Association members outside Labour Minister/Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains’ office on Monday, June 21. (submitted photo: UTA)
Protesting truckers park outside Labour Minister’s Surrey office; daily rallies promised

The truckers take issue with unlicensed trucks taking work away from legitimate owner operators, and more

Natalie Brown and Colten Wilke star in the feature film Thunderbird, co-produced by South Surrey-raised Michael Morrison and released this month in Canada, the U.S and the U.K. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey-raised producer helps bring ‘Thunderbird’ to the screen

Michael Morrison guides B.C.-shot thriller with First Nations connection

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read