Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and Translink CEO Kevin Desmond at a Surrey Board of Trade luncheon on Wednesday at Eaglequest Golf Course. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk).

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and Translink CEO Kevin Desmond at a Surrey Board of Trade luncheon on Wednesday at Eaglequest Golf Course. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk).

Surrey LRT could be running by 2024

Meantime, 56 new SkyTrain cars have been ordered

SURREY — Fifty-six new SkyTrain cars, double-decker buses and light rail transit were on the menu as Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond spoke this week at a business luncheon held by the Surrey Board of Trade.

They set the table where rapid transit is concerned in Surrey and elsewhere south of the Fraser River.

By 2041 another 300,000 people will call Surrey home. More than half a million now live in Surrey, B.C.’s second largest city.

“When it comes to transportation, it is no secret Surrey and South of the Fraser have been left behind,” Hepner said, noting the last new investment in rapid transit for Surrey was in the 1990s. “To say our time has come for a high-quality rapid transit solution for south of the Fraser is a vast understatement.”

The proposed South of Fraser Rapid Transit network features 27 kilometres of light rail transit, or LRT. There are two phases, with the first embracing Newton and Guildford LRT, and phase two, a Surrey-Langley line.

Desmond told the business audience that “If all goes well, the light rail project ought to be up and running by 2024.”

READ ALSO: Early LRT work begins in Surrey

READ ALSO: Surrey LRT on faster track as province matches $2.2B federal transit pledge

READ ALSO: TransLink disputes claims LRT is dangerous for roadways

Phase one features 11 stops along 10.5 kilometres of street-level track connecting Guildford, Surrey Central and Newton. The trains will be driver-operated.

Hepner said LRT “will be the catalyst that will transform our city into an urban centre of business and commerce” and place 250,000 people within five minutes of accessing rapid transit. Expanding SkyTrain into Surrey would cost $950 million more than LRT to meet Surrey’s needs and cost 40 per cent more in operation and maintenance costs, Hepner claimed.

“I just can’t wait for the shovels to hit the ground,” she said. “We’re almost there.”

Desmond said 56 new cars have been ordered for the SkyTrain system from bombardier, equivalent to about eight sets of trains. “We’re hoping between the end of next year and into 2019 they’ll be in place.”

He said the aim is to move to five-car trains from four-car trains. “We’re very, very keen to get that capacity as quickly as possible,” he said.

SkyTrain ridership is “surging,” up 12 per cent this year compared to this time last year, Desmond said. “Clearly there’s something going on in our region.”

Plans are in the works for bus riders, too.

“In around the November period, we’re bringing up a couple of double-decker buses, which have 80 seats,” Desmond said.

“We’ve got to find ways to take care of our bus passengers.”

TransLink’s CEO also spoke about the Pattullo Bridge.

“We’ve been talking about retiring this old war horse for a long time,” he said. “We need to get it done. We need to move forward. It’s 80 years old. It’s frankly 30 years past its useful life.

“Obviously we’re keeping it together, more than just band-aids and duct tape, but it’s sort getting close to that, and we’re extremely anxious to get a new bridge.”

Desmond said the plan is to replace the Pattullo with a four-lane bridge that will handle 10 per cent more capacity and he’s optimistic there will soon be a deal with the provincial government on funding. The aim is to have it built by about 2023.

Expo Line 30 years old, improvement at stations underway.

Hepner was asked if the LRT project will be expanded to South Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley?

She replied the Mayor’s Council is looking at that. “All of those would be under consideration.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey, which would be in what the BCCDC refers to as the Panorama community, on Friday, May 7, 2021. Roughly 400 people pre-registered to get their vaccine the week before. (Photo: Lauren Collins
Surrey communities recording more COVID-19 cases also seeing lower vaccination rates

Those same communities were highlighted in the SPEAK survey, which highlighted disparities in the city

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C. says Van (William) Dinh, a registered massage therapist in Surrey and Langley, has had his licence suspended while an inquiry committee panel investigates allegations of sexual misconduct. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey massage therapist suspended amid sexual misconduct investigation

CMTBC received complaint Van (William) Dinh allegedly exposed ‘sensitive areas of the patient’s body’

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey woman a face of World Ovarian Cancer Day campaign in London, New York

‘It’s so important we find better treatments,’ Catherine Eiswerth says

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Vancouver Giants earned a 6-2 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets Friday night, May 7, in Kamloops (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants down Kelowna Rockets 6-2

Two short-handed goals for Langley-based team

Most Read