Vision for Surrey light rail transit. (Submitted photo).

Surrey mayor says light rail announcement for Surrey ‘final piece of puzzle’

“It’s going to be a real game-changer for Surrey,” Hepner told the Now-Leader.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner is lauding Friday’s announcement that the provincial government and mayors’ council has agreed on a plan to fund the “regional share” for phase two of a 10-year transportation project featuring construction of light rail in Surrey-Newton-Guildford.

She’s calling it the “final piece of the puzzle.”

“It’s going to be a real game-changer for Surrey,” Hepner told the Now-Leader after the announcement. “Really exciting. We’ve been trying to close that gap for several months now. This gap is what we really need to have finalized.”

Hepner expects construction to be fully underway in 2019.

Surrey Board of Trade is also pleased.

“Our rationale is that Surrey is the destination, not a thoroughfare to somewhere else,” said SBOT CEO Anita Huberman in a release. “Studies have shown, including the Surrey Board of Trade’s most recent Surrey Road Survey, that over 70 per cent of all car trips in Surrey, stay in Surrey. The demand for more transit increases annually, as Surrey is becomes the hub of the South Fraser region.”

Huberman said as the project moves forward, there will be work done with the business community to “ensure they are prepared for the transition.”

“We are planning four business-focussed workshops to go over the project plans in as much detail as possible, and work with impacted businesses on how they can continue to serve their clients over the next two to three years,” Huberman added.

See also: Metro mayors to hike transit fares, property taxes to pay for transit projects

Friday’s announcement is being characterized as “the largest transit and transportation investment in Metro Vancouver history,” according to a TransLink media bulletin that says the plan will cover light rail for Surrey, construction of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension, “significant” upgrading of Expo-Millennium lines, an eight per cent increase in bus service and improvements to sidewalks, bikeways, multi-use paths and roadways.

To deliver on these projects, the mayor’s council is proposing to use $1.6 billion in fare revenue, a two per cent increase in transit fares over two years beginning in 2020 (a five to 15 cent increase to adult and concession transit fares and $1 to $3 increase to adult and concession monthly passes), $15 cents per hour increase for average $5 per hour parking, a $5.50 increase in property taxes per average households each year beginning next year, and a $300 to $600 per unit increase to development cost charges on new residential developments.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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

Just Posted

Missing Surrey woman ‘located and safe,’ police say

Kayla Amy Smith, 30, who was reported missing last month

South Surrey mother guilty of second-degree murder in death of daughter

Lisa Batstone killed eight-year-old Teagan in December 2014

Surrey RCMP release sketches of sex assault suspect after woman ‘groped’ in Newton

Police say the woman got away but the suspect allegedly followed her to her front door

‘Scrappy’ Cloverdale team rallies but falls short in bid for B.C. hockey championship

In the end, Colts placed third in the province at top-tier Bantam tournament in Prince George

STRONG, PERSEVERING AND PROUD: Surrey Pride celebrates 20 years with biggest party yet

PART ONE: A special series on the past, present and future of our LGBTQ+ community

WATCH: Popular Glow festival faces cancellation in dispute over farm land

Langley’s Darvonda Nurseries received a compliance assessment notice from the ALC on March 5.

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Most Read