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

Surrey mayor appoints Terry Waterhouse to oversee policing transition

Waterhouse was hired by the previous Surrey First slate as the city’s first-ever Director of Public Safety Strategies

Surrey councillor defends SOGI 123 stance after resigning from AutismBC

Laurie Guerra stands by her opposition to SOGI 123 resource as backlash over meeting comes to a head

PHOTOS: Hockey history in Surrey as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

Proposed coal project for Fraser Surrey Docks back in court

It could be months before the federal appeal court renders a decision

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Minor injuries for firefighter struck outside South Surrey fire hall

Calgarians vote ‘no’ to bidding for 2026 Winter Games, in plebiscite

Out of 767,734 eligible voters, 304,774 voted and 171,750 said ”no.”

B.C. MLAs urge Trudeau to call byelection immediately in Burnaby-South

Four NDP provincial politicians from British Columbia are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to immediately call a byelection in the federal riding of Burnaby-South.

Provincial housing boss brought home more than $350,000 in 2017-18

BC Housing develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options

Prince Charles turns 70 with party, new family photos

Charles is due to have tea on Wednesday with a group of people who are also turning 70 this year

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Most Read