SURREY — Mayor Linda Hepner says a $4.1-billion funding deal between Ottawa and B.C. is “the step we were hoping for.”
The 10-year agreement, announced Monday, unlocked the $2.2 billion in federal money that TransLink needs to complete the next phase of its vision to improve transportation in the region – including 27 kilometres of light rail transit in Surrey.
Ottawa had previously promised to cover 40 per cent of project costs for phase two of the 10-year vision, which includes Surrey light rail.
B.C. had pledged to cover another 40 per cent, while TransLink and the region’s mayors would come up with 20 per cent.
The agreement finally being signed means a major step forward in the transportation plan. Last month, Metro Vancouver mayors announced they would fill their $70-billion gap with increases to parking, transit fares and property taxes.
In a message to the Now-Leader on Monday, Hepner wrote the new deal is a “testament to the provincial government’s commitment.”
She expects construction to be fully underway in 2019, and said phase one of Surrey’s LRT line could be running by 2021-22.
During the 2014 election, she pledged Surrey residents would be riding light rail by 2018.