Rendering of a planned Surrey light rail train. (Photo: surrey.ca)

Surrey to contribute $24M to LRT costs

City council has given its approval to sign two LRT-related agreements with TransLink, one that commits $24M to phase one

Surrey council has voted to enter into two LRT-related agreements with TransLink, as the first phase of the project moves toward procurement.

On Monday, city council gave its approval to sign a Supportive Policies Agreement (SPA) and a City Contribution Agreement (CCA) with the transit authority.

The CCA outlines how the city will contribute approximately $24.5 million dollars to the first phase of the project.

“Ours is quite a modest sum,” said Fraser Smith, Surrey’s general manager of engineering, noting phase one is estimated to cost $1.65 billion for the 10.5-kilometre Surrey-Newton-Guildford line, which will have 11 stops and take an estimated 27 minutes, from start to finish.

“This is our contribution towards helping that along,” he added.

Click here to see the full report.

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

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

One of the major contributions by the city includes the release of city-owned lands in the Newton Town Centre to allow for re-alignment of 137th Street. Another contribution entails the use of city-owned properties on 144th Street for the construction of a LRT power substation.

The city has also committed to the acquisition of lands along Central Avenue to facilitate the construction of the street between City Parkway and King George Boulevard.

“Another substantial contribution by the city was realized by the city’s discharge of a significant number of statutory rights-of-way along the SNG corridor, thereby providing the necessary authorizations to enable TransLink to acquire the dedications of roadway for the construction of the project,” a report to council notes.

The SPA, meantime, aims to “provide certainty of intent from the city and TransLink by committing both parties to work towards achieving land use and transportation objectives” and to “acknowledge SNG LRT as a catalyst to meet multiple objectives in regional and local plans, including transportation demand management and increasing affordable housing supply.”

“The city is interested in doing density along this corridor, and the city is interested in doing affordable housing as per policy. TransLink, of course, is interested in ridership,” noted Smith.

A city report notes the SPA looks at the “Six D’s” including destinations, density, diversity, distance, design and demand management.

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

See also: LRT protest planned in Surrey

With these two agreements approved on the city’s end, Smith told the Now-Leader the final and “most important” agreement is forthcoming.

“That’s the Master Municipal Agreement,” he explained. “That agreement will actually set down binding arrangements between TransLink and the City of Surrey about a lot of the intricacies of how the project will get built, and how it will be maintained and operated.”

Smith said that could include things like the city’s responsibilities to manage snow and ice as well as traffic signals, and TransLink’s responsibilities in maintaining stops.

Smith anticipated the project’s investment plan could be completed by the end of this month, at which point it would be the time to put out a Request for Qualifications.

“Out of that list, there will be a short listed group,” explained Smith, “and shortlisting that will take three to four months. Then TransLink will want to put out an RFP (Request for Proposals) to those three to four companies.

“So what we’re going to try to do is get the Master Municipal Agreement approved through TransLink and the Mayor’s Council, and our Surrey council and mayor, prior to the RFP (Request for Proposals) going out. That would likely be in the latter part of the fall.”

Meantime, opposition to the project continues.

As the City of Surrey and TransLink held public open houses about the planned light rail project in the city recently, opponents organized rallies near the events.

“We want to let people know that yes, there is a crowd of people that have spoken out in opposition of the LRT,” said Daryl Dela Cruz with the SkyTrain for Surrey group that’s organizing the protests.

Dela Cruz said about 25 people gathered for a rally June 5 at the intersection of 88th Avenue and King George Boulevard, near an open house set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Surrey Arts Centre up the street.

SkyTrain for Surrey has been vocal in its ongoing opposition to the Surrey LRT project and the group’s change.org petition against the project has garnered more than 4,800 signatures so far.

Instead of LRT, SkyTrain for Surrey calls for the Expo Line to be extended to Langley on Fraser Highway, and a rapid bus system on King George and 104th Avenue.

They’ve also called for the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to pull the project from its 10-Year Vision for the region.

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

The group says the more-than-$2-billion LRT project will be the “most expensive mistake in our region’s history.”

“Safety is part of our key concern,” said Dela Cruz. “It happens in other places with LRT systems. There’s a risk of collision when trains are crossing roadways. There’s also the potential this causes in delays in service in the event tracks are blocked or if there are break downs.

The project, said Dela Cruz, “betrays the expectation of Surrey residents.”

It’s anticipated that shovels will be in the ground for the first phase of Surrey LRT in 2019, and that it will be operational by 2024.

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

Just Posted

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Surrey student makes hundreds of face masks, donates $2,700 to local hospitals

Tavisha Kochhar, Grade 9 student, started sewing masks two months ago

North Delta yoga studio’s Fridays at the Farm to benefit local animal sanctuary

The outdoor four-class series will benefit Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary in Ladner

Surrey officer-impersonation scam continues ‘almost daily’

Police reiterate warning that demands for Bitcoin in exchange for waived charges are fraudulent

South Surrey veteran honoured by South Korea as Ambassador for Peace

Medal presented to Donald McClellan an ‘expression of gratitude’ for service during Korean War

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion to eastern Lower Mainland

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read