Survey indicates a large majority of Surrey residents support light rail transit but critics say otherwise

The findings are based on a telephone survey of 600 Surrey residents between January 25 and January 29

Map of Surrey's light rail transit plan

SURREY — An Ipsos Public Affairs opinion poll indicates 80 per cent of Surrey residents are strongly in favor or somewhat support light rail transit being built in Surrey. But critics say otherwise.

Seventeen per cent said they were strongly supposed or somewhat opposed to LTR and 62 per cent said they’d likely use it once it’s completed.

The survey has critics. A group SkyTrain for Surrey maintains the city is misleading residents given there were only 600 respondents.

“Surrey has a population of over 500,000 people,” noted Daryl Dela Cruz, chairman of the grassroots organization. ” A sample size of only 600 residents falls far, far short of demonstrating support for LRT.”

The survey’s findings are based on a telephone survey of 600 Surrey residents between January 25 and January 29. The margin for error was four per cent, 19 times out of 20.

“We feel it is unlikely that the poll shows support for LRT technology over general desire for transit expansion as respondents were not asked to choose between LRT and SkyTrain technologies,” Dela Cruz said.

He added that more than 840 people have signed his organization’s petition opposing Surrey’s LRT project. “We are well on track to pass 1,000 signatures as there have been a huge increase in support over the past few days.”

Surrey is expected to be B.C.’s largest city by 2041 and has identified the development of 27 kilometers of LRT as its top capital infrastructure priority considering Surrey has 20 per cent of the region’s population but only six kilometres, or 7.5 per cent, of the regional rapid transit network.

Survey respondents identified the benefits of having LRT here in Surrey are convenience (41 per cent), reduced traffic congestion (39 per cent), better “connectivity” (12 per cent) and reduced pollution and greenhouse gases (eight per cent).

Their top concerns were cost (41 per cent), impact on traffic flow (12 per cent) and project completion/construction timelines (eight per cent).

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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