If Vancouver insists on Cadillac transit

EDITORIAL: Sorry, but Surrey is next in line

Vancouver's 'grandiose' SkyTrain proposal will have to wait until residents south of the Fraser are better served by transit.

There’s a transit tussle brewing between Metro’s biggest cities.

On one side – Vancouver, with Mayor Gregor Robertson and his ambitious pitch for a nearly $3-billion SkyTrain system to the University of B.C.

On the other – Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and her long-standing battle cry for better transit options for her burgeoning city.

At issue is the next TransLink mega-project to go ahead (provided the regional mayor’s council can reach a deal with the province for more funding options).

Surrey is calling for three light rail lines – along 104 Avenue to Guildford, down King George Bouelvard toward White Rock, and southeast along Fraser Highway towards Langley, at a cost of about $2 billion – far less than it would be if more expensive SkyTrain was used.

Watts is not impressed with Vancouver’s “grandiose” subway scheme.

“I would suggest that the multi-billion-dollar project that they’re proposing is not going to fly with residents in Surrey…”

That’s putting it mildly.

Stinging from the news that a Highway 1 express bus over the new Port Mann Bridge won’t stop in Surrey, and still smarting from years of substandard transit service south of the Fraser, Surrey residents – who receive about 90 to 95 cents worth of service from every dollar they contribute to TransLink through gas tax, property tax, and transit fares – won’t move to the back of the bus on this one.

Especially when there are more logical solutions.

Watts’ idea to open satellite UBC sites rather than carve out a $3-billion SkyTrain to the main campus at the farthest western edge of Vancouver is bang on.

SFU’s Surrey location (the main campus is in Burnaby) – with its innovative programs and savvy spot downtown (right next to SkyTrain) – is a lesson in success. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Central City site has reached its capacity of serving 7,000 students and is looking to expand.

Within the next few decades, Surrey will be the largest city on this side of the country – and the growth is not going to stop. Sinking $3 billion into a SkyTrain system in a city that is built out and already well served by transit is myopic and unaffordable.

If Vancouver insists on Cadillac transit, then it must wait in line until after Surrey gets its essential system.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

All Safe Surrey Coalition council members must ‘step up’ over ‘bad taste’ tweets, rivals say

Slate’s posts on social media in ‘bad taste,’ councillor says

Surrey sports groups grapple with refunds, registration, restrictions and more

‘Our biggest problem is going to be retraining the public because they can’t be there’

Low-cost bicycle repair shop opens in Cloverdale

Cloverdale Community Cycles starts up in church parking lot

First degree murder charge laid in South Surrey shooting death

Wayne Duncan, 46, was killed on Sept. 6, 2019

Surrey mayor denies Councillor’s motion seeking national PPE site for the city

Personal protection equipment manufacturers already spread out through Surrey, McCallum says

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Two more COVID-19 cases reported by Langley long term care facility

One resident, one staffer have tested positive for the coronavirus

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Suspect sought in alleged assault, hate crime on Metro Vancouver bus: transit police

The woman then allegedly punched the teenager in the head multiple times

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Abbotsford International Airshow opening 50-year-old time capsule

Bronze time capsule was put together to commemorate AIA as Canada’s National Airshow

Most Read