OUR VIEW: Debate over LRT in Surrey is moot – that train has left the station

Surrey has a mandate – a mandate to build light rail. That means all the debate surrounding what Surrey wants and doesn’t want is pointless.

It’s been happening for years now but in recent months, the debate over which transit system is better for Surrey – light rail or SkyTrain – is ramping up again.

We’ve grown tired of it – that train has left the station.

Surrey First was elected in an overwhelming sweep of city council in late 2014, after campaigning with promises of building light rail in Surrey.

That means they have a mandate – a mandate to build light rail. That means all the debate surrounding what Surrey wants and doesn’t want is pointless.

Surrey voted for Surrey First.

Period.

Done deal.

Let’s move on.

Rather then spending so much energy – and money – on debating whether or not residents want light rail, perhaps a more productive debate could centre on its implementation. Where should the stations go? What can we learn from other cities who have built successful light rail systems?

Daryl Dela Cruz and his SkyTrain for Surrey group have conducted a campaign that would do Don Quixote proud. It’s certainly not our intention to discourage grass roots petitions and such.

Two successful grassroots campaigns in recent years – to dump the harmonized sales tax and to say no to a tax increase to fund transportation projects – took on the establishment and served it with a proper smackdown.

But in those cases, it was done in the context of a public referendum.

In this LRT versus SkyTrain debate, there is no referendum. And so, if the proponents of SkyTrain really think they’re going to throw Mayor Linda Hepner and her crew off the LRT track, well, fuggedaboutit.

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