Have your say on rapid transit south of the Fraser

TransLink is going public with requests for ideas on expansion through Surrey to Langley

Dear Editor,

A lot of work has been happening behind the scenes as TransLink explores a new direction for rapid transit south of the Fraser.

The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation has directed us to start planning for a SkyTrain connection between Surrey and Langley, while refreshing our strategy for rapid transit along the 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard corridors.

Those three key corridors, which total 27 kilometres, are identified in the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision as priority routes for rapid transit south of the Fraser. Approximately $3.5-billion in funding has been earmarked for these projects, and $1.6 billion has been approved.

Last week, we reached a major milestone, launching the first phase of public engagement.

We invite you to get involved and have your say. Learn about the current plans we are working on and let us know: What sort of rapid transit would you like to see along 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard? Where could new hubs be located? What are your priorities when it comes to how rapid transit is integrated into your community?

Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re holding four open houses in Surrey and Langley. We’d love to see you there! You’ll also find information at Surrey’s Party for the Planet and Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade as well as select transit hubs in Surrey and Langley.

Can’t make it in person? Take our online survey at www.surreylangleyskytrain.ca until April 26. It takes only a few minutes, and your feedback is important. We will take your thoughts and include them into our next major update to the Mayors’ Council this July, which will include updates on cost estimates, early design concepts, and engagement results.

Until we know more about what the long-term plan is for 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard, we will work to improve bus service along those corridors. We will invest additional resources into the 96 B-Line – the fastest-growing B-Line in our network, which saw ridership increase by more than 17 per cent in 2018 – to move increasing numbers of customers along this route as quickly, reliably and conveniently as possible.

We will do the same for commuters who depend on buses 502 and 503.

While the mayors endorsed the cancellation of the proposed new B-Line along Fraser Highway because it would not make financial sense to invest in B-Line infrastructure only to remove it to construct a Surrey-Langley SkyTrain, TransLink is working to implement bus service expansions along this route.

TransLink is committed and working with our partners at the regional, provincial, and federal levels to continue expanding and improving transportation across the region, including south of the Fraser, as quickly as possible. Through the Mayors’ Vision and historic levels of funding, we are working to provide commuters with more transportation options.

Over the last two years, we have improved existing bus and SkyTrain service south of the Fraser by increasing capacity and frequency.

In fact, 37% of new bus service hours in Phases 1 and 2 of the mayors’ 3-phase Vision are dedicated to the south of Fraser area, translating into almost 265,000 new bus service hours and improved service on about 35 routes serving Surrey, Langley, White Rock and North Delta.

Communities south of the Fraser are experiencing significant growth and with that comes increased need for transit.

Better transit will help reduce congestion on our roads and support future growth in the communities we serve. We know that people who live, work and play south of the Fraser want to connect quickly and efficiently to their communities as well as to the wider region, and TransLink is working to achieve this goal.

That’s good news for all commuters.

Jeff Busby, Project Director, TransLink’s Surrey Langley SkyTrain Project

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