All eyes on Newton as Surrey LRT plan rolls forward
Surrey Now-Leader - Three individuals provide comment on the future of Newton with light rail. Philip Aguirre, executive director of the Newton BIA, notes that the LRT project will be a catalyst that drives investment, redevelopment and revitalization and in the area, which is ripe for potential. He acknowledges that construction impacts and increasing property values are issues of concern to businesses and residents, but points to a future with a "bustling metropolis for the entire community where there is entertainment, unique and independent businesses, and a sense of pride in the community." Don Luymes, director of strategic initiatives for the City of Surrey, says that the City has been working on a new Land Use Plan for the Newton Town Centre since 2014. John Barbisan, president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, has been working on land assemblies along the Newton corridor, particularly within 800 metres of proposed LRT stops, that will spark redevelopment. Read the full article on the Surrey Now-Leader.
$4.1-billion federal funding announcement could guarantee new rapid-transit lines in Vancouver and Surrey
The Georgia Straight - A major funding agreement has unlocked $4.1 billion in federal funds for infrastructure projects in the province over the next decade, including the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT. Federal Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi, provincial Transportation Minister Claire Travena, Mayors' Council Chair Derek Corrigan and TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond were on hand for the for the announcement. Read the full article on The Georgia Straight.
$4.1B federal infrastructure deal unlocks B.C. transit funding
Global News - A funding agreement between the federal and provincial governments will see $2.2 billion of federal funds flow toward Phase Two projects in the Mayors' Ten-Year Vision. Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Claire Trevena, the province's Minister of Transportation were in Vancouver to announce a total of $4.1 billion in federal investments for BC infrastructure projects, which also includes money for clean energy transportation. Read the full article on Global News.
LRT has developers eyeing Newton area of Surrey, B.C.
CBC News - City of Surrey Councillor Tom Gill believe that Newton will benefit greatly from the proposed LRT, which will stimulate opportunities for the development community, individuals currently living there, as well as future residents. Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman concurs, stating that light rail will be the catalyst for a complete revitalization of the area. Read the full article on CBC News.
It’s official: Broadway subway and Surrey LRT will be built in $7-billion transit plan
Daily Hive - A joint announcement by the province and the Mayor’s Council unveiled the largest transit funding investment in BC history – one that will move forward Surrey’s light rail transit project. The provincial government confirmed its 40% cost-share of Phase Two of the Mayor’s Vision (which costs a total of $7.5-billion), and also approved necessary measures for a parking tax increase and development cost charges on new residential developments, enabling the region to cover its $2.5-billion, 20% cost-share. The region will also fund it’s share through property taxes, fare revenue increases and transit-related commercial opportunities. Derek Corrigan, chair of the Mayors’ Council, believes that the plan takes a balanced approach to increasing taxes and fees paid by transit users, drivers, property owners, and developers, stating: “It is a modest and balanced increase that will generate the region’s remaining share of the funding needed to deliver the phase two plan.” The province also announced that it will subsidize TransLink’s operational costs by $30 million annually over 10 years. This will enable TransLink to redirect existing revenues - that would otherwise fund operational costs - toward the new capital infrastructure instead of waging more new taxes. Read the full article on the Daily Hive.
Mayors announce funding for Broadway Skytrain, Surrey light rail
CTV News - The Mayors' Council announced today that it has reached an agreement with the province on how it plans to generate the region's $2.5-billion share of a $7.5-billion transit improvement plan that will see - in addition to an extension of SkyTrain along the Broadway corridor and construction of a light rail system in Surrey - an eight-percent increase in bus service, upgrades to the Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines as well as to sidewalks, cycling and pedestrian routes and major roads. While it was not an easy decision for mayors to approve property tax and other increases, Mayor Corrigan notes that they are pleased to be injecting $7-billion of transit investments into the region. Read the full article on CTV News.
Canada and British Columbia to make significant investments that will improve the lives of Canadians
Read the full news release on the Government of Canada.
Horgan says BC government will fund Broadway Subway and Surrey Light Rail
Daily Hive - Premier John Horgan confirmed his support of the Mayors’ Ten-Year Vision, and noted that the province will fulfill its 40% funding commitment to Phase Two of the Vision, which includes the Surrey LRT project. Horgan clarified the Province’s support when asked why there was no mention of Phase Two projects other than the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project in Budget 2018. Read the full article on the Daily Hive.
BUDGET 2018: $1.18 billion in transit funding for Metro Vancouver over 3 years
Daily Hive - Following the release of the provincial budget, specific funding details related to the Surrey and Vancouver rapid transit projects are still unknown as the Province and TransLink’s Mayors’ Council continue talks on Phase Two funding, notably on the funding gap of approximately $60-$70 million per year. That funding gap could be met through new revenue streams, such as a hike to the gas tax, new vehicle levy, and a tax on all new developments, if enabled by the Province. The writer notes that Budget 2018 set aside $1.179 billion for public transit infrastructure investments for the three-year period between 2018 and 2021, with $318 million in 2018-19, $474 million in 2019-20, and $387 million in 2020-21. Read the full article on the Daily Hive.
Transportation funding deal close between Metro Vancouver mayors, province
Vancouver Sun - It is reported that the Mayors’ Council is “very close” to an agreement with the Province to close the $60-$70 million annual funding shortfall for Phase Two of the Ten-Year Vision, which includes the Surrey LRT project. Mayors are opposed to funding the region’s 15% share through property taxes, and with the Province have been reviewing other options, such as vehicle levy or increase in parking or gas tax. If a deal is not reached, three alternatives exist: reduce the scope of the Phase Two, extend the timeframe of the Ten-Year Vision or delay Phase Two until 2019 or later. Read the full article on the Vancouver Sun.
Widen the freeway now, Langley chamber insists: Business advocates describe cancelling bridge tolls and highway expansion as ‘disappointing.’
Aldergrove Star - The executive director for the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce laments the negative effects of congestion in the region and advocates a multi-prong approach to transportation, including light rail along the Fraser Highway and improved bus services. Transportation will remain a key priority for the Chamber. Read the full article on the Aldergrove Star.
Decades of change ahead of Surrey: 'Fascinating' research could help shape the future of the city
BC Local News - Columnist Frank Bucholtz reports on a panel discussion entitled “The Future Lives Here” held at SFU Surrey Campus on February 7, 2018. Panelists included Mayor Linda Hepner, former premier Mike Harcourt, and SFU City Program Director, Andy Yan. The City of Surrey was profiled as the city that will become the largest in B.C. – likely within the next 10 years or so; diverse in character (large numbers of young people and immigrants), and surrounded by the protected Agricultural Land Reserve yet underdeveloped in many areas. Both Harcourt and Hepner fully support the construction of the LRT as a means to better connect Surrey residents. Read the full article on BC Local News.
Record ridership for TransLink in 2017
Peace Arch News - TransLink reports a record-breaking 407 million boardings in 2017, a 5.7-per-cent increase over the previous year. By the end of 2016, 20.4 per cent of commuters used transit in Metro Vancouver. TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond notes that past investments in transit are paying dividends and that increasing numbers of transit users point to the need to advance projects, such as Broadway Extension and Surrey LRT, to maintain the region’s track record of livability. Read the full article on Peach Arch News.
Meet the new leadership behind the Fleetwood BIA: LRT top of mind as Surrey group looks to future
Surrey Now-Leader - Amy Reid profiles Fleetwood BIA President Sandeep Gil and the Association’s priorities, including support for rapid transit along the Fraser Highway corridor to connect Surrey to Langley. Read the full article on the Surrey Now-Leader.
Metro Van mayors move forward with transportation plan with hopes of curing congestion: Langley's mayors, Jack Froese and Ted Schaffer, on board with 10-year vision
BC Local News - Both Jack Froese, Mayor of Langley Township, and Ted Schaffer, Mayor of City of the Langley, endorsed a motion brought forward to the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to advance with its partners the Mayors’ full vision for the region, which includes light rail transit in Surrey that extends to Langley. Schaffer believes light rail is a sensible, affordable solution because “light rail is a billion dollars cheaper than the SkyTrain to build” and “You’d need a train of buses to move the same volume of people...” Read the full article on BC Local News.
Opinion: We have sufficient capacity to carry out transportation plan
Vancouver Sun - Following unanimous support by the Mayors’ Council of a motion to reaffirm a commitment to major transportation projects in Metro Vancouver, Keith Sashaw, President and CEO of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia, is confident that sufficient capacity exists for Phase Two capital projects, including a new Surrey LRT and an extension of SkyTrain along Broadway, to undertaken simultaneously. Read the full article on the Vancouver Sun.
Mayors' Council reaffirms support of 10-year transit plan: Metro Vancouver mayors have voted unanimously to reaffirm their support for a 10-year regional transportation plan
Vancouver Sun - In an historic vote, the Mayors’ Council unanimously supported a motion to continue advancing their Ten-Year Vision for transportation in Metro Vancouver, which includes rapid transit projects in Surrey and Vancouver. The motion was introduced to signal the Mayors’ commitment to Phases Two and Three of the Vision as outstanding funding questions remain. Read the full article on the Vancouver Sun.
City of Surrey awards contract for Bear Creek Bridge replacement
Vancouver Sun - Jennifer Saltman reports that the Surrey City Council voted to award WestPro, one of eight bidders, the contract to replace Bear Creek Bridge – a timber trestle bridge built in the 1930’s – in order to accommodate Surrey’s future light rail system. Councillor Tom Gill, chair of the Transportation Infrastructure Committee, notes that “The new free-standing bridge has been designed to current seismic specifications and will also enhance the existing creek environment.” Read the full article on the Vancouver Sun.
Surrey awards WestPro $5M contract for Bear Creek Bridge replacement
Surrey Now-Leader - The City of Surrey Council awarded WestPro the $5 million contract to replace Bear Creek Bridge, which is south of 88th Avenue on King George Boulevard. According to Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink, the bridge replacement – funded by the Government of Canada as part of Early Works for the Surrey light rail transit project – is an “important next step” in preparing roads and infrastructure for construction of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford line. Read the full article on the Surrey Now-Leader.
Outlook 2018: Surrey’s light-rail long game: City continues to lobby for LRT link originally pitched by Dianne Watts
Business in Vancouver - After of years of planning and consultations on light rail for Surrey, supporters are keen to see the project come to fruition. Philip Aguirre, executive director of the Newton Business Improvement Association, notes that Newton – the fifth largest community in BC - needs LRT to help turn Newton into a cultural and entertainment district for the whole city, and that planning is underway to help businesses affected by construction. The Surrey Board of Trade’s CEO, Anita Huberman, advocates light rail for the Surrey-Newton-Guildford line as well as along the Fraser Highway to Langley. Read the full article on Business in Vancouver.
Contract Awarded for Bear Creek Bridge Replacement Project
Read the news release on the City of Surrey.
Opinion: ‘Surrey LRT makes good business sense,’ board of trade CEO insists
Surrey Now-Leader - Anita Huberman, CEO of Surrey’s Board of Trade, writes that “Businesses are on board with creating an economically viable city that is attractive to clients, customers and employees alike.” She outlines the vision and benefits of the project, including that the “flexible, affordable, technologically advanced” light rail will spark “mid-rise, medium density, mixed-used type of development that will attract both families and business to the area.” Read the full article on the Surrey Now-Leader.
The World-Wide Inspiration Behind Surrey’s Light Rail Transit
Surrey 604 - In anticipation of Surrey’s future population growth, this piece highlights the need for rapid transit for Surrey, the benefits of LRT, and examples of light rail in use both in Canada around the world. Read the full article on the Surrey 604.
Surrey’s Light Rail Network Could Be Catalyst For Density Development: Funding from the provincial and federal government would help build B.C.'s first light rail network
Langara Voice - With federal funding for Surrey’s LRT project on the table, the remaining provincial and regional pieces are still to be confirmed. In light of concerns expressed by some, the City of Surrey points to light rail success in other cities as well as the fact that it will provide easy and accessible transit, and serve as a catalyst for development in the area. Read the full article on the Langara Voice.
Early works begin for Surrey light-rail project
Vancouver Sun - The Vancouver Sun reports on the work that the City of Surrey has started on 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard in preparation for the LRT, including on an “unassuming” bridge, underground water main and storm sewer, and several overhead transmission lines. The City of Surrey’s Project Director states that the early works should not inconvenience most commuters. Read the full article on the Vancouver Sun.
New ‘resource rich’ website launched for Surrey LRT: Website includes information about the planned lines, the technology and the project’s history
Cloverdale Reporter - Amy Reid reports on a new and comprehensive Surrey LRT project website that will keep residents informed about key elements of the project, including planned route, technology, project history, and engagement opportunities. Read the full article on the Cloverdale Reporter.
Mayor Hepner reiterates case for light rail in Surrey
Vancouver Sun - Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond made the case for Surrey’s light rail project at a Surrey Board of Trade luncheon. Hepner noted that LRT is “proven technology” and is in use in Canada and around the world because of its impact on “city-shaping and people-moving.” Desmond notes that rapid transit along the Surrey-Newton-Guildford corridor will help reduce and manage congestion. Read the full article on the Vancouver Sun.
Surrey LRT could be running by 2024: Meantime, 56 new SkyTrain cars have been ordered
Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadow News - At a business lunch event hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade, Surrey’s Mayor, Linda Hepner, and TransLink’s CEO, Kevin Desmond, provided an update on plans for transportation improvements South of the Fraser, including the two-phase, 27-kilometre light rail project (Surrey-Newton-Guildford and Surrey-Langley), the replacement of Pattullo Bridge, and increased SkyTrains and buses. Read the full article on Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadow News.
TransLink reveals new images of Surrey LRT
Global News - Global reports on new renderings of the Surrey LRT project unveiled by TransLink and the City of Surrey. The images reveal plans for the reconstruction of 104th Avenue and King George Boulevard and changes to traffic flow. A number of Canadian cities are cited as examples of where light rail lines are integrated with other modes of transportation, and environmental impacts are minimized through the use of with high-capacity, electric, light rail vehicles. Read the full article on Global News.
Prep work underway for Surrey light rail project
Am730 - A staff report will be presented to Surrey City Council outlining the “substantive work” has been done on the technical program for the LRT project. This, in addition to progress on a land use study for 104 Avenue. The next step will be submission of the Project Business Case to the Province. Read the full article on Am730.
Let’s Give Surrey LRT a Chance: Mayor Hepner talks about the benefits of light rail transit, and she makes some good points
The Runner - The writer, a Kwantlen Polytechnic University student who lives in Vancouver, outlines the reasons for her support of the Surrey LRT Project, including economic benefits from adjacent development. Citing time and money, she notes that building SkyTrain “that could reach every core of every city in and around Vancouver is implausible,” but that light rail is the fastest and cheapest way to move people “wherever cars go.” Read the full article on The Runner.
B.C. to match $2.2B contribution for Surrey light rail, Broadway subway
Global News - On behalf of the BC Government, Peter Fassbender, Minister Responsible for TransLink, announced that the Province will match a $2.2-billion federal contribution to support rapid transit projects and other important transportation projects. Similar to the federal pledge contained in Budget 2017, this announcement increases the province's share of the total cost of Metro Vancouver transit projects from 33 to 40 per cent. Read the full article on Global News.
Province matches federal $2.2 billion funding commitment for transit in Metro Vancouver
Read the news release on BC Gov News.
Opinion: Transforming future of Surrey with light-rail transit
Vancouver Sun - In an op-ed, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner outlines why a light rail system is essential to an ever-growing Surrey, which will surpass Vancouver as the region’s largest city by 2041. In addition to alleviating congestion and promoting accessible and sustainable transit options, the project will help to build community and provide increased housing and employment options through mixed-use development along the transit corridor. Read the full article on the Vancouver Sun.
TransLink wants the public’s input on the Surrey Light Rail Transit project
BCIT News - A public engagement opportunity regarding the Surrey LRT project is highlighted. Focus is on network connections, including how neighborhoods will connect with the stations and what residents would like to see around the stations. Read the full article on BCIT News.
Mayors and TransLink board approve $2 billion transit and transportation plan
Read the news release on TransLink.
Statement on the Mayors' Council Investment Plan: Phase One of the 10-Year Vision
Read the news release on BC Gov News.
B.C. NDP leader John Horgan promises to increase public transportation funding if elected
Global News - NDP Opposition Leader, John Horgan, commits to increase the province’s share of funding for public transportation improvements from 33 per cent to 40 percent, if elected in May. This commitment along with the federal government’s pledge to fund half of major transit projects, significantly reduces the region’s contribution. Read the full article on Global News.
Prime Minister announces new infrastructure agreement with British Columbia
Read the news release on Prime Minster of Canada.