Mayors’ council scraps Surrey LRT in favour of Skytrain

Ash Murni / November 15, 2018

The City of Surrey voted to replace the LRT project with a Skytrain line along the Fraser Highway.
(Vancouver Skytrain / Pixabay)

The first Mayors’ council meeting held following last month’s municipal elections has voted to put a stop to the proposed Surrey LRT.

The $1.65 billion Surrey-Newton Guildford project has been suspended and a proposal to build a new Skytrain line along the Fraser Highway will be put in its place. The SNG light rail line has already cost $50 million which was spent on environmental assessments and business planning.

The move to replace the LRT with Skytrain was spearheaded by the newly elected mayor of Surrey, Doug McCallum.

He said “TransLink did not do proper public consultation before moving forward with LRT. People in Surrey want Skytrain over LRT.”

On November 5th the City of Surrey council unanimously agreed to ask TransLink to stop all activities on the LRT project and start working on a Skytrain alternative from Surrey’s city centre to Langley.

“I think there has to be talks about the commitments that have already been made and what the treatment of the commitments are going to be. I think we need to have a complete business plan for what is proposed and talk about the funding implications.” – Malcolm Brodie, Mayor of Richmond

The Government of BC planned to contribute 40% of funding to the Phase 2 Investment Plan that included the Surrey LRT.

Now that the LRT plans have been halted, TransLink said the upcoming Skytrain project could cost up to $2.9 billion to complete.

The initial route of the LRT served the Newton-Guildford area and was the first part of the Phase 2 plan to be built first.

Plans to expand the LRT line and add connections to Langley were also part of a 10 year vision spanning 27 kilometers of rapid transit that would connect many communities South of the Fraser River.

The SNG light rail transit system was slated to be completed by 2024 but the proposed Skytrain currently does not have a date set for its completion.

With files from Carol Xu

$50 million has already been spent on planning of the Surrey Newton Guildford LRT line.

{LRT / Pixabay)