|Locale||Surrey, British Columbia|
|Line length||10.5 kilometres (6.5 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The Surrey Light Rail system is a planned 10.5-kilometre (6.5 mi) network in Surrey, British Columbia containing one light rail line radiating from the Surrey Central Skytrain station and transit hub. First proposed in 2012 by Surrey mayor Dianne Watts, the first construction is expected to start in 2019 with an opening date set for 2024.
This project—among others, including the extension of the Millennium Line west to Arbutus—was included as one of the initiatives in need of funding that was proposed to be raised by the imposition of a regional sales tax which was put forward for voter approval in a 2015 plebiscite. The electorate voted against the tax increase to fund regional projects and provide a long term sustainable funding model; however, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said, after the sales tax was voted down, that the city still planned to build the light rail project as it was the main component in her election campaign.
The Surrey–Newton–Guildford Line is expected to be in service by 2024 while the Surrey–Langley Line on the Fraser Highway would be completed at a later date. A report outlining the economic benefits of the project was produced by a consulting firm in May 2015.
In 2017, the federal government budget included funding contributions to this project. Prior to the provincial election in 2017, the BC Liberals confirmed they would match the federal contribution if they were re-elected.
On March 16, 2018, the provincial government approved the construction of this project. Construction is slated to begin in 2019 and is expected to be completed by 2024. The LRT line will run from Guildford through Surrey Central and terminate in Newton with 11 new stops.
Phase 1 of the Surrey LRT is the Surrey–Newton–Guildford Line which will replace existing 96 B-Line express bus service once completed and will connect Surrey City Centre with Newton Town Centre via King George Boulevard and Guildford Town Centre via 104 Avenue. Travel time from Newton Town Centre to Surrey Central will be 15 minutes, followed by 10 minutes from Surrey Central to Guildford Town Centre.
- 152 Street Guildford Town Centre: serves the Guildford Mall and connects to the existing transit exchange
- 148 Street
- 144 Street
- 140 Street
- City Parkway: connects to the SkyTrain at Surrey Central station, Simon Fraser University, the planned Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Central City Shopping Centre and Surrey City Hall
- King George: connects to the SkyTrain at King George station and the King George Hub development complex
- 96 Avenue: serves Surrey Memorial Hospital, the wider hospital district and the Canada Revenue site
- 88 Avenue: serves Bear Creek Park and the Surrey Arts Centre
- 80 Avenue
- 76 Avenue
- 72 Avenue: serves Newton Town Centre, connecting to a new planned transit exchange and higher-density developments
The Surrey–Langley Line is proposed as a future phase after the completion of the Surrey–Newton–Guildford Line. The line will travel on the Fraser Highway and will connect Surrey City Centre, Fleetwood Town Centre and Langley. Travel time will be 24.5 minutes.
The Surrey LRT project has been criticized by some local residents, and an advocacy group, who have raised concerns suggesting a lack of travel time improvement, large annual operating deficits, vulnerability to accidents and a lower comparative business case benefits documented in the dated 2012 TransLink joint analysis.
Kevin Desmond, CEO of TransLink, has indicated that SkyTrain along the second phase of the project (Fraser Highway Line) is also a possibility instead of LRT; however, the Mayor of Surrey claimed that a SkyTrain solution along Fraser Highway would cost $950 million more than LRT.
In July 2018, a poll sponsored by municipal party Safe Surrey Coalition, headed by Doug McCallum—a mayoral candidate in the 2018 Surrey municipal election who is campaigning against LRT—indicated 85% of Surrey residents were opposed to the LRT project.
- "Surrey's mayor renews call for light rail, regional tolling strategy". www.vancouversun.com. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- Chan, Kenneth (March 16, 2018). "It's official: Broadway Subway and Surrey LRT will be built in $7-billion transit plan". Daily Hive Vancouver. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
- Francis Bula (July 2, 2015). "Vancouver-region tax hike transit referendum voted down by 62 per cent". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- "No means Yes in Surrey: Mayor Hepner says LRT still on track despite transit tax rejection". www.theprovince.com. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- "Light Rail Transit". City of Surrey. 2015. Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
- Steer Davies Gleave and Hatch Joint Venture (October 16, 2017). "Surrey Newton-Guildford Light Rail Transit – Environmental and Socio-Economic Review – DRAFT Terms of Reference" (PDF). Retrieved October 31, 2017.
- Shirocca Consulting (2015). "Economic Benefits of Surrey LRT" (PDF). City of Surrey. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
- Saltman, Jennifer (March 22, 2017). "Federal budget 2017: Ottawa promises to pay 40% of Broadway subway, Surrey light rail". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- Smith, Charlie (March 31, 2017). "Broadway subway and Surrey light rail more feasible as province matches feds' $2.2-billion contribution". The Georgia Straight.
Amy Reid (2018-09-04). "Trudeau 'officially launches' SNG light rail transit line in Surrey: PM says feds and province investing $3B in Surrey's LRT project and Vancouver's Broadway project". Surrey Now Leader. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
Trudeau said the federal government and the province combined are investing $3 billion in both Surrey’s LRT project and Vancouver’s Broadway subway project.
Amy Reid (2018-09-14). "ELECTION QUESTIONS: What would happen if Surrey LRT was scrapped?". Surrey Now Leader. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
As political debate rages on about whether light rail transit or SkyTrain should be built in this city, an urban studies expert warns of what could happen if the Surrey light rail project is halted.
- "New campaign pushes for rapid transit from Surrey to Langley". www.news1130.com. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- "Light Rail Reality Campaign Video". www.skytrainforsurrey.org. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- "Surrey deserves better ・ Light Rail Doesn't Work". www.skytrainforsurrey.org. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
- Nagel, Jeff (June 7, 2016). "Line to Langley may still be SkyTrain: TransLink CEO". Surrey Now-Leader. Retrieved May 21, 2017.
- http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/translink-and-surrey-officials-to-speak-on-future-of-transit-for-south-fraser%7COct 5, 2017
- https://globalnews.ca/news/4432944/surrey-mayoral-candidate-says-majority-of-residents-oppose-lrt/ | September 8, 2018