SURREY (NEWS1130) – Only a week after Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts proudly showcased a light rail line model she’d like for her city, a group promoting an extension of SkyTrain has released new cost estimates.

People like the mayor who advocate for light rail typically bring up the financial benefits of building a line on the ground, as opposed to one above ground for Skytrain.

But SkyTrain for Surrey insists it wouldn’t be that expensive to extend the existing line.

The group’s Daryl Dela Cruz says after crunching the numbers independently, they have found that a SkyTrain extension would only be 28 per cent more costly than building a light rail system.

“Misconceptions in the capital costs of elevated versus ground-level transit are common. We’re sending our study to TransLink to see why this is happening,” he stresses.

Plus, he thinks more people would ride SkyTrain.

“A single SkyTrain line might be able to attract more riders than ground-level light rail service, simply because it’s more competitive, for the cost that you pay and what we have determined is not that much more,” he explains. “You can receive a much better service in return that will make much more of a difference in the community.”

The group also believes light rail would cause more congestion and that its onstruction would be just as complicated as building a SkyTrain extension.