SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Grabbing the attention of drivers going by, a small group of protesters rallied against Surrey’s plan for a Light Rail Transit system at the intersection of King George Blvd. and 88th Ave. Tuesday evening.
Daryl Dela Cruz with the group SkyTrain for Surrey claims light rail will cost more and cover less ground than SkyTrain would. He argues the cost per kilometre is now more expensive than what was previously paid for the alternative.
“Over the years it’s been said that a light rail system is supposed to cost less and cover more. In this case, we know it’s going to cost more and not essentially cover that much area,” he says.
“And we take issue with the fact that this is going to be for a system that is at street level, it delivers less in travel time benefit, it could be prone to reliability issues, it’s not a good value for Surrey.”
Holing a sign that calls for elevated stations, Jim says an LRT system would be dangerous and increase traffic.
“People don’t pay attention, they’re on their smart phone, they get off the train, they walk right into a vehicle. Putting people at street level here at 88th is absolutely silly,” he says.
“The most crashes occur in Surrey here at this intersection. It’s already a mess, any crashes that happen when there’s this light rail line will immediately stop the train.”
The group getting the support of some drivers going by. Protesters hope to get the project cancelled by making it an election issue pic.twitter.com/mgwdq779y3
— Monika Gul (@MonikaGul) June 6, 2018
Eyeing the upcoming municipal elections, Dela Cruz hopes the project can still be cancelled.
“We are turning this into an election issue. We feel there’s been a lot of people speaking out and this is something that if council changes hands there could be a turnaround in the project as well,” he says.
The LRT project, divided into two lines including one that would connect city centre to Langley on the Fraser Highway, would see 27 kilometres of light rail with about 19 stops.
Skytrain for Surrey wants SkyTrain service extended to Langley instead, with BRT extended from Newton and Guildford and the 96 B-Line on King George Blvd. upgraded to a full Bus Rapid Transit system.
TransLink maintains LRT is the way to go.
“Dedicated LRT lanes with signal priority at major intersections will provide a fast, frequent and reliable alternative to driving, which will help to reduce vehicle congestion, and is expected to maintain its opening day run time throughout its life,” it says in an email to NEWS 1130.
“The LRT will have 30-metre trains that are capable of moving between 2000 to 2400 people per hour in each direction. Moreover, the run time of LRT will remain constant throughout operation whereas vehicle travel times will degrade over time with increased congestion.”