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We want your thoughts on rapid transit in the Surrey area!

Tell us what you think about rapid transit in the Surrey area!

This week, we’re launching a public consultation to get your feedback on nine rapid transit alternatives for the Surrey region.

We’ve come to these alternatives after a year of hard work with the Province of B.C. Stakeholders from the Surrey region helped us get to know the key issues, and with their help, we’ve identified these nine preliminary concepts for rapid transit in the Surrey area.

So now it’s your turn to have a look and tell us if we’re on the right track!

How to get involved

Before you dive in, I’d really urge you to watch these two videos first! See the video at the top of this post to learn more about the study, and see the video above to learn more about what we’re looking for in this consultation.

Then go wild and check out our Surrey Be Part of the Plan page to learn more about the alternatives and the Surrey project.

Once you’re armed with all the information, share your thoughts in our questionnaire, or at one of our four in-person workshops. Or join us online for a webinar!

Submit your questions for the webinar

The webinar is a new addition to our consultation toolbox this year!

If you can’t make it to one of the in-person sessions, join us online for this live, one-hour session led by Jeff Busby, TransLink’s Manager of Infrastructure Planning.

We’ll be holding the webinar on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. PST. Jeff will do a presentation about the Surrey Rapid Transit Study, and he’ll leave lots of time for your questions.

Don’t worry if you can’t attend the webinar, either — we’ll be recording it and the video will be available after the event. I will also do follow-up blog posts for discussion based on clips from the webinar.

In the meantime, feel free to visit our webinar page to pre-register for the session.

As well, please do submit advance questions for the webinar through the comments in this post!

You can ask questions during the webinar too, but obviously gathering your questions in advance will help us make sure Jeff is getting to the most popular questions. You can even use the Like function in the comments to vote on questions you’d really like answers on.

And of course, if you prefer e-mail, feel free to send your questions to


  • By Taylor, October 17, 2010 @ 9:49 am

    Wake up and build light rail like everyone else in the world, clearly they know what they are doing. And the cost benefits are obvious.

  • By D, October 18, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

    Has TransLink considered dedicating these resources to improving transit in the Broadway Corridor, where demand is assured and a major commitment to more sustainable land use and urban design has already been made?

    It would be interesting to know, as a piece of information for all the different Surrey options that will be investigated going forward, how many resources are left for other projects of regional importance. Eg, if SkyTrain is extended, how much capital funding does that leave for Broadway?

    Further along this vein, can forecasts be developed that indicate how much this will cost per additional passenger-km, again, compared with projects such as the UBC/Broadway line? Is this really the most bang for the buck?

  • By drew86, October 18, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    I’m in favour of the light rail method because it can handle a larger capacity, is less polluting, and is more reliable than rapid bus. Also, it can service longer routes with the same amoount of funding, is at-ground, and is more flexible than rapid rail (i.e. Skytrain).

    My question is what will be the plan for increased ridership in the future when the new light rail becomes unable to meet the demand? Will it be additional trains, longer trains, extending or adding routes, or scrap the light rail and construct a Skytrain line?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 18, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

    D: We currently don’t have a dedicated pot of funding for either of these projects. Both the UBC and Surrey Rapid Transit projects are in an early study phase, so we can identify which alternatives will be the best fit for the communities they will serve. (The next phase of both studies, which will be out in 2011, will show detailed alignments and costs, but again won’t make any guesses as to how exactly these projects will be paid for.)

    Essentially, once the planning studies are complete, then TransLink and the region will begin the process of identifying the funding for the projects and determining priorities. And at that point, your first two questions will most definitely find answers.

    However, your last question about cost per additional passenger kilometres is one that I think may have an answer: I’ll pass it along for the webinar.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, October 18, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

    I don’t mean to be rude, but I hope that none of the money is saved for Vancouver. Vancouver already has 3 separated rapid trasit rail lines, rapid bus [B Line], and commuter train. I only think that after exhausting all resources on other cities, should we begin to think about Vancouver. Vancouver got its share. It is our turn now.

    That being said, I do agree with the idea of making sure we get a good bang for our buck.

    Here are my questions.

    1. If we install rapid bus now, to cut costs, then can we save money for Surrey, to upgrade in the future?

    2. What are our options for upgrading rapid transit technology, in Surrey?

    3. The web pages seem to make a distinction between B Line service and rapid bus. Would somebody verify that there is or is not a difference, please?

  • By Eugene Wong, October 18, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

    I am very angry. This comment is not directed to Jhenifer, even if she agrees with what Translink is doing, because I assume that she is a messenger and not a policy maker.

    I am *very* angry and how Translink is paying for new roads, and yet it has the guts to say to us that we ought to pay more taxes for transit improvements. How could there be no funding for rapid transit for the Evergreen Line, for service in Surrey, and for a connection to UBC, when our inconsiderate government wants to spend another $10,000,000 on roads? Unless my math is wrong, you could pay 100 bus drivers, $100,000/year, which would be more than they are currently getting. The government is opting to avoid providing over 100 jobs, and instead is opting to contribute to greenhouse gases. The fare revenue that the 100 bus drivers would gather would help to regain some of the initial investment.

    Here is my question: what are we getting with the new roads, when we refuse to hire hundreds of bus drivers, or when we refuse to build rapid transit?

  • By Nick, October 19, 2010 @ 2:04 am

    Eugene T.S. Wong: “3. The web pages seem to make a distinction between B Line service and rapid bus. Would somebody verify that there is or is not a difference, please?”

    B-Line service, to my knowledge, is simply normal buses that run limited-stop express service that may or may not have dedicated lanes and/or signal priority (the 98 had dedicated lanes on No. 3 Road and signal priority, the 99 has dedicated rush hour lanes in the relevant direction but my experience says no signal priority, the 97 has only a morning-rush dedicated lane on part of St. John’s St. and as far as I know no signal priority). Rapid bus runs limited-stop, in dedicated lanes, with signal priority.

    Eugene Wong (not the same person I’m guessing/hoping): “Here is my question: what are we getting with the new roads, when we refuse to hire hundreds of bus drivers, or when we refuse to build rapid transit?”

    Given that the Fraser Highway -still- has two-lane segments in Surrey despite how the Surrey segment was supposed to have been completely upgraded to four in tandem with 176th Street becoming four lanes (the preload for the segment around 176th has been there far longer than it should have been – there’s weeds growing in it! – and it appears that there is only a token workforce there to give the impression that something is being done on a segment that is one if not two years overdue for completion), and that the government’s resources appear to be tied up with the South Fraser Perimeter Road, the answer seems to be “better access to Deltaport and the 176th Street border crossing”. How that’s supposed to help us common people get where we’re going outside of taking trucks off of the major streets and making it slightly easier to visit our southerly neighbors, I have no clue; I have even less of a clue when considering the tolls on the new Port Mann Bridge — tolls which, like those on the Golden Ears, get written off as work expenses on a commercial driver’s tax return, meaning that commercial vehicles effectively aren’t subject to tolls since that money ends up as part of the drivers’ income tax refunds.

    My own thoughts: I know this is about rapid transit, but there are still improvements we can make now that would ease the pain until we get to the rapid transit stage.

    First, the Fraser Highway corridor. The 502 is often packed during rush hour yet that route has no articulated buses, but I have a bit of a more workable solution: make certain 502 trips (I would say the trips that run to Aldergrove and Brookswood) limited-stop service west of 168th Street, or simply load/unload only (depending on direction) through that section like the 160 and 190 are on Hastings Street. This isn’t a permanent solution, though — the underlying problem is that the project to upgrade Fraser Highway to four lanes throughout Surrey is at least a year (if not two years) overdue, and as I mentioned the province seems to be more concerned with getting trucks to and from Deltaport than they are with getting us normal people down a very busy corridor that is only going to get busier with new developments springing up everywhere in Clayton Heights and Langley.

    Second, and I wish I could emphasize this more, SIGNAL PRIORITY FOR BUSES. Ideally, all buses would have it, but the fact that not even major routes seem to have it (from my experience the 99 doesn’t, and it’s the busiest bus route in the entire system!) is a glaring flaw that should have been corrected when the 98 (the only route that, as far as I know, has -ever- had signal priority) was around.

  • By Sheba, October 19, 2010 @ 10:46 am

    I also hope that Surrey gets more transit attention. I grew up in N Delta and my parents live over by Newton now, and the sheer lack of rapid transit is sickening.

    When going over to visit my parents I take the skytrain to King George station and then get a ride from there. Taking a bus on King George is a royal pain, as it’s start and stop for the entire route with no option of an express bus (there used to be one). Think about what it would be like on Kingsway from Vancouver into Burnaby if there wasn’t an Expo Line skytrain and you get an idea what buses on King George are like.

    B Line routes would be ok for the moment, while waiting for some variety of rail to be built.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, October 19, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

    Eugene, Nick: Just wanted to confirm that Nick’s description of bus rapid transit vs B-Line service is accurate.

  • By Eugene T.S. Wong, October 19, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

    Hi Nick, and Jhenifer. Thank you both for clarifying the B-Line and rapid bus descriptions.

    Nick, I am the same person. I just forgot to type in my middle initials. I use different browsers sometimes. Sorry to disappoint. ;^P

    Nick, also, thank you for your response on the roads. Sometimes, I feel like it’s just me. :^D

    I’m glad to see that Jeff Busby answered a couple of my questions. Thanks, Jeff and Translink.

  • By Robert, October 21, 2010 @ 10:41 am

    Don’t forget that the stretch near 176th St. is not the only part of Fraser Hwy that is only 2 lanes. Shortly after heading away from King George Stn Fraser Hwy narrows to 2 lanes even BEFORE reaching the site of the Surrey Outpatient Hospital. Consequently the full 502 buses inch along through this bottleneck with the rest of the traffic.

  • By Peter, November 21, 2010 @ 12:32 am

    All this talk about expensive rapid transit when we cant make simple inter regional connections? Until a couple years ago when Abbotsford transit introduced route 21 to Aldergrove, one could not take the bus to the fraser valley. Connections are still limited. There is no city bus service between Abbotsford & Chilliwack, Squamish and Horseshoe Bay, or Whiterock to Blaine, where one can catch city busses to Bellingham, Seattle, and even Portland, Oregon. Yes Washington State has figured out inter regional travel but BC cant? to come up with a cost sharing solution with Whatcom County Transit to either extend routes 55 & 70X north to Whiterock or extend routes 321 & 375 the mere 3 miles to connect with each other. Windsor Ontario transit runs the “tunnel bus” between Downtown Windsor (Canada) and Downtown Detroit (USA) every handful of minutes. how hard would it be to extend a handful of trips per day (making timed connections) between Whiterock and Blaine, Between Horseshoe Bay and Squamish (to connect with the Squamish to Whistler transit bus as local Squamish transit runs frequent) and a regular transit run between Haney and Mission (as an alternative to the West Coast Express which operates commuter service only)? Think about it!

Other Links to this Post

  1. Tweets that mention We want your thoughts on rapid transit in the Surrey area! -- — October 12, 2010 @ 6:24 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » Surrey Rapid Transit consultation workshops start tomorrow, Thu Oct 14, 2010 — October 13, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  3. The Buzzer blog » Get your questions in for our Surrey Rapid Transit webinar, Tue Oct 19 — October 18, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

  4. The Buzzer blog » Phase 2 of our UBC Line rapid transit consultation launches Wed Mar 30, 2011 — March 21, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  5. The Buzzer blog » Surrey Rapid Transit Study Phase 2 consultation starts today! — May 10, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

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