UPDATE – Nov, 06, 2018: In light of the resolution passed by the City of Surrey council we are pausing work on the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Project and suspending the RFQ process while we await direction from the Mayors’ Council and the TransLink Board. Read the full statement from TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond here.
This will introduce modern, street-level light rail transit (LRT) along King George Boulevard and 104 Avenue, connecting Surrey City Centre, Guildford and Newton with high-quality rapid transit.
Through June 14, TransLink and the City of Surrey want your input on key aspects of the LRT project and how light rail will help transform Surrey.
LRT is new to our region, so naturally there are some who are concerned about how it will work, and others who prefer alternative technologies for a variety of reasons. We’ve heard you. Here’s some information about the common topics that have been raised:
Why not bus rapid transit?
LRT supports the City of Surrey’s vision for complete, connected and livable communities, which was established after extensive consultation. With a vibrant and safe streetscape, easy “hop-on, hop-off” street-level service that boosts “eyes on the street” and enhances green space with grassy and tree-lined boulevards.
TransLink supports this vision because it dovetails well with the regional transportation strategy. As well, cities around the world are increasingly turning to LRT as a city-shaping form of rapid transit.
By 2041, the South of Fraser sub-region is expected to grow by more than 300,000 new residents and 200,000 new jobs.
LRT connects Surrey City Centre, Guildford and Newton, supporting the current and future transportation needs in the fastest growing city in BC. It provides the flexibility to grow both in terms of capacity and network coverage over the long-term that is unmatched by bus rapid transit.
Will the LRT cause congestion?
Quite the contrary! The fast, frequent and reliable Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT will help shift people away from single occupancy vehicle use and reduce the overall number of cars on the road.
LRT runs in its own dedicated lane with signal prioritization, helping to ensure consistent travel times for transit users.
The current 96 B-Line is highly popular, but variability of travel times is already a problem. Average travel times currently range between approximately 29 minutes and can be as high as 50 minutes during peak congestion.
On opening day, the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT will have 30-metre trains that are capable of moving between 2,000 to 2,400 people per hour in each direction—more than four times the 96 B-Line’s current peak capacity, with consistent run times of 27 minutes, and possibly shorter.
The LRT is expected to run approximately every 5 minutes during peak periods, and 7.5 minutes off-peak As a result, LRT will help reduce congestion as reliable train service will encourage drivers to choose transit over personal vehicles.
Without an improved rapid transit network to serve this population growth communities south of the Fraser will experience greater traffic congestion as Surrey continues to grow, with an expected 300,000 new residents within the next 25 years.
Will the LRT corridor be prone to accidents?
The LRT will be safe and reliable since it will travel in dedicated lanes, which are curb-separated from other traffic, and follow the rules of the road, obeying traffic signals just like all other drivers. The difference is that LRT will have its own signals that are integrated with signals for other road users—like an advanced green left turn, or bus priority intersections. Since the LRT travels in a dedicated lane, it also won’t be held up by congestion or accidents in the other lanes.
In the event of an accident that does block the LRT lanes, operational staff and emergency responders will work to clear the site safely and quickly so that service can continue. And if an LRT vehicle does break down or otherwise can’t continue, there will be spaces along the route where LRT vehicles can cross over to the other lane and pass—similar to how SkyTrain single-tracking works when there’s a stalled train.
Have questions? You’ll want to stop by at an upcoming open house to ask the experts directly and learn more about the project:
- Thursday, May 31, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Surrey City Hall (13450 104 Avenue, Surrey)
- Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Peoples Church (14455 104 Avenue, Surrey)
- Tuesday, June 5, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at Surrey Arts Centre (13750 88 Avenue, Surrey)
You can also leave a comment below and we’ll try our best to answer them!
And of course, take the survey! We want your feedback on refined designs and the results of the environmental and socio-economic review. We also want input to proposed measures to minimize disruption during construction, and assist with planning for future public art.
Learn more and take the survey through June 14 at surreylightrail.ca/community!