Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau announced up to $1.3 billion in federal funding toward the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension project. The Province of British Columbia and its partners will fund the remainder of the costs for the project.
The Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension project will support an area with a fast-growing population representing 25 per cent of the population of Metro Vancouver, help improve public transit accessibility for residents and businesses south of the Fraser River, connect more people to housing, employment, and schools, and encourage greater development around SkyTrain stations. The project will also create approximately 3,000 full-time, well-paying middle class jobs.
“The populations of Surrey, Langley, and other Fraser Valley communities are growing quickly, and we must build infrastructure to meet the needs of those families,” said Rob Fleming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We thank the Government of Canada for joining the Province on our commitment to Surrey Langley SkyTrain and we are excited to move forward on this important transportation project which will serve people for years to come.”
The Surrey Langley extension will connect growing Surrey neighbourhoods, the Township of Langley, and the City of Langley to Surrey Centre and the regional SkyTrain network. The project includes 16 kilometres on an elevated guideway from King George SkyTrain Station to Langley City Centre along Fraser Highway. It also includes eight stations, three bus exchanges, park and ride spaces, 30 SkyTrain cars, an operations and maintenance centre, and supporting system upgrades. This new transit route will provide residents with an average commute time of 22 minutes, which is more than 25 minutes faster than the current bus route. The proposed extension is projected to serve 62,000 daily riders in 2035 and grow to 71,200 riders in 2050. Approximately 24,000 to 30,000 of these riders are expected to switch to transit from other modes of transportation.
“As one of the fastest growing cities in Canada, the new Surrey Langley SkyTrain has a built-in ridership,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “Fast and reliable rapid transit translates into fewer cars on the road. The Metro Region will benefit as Surrey Langley SkyTrain expands and connects the SkyTrain network into more communities.”
The Prime Minister also announced that the Government of Canada is committed to funding up to 40 per cent of eligible costs toward future planning and business case development for a proposed extension of the Millennium Line from Arbutus Station to the University of British Columbia (UBC). This project will better connect students, employees, and residents who travel between UBC and other parts of Metro Vancouver with a high speed and frequent SkyTrain service, reducing travel time between Commercial-Broadway and UBC for riders by more than 20 minutes per trip. As one of the largest employers in the region with world-class health services and an emerging innovation and research hub, UBC will require fast, frequent transit service to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff who travel there each day from across the region.
Featured image: TransLink