The region’s next great metropolitan centre is in the midst of securing funding for its Light Rail Transit system, and has taken a leap forward with its application to the P3 Canada Fund, being granted a “screened in” status. The P3 screen is applied to projects with capital costs of more than $100 million, for funding under the new Building Canada Fund. The City expects to welcome nearly 300,000 new residents over the next 30 years, and implementation of a new transit system is necessary to support sustainable growth and a strong economy.
“With Surrey’s population growing so quickly, securing new rapid transit options have been a top priority of mine,” says Mayor Dianne Watts. “This decision to have Surrey’s application for federal funding move on to the next stage is a significant step forward in making a Light Rail Transit system a reality in our city.”
The LRT will span 27km, and connect the City Centre with Town Centres throughout Surrey and Langley. There are a number of benefits that will enhance transportation choices for residents:
- Trains will arrive every 5-6 minutes, providing reliable and frequent service;
- LRT stations will be more closely spaced together than SkyTrain stations, connecting communities wth more destinations;
- LRT will be integrated with SkyTrain in City Centre, allowing for fast and smooth transfers;
- LRT will help shape development, contributing to walkable and connected neighbourhoods;
- LRT trains and stations will be at the street level, creating vibrant and animated places.
Surrey’s new LRT will also boost economic development and support local business:
- LRT will attract investment. In a recent survey, 72% of developers said that rail rapid transit would favourably influence their decision to invest in Surrey.;
- LRT will support job growth. Respected real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle found that office space in Surrey close to rapid transit had a 3% vacancy rate while office space located away from rapid transit had 25% vacancy;
- LRT will reduce congestion by providing transportation choice, freeing up roads for businesses to move goods and services to serve domestic and international markets.