What is the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project?
The proposed project would extend the Expo Line 16 kilometres on an elevated guideway from King George SkyTrain Station to Langley City Centre along Fraser Highway. It includes eight stations, three bus exchanges, park and ride spaces, 55 SkyTrain vehicles, an Operations and Maintenance Centre, and supporting system upgrades.
Why now? According to the mayors' 10-Year Vision, wasn't rapid transit along Fraser Highway supposed to follow the building of rapid transit in Surrey-Newton-Guildford?
At the request of Surrey City Council, the Mayors' Council endorsed a TransLink recommendation to suspend the Surrey LRT project, pausing all work and spending on it, and focus on the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project along Fraser Highway.
The Mayors' Council also directed TransLink to refresh the plan for rapid transit on the 104 Avenue and King George Boulevard corridors, consistent with the 10-Year Vision for 27-kilometres of rapid transit.
What does project development for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain involve?
This planning work includes design requirements, costing, public engagement, First Nations engagement, an environmental review, municipal partnership agreements with the City of Surrey, City of Langley and Township of Langley, and drafting a business case for senior government approval.
What is the timeline for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain project?
Following the project development phase, a procurement process would take another 15 months, and construction would take approximately four years. It is anticipated that the extension would be in-service 5.5 years from project approval.
Has this project already been approved?
No. The project’s business case was approved by TransLink’s Board of Directors and the Mayors’ Council in January 2020 and referred to senior governments for approval. It is under review.
How much would this project cost?
In July 2019, estimates put the capital cost of the proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain – from King George SkyTrain Station to Langley City Centre – at $3.1 billion. With approximately $1.63 billion in available funding, it is expected that the project may be constructed and delivered in stages. Stage 1 would see the Expo Line extended to 166 St in Fleetwood.
What is the Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) of the project?
The BCR of the entire project is 1.24, which is comparable to previous SkyTrain business cases: the Canada Line (1.25) and Evergreen Extension (1.27). All major projects undergo this form of analysis to determine whether an investment represents good value.
What are the proposed SkyTrain stations?
Station locations are based on current and future ridership data. The proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain includes eight new stations, as follows:
140 Street, City of Surrey
152 Street, City of Surrey
160 Street, City of Surrey
166 Street, City of Surrey (Fleetwood scenario, interim terminal)
184 Street, City of Surrey (Clayton scenario, interim terminal)
190 Street, City of Surrey
196 Street, Township of Langley
203 Street, City of Langley (Langley scenario, final terminal)
What would be the frequency of the proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain?
The Surrey Langley SkyTrain project would see trains operate every 6 to 8 minutes during peak periods. A trip from Langley City Centre to King George SkyTrain Station would take around 22 minutes.
Will there be an environmental assessment?
TransLink is committed to delivering the project in a manner that respects the environment and considers all project-related effects, including both natural and human. An Environmental Screening Review (ESR) process has sought feedback from stakeholders, the public, and First Nations on the following topics:
Traffic and transportation
Archaeology and heritage
Fisheries and aquatics
Vegetation and wildlife
Noise and vibration
Air quality and Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
The ESR’s draft Terms of Reference was available for review and comment in Fall 2019. An ESR Summary Report and the Final Terms of Reference are available in the Document Library.
What are the benefits of the Surrey Langley SkyTrain?
The area south of the Fraser is one of the fastest growing areas in the region. The population of Surrey, Langley City and Langley Township is projected to increase by another 420,000 people and add 147,000 new jobs by the year 2050. As the population in communities south of the Fraser continues to grow, so does demand for transit.
A SkyTrain along Fraser Highway will help meet current transit needs and support planned future growth. It will connect commuters travelling between Langley and Surrey as well as the broader region, providing commuters with a frequent, reliable and convenient mode of rapid transit.
Are there still plans to build rapid transit where the SNG LRT would have gone – along 104 Avenue and King George Boulevard?
In December 2018, the Mayors' Council directed TransLink to initiate a planning process to refresh the South of Fraser Rapid Transit Plan, consistent with the 10-Year Vision of building 27 kilometres of rapid transit on the 104 Avenue, King George Boulevard, and Fraser Highway corridors.
In July 2019, the Mayors' Council directed TransLink to explore transit options for 104 Avenue and King George Boulevard that stay within the $3.55 billion assumed funding envelope for these two corridors and SkyTrain to Langley.
With a cost estimate of $3.1 billion for a full-length Surrey Langley SkyTrain, TransLink focused its November 2019 round of public engagement on BRT technology for the 104 and King George Boulevard corridors. No decisions have been made as further technical analysis, public engagement, and direction from the Mayors' Council on these two corridors is required.
Why was a proposed rapid bus service along Fraser Highway cancelled?
While a rapid bus along Fraser Highway would have been a welcome service, it wouldn't have been cost-effective to invest resources in new infrastructure that would likely only have been dismantled to build a SkyTrain extension.
Rather, the focus has been on improvements to existing local bus services, such as the 502, 503 and the R1.
New RapidBus lines for south of the Fraser include:
Scott Road via 120th Street
White Rock Centre via King George Boulevard and 152 Street
Is SkyTrain proprietary technology?
SkyTrain is not proprietary to a specific manufacturer. There are multiple manufacturers with the ability to construct vehicles and components for TransLink's SkyTrain system. Procurement for rail infrastructure and SkyTrain vehicles go through a competitive bidding process. This process would be similar for all types of transit technology.
What is the proposed procurement model for this project?
TransLink assessed a range of procurement models in order to maximize competition, allow for innovation and efficiency, provide cost and schedule certainty, manage risk, and comply with procurement policies and standards.
The model recommended for the first stage of the project is a Design Build Finance model whereby a portion of construction costs will be financed privately, with repayment upon project completion. Operations and maintenance will be performed by TransLink's BC Rapid Transit Company, which runs the existing Expo and Millennium Lines.
On what aspects of rapid transit south of the Fraser have you engaged the public and what was the response?
In our first round of public engagement, from April 4 to 26 2019, we sought feedback on:
Priorities, opportunities, considerations, and level of support for the proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain that extends 16 kilometres from King George Station in Surrey to Langley City;
Priorities, opportunities, and considerations for rapid transit options on the 104 Avenue and King George Boulevard corridors; and
What's important when thinking about rapid transit options.
Public engagement attracted a record-level response, with over 21,000 survey responses and over 1,000 participants at four open houses.
The survey results indicated widespread support for the proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain. In Surrey and Langley, 85% of respondents support the proposed project, and in the rest of the region, support lies at 84%.
In our second round of public engagement, between November 1 to 17, 2019, we sought feedback on:
The proposed SkyTrain guideway alignment and station locations;
Access to the SkyTrain and its integration with other modes of transportation, such as walking, cycling, buses, and driving;
Topics included in the Environmental Screening Review (ESR); and
Rapid transit on 104 Avenue and King George Boulevard
Similar to the first round of public engagement there was significant interest in the project with 2,000 attendees at five open houses, 8,000 survey responses, and 5,000 participants in a live Telephone Town Hall.
Survey results indicated general support for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain, especially for it to be built in one stage and on an expedited basis; agreement that identified factors were sufficiently thorough in helping to determine placement of the guideway; and 93% support for the ESR process.
A third round of public engagement in September 2020 was paused due to the provincial election. It will resume as soon as possible. Please stay tuned for further details.
Is the Interurban an alternative to the proposed Surrey Langley SkyTrain or rapid transit on 104 Avenue and King George Boulevard?
No. This is because:
Communities connected by the Interurban have neither the population density nor transit demand that exists along Fraser Highway, King George Boulevard and 104 Avenue;
Estimated travel times are not competitive with rapid transit;
It would require substantial infrastructure investments to provide frequent service;
TransLink is committed to delivering the Mayors' Vision, which includes rapid transit south of the Fraser;
The Interurban is one of many ideas that will be considered as part of TransLink's new regional transportation strategy, Transport 2050.
For more information, please see the Report on Interurban Passenger Rail PDF.