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We posed a question this morning on PULSE of the Fraser, about what we should have in Surrey for our transit upgrade; Skytrain or Light Rail.

According to a report on the City of Surrey website, the thought process is to put light rail along two corridors:

  1. Surrey City Centre to Newton City Centre
  2. Surrey City Centre to Downtown Langley along Fraser Highway.

The estimated costs of these two lines, which would consist of two tracks and about 27 kilometres of rail, is earmarked at 2.1 Billion.

There is also the Skytrain option, which would extend the existing line from the terminus at King George Blvd near and 98th Ave and run down the Fraser Highway to Langley.  Estimated price tag, an extra billion.

The Skytrain line, light the Light Rail Line, would also be entirely above ground.  Unlike the Canada Line, which has a large section underneath, and the Evergreen Line, which has a tunnel from Como Lake and Clarke into the Barnet Corridor, this line would be above ground all the way, creating the Skytrain eyesore, depending on your point of view and also the noise that would affect businesses and homes along the route.

So what to do?  We have seen the track record of Skytrain and for the most part it has been pretty reliable.  The Light Rail models that we have seen have been fine as well but there is no track record here.

Can we do both?  Skytrain to Langley on Fraser Highway and Light Train service down King George to Newton?

Only time will tell, but make no mistake, the decision needs to be made soon.  As we saw this morning, one little bridge issue caused a whole lot of transit pain, and it will only get more congested as thousands more move into the region every year.