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TransLink’s ’10-Year Vision’ has been rolled out in phases, and now with Federal funding, the future is beginning to take shape.
Surrey’s rapid transit extension has been delayed after a new city council turfed a well-planned light-rail project through the city in November 2018. That project was the same cost as “phase one” of the SkyTrain extension, and so along with new planning, new funding for the extension to Langley is required. Since then a SkyTrain extension along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor has been approved and funded. The remaining projects in the 10-Year Vision will be funded in a future investment plan after Transport 2050 is confirmed and the 10-Year Vision refreshed.
The mayors are also asking the federal government to prioritize a new, low-carbon fleet, such as electric buses.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced federal funding for the Surrey to Langley SkyTrain project. Speaking in Surrey, B.C. on last Friday, Trudeau said the federal government will provide up to $1.3 billion dollars for the Surrey to Langley SkyTrain extension.
This includes an elevated extension of 16 kilometres and eight stations. This will cut commute times and make lives easier. Langley Mayor Val van den Broek said due to this project they expect “more than 25,000,000 active transportation trips by 2025.”
Joining Trudeau was Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna, British Columbia Premier John Horgan, British Columbia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming, British Columbia Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, City of Langley Mayor Val van den Broek, and TransLink Interim CEO Gigi Chen-Kuo.
This federal funding was the third piece of the project needed. Provincial and TransLink portions of the SkyTrain project have already been committed. In addition to that transportation project announced Friday, Trudeau also said the federal government will invest up to 40 percent for the SkyTrain extension from Arbutus to UBC. Under the currently approved and funded Phase Two of TransLink’s 10-Year Vision, the Broadway subway would only extend to Arbutus Street.
According to TransLink’s report in 2019, extending the line from Arbutus Street to UBC would cost between $3.3 billion and $3.8 billion. That number is likely much higher now. No level of government has committed funding for the actual construction of an extension from Arbutus Street to UBC at this time. In January, three Lower Mainland First Nations, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the City of Vancouver signed an agreement to work together in seeking funding for this extension.
Transit-oriented communities are a hot commodity in this market, with lots of future plans, and little product available for investors and commuters to buy into, While the pool of opportunity is growing with Langley and more of Surrey being connected to the rest of Metro Vancouver, limited opportunities remain for housing. Eastleigh in Langley is only 10 minutes walk from the future SkyTrain and offers 1 & 2 Bedroom Condominiums in Langley’s vibrant Downtown neighbourhood.
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