By MLA Jagrup Brar
Victoria – Our government has heard the concerns of both families and professionals wanting to be further connected with the job hubs of downtown Vancouver and Langley while still spending time with their loved ones. Collaboration between our Province and the Federal government has brought forward a momentous announcement of $1.3Bn in federal funding dedicated to the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension that will profoundly benefit the lives of people across Surrey and solidify the New Democrat commitment to building the transportation networks our growing communities need. This is an opportunity for us to shape growth in our city and not chase it.
During the 16 years of BC Liberal reign, they neglected to build the transportation infrastructure our cities so clearly needed. The New Democrats recognized the pressing needs of Surrey residents and are taking action by bringing the first investment in rapid transit south of the Fraser in 30 years. The Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension will connect King George Station to Langley City Centre with 16km of track and 8 brand-new stations to provide fast, frequent, reliable, and convenient transit for people across the region.
This new rapid transit line will be elevated and run along Fraser Highway. It is expected to reduce the average commute to 22 minutes, down from the current 47 minutes. This will free up those precious hours otherwise spent commuting to be used on more important responsibilities at home with the family. Not only will this extension integrate downtown Vancouver with important suburbs like Surrey and Langley, it will help improve internal public transit accessibility for residents and businesses south of the Fraser River while reducing our environmental impact.
This pandemic has been exceptionally tough on all of us and we have definitely felt the economic effects here at home in Surrey. The project will provide not only sustainable transportation choices for people south of the Fraser, but also opportunities for transit-oriented development and affordable housing. We know the climate crisis is real and we are committed to tackling it from all sides. Building transportation networks helps take cars of the road, reducing congestion, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. This is in line with our targets set out in our CleanBC plan, North American’s most ambitious climate change strategy.
The New Democrats are here to support you and your family and make life more affordable. At rates not even conceived of by the BC Liberals, we are shortening commutes, creating well-paying jobs, supercharging our economic recovery, and helping make life easier for everyone across Surrey. The Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension will be bringing you the freedom to spend more time with your loved ones.
Jagrup Brar is the MLA for Surrey Fleetwood.