Langley City council rejected Light Rapid Transit (LRT) for a planned link to Surrey during a closed-door meeting late last year, formally declaring SkyTrain would be a better choice.
But since the less expensive LRT will likely be what actually gets built, council also said it would be willing to accept the less ideal technology, provided several conditions were met.
The city wants the LRT track to be elevated between Willowbrook Mall and east of 200 Street.
It also wants upgrades that would include widening the Fraser Highway right-of-way to allow bike lanes, building a park and ride near the Langley LRT station, providing “adequate pedestrian connectivity and interface infrastructure” to link with a planned bus depot next to the station, as well as “consideration” given to locating a rapid transit maintenance facility and a “security satellite office” in Langley.
The record of the Dec. 11, 2017 closed meeting shows council formally declared that the SkyTrain technology, for the planned Fraser Highway corridor between King George Station and Langley, “is superior to Light Rapid Transit (LRT) based on the perspective of safety, travel time, reliability and potential for future extensions.”
While the city would prefer to have the province and the region secure additional funds for SkyTrain, the 2017 resolution stated, council recognized that “may not be forthcoming or possible.”
Since insisting on SkyTrain could delay funding approval by senior levels of government, council voted to accept LRT, with the conditions.
The December resolution was passed following a review of the two systems by Langley City staff and a presentation to council by Daryl Dela Cruz, campaign chair of “SkyTrain for Surrey” who told Langley City council he believes City of Surrey representatives were misleading the public in their advocacy for LRT.
It was published online in advance of the Monday meeting of council this week.
The document said Langley City Council “will continue to lobby the Federal and Provincial governments and TransLink to secure additional funding for SkyTrain Technology.”
It went on to say that “Langley City Council fully expects the Federal and Provincial governments and TransLink to fulfill their commitment to fund Phase 3 of the Mayors’ 10 – Year Vision to construct the Surrey-Langley Light Rail Transit Line within the next eight to 10 years.”
Earlier this year, the second phase of the Metro Vancouver mayors’ 10-year transportation vision was unveiled.
It includes a $30 million investment for project development of the Surrey-Langley LRT Line.
The bulk of the budgeted amount in the phase two plan includes $2.83 billion for the new Millennium Line Broadway extension in Vancouver, $1.3 billion in Expo and Millennium SkyTrain line upgrades, and $1.65 billion for the first phase of Surrey light rail.