While people living in all communities in the South of Fraser will benefit from an improved transit system as outlined in the Mayors’ Council Vision for Metro Vancouver by voting "yes" in the upcoming transit plebiscite, Surrey and the City of Langley will also gain light rail transit.
The City of Surrey has been advocating for light rail for many years. You can read more about the City’s support of light rail. Mayor Linda Hepner and Surrey First made building light rail a campaign promises.
At the Surrey Council meeting last Monday, its engineering department asked Council to:
Support the Region’s “Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan”, which includes significant improvements in the South of Fraser area;
Support a 0.5% regional sales tax (“Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax’);
Endorse advocating for a “yes” vote in the upcoming transportation plebiscite; and
Direct staff to develop and undertake a City advocacy plan, with the necessary resources to undertake the work.
Surrey City Council endorsed these recommendations.
Polling shows that awareness of the plebiscite is low in the South of Fraser. Surrey’s advocacy plans will work to raise awareness on the plebiscite. They will also work to engage with community groups and the general public about South of Fraser transportation issues, the Mayors' vision, and why voting “yes” is critical for the future of the sub-region.
City of Surrey staff will be working alongside the regional “Better Transportation and Transit Coalition”, to provide South of Fraser specific information and support for the coalition’s advocacy efforts.
While City of Surrey Council and staff are working hard to support getting a "yes" vote, it is interesting that City of Langley Council has remained silent, even though Langley City will be getting light rail.
I know when I was running for City Council this fall, every single candidate supported revitalizing Downtown Langley. Light rail transit has been a catalyst in revitalizing downtowns throughout North America, so I am perplexed as to why the City of Langley is mum.