Surrey signs agreement to compensate TransLink for $ 39 million for LRT cancellation

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As one of the stipulations of the May 2018 decision by the Council of Mayors to cancel the Surrey Newton-Guildford LRT project and to focus on the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain Expo line project along Fraser Road, the city of Surrey is required to compensate TransLink with the “unnecessarily spent” costs that were spent on multi-year planning efforts for the street train that never materialized.

A year and a half later, the city government and the public transit authority have reached an agreement on how the city will offset “costs incurred” on the LRT with “little residual value.” The Council of Mayors approved the agreement in a closed meeting on Thursday.

According to a report from TransLink staff, a total of $ 39 million has been agreed in the form of cash and in-kind value that supports the expansion of the Expo line.

City-owned properties valued at $ 11.4 million will be donated to TransLink for legal use of the right-of-way for the SkyTrain project, such as for stations, guideway structure, interchange bus and power station buildings. The city will also make its property available for construction.

Under the terms of the agreement and conditions of use, development on these sites may be authorized as long as it does not interfere with the transit infrastructure.

The SkyTrain project will also use the highway dedications that have been secured by the city in anticipation of rapid transportation, valued at $ 5.5 million. Additional land which has been dedicated by the developers will be made available to the project at nominal value.

Worth $ 12.8 million, the city will provide 300 incentive parking spaces next to the new SkyTrain stations. These spaces should generate 130,000 trips per year by public transport, compared to a scenario without such facilities.

All of these spaces must be located within 400 meters of the stations, available on the opening day and accessible to public transit users from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If the city decides to charge for parking, the price will not be increased without prior consultation with TransLink.

The municipal government will also pay TransLink a cash payment of $ 9.3 million.

Another compensation of $ 5 million will be determined in the future and will be used for the future rapid transit project on King George Boulevard.

Widespread public opposition and support for SkyTrain has resulted in the cancellation of the $ 1.6 billion LRT project, as the Council of Mayors worked with senior governments to reallocate all funds in the SkyTrain project to Fleetwood. The newly elected municipal government at the time also made an election promise to cancel the LRT in favor of SkyTrain.

Earlier this week, TransLink said it may have to delay its SkyTrain project schedule because $ 1.1 billion of redirected LRT funds are being taken care of by the transit authority, which is currently experiencing financial crisis due to COVID-19. The balance of approximately $ 500 million comes from the federal government.

In addition, the two senior governments, concerned about the health crisis, have not responded to TransLink’s request to approve the business case by the end of May.

TransLink hoped to complete the expansion reaching at least Fleetwood by 2025, with construction starting in 2022 after an 18-month procurement process.

By 2035, the first phase of seven Fleetwood stations, seven kilometers long, will attract approximately 40,000 daily shipments, while the total extension of $ 3.1 billion, 16 kilometers long, to eight stations will attract 62,000.

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