Artist’s impression of the type of light rail line proposed for a Surrey-to-Langley route. From website.

Langley residents get to comment on $7.3 billion transit plan

Public meeting set for Willowbrook shopping centre next week

Langley residents will soon have an opportunity to comment on more than $7 billion in transportation improvements proposed for Metro Vancouver.

The public consultation event, one of eight “pop-up” forums organized by TransLink, will run from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, at the Willowbrook Shopping Centre.

The meetings were announced when the second phase of the Metro Vancouver mayors’ 10-year transportation vision was unveiled on Monday, with a projected price tag of $7.3 billion.

Only a relatively small portion of that amount, $30 million, is earmarked for a much-discussed light rail line from Surrey to Langley, for planning and design work.

At the Monday announcement, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond declined to provide a construction cost estimate for the Langley line.

TransLink is also planning a review of the entire Langley bus network, particularly the community shuttles.

A B-Line bus service to connect Surrey and Langley along Fraser Highway is planned for 2019.

READ MORE: Fraser Highway B-Line to start in 2019

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.

The money will cover construction of six new SkyTrain stations along Broadway from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Street, building the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT Line along 104 Avenue, City Parkway and King George Boulevard, 108 new SkyTrain cars for the Expo and Millennium Lines, as well as 95 replacement cars for the existing fleet.

People can provide feedback online at until May 11.

The final phase two investment plan will be presented to the Mayors’ Council and TransLink board of directors in June.

If approved, Metro Vancouver residents would see some of the phase two improvements to services made as early as 2019.

READ MORE: TransLink defends huge spike in cost of SkyTrain, light-rail projects

The cost of the upgrades has risen nearly $1 billion since the last time estimates were released in 2015.

The Millennium Line improvements are up by 24 per cent ($550 million) and costs for Surrey light rail are up by 33 per cent ($410 million).

READ MORE: Metro mayors to hike transit fares, property taxes to pay for transit projects

– with files from Black Press

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