Surrey, BC (September 10, 2021) – As early as the 1975 Livable Region Plan, rapid transit alternatives have been proposed for South of Fraser corridor connecting urban centres and growth areas. In the ground-breaking Transport 2021 regional transportation plan published in 1992, rapid transit service was envisioned on King George Highway and 104 Avenue connecting Whalley to Newton and Guildford, respectively. By 2014, a funding commitment was made by the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Investment Plan to construct 27 kilometres of rapid transit line in Surrey, including the key connection between Surrey City Centre and Newton along King George Boulevard.
This rapid transit commitment is supported by the growing transit demand along the King George Boulevard as demonstrated by the significant performance of the 96 B-Line installed in early 2017. The growth rate and ridership of the 96 B-Line was identified by TransLink as one of the fastest growing service in the region, surpassing other B-Line services including services in the Northeast that preceded the Evergreen Line extension of the Millennium SkyTrain Line. By 2019, significant progress was made in the design of a rail-based rapid transit line on King George Boulevard that early work and the procurement process was initiated to allow construction to begin.
A refresh of rapid transit plan in Surrey conducted by TransLink after the announcement of the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project indicated the sustained viability of rapid transit service on King George Boulevard, with a daily ridership up to 60,000 forecasted for a fixed link rail-based rapid transit line connecting Surrey City Centre and Newton Town Centre.
Rapid transit is recognized as a key element in supporting urban and economic development in this region. The recently completed Newton-King George Boulevard Land Use Plan and the Newton Town Centre Plan continued to support rapid transit connection between Surrey City Centre and Newton. The urban development along a rapid transit corridor such as King George Boulevard would allow for a diverse and affordable housing opportunities needed for South of Fraser communities.
The rapid transit hub in Newton will facilitate the planning of rapid transit extension to South Surrey and east-west connections to Cloverdale and Scottsdale in Delta supporting the RapidBus development along Scott Road.
From both a land use and transportation perspectives, priority must be placed on the provision of a fixed link rail-based on King George Boulevard connecting Newton and Surrey City Centre.
“I am convinced that Fixed Rapid Rail will be the catalyst to revitalization and will transform Newton into a connected, and livable community. Making the Newton Town Center more vibrant, accessible, and competitive. Surrey’s most populous town centre will ignite investment and transform Newton into a hub of cultural and economic growth.” – Philip Aguirre, Newton BIA Executive Director
“The federal election is now two weeks away. With a population of over 150,000 people what promises can the local candidates make for the future of Newton. Is Newton a priority?” – Philip Aguirre, Newton BIA Executive Director