SURREY (NEWS1130) – As Surrey expands at a rapid pace, there is an increased need to connect new communities to the transit grid.
The trouble is people are flocking to new communities like Clayton Heights and Morgan Crossing faster than the neighbourhoods can meet the demand for bus service.
Anita Huberman with the Surrey Board of Trade says her city has been under-serviced for years when it comes to transit and the issue needs to be addressed right away.
“We need to have expanded transit service now, otherwise our economy is going to be compromised,” she says. “The number one thing a business looks at when its moving into a city is transportation corridors, so our economy will stall if we’re not able to link our city.”
There will be a referendum next year on the best way to pay for new transit projects in the Lower Mainland. Road pricing, property tax increases and a vehicle levy have all been floated as possibilities but it’s unclear which options will appear on the ballot.
Huberman argues one option that definitely should not be included in the vote is “none of the above.”
“In present-day Surrey, traffic is gridlocked,” she says.
“It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to get from North Surrey to South Surrey. Trying to get people out of their cars and into an efficient, affordable transit system would really minimize that traffic gridlock.”
Huberman’s group is calling for light rail service in Surrey. She is not opposed to a public-private partnership to pay for it.