Is Surrey About To Abandon The Doomed Ship TransLink?

Zwei predicted years ago that current transit planning will compel South Fraser Municipalities to abandon TransLink.

Well, it has happened, like it or not a new political group, Proudly Surrey, has made leaving TransLink as part of their electoral platform.

The following is Proudly Surrey’s platform on transit.

Transit for Surrey


In 1994, Surrey signed the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority agreement, along with the other cities in Metro Vancouver and the BC government, an agreement that ultimately created TransLink. While TransLink has made some good decisions and delivered some genuine improvements to our transit system, these have been outweighed by decades of bad management, poor decisions and provincial government interference. Over time TransLink has become just another body of faceless appointees collecting fat cheques, totally out of touch with the transportation needs of our cities.

Today, we are suffering with expensive white elephant fare collection systems which do not work effectively, and cost more money than fare evasion was ever costing us.

Today, Surrey residents who work in Vancouver pay the most in transit fare while getting worse service than the residents of Burnaby, Vancouver, New West and other cities where inter-urban fares are lower.

Proudly Surrey will retake control of our transit system and the gas taxes we pay to support it.

  • We will immediately begin negotiations and prepare a legal case for the BC Supreme Court to pull Surrey out of TransLink and create a local transit system in partnership with TransLink and adjacent cities, one that maintains fare transferability, rapid transit building and maintenance and interurban service
  • We will focus any new transit development on frequent bus service to all neighbourhoods to ensure that seniors, kids and night shift workers have a bus system that meets their basic needs
  • We will work with Whatcom County municipalities to create a break-even cross-border bus network connecting to Bellingham Airport, the Alaska Marine Highway terminal and other important US destinations
  • We will base any future rapid transit decisions on two main principles: cost-effectiveness at moving people and effectiveness at combating climate change; we cannot afford to engage in a transit politics of symbolism and style


One Response to “Is Surrey About To Abandon The Doomed Ship TransLink?”
  1. Haveacow says:

    I know this will sound like sour grapes but as a faceless bureaucrat, I find groups like Proudly Surrey more than a bit insulting. The grievances of Surrey residents are real. TransLink has ignored them for many years, getting what’s left in any new round of capital transit funding after almost everybody else has had their cut. That being said, dumping TransLink right now is a even worse idea. Proudly Surrey has no interest rapid transit of any kind, be it Skytrain, LRT or Tram-Train for that matter.

    Proudly Surrey wants to improve bus service first. Which there is nothing wrong with! However, the simple act of creating a new transit agency will put any rapid transit for Surrey at the back of the que for a minimum of 2 decades, while the new agency finds it’s feet and gains a hopefully, good reputation from the province’s transportation and funding agencies. If you think the rapid transit picture is loud, confused and overly complicated now, just wait and see what it looks and sounds like after 2 more decades of no action.

    The group’s main beef is that Surrey gets no funding love from TransLink and that, combined with poor rapid transit planning, mainly based out of a problem with the politics of the choice around transit operating technology, gets second class rapid transit solutions. Deal with the first actual problem. How transit is funded and whom gets the most benefits as well as how the decisions are made. Surrey is not the only municipality in TransLink to have this issue, I bet! Working together with other mayors on this issue is really the best way forward anything else will just take a lot longer to get the same or worse results. I know this is not a satisfactory answer for the more reactionary amongst Surrey residents but it gets the best results.

    Secondly, if residents don’t like the zonal fare structure, change it! But, make sure you already have an alternative ready to go that solves all your problems. The I want this situation to change now but, I don’t have any real answers that will work in the real world crowd, that you can commonly here on talk radio and opinion journalism, can go home. Unless, you come ready with real answers, keep your opinions to yourself! This includes the I don’t want to pay for this crowd so just cut it! Real answers please. Public Transportation has always been expensive to operate that’s why the private sector abandoned it. It’s also why very few private companies build their own highways, it’s very expensive and never makes money, especially over the long run! Good maintenance always kills profit in the end, which usually sends the private sector investment running!

    It’s always seems easier and more satisfying to blow something up and start fresh. The reality is that, changing a government structure from the inside always works better. It is messy, loud and really confused at times but it will lead to ultimately better answers for everyone involved. Removing the politics from transit planning and delivery is an old battle cry, newsflash folks, transit planning and delivery is a political process, it always has been. It will always will be a political process! Get over it!

    Zwei replies: I do not support this group, rather I found it newsworthy, as I have long felt, the current TransLink regime will alienate many South Fraser politicians and voters. Neither do I think they will be elected in such numbers to challenge the status quo.

    Everyone is keeping hush-hush on transit and I am beginning to wonder if the current premier is not going to fund the subway or Surrey’s light rail.

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