A Repost From November 2018 – Mayor McCallum Has Screwed The City of Surrey

After three years, the news about rapid transit goes from bad to worse.

The Expo Line extension to Langley is now costing more than the revised cost of $3.95 billion and despite much false information that the line is fully funded, it is not. The claim that Prime minister Trudeau’s Liberal government will fully fund the Expo line Extension, is grossly overstated, as all what the P.M. will fund is 40% of the cost of the less than 16 km extension. This means that TransLink and the provincial government must ante up 60% of the costs.

With the recent massive flooding in the upper Fraser Valley, Merritt and Princeton, combined the biblical deluge that smashed three major highways in southern BC, which rebuilding is going to cost the province an estimated $5 billion (heard on the Radio) or more, I doubt that the province will ante any more money to this now contentious and over budget project.

The provincial government is not going to look kindly on TransLink, when they could have had a 27 km of LRT (phase 1 and 2), up and running by 2027 and a cheaper cost of 16km of SkyTrain that may never be built!

Now there is a new push for the 2030 Olympics, which means completing the Broadway subway to UBC will be a priority. The cost will be a minimum of $5 billion and add the much needed $3 billion mid life rehab for the Expo and Millennium Lines, means the government and TransLink must source $8 billion.

Added to this issue is that Alstom now owns the MALM system and may pull the plug at any time as Vancouver is now the sole customer for the proprietary railway. what this means is that the costs for the SkyTrain light metro system may escalate out of control and new civic and provincial politicians may pull the plug on all expansion.

The sad end is that the glowingly disgraced Mayor of Surrey, by cancelling LRT, may have screwed Surrey’s chances for any sort of rail transit for the foreseeable future and condemned the city to endemic congestion and gridlock.

That is one hell of a epitaph!


The Idiot’s Delight In Surrey Cancels Light Rail

Well its done, the idiots delight of new politicians in Surrey have voted to stop light rail.

Now they think they can build SkyTrain to Langley for the same cost as light rail.


The HATCH Report, planning to build SkyTrain to Langley put the cost at $2.95 billion, in 2017 dollars.

Well, in 2021, the cost to build the Expo Line extension to Langley has soared past $3.95 billion!

So Surrey’s new batch of Councillors are going to forgo a fully funded light rail line and instead will try to source $1.55 billion in new funding to build SkyTrain to Langley.

Mayor McCallum is on record saying that;” they can build SkyTrain at grade to reduce cost”.

SkyTrain at grade? You must be joking, the Movia Automatic Light Metro, as used on the Expo and Millennium lines is a LIM powered, automatic railway requiring a substantial guideway and if built at grade must be heavily protected by cement walls and chain link fencing to prevent egress.


Really, doesn’t the mayor realize that the guideway for the driverless light metro must be protected by a 10 foot, razor wire topped fence, as it is in Vancouver? Building SkyTrain at-grade is akin to building a Berlin Wall!

Surrey will be now mired in endless congestion and its associated costs.

As for Metro Vancouver, it is fast becoming L.A. North.

Rail transit will not be built in Surrey until 2035 or more; rail transit will never get to Langley.

Officially, the project has been delayed 2028, but with recent events, this delay may continue until the project is abandoned.


Oh what fools these mortals be!



3 Responses to “A Repost From November 2018 – Mayor McCallum Has Screwed The City of Surrey”
  1. Avery Johnson says:

    “Really, doesn’t the mayor realize that the guideway for the driverless light metro must be protected by a 10 foot, razor wire topped fence, as it is in Vancouver? Building SkyTrain at-grade is akin to building a Berlin Wall!”

    In reality an at-grade LRT would need this as well if you’re interesting in building a fast system. The most successful parts of the Calgary C-Train are the bits that run along a highway median which allows them to go quite fast. Most new stuff they build has now grade crossing or pedestrian crossings either. Through Calgary has the benefit of having a lot more freeways to work with. The large number of intersections on Fraser Highway make this a bit more difficult. In the future it would be nice to see an electrified heavy rail line running along highway 1, maybe something like the Odakyū Odawara Line.

    Zwei replies: Absolutely not. Trams/LRT are driven and the light metro is not, as it is driverless. In use, trams tend to be 10 times safer than a bus and tram intersections with roads are tens time safer than ordinary light controlled intersections. As for rapid transit along the #1, that is a fools story because not only would be the huge expense, it really doesn’t serve anything and one has to drive or take a bus to a station.

  2. Haveacow says:

    Running LRT, Light Metro’s or Heavy Rail Metro’s (subways) in medians or curb lanes of multi-lane, closed access expressways, actually has been proven to reduce potential passenger numbers over time, due to poor or unpleasant pedestrian access conditions.

    Street level LRT operating in median or curb lanes of standard arterial roads can be slower than completely grade separated rapid transit but it rarely increases the overall end point to end point travel times because passengers don’t have to waste time, usually multiple minutes in each direction, traveling up or down, inside multi-story stations or walking sometimes, great horizontal distances trying to access other rapid transit platforms or surface transit transfer facilities and or the physical street itself,

    The completely grade separated rapid transit lines that you seem to prefer and what many people say, they want to have governments build, are part of the reason these rapid transit lines are now becoming too expensive to build in the first place. Hence, the Surrey to Langley Expo Line extension.

    All the big budget, rail infrastructure funding provided recently by the federal and provincial government to municipalities (2005-today), that these rail rapid transit lines require are not a permanent thing, they can and most likely will disappear overnight. Very easily we could be going back to the budget austerity of the 1980’s and 1990’s which most young people have never experienced and older people seem to have forgotten. When you considered yourself lucky you got any federal infrastructure money at all. You usually only got this funding because your city was holding the Olympics, or a world’s fair. I guarantee you, without EXPO 86, there would have been no Skytrain, unless the province of BC was going to pay for the whole thing itself, which would have been unlikely.

    In most provinces, like Ontario, up until 2005 we had never received federal money for rail or bus rapid transit, it was always provincial only and then rarely. Between 1980 and 1997 no subways were actually constructed or built in Ontario. Only low budget Ottawa Transitways (BRT Busways), physically segregated, surface Streetcar lines (Harbourfront and Spadina LRT Lines) and the “rickety little toy train” called the Scarborough RT (Mark 1 Skytrain). Even most of the new provincially funded GO Train services produced in the 1980’s were cut back in the early 1990’s recession.

  3. Dan says:

    Translink does not make transit easy. They force bus riders on to the ‘skytrain’ and in many cases out of the way and greater inconvenience.

    Back in the day when the ‘SkyTrain’ only went to New West station they stopped the bus that went down 108th (It was called Ferguson as 108 used to be called Ferguson rd) and over Port Mann along #1 to downtown which was quicker than taking 320 or 321 to New West station and wait like sardines to get on ‘SkyTrain’ or getting off ‘skytrain’ and running across road to catch 320 or 321 bus with long lines.

    The 319/320/321 in Rush hour used to go right downtown too and come back. That was stopped. I used to work at the time on Hastings and so much convenient compared to catching train in New West getting off at either Broadway station or 29th to take bus to work. Went from zero transfers to two, a longer commute so I went back to the car and have not used transit since.

    The same thing happened again years later with Canada line as all the Surrey, White Rock and Delta buses that used to go straight downtown with no transfers are gone and commuters forced to transfer at least once, maybe twice now and a longer commute.

    Unless you live right near the wrongly called ‘SkyTrain’ it is not a time saver, especially when forced to transfer and out of the way. They should of kept all the suburban buses going downtown for convenience. Surrey, Langley, Delta, Richmond etc are primed for normal LRT and that would of been a better investment… Heck could of had LRT from Abbotsford or even Chilliwack to Scott Road or downtown and all the other suburbs for what is wasted on ‘SkyTrain’.

    All I know my taxes in Surrey are going to sky rocket between this new expansion and the what is turning into a sad joke the Surrey Police……

    Zwei replies: The forced transfer on the Canada line increased my wife’s commute from South Delta to West Broadway by 20 minutes.

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