SURREY, B.C. – Light Rail Transit (LRT) South of the Fraser may be one step closer to reality after today’s announcement by the Government of British Columbia to pledge $246 million for transit improvements in Metro Vancouver over three years. Included in this funding is support for initial work towards the new 27-km LRT system, which will help build and connect communities south of the Fraser.
“This provincial commitment is an important step towards ensuring sufficient funding from all three levels of government to build the complete 27-km LRT system,” says Anita Huberman, Chair of Light Rail Links and CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “We commend the provincial government for its commitment to support rapid transit for B.C.’s fastest growing area. We now ask Metro Vancouver’s regional governments to also make LRT South of the Fraser a priority.”
In the 2016 federal budget released on March 22, the Government of Canada followed through on its election commitment to begin funding local LRT projects. The budget will implement a new Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and invest $3.4 billion in public transit nationally, starting in 2016-17.
“With the commitment of both the provincial and federal governments, we hope to see this funding – supported by Metro Vancouver regional governments – materialize quickly to advance the detailed design and development of Surrey’s proposed 27-km LRT system,” says Huberman. “LRT is a cost-effective, high-quality form of rapid transit that will connect communities and support economic development in a growing area in major need of rapid transit.”
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The Light Rail Links Community Coalition formed as a result of the growing movement of like-minded individuals and groups advocating for LRT south of the Fraser. Our coalition is made up of community supporters that represent a variety of interests, including business, community and neighbourhood groups and the tourism sector. To learn more about the Light Rail Links Community Coalition and our upcoming activities, please visit at www.lightraillinks.com or follow on Twitter at @LightRailLinks.
Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade