The Vancouver Airport Authority would like to see the SkyTrain’s Canada Line extended to the south, according to a recently released report by TransLink for its Transport 2050 project. (Photo: cstmikewoolley on Instagram)

YVR wants rapid transit connections to Surrey, White Rock improved

In Transport 2050 report, airport authority states it would like to see Canada Line extended to the south

The Vancouver Airport Authority would like to see improved rapid transit in Surrey and White Rock to better connect the cities to YVR, with the airport authority suggesting an extension of the Canada Line to the south.

As part of the Transport 2050 project, TransLink held public consultation throughout the Lower Mainland, as well as collecting more than 30,000 surveys and “4,000 ideas.” Part of that was stakeholder submissions, which included YVR.

The authority’s submission states it would like to “extend rapid transit” to communities south of the Fraser River; “improve east-west rapid transit connections” from YVR to Surrey and beyond; have “fast and reliable road (and transit) connections” between YVR and highways 99 and 91; and have “seamless connection” from YVR across the U.S. border for people and cargo.

YVR suggests that the SkyTrain’s Canada Line should be extended to White Rock, “capitalizing on the George Massey Crossing project.”

Metro Vancouver’s board of directors recently endorsed an eight-lane replacement for the current tunnel.

READ ALSO: Metro Vancouver board endorses 8-lane replacement for Massey Tunnel, Nov. 2, 2019

In the interim, YVR suggests TransLink provide a direct rapid bus from the South Surrey Park and Ride to YVR “to serve employees and passengers.”

Currently, there are buses (namely the 351, the 352 and the 354) that operate between the park and ride and Bridgeport Station in Richmond, where people can then take the Canada Line to YVR.

For improving east-to-west rapid transit connections, YVR states TransLink should “transform Metro Vancouver’s radial rapid transit system to grid-oriented, high-capacity, easy-to-use network,” which would be supported by the “incorporation of river corridors and new rapid bus routes” to connect YVR with regional centres such as Surrey, New Westminster and Metrotown in Burnaby.

It states the strategy should also consider park and ride facilities at “key locations.”

For fast and reliable road and transit connections along highway 91 and 99, the airport authority states that “maintaining and enhancing the critical connection between the YVR gateway and the wider Metro Vancouver region is essential to supporting the movement of passengers, employees and goods.”

YVR’s submission also states there should be a “seamless connection” from YVR to the U.S. border.

It states that TransLink’s Transport 2050 plan “should encompass initiatives to work with” the province, Canada Border Services Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and municipal authorities.

The initiatives could include infrastructure improvements such as “prioritizing road capacity for trucks, improving transit options for discretionary trips along the Highway 99 corridor, and supporting process improvements that support the goal of predictable, secure and integrated borders that can scale to future opportunities, volumes and threats.”

The Surrey Board of Trade was another stakeholder and its submission states that Surrey needs accessible, efficient and cost-effective transportation that “incorporates various transportation methods and modes,” such as vehicles, bikes, rail, walking and ridesharing.

It also states that improved public transportation infrastructure should have “potential for future growth.”

Transport 2050 is TransLink’s development of a new regional transportation strategy, meant to coincide with Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy, Metro 2050.

Phase one of Transport 2050 was consultation through spring and summer of 2019.

The next step is to “consider ideas and trade-offs” scheduled for spring of 2020.

TransLink is expected to have a draft of the new regional transportation strategy by fall of 2020.

READ ALSO: TransLink estimates the entire Surrey-Langley SkyTrain route would cost $3.12B, July 19, 2019

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