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Surrey-to-Langley SkyTrain won’t be up and running until 2028

Click to play video: 'Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension timeline' Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension timeline
While preliminary construction work is now getting underway on the Surrey to Langley SkyTrain extension, the project is expected to be ready for passengers sometime in 2028. Ted Chernecki reports – Sep 22, 2021

The Surrey-to-Langley SkyTrain won’t be up and running until 2028, says a new report that will be presented to TransLink’s board of directors this week.

“Opening day” for the much-anticipated, 16-kilometre line has been delayed three years from the projected completion date of 2025, according to the update that will go before the board on Sept. 23.

Click to play video: 'Ottawa announces funding for the Surrey/Langley SkyTrain extension' Ottawa announces funding for the Surrey/Langley SkyTrain extension
Ottawa announces funding for the Surrey/Langley SkyTrain extension – Jul 10, 2021

Read more: Feds pledge $1.3B to finish Langley SkyTrain extension, funding to plan UBC extension

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The report says federal funding for the project, which permits an expansion of the project’s initial scope, “introduces additional requirements.”

In July, the federal government committed up to $1.3 billion in additional funds for the project, allowing it to extend from six stops to eight, beginning at King George Station in Surrey City Centre and ending at Langley Centre.

On Tuesday, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum sent a statement express frustration with the delays, calling them “disconcerting.”

“It has been close to 30 years since the last rapid transit expansion in Surrey,” he said.

“For a city that is home to close to 600,000 people, rapid transit is long overdue and is of critical need now.

Click to play video: 'Out of service elevator leaves man in wheelchair stranded at SkyTrain station' Out of service elevator leaves man in wheelchair stranded at SkyTrain station
Out of service elevator leaves man in wheelchair stranded at SkyTrain station – Sep 1, 2021

When completed, the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain is expected to increase the size of the Expo and Millennium Line network by 24 per cent, bringing the total track length from 66 to 82 kilometres.

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Langley Mayor Val van den Broek has also said the project could bring “more than 25,000,000 active transportation trips” by the date of its completion.

In his statement, McCallum lamented that the jobs the project would create will also be punted further into the future.

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“The time of talk and promises must come to an end,” he wrote.

“What we need now is the political will by all levels of government to get this long talked about project off the drawing board and to get shovels into the ground.”

Some additional funding must still be identified in order to pay the $3.94-billion tab for the line, and the report lists other action items, including clarifying TransLink’s responsibilities for the project.

An investment plan must also be developed, the report says, to account for the line’s finances, ridership and other outcomes.

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