Just like almost everything, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected planning for Surrey Langley SkyTrain project.
A report to the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation notes that there are “several outstanding issues that must be addressed for the SLS project to advance”.
The report was prepared by Geoff Cross, vice president TransLink for transportation planning and policy, and is included in the council’s agenda Thursday (May 28).
The mayors’ council on January 30, 2020 endorsed the business case for the 16-kilometre extension of the Expo Line from Surrey to Langley.
The council directed TransLink to refer the business case to senior governments for approval, which the transportation agency did, according to Cross.
The project would extend the Expo Line 16 kilometres on an elevated guideway from King George Station to Langley City Centre along Fraser Highway.
According to TransLink, the rapid transit line includes eight stations, three bus exchanges, park and ride spaces, 55 SkyTrain vehicles, an operations and maintenance centre, and supporting system upgrades.
There is approximately $1.63 billion in available funding, enough only to extend the line to Fleetwood.
The extension from King George Station to Fleetwood is seven kilometres, and involves four stations.
In his report, Cross noted that before the pandemic, the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project was the “primary impetus” for an update to the regional transporation’s investment plan.
The updated plan was “targeted for approval in July 2020”.
“However, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 it was decided that delivering a Phase Two Investment Plan update in July was no longer feasible due to uncertainties in projecting future revenues,” according to Cross.
Cross noted that the business case for the project is already with senior levels of government, and “scope could readily scale with additional funding”.
“However, it is fiscally prudent to wait until the nature and magnitude of emergency relief and stimulus programs is more certain,” Cross wrote.
According to the City of Surrey, construction for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain was set to begin in early 2022.