Surrey Leader Editorial: Keep the pressure on

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Frank Bucholz’s Surrey Leader editorial offers strong encouragement to us who are pushing hard for passenger rail service, and holding our government’s feet to the fire.

Excerpts:

TransLink is starting to get the message, thanks to relentless pressure from South Fraser mayors and community leaders…

…There has been a smattering of interest in the idea of passenger rail on the corridor over the past 15 years. Now there is more backing for this idea than ever.

Every Fraser Valley mayor is in favour of taking a look at the idea. Surrey has shown strong leadership, both under former mayor Doug McCallum and current Mayor Dianne Watts. In Surrey and Langley it makes particular sense to use the Interurban corridor – to get from one point to another, and to connect with SkyTrain at the Scott Road station.

Take just one example — post-secondary institutions. Kwantlen Polytechnic University campuses in Newton and Cloverdale could both be easily serviced by trains along this corridor, as could Kwantlen and Trinity Western in Langley.

TransLink is facing some big financial challenges. It would cost far less to upgrade the Interurban tracks, still in use for freight trains, than it would to build an extension of SkyTrain to Fleetwood, as proposed by the provincial government.

Those who favour a more intense study of the Interurban corridor in Surrey and Langley need to put pressure on Liberal MLAs and candidates in the run-up to the provincial election in May. Surrey will be a very important battleground in that election.

All I can say is, it’s going to be one interesting election.

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