Government of Canada will provide up to C$1.3 billion to Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension

July 12, 2021
The federal government also said it would cover up to 40 percent of the costs toward planning and business case development for a Millennium Line extension to UBC.

The government of Canada on July 9 gave its commitment to provide up to C$1.3 billion (US$1.04 billion) to the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension project, which will connect King George Station and the city of Langley along a 16-km (9.9-mile) rail line.

The Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension is designed to increase capacity, reduce travel time, improve reliability and safety and support economic development.

"By continuing to invest in major public transit projects, we're shortening commutes, creating well-paying, middle class jobs, growing the economy, fighting climate change and helping make life easier and more affordable for people in British Columbia and across Canada. As we do what it takes to build a recovery from COVID-19 that works for everyone, we will keep focusing on improving the quality of life of Canadians and building back a healthier, stronger and more competitive Canada,” said Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In addition to the elevated guideway, the extension includes eight stations, three bus exchanges, park and ride spaces, 30 SkyTrain cars, and operations and maintenance center and supporting system upgrades.

Once in operation, the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension estimates riders will have an average commute time of 22 minutes, which is 25 minutes faster than the current bus route. Additionally, between 24,000 and 30,000 of the extension’s estimated 62,000 daily riders will switch to the line from other transportation modes.

"Investment in our infrastructure has never been more important as we work together to recover from COVID-19. The populations of Surrey, Langley and other Fraser Valley communities are growing quickly, and we must build infrastructure to meet the needs of those families. We thank the government of Canada for joining the province on our commitment to Surrey Langley SkyTrain and we are excited to move forward on this important transportation project which will serve people for years to come," said British Columbia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming.

In addition to the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension, the federal government offered its pledge to cover up to 40 percent of the eligible costs for the future planning and business case development for a proposed extension of the Millennium Line from Arbutus Station to the University of British Columbia (UBC). In May 2021, the province held a virtual groundbreaking ceremony for the Broadway Subway Project, which will extend the SkyTrain Millennium Line 5.7 kilometers (3.5 miles) from VCC-Clark Station to Broadway and Arbutus. The planning funding commitment from the federal government would bring the line further west to UBC.

The federal government says the Arbutus to UBC proposed project would better connect students, employees and residents who travel between UBC and other parts of Metro Vancouver with a high speed and frequent SkyTrain service, reducing travel time between Commercial-Broadway and UBC for riders by more than 20 minutes per trip. As one of the largest employers in the region with world-class health services and an emerging innovation and research hub, UBC will require fast, frequent transit service to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff who travel there each day from across the region.

"Investing in public transit is at the heart of a clean and inclusive recovery. That's why the government of Canada is funding up to C$1.3 billion for the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension to Langley City Centre,” said Canada Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna. “We're also providing up to 40 percent of the eligible planning costs to extend the Millennium Line to the UBC campus from Arbutus Station, improving access for students, workers and Indigenous-owned developments and communities. These important projects will help get more cars off the road, create good jobs and grow the economy and build more inclusive communities."

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.