Skytrain. (Translink photo)

PODCAST: Breaking down the $4-billion Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension

TODAY IN B.C.: Province says project will be delivered two years earlier than first planned

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On this edition of Today in BC, host Peter McCully talks with Lauren Collins, a former news reporter with the Surrey Now Leader who completed a four-part series on the recently announced $4-billion expansion of Skytrain to serve Surrey-Langley.

Collins outlines the eight stations planned for the 16-kilometre extension, projected to cost $500 million less than originally budgeted.

Dean Barbour of the Fleetwood Business Improvement Association spoke with Collins and he believes there will at least a hundred businesses displaced with construction.

“Since the change of plans from Light Rapid Transit to the Skytrain, he’s done surveys with businesses, which surprisingly not many businesses, residents or landlords seem to know exactly what is going on,” said Collins. “But he estimates because a lot of these businesses have been in the community for decades that, as the line is being built and it’s getting closer to completion a lot of those businesses and their owners will be ready to retire and throw in the towel, which will then lead for opportunities for newer businesses and he’s already working on reaching out to newer businesses.”

Collins also talked with Manny Chehil, president of the New Clayton Community Association and Ken Krasnikoff, a member of the Cloverdale Community Association.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police’s Const. Amanda Steed said: “We’re increasing our hiring budget for the expansion, so we’ll be adding more officers to our department. Currently we have 184 sworn members and we’re hoping to increase that over the next five or six years. People should know that we’re not just making the system bigger without any contingency plan. We are planning to add more officers to the line.”

Major construction is expected to begin in 2024.

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