Surrey on the Move
Surrey is a big city. The second largest in British Columbia in fact, and we're only getting bigger.
Big City Planning requires Big City Thinking and fast, efficient, reliable transit in Surrey is essential to keeping our growing city and budding economy moving forward, sustainably.
Our residents live, work and play in the five town centres and Surrey residents can no longer afford to maintain the transportation status quo. As the fastest growing city in British Columbia, it is time for Surrey to build the transit infrastructure required for a city of over 500,000 people, and this Council is committed to delivering Light Rail Transit (LRT) along three key corridors that connect our neighbourhoods and the Metro Vancouver region.
When the SkyTrain Expo Line opened to Surrey in 1994 with four stops, our population was roughly 250,000. Since then we’ve more than doubled in size, with no further expansion in rapid transit. And, with an additional 50% population increase expected in the next 30 years, the time to invest in Surrey LRT is now.
We have also supported regional plans for significant bus service improvements in Surrey that are critical to managing the growing population and increasingly congested roadways before, during and after LRT construction.
We are committed to working with the Provincial and Federal Governments to implement a 27-kilometre LRT network that will build on existing infrastructure and connect several of the City’s Town Centres along with the City of Langley. We have had a number of positive discussions with interested parties who have reached out to us as potential partners for Surrey LRT, as I strongly believe that transportation should not be funded by increasing property taxes.
Our downtown core is transitioning by the day, and transit-oriented mixed-use development is in high demand by both businesses and young families alike who to live and work in vibrant urban settings with efficient transit.
Surrey adds more than 12 km of new bicycle infrastructure each year through a combination of on-street bike lanes, next to road paths and off-road multi-use pathways, with over 70 kms of multi-use pathways and 200 kms of bike lanes completed to date.
In the last five years alone we’ve invested $19.2M in projects to improve cycling infrastructure across the City, with half of the funding came from region (Provincial and Federal governments) leveraging the City’s investment with 50 cents on the dollar.
The future lives here. See for yourself what it looks like and the economic benefits of LRT for Surrey.
Every year Surrey opens its doors to an estimated 2,000 new businesses, a number we intend to build on.
We are a city on the rise and on the move, at the centre of our region, along the border of the U.S.A and plugged into the global economy. In 2015, we were named one of the world’s top 7 intelligent communities by the Intelligent Communities Forum, and we continue to invest heavily in smart infrastructure making us one of the most connected municipalities ever.
Creating a vibrant, innovative and diverse economy is paramount for Surrey. This translates into ensuring that we not only grow our existing service sectors, but build upon our manufacturing strengths to become a destination for regional, national and international investment and ecommerce. Our Economic Diversification Strategy looks at five strategic sectors that have been identified as high growth opportunity areas for business development:
At the centre of it all is Surrey’s own Innovation Boulevard. An agile partnership of the City of Surrey, Simon Fraser University (SFU), and the Fraser Health Authority that is gaining worldwide recognition, Innovation Boulevard combines strategic initiative to advance health technology innovation and commercialization in Surrey. A parallel approach has also taken shape through Powertech Labs, SFU, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre (Western Canada’s only business accelerator program for clean technology start-ups).
Innovation Boulevard continues to develop and produce cutting edge and industry leading initiatives throughout Surrey.
At City Hall, The Mayor’s Business Advisory Network, launched in 2015, is a dynamic network of business focused organizations including Business Improvement Associations (BIAs), Chambers of Commerce, a Board of Trade, Business Associations and a Tourism Association, serving as a conduit between the city and the greater business community.
We also launched a leading-edge solution to move the entire business licence process online, improving transaction and staff time while minimizing the requirement of residents to travel to City Hall, as well as the first city worldwide to integrate question and answer technology IBM Watson in our My Surrey mobile app.
The Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology is another key component of the city’s overall strategy to respond to increasing transportation demands, which directly correlates with our new Transportation Management Centre (TMC) that utilizes advanced software, video, and wireless radio networks linking over 250 community cameras and traffic signal controllers. Opened in 2014 at City Hall, it is the most advanced municipal TMC in B.C.
Public Safety Initiatives
As recommended by the Police Committee, the city’s 2015 proposed Financial Plan includes an additional 100 RCMP members be added to the Surrey Detachment, bringing the total to 803 members. As of October, 2/3 of these officers have been deployed in Surrey. Moreover, the city will also seek an additional 16 RCMP members each year throughout 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Community safety is a top priority of City Council, and as of September 2015, Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy, Surrey’s Officer in Charge, has received over 50% of the requested members to the Surrey Detachment.
As a larger community, we are working towards creating a neighbourhood policing model that builds upon strong working and personal relationships in Surrey through our Crime Reduction Strategy initiatives like the Wraparound Program which has received additional funding from both the Provincial and Federal Governments in 2015. Education is instrumental in ending gang life before students are faced with peers becoming involved in this deplorable lifestyle, and the Wap program works closely with the Surrey School District SD43 to keep our youth, schools and streets safe.
City Council is also in the final stages of hiring our first Director of Public Safety, anticipating a Fall 2015 announcement.
In 2014, Surrey completed over 400 projects representing $4 million in safety improvements identified through the Safe and Active Schools Program, ranging from sidewalks and signage to traffic calming initiative through SD 43, the largest in British Columbia.
Investments in sustainable transportation involve more than our proposed Surrey LRT, and each year we construct more than 12 km of new bicycle infrastructure through a combination of on-street bike lanes, next to road paths and off-road multi-use pathways. Our growing city currently has more than 70 km of multi-use pathways and 200 km of bike lanes that we intend to build upon to connect neighbourhoods, town centres and residents.
We are also in the midst of constructing North America’s first fully integrated organic waste management system, the Surrey Biofuels Processing Facility project, which will be operational in 2017 and process 115,000 tonnes of organic waste annually. The largest of its kind in Canada, with a capacity to process 100% of the City’s organic waste, the BioFuels facility will also process commercial organic waste from around the Metro Vancouver Region, converting waste into renewable natural gas (RNG) as well as composting products for landscaping and agricultural applications.
The City of Surrey has already diverted 70% of its organic waste away from landfills, and we also anticipate a diversion rate of up to 50,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfills through the BioFuels facility. Under this closed-loop system, much of our city’s fleet will literally be collecting their fuel curbside, and Surrey will be reducing corporate and community CO2 emissions by approximately 40,000 tonnes per year. These reductions equate to the removal of approximately 8,500 cars from our roads each year.
This Council is committed to a Biodiversity Strategy that aims to protect 10,000 acres of natural space across the city, equivalent to 10 of Vancouver’s famed Stanley Park. And, throughout the past 30 years Surrey has maintained a steady tree planting rate of 2,500 trees per year, a figure we intend to double to 5,000 for the next four years.
Surrey recently completed a pilot program in Newton to replace High Pressure Sodium street lights with energy efficient LED lights and plans to proceed with citywide replacement of street lights to LED, and BC Hydro Power Smart Partner Program will be cost sharing on the project. Energy efficiency, reduced maintenance and re-lamping will reduce City costs by roughly $2 million per year; recuperating the capital investment quickly and helping us reach our energy reduction and environmental goals.
Build Surrey Program
Surrey is moving faster, reaching higher and becoming stronger every year.
By 2041 Surrey’s population is expected to reach 750,000, surpassing Vancouver as the largest city in British Columbia. The Metro Vancouver region is expected to add 1,000,000 + in the next 25 years as well, with 70% projected to settle South of the Fraser River.
We are a diverse community that speaks over 100 different languages. We are a growing city that welcomes roughly 1,000 new residents each month. And we are a youthful city, with 1/3 of our population under the age of 19.
Investing in the future of our city benefits all our residents, and our track record of social infrastructure invest speaks for itself.
We have surveyed local and regional developers and 72% indicated that the presence of rail-based rapid transit would influence their decision to invest in Surrey. Street level LRT is accessible to all passengers and contributes to a vibrant street-scape, part of our overall Community Development Plan. LRT stations can be spaced for maximize coverage in a community to encourage passengers to shop and dine at local businesses, and business is booming in Surrey thanks in part to consecutive years of momentum through the Build Surrey Program that we continue to improve upon.
Looking to The Next Generation of this successful infrastructure program, construction is complete, underway or slated for the following facilities:
- Guildford Aquatic Centre
- Grandview Pool
- East Clayton Recreation Centre
- Phase 2 of the Surrey Museum
- Soccer Centre of Excellence
- Grandview Heights Neighbourhood Park
- South Surrey Contemporary Arts Apace and Gallery
- Cloverdale Ice Rink
- North Surrey Recreation Centre relocation
- South Westminster Sports Complex
- King George Cultural Corridor
- Surrey Courthouse Expansion
- Bridgeview Arena and Recreation Centre
- Newton Town Centre Plan Update
- Surrey Courthouse Expansion