Letter to Council re: Public Transit in Surrey

The following letter was sent to Mayor Watts and Surrey City Council May 14th 2012:

Mayor and Council,

The Fraser Heights Community Association would like to express its concern and disappointment with the recommendation to cancel the proposed transit service improvements south of the Fraser, in particular the rapid bus along Highway 1.  After years of paying a disproportionately large share of the region’s transit costs while receiving next to no investment in our own community in return we are extremely disappointed that these long overdue improvements have been so easily abandoned.  The members of our community made very clear at our recent meeting the strength of their feelings about this issue and asked that we convey that message to you.

As a community that will soon be surrounded by highways and the only tolled bridges in the lower mainland the disproportionate financial burden we will bear in support of the region’s transit system will increase even more.   The inequities in transit funding and investments are painfully obvious.  While we will continue to subsidize transit for the rest of the region through our property and other taxes, soon every time we cross the bridge we will be paying the full costs of the highway improvements that residents in Coquitlam, New Westminster and Burnaby will enjoy for free.  How ironic that by being denied easy access to rapid transit we will instead fall back on our only practical alternative, the car, increasing, through tolls and fuel taxes, our subsidization of other people’s transit.

No one is bearing the brunt of the bad decisions by those directing and influencing Translink more than the residents of Fraser Heights.  We expect to see our elected representatives, at all levels, demanding the level of transit service in our region that we have more than paid our fair share for over the past decades.  We further expect to see them fight the fundamentally unfair approach to funding which, among other things, will see only the new bridges in and out of Surrey tolled.

Know that when you speak out on these issues on our behalf you have our full support.   Know also that actions speak louder than words.  Thank you for your ongoing efforts.

Regards,

Frank Russell

Fraser Heights Community Association