B.C. Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Transportation minister says Surrey mayor will have to ‘work through’ his opposition to ride hailing

Claire Trevena tackled ride hailing and other transportation issues Monday in Whalley

Provincial Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena says Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum’s opposition to ride hailing, such as Uber, is something he’ll “have to work through.”

“We’re looking at provincial regulations and how we can make sure that at-base ride hailing is going to work in B.C. and that’s our priority,” Trevena told the Now-Leader on Monday. “What happens in various jurisdictions I think is something the mayor is going to have to work through, but we’re looking at a provincial model.”

Trevena tackled ride hailing, or ride sharing, and other transportation issues in Surrey during a Surrey Board 0f Trade business luncheon Monday in Whalley. The NDP MLA for North Island spoke at the Civic Hotel, at 13475 Central Ave.

“We’ve also got work on some of the highways going out towards the port, to relieve some of the congestion people have been facing, Highway 17, 91, around there, with the connector and then the Alex Fraser Bridge, just trying to relieve congestion and we think that’s going to have a major impact,” she told the Now-Leader.

She said during her speech that a government committee is now hearing from witnesses as it deliberates ride-hailing regulations.

“I would hope it’s worst case that at the fall of this year that we will be in the position to have applications. If ICBC and all the regulations are in place beforehand, that would be great, it would be sooner. We’re making up for effectively five wasted years to get this happening. We want to get it right — I emphasize safety has to be number one.”

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum — who wasn’t at the luncheon as he was in Ottawa meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Big Cities Mayors’ Caucus in Ottawa — has said he doesn’t support ride sharing or Uber in Surrey, but the board of trade disagrees.

Two days after McCallum was elected, the Surrey Board of Trade issued a press release on Oct. 22 indicating it will continue to advocate for rides haring, as well as light rail transit and keeping the RCMP rather than creating a city police force.

The latter is a topic that was set to be explored Tuesday morning after the Now-Leader’s print deadline, during a Surrey Board of Trade breakfast forum, also at the Civic, as part of its “hot topic dialogue series.”

READ ALSO: Surrey business groups dig in heels on LRT

The Tuesday forum focussed on the city’s transition from the RCMP to its own city police force, with guest speakers Fraser MacRae (former assistant commissioner and officer in charge of the Surrey RCMP), Kash Heed (former solicitor general and public safety minister), Bob Rolls (former deputy chief constable, Vancouver Police), and Mike Larsen (chairman, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s criminology department).

Surrey city council has cancelled the Surrey RCMP’s contract and cancelled LRT in favour of extending the SkyTrain line from the city centre through Fleetwood and Clayton into Langley.

Meantime, at Monday’s luncheon the board of trade released the results of its 12-page third annual Surrey Road Survey.

Of 6,000 questionnaires distributed, the Surrey Board of Trade received roughly 1,500 responses. Of all respondents, 87 per cent rated LRT on Fraser Hwy from city centre to Langley from “would be good to have” to “definitely need it.” All told, 82 per cent want the new Pattullo Bridge to have six lanes on opening day and 72 per cent want a bridge to replace the George Massey tunnel.

Fifty-two per cent of the respondents live and work in Surrey.

“Really, the bottom line is we need planning and action that anticipates our need and results in infrastructure construction well in advance of increased demand,” Huberman said, “not long after the capacity is exceeded.”

She noted Surrey has about 4,500 “lane kilometres” of road serving a population growing by 800 to 1,000 new people each month.

Huberman said the board recommends that all three levels of government work together to develop a comprehensive transit and transportation plan for south of the Fraser, “one that would not be subject to political interference but based on best transportation practices.”

On April 21, 2016, the Surrey Board of Trade issued a press release ”advocating” for ride-sharing legislation.

“There will be an economic impact upon the taxi industry and we encourage the BC government to take steps to mitigate this impact by reviewing the current regulatory regime on the taxi industry and other transportation providers,” Huberman stated in that press release.

Meantime, Trevena said the $1.3 billion Pattullo Bridge project will be four lanes. “I know that is a point of contention,” she said. “But it will make the crossing between Surrey and New Westminster safer and easier.”

SEE VIDEO: New Pattullo Bridge expected to open in 2013

During her speech, Trevena reconfirmed that the Pattullo Bridge will be toll-free. “So those people who are daily using the Pattullo, who rely on it, many who live in Surrey, will not have to pay for the cost of the bridge beyond how they already pay for it, through their taxes.”

Trevena says the provincial government “will continue to fix the bottleneck for cars” and two projects in Surrey — the Fraser Heights greenway and 164th Street – will be improved, she said.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

‘Coffee with Cops’ visits Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP Wendy Mehat says there is always a good response from the public for the informal chat sessions

Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald is moving on

McDonald’s new role is RCMP’s criminal operations officer in charge of federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C.

Federal candidates’ Facebook ad spending disclosed

Facebook’s new Ad Library shows how much candidates are spending on advertisements

72-year-old to vote for the first time

Christine Steuckl became a Canadian citizen Oct. 8 at ceremony in Surrey

Private school plans at expanded Surrey ice arena emphasize student ‘grit’

At Excellent Ice building, hockey among five sports to be offered at Glarea Elevated Learning

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read