British Columbia

Langley's keen for SkyTrain service, but city may have to wait a while

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek described the prospect of rapid transit as "quite amazing" for her community.

TransLink doesn't have the money yet for full extension of Expo line

New funding from the provincial and federal governments will likely be necessary to extend the Expo Line to Langley. (CBC)

Langley's new mayor says she's excited about the prospect of SkyTrain service in her city — but there's no clear timeline on when that might happen or how much it will cost.

Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek described the prospect of rapid transit as "quite amazing" for her community in an interview with CBC's On The Coast.

"It'll provide new access and connections to Metro Vancouver for us," she said. "It'll grow our business community as well."

She said she's not bothered by the news that the SkyTrain extension may not come as quickly as some had hoped.

Not enough money to reach Langley

On Monday, TransLink spokesperson Jill Drews said the exact timeline and cost for bringing SkyTrain to Langley aren't known yet. 

To date, the transit authority has only secured $1.65 billion to fund the extension of the Expo Line from Surrey along the Fraser Highway. That's not enough to get all the way to Langley, and new funding from the provincial and federal governments will likely be necessary.

"What we're going to do is take everything we know, do some further study, look at where we can build to, how long can we build with $1.6 billion and then tackle a second phase in the future," Drews said.

Previous estimates have suggested the first stage of construction could extend the line as far as Surrey's Fleetwood neighbourhood, but solid plans will depend on what comes out of a business case study, which is expected to take 13-15 months.

Right now, the next step is for the TransLink mayors' council to vote Thursday on a proposal for that study.

If construction goes ahead, the first stage of the extension could be completed by 2025. That's a bit longer than what Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum predicted in October, when he told CBC News the new line would be built within two to three years.

The mayor has said he'll find ways to cut costs and speed up construction to deliver on the timeline he promised.

With files from Jesse Johnston

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