Geography final report Assignment | Custom Essay Services

it’s a final report which needs to be done on the base of research question as mentioned in the briefing and it should be done only ad according to the examples given. And before the deadline I need the just short proposal or outline if it’s possible thenTeam Project Proposal
GEOG 1101 S12 Spring 2020
Submitted to: David Sadoway
Submission date: March 06, 2020
Project Team Members:
Team Topic: Escalating Housing Costs: Vancouver versus The rest of Canada
Research questions:
• What are the reasons behind the skyrocketing prices of housing in Vancouver?
• Effects of the higher housing costs of Vancouver on the population of the city and the
economy of the country?
• Why are these reasons applicable only on Vancouver and not other places of the
country like Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton etc.
Geographic focus:
To bring out the contrast in housing costs in different cities of the country as compared to
Vancouver, we’re focusing on the following places:
• Greater Vancouver Area, British Columbia
• Calgary, Alberta
• Edmonton, Alberta
• Montreal, Québec
• Halifax, Nova Scotia
Planned study methods and data sources:
We’ve decided to discuss each question in detail within the group for preparation, which
includes breaking down the question to the bare bones and analyzing each element of the
question from geographic and economic view of perspective and using the research data to
figure out the solution. For the data sourcing, we’re using KPU library to use the following
journal articles / newspaper articles for reference:
• Grigoryeva, I., Grigoryeva, I., Ley, D., & Ley, D. (2019). The price ripple effect in the
Vancouver housing market. Urban Geography, 40(8), 1168-1190.
• Moos, M., & Skaburskis, A. (2010). The globalization of urban housing markets:
Immigration and changing housing demand in Vancouver. Urban Geography: Rights,
Space, and Homelessness: Part II, 31(6), 724-749. doi:10.2747/0272-3638.31.6.724
• Luxury sales down in formerly hot markets; Montreal on the rise as Toronto, Vancouver,
Calgary housing dips. (2019,). The Toronto Star (Toronto, Ontario)
• McMahon, T. (2015,). The risk of house price correction across Canada; Canada
mortgage and housing corporation’s new housing market analysis reveals high-risk areas
include Regina, Winnipeg, while Toronto, Montreal are considered moderate-risk and
Vancouver, Edmonton, Halifax are low-risk. Tamsin McMahon reports. Globe & Mail
(Toronto, Canada)
Basic/simple outline:
The basic outline of our final project will be as follows:
The report will have the team topic “Escalating Housing Costs: Vancouver versus The rest of
Canada” on the top along the cover page.
On the next page, the report starts with an introduction to the problems of high housing costs,
followed by the key research questions to set a foundation for the rest of the report:
• What are the reasons behind the skyrocketing prices of housing in Vancouver?
• Effects of the higher housing costs of Vancouver on the population of the city and the
economy of the country?
• Why are these reasons applicable only on Vancouver and not other places of the
country like Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton etc.
For the body of the report, each key question will have its own paragraph, which would contain
the detailed discussion(like why people get fed up by the rising prices and move to other cities
for cheaper real estate options, which ultimately effects the housing costs here in Vancouver
and benefit the remaining citizens), backed up by research and references, some
graphs/pictures to explain the points better using visuals.
The report will end up with a conclusion which covers the whole report. References will be
provided at the end of the report.
For the presentation, besides the introduction and conclusion, the members of the team (who
would give the presentation) would have each paragraph to represent, they’ll highlight the
important details to the audience and answer their questions in case there are any.
Division of labour:
Research –
Literature reviews – STUDENT’S NAMES LEFT BLANK
Writing –
Presentation –
Final report preparations –


Ways to Improve Mobility Methods in Surrey
Prepared for:
David Sadoway
April 10th, 2020
Table of Contents
Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
The Need for a New System ……………………………………………………………………………… 3
An Overview of the Light Rail Transit System (LRT) ………………………………………….. 4
An Overview of the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain ……………………………………………………. 7
Surrey’s Smart Transport Proposal ………………………………………………………………….. 9
Provincial Throne Speech ………………………………………………………………………………. 10
Changes in Surrey Legislature ……………………………………………………………………….. 10
The Impacts of the Current COVID-19 Pandemic on Public Transportation ………. 11
Future Development ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
Impacts of Future Development ………………………………………………………………………. 13
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
References …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 17
The City of Surrey has been consistently growing in population over the years,
with a large number of that population commuting to both work and school. As the city
densifies, it has become apparent that there needs to be an expansion of the existing
transit network to accommodate this. Over the years, the debate over which system and
route would best fit the city’s needs has become a political issue. One side advocated
for the originally approved Light Rail Transit (LRT) while the other is pushing for an
expansion of the existing SkyTrain network. This report sets out to answer the following
1. Do either of the proposed LRT and SkyTrain plans address the anticipated needs
of the City of Surrey?
2. What impacts need to be considered in the implementation of a new mass transit
The Need for a New System
At 32,621 hectares, the City of Surrey is one of the larger municipalities in Metro
Vancouver. The city currently accounts for just over a fifth of the population of the region
(City of Surrey, 2016), and has been consistently increasing over the years. Some
estimates suggest that the city will gain another 420,000 – 480,000 residents by 2050
(TransLink, 2020). With that will come an additional 147,000 new jobs in the area
(TransLink, 2020). This can be partially attributed to the increase in housing prices that
Vancouver and the surrounding areas have seen which has made Surrey a more
attractive place to live for the price point. Additionally, the city has been creating new
public facilities in an attempt to become the future hub of the lower mainland.
While the increase in residents is good for the economic and social development
of the city, it does pose some problems. People that are moving out to Surrey are still
needing to commute to different locations for work or school. 81% of the employed
residents are driving themselves on their commute every day (City of Surrey, 2016).
This is a higher proportion compared to the average across Metro Vancouver. Surrey is
also below the Metro Vancouver average for commuter cycling and using public transit
(City of Surrey, 2016). The city needs mass transit capabilities to keep up with the
densification and development that comes along with this projected growth.
This issue has been a political issue for quite some time, being featured as an
election promise in the past few municipal elections (Bailey, 2014). The idea for LRT
was officially proposed by the Mayor at the time, Diane Watts in 2012. It was one of the
key campaign points for former mayor Linda Hepner and current Mayor Doug
McCallum, who hold opposing opinions on the project. While the project did initially
receive funding and support from provincial and federal governments, it has been put on
hold in order to discover other options for the region (McElroy, 2018). The existing
SkyTrain line in Surrey has been renovated to assist with the projected growth of the
region, but an expansion of service in one form or another is required soon to keep up
with the demands of the city.
An Overview of the Light Rail Transit System (LRT)
The LRT, defined as the Light Rail Transit, is a form of rapid urban passenger
transportation. This
method of transportation
has grown in popularity
for major cities worldwide
due to its ability to greatly
increase transit capacity.
Figure 1 captures the
desired outlook for
Surrey’s future with the
incorporation of the LRT.
The idea of constructing the Light Rail Transit system in the City of Surrey was initially
proposed by former mayor, Dianne Watts back in 2012. With her proposed construction
timeline of five years from 2019 to 2024, it would be 10.5 kilometer ground level rail
Figure 1: Futuristic view within Surrey with the proposed LRT (Chan, 2018)
consisting of 11 stations between Newton Exchange to Guilford Exchange (Chan,
TransLink and the City of Surrey’s original plan for the project included LRT to
Guildford, Newton, and Langley Centre as seen in Figure 2 (CBC News, 2015). The
plan also included Rapid Transit bus network from Newton down to White Rock. This
would service the most communities but would not be as high speed as the proposed
SkyTrain. The plan also didn’t account for the growth in communities in the Clayton
heights and Cloverdale areas over the past years.
Figure 2: Original LRT Plan for Surrey (CBC News, 2015)
Overall, this LRT system calls for a considerable amount of advantages including
reasonable construction time and costs. With it operating at ground-level, this
accommodates for simplified access of mobility devices like strollers and wheelchairs,
as well as it allows for more frequent stops. More frequent stops help support the area’s
economic development. Despite concerns of traffic congestion, the LRT would be
situated in a designated lane, usually the center lane, in order to not create conflict with
motor vehicle traffic. With its main priority of travel capacity, this will help transit users
connect to the SkyTrain in order to commute to Vancouver or alternate parts of the
Lower Mainland (Vancouver Sun Editorial Board, 2018).
Alongside the advantages, the LRT does still cause concern in some respects.
Riders should be aware that even though the LRT is classified as a rapid form of
transport, Surrey is rather focused on using this project for transit capacity and the
interconnection of the city. As it can be seen in Figure 3, the Surrey-Newton-Guilford
LRT has an average declared speed of only 21.4 kilometers per hour. Individuals who
strongly oppose the LRT proposal, are convinced that “it will be the most expensive
mistake in the region’s history” (SkyTrain for Surrey, 2017). A current municipal
governmental program manager
for Surrey, Paul Lee emphasizes
how this ground-level form of train
system is not meant for its speed.
Paul expresses: ‘“Street-oriented
light rail will transform Surrey into
connected, complete, and livable
communities, making the city and
the region more vibrant,
accessible, competitive, and sustainable”’ (Chan, 2018).
Considering Surrey’s unfailing rise in population, this city requires a more dependable,
flexible, and accessible system of transportation throughout. Transit-supported areas
Figure 3: Comparison of the speeds of other Light Rail Lines
(Skytrain for Surrey, 2017)
within cities undoubtedly grow in population. Since the City of Surrey estimates its
population projection from 2018 to 2046 to increase by over 250,000 residents (City of
Surrey, 2020), it is evident that this urban space needs to develop an exceptional transit
system that is strategic in accomplishing Surrey’s anticipated needs. This relative threedecade
population estimate is based on growth within Surrey’s six communities:
Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guilford, Newton, South Surrey, Whalley/City Centre. As for the
past decade, Surrey has experienced an average 2% annual population growth rate
(City of Surrey, 2020). Since Surrey is more affordable than other populous areas like
Vancouver and has great future plans for transit development, this city is compelled to
experience ongoing population growth (Robinson, 2019). As well, Surrey has a lot of
undeveloped land which can eventually lead to future development of marketplaces and
new communities and spike population growths even more dramatically in the upcoming
decades (Foth, 2010).
An Overview of the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain
Amidst the change in Surrey’s municipal control on November 5 of 2018, newly
elected mayor Doug McCallum had a different vision for Surrey’s transit system
(Shepert, 2018). McCallum and other council members voted to suspend LRT plans,
which were originally brought forward by Dianne Watts. By the decided cancellation of
the Surrey-Newton-Guilford LRT Project, the idea of extending the Expo Line to Langley
was thought to be more beneficial.
Once arriving at King George Station, the SkyTrain would continue to Langley
City Centre, having an approximate travel time of 22 minutes from end to end. Trains
would operate every 6 to 8 minutes, and every 4 to 6 minutes within peak periods
(TransLink, 2019). Referring to Table 1 amid the next 30 years, in 2050, it is claimed to
have a ridership of over 70,000 passengers
(TransLink, 2019).
Also within Table 1, it
displays the overall details and
estimated costs involved in the
plans for the Surrey-Langley
SkyTrain project. This $3.12 billion
extension furthers the 1986 Expo
Line with a length of 16.5
kilometers with 8 designated stops
along Fraser Highway. As
TransLink’s approval is yet to be
entirely finalized, the project is
simultaneously proposed to begin construction in 2021 and be completed by 2025
(Brown, 2019). However, there are only $1.6 billion in funds available so any
construction of this project would have to be accomplished in phases (Parmar and
Nassar, 2019).
The Surrey Langley SkyTrain aims to increase transit capacity and reduce travel
times. These goals ultimately correlate since an increase in capacity allows for
increased accessibility to more trains. By increasing transit capacity this SkyTrain will
specifically provide 10 times the capacity of a bus, meaning transporting about 6,800
passengers per hour and per direction (Wood, 2020).
With respect to Nicole Foth’s article, she explores the overarching reasonings to
neighborhoods becoming more dense and successful due to long term effects of the
establishment of rapid transit systems. This will allow for the demographic revitalization
of neighborhoods over time. Thus, this can imply that with the Expo Line advancing to
Langley, communities like Clayton and Fleetwood could potentially gain high-rise towers
in a matter of time (Nagel, 2013).
Table 1: Projected costs of different lengths of the route (City
News, 2019)
For those who favour the LRT over the SkyTrain expansion, this is because the
SkyTrain is not believed to benefit Surrey’s economic development since its designated
stations are more spread out. Therefore, this causes less accessibility and more walking
in between shops and businesses (Toronto Environmental Alliance, 2008).
As for the overview of this SkyTrain expansion plan, McCallum is certain that at
this point in time, it will be more effective than the LRT. It will greatly improve travel
capacity and reduce travel time, allowing for a quick and effective way of transport for
those residing in areas along the south of the Fraser.
Surrey’s Smart Transport Proposal
Under Surrey’s current mayor, Doug McCallum, the city has introduced Smart
Development Principles (City of Surrey, n.d.). These are proactive measures to ensure
that the needs of the city are ready to be met when they come up, not when addressed
after it becomes a problem. For transportation, this means that plans should both be
increasing the population’s access to effective transit but also rewarding to the
environment. An alternative way of doing this would be to embrace technology of the
future to create dedicated roadways for autonomous vehicles (City of Surrey, 2018).
Both Vancouver and Surrey were selected as finalists in a challenge that would
offer a $50,000,000 reward to continue this style of development (City of Surrey, 2018).
The municipalities both took on suggestions and proposals from the public in order to
develop these projects. While there hasn’t been an immediate impact seen in the cities
from these projects, the implications for the future are positive. One reason is that the
city would be more capable of handling the increasing autonomous technology that is
coming onto the markets which is said to have the ability to reduce traffic congestion.
Another reason is that it introduces the idea of separated transportation avenues
instead of mixed transportation avenues which helps keep the flow of traffic consistent.
Smart Development is one of many other alternatives that can address the growth in
commuters that Surrey is experiencing.
Provincial Throne Speech
The province has made a point of showing they’re committed to increasing
affordability and costs for residents of British Columbia (Province of British Columbia,
2019). One way they’re doing this is by helping ICBC become more affordable
(Province of British Columbia, 2019). However, a change in transit capabilities would
help to offset this for residents of the Surrey and Langley areas as there will be less
reliance on personal vehicles for transportation.
The current provincial budget has little emphasis on transit or transportation
(Province of British Columbia, 2020). Mass transit in the Fraser Valley was mentioned in
the throne speech but very briefly. The provinces budget documents reflect this also as
most of the budget highlights are geared towards social services and infrastructure such
as schools and hospitals (Province of British Columbia, 2020). What this means is that
while the government is committed to increasing the provinces overall affordability,
funding new transit initiatives is not the primary objective. This will make it difficult for
the city to secure funding for the rest of the project.
Changes in Surrey Legislature
No matter the method of transportation, either public or private, commuters are
bound to experience the daily rush hour hassle. Typically, this occurs from 7AM to
10AM and 3PM to 7PM (O’Connor, 2018). This overall causes more demand for buses
and SkyTrains, ultimately resulting in transit users experiencing overcrowding and lack
of buses and SkyTrains. Alongside both major transportation enhancements of the LRT
and extended SkyTrain, there is the upcoming popularity of private transportation
mobility methods, such as Lyft and Uber.
Now with the recent approval to operate this form of ridesharing in Surrey,
despite recent complications with
local taxi drivers, both Uber and
Lyft could also add to Surrey’s
mobility system, allowing
commuters to occasionally resort
to this option (Kaur, 2020). From
an in-class discussion involving
Canadian urbanization, Figure 4
presents the generic statistics of
the methods that Canadians
made to commute to and from
work. This emphasizes how
private transport, involving
owned cars, is the most dominant mode of transport seeing that it claims about 74% of
2016’s population of Canada. To the greatest extent after all, the overarching intention
development of a new SkyTrain or LRT is intended to generate and encourage more
people to choose public transit over private transport.
The Impacts of the Current COVID-19 Pandemic on Public Transportation
Since recent complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandatory rules
for social distancing, public transportation has faced several sudden changes and
challenges. With the need to keep all bus driver employees safe from potential contact
to individuals with the virus, bus passengers have been informed to enter at the rear
door instead of at the front. Yet handicap riders are still able to enter the bus at the front
of the bus for better accessibility of mobility devices in entering and exiting with the
usage of the adjustable ramps. Considering this new approach to lessen the spread of
COVID-19, fares on public buses have momentarily been dropped and are only applied
to other modes of transport in the Lower Mainland such as the SeaBus, SkyTrain, West
Coast Express and HandyDART (Saltman, 2020). With the consideration that
individuals are highly recommended and even now required to stay at home during this
Figure 4: Census of Canada’s form of commuting methods
(Statistics Canada, 2017)
critical time, this hopefully means for less passengers on public modes of transport. In
fact, SkyTrains have been said to be nearly completely empty since about March 18th
(DH Vancouver Staff, 2020). However, those who still depend on transit to commute to
work, such as those in healthcare areas and essential workplaces, need to keep their
awareness of: distancing themselves about 2 meters away from other passengers;
covering coughs and sneezes into the elbow; and avoid touching their face with
unwashed hands. Correspondingly, TransLink has enforced frequent disinfecting
procedures within SkyTrains, buses, seabuses and stations (DH Vancouver Staff,
2020). Within an online article from the Vancouver Sun regarding the endorsement of
fare suspension and rear-door boarding, TransLink spokesperson Ben Murphy,
expresses, ‘“I think it’s safe to say that this is an extraordinary measure, but it’s
appropriate for what is an extraordinary time”’. This emphasizes the reality of the
pandemic’s impact on our society’s public transportation system and how these altered
temporary adjustments and precautions need to be taken sincerely (Saltman, 2020).
Future Development
Any future development needs to consider the population hubs along both King
George highway and Fraser highway (IBI Group, 2012). Previously considered
alternatives looked at using a SkyTrain system to Langley and then used rapid bus to
service the other corridors (IBI Group, 2012). This allowed for quick access for Langley
residents and expanded service for Surrey’s smaller hubs at Guildford. However,
development of SkyTrain is only feasible in small portions per decade (IBI Group, 2012).
Another option would be to look at using existing railways, similar to what was
done with the Expo, Millennium, and Canada lines in their construction. While Fraser
highway is wide enough to support the expanded transit use, there are concerns that
the resulting construction would cause major disruptions to traffic for an extended period
of time. Recommissioning an existing railway could be a cost-effective way to provide
the needed transportation throughout the area. The former BC Electric line shown in
Figure 5 is something that could be used instead of the proposed plans.
Figure 5: BC Electric Railway Map (British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, 1961)
While it doesn’t connect directly to the City Centre, it is close to the existing new
Westminster terminals and would connect into Newton, Cloverdale, and Langley city.
Pursuing this option would be cost effective but wouldn’t address the needs of north
surrey residents.
Impacts of Future Development
The best option to choose is the one that provides the most benefit over the
years. This isn’t just considering the immediate benefit once it’s completed, but one that
produces continued value to the community. The City also needs to consider the
possibility that existing transit infrastructure will continue to develop with trends (Nelson,
2017). As the communities and even job locations change, there will be a shift in
ridership that will need to be accounted for.
The first major impact of developing a mass transit line is the economic impact
that the community receives. Often, mass transit lines have mixed use zoning in a close
proximity for small businesses. This will likely be the case with whichever route and
system the city chooses. While Bus Rapid Transit systems provide similar transportation
capabilities as LRT, the added economic value is minimal compared to the LRT
(Hensher, 2016). Additionally, LRT systems provide the strongest economic impact in
denser populated areas (Nelson, 2017). Positive economic impact is guaranteed, but
the extent depends on which system is selected.
There is also the impact to safety when considering which system to use. A study
of ground level transit in France discussed whether to have separate pathways for their
transit or keep them moving alongside existing traffic (Maître, 2015). The study stated
that adequate safety of ground level transportation requires proper signage and
separation from the existing road and pedestrian ways (Maître, 2015). This means that
by choosing the LRT system mentioned, the City would be sacrificing travel lanes for
cars, possibly leading to more congestion. Additionally, if there isn’t enough clear
signage, the City could see more collisions between the LRT and vehicles. These
effects wouldn’t be felt with the SkyTrain option as it would have it’s own raised track,
away from traffic.
Finally, the environmental impact needs to be considered. Both options will
require the use of land to be completed. Use of land due to expanded transit would be
harder along the Fraser highway corridor as much of it is not already densified, some of
it is very close to the ALR (Figure 6) (Hallingham, 2018).
Figure 6: Proposed Skytrain Route and ALR (Hallingham, 2018).
However, while development would sacrifice land use, it would contribute to
reducing carbon emissions. Out of all the Metro Vancouver municipalities, Surrey
residents have longer daily kilometers driven (Translink, 2020). Development of the
mass transit would reduce these and be better for the environment regardless of which
option is taken.
Within our geographic area of focus being the City of Surrey, it has been
apparent that our city is in need of enhancements for transportation. In this report, we
have looked at the various factors surrounding the improvement of mobility methods in
the City of Surrey. This was done to try to gain as much perspective as possible on the
issue in order to create a recommendation that benefits the city as much as possible.
Critically speaking, we believe it is of the best interest of Surrey to foresee both
options, the Surrey-Newton-Guilford LRT and the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain, in order to
realistically see the most impactful benefits to the city’s transit system. Ultimately, these
two major plans serve two different purposes, and therefore it should not have to be one
of two. More realistically with the consideration of the limitation to funds from the
government for the projects, it would be feasible to first construct the LRT which
supports Surrey directly and is less costly, and then next accompany it with the
construction of the extension to Langley. This will service Surrey’s initial needs and will
allow for a better expansion into Langley as the areas along the Fraser highway corridor
develop more.
The important impacts to consider with this implementation is the increased
development along the major routes identified. The routes along King George boulevard
and 104 Avenue already have a mix of commercial and residential spaces which is a
good fit for transit. These areas will see further densification as the project continues.
The other impact that should be considered is the impact to the environment. The
pathways to Newton and Guildford from Surrey Central are already 4-6 lane roads with
heavy traffic. Building this line first will have less environmental impact on the
surrounding areas. By pursuing this recommendation Surrey will not only meet the
current needs of the city, but also be prepared to take on the future needs as they arise.
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Uber and Lyft Deserve to Stay in Surrey

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Parmar, T., & Nassar, H. (2019). Surrey Langley SkyTrain would cost nearly twice as
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their social distance. Vancouver Sun.
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system. Vancouver News.
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