Many people in Surrey continue to rely on their cars to get to and from work, school, shopping, recreation and medical appointments. For many low income households the cost of transportation can be significant.

Exploring choices to reduce the cost of transportation for low income families and individuals and facilitate greater mobility within and across the region is an important focus of Surrey’s Transportation Strategic Plan1. This includes promoting and supporting communities that are safe, healthy, and child-friendly and working with community partners and other levels of government to ensure that transportation choices are available to support the well-being and inclusion of all residents.

See Transportation Fact Sheet based on 2011 Census data.

Key Facts

  • Households in Metro Vancouver spend an average of $860/month on transportation-related expenditures.2
  • The majority of workers who live in Surrey rely on their car to get to and from work. This includes approximately 83% of all workers in Surrey compared to 71% of all workers across the Metro Vancouver region.3
  • Public transit can reduce transportation costs for Surrey residents with a three-zone transit pass costing significantly less than owning and operating a vehicle. For example, for a family of three (2 adults and a child), transportation costs can go from approximately $860 per month using a private vehicle to $392 per month using public transit.
  • 13% of Surrey residents take public transit to get to work. Aboriginal people (22%), people with disabilities (14%), and recent immigrants (26%)are more likely to take public transit to get to work.
  • Discounted transit passes targeted to specific households and population groups in the community make a real difference for families and individuals struggling to make ends meet.

Current Initiatives

Below are some examples of initiatives underway:

  • Surrey’s Transportation Strategic Plan4 addresses access to transit, improved walking and cycling opportunities within the City, and greater connectivity across the region.
  • The City of Surrey Engineering Department has an on-going program to create a safe and friendly environment for children and youth. This program includes traffic and pedestrian safety audits for all public elementary and secondary schools in Surrey supported by an annual program of improvements such as traffic calming, parking controls or new crosswalks.6
  • So far, 26 Surrey schools have taken part in the Safe & Active Schools program, which includes bike education and  Active School Travel.5 This program focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging alternative modes of travel to and from school including walking or cycling instead of driving.
  • In a typical year, 12 new kilometers of cycling routes are constructed in Surrey. With additional one-time funding, 20 kilometers of new cycling routes were completed in 2010. Two pedestrian and cycling overpasses above Highways 1 and 99 were also completed at the same time.7
  • Two post-secondary institutions in Surrey, Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, participate in Translink’s U-Pass program. Participating in this program allows post-secondary students to have unlimited access to transit for $36.75/month.
  • Translink offers monthly concession fares of $52.00 for a 3-zone bus pass for seniors, secondary school students (14 to 19 with a valid GoCard), and children 5 to 13. Children 4 or younger ride for free.8
  • Special discounted fares and accessible transportation is also offered to people with disabilities through Translink’s HandyDART and HandyCARD programs.

1 2010 Report on Transportion. Surrey, BC: City of Surrey
2 Statistics Canada (2011). Survey of Household Spending.
3 Statistics Canada. 2011 Census.
4 Surrey (City of). 2010. 2008 Transportation Strategic Plan.
5 HASTE Hub for Active School Travel. 2012. Action Showcase – View by School District.
6 Surrey (City of). 2012. Safe and Active Schools.
7 Surrey (City of). 2010. 2010 Report on Transportation.
8 Translink. 2012. U-Pass FAQ