Here's how much you save renting near a SkyTrain station in the suburbs

Sep 15 2023, 12:18 am

There are benefits to your pocketbook renting further away from Vancouver, especially if you live near a SkyTrain station in the suburbs.

Thanks to the Expo, Millennium, and Canada Lines, the longest commute out of Vancouver to the end of the last available station is about an hour.

So if you’re willing to use that time to catch up on your favourite podcast, intend to read more by the end of the year, or feel comfortable catching a quick nap on the train, maybe it’s not the worst option to save on rent and other cost of living expenses.

Here’s a breakdown of what it’s like to rent in a neighbouring Vancouver city.

Surrey 

Surrey City Centre skyline

Surrey City Centre skyline (Shutterstock)

While Surrey is one of the furthest cities when commuting from Vancouver by train, the rent in the city is a whopping 30.6% lower than in Vancouver, according to Numbeo.

To rent a one-bedroom in the City Centre area will cost about $1,788.89. 

Near the City Centre, Surrey Central, King George, Gateway, and Scott Road stations, have plenty of housing surrounding them and have recently undergone major developments. 

While major work has already been done near Surrey Central and King George, Gateway seems to be next as it’s currently in the process of being redeveloped — meaning there is plenty of opportunity for folks looking to invest in a new home in towers just a few steps from the SkyTrain station.

For example, a major high-density residential building redevelopment immediately west of the SkyTrain Gateway Station could become one of Surrey City Development Corporation’s (SCDC) largest projects.

The proposal is still in the early stages, but six buildings up to over 50 storeys in height will provide about 1,600 units of housing, with the majority of the units expected to be condominiums.

To commute to Surrey from Vancouver, you will need a three-zone pass. If you’re taking on that commute most of the week, a monthly pass is your best option but it will cost one adult $189.45.¬†

Coquitlam

skytrain coquitlam central station park and ride

Aerial view of TransLink’s park-and-ride facility and bus exchange for Coquitlam Central Station. (Google Earth)

According to Numbeo, Coquitlam is on average 9.9% more expensive than renting in Surrey but 9.5% less expensive if you subtract rent from the cost. 

Like Surrey, folks working in Vancouver and commuting home to Coquitlam will face longer commutes. Catching the Expo Line and the Millennium Line from Waterfront Station will take these commuters about an hour.

However, like Surrey again, you’re at least not paying those Vancouver rental prices.¬†

Rent, groceries, and restaurants are all about 20% cheaper in Coquitlam compared to Vancouver, Numbeo data suggests. 

For a one-bedroom home in the City Centre (near Lincoln, Coquitlam Central, and Lafarge Lake-Douglas stations), it costs about $2,010 to rent, according to the data. 

There is also a proposal for another major neighbourhood-sized redevelopment for Coquitlam, potentially producing a 10-fold increase in the number of homes near Lincoln Station.

A monthly three-zone adult pass will most likely be needed if you venture into Vancouver often. 

Burnaby 

burnaby vancouver north shore mountains skyline

View of Burnaby, Vancouver, and the North Shore mountains from Metrotown. (Shutterstock)

In Burnaby, renting a one-bedroom in the regional city centre (Metrotown) can cost about $2,250 a month. However, outside the centre, it will drop about $100 a month, Numbeo reports. 

Burnaby has the second most SkyTrain stations running through the city after Vancouver. With so many stations, there are plenty of options regarding where to find housing near a train station.

In North Burnaby, the Millennium Line runs through several stations — including Brentwood Town Centre, which has already seen exponential growth and will continue seeing so in the years to come.¬†

Commuting back and forth from Burnaby to Vancouver will cost about $140 a month for a two-zone pass. A benefit of living in Burnaby if the commute will take about 30 minutes — significantly easier than those folks riding on the train for an hour to get to Surrey or Coquitlam.¬†

Richmond

public transit

Photo credit: Dennis Tsang / Flickr

In Richmond, to be in the downtown area near Richmond Centre and Landsdowne, Numbeo suggests renters are looking at paying about $1,880 for a one-bedroom apartment. Outside of the city centre, it can cost an extra $100. 

This city is diverse, with neighbourhoods that are walkable and highly connected to transit.

Living in Richmond means you’ll most likely need a two-zone pass, which costs about $140 if you purchase a monthly compass card.¬†

Langley

skytrain evergreen guideway construction

Gantry crane used for the construction of the elevated guideway of the SkyTrain Millennium Line’s Evergreen Extension. (Government of BC)

While there are a few years until Langley residents can hop on board and ride a train to Vancouver, there is plenty of opportunity to invest in housing or rent at a cheaper cost than all of the cities listed above. 

According to Numbeo, rent in Langley is 3.6% less than in Surrey itself and 32.4% less than in Vancouver. 

To rent a one-bedroom, it will cost about $1,690 in the City Centre and $1,480 outside the downtown area. 

Major construction for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project is anticipated to start in 2024, with the extension opening by late 2028.

surrey-langley skytrain alignment map

Route alignment of the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain. (Government of BC)

The Surrey-Langley SkyTrain will be a seamless extension of the existing Expo Line from King George to Langley Centre, with 16 km of elevated track following Fraser Highway, and eight new stations. This provides a one-train ride from Waterfront Station to the Expo Line’s new terminus of 203rd Street in Langley.

The completion of this project will grow the entire SkyTrain network length to over 100 km, including the 2025 completion of the Millennium Line Broadway Extension to Arbutus.

The travel time between King George Station and 203rd Street Station will be about 22 minutes, while the travel time between Waterfront Station and 203rd Street Station will be about 62 minutes.

‚ÄúThe anticipated SkyTrain will catalyze sustainable, transit-oriented developments, improve housing affordability, encourage actions that address climate change, preserve green space, and create welcoming public spaces that further enhance our city‚Äôs highly walkable and vibrant neighbourhoods,” Val van Den Broek, mayor of the City of Langley, previously said.¬†

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

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