City of Surrey to spend $10 million on new TransLink bus facility in City Centre

Jan 7 2022, 11:43 pm

Last month, Surrey City Council approved a 2022 budget that calls for an investment of $10.2 million towards the planned TransLink bus layover facility for Surrey City Centre.

It will be located at 10262 133a Street — the northeast corner of the intersection of 133a Street and 102a Street, immediately west of Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Sustainable Energy Engineering Building. The site is currently used as a gravel surface parking lot.

This is a necessary facility to replace the existing bus layover space at SkyTrain Surrey Central Station’s bus loop, just to the east.

The City of Surrey is moving forward with the bus layover facility as the existing bus loop and adjacent surface parking lot will be redeveloped as part of the Centre Block master plan for the core of the city centre.

10262 133a Street Surrey Bus Layover Facility

Future site of the Surrey City Centre bus layover facility at 10262 133a Street. (Google Maps)

10262 133a Street Surrey Bus Layover Facility

Future site of the Surrey City Centre bus layover facility at 10262 133a Street. (Google Maps)

North Surrey Recreation Centre, just north of the existing bus loop, is set to be redeveloped by the municipal government into a major commercial project, including a 738 ft tall, 47-storey office tower — one of Metro Vancouver’s future tallest buildings — and a 328 ft tall, 19-storey mass timber office tower.

Both towers combined would have 1.18 million sq ft of AAA office space, 153,000 sq ft of institutional space, and 23,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space. Surrey City Council is expected to provide this city-led economic development project with its final approval later in 2022.

The bus loop and surface parking lot of Centre Block are expected to be sold to SFU for a major expansion of its academic campus in the area. The master plan calls for a 20-storey and an 11-storey tower with a combined 750,000 sq ft of office and institutional floor area.

10275 City Parkway Centre Block Surrey

September 2021 artistic rendering of Centre Block at 10275 City Parkway, Surrey. (Hariri Pontarini Architects/Adamson Architects/City of Surrey)

10275 City Parkway Centre Block Surrey

September 2021 artistic rendering of Centre Block at 10275 City Parkway, Surrey. (Hariri Pontarini Architects/Adamson Architects/City of Surrey)

10275 City Parkway Centre Block Surrey

Site plan for Centre Block 10275 City Parkway, Surrey. (Hariri Pontarini Architects/Adamson Architects/City of Surrey)

“Centre Block will support future investment and growth as well as achieve broad public objectives including integration with transit infrastructure, the creation of new public open spaces and the establishment of an iconic destination that will contribute to Surrey’s identity as the region’s next major centre,” reads the budget document.

“To advance Centre Block, the City is working to construct a new Bus Layover Facility just west of University Boulevard, which will allow the existing bus exchange to be decommissioned and provide the City the ability to acquire a portion of this currently encumbered land and incorporate it into the Centre Block development application.”

The new bus layover facility provides not only a replacement facility but also an expanded one, given the current limitations of the existing bus loop.

The bus loop will be replaced by a new on-street bus exchange within Centre Block, with passenger unloading on the north side of 102 Avenue (westbound) and boarding on the south side of Central Avenue (eastbound) opposite of Civic Plaza.

Early concepts created a decade ago for the bus layover facility suggest it could be covered to reduce noise and visual impacts within the increasingly urbanized area. Aside from the 2019-built SFU Sustainable Energy Engineering Building, the facility will be surrounded by residential developments, including an upcoming 26-storey condominium tower immediately to the north.

Along with amenities for TransLink drivers, such as a lounge and washrooms, the bus layover facility could eventually be integrated with a future mixed-use development, with floor space above the covered bus parking lot. A potential example is the 2019-built TransLink bus layover facility serving the University of British Columbia’s bus exchange, where the roof of the adjacent bus layover facility serves as the deck for the 651-bed Exchange student residence.

UBC bus exchange

Newly completed UBC bus layover facility and Exchange Residence, July 19, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

10262 133a Street Surrey Bus Layover Facility

Previous early concept for the area around Centre Block in Surrey City Centre, including the new bus layover facility. (City of Surrey)

Within the five-year capital plan from 2022 to 2026, the City of Surrey’s entire contribution towards the new bus layover facility is $10.2 million, with the entire investment set to be made in 2022.

In late 2019, TransLink completed a new bus layover facility serving Guildford Bus Exchange.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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