The current thinking is that the proposed valley ‘interurban’ service terminate at Scott road SkyTrain station and this is a big mistake. Lest we forget the majority of interurban customers will want to go to Vancouver and forcing them to transfer to SkyTrain will add at least 30 or more minutes to their journey. What is also forgotten is that one can lose upwards of 75% of potential customers per transfer, which was reflected in Karlshrue Germany, where after opening their first tram-train, eliminating one transfer point, from commuter train to tram, weekday ridership rocketed from 488,400 to 2,064,378 – a 423% increase in just a few weeks! So were sown the seeds of success!
The Fraser River Bridge is there, the line is mostly double tracked to Vancouver Central Station and gaining pathways for the interurban would be one of scheduling with the other users. Track-sharing and providing pathways for the interurban to service Vancouver maybe difficult, but not impossible, the old interurban track-shared across the Fraser River Rail Bridge 100 years ago and certainly today it can again!
Servicing Vancouver, means the interurban will service a large population base, which would ensure ridership, which would bring an early success and is what the proposed interurban service needs! Rail for the Valley must include direct interurban service to downtown Vancouver, as the benefits of a direct Vancouver to Chilliwack rail service far outweigh the obstacles.