To College, by Interurban?

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The following article from the Light Rail now folks has some valuable lessons for those advocating for the Vancouver to Chilliwack Interurban. The following universities and colleges would be potential destinations for students: BCIT, Simon Fraser University, Kwantlen College (Cloverdale and Langley campuses), Trinity Western University, and the University of the Fraser Valley (Chilliwack Campus). Students attending these places of higher education, alone, could support a 30 minute Vancouver to Chilliwack Interurban service. Something to think about Mr. Falcon!

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University Station in Denver Colorado. The Valley Interurban stations would be much smaller in scale.

Light Rail Now! NewsLog
20 March 2009

Salt Lake: One-third of campus travel via light rail

In Salt Lake City, detractors of public transportation almost always with the aim of disparaging the impact of rail transit like to contend that public transit ridership is basically irrelevant in urban areas. To argue this, they often compare the ridership of a relatively weak transit system, or a single rail system, with virtually all the street and highway traffic of a huge region, typically much of which is outside the transit service area.

In reality, public transit in major urban areas tends to be a true workhorse, carrying much of the traffic load into concentrated, highly congested areas.

An excellent case in point would seem to be one of Salt Lake City’s TRAX light rail transit (LRT) lines that serves the University of Utah. Although TRAX ridership has somewhat “leveled off” since motor fuel prices dropped from the $4.50-per-gallon levels of last fall, an article in the Salt Lake Tribune (2009/02/16) reports that approximately 45,000 travelers a week ride the LRT system  representing 33% of total travel to the campus.

That means that even with the cost of using a car lower, and ridership down fully one-third of trips to the campus are handled by the Utah Transit Authority’s light rail service. That’s a relatively huge number of trips that would otherwise mean more private motor vehicles clogging streets and highways, and contending with one another for scarce parking … and a lot less pressure on the university administration to devote valuable real estate to providing more parking facilities.

So much for the “irrelevance” of rail transit at least in Salt Lake City.

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