Is TransLink on the right track or is it merely taking an ‘avoiding‘ line with the Fraser Valley. TransLink deja vu is happening again with a so called consulting with the public/see your taxpayers dollars at work routine, its a well oiled ‘dog and pony show’ and I’m afraid I’ve seen too many. As pointed out in an earlier blog, TransLink is up to its old dirty tricks by vastly understating LR T’s capacity; it’s an old act and I guess that you can’t teach a very tired old dog new tricks. There are three fresh ‘hoofer’s’ on the scene all wanting in on the show own and one wonders can TransLink tired routine keep up with them and their new acts?
This time it will be different, because Rail for the Valley has a new routine for TransLink’s Valley frolics; it’s coming your way very soon and will be a show stopper!
From the Langley Times
TransLink is on the right track
By Frank Bucholtz – Langley Times
The regional transportation authority is asking the public for input into what type of rapid transit would best serve the south of the Fraser region, including Langley.
For starters, the agency recognizes that SkyTrain is not necessarily the answer. SkyTrain works well, but it is very expensive to build. It moves a tremendous number of people, as was witnessed during the Winter Olympics, but it is questionable whether those volumes of people would ride a SkyTrain line between Langley and Surrey.
One of the biggest problems with SkyTrain is that it sucks up a tremendous amount of capital, starving TransLink from offering more bus service. A new SkyTrain line also requires payment of a large amount of interest each year.
Advocates for the restoration of interurban service along the BC Hydro rail corridor, including VALTAC and South Fraser OnTrax, will now have an opportunity to advocate for that service. Those who rode the streetcar on the line to Granville Island during the Winter Olympics and recently-completed Paralympics got a glimpse of what a modern interurban rail car would be like — and it’s impressive.
Restoration of interurban service between the Scott Road SkyTrain station and Langley could cost as little as $150 million, says Allen Aubert, who was a public representative when TransLink’s South of Fraser transit plan was drawn up.
This is one-tenth the cost of the much-touted Evergreen Line in the Tri-City area — a line that is merely an extension of the existing SkyTrain system into Coquitlam and Port Moody.
Hydro owns the railway right of way between Surrey and Chilliwack, with Canadian Pacific Railway owning the tracks through Langley’s urban area. However, CP has a contractual obligation to allow the tracks to be used for passenger rail, part of the deal when the tracks were sold in 1988.
Aubert said the great advantage of the interurban is that it links existing communities and would serve to encourage local transit use south of the Fraser. This is a key point, as few people are willing to use TransLink bus service in this area unless they have no other choice.
The original interurban also served as a valuable link between communities, something reflected in the name “interurban.”
People didn’t just use it to travel to downtown Vancouver. There were many trips to New Westminster, which at that time was the commercial centre for the entire Fraser Valley.
There are also other options. A rapid bus route using dedicated bus lanes has the ability to offer service with far more speed than conventional bus routes. A B-Line route, which is a modification of rapid buses, offers faster service — yet TransLink has failed to offer any such service south of the Fraser.
Langley residents who would like to see some of their TransLink tax dollars actually put to work here should take the time to let TransLink know what they think about transit options.
They can do so online, by going to the following website — http://www.translink.ca/en/Get-Involved/Public-Consultations/Surrey-Rapid-Transit-Study.aspx.