More conversation about ‘rail‘ transit from the Fraser Valley. For very little money as compared to the SkyTrain light-metro, we could have a Diesel LRT demonstration line up and running from Chilliwack to Langley by the end of the year.
It is time that BC’s regional transportation policies reflect the 21st century, where building ‘rail’ transit as cheaply as possible, affordably servicing as many destinations as possible is far more important than building very small but expensive ‘trunk‘ metro lines that must be force fed ridership from buses to achieve symbolic high ridership, while at the same time bankrupting the transit authority.
Greg Knill – Chilliwack Progress
The problem with so much of the talk around transportation issues in this region is that it’s backwards. It starts with a “solution,” then lines up the obligatory evidence to prove why that solution would work.
What’s needed is a discussion that starts fresh – a discussion that begins with the broad objectives of how we want our transportation system to evolve, then looks at what technology would best suit getting us there.
Last week the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce brought in one of the more outspoken advocates of a community rail link between Chilliwack and Abottsford. His presentation drew a large turnout, indicative of the interest in this issue.
Talk about a rail link in the Valley is nothing new, of course. Unfortunately, that is where the discussion has centered. Rather than talk about transportation connectivity, the discussion has been about the viability of a train on the old Inter Urban rail line.
But the issue should be about more than a revival of an old rail link. It should be about a regional transportation plan that delivers the maximum economic and social benefits, at the lowest cost to the users and the governments that will inevitably subsidize the venture.
As Peter Holt told the Chamber on Thursday, far too much of the transportation talk in the Lower Mainland has centered on Vancouver.
What’s needed here is a way for the various municipalities outside that sphere to develop a model that serves their interests. The object should be connectivity, based on the assumption that greater worker mobility will enhance economic opportunities throughout the region.
That will take more political will and direction.
We’ve seen it around issues like air quality. Let’s see it around issues like transportation.
Tags: Abbotsford, C-train, Chilliwack, Diesel LRT, economic stimulus, Fraser River rail bridge, Karlsruhe, Langley, light metro, light rail, LRT, Rail for the Valley, skytrain, streetcars, Surrey, track-sharing, trams, transit, Translink, VALTAC