What is interesting about the Rail for the Valley/Leewood Projects TramTrain or interurban report is the vision shown by the author. Not only does he plan for the ‘politically correct’ (for valley types) Scott Road to Chilliwack TramTrain he also looks to the future with extensions to Vancouver, Richmond and Rosedale, with the ‘Full Build Option’ costing just under one billion dollars!
For a better perspective, the 11 km. SkyTrain Evergreen Line extension will cost over $1.4 billion and service far fewer potential transit customers, this has lead to demand for more density along the Evergreen Line in the Tri-Cities region to try to increase ridership on the metro. The RftV TramTrain doesn’t need such high density as there is plenty of population along the route to provide ridership. The density issue for rail transit has become a SkyTrain only issue as there is sufficient population to ensure economic operation with much cheaper to build light rail.
For the same cost as the Evergreen SkyTrain Line, a full build (Full Meal Deal) Valley TramTrain, Vancouver/Richmond to Rosedale could be built and with the remaining $400 million, a Vancouver/Richmond to Maple Ridge TramTrain operation could also be funded.
The planned SkyTrain subway to UBC is estimated to cost $3 billion to $4 billion, yet for the same amount of monetary outlay, we could build a BCIT to UBC/Stanley Park LRT/streetcar ($1 billion); a full build RftV TramTrain ($1 billion); a new multi track Fraser River Rail bridge (approx. $500 million); TramTrain to Whiterock (approx. $300 million); and LRT/tram lines in Surrey and Langley ($500 million to $1 billion+)!
For the cost of one SkyTrain subway line, we could fund a sizable regional LRT network combining light rail, TramTrain and streetcar/tram, with the potential of being able to get on a tram in Rosedale and take the same tram to Stanley Park or UBC or Richmond! This is the vision behind the Rail for the Valley/Leewood Projects Report, it is not just a one politically and bureaucratically prestigious rapid transit line, rather a plan to implement affordable light rail transit in the region, providing affordable ‘rail‘ transit for generations.
The sad fact is, Premier Campbell lacks such vision with his childish, TransLink Speak, remarks regarding light rail and his pronouncements are a continuing embarrassment for those trying to get affordable rail transit built in the Fraser Valley.
The Fraser Valley municipal politicians had better show transit vision now and board the valley TramTrain, lest they be left waiting at the platform, paying Vancouver’s fare for a new $4 billion SkyTrain subway under Broadway.
Tags: Abbotsford, Broadway Follies, Broadway light rail, Broadway streetcar, C-train, cost per km, demonstration project, Diesel LRT, Evergreen Line, Fraser Valley, infrastructure, interurban, Karlsruhe, Langley, light rail, LRT, Pattullo bridge, Rail for the Valley, skytrain, streetcars, streetcars on Broadway, study, Surrey, track-sharing, tram, trams, tramtrain, transit, UBC, UBC SkyTrain, Vancouver