Posts Tagged ‘NDP’

News and Letters – October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010

Local news & Letters

Chilliwack Progress#

http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_valley/theprogress/opinion/letters/105729548.html

William Chambers has very succinctly scored with a well landed punch on Sharon Gaetz, with this one.

 Also in the Chilliwack Times

http://www.chilliwacktimes.com/news/High+cost+rail+just+myth/3727555/story.html

 Langley Times#

Metro urged to recant rapid transit priority for Surrey

http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/langleytimes/news/105694708.html

Two more overpasses planned for Langleys

 http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/langleytimes/news/105490118.html

 Surrey Leader#

Make Bond use transit

http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/opinion/letters/105542243.html

 The Province#

Valley commuters need bridge

http://www.theprovince.com/opinion/letters/Valley+commuters+need+bridge/3718612/story.html

A Siemens Combino tram in Budapest colours.

International News

Gold Coast, Australia

http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2010/10/26/265831_gold-coast-news.ht
ml

Phoenix

http://raillife.com/blog/

Los Angeles

http://redondobeach.patch.com/articles/locals-prefer-light-rail

Denver

http://www.railway-technology.com/projects/eaglepcommuterrailpr/

Dulwich Hill, Sydney

http://lightrailextension.metrotransport.com.au/proposed-routes/light-rail-to-dulwich-hill/

Utrecht

http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/urban-rail/single-view/view/qbuzz-wins-utrecht-sneltram-concession.html

Trains get streetwise

October 18, 2010

The following link from the Professional Engineering Magazine …..

http://www.profeng.com/archive/2010/2311/23110053.htm

….. is well worth the read as it neatly sums up the German city of Karlsruhe’s success in integrating transit.

Karlsruhe, it must be remembered, pioneered the TramTrain concept and with stunning results. When the first TramTrain line (which replaced a commuter train & one transfer) opened in 1993, ridership exploded from 533,600 per week to over 2,555,000, (almost 480% increase) in just a few month! Karlsruhe now operates over 410 km. of TramTrain, including lines in the environmentally sensitive Black Forest, with the longest route being over 210 km.

TransLink and METRO transit planners have singularly ignored Karlsruhe’s continuing success and busily chase their holy grail of densification and SkyTrain planning. The mandarins in charge of the regions transit planning haven’t even a clue what light rail is, or for that matter, what a metro is and try, like fitting a round peg in a square hole, cobble SkyTrain planning, making the metro fit a job far more suitable for modern light rail. The result is predictable, a disjointed and very extremely expensive ‘rail‘ transit system that is too expensive to extend, while at the same time has failed to provide a viable alternative to the car.

Today there are 14 cities with TramTrain operation (only 7 cities have SkyTrain), with a further 20 TramTrain operations being planned for and no one is planning to build with SkyTrain at this date. This is the message that is being ignored by TransLink, METRO Vancouver and provincial politicians. Remaining blind, deaf and dumb about light rail and TramTrain translates in to ever increasing taxes to pay for questionable transit expansion.

Who is not afraid to bell the SkyTrain cat?

More Transit News – October 15, 2010

October 15, 2010

From the Victoria Times Colonist

http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Think+rail+only+rail+future+transportation/3649005/story.html

 http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/Maclean+Cars+here+stay/3651236/story.html

 http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Public+input+sought+last+route/3613881/story.html

 http://www.timescolonist.com/travel/rail+line+along+Johnson+Street/3613919/story.html

 http://www.timescolonist.com/ahead+interchange/3532824/story.html

 Vancouver Courier October 13, 2010

http://www.vancourier.com/technology/case+free+transit+downtown+core/3663446/story.html

 Public transit debate can get messy, murky 

Vancouver Courier Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Vancouver bus routes dwarf Surrey grid

http://www.vancourier.com/life/Public+transit+debate+messy+murky/2900233/story.html

The Tyee

 Get Rolling on Streetcars, Say Gathered Experts

They reduce carbon, promote healthy development, and tourists love them, Translink is told.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/10/01/Streetcars/

Coquitlam NOW

SkyTrain is too expensive

http://www.thenownews.com/SkyTrain+expensive/3631453/story.html

Internationally

Philadelphia – work begins on streetcar casino branch

Historic trolley off track

Philly.com

http://www.philly.com/community/Historic_trolley_off_track.html?viewAll=y

http://www.septa.org/maps/trolley/pdf/015.pdf

Phoenix

Valley Metro

http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_light_rail/future_extensions/tempe/

Tempe-South update

http://tinyurl.com/35zampm

http://raillife.com/blog/

Wellington, New Zealand

Councillors signal Light Rail battle lines

http://tinyurl.com/2udcyql

The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree – TransLink’s Regional Transit Planning

October 13, 2010

Fruit of the poisonous tree is a legal metaphor in the United States used to describe evidence that is obtained illegally. The logic of the terminology is that if the source of the evidence (the “tree”) is tainted, then anything gained from it (the “fruit”) is as well.

TransLink’s planning officials still maintain that modern light Rail has a limited capacity of about 10,000 persons per hour per direction and refuse to entertain the fact that they are wrong. All of TransLink planning, including the RAV/Canada Line, the Evergreen line, the Broadway/UBC rapid transit line, and Fraser Valley transportation have assumed LRT’s seemingly inferior capacity and despite the fact that modern LRT can carry in excess of 20,000 pphpd, have portrayed LRT as a poorman’s SkyTrain.

The assumption that light rail has only a capacity of 10,000 pphpd is wrong.

The Light Rail Transit Association [ www.lrta.org ], which can trace its history back 63 years, which has continually campaigned for affordable and efficient public transit, defines light rail transit as:

“a steel wheel on steel rail transit mode, that can deal economically with traffic flows of between 2,000 and 20,000 passengers per hour per direction, thus effectively bridging the gap between the maximum flow that can be dealt with using buses and the minimum that justifies a metro.”

The following study from the LRTA, shows that even in 1986, it was generally understood that modern LRT could carry 20,000 pphpd.

https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/the-1986-lrta-study-bus-lrt-metro-comparison/

More recently, (2006) Calgary Transit LRT Technical Data page claims that the maximum theoretical capacity of the C-Train is 30,700 pphpd!

Maximum THEORETICAL single direction capacity (pass./hr/dir) at 256 pass./car and 2 min. headway:
3-car train 23,040
4-car train 30,720

http://www.calgarytransit.com/html/technical_information.html

If TransLink’s basic assumption about light rail (including streetcar) is wrong, then TransLink’s entire planning history, regarding bus, LRT, and SkyTrain is wrong and is not worth the paper it is printed on. Yet TransLink, without any public scrutiny and very little political oversight, continues to plan for hugely expensive SkyTrain light-metro projects, which supposed support for, has been heavily biased by questionable studies and even more questionable tactics – all fruit from the poisonous tree!

Noted American transportation expert Gerald Fox, summed up his observations on the TransLink business case for the Evergreen line;

” It is interesting how TransLink has used this cunning method of manipulating analysis to justify SkyTrain in corridor after corridor, and has thus succeeded in keeping its proprietary rail system expanding.”

https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/a-must-read-for-regional-mayors-before-they-talk-transit/

Has TransLink’s regional transit planning over the past ten years nothing more than “Fruit of the poisonous tree?”, based on the fact that TransLink’s bureaucrats desired that light rail (LRT) be seen inferior to SkyTrain, on paper, to ensure further planning and building of their cherished light metro system?

Rail for the Valley would welcome TransLink’s clarification on this issue!

If One Build Metro On Routes That Do Not Have The Ridership That Would Justify Contruction……

October 8, 2010

…..Then One Will Have To Pay Large Subsidies To Build And Operate It!

Large Subsidies Translates Into Higher Taxes!

Of course those high subsidies will have to be borne by the taxpayer, either in gas taxes, car levies, or road pricing (or all three), and or increased property taxes. The current belief by TransLink’s highly paid bureaucrats is that the homeowner in the Metro Region is flush enough to pay more property taxes.

What TransLink isn’t doing is planning for cheaper transit options and the term “affordable transit“, is not in their lexicon. Politicians and bureaucrats in Victoria are the same, as they force the metro region to build more SkyTrain and light metro. The time has come for Metro and Valley politicians to draw a line in the sand with this nonsense. If the politically unaccountable TransLink and Victoria want more SkyTrain in our region, then let Victoria pay for it, or better yet, take back the financial black-hole TransLink has become, in its entirety.

As previously mentioned, TransLink’s anti-LRT rhetoric has skewed all regional ‘rail‘ transit planning to favour SkyTrain, despite the fact that no one around the world buys SkyTrain for regional ‘rail’ transit. One now must consider all TransLink’s regional transit planning reported as “fruit of the poisonous tree” and reject it all!

https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/the-10000-pphpd-question-translink-is-hoisted-on-its-own-petard/

TransLink’s business case for the Evergreen Line was so planned to support only SkyTrain construction, has been shredded by American transit & transportation expert Gerald Fox.

https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/a-must-read-for-regional-mayors-before-they-talk-transit/

The Rail for the Valley/Leewood report has shown that there is another much cheaper way in providing regional ‘rail‘ transit the light rail or LRT and TramTrain solution.

https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/groundbreaking-report-on-interurban-light-rail-released-today/

Thus we come to TransLink’s and the provincial government’s gambit to saddle regional property owners with ever increasing  taxes to continue building with the now obsolete proprietary SkyTrain light metro system. Regional mayors should stand fast and reject any further financial demands for ‘rapid transit’ until TransLink does a complete independent financial review of transit options for future ‘rail‘ transit construction, including the the contentious Evergreen Line and a complete independent audit is done on TransLink itself, SkyTrain/RAV-Canada Line and the bus system.

May Zwei suggest Mr. Gerald Fox or Mr. David Cockle to head such a review?

From the press.

TransLink asked mayors for a $68.5 million handout.

The Vancouver Sun

 http://www.vancouversun.com/news/TransLink+asks+Metro+mayors+million+handout/3639962/story.html

The Black Press

http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/news/104509894.html

Mr. Campbell Responds to the Rail For The Valley/Leewood Report With Deciet

September 25, 2010

Gordon Campbell has a very bad reputation for not telling the truth, in fact he is a habitual teller of very tall tales.

The Premier’s statement in the following article, ” But you know the operating costs of the SkyTrain are about 50 per cent a year less than with light rail. And the ridership is two and a half times greater with SkyTrain.” is a complete falsehood!

A 1996 comparison with Calgary’s C-Train LRT shows that the Expo Line costs 40% more to operate than Calgary’s LRT (both about the same length), yet the C-Train carries more passengers!

“Mr. Campbell, to restore your credibility, please provide the same type of – accurate – data for SkyTrain as can be found on the Calgary Transit website for its light-rail system.”

http://www.calgarytransit.com/html/technical_information.html

Operating costs, Calgary C-Train (2006).

  • Vehicle Maintenance costs: $13.9M (2006)
  • Station Maintenance costs: $2.8M (2006)
  • Right of Way Maintenance costs: $2.9M (2006)
  • Signals Maintenance costs: $2.4M (2006)
  • Average annual power costs: $4.8M (2006)
  • Annual LRV Operator wages: $6.0M (includes fringe benefits of 21.57%) (2006)
  • Total – $32.8 million
  • A 2009 study done by UBC Professor Patrick Condon also showed SkyTrain as being very expensive to operate and in his study, SkyTrain had the highest cost to operate than any other transit mode in the study, which reflects much higher operating costs.

    http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/09/16/StreetcarToBeDesired/

    Mr. Campbell’s other statement that ridership is two times and half a much as LRT’s is pure fiction, both SkyTrain and LRT have the same potential capacities. To remind everyone, capacity is a function of headway & train length. This comment from the Toronto Transit Commissions 1980’s ART Study sums up SkyTrain potential capacity:

     “ICTS (which SkyTrain was called at the time) costs anything up to ten times as much as a conventional light-rail line to install, for about the same capacity; or put another way, ICTS costs more than a heavy-rail subway, with four times its capacity.”

    There is no independent study that shows that SkyTrain attracts more ridership than LRT, in fact at-grade/on-street light rail tends to be very good for attracting ridership.

    There are other erroneous claims being made in the article and they will be dealt with later.

    Mr. Campbell demeans himself with such claims, as he continues to demonstrate that truth is not in his lexicon. SkyTrain was built and will be built for reasons of political prestige and not what is best for the transit customer or the taxpayer. SkyTrain has failed to find a market domestically,in the USA and in Europe because it is both more expensive to build and more expensive to operate than its chief competitor modern LRT.

    Mr. Campbell, Rail for the Valley demands honest debate for the future of transit in the region, not your half baked statements based on fiction, to pursue your political aims.

    Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when we first practice to deceive“, Mr. Campbell, your tangled web of anti-LRT propaganda stops here, next time, deal in fact.

    Burnaby News leader

    By Jeff Nagel – BC Local News

    SkyTrain detractors should consider the benefits of the technology and not focus solely on the lower cost of building new rapid transit lines with at-grade light rail, Premier Gordon Campbell said.

    “It does cost less in capital – it costs about $150 million less,” the premier said in an interview with Black Press, referring to price estimates for the Evergreen Line to Coquitlam.

    “But you know the operating costs of the SkyTrain are about 50 per cent a year less than with light rail. And the ridership is two and a half times greater with SkyTrain.”

    The decision to make the Evergreen Line a SkyTrain extension rather than a separate light rail line will ultimately move more people, faster at lower long-term costs, he predicted.

    Campbell spoke Thursday, two days after the release of a new study from advocates who say a 100-kilometre light rail line from Surrey to Chilliwack can be opened on existing railway tracks for less than $500 million, compared to $1.4 billion for the 11-kilometre Evergreen Line.

    Several mayors, including Surrey’s Dianne Watts, have lobbied for light rail for future lines.

    Also critical to any transit expansion in the Lower Mainland, the premier said, is to ensure cities concentrate growth along transit corridors to support use of new lines while also making neighbourhoods more livable for walking and cycling.

    “You can’t have an urban transit system at rural densities,” he said. “You have to actually give yourself a chance for transit to make ends meet.”

    Campbell signed an accord with Metro Vancouver mayors Sept. 23 promising to explore a multitude of methods to raise more cash for transit expansion.

    He said mayors are free to put on the table even contentious options like a vehicle levy or forms of road pricing, which the agreement notes can help shape how people choose to travel.

    But he cautioned the key is to deliver good transit services that work and not merely try to use tolls or other fees to deter driving.

    “You can’t punish people into transit,” he said. “People use the Canada Line because they love it. It meets their needs.”

    Asked about public concern over the potential tolling of all three Fraser River bridges out of Surrey, Campbell downplayed the issue, saying the province determined in advance residents supported tolling the new Port Mann Bridge to deliver congestion relief.

    “There’s always going to be someone who says ‘I don’t want to do it,'” he said, but cited the time savings for users of the Golden Ears Bridge.

    “Think of the opportunities for connecting families, for moving goods.”

    He said an “adult conversation” is required on the options to fund TransLink for the future.

    Other parts of B.C. need transportation upgrades too, he said, adding the province will be hesitant about steering money to TransLink that deepens B.C.’s deficit or makes it harder to fund health care.

    “If there was a simple answer it would have been done a long time ago.”

    http://www.bclocalnews.com/greater_vancouver/burnabynewsleader/news/103734279.html

    500 Posts – The story so far……………..

    August 16, 2010

    Todays post, marks the five hundredth post on the Rail for The Valley blog and today I want to reflect on the main themes that keep out transit debates going.

    The Canada line

    Again, another major Canada Line story by the Vancouver Province news paper….

    http://www.theprovince.com/business/Canada+Line+year+later+Next+stop+construction+controversy/3400752/story.html

    -and I wonder why the Vancouver Province keeps writing ‘puff’ stories about the new metro service. In TransLink speak, having the media saying over and over again how wonderful SkyTrain and or the RAV/Canada Line is (the Joesph Goebbels Gambit), means the opposite is true. The Canada line is to the Liberals as the Millennium Line is to the NDP,  because the mainstream media fail to do any diligent research on the subject and treat all metro/rapid transit construction and operation as ‘motherhood & apple pie’ issues.

    The Broadway follies continue.

    Yes the debate rages on about ‘rail’ transit on Broadway and merchants clearly don’t want to be screwed like Susan Heyes on Cambie Street. Rumour was that our now disgraced premier wanted a subway legacy for Vancouver and a Broadway subway or Legacy Line was just the ticket. The $3 billion to $4 billion price tag for a subway is just a wee to much for TransLink, who can’t even find $400 million to build the Evergreen Line.

    The Evergreen Line.

    The Evergreen or locally called the Nevergreen Line is the epitome of what is wrong with our transit planning. TransLink continues to plan for ‘pie in the sky’ metro that the region just can’t afford. Just $400 million could fund a Vancouver to Maple Ridge TramTrain service, but we want a $1.4 billion metro instead and to hell with the taxpayer.

    The Valley Interurban project

    Hopefully some good news about the Fraser Valley will soon happen. To make the Valley interurban or TramTrain a success, we must think ‘out of the box’ and plan for the region and that includes Vancouver. Our present transit system is Vancouver centric, with the metro lines fragmented and for over 80% of metro users, they must take a bus to SkyTrain. To be success, the interurban/TramTrain project must service Vancouver and until it does, I am not so sure of the success, but the intrepid supporters of valley rail press on!

    TransLink

    TransLink continues fumbling and bumbling along achieving very little. The new TransLink board of experts, is really the government friendly board of amateurs and we hardly hear anything from them, yet they are all collecting healthy stipends. The calls for a separate transportation authority for South of the Fraser grows and if the present administration at TransLink doesn’t change, the call for a separate transportation authority will increase from a few peeps to a massive roar.

    The provincial government

    The current provincial government is broke and except for investment in the Canada line, has all but washed its hands on ‘rail’ transit in the province. The Gateway saga is the epitome of Gordon Campbell’s ‘rubber on asphalt’ transportation agenda.

    The Public Affairs Bureau

    The do their best to cloud transportation issues with phony letters to the editor and trolling the blogs. They are easy to find, their attitudes are clearly early Victorian!

    Rail for The Valley

    We continue to grow stronger and we are the only group in the region solely focused on the return of a Vancouver to Chilliwack Interurban or TramTrain service. hopefully a lot of hard work will pay off very soon!

    The blog

    Post #501 to follow. The SkyTrain Lobby beware!

    Transit at a crossroads – From The Surrey Leader

    March 28, 2010

    Well here we go again, TransLink is planning for ‘rapid’ transit for Surrey and the Fraser Valley. Zwei has seen this all before and I’m afraid I am not at all enthused with the process, nor have much faith in TransLink to do an honest study. Zwei hates the term ‘rapid transit’ as it refers to metro and only metro and I must remind everyone concerned that a transit system is as fast as it is designed to be, with TransLink in the past, deceitfully planning LRT to be slow!

    The picture of the supposedly Eugene BRT, is in fact a guided, rubber tired Guided Light Transit (GLT) vehicle that costs almost as much to install than a tram, yet has far less capacity. GLT, must operate on a dedicated rights-of-ways and cannot operate on-street in mixed traffic. The Eugene BRT uses standard articulated buses, busways, signal priority, high level loading platforms and greatly reduced stops to increase commercial speed. With BRT comes lots of new road construction as well.

    With 10 minute peak headways (approx. 700 pphpd), there was little scope to plan for light rail.

    Zwei also hopes that the light rail consultant has indeed worked on completed light rail projects, but what Zwei has read so far, there is little hope with this.

    It just seems to me the same well oiled TransLink ‘dog and pony show’, done many times before, to keep the locals happy, while in reality doing nothing until the provincial government orders them to build another SkyTrain light-metro line.

    EVAN SEAL / THE LEADER

    Transit at a crossroads

    By Jeff Nagel – Surrey North Delta Leader

    There’s no timetable or money yet to build anything, but TransLink has begun asking local groups what shape an eventual rapid transit extension in Surrey should take.

    Various corridors will be examined that could see rapid transit lines connect the existing SkyTrain stations to more town centres in Surrey and on to Langley and White Rock.

    “We’re not just talking about SkyTrain here,” TransLink project planning manager Jeff Busby said.

    “We’re looking at light rail and Bus Rapid Transit, where you’d use buses but you’d run them in their own lanes so they’d have some of the advantages of rapid transit.”

    He said the Olympic streetcar demonstration line to Granville Island is a good example of what light rail could look like south of the Fraser.

    TransLink is not locked in to routes that have been bandied about previously.

    The Provincial Transit Plan included a map suggesting lines be built heading south on King George Highway and also east on 104 Avenue to Guildford, then southeast via Fraser Highway to Langley.

    The South of the Fraser Area Transit Plan also flagged the same routes for further study.

     But consultants hired by TransLink to examine routes and technologies for the Surrey extension are also directed to look at the old Interurban rail corridor that many light rail fans say could be quickly used to launch a modern service.

    Even Hydro rights-of-way that cut across Surrey could be potential routes, Busby said.

    “It’s a blank slate at this point,” Busby said. “Everything is on the table.”

    He mainly wants to know what local residents want to get out of a rapid transit expansion.

    “How important is it that all the centres get connected? Are there some that are more important? What land-use and other planning goals should we be aware of?”

    So far, TransLink is meeting with local stakeholder groups, with full public meetings to come in the fall.

    The aim of the process, Busby said, is to shortlist options and then develop a preferred solution for the Surrey area that can be ready to launch if TransLink gets more sources of funding.

    But Busby said the costs have to be weighed against performance factors, like the speed, frequency and carrying capacity of the various options.

    SkyTrain carries the most people – 10,000 to 25,000 per hour – compared to 6,000 to 10,000 for light rail and 2,000 to 3,000 for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

    The region has existing B-Line express bus routes – including Vancouver’s busy Broadway corridor to UBC – but none are as advanced as the type of BRT service Busby envisions.

    BRT would feature permanent stations rather than stops and routes largely separated from traffic, potentially using traffic signal priority or else special bridges or trenches to scoot through congested intersections.

    “We like at-grade street car-type light rail,” countered Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt, who sits on the city’s transportation committee.

    He said King George Highway is a natural for the route as is 104 Avenue, and said there’s ongoing debate over whether Fraser Highway or the old interurban rail route should be used for the southeast corridor to Langley.

    Hunt said Bus Rapid Transit doesn’t inspire public confidence and spur denser development in the same way as rail because buses seem temporary and can be easily changed.

    “Once you get something that’s solidly in the ground, people respond to that a whole lot better,” he said.

    Local transit advocate Paul Hillsdon also likes light rail as a long-term solution, but thinks it’s better to back less-costly BRT than get nothing or wait.

    “Considering TransLink is broke and we need change now, the cheaper, more affordable short-term solution, I think, is creating a Bus Rapid Transit network.”

    He envisions a network of seven fast, frequent lines that would connect all Surrey town centres (using 104, 72 and 64 Avenues and Scott Road, King George, 152 Street and the Fraser Highway) as well as the entire north-south 200 Street corridor through Langley Township and 24 Avenue from Crescent Beach to Langley.

    “It would service areas that are going to grow by leaps and bounds over the next decade,” he said.

    Surrey is expected to take a quarter of the region’s growth by 2041, when the population is to hit 750,000.

    Allen Aubert, who was one of Surrey’s representatives on the South of Fraser Area Transit Plan, says time is of the essence and something must be built within five to 10 years.

    That’s why he says the old Interurban route has a critical advantage: it already exists.

    “It goes to Cloverdale, to Sullivan, to Newton where there’s a big exchange,” he said. “And lo and behold, it can connect to SkyTrain at Scott Road. What’s not to like?”

    Past estimates suggest modern light rail cars – similar to Bombardier’s Olympic Line trams – could be put on the Interurban route from Scott Road all the way to Langley City for about $150 million, barely a tenth of the planned Burnaby-to-Coquitlam SkyTrain extension.

    “It’s so cheap,” Aubert said, adding a spur line could easily be built running up King George from Newton to City Centre.

    Aubert and others agree that whatever comes must serve local town centres, rather than be designed primarily to move commuters to Vancouver.

    They say that’s the only way transit-oriented communities will develop and would reflect the reality that 80 per cent of trips south of the Fraser stay in the region.

     For more on the Surrey Rapid Transit process see: http://www.translink.ca

    http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/surreyleader/news/88966702.html

    Not a picture of the Eugene Oregon BRT, rather a GLT guided bus that must run on a dedicated ROW.

    Eugene Oregon Emerald Express BRT

    Battle looming between Vancouver and other regions over priority of rapid transit – From News 1130 Radio

    January 20, 2010

     

    As expected, the Broadway UBC rapid transit project has gained prominence in the past few weeks and the SkyTrain lobby has taken to the blogosphere to spread “SkyTrain Speak.” SkyTrain Speak, is the myth and propaganda created by the SkyTrain lobby to further the cause  promoting further construction of the obsolete proprietary light metro.

    The Broadway UBC rapid transit or subway project, is being promoted by Vancouver politico’s, who realize that the City of Surrey’s population will soon surpass that of Vancouver and that Vancouver’s monopoly of scarce transit funds will soon go South of the Fraser. Vancouver’s politicians suffer a rather malignant form of ‘civic penis envy’, where they firmly believe that to make Vancouver a ‘world class’ city, they must have subways, because subways will Vancouver ‘world class’. Political prestige was the main reason for building the $2.5+ billion RAV/Canada Line subway in Vancouver.

    One also must wonder if Bombardier has been given a (secret?) promise by TransLink and/or the province to have one more kick at the can, so to speak, by extending the the SkyTrain Millennium Line West to UBC or the Evergreen Line North to Port Coquitlam. The weak ridership figures for the Evergreen Line means that a SkyTrain subway would have a far better chance to showcase SkyTrain for overseas sales.

    Zweisystem predicts if the Broadway transit project doesn’t use SkyTrain, Bombardier will announce the retirement of the SkyTrain light metro system and will only produce vehicles for existing systems.

    Surrey politicians and taxpayers have also woken up to the fact that they will again be subsidizing Vancouver’s expensive rapid transit dreams and may rebel, forcing Victoria to create a South Fraser Transit Authority. This could have ominous consequences for taxpayers living in the TransLink or SkyTrain region, where their taxpayers must then fund the full cost of Victoria’s and TransLink’s grand metro schemes. The real cost of metro construction will come home to roost with a big financial bang!

    Has TransLink already made the decision to build with SkyTrain?

    By using the term ‘rapid transit’ TransLink has already made the choice to build metro, for I have not seen any definition of ‘rapid transit’ that include LRT, streetcar, or trams. By extending the Millennium Line, means SkyTrain will be used and there will be no need of any pesky P-3 or systems tender, that caused much rancor with the public in the past.

    Finally, TransLink is broke and the regions transit deficit is great, but with todays precarious economy, there will be little or no money for expensive metros, unless Premier Campbell again promises to completely fund Vancouver’s UBC SkyTrain subway and call it the Legacy Line.

    Sad to say, the gift of SkyTrain has not reduced auto congestion, but it has certainly driven up property taxes, some legacy!

    The cost of Broadway/UBC subway, about $3 billion to $4 billion.

    The cost of a deluxe Vancouver to Chilliwack TramTrain, about $1 billion.

    The cost of a BCIT to UBC to Stanley Park LRT, about $1 billion.

    Cost of a Surrey LRT/streetcar, King George Hwy./Scott Road/Guilford Loop, about $1 billion.

    Cost of a Langley 200th St. LRT, about $500 million.

    Cost of a Abbotsford LRT, about $500 million.

    The firing shots of TransLink’s UBC ‘rapid transit’ line may start a battle that will rip TransLink and the regions politics asunder, with many unintended consequences.

    Battle looming between Vancouver and other regions over priority of rapid transit

    Vancouver wants line along Broadway to UBC

    Jill Drews  Jan 19, 2010

    VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The City of Vancouver is making plans to ensure a rapid transit line along Broadway to UBC is given top priority–ahead of other regional transit improvements.  But not everyone thinks Vancouver’s plan should be at the top of the transit list.

    Vancouver Councillor Geoff Meggs says the density surrounding the Broadway corridor would more than pay for itself.  “There already are more people riding on buses, jammed on buses, hanging on straps on buses, watching buses drive by them, than we need to justify the line.”

    But Ray Hudson with the Surrey Board of Trade says the Evergreen Line and more service south of the Fraser used to be a priority and should still be a priority.  “Soon, we will rival and even pass the population of Vancouver, and yet we are certainly the very poor ‘country cousins’ with respect to these kinds of services.”

    Hudson says some business owners he’s heard from are wondering if separating from the Metro Vancouver regional district might be the way to go to finally see some transit improvements.

    For further information on LRT on Broadway:

    https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/to-ubc-from-bcit-and-picinics-in-the-park-by-tram-the-light-rail-committees-broadway-light-rail-project/

    From the Georgia Straight – Transportation activists mobilize to thwart South Fraser Perimeter Road and Broadway SkyTrain

    January 14, 2010

    Athens tram - note simple on-street construction

    Charlie Smith has another good article in the Georgia Straight about transit and transportation in the region and of course the comments are well worth a read.

    http://straight.com/article-280315/vancouver/transportation-activists-mobilize-thwart-south-fraser-perimeter-road-and-broadway-skytrain

    Please attend the meetings.

    The January 16 meeting will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Sundance Banquet Hall (6574 Ladner Trunk Road). It’s served by the C76 and C87 buses.

    January 18, TransLink is hosting a stakeholder meeting from 6 to 9 p.m. on a proposed rapid-transit line to UBC. It will take place at the Plaza 500 Hotel at 500 West 12th Avenue.