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We’re a growing group who agree that the Fraser Valley needs passenger rail service NOW!

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Some of our governing politicians still don't seem to get it. They say it isn't viable "at this time." Maybe in 20 years, they say. Of course, they said that 20 years ago…. They plan to spend billions of dollars on more highways, but they continue to ignore the obvious, long-overdue solution to our traffic congestion [...]

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Be a part of the movement to get us Rail For The Valley! The success of this campaign has come from people like you getting involved. By writing letters and pressuring the politicians, passenger rail is closer than ever to being realized, and all of it has been achieved through email and the internet. 1) [...]

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Some of our governing politicians still don't seem to get it. They say it isn't viable "at this time." Maybe in 20 years, they say. Of course, they said that 20 years ago…. They plan to spend billions of dollars on more highways, but they continue to ignore the obvious, long-overdue solution to our traffic congestion – passenger rail service for the Fraser Valley! Since they aren't listening, the next step is to organize ourselves…

Voted TOP CLIMATE ACTION PROJECT IN BC, Reader’s Choice Award, The Tyee Online Newspaper

"SRY Rail Link is open to the concept of passenger rail services that would utilize our rail assets throughout the Fraser Valley."  -Ken W. Doiron, VP Business Development, Southern Railway of BC (Interurban operator)

“It was the clever boys in Vancouver and Victoria who killed the Interurban transit system that served a far less densely populated Fraser Valley half a century ago. It’s long past time to correct that mistake.” -Langley Advance

“The most efficient and “green” way to move large numbers of people is via light-rail transit. Given the population growth in the Fraser Valley, this transit option should be a no-brainer.” -The Province

“If the government is to meet its goal of cutting air contaminants by 4.7 million tonnes in the next 12 years, the revival of the interurban line will be one of many initiatives aimed at getting commuters out of their cars.” -Abbotsford News

“Now is the time, when our population still allows it, to finally look at light rail. We have the rail ready and the cost of getting it up and running would be a fraction of the cost of building more SkyTrain routes… Not only are we convinced that rail is the best solution for the Fraser Valley, we are convinced that it will be used.” -Abbotsford Times

“One of the biggest disappointments in Victoria’s new transit plan is its failure to include the possibility of light-rail passenger service — along the old Inter-Urban rail route from Vancouver to Chilliwack. In our view, any transit plan that doesn’t include such an environmentally-sound option is deficient to some degree.” -The Province

“Where is the much-needed light rail for the Fraser Valley?” -Surrey Leader

“We can learn from history. Rail-based transit will work in the Fraser Valley.” -Langley Times

“There’s far too much foot-dragging when it comes to the issue of a proper transportation infrastructure for the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. Maybe the politicians need to take a load off and hop on the train.” -Chilliwack Times

Make no mistake, passenger rail service from Chilliwack to Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, and even to Vancouver would be a great thing. -Chilliwack Times

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts: "South of the Fraser, we want at-grade light rail. You see it all over the world." (link)

"I for one am a firm believer that instead of SkyTrain expansion in Surrey we should be looking at At Grade Rail. At Grade Rail is significantly cheaper, easier to build and much more aesthetically pleasing than SkyTrain. Surrey cannot wait until 2020 for improved rail transit. At Grade Rail can be completed much faster. I have great confidence in the potential of At Grade Rail, and I am currently having City staff analyze this option so that we can move it forward." (link)

During her [2011 State of the City] speech, Watts called for a sustainable funding strategy at TransLink within "a month or two," as well as design plans for a Light Rail system completed by next year. "I don't want to have SkyTrain cutting our communities in half – that is going to destroy our city."  (link)

Delta Councillor Bruce McDonald: "I really do believe 10 years, 15 years from now that line will be as important to the valley as the old Interurban was." (link)

Langley Mayor Rick Green: "Interurban services should be fast tracked, at least achieving excursion runs within the next couple of years." (link)

Abbotsford Councillor Lynne Harris: "I think the movement will take hold. I think there's feasibility to it. The infrastructure is already there, and in terms of economic affordability, it's an idea that should be explored."  (link)

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz: Light rail linkages between communities would be invaluable. The track could connect the University of the Fraser Valley and there could be tourism and business opportunities that we've only dreamed of." (link)

Latest News:

The Realities of Subway Mania In Lotus Land

 

The realities of subway mania.

Vancouver politicians live in “The Land of the Loyus Eaters”, when it comes to transit.

In Greek mythology the lotus-eaters, were a race of people living on an island dominated by the Lotus tree. The lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were a narcotic, causing the inhabitants to sleep in peaceful apathy.

As TransLink, Vancouver Council, UBC,  and the Mayor’s Council on Transit sleep in peaceful apathy, the realities of the real cost of the subway are ignored.

According to Metrolinx’s study, the real cost of the 5.8 km Broadway subway will be more like $6 billion over 50 years.

As costs mount ever higher elsewhere for subways, our politicians and bureaucrats remain ignorant of escalating costs for subway construction, continue to misinform the public as to the real cost of Broadway’s subway.

In Metro Toronto, Metrolinx has finally admitted that:”

“……the Scarborough subway costs simply aren’t worth it,” he said. “It’s been years that Scarborough subway advocates haven’t been telling the truth to Scarborough residents and people across the city.”

And for years now, Translink: the City of Vancouver, UBC, the Ministry of Transportation, the Minister of Transportation, the Minister responsible for TransLink, the Mayor’s Council on Transit and the subway lobby haven’t been telling the truth about the high costs of subway construction to taxpayers in metro Vancouver. Is the $6 billion. plus, cost over 50 years, giving good value?

Is it not time that the province steps in for a fiscal reality check? Is there the moral fibre in Victoria to do this?

 

Interesting that the numbers for LRT came via the TTC and the numbers for the subwaycame from the provincial government who wanted the subway.

Costs of major transit projects will far exceed their benefits, according to Metrolinx reports

Oliver Moore Urban Affairs Reporter

 

The subway project in Scarborough has been hotly debated in Toronto since 2013, when its backers won council support for cancelling a light-rail line in the area and replacing it with an extension – the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension seen here in 2016 – of the subway to Scarborough Town Centre mall.

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

 

Two of Ontario’s marquee transit projects have costs that far exceed their benefits, according to a pair of analyses prepared for the regional transit agency Metrolinx.

The reports, released Friday afternoon, show that the Scarborough subway extension proposed for east-end Toronto and the westward extension of the Crosstown Eglinton light rail line across the city could, together, cost nearly $10-billion to build while producing benefits amounting to billions less. In spite of this, Metrolinx has recommended both projects be advanced.

The analysis deliberately errs on the side of caution and Metrolinx hopes to improve the benefits of these projects over time, agency CEO Phil Verster said in a statement.

The benefits are calculated by assigning a monetary value to such things as removing cars from the road and saving commuters time.

Shelagh Pizey-Allen, spokesperson for the advocacy group TTCRiders, said the projects were examples of proposals pitched with a modest price tag, but costs rose and value diminished over time.

The Metrolinx board received these reports at an in-camera meeting in January and, at the time, quietly approved pushing ahead with the projects. The agency refused to release the reports when asked earlier this month.

Both projects are being overseen by the provincial government, which struck a deal with the city of Toronto that handed over control and financial responsibility for major rail construction to Metrolinx.

A spokeswoman for Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said the government would continue to support both projects.

“These [reports] represent Metrolinx’s best understanding of the projects at a given moment in time and are inevitably subject to change during the projects’ life cycles,” Christina Salituro said in an e-mail.

“These documents are key elements in ensuring Metrolinx continues to make the most informed decisions going forward and are just one of a number of factors used in making a final decision.”

The subway project in Scarborough has been hotly debated in Toronto since 2013, when its backers won council support for cancelling a light-rail line in the area and replacing it with an extension of the subway to Scarborough Town Centre mall.

The analysis released Friday of the subway extension concluded it would bring $2.8-billion in benefits over a 60-year period, and cost about $5.5-billion to build. The Ontario government had last year pegged the cost at this level, which is about $2-billion more than the amount budgeted by the city when it was in charge of an earlier version of project.

“That subway is not going to be cost-effective,” said Brenda Thompson, with the advocacy group Scarborough Transit Action, adding that such a high price tag would preclude building anything else in that part of the city.

“I think this is going to suck up all of the money and I think politicians should be upfront about that. This is what we’re going to end up with, if at all.”

Toronto Councillor Josh Matlow, who has long advocated for the original plan for light rail instead in Scarborough, said that the report is another example of the claims of subway boosters being proved wrong.

“Today Metrolinx finally admitted that the Scarborough subway costs simply aren’t worth it,” he said. “It’s been years that Scarborough subway advocates haven’t been telling the truth to Scarborough residents and people across the city.”

The city had budgeted $3.56-billion for a one-stop Scarborough subway extension. During the last election campaign, now Premier Doug Ford pledged to add two more stations. The version being studied by Metrolinx includes the additional stations.

The newly released analysis for a light-rail extension of the Crosstown to Pearson International Airport shows that it will cost up to $4.4-billion, net present value, in 2019 dollars, if it has nine stops and is substantially below ground. In that form it would bring benefits of $1.4-billion over 60 years.

The project’s capital cost could be reduced to about $2.8-billion if most of the stops were removed, the analysis notes, or to as little as $2.1-billion if it was built on the surface.

Mr. Ford has pledged to bury as much of the Crosstown extension as possible.

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The Great Broadway Subway Grift Continues!

One has to shake one’s head as the Broadway subway lobby desperately tries to have their way.

Reality is just not in their lexicon, as the city of Vancouver, UBC and several First Nations, all involved with land development along the route, are now lobbying for funding.

I would like to ask:

  1. Where is the funding coming from for the about $4 billion subway?
  2. Who will pay the added the operating costs? The cost to operate the subway to Arbutus will be around $40 million annually; around $50 million to UBC.
  3. Who will pay for mid life rehab , 25 years down the road? In Germany, the gift of new subways, latter meant bankruptcy for transit authorities when mid life maintenance costs cannibalized monies from the rest of the transit system and they collapsed.
Important questions, that the Broadway subway lobby ignore and will ignore at the taxpayer’s peril!
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TransLink fired its two top planners because they did not like to hear the truth that there was not the ridership on Broadway to justify a subway. So who trusts TransLink?
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Then there are the land speculator/developers, enabled by the city of Vancouver, who is going to believe this lot of grifters, especially when there is not the ridership to justify a total $7 billion subway?
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The mainstream media have been bribed by scarce advertising dollars to report positively on the subway and to ignore contrary opinion, thus making the mainstream media nothing more than the Canadian version of Pravda and Radio Moscow! The previous post certainly shows that!
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As Barnum observed, there is a sucker born every minute and the Broadway subway lobby are banking on the fact they all live in Metro Vancouver!

Graph prepared by Metrolinx to inform the debate on choice of modes

 

Stakeholders ramp up pressure on government for Broadway Subway to UBC

by Hana Mae Nassar

Posted Jan 29, 2020

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Calling it a “historic agreement,” the City of Vancouver, UBC, and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Development Corporation say they have come together to push for a SkyTrain line that extends all the way to UBC’s Point Grey campus.

As part of their partnership, they’re asking the province and federal government to both commit to helping secure funding for the line all the way to the campus, as soon as possible. The stakeholders are also vying for regional support for the project, which would extend the Millennium Line.

Original plans had the Broadway subway stopping at Arbutus Street, forcing students, staff, and anyone else wanting to get to UBC to take a bus after the subway line.

“Building SkyTrain all the way to UBC is a regional priority that will not only help connect academic and health sciences along Broadway with the rest of the region, it will put reconciliation into practice as we work in partnership with the MST Development Corporation,” Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said on Wednesday, adding the agreement “sets a new example.”

The three groups hope the eventual connection to UBC will help improve transit around the Metro Vancouver region, as well as achieve a goal of more affordable housing, better access to post-secondaries, and increased economic growth.

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Avignon Tram Opens In France

It seems the French clearly understand the benefits of light rail, well they should, because they have studied both LRT and light-metro (VAL).

Like Vancouver’s SkyTrain, VAL was made by MATRA, the famous arms manufacturer and in the 1980′s the general political thought was, if no one used  VAL for transit, it would reflect badly on MATRA’s arms sales. Thus the French government  in a political diktat tried to force French cities to build with VAL, even financing the initial line.

But………..

French civic politicians (unlike BC politicians), are ever mindful of the public purse well understood the huge costs of light metro, especially future expansion and upkeep costs and in the end, only a handful were built, as study after study showed that “Le Tram”, was the the best option for both the customer and the taxpayer.

Today, Siemens owns VAL and is marketed mainly as an airport people mover and only eight such systems have been built.

This month the City of Avignon is opening their new tramway.

The 5.2 km line cost €135 million (CAD $190.75 million) or CAD $36.7 million per km to build. Due to political interference, the line is short, thus per km costs are higher, but when one thinks that TransLink is building a 5.8 km subway under Vancouver for over $3 billion, “Le Tram” certainly seems far better value for money and far better value for the taxpayer and customer.

Avignon light rail line opens

Oct 22, 2019
Written byQuintus Vosman

THE French city of Avignon inaugurated the first phase of its new light rail service on October 19, a 5.2km stretch with 10 stations from Saint Roch in the south of the city centre to Saint Chamand, the location of the mainline station in the southeast.

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Oct 21, 2019 | News

Journeys between the termini on Line T1 take 15 minutes and are served by 14 three-section LRVs supplied by Alstom. The 24m-long, 2.4m-wide vehicles are a shortened version of the Citadis X05 and use 750V dc traction. They have capacity for up to 140 passengers and have a maximum speed of 70km/h.

Services run at 5-6 minute frequencies between 06.00 and 00.00 and are operated by Orizo, the public transport operator in the greater Avignon area, while Grand Avignon is the line’s owner. Existing bus services have been optimised to coordinate with the new service.

Plans for the project were approved and developed in 2011-13. However, inauguration of the project was in doubt in 2014 when the newly-elected mayor vowed to cancel the scheme. The result was a modification to the plan, scaling back the project from three lines to one and the cost from €330m to €135m, with construction getting underway in October 2016.

Expansion of the network is still planned through the construction of Line T2. Construction is currently scheduled to start in 2021 and conclude in 2023. There are also plans to extend Line T1 to the north while additional sections could be added to the LRVs to meet future demand.

Avignon’s previous tram system was closed in 1932.

 

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Osaka – The City of Rugby And Trams

Osaka, a Japanese city famous for rugby and trams.

Hankai Tramway Co., Ltd.  (Hankai Denki Kidō Kabushiki Gaisha) is a company which owns two tramway lines in the cities of Osaka and Sakai, Osaka, Japan. The parent company is Nankai Electric Railway Co., Ltd.

Osaka prefecture’s last remaining streetcar, known affectionately as “Chin Den,” is still used by the people of Osaka today. There are two lines, the Hankai Line, which runs from Ebisucho, just steps away from Tsutenkaku to the area in front of Sakai’s Hamadera Station, and the Uemachi Line which links Tennoji Station with Sumiyoshi. The Hankai Line’s predecessor, run by the former Hankai Tramway Co., Ltd. began operation in 1911. Meanwhile, the Uemachi Line’s predecessor began running in 1900 under the operation of the Osaka Carriage and Tramway Co., Ltd. As the name suggests, at the time, horse-drawn carriages ran along the rails. Along the line is Abe no Seimei Shrine, said to be the birthplace of Abe no Seimei, a famous ‘onmyoji’ yin-yang diviner, as well as Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, also known as Settsu Ichinomiya. Along the route, you’ll also find Akiko Yosano and Sen no Rikyu’s Sakai Plaza of Rikyu and Akiko, the Sakai City Traditional Crafts Museum, Nanshuji Temple, Daianji Temple, and many other famous temples. Also recommended is the one day “Teku Teku Kippu” free pass, ¥600 for adults and ¥300 for children.

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Trams At The Heart Of The 21st Century Metropolis

With nearly 600 tram and light rail systems in operation around the world, this is hardly surprising.

With Vancouver being the odd-ball city, insisting that the light-metro is the way to go, taxpayers have to have extremely deep pockets, to pay for the politicians  foolish financial excesses.

During an era of record investment in urban transport, where success is quickly copied and failure is not duplicated, no other city in the world has copied Metro Vancouver’s transit planning and Metro Vancouver’s building strictly with light-metro, especially with the extremely dated but often renamed, Movia Automatic Light Metro.

This makes Vancouver unique, sadly unique also means expensive.

Trams at the heart of the 21st century metropolis

The 07/02/2019

The return of trams in cities confirms the important role they play in the 21st-century urban landscape. Nearly 120 cities have introduced their own tram systems since 2000. This study published by Eurogroup Consulting, compares and ranks the performance of 32 tram systems around the world.

Three categories of tram systems were studied:

  • recent tram systems in large cities with more than 500,000 residents,
  • recent tram systems in mid-sized cities or serving neighbourhoods of large cities with under 500,000 residents,
  • historic tram systems that have never been retired, such as those in Vienna, Zürich, Melbourne and Berlin.

The performance criteria used for the study included multimodal integration, speed, pricing, reliability and ridership.

Lyon, Dijon and Zurich head up the comparative study

In large cities, the Lyon, Paris and Bordeaux networks top the ranking. The Lyon tram network scores highly in terms of the high level of multimodal integration that it enjoys with bus routes, the metro, stations and soft transport modes as well as the tram corridor potential with three of the network’s five lines carrying more than 100,000 passengers every day.

In mid-sized cities, Dijon and Tours in France and Bergen in Norway are distinguished. According to the study, the Dijon tram network scores above average in several criteria, notably its ticketing system where Open Payment has been introduced so passengers can now use their contactless bank cards instead of tickets. The tram’s introduction in 2012 gave a major boost to public transport usage in the city with the numbers of people using it increasing by 40% in three years.

Among historic tram systems, Zürich is distinguished in the top spot, performing well in terms of ridership as well as making good use of resources and enjoying a high level of multimodal integration. Thanks to regular investments designed to modernise the network and enhance its longevity, the Zürich tram is delivering a performance comparable to those of younger systems.

 

 

Rather than demonstrating a straightforward renewal, the results of the study show that the tram provides a mobility solution that complements structural transport networks, such as metro systems, as well as visibly revitalizing city centres in the era of green mobility.
Philipe Menesplier

Tram trends in 2019

The study also looked at tram trends in different fields including regional, management and industrial and technological trends. In regional terms, the tram is strengthening its position in a number of regions including Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, China and Australia.

Regarding management trends, although globally the public management model remains the most widespread, the study observes that transport authorities are increasingly awarding the operational management of tram systems – and more widely of their public transport networks – to private operators which are specialized in operation, maintenance and asset management. Indeed, in addition to day-to-day operational management, these operators are tasked with modernizing and transforming networks as part of long-term contracts which are sometimes longer than 10 years.

 

Find out about the 32 tram systems, five tram trends and the 10 keys to the success of tram networks in the attached study.​

To read the study please click here.

 

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A Message From The South Fraser Community Rail Society

TransLink is up to its old games of deception and fabrication, by repeating lies so often that the public believe them.

Who is not afraid to bell the TransLink Cat?

As a reminder, the South Fraser Community Rail Society is not Rail for the Valley, but we are striving for one goal, to reinstate a passenger service using the former BC Electric rights-of-ways.

South Fraser Community Rail Society

“Hydrogen iLink Passenger Rail, Scott Rd. SkyTrain to Chilliwack” #connect the valley

 

Press Release – from Bill Vander Zalm           July 16th, 2019

Message to the TransLink Mayor’s Council. On July 25th, 2019….

10 Ways TransLink is WRONG in their critique of the Interurban Corridor. Vote NO to Fraser Hwy SkyTrain and YES to Interurban!

The following refers to the Metro Vancouver portion of the line only!

  1. TransLink suggests Community Rail is an alternative to SkyTrain, it is not. While it will serve all those Metro Vancouver needs at 1/10th the cost, it would serve the needs of the entire valley – through Interregional Transit.

 

  1. TransLink states the line owned by CP Rail and Southern Railway – It is NOT!

 

  1. TransLink suggests Passenger traffic conflicts with Freight Traffic, it would not. The Master Agreement signed by CP Rail has agreed to pay the cost of double tracking if required. That is what we negotiated!

 

  1. TransLink suggests the Interurban has limited alignment with regional land use plans”. TransLink then is prepared to run through Green Timbers Forest, the lightly populated Fleetwood community and the Serpentine Flats, four KMs in the ALR a dead zone. Our corridor is in place ready to use!

 

  1. TransLink states that the line “does not directly connect relevant regional destinations (i.e. Surrey Central and Langley City).” They fail to acknowledge the line serves regional destinations such as N. Delta, Sullivan, Newton, Cloverdale, S. Surrey, Wh. Rock as well as Langley City – a much greater population than served by the Fraser Highway option at 1/10th the cost.

 

  1. TransLink states “the Interurban alignment is indirect through lower density and diverse areas. Directness and density are critical factors of a successful rapid transit corridor.” Their own maps clearly show the Interurban connects key job centers – Scott Road, Delta/Surrey, Newton, Cloverdale and Langley, greater than the proposed SkyTrain Line.

 

  1. TransLink talks about increasing volumes of freight, they are deliberately ignoring the terms of the Master Agreement and CP Rail’s legal responsibility per a contract that we negotiated in 1988 to double track if required and share the track equally with passenger traffic.

 

  1. TransLink claims the Interurban requires substantial infrastructure investment comparable to building rapid transit along urban arterials.” How can you compare or suggest building an entire new line with all the property acquisition and cement infrastructure that is required to an existing operating rail line with NO property acquisition, lease, or structure required to build; except for the Joint Section which is covered by the Master Agreement, and owned by the Province of B.C. with passenger rights that we reserved at no cost. Furthermore, apart from the “shared section” discussed above, the line is very lightly and used largely during off hours.

 

  1. It is clear there is a deep misunderstanding by TransLink staff regarding the interurban proposal. The Interurban is necessary to alleviate the congestion on Highway 1 and protect the Fraser Valley Airshed. The full line Pattullo SkyTrain Station to the City of Chilliwack is all about the absolute necessity of establishing an Interregional Transit Network. The Metro Vancouver portion of the line is clearly superior to that of the Fraser Highway SkyTrain proposal and by extension will be for the Fraser Valley.

 

  1. The Interurban can be activated much faster, at 1/10th the cost, and would serve almost three times the population than that of SkyTrain within Metro Vancouver’s Boundaries.

Sincerely,

Bill Vander Zalm

Former Premier of British Columbia

Former B.C. Minister for Municipal Affairs and Transit

Former Mayor of the City of Surrey

Media – Connect with Bill Vander Zalm by request through Rick Green

@ 604 866-5752 or by email at southfrasercommunityrail@shaw.ca

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A Proven Winner

Sin city is getting LRT.

After flirting with Bombardier’s Innovia monorail and optically guided buses, Las Vegas is now improving their regional transit system, with a proven winner, light rail transit.

Light rail is the winning option for Las Vegas transportation

ImageRegional Transportation CommissionA rendering of a proposed light rail system along Maryland Parkway.

Monday, Feb. 18, 2019 | 2 a.m.

 

Starting this week, the Regional Transportation Commission will hold a series of meetings to gather input on plans for mass transit along the Maryland Parkway corridor into downtown Las Vegas.

Three options will be on the table. But only one will take Las Vegas where it needs to go, and that’s light rail.

This is about way more than transportation infrastructure. The decision on how to move forward on the project will have major ramifications for the city’s ability to compete for tourism and convention business, the development of the valley’s inner core and the quality of life for Southern Nevada residents.

That’s because light rail, unlike the bus options that also are under consideration, is transformational.

As proven in city after city where systems have been built, light rail is a development magnet and a major asset in attracting visitors.

It also offers a check on urban sprawl by encouraging development upward instead of outward, says Brookings Institution transportation expert Adie Tomer.

Residential development near light rail tends to come in the form of multistory structures, Tomer said — not necessarily skyscrapers, but low- and mid-rise condominiums and apartment buildings.

The combination of upward development and mass transit development would produce consequences that would be felt valleywide, Tomer explained. If the community continues to grow outward and remain car-focused, he said, residents’ time in traffic will increase as more and more cars crowd onto more and more miles of roadway.

Look no further than Southern California, with its near-constant traffic congestion, for the logical conclusion of Las Vegas’ status quo.

Meanwhile, as Tomer and many others have noted, bus rapid-transit systems like those also being explored by the RTC simply don’t spark the same kind of development as light rail. Put yourself in the shoes of a developer who, say, plans to construct a mid-rise condo building with restaurant/retail space on the ground floor. Would you rather build it along a bus route, which can change, or a set of steel tracks that have been laid into the ground?

That’s a no-brainer, which is partly why so much development has happened in cities that have invested in light rail systems. Since Phoenix’s system came online 10 years ago, the city estimates that $11 billion in private investment has sprung up within a half-mile of the lines.

But in Las Vegas, the economic consequences go well beyond new development. Cities that compete with us for travel and convention business, such as Orlando, Fla., and regional metros like Phoenix and Denver, long ago recognized the value of light rail and are using it to their advantage.

The Maryland Parkway system wouldn’t directly help Las Vegas make up the distance, but it would be an important first step toward establishing a line to serve the Strip.

That’s a vital need. For a community whose marketing strategy revolves around the richness of our visitor experience, it’s an absolute must to make travel as convenient and carefree as possible for tourists and convention-goers. Being stuck in a taxi or ride-hail car for hours isn’t the kind of thing that will keep people coming back.

And while critics will argue that self-driving vehicles are the 21st-century solution, don’t believe it. Those critics may be right in predicting that the onset of autonomous vehicles will result in more ride-sharing, with drivers signing up for services as opposed to owning their own cars. But it would still take a flood of vehicles to provide drivers with the immediate service they would demand. So that’s not the answer to congestion.

Critics will also howl about the cost of light rail, which is substantially more expensive than bus options.

But there’s a cost for staying with the status quo, too, and it’s a heavy one. Our quality of life is on the line in the form the torturous travel times and environmental damage that come with sprawl. Also at issue is the health of the tourism industry that drives our community and our entire state.

So we’re going to pay one way or another.

Let’s invest in a proven winner, Las Vegas. Let’s commit to light rail.

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A Grim Reminder For The Expo Line

A grim reminder indeed!

Thanks to the Ford’s in 2010, the SRT remains in place instead of the planned LRT conversion that was supposed to up and running either late last year or this year. It would not only cover the exiting line, but the 1980 plan extension to Melven Town Centre. Then got to thank Mayor Tory for pushing a subway that will not be ready until 2030, if then at an extra $2 Billion and counting. The SRT will not last until the subway opens.

Let us not forget, the aging Expo Line is in dire need of a complete rehab, costing around $3 billion, or the core system may go the way of the SRT, making the $1.65 billion Fleetwood extension and the $3.5 billion Broadway subway a hugely expensive floundering beached whales, as the core transit system collapses due to age and lack of attention.

Scenes like this will become commonplace as the Expo Line ages

By Francine KopunCity Hall Bureau
Ben SpurrTransportation Reporter
Fri., Feb. 1, 2019

Kamran Karim arrived at Kennedy station and waited 30 minutes for the RT to arrive before realizing it was out of service — again.

“There is no sign. There is no notice,” he said, pointing to a gate barring access to the the stairs leading up to Scarborough’s elevated rail transit system, which was working on and off in the days after the snowstorm that bore down on the city Monday.

Kamran Karim was among thousands of TTC riders whose commutes were disrupted after the snowstorm knocked the Scarborough RT out of service.
Kamran Karim was among thousands of TTC riders whose commutes were disrupted after the snowstorm knocked the Scarborough RT out of service.  (Richard Lautens / Toronto Star)

The record snowfall and the polar ice freeze that followed wreaked havoc on portions of Toronto’s transportation system, but in particular the aging and vulnerable elevated train service in Scarborough — dubbed the RT, the SRT, or more recently, Line 3 — that is supposed to connect residents of the suburb to the rest of the city to the southwest.

It was a grim reminder of what residents of Scarborough are in for as they wait for construction to begin on the Scarborough subway extension, a project that successive city, provincial, and federal governments have supported for years but whose ultimate design and completion date are uncertain.

Meanwhile the SRT is nearing the end of its useful life, raising the prospect that riders will be left taking the bus if a replacement isn’t built soon.

Residents of Scarborough are among the city’s super-commuters — spending an hour to two hours or more getting downtown to work or study — connecting by bus from their homes to the RT train service that brings them to Kennedy subway station, the eastern terminus of the Line 2 (Bloor-Danforth) subway. From there it’s a long ride west on the subway and then south into the heart of Toronto.

About 35,000 people use the SRT’s six stations on a typical weekday.

Among them is Jackie Abrokwa, 25, who said it takes her about two and a half hours to get to Humber College’s lakeshore campus from her home in east Scarborough. The shuttle buses meant to replace the RT in recent days were much slower, and added another 30 to 45 minutes to her commute, she said.

“As someone who has been taking the TTC for a very long time, I am kind of over it,” said Abrokwa.

“In this weather it makes the whole thing really difficult,” said Joy Moro, who commutes from Scarborough to downtown Toronto for her tech job each day. “But if you don’t get to work, you don’t get paid, so you have to do what you have to do.”

The latest issues for the SRT started Monday, when the city was walloped with more than 20 centimetres of snow. The transit line went down at about 4 p.m., and though the TTC was able to get it up and running again for a few hours Wednesday, it was soon forced to shut it down again.

Regular service resumed Friday morning, but a mechanical problem forced one of the line’s six trains out of commission and the TTC had to supplement service with buses.

Although the SRT opened in 1985 and is nearing the end of its service life, TTC spokesperson Stuart Green said the problems in recent days were “not a product of age, rather extreme weather conditions.”

He said the issue was high winds blowing loose packed snow onto the SRT’s traction rail, which powers the train. Snow on the line causes the vehicles to lose power.

“As quickly as we’re clearing it, another section gets covered,” Green said.

While the line was shut down the agency deployed between 15 and 20 shuttle buses as a replacement to SRT service.

Green couldn’t say if the service outage was the longest SRT users have been forced to endure, but said about seven years ago there was also a winter shutdown that lasted several days.

Councillor Jennifer McKelvie, who represents the ward of Scarborough—Rouge Park and also sits on the TTC board, said transit users from her part of the city are “tired of being left out in the cold.”

McKelvie, who is serving her first term at city hall, said the solution is building the Scarborough subway extension and Eglinton East LRT as soon as possible. She blamed previous terms of council for not getting a replacement for the SRT built quickly enough.

“For years we’ve been debating, revisiting, voting, revoting on Scarborough transit. It’s time that we get on with building the transit that Scarborough deserves,” she said.

Although council has voted several times about the specifics of the Scarborough subway extension, the subway option has been the official plan for six years, since Rob Ford was mayor.

Council approved a three-stop Scarborough subway extension in 2013, opting for that project over a cheaper seven-stop light rail line that at the time would have been fully funded by the provincial government.

The three-stop subway was initially projected to cost about $3 billion, but as costs ballooned council voted in 2016 to scale back the plan to a single stop at the Scarborough Town Centre, and to supplement the subway extension with a 17-stop Eglinton East LRT, which would run from Kennedy to U of T Scarborough.

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The $7 billion SkyTrain Subway Grift Continues

The Broadway SkyTrain subway grift continues with a new band of suckers who will  waste billions more  of taxpayer’s monies on a politically prestigious transit project.

So, Vancouver’s carpet-bagging Mayor (former Burnaby NDP, MP) is continuing the subway grift, where Vision Vancouver was so rudely interrupted by the voters in last falls civic election.

Facts don’t change (except for TransLink that is), the North American standard to build a subway is a transit route with customer flows exceeding 15,000  pphpd, yet customer flows along Broadway are under 4,000 pphpd in the peak hour.

The result is easily predicted.

Operating costs will be an additional $40 million or more annually.

Ridership will be dismal.

U-pass will be in jeopardy.

Taxes in metro Vancouver will skyrocket.

Transit South of the Fraser will be cannibalized to subsidize the City of Vancouver and UBC’s $7 billion subway folly.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, land speculators and land developers will reap fortunes from up-zoned properties along the subway line, selling high-rise condos to the foreign money laundering crowd!

I am so glad that the former NDP MP, now mayor of Vancouver is so on the side of land speculators, land developers and money launders at the same time paying lip service to the homeless and housing affordability.

Subways make affordable housing impossible.

So reassuring!

SkyTrain at grade and the Berlin Wall effect.

New report says SkyTrain is recommended in expansion to UBC

by Marcella Bernardo

Posted Jan 21, 2019 6:09 pm PST

Last Updated Jan 21, 2019 at 6:29 pm PST

Summary

A new report says SkyTrain is the preferred rapid transit service for UBC

The Metro Vancouver mayors’ council will discuss the recommendations

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — When rapid transit is expanded to the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver’s Point Grey district, the preferred option is SkyTrain.

That’s what Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart is saying about recommendations to be reviewed by the Metro Vancouver mayors’ council on Jan. 24.

“Seems to be a lot of enthusiasm among the other mayors for this project, and very excited that’s moving forward. I think everybody’s seeing this as a regional project where, for example, the mayor of Coquitlam’s very excited about getting students to UBC, as well as other mayors around the region,” Stewart says.

Back into the swing of things at City Hall with my first media briefing of the new year. I mentioned my work on SkyTrain to UBC, motions to review the empty homes tax and increase support for Councillors, and upcoming meetings with the Prime Minister & Premier.

— Kennedy Stewart

The report, reviewed in private last week, will be openly discussed at the Metro Vancouver mayors’ council meeting and Stewart is confident other mayors will support these plans, even if they don’t know yet how much it will cost.

“It will vary. At UBC there seems to be some will to be above ground, so that, for example, would reduce costs. We have to approve the technology, then they can do the business case and then we can see what it would cost per kilometre.”

Stewart adds the report recommends planning should fall in line with construction of the Broadway to Arbutus line which is slated for completion in 2025.

“What we’re trying to do is develop a parallel planning process, so we can maximize the efficiency of building that line. That’s why approving the technology from Arbutus to UBC is so important. The senior governments are looking for us to really put in cement what that is going to be.”

More details, including how much this extension might cost, will be discussed at Thursday’s meeting.

Stewart also plans to talk about it with Premier John Horgan Tuesday Jan. 22, and on Monday Jan. 28 with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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A ride on Ottawa’s New Light Rail.

 


Let’s take a ride on Ottawa’s new light rail.

Let\’s take a ride on Ottawa\’s new light rail.

 

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