Much Ado About Nothing

Today’s photo-op with Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau was nothing more than an attempt to try to boost their flagging political base. Nothing like a re-announcement of a re-announcement to get the rubes all excited.

It is also a subtle message to the SkyTrain Lobby in Surrey and the LRT lobby in Vancouver, that the money is dedicated for these two projects only.

I believe the SkyTrain Lobby’s continued ranting for extending SkyTrain, without any sort of financial plan has compelled federal and provincial politicians to make a start on at least one “rail” project, with, photo-op ready, shovels in the ground for next years round of federal elections.

With civic elections this fall, the makeup of the Mayor’s Council on Transit could change radically, it even could be an anti transit, questioning every decision TransLink makes.

With light rail in Surrey, TransLink will try make a fresh start with 21st century public transport philosophy, sadly though, this outfit couldn’t hold a “piss-up in a beer tent”.

What is apparent is that TransLink and the provincial government are keeping mum on the huge costs associated with upgrading the Innovia Lines (Expo & Millennium/Evergreen Lines) until the next election cycle.

Winds of change and increased taxes are coming soon.

As for former Vancouver Councillor Gordon Price, he is no transit expert, never was, but he is protecting his vision of “hub and spoke” transit, made possible by SkyTrain and SFU.

Trudeau confirms federal funding for Metro Vancouver transit

by NEWS 1130 Staff

Posted Sep 4, 2018

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Speaking in Surrey, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to complete two big transportation projects around the region.

The feds are committing $1.37 billion to build the Broadway subway line in Vancouver and the Surrey-Newton-Guildford light rail project.

Trudeau says having spent some time at UBC, he knows how frustrating it can be to be stuck in traffic.

“The expansion of the Broadway line will add 5.7 km and six stations to the line,” the prime minister said about the new projects in Metro Vancouver. “These will include a stop at UBC’s Point Grey campus, which many students have been asking for for years.”

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says transportation was one of the key election issues four years ago when he was seeking re-election.

“Having it come to fruition before the end of the term at the buzzer is particularly rewarding,” Robertson says, referring to the end of his tenure as mayor of Vancouver.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner is thanking Trudeau and Premier John Horgan for agreeing to a plan.

“We worked on this for a decade and until everybody came to the table and was prepared to have a real conversation with us, and with the Mayor’s Council, it was going nowhere,” Hepner added.

Transportation expert Gord Price with SFU’s Centre for Dialogue says there could be a desire to provide more clarity on the plan to build an LRT line in Surrey.

“It may be that Surrey council in particular wants this nailed down before the municipal election,” says Price. “Because one thing you can always count on is that people will run in opposition to whatever the current proposal is.”

The expansion of the SkyTrain’s Millennium Line and adding light-rail transit in Surrey is part of Metro Vancouver’s 10-year transit plan to move people around the region as the population increase.

Known as “Phase Two,” it cost a total of $2.5 billion, with the rest of costs borne by Lower Mainland municipalities through ride fare and property tax hikes in the future.

The light-rail project in Surrey will feature 11 stops along 10.5 km of rail.

According to TransLink, start of construction of the new projects is planned for either late 2019 or early 2020.

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