Surrey asks feds for $1.8 billion for light rail- Maybe It’s Time To Say Adios to TransLink

Well, Toronto’s crack smoking Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford wants Ottawa to fund his multi billion dollar subway dream, I guess Surrey feels the feds should ante up for transit projects out west.

What the likes of UBC professor Larry Franks doesn’t realize or refuses to realize is that Skytrain is obsolete, a yesterday’s transit system for yesterdays era of massive transit mega projects. The BS (and I mean BS) about the Broadway SkyTrain subway is breathtaking, as there is no pent up demand, just very bad management on the part of TransLink in not providing adequate bus service to meet customer demand. Simply, traffic flows on Broadway do not warrant a SkyTrain subway or any subway for that matter.

It also looks like Surrey wants to freeze Translink out of the LRT planning, which would be a wise thing to do as Translink doesn’t want to build with light rail and will do anything and everything to ensure that LRT will not built. TransLink’s CEO, Bob Paddon sounds scared and he should be. Paddon’s and TransLink’s fear is simple to understand, a LRT operation in Surrey will expose TransLink’s rapid transit planning as nothing more than smoke and mirrors, providing hugely expensive transit to cater to routes with less than stellar ridership. When Paddon speaks about a business case for Skytrain, he is talking out of his hat, for only seven SkyTrain type operations have been built since the late 1970′s and only three can be seriously considered as “rapid transit”.

In the real world, there is no business case for SkyTrain, that is why no one builds with it!

ai???If you tell a SkyTrain lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The SkyTrain lie can be maintained only for such time as the province and TransLink can shield the people from the political and economic consequences of the SkyTrain lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the province and TransLink to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the SkyTrain lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the province and TransLink.ai??? A reworked quote from the father of modern propaganda, the notorious Joseph Goebbels.

 

Surrey asks feds for $1.8 billion for light rail

Direct appeal bypasses normal process, could lead to planning chaos; prof says

METRO VANCOUVER — Surrey is skirting the traditional route for regional planning by appealing directly to the federal government for $1.8 billion in funding to build three light rail lines across the city.

The pitch, made under the Building Canada Plan, underscores years of frustration by Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and other regional mayors over TransLink decisions that have pitted municipalities against each other for transit projects.

It also comes at a time when TransLink is financially hamstrung, with no money to expand transit services while facing demands from B.C.ai??i??s largest cities ai??i?? Vancouver and Surrey ai??i?? for expanded rapid transit.

Watts and other mayors also argue a looming referendum on potential transit funding options is doomed to fail, leading to further delays on much-needed transit projects.

Surrey argues its pitch to the Building Canada Fund, which is offering $53 billion over 10 years for infrastructure improvements in Canada, including transportation, is necessary for goods movement because it will get people out of their cars and taking transit, freeing up the roads. If approved, the project would likely be based on cost-sharing between the federal, provincial and local governments.

ai???Weai??i??re coming at this from all fronts. Weai??i??ve had no expansion since Expo (1986) and 70 per cent of the future growth is coming south of the Fraser,ai??? Watts said. ai???Weai??i??ll work with TransLink and work with the province, but at the same time we still have to move the city forward. Keeping the status quo or doing nothing is not an option.ai???

City officials plan to lobby federal transportation minister Lisa Raitt, as well as local MPs, the province and TransLink, which is responsible for transportation planning in Metro Vancouver and receives funds on behalf of municipalities, to press its case for light or at-grade rail.

This isnai??i??t the first time the city has tried to bolster support for light rail. When TransLink said it preferred to extend the rapid transit line with SkyTrain technology, Surrey spent taxpayersai??i?? dollars on a cost feasibility study on at-grade light rail.

Watts argues at-grade rail ai??i?? and not the monolithic concrete SkyTrain ai??i?? is desperately needed to shape the city, which is expected to see its population swell from half a million today to more than 750,000 in the next 30 years. Surrey also contributes $41 million annually to TransLinkai??i??s coffers, yet this money has been spent on projects such as the West Coast Express and the Millennium Line, and not in the city itself.

Coun. Tom Gill says if Surrey does get federal funding, the city may go so far as to challenge legislation in the South Coast Transportation Act to ensure that TransLink honours its plans for light rail stretching from City Centre to Guildford, Langley and White Rock.

ai???Surrey has been ignored, thereai??i??s no question,ai??? said Gill, chairman of the cityai??i??s transportation and finance committees. ai???This council has been very respectful of TransLink and the province but we have short fuses now. The No. 1 issue in Surrey, by far, is transportation. We feel we should be next in terms of priorities.ai???

Given Surreyai??i??s status as the regionai??i??s second-largest city, the move could be a significant blow to TransLink, which is responsible for transportation planning across the region.

Larry Frank, a professor in sustainable transportation at the University of British Columbia, maintains itai??i??s very unusual for a municipality to make a direct application to the federal government. Such a move could lead to an ad hoc and chaotic process, he said, with any available money going to the first municipality to cut a deal and leaving the others with nothing.

The Broadway corridor, he added, has huge pent-up demand and is just as important as Surrey, as are other projects on TransLinkai??i??s priority list.

ai???Thereai??i??s been a lot of waiting for investment in other parts of the region. Surrey is not the only one waiting for transportation funding,ai??? Frank said. ai???Whatai??i??s to keep others from doing that? It further symbolizes the erosion in regional planning process.

ai???Theyai??i??re giving up and saying ai???we just want to do it any way we can.ai??i?? Iai??i??m worried about other projects in the region that are needed. We need a coherent regional planning process and framework and buy-in, so this is just more problematic.ai???

Gill said he agrees that both Vancouver and Surrey are deserving of their transit projects, but the city canai??i??t wait around for TransLink to come up with the money.

ai???From an equality perspective the folks in Vancouver are served much better than the folks in Surrey. The transit opportunities should have some equitable base for both municipalities,ai??? Gill said. ai???We are not getting value for money in terms of our contribution to TransLink and we would like to see that improved drastically.ai???

Both projects are on TransLinkai??i??s priority list along with a new or refurbished Pattullo Bridge, a gondola up Burnaby Mountain to Simon Fraser University and upgrades to the Expo Line.

TransLinkai??i??s Bob Paddon, vice-president of strategic planning, said he hasnai??i??t seen the application from Surrey and itai??i??s not yet known how much of that money would come to B.C. He noted TransLink hasnai??i??t made a decision yet on what technology to use but acknowledged there are compelling cases for both light rail and SkyTrain.

ai???We have not landed on a rapid transit plan for the region,ai??? he said. ai???What I believe this comes down to is Surrey stating its preference and itai??i??s anxious to see rapid transit investment. Itai??i??s always helpful to have municipalities say to the Government of Canada weai??i??d like to see an investment in transportation.

ai???We need to reach a collective decision on whatai??i??s best for the region as a whole and how weai??i??re going to best apply the dollars that are available to us.ai???

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone was unavailable for an interview.

ksinoski@hotmail.com

Comments

3 Responses to “Surrey asks feds for $1.8 billion for light rail- Maybe It’s Time To Say Adios to TransLink”
  1. eric chris says:

    This is great news. Surrey must break free from the TransLink morass. Sky train by TransLink is a dead end and has no future.

    Really, it is easy for Surrey engineers to meet with their counterparts in Metro Vancouver to operate LRT seamlessly with the existing transit in Metro Vancouver. Mayor Dianne Watts of Surrey knows that TransLink is a sham and her engineers know it, too.

    https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/3007.aspx

    TransLink has no engineering expertise and offers no value. TransLink hires consulting engineers to do its sky train designs and to do the real thinking. TransLink is run by inept individuals who are business and arts graduates. They are bored with technical details and spend their days attending meetings and making presentations to stay busy. They do no productive work.

    Surrey is on the right track without these swindlers. Ultimately, Surrey is better off with LRT operated by competent engineers in Surrey. Mayor Dianne Watts of Surrey is doing the right thing for transit and taxpayers, in my opinion.

  2. Haveacow says:

    I personally don’t think they will get a dime but, it certainly will provide the regional PTB’S with something to think about. What has effectively happened is that a local government has taken a regional authority and slapped it in the face and has told it to “wake up, we are not happy with the status quo!” This means either Surrey gets ignored till the municipal government changes and I don’t mean a continuation of the existing situation but something a lot worse or when you guys have your Translink vote, a real change happens (no guarantee it will be a good change either) and you guys live with a new political as well as a new operational transit reality.

  3. Sean says:

    The problem with too many transit companies in Metro Vancouver is that management costs would just increase. Maybe just two companies (one for rail and sea; one for bus) with one CEO each for public transit is enough. Then the job of maintaining roads and bridges should be returned to the BC Ministry of Transportation.