Surrey’s Hobson’s Choice – A Choice Of Taking What is Available (LRT) or Nothing At All.

Surrey has a big transit and transportation problem, and now with the announcement that the current Mayor, Mayor Hepner, will not to run this fall, now leaves the LRT project in doubt.

The cacophony of the SkyTrain Lobby with their half truths, cherry picked data, and intimidating innuendo are demanding a change from light rail to the proprietary Innovia SkyTrain.

With their campaign of deceit and deception one fact remains for Surrey, either build LRT now or wait twenty or more years for a SkyTrain Line; which will be assuredly out of production and will end up building with LRT in the long term!

Surrey faces a classic Hobson’s Choice: Either build LRT now, or get nothing.

Why?

The problem with SkyTrain, is SkyTrain itself. Extending the Expo Line means a $3 billion refit of the Innovia system must take place. This refit or rebuilding is to increase capacity; increase the electrical supply; a host of track and switch replacements: and expand the station platforms on all stations on the entire Innovia network.

This means a $2.5 billion (current budget for LRT) SkyTrain expansion in Surrey could cost $5.5 billion or more and there is no money budgeted for that!

The region can only afford one rapid transit project every decade ans even with a windfall of federal money, a change from LRT to SkyTrain may prove to be too expensive and the project deferred. This will be a bonus for the now $3 billion and increasing Broadway subway as politicians will divert Surrey’s LRT money to complete the politically prestigious subway project – even to UBC.

This will leave Surrey with no money for SkyTrain unless road pricing and congestion charging is in place and that will not happen any time soon.

So Surrey Mayor and Council and the wannabe mayors and Councillors should take heed. You will have a Hobson’s choice with light rail;

Either build with LRT or build with nothing at all.”

 

 

Comments

8 Responses to “Surrey’s Hobson’s Choice – A Choice Of Taking What is Available (LRT) or Nothing At All.”
  1. Haveacow says:

    The LRT is probably too far along in the process to cancel it outright. However it has happened before.

    Currently the Skytrain to Langley can’t happen. The needed studies and designs have not even started to be done. The real issues with the extension of the Skytrain to Langley are in two areas. Potential ridership which is far too low outside of the peak periods. The second main issue is that of not just the capital costs of the line itself but the under investigated capital costs of the huge amount of support infrastructure (row maintenance, rail vehicle maintenance and storage as well as the signals maintenance facilities) that must be built if you are extending a rapid transit line by almost 20 km.

    You also have to figure out how these new extremely far flung stations are going to be maintained. Will that extension force problems on the existing operating budget? This line extension will have higher operations and maintenance costs because the great length and relatively isolated location from the rest of the network, forcing designers to make sure all needed equipment is close and nearby, not 25 km away at an existing maintenance or operations site. This can greatly increase operating and capital budgets.

  2. zweisystem says:

    Note to Vancouver, UBC & Arbutus. You are the same person and you persist to pretend otherwise.

    Your posts from now on will be deleted and sent to spam.

    You want facts so answer this: “Why after being on the market for 40 years, only 7 SkyTrain type systems have been built, under now 5 different marketing names and not one has been allowed to compete directly with light rail?”

  3. Nathan says:

    Most people in Langley and Surrey want the Skytrain to be extended. The politicians ignore the people to build their toy called LRT.

    Zwei replies: If you have done due diligence, you would find that SkyTrain will never be built to Langley.

    Withing the next one or two years, production of SkyTrain will cease and that will be the end of it.

    But the cost to extend to Langley must include the $3 billion retro fit of the Innovia Lines to accommodate higher capacities, including station rebuilding and a new electrical supply.

    Most people, when faced with this question”

    Do you want SkyTrain to Langley and Road pricing?

    Or

    Do you want LRT and no road pricing?

    I think you know the answer.

  4. zweisystem says:

    I am reposting Mr. Cow’s reply.

    Currently the Skytrain to Langley can’t happen. The needed studies and designs have not even started to be done. The real issues with the extension of the Skytrain to Langley are in two areas. Potential ridership which is far too low outside of the peak periods. The second main issue is that of not just the capital costs of the line itself but the under investigated capital costs of the huge amount of support infrastructure (row maintenance, rail vehicle maintenance and storage as well as the signals maintenance facilities) that must be built if you are extending a rapid transit line by almost 20 km.

    You also have to figure out how these new extremely far flung stations are going to be maintained. Will that extension force problems on the existing operating budget? This line extension will have higher operations and maintenance costs because the great length and relatively isolated location from the rest of the network, forcing designers to make sure all needed equipment is close and nearby, not 25 km away at an existing maintenance or operations site. This can greatly increase operating and capital budgets.

  5. tensorflow says:

    While light rail cities like Seattle is on its way expanding its system to included complete grade-separation section or even underground sections like light metro (e.g. Northgate Link), I am happy to see that this website can only keep posting alternative facts without having any possibility to affect the shift of decision towards light metro in the Cascadian region :)

    Zwei replies: 90% of the Seattle “rail” system is grade separated, either on viaduct or in a tunnel and is officially classified as a light metro. As a light metro it has huge costs and soon massive maintenance costs to the subways and viaducts. Seattle’s LRT was designed as a light metro for two reasons, to counter the monorail Lobby’s dubious claims and they were forced to use the downtown subway.

  6. tensorflow says:

    And so far apparently the only thing you could do is block people from commenting because you are afraid of sunshines like the highly successful mostly underground light metro system Seoul and Singapore have :) .

    Zwei replies: Singapore is a massive densified city state and any transit system would be well used. No comparison to Vancouver.

  7. tensorflow says:

    Spam

  8. Nathan says:

    We had 2 forms of road pricing until the NDP eliminated the bridge tolls. All new bridges should have a toll until cost is eliminated.

    There is still a tax on petrol which is road pricing. The total tax on petrol is 33 cents per litre. The average car gets 10KM per litre. That is 3 cents per every KM you drive is going to the government.

    Source: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/taxes/sales-taxes/publications/mft-ct-005-tax-rates-fuels.pdf

    Zwei replies: The Liberal road pricing initiative, by tolling the Port Mann was extremely discriminatory. The real problem is that the region has spent $7 billion more on SkyTrain, than it should have, leaving metro Vancouver with an extremely dated mini-metro that needs billions more to keep it in operation. Building more SkyTrain, just exacerbates the situation.

Leave A Comment