Transit, Past The Point Of No Return

The mayors council has now voted to proceed with SkyTrain.

“What fools we mortals be”, quoting the great bard.

What the Mayor’s Council on transit did vote for is a mediocre SkyTrain extension, that really goes nowhere , demanded by the ravings the aged mayor of Surrey.

What has happened is that SkyTrain may be operating as far as Fleetwood by 2026 or 2027, but as the population skyrockets in the Fraser Valley, gridlock, endemic congestion and auto deaths will increase dramatically.

By the time the equally foolish Broadway subway is finished, transit in Metro Vancouver will be pushed past the point of no return of useful transit planning and expansion. There will be no financial ability to continue with rapid transit construction and the region will never be able to provide the transit to meet the ever growing demand.

Metro Vancouver is doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for different results, which also is the definition of madness.

The grossly ill informed Metro Vancouver mayors have now set the stage for a truly massive transit and transportation fiasco and they have but none themselves to blame.

Mayors’ Council votes in favour of SkyTrain extension in Surrey

by Estefania Duran, Martin MacMahon and Marcella Bernardo

Posted Dec 13, 2018

Local mayors have approved planning work for a SkyTrain Surrey extension

But if you live in Langley you might be out of luck, the extension will only go as far as Fleetwood or Clayton Heights

Other mayors also pushed successfully for Surrey to pay compensation for sunk costs associated the cancellation of LRT

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) – TransLink’s Mayors’ Council has voted to proceed with the planning and development for the SkyTrain extension in Surrey along the Fraser Highway.

Politicians met at TransLink’s headquarters in New Westminster on Thursday to discuss the project.

TransLink has said that the $1.6-billion originally budgeted for Light Rail Train (LRT) may not be enough to cover the SkyTrain expansion.

RELATED: TransLink Mayors’ Council votes to suspend Surrey LRT project

So while Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum on a line running from his community to Langley, the line, if eventually completed, would only go as far as Fleetwood or Clayton Heights.

“It can definitely develop a SkyTrain project among the Fraser Highway but it does not look likely that that funding will be enough to get you all the way to Langley,” council chair and New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote said.

So here’s how we get to a Fraser Highway SkyTrain by 2025:

— Martin MacMahon (@martinmacmahon) December 13, 2018

Other mayors also pushed successfully for Surrey to pay compensation for sunk costs associated with the cancellation of LRT.

No dollar figure was set for that, but Macallan hinted it could involve Surrey giving TransLink land for the new line.

“Want to make clear that the work we’re going to be doing over the next year is really examining all the options we have to move this line as far as possible and being able to have the greatest benefit for public transit,” Cote added. “But I think, for us, we do want to put out the reservation thought that we don’t believe the funding at this point is going to get us all the way to the City of Langley.”

This amendment has passed unanimously, includes requirement that Surrey pay compensation. Full vote coming soon/

— Martin MacMahon (@martinmacmahon) December 13, 2018

McCallum told council that Surrey residents supported SkyTrain over LRT in “overwhelming” numbers, noting the election was a “referendum.”

TransLink staff said public consultation about the expansion will be done. Mayors are hoping the project will be operational by 2025.

RELATED: Light rail advocate believes LRT plan was destined to fail

Mayors’ Council voted to suspend the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project, including all spending back in November.

TransLink has already spent $50 million on planning for light rail, and the city has spent $20 million in pre-construction work.

‘Quite disappointing’

Meanwhile, Colleen Clark, executive director of the Greater Langley Chamber added they are holding out hope that the federal and provincial governments will reconsider boosting their share of funding so the expansion can be extended to Langley.

“And now that it’s going to not be happening in this next phase, is quite disappointing,” she said. “Surrey and Langley are the largest growing communities in the Lower Mainland, the fastest growing communities population-wise, and we really need to try to get as much transit out here as we possibly can.”

She said Thursday’s decision doesn’t just hurt local business leaders, who’ve spent several years lobbying for transit services to be extended, but people who already have difficulty getting around.

“If somebody gives you tickets to a Canucks game, basically from here, you have to drive either all the way into Surrey and park and go down SkyTrain or you have to drive all the way in,” Clark added. “It would be great to have somewhere to park in Langley to jump on the SkyTrain and get that car off the road, so people can’t get where they need to go without a car.”


7 Responses to “Transit, Past The Point Of No Return”
  1. Haveacow says:

    I told you folks, maybe it will get to Langley sometime after 2031! The price will go up for the total right of way traveling all the way to Langley! I predict the second section (stage 2) from Fleetwood to Langley will cost $1.5- $1.75 Billion, when construction is set to begin in 2025-2027. Now will you Skytrain fans listen to me! Enjoy your tax increase to pay the LRT clean up costs. You still will need a new Maintenance and Storage Facility to make stage 2 work. If the first stage is short enough, you can probably get by without needing a new Maintenance and Storage Facility.

  2. Causa Causans says:

    No surprise for us, as we have found your TransLink extremely unprofessional.

    Out of courtesy, we will not defame your politicians, but really, have they never entertained the notion to have a second opinion from an unbiased source. No transit plan would be approved in such a way.

    We have been told that Bombardier may want to wash their hands of your SkyTrain, as they are facing legal problems in Korea and Malaysia. It seems where SkyTrain has been built, trouble follows. SNC is considered radio active on this side of the pond.

    The late Carl Segan has a wonderful quote that described the situation, “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken.

    Your mayors have rejected quality planning, in favour of a tired metro system no one else wants, based on the fact that it is faster.

    We feel your pain.

  3. steve says:

    The proposed LRT would of served more people than this line to Langley. Newton-South Surrey-Guildford areas have the most people. Even if built to Langley it will still be much faster to keep driving to Langley from Newton..

    Seriously, Are politicians getting kick backs from Bombardier or condo developers? It seems those two are the main beneficiaries of ‘SkyTrain’…It makes no sense at all otherwise since they refuse to entertain anything but SkyTrain that only two cities use for mass transit (plus one for an airport mover) and did not Kuala Lumpur think they were getting a monorail??

    I do not understand what is going on with such poor planning time and time again..

    Zwei replies: I am of the same frame of mind about our politicians and Translink.

    You are correct about Kuala Lumpor and in fact their very next R/T line was a monorail!

  4. tensorflow says:

    A great victory for us, nice work mayor McCallum.

  5. Causa Causans says:

    I must respond, a great victory for who?

    Not customer

    Not taxpayer

    Not for regional government

    What has happened that a spoiled child of politician, with no facts at all has stopped what was a questionable project and forced a disaster project instead.

    We have certainly take note of the lack of fact with your transit planning and now it has entered into the realm of, in English it translates into stupid planning but it means much more.

    Vancouver has been synonymous with questionable transportation planning now with this, it has past it.

    We have quaint monorail here in Germany, first all electric railway in the world, far advanced for its time, yet only one was built, it is called the Wuppertal Schebebahn.

    Your SkyTrain is also now a curiosity and a very expensive one.

  6. Haveacow says:

    Victory for whom,Tensorflow, a line to nowhere in Surrey (not even the busiest part Surrey) opened by 2025 or 2026 and an extension to Langley that isn’t funded yet, which probably won’t open until sometime after 2031. In the meantime, no B-Line Bus for Langley for many years and you still don’t even have a business case for this dumb Skytrain Line yet. Both the Fed’s and the Province turned down your requests for more funding. You still have to wait till sometime after 2020 to see if the extension to Langley even gets funded. I say your line will loose to the next stage of the Broadway Extension to UBC, when it comes to funding. The senior levels of government are not going to fund both an extension to Langley which will be $1.4-$1.6 Billion by 2021-2022 and a extension to UBC of the Broadway line, which will be around $3.6-$4.2 Billion. One line will have to wait.

  7. Haveacow says:

    Well it’s official, Bombardier has folded the Innovia Metro line into the existing Movia Metro Line of vehicles. They like it so much, your Skytrain isn’t even identified as a separate product anymore. It been buried into the larger, better selling Movia line. All this means every bit of technology on the Skytrain is now a design option and not connected permanently to the product. As far as Bombardier is conncerned, the Skytrain has now become indistinguishable from its other Metro and Light Metro products!

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