TransLink Doesn’t Want Affordable Transit

TransLink, one of the most dishonest and unaccountable bureaucracies in the province, doesn’t want to reinstate the former interurban service. So powerful is TransLink, so totalitarian in operation, the regional mayors, the Minister of Transportation and the the Premier Horgan are deathly afraid of the bureacracy and cower in the shadows.

Such power, so abused!

I laugh when Translink blusters and fumes why it doesn’t want a reinstated modern interurban service, such utter nonsense. According to TransLink, the interurban doesn’t service key destinations?

Doesn’t service key destinations, you say?

Really, Really?

Is downtown Vancouver not a key destination?

Is North Delta/Surrey not a key destination?

Is Newton and Cloverdale not key destinations? Don’t tell the tens of thousands of people who, live there.

Is KPU Tech in Cloverdale not a key destination? Please don’t tell the students?

TransLink does not consider KPU Tech, which is a mere 400 metres from the interurban line a major transit destination.

Is downtown Langley not a key destination? I guess not.

Is Kwantlan Polytechnic University not a key destination?

TransLink does not consider KPU Langley, which is a mere 300 metres from the Interurban Line, a major transit destination.

Is Trinity Western University not a key destination?

Trinity Western University sits right on the interurban route and TransLink doesn't consider it a major destination?

Is the  Gloucester industrial area near 56th Ave. and 272 St. not a key destination?

Is downtown Abbotsford not a key destination?

Is downtown Sardis not a key destination?

Is not Chilliwack a key destination?

What TransLink is really afraid of is optics, because for the same cost of SkyTrain to Fleetwood (aprox. 1.64 billion) the region can build a deluxe, three train an hour service from Vancouver to Chilliwack in each direction, providing a modern 21st century rail service using hydrogen electrical multiple units, (EMU’s) or the highly successful TramTrain.

TransLink would rather build with the dated (so 1970′s) SkyTrain light metro so land speculators and developers can build high rise towers and condos for the provincial money laundering crowd.

This begs the question: “Is TransLink building SkyTrain to benefit the public or criminal casino money launderers.

Over to you premier Horgan.

Service on Interurban rail would be expensive, miss key destinations: TransLink

Those pitching passenger service along the existing track call TransLink’s review ‘seriously flawed’

TransLink has released a report written for Lower Mainland mayors to assist in evaluating the pros and cons of a proposal to reactive passenger rail service along the existing Interurban line from Surrey to Chilliwack.

According to TransLink, activating passenger service on the line has “less attractive travel times between key destinations” due to a less direct route (compared to other alternatives); would not connect to key areas such as Surrey Central and Langley City; and would require “significant capital investments” to meet safety requirements and reliability objectives.

But TransLink’s review is being called “seriously flawed” by those pitching the plan.

A 99-kilometre, 90-minute route with 12 stops is proposed by the South Fraser Community Rail group, which says reactivated service on the existing interurban rail line would serve about 1.2 million residents in the region.

The TransLink report was released as proponents behind the push are holding “Rally for Rail” meetings, touting the use of “emissions-free hydrogen powered trains” along the track.

Behind the push is former B.C. premier Bill Vander Zalm, former Langley Township mayor Rick Green and also Patrick Condon, founder of UBC’s Urban Design program.

The group argues their train proposal would cost an estimated $12.5 million per kilometre, compared to the now-dead Surrey light-rail project’s estimated $157 million per kilometre (a figure provided by TransLink last September.)

TransLink argues it would be expensive, given safety regulations.

“To meet Transport Canada requirements for rail passenger safety, LRT vehicles must either be separated from freight train traffic through scheduling, or physically, by constructing separate tracks,” according to a 2012 TransLink study that evaluated the interurban corridor as a potential route for rapid transit expansion.

The report states that “constructing additional track and stations, acquiring right of way to add the tracks along the existing interurban corridor, and overcoming related construction challenges would be costly.”

TransLink’s most recent report summarizes the findings of the 2010-2012 Surrey Rapid Transit Study, when the transit authority assessed the interurban section between Scott Road and Langley to “explore merits of utilizing the Interurban corridor for fast, frequent, and reliable rapid transit service compared to Fraser Highway or King George Boulevard.”

At the time, TransLink notes, the “Interurban corridor was not selected, nor recommended for further consideration” for the aforementioned reasons and others, including freight volumes along the rail line that are expected to increase as well as potential environmental risks as the corridor travels along the Agricultural Land Reserve and floodplains of the Serpentine River.

The 2012 assessment study also pointed to land use along the corridor being lower density than other routes, and noted that it runs through a significant amount of agricultural lands, “resulting in lower potential ridership catchment near stations.”

“If there was a request to revisit previous assessment that this corridor could not effectively meet the objectives for rapid transit, the above and other challenges would need to be reviewed in the current context to provide an updated assessment of the transportation performance of the line,” the report notes. “TransLink staff have not completed an updated assessment of this idea.”

The new element of the interurban proposal – the potential use of hydrogen fuel cell trains – has not been evaluated by TransLink.

“The concept of using existing rail corridors and infrastructure in the rapidly-growing Lower Mainland is one that TransLink will be exploring through the update to the long-range strategy, Transport 2050,” TransLink’s report to the region’s mayors notes. “Transport 2050 will examine the long-term demand for improved inter-regional connections between the Metro Vancouver region and the Fraser Valley and examine what corridors could viably serve that demand. TransLink staff have met with proponents of the idea twice in lengthy meetings to hear the proposal and have shared with the group that management will be recommending that the Interurban concept be considered through the Transport 2050 process.”

But Green with South Fraser Community Rail called the TransLink evaluation “seriously flawed.”

“We have done a professionally supported critique on the TransLink reports which will be released by Monday next week,” said Green.

“To me and all of our team TransLink are embarrassing themselves with the material they are producing in support of their decisions,” he said. “One thing is sure, we have woken them up to a fight against their irresponsible decisions. The fact is TransLink staff have been receiving a fair number of questions from the region’s mayors about the Interurban because frankly very few of them knew anything about it.”

The Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation has seen the report in a closed meeting, which was subsequently released to the public ahead of their June meeting. The region’s mayors are expected to receive the report as information at their next public meeting on June 27 in New Westminster.

Comments

3 Responses to “TransLink Doesn’t Want Affordable Transit”
  1. WAYNE OLIVER says:

    I used to think Trans-Link and its predecessor were just guilty of rubber tire mentality. Now I think it’s a case of no mentality.
    They should take the time to read the story about the BC Electric Railway and the street cars. They proved that well planned transit and orderly development went hand in hand.
    Is Trans-Link so blind they cannot see this.

  2. Rob Sutherland says:

    A public that believes what it is told and an institution that is deadly fearful of the spell being broken.

  3. Emily says:

    Translink is the developers best friend. Heck with moving around people conveniently…

    I am not sure of the answer here but do you think the problem with Metro Vancouver is to many little Fiefdoms? Like do we really need two Langleys? Two Coquitlams? Two North Vans?

    Where I am 72nd st when it leaves Surrey into Delta it goes from 4 to 2 lanes….Surrey wanted 6 lane Pattullo replacement New West said no.

    Just seems to me too many cities/towns etc to get anything done….. Would a ‘mega city’ with just one mayor and council be better? Places like Calgary, Winnipeg, Edmonton are all one not with many little kingdoms in their metro areas…I dunno…. But things now are really not working for the transit user….

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