BCLocalNews.com – TramTrain a better investment

TramTrain a better investment

Published: October 18, 2010 4:00 PM

Updated: October 18, 2010 4:10 PM

Re: If they build it , will we ride? (Chilliwack Progress, Oct. 15). Mr. Blacklock raises some interesting points about the proposed Rail for the Valley TramTrain.

The scope of the study was technical, to see the feasibility of reinstating the previous interurban operation with modern TramTrain and the result was, the reinstating a TramTrain service was an affordable option.

Let us compare the Canada Line with the RftV basic Diesel LRT (TramTrain) option.

The Canada Line cost over $2.5 billion to date and has 90,000 boardings daily, which translates roughly to 40,000 to 45,000 actual people taking the new metro – but 35,000 or more were previous bus users now forced to transfer onto the Canada Line. Actual new ridership on the metro is less than 10,000 people.

The Rail for the Valley/Leewood Report cost for a basic Diesel/hybrid option, Scott Road to Chilliwack at $500 million or one fifth the cost of the Canada Line metro. If TransLink thinks that under 10,000 new passengers on a $2.5 billion metro is successful, as recently reported in local papers, then logic dictates that a TramTrain operation costing $500 million or one fifth the cost of the Canada Line would need under new 2,000 passengers a day to be deemed equally as successful!

All passengers on the TramTrain would be new!

As the RftV TramTrain would service several city centres and universities and colleges along its route, initial ridership is anticipated to be triple or quadruple, the 2,000 new passengers a day figure.

As for bus rapid transit or BRT, the question is, where has it worked? To be truly rapid, BRT must have expensive exclusive rights-of-ways to operate, thus driving up the costs considerably.

Ottawa is a good example. After building BRT instead of LRT in the mid-80’s, which cost more than originally planned for light rail, ridership on the BRT and regular bus lines fell 15.7% from 1986 to 1999!

Today, Ottawa operate a TramTrain line and instead of investing in further BRT, the city is now building with modern light rail!

Malcolm Johnston

Light Rail Committee

Rail for the Valley

via BCLocalNews.com – TramTrain a better investment.

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