Chilliwack Progress – Light rail delivers more bang for the buck
Light rail delivers more bang for the buck
Published: October 13, 2010 10:00 AM
Updated: October 13, 2010 10:38 AM
So Premier Campbell has promised SkyTrain to Langley, but does anyone believe him?
To refresh everyoneâ€™s memory, SkyTrain is a proprietary, automatic (driverless) railway that is now owned by Bombardier Inc. First marketed in the late 1970s, what we in the Vancouver METRO region call SkyTrain, has gone through at least four official name changes and a complete redesign, yet only seven such transit systems have been built and now relegated to the niche airport people mover market. SkyTrain was even too expensive for the truncated Canada Line subway and a generic metro system was used and is incompatible with the proprietary SkyTrain Advanced Rapid Transit or ART.
Only Vancouver has expanded it SkyTrain ICTS/ALRT/ALM/ART light-metro system and is the only one of four cities in North America having SkyTrain(there is no SkyTrain operation in Europe) to do so.
The answer is simple economics; SkyTrain costs more to build and operate than comparable light rail systems and despite dubious claims by TransLink, SkyTrain has yet to prove that it has a greater capacity than light rail!
The grade crossing argument used by the SkyTrain lobby, is a man of straw argument as rail/road crossings are over ten times safer than a road/road intersections. The proposed TramTrain grade crossings will be protected by lights, bells, and a gate. Compare this to a typical light controlled traffic intersection or the cheaper four way stop intersection; the road/rail intersection is much safer. If car driver disobeys a road/rail crossing protected by lights. bells, and a gate and collides with a TramTrain, should not the car drivers license be revoked?
For the Premierâ€™s proposed $2 billion SkyTrain line to Langley, we can build a â€œfull buildâ€ (Vancouver/Richmond to Rosedale TramTrain) and a new multi track Fraser River Rail Bridge and at least two LRT 10 km. LRT/streetcar lines in Surrey and Langley!
It seems Premier Campbell is waiting at the station for a SkyTrain that will never come.
Light Rail Committee