Buses may patch Fraser Valley transit gap, but will they fix it? – Cayo

Buses may patch Fraser Valley transit gap, but will they fix it?

By DON CAYO 21 DEC 2010

Filed under: transit, TransLink

More buses A?ai??i??ai??? a lot more A?ai??i??ai??? are the best bet for commuters in the fast-growing Fraser Valley, according to to a joint report from the Fraser Valley Regional District, TransLink, the Ministry of Transportation, and BC Transit

Sorry, but colour me skeptical.

A story by my Vancouver Sun colleague Tiffany Crawford (accessible here) underlines a few numbers of interest.

A?ai??i??ai??? The population of the region is expected to grow 70 per cent over the next 25 years.

A?ai??i??ai??? Just one per cent of the trips in the region today are undertaken are by transit.

A?ai??i??ai??? In Vancouver, with its much better bus network as well as SkyTrain and SeaBus, 11 per cent of trips are by transit.

A?ai??i??ai??? The increase in bus service hours envisaged by the report is roughly five-fold.

So do the math. Even if a five-fold increase in bus service is able to yield an 11-fold increase in the number of trips taken by transit, I canA?ai??i??ai???t see how this could compensate for the projected population growth. Or the inevitable increase in traffic. Because if the number of trips grows to 1.7 times greater than todayA?ai??i??ai???s volume, this will still create 1.5 times more non-transit traffic than weA?ai??i??ai???re seeing today.

Crawford notes that the report didnA?ai??i??ai???t rule out an eventual expansion of the rail network, and even suggested preserving rail corridors.

And she quotes it as saying, “Although an inter-regional railway service between the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver may be part of a long-term future, a strong foundation of local, regional and inter-regional services … is an essential starting point.”

Given the amount of both money and lead time involved in providing rail, this may well be true. But it seems to me the time to start crafting a long-term solution A?ai??i??ai??? what I would call an essential ending point A?ai??i??ai??? is now, and this report merely postpones a serious attempt to grapple with it.

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via Buses may patch Fraser Valley transit gap, but will they fix it? – Cayo.

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