Dix in favour of light-rail transit in the Fraser Valley: group

Dix in favour of light-rail transit in the Fraser Valley: group

BY IAN AUSTIN, THE PROVINCE FEBRUARY 7, 2011

Advocates for light rail in the Fraser Valley can claim an early victory in their quest to get support from leadership candidates for the B.C. NDP and the B.C. Liberals.

Adrian Dix, one of the favourites in the race to become the new leader of the B.C. NDP, has thrown his support behind light rail on the Interurban Line.

A?ai??i??Ai??WeA?ai??i??ai???d like whoever is elected to take into consideration the new studies that show that light rail is a viable component of public transportation in the Fraser Valley,A?ai??i??A? said John Visser of Rail For the Valley, which argues that railcars on the existing rail right-of-way are far more cost-effective than expanding the SkyTrain heavy-rail line.

A?ai??i??Ai??For the cost of two to three kilometres of SkyTrain, we can build light rail for 250,000 people.A?ai??i??A?

Rail For the Valley sent out transit questionnaires to the dozen candidates vying for their partiesA?ai??i??ai??? leadership, and Dix is the first to endorse the light-rail proposal.

A?ai??i??Ai??All responses will be posted on our website (railforthevalley.com)A?ai??i??A? said Visser. A?ai??i??Ai??WeA?ai??i??ai???re looking forward to honest assessments from all the candidates.A?ai??i??A?

Dix is very supportive of the light-rail concept in his response to the five-question survey.

Asked, A?ai??i??E?Do you support moving forward with planning Interurban Light Rail?A?ai??i??ai???, Dix replied:

A?ai??i??Ai??Yes, with the objective of developing light rail to connect Central City to Newton then to Langley, using the existing line. This core service could be supported with expanded fast-bus and bus feeder services.A?ai??i??A?

Residents south of the Fraser River have long lobbied for improved transit services as an alternative to the daily traffic bottlenecks at the Port Mann Bridge.

A?ai??i??Ai??With new political leadership soon coming to this province, it is vital the public, and political party members, know where candidates stand on a crucially needed light rail system,A?ai??i??A? said Rail For the ValleyA?ai??i??ai???s John Buker.

iaustin@theprovince.com

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