Light rail advocates take aim at province’s transit plan for Fraser Valley

Light rail advocates take aim at province’s transit plan for Fraser Valley

BY FRANK LUBA, THE PROVINCE JANUARY 11, 2011

A citizensA?ai??i??ai??? group from the Fraser Valley believe the provincial government is off track with its plan to provide public transit in the region with a rapid bus model.

Rail for the Valley recently completed a review of the provinceA?ai??i??ai???s analysis of the situation and came out with some stinging criticism Monday.

A?ai??i??Ai??The many errors in the data and conclusions of this report are simply too numerous to list,A?ai??i??A? said a release from the group, which nonetheless listed a few.

The group drew its criticisms from a pro-bono report provided by light rail builders Leewood Projects of Great Britain.

Leewood concluded a light rail service could be implemented from Chilliwack to the Scott Road SkyTrain station using the 98 kilometres of track that already exists.

While the provincial study looked at heavy rail similar to the West Coast Express, consultant David Cockle of Leewood looked at a less-costly light rail service.

Some double-tracking is required but the Leewood study indicated it wasnA?ai??i??ai???t required for the entire route.

The result was that the province estimated the rough cost of a train for the valley to be $18.6 million per kilometre compared to the Leewood total of $5 million per kilometre A?ai??i??ai??? including vehicles.

An earlier study by the city of Surrey pegged the cost at $6 million per kilometre.

Rail for the ValleyA?ai??i??ai???s release is also skeptical of the provinceA?ai??i??ai???s belief a bus service could attract three times the number of riders that would take a train A?ai??i??ai??? even if they were to run at the same frequency.

Group spokesman John Vissers is passionate about getting rail for the 250,000 people that live from Chilliwack to Langley.

A?ai??i??Ai??Light rail can serve far more people for far less money than any other system thatA?ai??i??ai???s been suggested to date,A?ai??i??A? said Vissers.

A?ai??i??Ai??IA?ai??i??ai???m not frustrated, IA?ai??i??ai???m disappointed that our provincial government didnA?ai??i??ai???t try a little bit hard to find out what are the needs and desires of the Fraser Valley,A?ai??i??A? he said.

VissersA?ai??i??ai??? group is going to try to poll Liberal leadership hopefuls for their opinion on the situation.

The full Leewood study is available on the Internet at www.railforthevalley.com.

fluba@theprovince.com

twitter.com/frankluba

Ai??Ai?? Copyright (c) The Province

via Light rail advocates take aim at province’s transit plan for Fraser Valley.

Category: News Articles · Tags:

Leave A Comment