Surface LRT will “corrupt” rail system

In a letter to the Langley Advance, a spokesman for “SkyTrain for Surrey” says adding surface light rail to the Vancouver area rail transit system will “corrupt” the efficiency and cost recovery of the existing rapid transit system:

This is the link to the letter that, Daryl Dela Cruz ofAi??SkyTrain for Surrey objects to:

Isn’t it about time TransLink admitted it has backed the wrong horse?

In 1986 when the first section of track was opened on Terminal (how fitting) Avenue for Expo 86, experts predicted a day would come that the SkyTrain system would never pay for itself.

Twenty-six years later TransLink is still trying to break even.

The quandary TransLink is in is obvious: raise fares to the amount necessary to recoup operating and capital costs through “user-pay,” and ridership will drop off dramatically and may, in fact, generate even less revenue.

This means the business/financial model used to justify adoption of the SkyTrain system was faulty out of the gate. Someone did a snow job on the people of Vancouver.

TransLink realizes it, and that is why it is trying every trick in the book to suck money out of Lower Mainland residents to try to make SkyTrain pay.

The truth is, it will never pay for itself. TransLink has admitted as much in its statement that, just to keep the system operating, never mind the Evergreen line costs, it needs to raise another $30 million.

It’s time to do what other cities in the world have done: abandon SkyTrain and move to surface transportation.

The Fraser Valley has a viable rail system for commuter traffic, not only to Vancouver but to other communities in the valley and all the way to the coast.

Super buses can be a part of the new transportation system, electrifying as much as possible and moving away from gas and diesel engines.

Decentralizing transfer points (they don’t have to feed SkyTrain anymore) so they spread the traffic, rather than concentrate it, will lead to increased ridership and decreased pollution.

Then TransLink can stop squeezing blood out of the stones that are already crumbling under the strain of added levies and taxes.

It’s time for someone at TransLink to have the stones to stand up and admit SkyTrain is a loser.


One Response to “Surface LRT will “corrupt” rail system”
  1. I. K. Brunel says:

    The disingenuousness of the letter writer is clearly evident. Does this man who wrote the initial letter have no understanding of the cost of building and operating subways and metro?

    If the SkyTrain metro system is such a money maker, then why is TransLink always in the need of money?

    If Vancouver and its transit system is ever mentioned in my company I always say, ” A nice place to visit, but rent a car to get around.”