A letter about light rail, the Vancouver Sun refuses to print.

It is strange that the pro-SkyTrain Vancouver Sun printed an article about the proposed Victoria LRT project, unless the Sun wanted to cool the anti-Evergreen Line, pro-LRT stance taken by many regional mayors, especially mayor Watts of Surrey. The gist of the Victoria story…..


…. is that LRT is also very expensive and that Victoria's regional taxpayers will have to pay up to three times more in taxes to pay for the new LRT.

What is strange, is that the cost per km. to build the Victoria LRT, almost $60 million/km. is almost exactly the same of TransLink's almost $60 million/km.to build a Broadway LRT!

I find it ludicrous that when modern LRT is being built around the world, from between $20 million/km, to $35 million/km. for more deluxe lines, that the cost for LRT is so much higher in BC.

What the Vancouver Sun and Mr. Craig McInnes should be investigating is why BC Transit's and TransLink's costs are two to three times higher than new LRT lines in Europe and the USA!

The following letter was copied to (name withheld on request) Zwei, further questioning the high cost for LRT in Victoria.

Laying prefabricated track for light rail, greatly reduces the cost of building new lines.

The Editor;

One welcomes the news that Victoria is planning for light rail to ease the regions chronic congestion, but the bad news is that LRT planning in BC is dated and heavily over-engineered, taking the "light" out of light rail.

The problem is simple, local consultants treat LRT as a poor-man's SkyTrain and design it as such, taking away LRT's inherent advantages over the SkyTrain mini-metro system. Today the cost for LRT ranges as low as $5 million/km for the LRT variant TramTrain (LRT which can track-share with regular railways); $15 million/km. for streetcar; and $25 mil/km. for LRT. The cost of almost $60 million/km. for the Victoria LRT is much to high and one wonders if real experts were involved with the LRT planning, the cost of Victoria's LRT would be a fraction of the consultant's cost.

The Rail for the Valley group engaged Leewood Projects of the UK, who have expertise planning for modern LRT, to plan for an affordable LRT option for the old Fraser Valley interurban Line. The cheapest option from Scott Rd. to Chillwack cost $5.02 million/km. and deluxe 'full build' 138 km. option, Vancouver/Richmond to Rosedale cost just under $1 billion or about $7.2 mil/km.!

What is presently being planned for in Victoria is far too expensive and it's time that real experts be brought in to plan for affordable light rail in Victoria.

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