LRT South of the Fraser

A pleasant surprise in the Delta Optimist, Zwei’s home town paper, a light rail friendly article. Though I hate the term Light Rapid Transit, because I believe it is used deliberately to misinform people.

The comment by Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, the minister of national revenue; “the fund is aimed at projects that have regional as well as national significance, and in many cases would encourage greater involvement of the private sector through P3 partnerships.” is interesting as it could mean the Leewood/RftV TramTrain from Vancouver to Chilliwack could get federal support as it certainly have regional significance and the project could be very P-3 friendly, especially when the Southern Railway of BC will have to be very closely consulted with for the project.

What is important is that LRT is now included in the lexicon of South Fraser politics and politicians and that is a very big leap forward.
“Light rapid transit not just a dreamMunicipal officials see a future that includes light rail

Sandor Gyarmati
Delta Optimist February 14, 2014

Light rapid transit to Delta remains nothing more than wishful thinking, but that doesn’t mean federal money won’t eventually be made available for such a project.

The Conservative government this week tabled its latest federal budget, which contains some specific transportation infrastructure projects, works mainly earmarked for Eastern Canada.

A bigger pot of money for transportation infrastructure was announced a year ago, however that funding requires agreements and further details.

It’s all part of the Economic Action Plan 2013, which pledges major dollars for public transportation infrastructure, including the $53 billion New Building Canada Plan.

That plan would see the building of roads, bridges, subways, commuter rail and other public infrastructure in cooperation with provinces, territories and municipalities over 10 years.

Delta-Richmond East MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, the minister of national revenue, told the Optimist the fund is aimed at projects that have regional as well as national significance, and in many cases would encourage greater involvement of the private sector through P3 partnerships.

Surrey has sought federal funding for light rapid transit, but it’s competing with Vancouver’s bid for a subway along the Broadway corridor. Both projects would cost billions.

Another project that could end up competing for the same dollars is the bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel.

Should ground-level rail transportation come to Surrey, it wouldn’t be a stretch to have a connection into North Delta.

Delta engineering director Stephen Lan said during the North Delta Area Plan process the future of Scott Road was examined.

A cross-section was identified that could provide sufficient width for a rapid transit lane, possibly light rail.

A vocal advocate for light rail south of the Fraser River, Coun. Bruce McDonald believes extending it from Surrey to North Delta makes sense.

As far as bringing light rail into South Delta, McDonald said that’s also feasible. It’s also something that will make even more sense as many more people will live and work south of the Fraser.

“Surrey is talking about running a light rail transit right out the King George Boulevard, so we’re not talking about long distances here. Let’s talk about how we could connect.

“The bottom line is once you get the spine put in place, then you work on getting the ribs,” he said. “South Delta would likely be one of the ribs.”

McDonald said it also makes sense to also have light rapid transit added to the future George Massey Tunnel replacement bridge, where it would stop in Ladner with connections elsewhere.



One Response to “LRT South of the Fraser”
  1. eric chris says:

    Coun. Bruce McDonald made an insightful comment about first building the spine (trunk line) for the tram (LRT) line and then building laterals (tram or LRT) off the trunk line. This is the big design advantage of LRT or tram lines and allows you to replace buses with higher capacity trains to reduce personnel and costs.

    For example, if you have a route with four buses, you just take the four drivers out of the buses each carrying 60 people and put one driver in the tram carrying 240 people, reducing the number of drivers on the route by three. About a 75% reduction in operating costs results. As long as the funding to build the tram or LRT is federal money, the transit authority reduces the cost of operating transit. Granted the line requires maintenance but there still should be a net saving.

    In contrast, sky train (raised in the air or buried below grade) costs at least three times per kilometer to build compared with LRT on the solid ground. Maintenance is simplified at grade for the LRT.

    There are no sky train laterals (too expensive) and there is little to no reduction in the number of bus drivers on the sky train route as 80% of the sky train capacity must be matched by bus capacity in parallel to the sky train route. In addition, sky train requires 10 to 14 “support personnel” per kilometre of service. Ouch.

    If TransLink were a private organization with people who have to be accountable for their mistakes, everyone at TransLink would have been gone 10 years ago. Absolutely. This is the main reason for not funding the clowns at TransLink.

    TransLink is just fleecing taxpayers to pay inept individuals who can’t make smart decisions at TransLink or who make bad decisions on purpose to avoid telling the petty bureaucrats at the provincial government to get lost when they try to force another sky train line on TransLink. We don’t need snakes with no backbone at TransLink. We need people who can do the right thing and risk losing their job if they need to do so. Everyone at TransLink can take a hike.