Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Valley light rail is worth a look

with 3 comments

The Province today has a surisingly positive approach to the re-opening of the old BCER Interurban line.

They tie it to

Last Monday, however, visiting rail expert Brent Graham from Melbourne, Australia, advised Langley Township councillors to go for light rail in a big way.

“Visiting rail experts” are always worth listening to. The fact that resident rail experts have been syaing this for years counts for nothing.

And of course the real problem is that Kevin Falcon “knows” it won’t work – and has all kinds of reasons why it will therefore not even be tried. The fact that he has tied hos political future to widening the freeway is merely coincidence.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 11, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Posted in Railway, transit

Tagged with

3 Responses

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  1. Back in the 90’s, BC Transit was in a partnership with bombardier to sell SkyTrain abroad and today, there are several rumours that there are secret agreements between TransLink and Bombardier regarding SkyTrain.

    Even though the RAV/Canada Line is not SkyTrain, but a ROTEM product, there is a persistent rumour that an indemnity was paid or a guarantee was promised that TransLink will only build with SkyTrain in the future.

    American transit specialist, Gerald Fox has shredded the so-called Evergreen Line business case, in a letter to a Victoria transit lobby group.

    Really, when the rest of the world is mostly building with LRT, we continue to build SkyTrain light-metro, on transit routes that do not have the ridership to support it. The result: Ever increasing transit costs and subsidies and now the possible bankruptcy of TransLink itself in a very short time.

    Malcolm J.

    August 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm

  2. Do we think that Mr. Campbell will see this story? Or should I take a few moments and forward it to him just to be sure?

    I find it odd that Campbell seems so obsessed with comparing BC (Vancouver) to other cities in the world, (The Best Place on Earth) yet constantly ignores one of the major things that makes those cities great, namely light rail systems. (a la most of Europe & Japan, Portland, Melbourne)

    You’d think given the success of light rail in the above named cities that he’d be chomping at the bit to emulate (and beat) them, rather than tying himself in to an already failed transportation model left over from the 20th century.


    August 11, 2008 at 3:45 pm

  3. The problem is that politicians and many bureaucrats love, what the Germans call, gadgetbahnen or glitzy, showcase transit systems that rarely deliver what was originally promised.

    SkyTrain was suppose to carry over 20,000 pphpd, in the rush hours by the year 2000; it was supposed to be cheaper to operate because it was driverless; it was supposed to cost the same as LRT, sad fact is, it hasn’t.

    But Campbell, Clark, Harcourt, Bennett were all enamoured with the proprietary metro system and academics created a whole SkyTrain curriculum. Today, that is what we plan for, SkyTrain or LRT SkyTrain clones (Evergreen Line) and ever so slowly are the people waking up to the fact that we have been duped by a charade of transit planning by senior transpiration planners, who desperately wanted to please their political masters. Those who did not agree or protested too loudly became collateral damage.

    Malcolm J.

    August 11, 2008 at 10:20 pm

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