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Province Delays Transit on Port Mann Bridge by Six Years

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This is the story as it appears in the main stream media

Note that one line towards the end about “criticism from environmentalists and public transit advocates”

Here is what we are actually saying

The $180 Million Disguise- Province Delays Transit on Port Mann Bridge by Six Years

October 5, 2007

For Immediate Release


The Livable Region Coalition’s reaction to today’s announcement by the Premier is one of disappointment. The need for better transit in Metro Vancouver is immediate and severe. The Premier’s announcement would have commuters waiting at least 6 years before they will have transportation choices. The LRC has published a report on its webpage which shows how a rapid bus directly from Surrey to Coquitlam could be achieved quickly and make better use of our existing infrastructure.

“So much of our existing transportation infrastructure is already going to waste yet the province is determined to produce more,” said David Fields, campaigner with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation. “We don’t need an additional bridge to enable rapid bus service, we can do it now. And SkyTrain is only running at 1/3 capacity in Surrey, by simply putting more passenger cars on the line we could increase carrying capacity equivalent to building a new 10 lane freeway.”

“In spite of Kevin Falcon’s loud assertion to the contrary, efficient bus service can be provided on existing Port Mann Bridge. Building queue jumper lanes that bypass the congested westbound approaches will allow buses to quickly access the bridge deck where traffic usually flows smoothly.” said Eric Doherty, MA Candidate in Transportation Planning at UBC “Minister Falcon is forcing people to wait for transit over the Port Mann Bridge when such queue jumper lanes already provide good transit service on crossings such as the Massey Tunnel. TransLink planned to have such bypass lanes built by this year, until Falcon pressured them to wait for a new freeway bridge. Even the Ministry of Transportation’s consultants assume that a bypass lane would be effective, and economical to build.”

“We have heard loud and clear from frustrated commuters that they better transit now. With the political will to put transit first, buses could be running across the Port Mann Bridge from Surrey to Coquitlam by September 2008,” said Richard Campbell, sustainable transportation advocate.

“Cities that are serious about greenhouse gas reductions make real commitments ” said Stephen Rees, an independent transport economist. “British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced £16bn ($32bn) for Crossrail – a massive transit project for London. Obviously, Gordon Campbell’s $150 million is far too little, far too late. South of the Fraser needs to see significant improvements to transit service to help reduce car dependence. The promise of a bus in six or eight years will do nothing. It is, in any event, a “pie crust” promise – easy to make, easy to break. And Gordon Campbell is not noted for keeping his promises.”

“The Premier has committed to making BC a world leader in public transit. Present world leaders have made transit the priority- giving existing roadspace over to transit and providing service that makes transit the easiest option,”said David Fields. “If we achieve the Premier’s goal of 25% transit ridership by 2020 we will not need to twin the Port Mann Bridge.”

Port Mann Bridge transit bypass lane resource

Written by Stephen Rees

October 5, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Posted in transit

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