No city is copying transit model TransLink is selling

Editor:

Re: Interurban passenger rail not a solution, says TransLink, July 2

One is very disappointed with TransLink's ossified planning process, only planning for a very dated light metro (a.k.a SkyTrain). This means the taxpayer being held hostage to very expensive transportation planning that in the end will achieve very little.

Five reasons why TransLink's obsession with light metro will adversely affect transportation planning in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley:

1. TransLink keeps to limited and narrowly defined rail corridors and continually offers nothing but a hugely expensive light-metro that travels the dead centre of the corridor, then that’s all the public ever gets and anything else always loses when comparing against it.

2. TransLink, keeping the same approach to planning, new ideas will never happen and regional rail planning will carry on being dated and very expensive.

3. TransLink's focus in design and planning needs to change. Issues such as operating cost versus service scale; the geographic scale of the service area; and passenger catchment areas are just a few of the many issues that the endless horizontal expansion of light metro, which in the end, fails to be good value for money spent.

4. A simple, well designed rail system, starting with a more limited capacity and operations and being more adaptable and cost effective can be affordably upgraded to meet increasing customer demand, when needed. This is where light metro as a technology isn’t anywhere as adaptable or cost effective compared to the planned operating technology for the Interurban Line, given the large area it will operate in.

5. TransLink doesn’t seem to understand that unless new ways of planning and the implementation processes, new solutions never happen, condemning the taxpayer to massive future costs as TransLink continues to do the same thing over and over again, ever hoping for different results.

TransLink's six-figure-salaried bureaucrats seem afraid of the interurban project and one wonders why. Why are they so loath to provide affordable transit options?

In an era of unprecedented investment in public transit, where success is eagerly copied, no city has copied the "Vancouver model" of building "rapid transit" and its exclusive use of light metro and the Mayors’ Council on Transit must demand an answer why.

Malcolm Johnston/Rail for the Valley

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