Long awaited transit study shows ‘dated thinking’

The long awaited $400,000.00 Fraser Valley Transit Study has stale-dated by the September release of the independent Rail for The Valley/Leewood Interurban Report.

Editor: Black Press

The long awaited $400,000.00 Fraser Valley Transit Study has stale-dated by the September release of the independent Rail for The Valley/Leewood Interurban Report. The RftV/Leewood gives actual costs for a 21st century Fraser Valley interurban and the building of an affordable TramTrain in three phases, costing less than $1 billion in total.

The RftV/Leewood Report, showed that a phase 1 Scott Road Station to Chilliwack diesel LRT service could be had for under $500 or just over $5 million per km, much cheaper than new highway construction. Using established rail operations with similar characteristics, the phase 1 diesel LRT could be operated for under $10 million per annum! The provincial study, with no foundation of an actual rail line, was said to cost over $70 million per year to operate!

Really? Why is the cost of operating a rail service so high?

If the author of the study has got it so wrong with the annual operation costs (were they a mere guess?) for a rail service, then what else has he got wrong with the study?

The timing of the release of the study is key. Releasing the study a little over one week before Christmas, means the provincial government wants to hide public comment of this anti-interurban report, while giving a foundation for Liberal Premier wannabees to quote from, rejecting the Fraser Valley Interurban project. It is simple old school politics.

Dated studies, combined with dated thinking and anti-LRT/interurban politicians equals transit paralysis in the Fraser Valley, for decades to come!

Malcolm Johnston

Rail For The Valley/Light Rail Committee