SUFFICIENT FUNDING AVAILABLE
... to pay for building a network of LEGITIMATE* rapid-transit lines in Metro Vancouver's "South of Fraser" sub-region (that would be similar to the network of LEGITIMATE rapid-transit lines in MV's North of Fraser sub-region)
How?? By cancelling Translink's proposed $3 billion dollar, 3.4 miles long "Broadway Subway" mega-project in the city of Vancouver
Instead of building an unconscionably profligate subway (to increase ridership capacities), the frequency of 99 B Line buses that currently service the Broadway/ UBC corridor could be doubled or tripled- at negligible costs
SOF cities' councils candidates should publicly demand that Translink:
A) Schedules 99 B Line buses to travel in pairs, and or in threes during rush hour periods; Or,
B) Implement a 2-year trial of Bus Rapid Transit - creating bus-only-lanes- from Broadway & Commercial westward ALL of the 8.4 miles (13.7 kilometers) to UBC...
Such a BRT system could be up & running in a few short months, for a tiny fraction of the $3 billion costs of Translink's proposed Broadway Subway to Arbutus Street- 5 miles short of UBC!!
Unlike the subway mega-project that it would replace, Broadway BRT would act to ensure that planning for new & expanded rapid-transit rail lines, & for long overdue replacement bridges/tunnels in ALL of Metro Vancouver’s member cities, especially those in the perennially neglected “South of Fraser” area, is done objectively & based on legitimate needs for a change
That is instead of continuing to be being driven by stale political agendas of some civic politicians, more than a small few of which are not running for re-election this year
* Legitimate" rapid-transit rail lines meaning: separated-from-roadway, computer-driven, RAPID; instead of the in-middle-of-roadway, human-driven, SLOW street-car ("LRT") lines that Translink wants to impose on the SOF sub-region...
WHAT ABOUT DELTA's LONG-NEGLECTED RAPID-TRANSIT NEEDS??!!
All planning for & activities related to Translink's proposed South of Fraser street-car ("LRT") lines- especially "Phase 1”, should be immediately halted…
... until the economic development- and rapid-transit needs of Delta's current and future residents and business owners have been considered- and written into these plans...
During the past 3 decades, Metro Vancouver’s “North of Fraser” cities have benefited immensely- in terms of economic development- from having a network of 5 LEGITIMATE rapid-transit lines (Expo, Millennium, Evergreen & Canada Lines, AND the West Coast Express heavy rail line) in the NOF area… enabling several- such as Burnaby, to build up huge ($1 billion+) reserve funds, while several of the booming in populations, long neglected South of Fraser cities have gone into debt
MV's South of Fraser cities should not be denied the same opportunities as MV’s North Of Fraser cities to economically develop themselves- by establishing Densification & Economic Development Hubs linked by a network of LEGITIMATE rapid-transit lines
“(Burnaby’s )... high-rise developments are being concentrated in four town centres linked by RAPID transit: Metrotown, Brentwood, Edmonds, and Lougheed.
“’Part of our responsibility to the region is to allow more places for people to live,”... “So... we have designated (Town Centres) for high density: density around (rapid) transit, housing around transit.’”
Extraordinarily, Translink’s proposed South of Fraser commuter rail lines- do not include any along or adjacent to the ripe-for-development commercial thoroughfare of 120th Street (aka Scott Road) that separates north east Delta from north west Surrey...
Currently, Translink’s proposed street-car (“LRT”) lines consist of:
A puny seven-mile-long line- entirely in Surrey (mostly along King George Boulevard & 104th Avenue);
A 12-mile-long line from Surrey City Centre to/ from the 2 Langleys
Phase 1 should be amended & expanded to include:
->>> A legitimate*** rapid transit line running directly west from Scott Road Station (in north west Surrey) along 120th Street (aka “Scott Road”) & then south along 120th Street (up the hill) past the areas where Delta’s current high-rise developments (and many others) are proposed and underway.... all the way to 64th Avenue, then east along 64th to King George Boulevard, and then north along KG Boulevard to King George Station ... at Surrey City Centre....
*** IE: NOT using 19th century human-driven, in-middle-of-roadway STREET CAR (“LRT”) technology, and instead using: automated (computer-driven), separated from roadway, SkyTrain-like technologies...
Technologies that are chosen for use by South of Fraser cities (not just Surrey's!!) commuter rail lines should result in SOF cities receiving commuter rail lines that are as good as, or better than, the city of Vancouver's and "North of Fraser" cities' 5 LEGITIMATE rapid-transit lines (Expo Line, Millennium Line, Evergreen Line, and Canada Line... AND the “West Coast Express” heavy rail line...
SOUTH OF FRASER CITIES' COHESION, COLLABORATION NEEDED:
The decades-long void of cohesion and collaboration among South of Fraser cities- at Metro Vancouver and Translink/ Mayors' Council- and when SOF cities lobby the BC and federal governments for grant funding- is the root cause of most of the SOF sub-region's current problems ...
At the minimum, Delta, Surrey, the 2 Langleys and White Rock should establish a formal collaborative structure- such as a
"SOUTH OF FRASER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION/ Task force"... with a terms of reference that would include:
- Establishing Densification & Economic Development Hubs (town centres) in the SOF sub-region;
- Public transportation and, in particular:
- Technologies to be used by, & Routes for to-be-built Rapid-transit lines;
- Bridges/ tunnels into the SOF sub-region (expediting replacement of the decaying Massey Tunnel);
- Ensuring tolls are not instituted or re-introduced on bridges/ tunnels into the SOF sub-region;
- Ensuring that there are adequate numbers of public K-12 schools;
- Gun/ illicit drugs crime issues;
If Surrey does not lead an initiative to form a "South of Fraser Economic Development Commission/ Task force".... no other SOF cities will...
All of Metro Vancouver’s residents & business owners need Surrey to, for a change, exhibit leadership during the coming 4-year council term…
If this was done, then reprehensibly neglected issues, such as expediting replacement of the decaying Massey Tunnel with an ambitiously* designed bridge/ tunnel should be top of the priorities’ list…
* IE: built for the future- with adequate vehicle, and (potential) rapid-transit capacity for the next 40 to 50 years (10 lanes??)
Another priority for a city of Surrey that has taken on a regional leadership role should be
- A South Surrey-to-Richmond Rapid Transit feasibility study...
For over 2-decades, such a study has been needed to establish:
a) The best/ most appropriate technologies for a rapid-transit commuter rail line from South Surrey (the South Surrey Park and Ride), paralleling highway 99 to the Richmond (Bridgeport Station?)
Rapid-transit line study could be in two parts:
Part 1- from the South Surrey Park and Ride to the Town and Country hotel complex (half a mile East of the MT's east entrance, and
Part 2- from the Town and Country hotel complex to one of Richmond's Canada Line rapid-transit stations, such as Bridgeport Station..
b) The likely costs of building a rapid transit commuter rail line from the South Surrey Park and Ride to Richmond;
Without bold, vocal “regional leadership” from Surrey (and its elected civic officials), South of Fraser cities’ long list of decades old and worsening problems, and SOF cities’ entirely justified grievances about decades of BC govt, federal govt, Metro Vancouver and Translink favoritism towards MV’s “North of Fraser” cities… can only be expected to worsen...