Rail For The Valley – Unscientific Poll

Fraser Valley – Rail For The Valley is an organization that continues to be in the news as an advocate for Light Rail transit that would link Surrey through Langley and onto Abbotsford and Chilliwack. In a perfect world, using the old BC Electric line right of way would be perfect. Other critics say that would be too expensive in today’s dollars let along trying to secure the right of way.

They have released an unscientific poll of what they have found when asked about their opinions of transit and how they perceive transit and people moving needs.

FVN asks for your opinions in the comment section below.

TransLink: Almost universally hated by all, with very few defending it. It seems TransLink has alienated itself from almost everyone, which is a sad commentary on the organization.

Politicians: They follow party lines with the Liberals supporting highways and the NDP/Greens supporting transit. There is a general distrust of all politicians.

SkyTrain: All rail transit is called SkyTrain with not people not knowing of mode. Build more is the theme.

The Massey Tunnel replacement bridge: This is a 50/50 split, but with the majority voicing the need for either better transit or more bridges into Vancouver/Burnaby

Tolls: Almost unanimous that should be tolling of bridges and tunnels, but including the major bridges in the City of Vancouver and the Sea to Sky Highway and the Coquihalla Highway, but with a caveat, tolls should not be more than a$1.00 a crossing and surprising, no electronic tolling.

Road pricing: Almost a universal nyet! Unlike tolling, road pricing is seen as a massive tax gab and a tax grab by TransLink is seen as money completely wasted.

Rail transit south of the Fraser: There is general support by all I talked to for this link, many people are unaware that there is an existing rail line and are surprised that it is not being used.

Broadway subway: It is strange that except for a few, the Broadway subway is seen to be a transit “overkill”. Many people think that subways the “gold standard” of transit and unaware of the vast costs involved. The few merchants I talked to were dead set against a subway, probably because of the Canada Line/Cambie St. fiasco.

Traffic: Almost unanimous that traffic is seen as a problem, but what is is great interest, many people I talked to are planning to leave or have already purchased a retirement house outside of metro Vancouver, with traffic being one of the reasons why. Expanding on this, many people who would use transit are leaving Metro Vancouver to live in areas with no transit at all.

New highway construction: Bring it on, as almost everyone I talked to wants new highways.

The Arbutus Corridor: It’s for light rail, silly. The Arbutus, once used for “rail” transit is still seen as a future route for “rail” transit.

Surrey LRT: This is a strange one indeed, those who live in Surrey hate the project and those who live outside Surrey like the project, with a SkyTrain for Vancouver and LRT for Surrey theme.

Bus Rapid Transit: A lot of people like the idea of BRT, but would not take it. BRT is seen as “someone else’s” transit.

Light Rail: Most people perceive that LRT is an inferior mode and are surprised to learn that it has a higher capacity than our SkyTrain and a lot more LRT lines have been built when compared to SkyTrain. I guess forty years of anti-LRT rhetoric by the media, BC Transit, TransLink, and the various political parties has done its work.
To sum up, people want better transit, but do not want to pay more. Many people are voting with their feet, leaving Metro Vancouver. The general dislike of TransLink is a constant theme and if there is to be any improvement to regional transit or to curb any major electoral push-back with TransLink’s planning, Horgan’s NDP must make changes and fast. If not, the public just might perceive TransLink and its next round of projects as another FastFerry fiasco.

1 Comment on "Rail For The Valley – Unscientific Poll"

  1. Colin A. White | November 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Reply

    It astounds me to the narrow mindness of our so-called elected officials and well, Translink what a joke that has turned out to be; they couldn’t tie their shoe laces if they tried. It’s the provincial government which needs to step up to the plate and do what they were elected to do….govern and put into place, what has been needed for the past two decades or so….our province has expanded rapidly , people wise, vehicle wise, its an absolute nightmare to drive anywhere these days. The influx of population from Vancouver and the metro area into the communities of the Fraser Valley has been overwhelming these past few years due to affordable housing we have, so the argument that the population could not sustain a rapid transit system is null and void. The provincial Government are aware of the situation which is getting worse every day, but they do not wish to make it a priority. I have been an advocate that a light rapid transit line could and should be constructed from here (Chilliwack) to Surrey (to join up with the existing Skytrain)…..no land purchase is required …the center of Hwy 1 is all that is required…it can be at grade, with the exceptions of elevated guideway at the major cross over streets along the Hwy 1 corridor. I inquired back in 2012 of what the cost then would be , and it was about 1 million dollars/km so about 70 millions dollars from Chilliwack to Surrey. Now with all the indecisions being made, it probably going up by 100 million dollars a year. It would probably cost 4-5 billion dollars to construct. They are worrying where is the money coming from….well if we don’t have it …borrow it, and if it takes 50-100 years to pay it off so be it, but build the bloody thing…we have gone beyond the point of no return so to speak….more and more cars are clogging our roads, and the need for a transit system up the valley should be the priority of our government.

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