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.