South Fraser destined to split from TransLink

Editor:

Mayor Walton just doesn’t get why South Fraser municipalities want to split from TransLink. It’s too bad because South Fraser municipalities will eventually split from TransLink.

The reason is simple, TransLink is fixated on light metro, in the guise of SkyTrain or the Canada Line and North Fraser cities that have SkyTrain, need South Fraser taxpayers to pay for it. The Vancouver region is unique; it exclusively operates light metro, yet it costs up to 10 times or more to plan and build than its chief competitor, light rail, and costs 30% or 40% more to operate than LRT. It is no wonder that TransLink has financial problems.

The following clearly demonstrates the huge costs associated with SkyTrain, compared to LRT. The proposed 11 km. Evergreen SkyTrain Line is said to cost over $1.4 billion and will further increase the SkyTrain operating costs past $90 million annually.

The Rail for the Valley group from the South Fraser region commissioned Leewood projects to study the reinstatement of the valley interurban. A “full build” 138 km RftV/Leewood TramTrain servicing Vancouver and Richmond to Rosedale, past Chilliwack, would cost just under $1 billion! It becomes easier to see why South Fraser taxpayers are tired of paying for other peoples transit and would want transit money spent where they live. with light rail, they will get ‘rail’ transit in their lifetime.

If TransLink splits, then the gas tax monies from the federal government would be split too and that would mean huge property tax increases for residents living in the TransLink/SkyTrain region, to pay for their gold-plated light metro.

Of course Translink’s $160,000 a year, plus, spin doctor, Ken Hardie will counter with TransLink-speak, but then one must ask, why is taxpayer’s money being spent on a spin doctor at all?

Maybe a regional split in transportation authorities will mean a more fiscally responsible TransLink and that would benefit everyone.

Malcolm Johnston, Delta

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