South of Fraser Mayors want for Light Rail Transit in Surrey, and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure is listening. LRT technology is a better fit for the lower density region consisting of Surrey and Langley many believe.
TransLink is doing a comprehensive study of transit options in Surrey called the Surrey Rapid Transit Study. Phase 1 has been completed and phase 2 is underway with public meetings scheduled for early 2012.
As reported in the last Western Newsletter of Transport Action, Surrey has put together a vision of LRT on its website.
Surrey’s video on YouTube:
CBC Story – Mayors push for new transit line for Surrey and Langley (Mobile version)
An example of a low floor light rail vehicle in Portland, OR
BC Transit is embarking on a number of transit studies for communities outside of Vancouver, such as Victoria, Abbotsford and Fraser Valley communities, Kelowna, and Kamloops. Transit Future as BC Transit calls it, asks for public input for these different regions.
More specifically, on the Abbotsford & Mission service area of BC Transit, the City of Abbotsford, and the City of Mission have embarked on a 25 year transit strategy. This strategy is based on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Fraser Valley Transit Study released in December 2010.
Many of the initiatives involved in this report such as creating a transit connection between Chilliwack and Abbotsford, the important link between Abbotsford into Langley is not being discussed at all. While presently you can take the 21 Aldergrove Connection and link to the 502 Aldergrove/Surrey Central Station service, it is ignoring a serious issue. People in Abbotsford cannot effectively access employment in Langley Township, Langley City, and Surrey unless they use a car.
Thanks to Ken Wuschke for developing this post. For more information see his Transportation Choices blog.
The relavent entries:
Transit and land use: North America’s fatal flaw
Gloucester Industrial Estates: A proposed bus route network
The latest issue of The Sandhouse (Vol 35, No. 4, Issue 140 – Winter 2010/11) which is the journal of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association, Pacific Coast Division has a good summary of the Fraser Valley transit studies, one done for the BC government, the Fraser Valley Regional District, BC Transit and TransLink. The other study was sponsored by the group Rail for the Valley.
The article titled Visions of Fraser Valley rail collide in two studies: by Ian Smith. The first paragraph states:
Duelling visions of the future of rail transit in the Fraser Valley have emerged in two recent studies. One is decidely lukewarm on the prospects for rail even over an extended period, while the other proposes that work should start as soon as possible.
The eight page article describes both studies in depth and is well worth reading. Rail for the Valley is a group of people that want to see the old BC Electric Railway right of way, that is currently used for freight only, restored for passenger use. A major bottleneck would be the single track portion of the line in Langley between Cloverdale and the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 10. This portion currently sees up to 18 coal trains and 12 container trains from CN and CP as well as trains of the short line operator Southern Railway of BC.
The Sandhouse is not widely distributed, I couldn’t find a current website for the group, but copies of the Sandhouse are available at Central Hobbies in Vancouver, and Kelly’s Kaboose in Kamloops.
For more information: