LETTER: Flexibility makes light rail the clear choice for Surrey

Those who continually dismiss modern LRT with one excuse or another are not telling the truth, reader says

One reader says light rail's flexibility makes it the clear choice for Surrey.

The Editor,

There is myth being repeated in the media that light rail is slow. Some are saying it is slower than SkyTrain – and even as slow as road traffic.

This needs to be corrected.

Studies have shown that street cars operating in mixed traffic are about 10 per cent faster than buses – but street cars, or trams, are not quite light rail. Modern light rail is a street car or tram that operates on dedicated or reserved rights-of-ways, with priority signalling at intersections. The reserved rights-of-way enables modern LRT to obtain commercial speeds of that of a metro, with commercial speed largely determined by the number of stations per route kilometre.

The optimum station spacing for LRT in an urban setting is about every 500 metres to 600 metres but with light-metro stations (SkyTrain) being so expensive, station spacing for metro tend to be further apart – 1 km to 1.5 km apart. This does give faster commercial speeds but it deters ridership because door-to-door travel times are longer because the transit customer must travel much further to get to transit than he/she would with light rail.

Modern LRT can obtain actual speeds equal to or faster than our present SkyTrain, if need be. In many cities today, modern LRT can also act as a passenger train operating on the mainline railways at mainline speeds.

It is the inherent flexibility of modern LRT, which can operate as a street car (in mixed traffic), as light rail on its own dedicated route  and a passenger train – often on the same route – that made light metro such as ALRT/ART SkyTrain (only seven built in 40 years) and the French VAL obsolete.

Those who continually dismiss modern LRT with one excuse or another are not telling the truth and they never explain why only seven ALRT/ART SkyTrain systems have been built in 40 years and why none have ever been allowed to compete directly against modern light rail.

Could it be that transit authorities around the world do not want to invest in expensive “Edsel” style transit, such as SkyTrain?

Malcolm Johnston, Delta

Just Posted

Syrian family can, finally, feel safe

Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity White Rock meets sponsored family for the first time

Former Surrey MP Gurmant Grewal supports Bernier’s new party

Gurmant Grewal has thrown his lot in with Maxime Bernier’s new People’s Party of Canada

Road closures as Surrey firefighters battle propane blaze

Surrey RCMP control traffic as firefighers fight fire at Pacific Propane Container Recycling

Cloverdale, Langley Thanksgiving food drive collects ‘record-breaking’ amount of food

Annual food drive collected 35,000 lbs of food for Langley Food Bank

Proposal seeks to replace Surrey Knight & Day with 25-storey highrise

Surrey council is set to consider the application for the first time tonight, submitted on behalf of Square Nine King George Development

‘Fire tornado’ erupts as firefighters battle interior B.C. wildfire

Firefighters near Vanderhoof were taken by surprise

Abdelrazik torture lawsuit delay would be unconscionable: lawyer

The federal government is making a last-minute plea to delay the Federal Court hearing

Trudeau upset after meeting with Saskatchewan chiefs

Trudeau is upset about how time was managed in a recent meeting

Woman from Surrey killed in head-on collision in Chilliwack Saturday

Witnesses in the vehicle struck told first responders the woman appeared to be asleep at the wheel

B.C. tent city ‘devastated’ after flash flood

Maple Ridge mayor says that residents shouldn’t have to return to their flooded tents

Filipino-Canadians concerned about family after typhoon hits Philippines

Typhoon Mangkhut has killed 66 people in the Philippines and four in China

Ottawa looks at having retired judge help guide renewed pipeline review process

The feds would only says that ‘multiple options were on the table’

Canada bans use of trans fats in food products

Trans fats are know to cause heart disease

Yukon suspect in B.C. mail bombing makes court appearance

Whitehorse man Leon Nepper faces charges related to a mail bomb sent to a Port Alice home Sept. 11

Most Read