I’m very happy to see some residents understand SkyTrain’s advantages (“SkyTrain versus LRT,” Letters, Nov 17).
However, it might be difficult to convince misled Surrey residents under the grip of over-enthusiastic light rail supporters.
The most common argument from light rail supporters is that it gets you “more for less” (indeed, 27 kilometres of light rail costs the same as 17 kms of SkyTrain). They love to push capital cost and rail extent as if it were the heaviest weight, but they also left out these major issues:
• Light rail is only one minute faster than the 96 B-Line.
• Light rail will cut two 104 Avenue traffic lanes and cause traffic mayhem in Guildford.
• Light rail is prone to service stoppages from blocked tracks as over 600 accidents occur each year on LRT corridors.
• Travel times will triple until light rail construction is complete. (Where do buses go when construction starts closing lanes? Answer: the remaining, congested lanes).
I don’t think it’s worth spending $2 billion with the end result of a single minute in time savings. And, if the city moves forward with its impulsive attempt to build LRT within three years – something no Canadian city building LRT has ever done – it will spend even more.
When TransLink studied Surrey’s rapid transit options, they found that the same amount of money that proposed light rail requires, directed to a SkyTrain extension combined with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) instead, will do more to get people out of their cars and into the community. It would generate twice the transportation benefits and have none of the aforementioned issues.
I am confident that SkyTrain and BRT is a far better solution for Surrey. Readers can sign my petition for it at skytrainforsurrey.org
Daryl Dela Cruz
Better Surrey Rapid Transit