Monday, May 26, 2008

Put Rail First

So on my many weekend transit adventures, I ran into a friend of mine who is a longshoreman at Fraser Docks and Deltaport. She does everything from unloading ships to scheduling trains and trucks. She had some great insights into goods movement in the Lower Mainland.

She told me that the vast majority of goods loaded onto trucks are for the local market. She went on to explain that the vast majority of goods loaded onto rail are for “out east” and the US.

I asked her where she thought money for goods movement should be spent. She said that it would make more sense to expand the rail infrastructure as a first priority. She believes that the increase in port traffic will overwhelmingly be going outside of the Lower Mainland, as that is where most of the containers are heading today. She also explained that the 100+ year-old New Westminster Rail Bridge needs to be replaced right away.

So there you have it, from someone who deals with freight traffic all day: Put rail first!

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