Thursday, November 13, 2008

Light Rail Now

Well I have to say that light rail and the Interurban has been getting lots of press coverage lately. On last night's CTV News, there was a piece about the Interregional Transportation Select Committee and Abbotsford Council's support of light rail. You can read the story and watch the clip on CTV’s website.

"We felt if people in the community were serious about this, that they needed to see what it could potentially be and impact their lives,'' said Abbotsford
Councillor Lynn Harris.
If you listen to the comments from Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon, it is interesting to see that he seems more kind to the thought of light rail then he did back in February when CTV ran a piece about the Interurban.

In today’s Province newspaper, Brain Lewis wrote an article about “An issue that just won’t go away.” He talks about the wide spread support for the Interurban and light rail in the Valley from municipal candidates.

If the B.C. government, which has been dragging its heels on the call for light rail in the Valley, ever hoped to sidetrack the issue, that hope is now gone.


Many Surrey civic candidates, including Mayor Dianne Watts, are also positive about light rail.

"We know that light rail is much cheaper and that you can get better value for the dollar and we could link our town centres," Watts said.

The Vancouver Sun also ran a story about the growing politics support for light rail.
A campaign to bring light rail transit to the Fraser Valley has gained momentum during civic election campaigns in the region.

Many mayoral and council candidates have spoken in favour of a light-rail system south of the Fraser River

In other news, Jeff Nagel from the Surrey Leader wrote a story on Southern Rail (who operates freight on the Interurban line) willingness to review operating rail transit.

Southern president Frank Butzelaar said he has an open mind toward a rail transit revival, but says it depends on Victoria's wishes.

"We are open to the concept," he said. "It really requires that the province comes to us and says 'Look, this is something we're interested in.'

"To date, that hasn't happened."

The article also points out that the Interurban study that was personally promised by Kevin Falcon back in January of this year may not be available until the end of 2009.

Finally, the Langley Time asked Township candidates a few questions. One of these questions deals with transportation. I suggest that you check out the story to see what the answers were.

It will be interesting to see after November 15th how the Interurban and light rail fairs. The public wants light rail, and they want it now. Not in 2030. I have a feeling that the BC government will start paying attention to the demand for light rail in the South Fraser and Fraser Valley as their election approaches early in 2009.

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