Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Surrey Rapid Transit Study Stakeholders Workshop

Last night I had the chance to attend the first stakeholders workshop which is part of the Surrey (/White Rock/Langley City) Rapid Transit Study. It was an interesting evening and it was great to see how everyone in the room seemed to be on the same page. We were placed into small groups to talk about the draft project objectives which will help shape the network technology and corridor choices that will be narrowed down by fall 2010 for the public consultation process.

The seven major objectives that people agreed on for rapid transit were: financial, transportation, environmental, urban development, economic development, social/community, and deliverability.

At the workstation, we talked about the need for real transportation solutions today and not some big shiny project 30 years down the road. We also talked about the need for a cost-effective project, but that cost-effective means good for the pocket-book, environment, and people in the community. The majority of people said that we should be using existing roads and rail infrastructure, and shouldn’t be trying to build new corridors. There was even discussion about using road pricing. It was really amazing to see the change in people's opinion in the South Fraser about public transit in the last 5 years. It seems that our sub-region is speaking with one voice and I hope that the provincial government is listening. While some people in the room were skeptical about this process and think that the government has already decided to build SkyTrain, I am hopeful and exciting to see how the major objectives we talked about last night will be turned into a rapid transit system. We talked about the need for a flexible system that includes everything from transit shuttles for business parks, conventional buses, rapid buses, and light rail.

All I’ll say is that we better not be getting over-priced SkyTrain as the final solution!


Grumpy said...

I am very sorry, but this is exactly the same sort of nonsense that Translink and BC Transit has used in the past. It wastes time and really doesn't achieve much.

Want better transit, hire a real transit consultant to estimate the cost of LRT on 152nd Guilford to White Rock), KGV Hwy (Scott road to Hwy. 10), and Scott Road.

Only then will some real decisions be made.

What you are getting now is pure TransLink mumbo-jumbo.

Joe Zaccaria said...

They've hired consultants in the past without any real public consultation. It doesn't work. I'd rather they engage stakeholders and the public as they are doing. While we love LRT, there are other elements of a complete transit system and they shouldn't be ignored.