Wednesday February 9, 2011
NDP Heavyweight Backs Light Rail
Adrian Dix in Rail For The Valley's corner, but why not talk bullet train?
Submitted by John Vissers, RFTV
ail For the Valley recently sent out a Questionnaire on Passenger Rail toall BC Liberal and BC NDP Leadership Candidates. Already, some candidates have responded to the Questionnaire.
Most notably so far, NDP Leadership Candidate Adrian Dix is calling for Interurban Light Rail to Langley, as well as promising support for a Demonstration Project being promoted by the South of Fraser Community Rail Task Force.
In answer to the question, "Do you support moving forward with planning Interurban Light Rail?" Dix replied,
"Yes, with the objective of developing light rail to connect Central City to Newton then to Langley, using the existing line. This core service could be supported with expanded fast-bus and bus feeder services."
Dix also promised support for an Interurban Demonstration Project promoted by the South of Fraser Community Rail Task Force, a group chaired by Langley Township Mayor Rick Green with official representation from almost all South of Fraser municipalities, and all universities. In his response, Dix stressed the need to get effective transit solutions in place south of the Fraser as soon as possible.
"Carbon tax revenues should be directed to transit and other green infrastructure, in all regions," he wrote, adding: "How is it that a stadium roof costing hundreds of millions of dollars can be ordered up by the Liberals without any discussion of
priorities, while necessities such as transit are ignored?"
Full Responses of all Leadership candidates - from both BC Liberal and BCNDP leadership races - will be made public soon, once all candidates have had ample opportunity to respond, and will be viewable online at: www.railforthevalley.com.
"With new political leadership soon coming to this province, it is vital the public, and political party members, know where candidates stand on a crucially needed light rail system."
- Dr. John Buker, Rail For the Valley
Below are the 5 questions that have been asked of the candidates:
1) Premier Campbell has promised to extend SkyTrain to Langley City but both Mayor Watts of Surrey and Mayor Green of the Township of Langley have expressed a strong preference for developing a more affordable at-grade
Light Rail system and are against extending SkyTrain to Langley City. Do you support developing an at-grade Light Rail system to serve the South of Fraser region?
2) Under Premier Campbell, the Provincial government advocated a form of Rapid Bus for the Fraser Valley Regional District, instead of integrating Light Rail into a reorganized and integrated bus and rail network. Do you have the same preference for a bus only system or do you support an additional Light Rail option for the Fraser Valley? Under what timeline?
3. The recent provincial study "Strategic Review of Transit in the Fraser Valley" covered the Fraser Valley Regional District but also reviewed and rejected introducing a "Commuter Rail" service using the provincially owned Interurban rail corridor. There were just 7 stops between Chilliwack and Scott Road SkyTrain in Surrey (100 kms). This type of Commuter service is not a sensible approach using the Interurban corridor. Community Rail, on the other hand, would result in a modern Light Rail system suitable for travel between communities along the 100 km line. Do you support the Community Rail concept of a rail service designed to move people around Fraser Valley communities?
4) The Interurban (Southern) Railway has long been mentioned as a potential route for a Light Rail service in the fast-growing Fraser Valley. The 2010 Leewood Projects Ltd. Study takes a detailed look at the Interurban and suggests an initial service can be built quickly and affordably. The Study recommends early implementation in order to maximize the benefits. Do you support moving forward with planning Interurban Light Rail?
5) The South of Fraser Community Rail Task Force, with official representation from almost all South of Fraser municipalities, and all the universities, is promoting a Community Rail (Interurban) demonstration project. Under your leadership, will the Provincial government work with this Task Force to ensure that such a project is a success?
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