public transit

Evergreen Line Threatened Again

The plot thickens in the Evergreen Line debacle yet again. Ken Hardie, Translink spokesman, said on Wednesday: "we don't have the money to build the Evergreen Line". The threat to cancel or postpone the project is ridiculous, and the timing is questionable.

One Bridge, or an Entire Tram Network

A UBC study released today shows taxpayers what we could get for the same amount of money as the ballooning Port Mann bridge replacement: an entire network of trams through the South Fraser, a network that would change the direction the area is moving towards, and make a real difference in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Port Mann project is misguided, and will enable decades of similarly misguided decisions to be made as far as development in the region.

As reported on The Tyee:

Feds Drop More Money on the Evergreen Line

So Harper's Conservatives have apparently solidified the Evergreen Line funding mentioned in the 2009 budget, adding $350 million more to the project, bringing it within $173 million of its $1.4 billion total cost.

(Interesting how you can build an entire, expensive Skytrain line for 1/2 the price of a 10-lane bridge).

Light Rail Support Stirring in Chilliwack

There has been a more talk of rail being built in Fraser Valley papers lately. It seems the announcement of the new 10-laner has spurred a bit more discussion on the subject. It seems the idea that only Vancouverites are looking for better solutions than the current gateway plan is crumbling.

This letter, in The Progress, comes right out and says that the new bridge will bring the wrong kind of density to the valley:

"Bad Times" Budget = Good News for the Evergreen

Perhaps the biggest news for BC coming out of the 2009 federal budget is the announcement that funding for the Evergreen Line, connecting the Millenium Line to Port Moody and Coquitlam, is going to come - and soon.

The Evergreen Line - originally conceived of as a streetcar, but recently turned into a SkyTrain project - has taken its rightful place as the most important infrastructure project in the province.

The Overshadowed Announcement

Stephen Harper was in the GVRD today, at the Surrey Fraser Docks, to announce the start to construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road.

Translink Dips into the Reserves

The Translink board adopted their 2009 budget on Friday, which calls for a $100 million reach into the reserve accounts.

Translink Looking to Further Increase Security

In an effort to boost security, or at least the appearance of security, Translink is looking to add station attendants and a possible dog-squad to their security forces.

I'm becoming a little concerned with the way Translink police force is quickly becoming its own large force, but the attendants is a great idea.

From the CBC:

Free Bus Loop Shouldn't Get Anywhere

Of the many ideas floated during the last Vancouver civic election, one that got my attention was COPE's plan to create a free bus loop between downtown, Main St, and Burrard St.

While I can see why it might sound like a good idea, it struck me at the time as more of a gimmick than anything else. Now that there are a few COPE councilors in power, I'm hoping the idea doesn't gain traction. Here's why:

What About Japan?

OK, this is going to be a short post, but I have to mention something that has bothered me for a long time: What about Japan?

Every time I see transit in other places discussed as models for Vancouver, Japan is never mentioned. Sure, there are major differences. Sheer population, for one. History, for another (the Romance Car, pictured above, is now 50 years old).

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