Urgent Plea to Translink Mayors Council Members and Board Members…. The decisions you are about to embark on will have a profound impact on our entire region, lets ensure we get it right, please consider ALL your options!

Posted: March 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

All of you are charged with the responsibility to set in place a transportation plan that is effective and is financially / fiscally and environmentally responsible, in other words a plan that is practical for our region and delivers value for our tax dollars. While I fully understand your regional responsibility is for Metro Vancouver, a truer look at our region extends out to Chilliwack, in other words, like West Coast Express there is a crossover responsibility from the Langleys into Abbotsford and Chilliwack. The effective population catchment North of the River is about 320,000 for WCE while South of the Fraser that catchment is a population of some 1.2 million today with NO similar transportation options available.

I have been in your shoes…. By way of introduction my name is Rick Green, 10 years ago I served on the Mayors Translink Council as the Mayor of the Township of Langley. I know very well the responsibility each of you carry in your role as a member of the Council and-also of those on the Board. I was on the Council when we had to deal with the negotiations with the Provincial Government for our $400 + Million share of the Evergreen Line Funding, so I understand the issues you are going to have to deal with in a profound way. With respect to options, LRT, Skytrain or something already in place, lets speak to value for money, if we want to maximize the benefits for all residents in the region. I certainly hope that is our goal!

With respect to the selection of options and then key to that is what does each option cost? I have found all too often we (staff/mayors/Board members) have overlooked the most viable and practical for an unrealistic and impractical option just because we have it on our system (Skytrain). If you didn’t know prior to being in your position, you do by now or will find out shortly that available funding is and will be in very very short supply.

Your responsibility (a matter of fact your provincially mandated responsibility through legislation) is not a parochial one with parochial interests always being pushed by the large communities, it is what is in the best interest of the region, that is what you are responsible for doing. I hate to say it, and you have found out, the weighted vote gets in the way of that mandate so therefore the majority must rely on the issue of quorum. No quorum no vote, that generally wakes up those that are driven by parochial interests. I can say, in my experience we never really had that issue, but apparently it is back, and must be dealt with IF we are to respond in the best interests of ALL concerned.

So what am I asking for? A little background first! In 2009 I set up and chaired the “South of the Fraser Community Rail Task Force” endorsed and with elected members of the Councils of the day, Delta, Surrey, White Rock, City of Langley, Township of Langley, Abbotsford plus two community groups and a representative of Trinity University, University of the Fraser Valley and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Our Task Force worked with Shaw Cable to produce a 25 minute documentary video that all members of this Council should view through this link https://langleywatchdog.com/topics/ . We have continued our efforts (post elected office) in a variety of ways to promote this option through the South Fraser Community Rail committee, effectively an extension of that Task Force without elected Council members.

As a member of the Translink Council we had Tom Prendergast and his management group, then CEO of Translink, out to our board room on two occasions to present what we believe is the Smart and Only solution for passenger rail South of the Fraser. He was strongly in favor of taking a serious look, unfortunately he was attracted by the bright lights of Broadway and headed back to New York to chair the New York Transit commission, the largest transit network in the world shortly after our discussions. After Tom had left we held a few meetings with the incoming senior staff and presented our thoughts and plan to an education session of the Translink Mayor’s Council.

Back to our ask…. We would appreciate an opportunity to show all members of the Mayors Translink Council, and Board Members if at all possible, a presentation representative of about 12 years of work by elected and non-elected members of our communities South of the Fraser. We will confront and effectively answer all questions related to history, rights, legal authority (uncovered during my term as Mayor) and much much more. This presentation has been given to Premier John Horgan and others in the Provincial Cabinet.

To move this along we are asking to inform all of you about an option that, as we say above, is THE SMART AND ONLY WAY to repair our transit deficit South of the Fraser. At the very least, given it’s and our past history you should be aware of all pertinent detail.

Just imagine….

The Plan to Reestablish Community Light Rail Passenger Service connecting communities between the Pattullo Bridge and Chilliwack!

o To utilize the 99 KM rail line between the Pattullo Bridge in Surrey and Chilliwack at NO COST for passenger corridor use.

o To establish a Spine (main rail line) and Rib (road network) feeding the rail line by a bus system between the Pattullo Bridge and Chilliwack in the same fashion as the current road system feeds Skytrain by bus.

o To establish a state-of-the-art Hydrogen Powered system that is environmentally clean serving and saving the very difficult Fraser Valley Airshed. A technology introduced in Germany 2 years ago!

o To dramatically reduce traffic congestion from all major east west highways throughout the South of the Fraser.

o To provide affordable, reliable and safe transit and transportation to a population of over 1.2 million people for employment, shopping and air travel through the Abbotsford Int. Airport. Not available today.

o To provide affordable transportation for students and faculty accessing FOURTEEN University Campuses South of the Fraser. Increase access, increase enrollment!

o To provide an extension of lower mainland public transportation that would run from West Vancouver to Chilliwack.

o To provide tourism access throughout the Fraser Valley!

o To provide public transportation that would serve the exponentially growing population up the valley due to housing costs.

o To establish an affordable system that according to three engineering studies is 7.9% the cost per KM of the Surrey LRT line – Or

o To establish an affordable system that according to three engineering studies would create 99 KMs of passenger service for 48% of the cost of the 16.6 KMs Surrey to Langley proposed LRT line! Far less if it is a Skytrain proposal!

o All at an affordable cost, convenient to use that makes SENSE!
Strong statements, you bet. Let us put our money where our mouth is. The South of the Fraser is not the only part of the region underserved, lets be smart with the limited funds available!

Special Note: Go to our NEW website http://www.southfrasercommunityrail.ca

I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to Township of Langley Residents, come back often for news of interest to Township residents.
Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!
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