Letters to the Editor

Time to leave TransLink

So Delta is mulling over leaving TransLink.

Good!

 For too long, TransLink has used South Fraser municipalities as “milch cows” to fund politically prestigious and very expensive SkyTrain projects in Vancouver.

 For too long. TransLink has misrepresented expensive SkyTrain planning and has failed in its fiduciary duty to plan for modern, affordable and efficient public transit for the Lower Mainland, especially for those who live south of the Fraser River.

 For too long, TransLink has invented criteria to support its expensive SkyTrain construction program at the expense of modern light rail, yet if one scrutinizes TransLink’s claims, they become mere pixie dust.

International transportation planners are not fooled by TransLink, as only seven (soon to be six) SkyTrain-type rapid transit systems are in operation around the world, despite being marketed for over 30 years and out of those six, only two – Vancouver and Kuala Lumpur (one of three different elevated metro systems operated in the city) –are used for regional transportation, with the remaining systems being two demonstration lines and airport/fun fair people movers.

To date, there are more than 450 cities around the world that operate one or more light rail/streetcar/tram lines.

Yet, the fact that modern light rail made SkyTrain obsolete two decades ago is lost on TransLink, which constantly invents new facts from myth to confuse the public.

 It is time for honest transportation planning in the region as the taxpayer can not afford any more truncated and politically prestigious mini-metro projects that have done little to provide an affordable alternative to the car. It is time for the South Fraser municipalities to leave TransLink and create their own transportation authority, let those north of the river who want gold-plated transit projects, pay for them.

Malcolm Johnston

Light Rail Committee/Rail for the Valley

Delta

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