The Interurban Heavy Rail Traffic: Obviously, Roy Mufford and others have done a lot of work on this. Can be overcome—if political will in Ottawa exists.
The Interurban Political Hurdles: Ottawa is too close to the rail companies. We need strong federal government involvement. Has not happened to date. “ Not in our lifetimes,” as one MLA reported.
The Interurban Political Hurdles: Victoria: Transit groups have been too divisive and too personal in their attacks on the one person who can change the fate of the Interurban with the stroke of a pen. We have to find a way to build bridges with the Minister.
The Interurban Political Hurdles: Regionally: Abbotsford and Chilliwack are not part of TransLink, and have not contributed the same level of tax dollars over the years as Surrey and Langley. TransLink could use the Interurban to entice Abby in.
The Interurban The Four Gaps: We can turn this hurdle into an opportunity, by using it to suggest phasing-in the Interurban service. It allows government to invest a smaller amount upfront until we prove out the service.
The Interurban The Four Gaps: That first gap is the small bit of empty space between the bulk of Surrey’s population and Cloverdale (152 nd to 168 th ). By adding Langley’s 200 th Street corridor to the plan, we entice the Interurban further east.
The 200 th Streetcar Line Langley has changed. We are no longer an east-west community; we are north-south. The vast majority of Langley’s population and jobs lie along the 196 th to 216 th corridor. This is also where virtually all growth and densification will occur in the future.
Regional links: The Golden Ears Bridge and the Interurban
The Langley Events Centre
Open space still exists along 200 th for TransLink to purchase and develop for funding
The 200 th Streetcar Line What about the hill? I’m not a technical expert, but my understanding is that Calgary operates with a 6.5% grade near the South Alberta Institute of Technology, and Little Rock’s system manoeuvres up a 7.8% gradient.
The 200 th Streetcar Line What about the right-of-way? 200 th Street has the widest, protected right-of-way in the Township. There is room for street cars and pull-out stations.
The 200 th Streetcar Line Won’t this distract the powers-that-be from the Interurban? No. A 200 th Streetcar strengthens the case for the Interurban to be put back into use, at least to Langley. That gets us past the ‘first gap,’ and gives us the ability to prove this will work. Like the Portland Model: MAX and streetcar network.
My Streetcar Dream In the future, I envision street car lines (and the Interurban) running throughout Langley.
Next steps My notice of motion coming May 5… Whereas transit service in the Township of Langley is the poorest, per capita, in the Lower Mainland, and Whereas the vast majority of trips south of the Fraser stays south of the Fraser, and
Next steps My notice of motion coming May 5… Whereas a desire for light rail, streetcars, and community rail has been expressed throughout the south Fraser region, including the Township of Langley,
Next steps My notice of motion coming May 5… Therefore be it resolved that the Township support the concept of community rail and pursue the following measures:
Next steps My notice of motion coming May 5… 1. A study of the possible routes for community rail within the South Fraser region,
Next steps My notice of motion coming May 5… 2. An EMME2 and micro-simulation ridership study, as recommended in the UMA community rail report, for community rail improvements in the South Fraser and Fraser Valley regions,
Next steps My notice of motion coming May 5… 3. The Township continue to protect key right-of-ways for possible community rail or other transit use, including, but not limited to, the Interurban rail line, 200th Street, 208th Street, Fraser Highway, 88th Avenue, and 96th Avenue.
Next steps My notice of motion coming May 5… 4. Send a letter of support to the Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society reinforcing the Township's support for their efforts, and
Next steps My notice of motion coming May 5… 5. Send an update to the TransLink Board, MOT, and the Mayors and Councils of the Cities of Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack regarding this motion, and offering these agencies an opportunity to participate in the routing and ridership studies.
Community Rail Routes The Interurban should stack up well against other possibilities—but those possibilities have to be looked at nonetheless.
Community Rail Ridership A 200 th Streetcar cannot exist in a vacuum. It needs a link to a regional community rail line to work properly. The Interurban, or another link to Surrey, will fulfill that requirement. An independent ridership study is needed.