Over the past 4 months we have been working very hard behind the scenes coordinating partners of our South Fraser Community Rail initiative and much more. To this end, our team is looking forward to delivering you a steady diet of what we consider to be good news in our efforts to reactivate the Interurban with a state-of-the-art Hydrogen Passenger Rail service South of the Fraser.
Our goals have been consistent from the beginning of this campaign, going back to March of 2017 with our almost 2-hour presentation to then Candidate John Horgan and Provincial Campaign Manager Bob Dewar. They are:
- The promotion of Interurban Passenger Rail reactivation to all residents and all elected representatives South of the Fraser
- The creation of a Provincially-led Transportation Task Force South of the Fraser, which will include public input and examine all transportation options, including the Interurban
A number of years before the 2018 Municipal Election, Surrey – with the support of the region’s Mayors – secured Provincial and Federal approval and funding for 11 kms of Light Rail (LRT), down 104th and King George Blvd. to Newton in Surrey.
Along came Mayor McCallum who – after winning the 2018 Surrey election – scrapped that well-planned and approved LRT and instead promised SkyTrain to Langley down Fraser Highway for the same price, within the already approved funding envelope of $1.65 Billion.
Of course, everyone knew that was impossible, since the existing funding would mean a dead-end for SkyTrain in Fleetwood. There is no more money, despite McCallum and the Mayors of the City and Township of Langley claiming that funding is coming.
Currently, the latest proposal is in front of the B.C. and Federal Government, for approval (or rejection) this summer.
This decision is a blatant waste of money and will continue to take away funding dollars from other Transit improvements though out the lower mainland out to Chilliwack if it is to proceed.
We are continuing to fight for what is best for our region- stay tuned!
On the topic of the Transportation Task Force, your Society Directors have been working for 6 months with our contacts in Victoria, requesting that the government lead such a Task Force.
In recent months, we have joined forces with the Surrey Board of Trade and the Chilliwack City Council to promote this initiative. We are expecting a number of other organizations to jump on board in partnership of this initiative.
Our efforts appeared to have paid off with a mention of the Innovation Corridor and South of Fraser Commuter Rail in this year’s Throne Speech. All of this was confirmed in the Budget Detail documents that outlined this provincial government initiative, and cited “an inclusive multi-modal transportation and development strategy for the Fraser Valley.” We will be working on understanding and having input into the study’s terms of reference and process, and communicating our efforts back to the public.
According to Minister Travena, speaking at a SBoT luncheon that our group attended, this study will be rolled out over the next two months.
Once we acquire all of the details surrounding this study, our SFCRS team will be rolling out our campaign with all of the necessary detail pertaining to the reactivation of the Interurban Corridor.
We will be involving citizens PLUS transportation professionals who have much to offer.
These efforts will (and must!) include all of you who support this initiative. This will be THE time for all to get involved. You are and will be instrumental in our success.
Coming up over the next 4 weeks:
- An interesting public letter from someone who knows the facts that will dispel any claims that the Interurban Corridor cannot be used. This letter will be sent in hard copy and email to all elected politicians (Municipal, Provincial and Federal), the Boards of Directors of TransLink, B.C. Transit, the Fraser Valley Regional District, members of the TransLink Mayors Council, and all media;
- A Press Release detailing the reality and impact of the Alstom purchase of Bombardier on our local transportation market, and on TransLink’s use of SkyTrain technology;
- A Press Release titled “Reviving Community Rail for a Sustainable Fraser Valley – Organizing Affordable Housing and Mobility around the Interurban line,” which will include important information laid out by Professor Patrick Condon of UBC
While the wait is frustrating to all, we have achieved significant breakthroughs in our quest to bring environmentally friendly, inexpensive and convenient state-of-the-art passenger hydrail to the 99 kms South of the Fraser.
W.R. (Rick) Green
Former Mayor, Township of Langley 2008 – 2011
Home / Office 778 705-9282 / Cell 604 866-5752
South Fraser Community Rail Society / Members-
Rick Green, Lee Lockwood, Roy Mufford, Peter Holt, Brit Gardner, Gery Warner, Scott Thompson, Salvatore Vetro, Tony Edgar
Bill Vander Zalm, former Premier of the Province of British Columbia 1986 – 1991
Want to get involved?
2. Sign & Share the petition to the Province to reactivate rail:
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