Feb 2/08: BC Govt wants SkyTrain-like line for Port Moody, Coquitlam ...
The British Columbia government says it wants to use SkyTrain-like
technology to build the planned $1.4-billion Evergreen rapid transit
line to the Vancouver suburbs of Port Moody and Coquitlam.
That marks a change from early proposals that included a plan to build
a light rapid transit line down Port Moody's main street, which would
have cost about $200 million less to construct.
B.C. Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said Friday that SkyTrain
technology makes the best business sense for the Evergreen line, which
will connect to an existing SkyTrain station in Burnaby that runs into
Vancouver. The SkyTrain runs primarily on an elevated rail line.
"A key finding of the business case was the recommendation to go with
SkyTrain-like technology," he said.
The provincial government is increasing its financial commitment to
the project to $400 million, and will be seeking matching funds from
Ottawa, Falcon said.
A light rail line had been considered for the route, and it would be
cheaper, but TransLink Chief Executive Officer Pat Jacobsen said
SkyTrain would have much lower annual operating costs, shorter travel
times for commuters, and could carry more people.
The route will start at the existing Millennium Line Lougheed station
and wind up near Douglas College in Coquitlam, travelling near the CP
Rail line through Port Moody, Falcon said.
The project, which Falcon said may become a public-private
partnership, has a target completion date of 2014.
Flip-flop result of poor planning: councillor
Not everyone is in favour of the new proposal.
Port Moody Coun. Mike Clay said it shows a lack of government planning
and poor spending of tax dollars.
"All these public consultations and the engineering designs and it's
like, really now, you're going to go back to the plan you had in
2000," he said.
The change most likely came about because the previous plan "was a bad
plan," Clay said.
Coquitlam Mayor Maxine Wilson said she wants public consultation.
The Tri-City mayors weren't told about the latest version of the
Evergreen Line until just before the announcement, she added. The
Tri-Cities is an informal term used to describe three adjacent
suburban cities and two villages in the northeast sector of the
Vancouver, B.C., metropolitan area — Anmore, Belcarra, Coquitlam, Port
Coquitlam and Port Moody.