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Sep 22,2006


The Editor,

TransLink’s Evergreen light rail line’s construction costs are now surpassing $100 million per kilometre to build yet in Orleans, France, a new LRT line, being built as a tramway or streetcar (on-street construction), works out to just over $11 million per km to build – including cars and a depot.

The question the Light Rail Committee would like to ask TransLink, especially its planners, is “Why can’t modern LRT be built as cheaply in Vancouver as it is in France?”

It seems our engineers and planners find it impossible to build affordable LRT in the GVRD and resort to planning hugely expensive metros such as SkyTrain and the Canada Line. Even the Evergreen Line construction costs are impossible to understand as it has become more expensive to build than the SkyTrain Millennium Line built a decade ago.

The LRC would also like to ask: Have TransLink’s planners condemned taxpayers to subsidize hugely expensive, gold-plated rapid transit lines for generations to come? Has the provincial government, through the premier and minister of transportation, been complicit in promoting hugely expensive gold-plated rapid transit to suit its political agenda, ignoring much cheaper transit alternatives?

Malcolm Johnston, Light Rail Committee

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