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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Are Lower Mainland Residents Getting Ripped Off With Tolls?

Columns: Are Lower Mainland Residents Getting Ripped Off With Tolls?

By David Murray. I was very upset today to read that the new Port Mann Bridge project is going to cost up to and perhaps more than four billion dollars.
The cost of this project has spiraled to the point of craziness ! With 600,000 people projected to move into this area by 2040, it will not take much time at all for the cars to be choking us all again trying to get over this piece of infrastructure.
This project will not help reduce carbon or reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Are we still going to keep repeating the same mistake Los Angeles did in the 1930′s and 40′s by getting rid of their rapid transit system? This moved help oil and automobile companies only, and created smog emissions that were some of the worst in the world in the 1970′s and 80s in that city.
It only would seem to make sense that we should have built “Rail for the Valley” This project would have cost about 25% of what the bill for the Port Mann project has worked out to be. In 2011 the cost for Rail for the Valley was estimated at around 1 billion dollars.
From 1900-1950 with the original tracks still in place (we would have to replace some of the tracks obviously-but at a fraction of what it cost for the Port Mann project) we used to have an inter-urban train running from Chilliwack to Vancouver.
It would have been a better idea to resurrect this project . A Chilliwack to Vancouver train. It would have created hub communities all along the route much like the Skytrain has done in Metro Town and other areas.
Sustainable communities where people could work, play and live. Also with the ability to choose not to get in their car to travel to Vancouver.
I realize that politics is politics. The BC Liberals are needing something to help with their popularity at the moment. If they charged what Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge & Langley residents have to so they can cross the Golden Ears Bridge a resounding $4.00 per trip. They would likely not win many seats in the Fraser Valley. I feel ripped off that they came up with $1.50 per trip to cross the new bridge. Why could they have not done that for our communities? They said they were losing money for the first year? Why did they not give this same discount? It truly seems wrong.
I am glad for the commuters on the other side of the river are getting this break , but how about for the same duration offer the deal for the Golden Ears Bridge?

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