Letter: SkyTrain is the Edsel of rapid transit.

Editor: I read with amusement, the letters from loyal SkyTrain fans, uttering every man of straw argument against light rail. Yet, the use of actual facts seems to elude them.

They never mention that ALRT/ART SkyTrain has been on the market for over 40 years and only seven of the proprietary railways have been built and only three seriously used for regional transit.

The SkyTrain lobby never mentions that over 200 new light rail systems have been built during the same period.

There is no mention that SkyTrain costs much more to build, operate and maintain than light rail and being driver-less, SkyTrain is prone to more break downs and stoppages when compared to light rail.

The many comments extolling the virtues of SkyTrain, omit the fact that SkyTrain is a proprietary railway, which patents are owned by Bombardier Inc. and SNC Lavalin.

There is complete silence on the fact that SkyTrain’s operating certificate with Transport Canada, limits capacity to 15,000 persons per hour per direction, until at least $3 billion is spent upgrading the ALRT/ART system.

The same folks who decry LRT remain mute on the fact that traffic flows to Langley do not warrant an expensive light-metro, meaning that any SkyTrain built to Langley will be heavily subsidized. And speaking of subsidies, the GVRD found in 1992, that just the Expo line was subsidized at $157 million annually, more than the entire bus system at the time.

Has anyone who wants to build with SkyTrain actually talked to a real transportation expert, you know the type, the people who actually design and build rail transit for cities?

I have, with many and the answer is the same, ALRT/ART SkyTrain is a dated and expensive transit system and offers no real benefit when compared to light rail, costing one half to one third the cost of SkyTrain to build.

So the SkyTrain Lobby face a “Hobson’s Choice” on transit; either build with LRT now or plan for SkyTrain and in 20 years, when the funding is in place, then find that Bombardier has long abandoned SkyTrain production and ultimately have no rail transit at all!

ALRT/ART SkyTrain, is the Edsel of rapid transit.

Malcolm Johnston,

Rail for the Valley

Just Posted

Teen’s outlook positive, despite living with ‘Stone Man Syndrome’

Alexandra Hoodikoff has a conditon that affects one in two million people

Golden girl Bailey Herbert leads Olympians at Western Canadian championship meet

Langley Olympians Swim Club places fifth out of 71 teams during prestigious meet in Victoria

VIDEO: Jewelry designer casts new soul in old gold

In response to industry changes, Karyn Chopik is recycling old jewelry into modern art

Langley’s Wyatt twins ready to earn their stripes as Tigers

RE Mountain Grade 12 students will also study physics at University of Memphis

LEPS, Langley Township mark Earth Month with eco-friendly events

Arbour Day, Clean-Up Day happening last two weekends in April

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

B.C. court relies on Facebook to track down missing defendant

A court in Princeton, B.C. relied on Facebook to track down a B.C. missing his court date

Cops corral pig on the loose on Vancouver Island

Police “put the grab” on pig before it can cross the highway on Vancouver Island

Most Read