I spotted ‘Vancouver’s 2010 Streetcar’ on a testing run at the Granville Island terminus today. Aside from the visual stopping power of this sleek modern Bombardier train, an equally sleek transit advertisement on its side is what caught my eye.
“The climate is right for trains.” it boldly proclaims. I like this statement. It’s quick, clean and leverages the Global Warming issue without being heavy handed. And I couldn’t agree more with the logic. But some of the largest transportation decisions by the Province would seem to indicate that our leaders think otherwise.
We can begin with the Sea to Sky Highway. Though a beautiful piece of asphalt to drive, it would have been a much more forward thinking decision to upgrade the rail line and provide a high speed link that would enable car-free recreation and commuting for all the bedroom communities that are springing up along the route.
The twinning of the Port Mann bridge is another example of trainless decision making. Although it has been claimed that this solution offers ‘room for future rail’, one UBC study points out that we could have a whole regional rail network for the same price. http://www.thetyee.ca/News/2009/03/25/LightRail/
So cheers to the new streetcar, even though it only travels 1.8km, (a distance the average person can walk in about 20 minutes)
What do you say we take up “The climate is right for trains.” as a new rallying cry, and try to get Victoria on board?
To find out more about our new streetcars, (and get even more jealous of municipalities that have a real rail system) go here: http://www2.bombardier.com/Vancouver/index.html
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