Here’s why we need Light Rapid Transit on the North Shore
We already have buses, now we need to think bigger, writes Coun. Sharon Thompson of the District of West Vancouver
Subject: North Shore Bus Rapid Transit a Top Priority in TransLink’s 10-Year Plan (April 20 news) and North Shore Residents Split on Bus Rapid Transit Plan, Poll Finds (NSN reader poll results released May 9).
Bold transportation solutions for the North Shore must be our number 1 priority.
TransLink recommends bus rapid transit from Metro Town to Park Royal as a long-term solution, but recent academic research indicates that densities and demand on the North Shore support light rail transit. Investing in BRT now would eliminate the possibility of doing light rail for decades and the bus system put in place would not be compatible or adaptable for future light rail use or alignment. An economic study suggests the LRT could take 50,000 cars off the bridges on weekdays.
The North Shore already has extensive bus service and Line B has recently been installed, providing fast bus options between Park Royal and Phibbs Exchange. When line B [RapidBus] was proposed, these articulated buses had to run on diesel and not have wifi. Imagine a reliable, environmentally friendly and user-friendly system that would connect us directly to the SkyTrain in Metro Vancouver and could travel up the Sea to Sky corridor.
Over the past term, local governments have focused on bold and abundant housing solutions to achieve affordability on the North Shore so we can attract caregivers, teachers, first responders and other valuable employees. in our communities. Affordability will always be a challenge due to our highly desirable properties as well as access to world class recreation and top performing schools. Our top priority must be transportation and accessibility.
You may hear skeptics and politicians telling you that it can’t be done or that we are not a priority. I understand differently. If we’re going to transform how we grow, how we get around our neighborhoods and connect with Metro; if we want to grow healthily without destroying everything we value in our communities, we need to be bold in our ideas about public transit now.
Com. Sharon Thompson
District of West Vancouver
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