LETTERS: SkyTrain funding shortfall can be alliviated

Editor:

Instead of opposing the building of the (16.5-km) “Fraser Highway SkyTrain” line – ostensibly because the currently committed $1.6 billion of public funding is $1.3 billion short of TransLink’s $2.9 billion design/construction estimate – Mayor Darryl Walker and his obstreperous mayors’ council colleagues should have made – and should be making suggestions for how this $1.3 billion shortfall could be alleviated.

Here’s one: Have the project delivered and operated as a “public-private partnership” (P3)- similar to the enormously successful 19.5-km “Canada Line” that connects Richmond, the airport and the downtown Vancouver waterfront.

The Fraser Highway SkyTrain project’s $1.3 billion funding shortfall could easily be made up with equal contributions from: a P3 private sector consortium ($650 million) and from the B.C. and federal governments ($650 million, or $325 million each).

In order to increase its attractiveness to potential P3 private sector participants, the project’s scope should be expanded with a five-km northward extension from King George Station along or adjacent to King George Boulevard to Scott Road Station (with consequential costs increases split equally between the private sector and the B.C. and federal governments).

This would allow for the existing “Expo Line” tracks and elevated guideways (south of Scott Road Station) to be decommissioned, with much of the valuable empty fields and parking lots over which these tracks/guideways pass, to be redeveloped, potentially generating hundreds of millions of dollars in developers’ fees that could be used to pay for badly needed recreation centres, libraries, and the like.

Ideally, the project’s scope would be expanded further still, to include an extension following the same route as the now cancelled “LRT” project: between Guildford and Newton.

Mayor Walker should be advocating for and taking actions to have a network of SkyTrain lines expeditiously built in the perennially neglected South of Fraser sub-region, not manufacturing false-logic excuses for opposing this.

Roderick V. Louis, White Rock

Just Posted

Oppal says Surrey mayor wrong about policing transition timeline

Chairman of committee overseeing Surrey’s transition from RCMP to city police says work won’t be done by Dec. 11

White Rock waterfront strategy ‘pop-up’ session to be held tomorrow

Event to take place at museum from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

‘A labour of love’: High school turns into ‘toy shop’ for Surrey Christmas Bureau

Fraser Heights Secondary has been making toys for the non-profit for more than a decade

Farnworth says Surrey RCMP boss’s statement on budget should be taken ‘seriously’

Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald warned Surrey’s budget will have “detrimental effect” on policing

New date set for suspects in South Surrey Hells Angel murder

Court heard that both sides are prepared to set preliminary hearing date

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Carriageworks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Chilliwack mom gives back to neonatal unit with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read

l -->