Mayor Opposes Plan

The Straight

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Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan has written a letter to GVRD directors urging them not to adopt TransLink’s three-year transportation plan until the real costs of the RAV line have been presented in a “clear and transparent manner”.

Corrigan, a former BC Transit chairman, claimed in his February 17 letter that bus commuters from Delta, South Surrey, and White Rock will be “shocked” to learn that they will be taken into Richmond to meet the RAV line after it begins service.

“To put this in terms everyone understands, the interest charges alone on $300 million would be more than enough to buy 50 new buses every year,” he wrote. “If we accept this kind of debt, we will be absolutely hamstrung in regard to any other opportunities to improve transit.”

Corrigan also wrote that Vancouver transit users will lose regular bus service to downtown and the routes will be aligned east-west to feed the RAV line. TransLink’s bus-integration strategy merely states that there will be reduced “frequency” on north-south trolley routes on Main, Oak, and Cambie streets to reflect RAV usage, and that trolley service will be increased on Granville to compensate for the eventual loss of the 98-B line.

“The machinations around the RAV line would make Machiavelli blush,” Corrigan claimed in his letter. “It is extremely difficult to justify a $1.5 billion line (the best case) to 175,000 people in an area that has its growth constrained by earthquake and flood vulnerability, with significant dedicated agricultural land.”

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