COMMUTER CHAOS STORY
FROM: Portland, Oregon – July 19, 2018
Just yesterday, Portland’s MAX light rail system was disrupted during the afternoon rush hour after a collision between a MAX LRT train and a truck on the Portland’s Steel Bridge. If a similar incident had occurred along one of the proposed Surrey LRT lines, it would have caused major commuter chaos and delays.
According to The Oregonian, the crash occurred at 4:30PM yesterday when a pickup truck sideswiped a MAX train on a bridge segment where traffic lanes are next to light rail tracks. There were no injuries, but there was visible damage on the side of the light rail vehicle.
The incident prompted a complete shut-down of a segment of Portland’s light rail system which carries three MAX lines. There were also delays to motorist traffic crossing the bridge. Light Rail passengers were forced to board shuttle buses to make their connections across the river.
By 6:40PM, MAX LRT service crossing the Steel Bridge was restored, but Trimet reported delays of up to 20 minutes would continue through 8:00PM. Despite this, multiple passengers who had vented their frustrations on social media reported that their delays exceeded 30 minutes.
@trimet no max for 30 minutes at BTC & no service alert. Way to go.— Mike Hunt (@SkumDaddie) July 19, 2018
Trimet crash meant getting home was a dang journey. Train to union station, bike share across the bridge bc I’m impatient, red line to Gateway, waited like 30 min for them to send a green line there. Got my own bike at Holgate then home.— Petey X (@PeteyX) July 19, 2018
Total time: 2h to travel 8 miles.
The proposed Surrey Light Rail Transit system will run at street level on segments of 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway, and crosses busy arterial roads at major intersections similar to the MAX Light Rail system in Portland.
Once again, this incident highlights a major, fundamental flaw of the proposed street-running light rail system endorsed by TransLink, the Regional Mayors’ Council, and the City of Surrey. The proposed LRT lines run in the medians of major arterial roads, and would cross through several busy intersections at street level.
Any one of these busy intersections could be blocked and shut down if there is an accident.
SkyTrain for Surrey has called for the cancellation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project, the conversion of the Surrey-Langley LRT into a SkyTrain extension of the Expo Line, and the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on King George Boulevard and 104th Avenue (instead of an LRT).
With BRT’s ability to detour around accident areas, and SkyTrain’s ability to simply pass overhead, a rapid transit system built on SkyTrain and BRT would not be subject to total disruptions.
Surrey residents expect their future rapid transit system to be a trustworthy and reliable service. A street-running LRT system will not deliver one.
SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.
Daryl Dela Cruz – Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]