SkyTrain for Surrey, not LRT!
COMMUTER CHAOS STORY
FROM: Calgary, Alberta – October 23, 2018
Last week, another Calgary pedestrian was hit by a light rail train near the intersection of Memorial Drive and 36 Street. It was the third C-Train incident this month at an at-grade crossing on the LRT system. According to CTV News Calgary, the man was transported to hospital in “critical condition with life threatening injuries.”
Light rail service was disrupted for over 3 hours with the line closed in the area entirely for the first hour, followed by two hours of single tracking service with delays in both directions.
The incident prompted an anonymous CTrain driver to share her perspective to Global News about recent collision events. The driver noted that there is a ‘toll’ to operators who may face lingering trauma as a result of hitting a person or vehicle on the tracks, saying that she has “spoken to others it’s happened to and they can’t sleep at night.”
“People think the train can stop on a dime. We can’t just stop on a dime,” she said. “It takes awhile for us to stop. We can’t swerve out of the way and we do the best we can.”
The discussion has changed in Surrey and Langley since our last “commuter chaos” post on this website. On October 20, Surrey voters elected a new Mayor and Council who are committed to cancelling the Surrey Light Rail Transit system, in favour of promoting a SkyTrain extension from Surrey to Langley. This has been a major victory for our campaign.
However, if Surrey were to have proceeded with a light rail transit system, it would have run at street level on segments of 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway. Incidents like this where LRT trains are involved in collisions with vehicles or pedestrians can prove fatal for those who are hit, and generally necessitate complete shut downs of that segment of the LRT system.
Accidents have disrupted light rail service in Calgary in five separate incidents that were highlighted by SkyTrain for Surrey: in May, July, September, and twice in October.
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]