This is really delicious – and it comes from a pretty reliable source:
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Regarding the Evergreen Line, a mayor of an eastern municipality is convinced an announcement is coming soon. Perhaps at the UBCM. The mayor also thinks that the Evergreen Line will take the southwest route along Lougheed AND a branch will head off over the Port Mann to Guildford (maybe further).
I wouldn’t be surprised if rail goes to Walnut Grove and then down 200th to Willowbrook and Langley Centre. Jordan Bateman, a Langley councillor and Liberal insider has been pushing light rail on 200th.
There is massive development being planned along the Lougheed United Boulevard corridor included Fraser Mills and Riverview. Both United and Lougheed are lined with low density retail and industrial development which Wilson seems keen on redeveloping.
The southwest route is significantly less expensive than the northwest route due to the lack of tunnelling. If the construction of the Guildford branch is concurrent with the highway expansion, the cost to Coquitlam Centre and Guildford would be similar of the northwest route to just Coquitlam Centre.
The southwest route also means there is a old Canada Line tunnel boring machine sitting around that could be used for the Millennium Line extension. It also means that the Evergreen Line won’t be going through Port Moody which might be why Trassolini is not very happy.
It seems odd in the RFP that they are building the space for light rail now. This is an extra expense that will not increase the revenue in the first few years of operation. Rail over the bridge both in the short and long term will likely generate more revenue than using the two lanes reserved for light rail for general purpose traffic.
Rail also protects project revenue against increases in gas prices and TDM measures designed to reduce automobile use because as car use and revenue goes down, rail use and revenue would go up.
Since most of the opposition to the expansion is coming from Vancouver and Burnaby, the province might also chose to delay the expansion west of Coquitlam.
It also wouldn’t surprise me if the Gateway Program is moved over to the new TransLink. It always seemed rather cumbersome to have both MoT and TransLink responsible for roads in the region. This could be the real reason why Falcon is rejigging TransLink.
Again all of this is rumor and guesswork. Given Campbell’s ability to outmanoeuvre the opposition, none of this would surprise me at all.