Independent CRC analysis critical of light rail

first_imgA trip from downtown Vancouver to downtown Portland would take more than twice as long on a light rail train as it would on existing bus service, a recent analysis of Columbia River Crossing plans found.Oakland, Calif.-based transportation consultant Tom Rubin used CRC plans, plus C-Tran and TriMet schedules, to put travel times by each mode of transportation side by side for the same route — and questioned why the project’s final environmental impact statement didn’t fully do the same.The results? Taking light rail from Vancouver’s Washington Street and West 15th Street to Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square would take 36 minutes on the train, according to Rubin. C-Tran’s existing No. 105 route makes almost the same trip in 15 minutes, if it’s on schedule. And bus rapid transit — another high-capacity alternative considered by CRC planners — could do it in 14 minutes, according to Rubin.Project planners chose light rail as the preferred alternative in 2008.“I’ve seen dozens, perhaps hundreds of studies, and I’ve never seen one where the travel time goes up, let alone more than doubles,” Rubin said.Light rail is only a portion of the estimated $3.1 billion to $3.5 billion project that would also replace the Interstate 5 Bridge span between Washington and Oregon, plus expand the freeway on both sides of the Columbia River. For cars and buses, building the project would significantly cut down on travel times compared with leaving the bridge as is, said CRC spokeswoman Anne Pressentin.last_img read more

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