By Jim Karlock,
Presently commuters can board C-Tran buses at various locations around Vancouver for a direct ride into downtown Portland. The one that boards in downtown Vancouver reaches downtown Portland in just 15 minutes. Contrast this with MAX that takes 30 minutes to get from the Expo Center to downtown Portland. (This difference is so striking that I even asked C-Tran if their express buses to/from Portland kept on schedule. The answer was that the generally do!)
Why would Portland’s planners insist on extending MAX into Vancouver, only to see transit users’ commute time doubled. Why don’t planners care about forcing commuters to waste an extra Â½ hour a day on their commute? The only answer seems to be that light rail is not for transportation, it is about high density development. Which, in turn, is about tax give aways to favored developers. More importantly (to planners) light rail is about extending Portland’s failed land use policies into Vancouver.
This becomes even more obvious when you realize that, according to the CRC project’s DEIS, only 1650 people use transit to cross the river each day while 81,000 use the road every day. Why is Metro and Sam Adams pushing, an almost BILLION dollars, for light rail to replace buses which only serve 1650 people, while proposing downsizing the improvements to the bridge that serves 81,000 people?