Letter: Light rail is luxury not yet needed
Monday, July 11, 2011
I am a longtime commuter to downtown Portland and don’t see a pressing need for light rail. The major problem with light rail is its slowness due to frequent stops and waiting for traffic. We need an express commuter train or just express buses. Otherwise the light-rail train will be used for recreation and shopping (save on sales tax), and is way too costly for that.
The ridership will never pay for the cost as Bruce Courtway claimed in his July 2 letter, “Light rail carries many benefits.”
The route does not have enough population to support it. Most people would have to drive or ride a bus to get to the train, which would again slow down the commute time.
I don’t think Vancouver has a practical need for light rail along I-5 for several decades. I see another avenue with more promise: the I-205 corridor. The Glenn Jackson Bridge made room for future light rail, and even though it would be a couple miles longer this way, it may not cost any more. People could easily catch a plane, tourists could come explore Vancouver, and it would not be any slower to ride to downtown Portland or to the Rose Quarter that way.