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News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: Add lanes, not trains

Published: March 26, 2023, 6:00am

The Columbian reports up to $2 billion will be spent on transit as part of the overpriced $7.5 billion Interstate 5 Bridge replacement. C-Tran could build a bus rapid transit extension for less than $50 million.

The three-mile MAX light rail extension would cost $666 million per mile. It would carry at most 1,000 people an hour, (four trains at 250 riders per train), and only travel 14 mph. Nobody wants to travel that slow.

In the original Columbia River Crossing, the bridge itself was $792 million, according to forensic accountant Tiffany Couch. That means the $2 billion transit cost alone would pay for 2½ bridges. The IBR says the bridge portion is $500 million.

Economist Joe Cortright revealed ODOT wants $30 daily tolls for round-trip travel between Vancouver and Wilsonville. That’s devastating for hardworking low- and middle-income families.

C-Tran forecasts 2027 systemwide ridership will be 75 percent of pre-pandemic levels. TriMet predicts similar dismal ridership. C-Tran’s “I-5 Express” line had only 431 average daily boardings in 2022.

The IBR predicts half of rush hour traffic will travel zero to 20 mph. Citizens want traffic congestion relief, not mass transit and tolls they can’t afford. We need lanes, not trains,

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