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VIDEO: Kelowna councillor refuses to be derailed on his tram-train idea

It wasn't even on the agenda.

But that didn't stop Kelowna City Councillor Gord Lovegrove from revisiting an idea that helped get him elected.

A "tram-train".

The agenda item was a citizen survey on transportation.

Lovegrove took the opportunity to advocate for his suggestion of a rail system for the region.

"Absolutely, I talked to 10,000 people," he said, referring to his time on the campaign trail. "Everyone of them is hopping up and down excited about it."

A city report on the topic from 2020 found rail to be cost-prohibitive for an area without the population density to support it.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia <who> Gord Lovegrove

But Lovegrove said what he envisions would be far less expensive.

He said staff were looking at systems like Vancouver's SkyTrain.

What Lovgrove is envisioning would use existing road roadways, so Lovegrove argues it would be much less expensive.

He points to what's referred to as the Karlsruhe Model.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

"It's a tram. A streetcar in North America is what it's called it's a tram-train," so it runs city speeds in cities. low profile rails, low-floor car and it runs at highway speeds between cities."

That's right, "between cities".

Because Lovegrove is advocating for a regional system that runs along Highway 97 from the border to Kamloops and all stops in between.

Build a system that big and the per kilometre cost really drops, he argues.

"Under $10 million per kilometre," said Lovegrove.

<who>Photo credit: Contributed </who>

"It's half the cost of widening our highways," he exclaimed.

Lovegrove emphasizes that such a plan would have to serve more than just Kelowna.

"You need it to be valley-wide so that the tourism benefits kick in."

To create something like that, he envisions a valley-long transportation authority involving five regional districts.

He admits that some people aren't taking him seriously, but he believes he has support from enough fellow members of council to move the idea forward.

"I am asking people to show support but be patient."

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