A Year Later And TransLink Has Not Learned – Desmond Must Be Fired

A year ago, the Canada line went ka-put in a snow storm and thousands of customers were stranded North of the Fraser River and all TransLink can do is advise people to walk a snow bound rail bridge, in a snow storm to get to Richmond.

This is unacceptable; in Europe this would have been illegal!

Kevin Desmond should shut up about new SkyTrain cars and capacity because the claims are moot when the damn thing doesn’t run!

The sheer incompetence of TransLink is appalling, but what is more appalling is that the Premier and the Minister of Transportation allows such incompetence to run the provinces largest public transit network!

That TransLink officials were telling transit customers to walk across the bridge, crossing the Fraser River in a snow storm is unacceptable and TransLink’s CEO, allowing this to happen, demands his resignation and if he refuses to, he must be fired.

@TransitPolice thanks to @TransLink ! Clearing all people off ! Telling people to walk across icy bridge! NO shuttle bus to Richmond!!! !!!@CTVVancouver @CKNW @GlobalBC @NEWS1130 @CBCNews

In Germany, there would have been criminal action against TransLink, but in BC, the land of money laundering, no one gives a damn about transit customers, especially TransLink executives.

Why is Premier Horgan the NDP allowing this to happen?

Canada Line Ka-Put For Evening Rush Again! – CEO Kevin Desmond Must Resign!

Posted by on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Twice in three days, the Canada Line has called it quits during Monday’s evenings rush hour. Snow, again is the culprit, but really, that excuse is wearing thin.

By world standards, it isn’t a lot of snow that has fallen (1 cm per hour) and with trains every three to five minutes crossing the bridge over the Fraser River, there should be no large accumulation of snow that would stop the metro.

Why is this $2.2 billion mini-metro not able to cross the bridge over the Fraser River when it snows?

In other jurisdictions, questions would have been asked in Parliament or legislature and demands made on operating authority to answer why this disruption is taking place.

But this is is a BC Liberal built mini-metro and the mainstream media remain mute, no questions are asked and the transit customer is once again treated like crap!

Translink’s total incompetence is breathtaking and again, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond  must resign or be fired


Canada Line SkyTrain service delays, shuttle buses to come

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver’s News. Vancouver’s Talk
Posted: February 06, 2017

Canada Line SkyTrain service delays, shuttle buses to come


After a hold on trains at all Canada Line stations, some service is now resuming, but only between particular stations.

Service from Oakridge to Templeton, and Oakridge to Aberdeen is not running at this time.

TransLink says they’re in the process of assembling a bus shuttle service.

Expo and Millennium lines are unaffected, and are running normally.

Additional security and Transit Police are at the stations to ensure passenger safety and crowd control.

“It’s Kind Of Like Building A Subway Station On King For A Fraction Of The Cost.”

As Toronto’s Kings street streetcar reinvents itself as LRT, good things happen.

But, as always with something new, people will complain, especially some restaurant owners who no longer can park their cars in front of their places of business.

If public transit is to work, it must be given priority over other transportation modes and unfortunately, parking.

Light rail, when built properly gives metro style servcie at a fraction of the cost.

New King Street pilot project data flies in face of claims that business is down 50 per cent

Streetcar travel times continue to improve as pilot goes on, city says

By Kate McGillivray , CBC News Posted: Feb 16, 2018 4:04 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 16, 2018 4:04 PM ET

New data released by the city of Toronto suggests customer spending in the area of the King Street Pilot Project has not been affected by new rules that prioritize transit and impose restrictions on private vehicle traffic.

That goes against recent protests from restaurateurs and other merchants, some of whom claim the project, which began in November, has cost them up to 50 per cent of their business.

“Preliminary findings indicate that customer spending since the pilot began is in line with seasonal spending patterns over the past three years,” says a report on the pilot project released Friday.

“There will always be skeptics,” said Coun. Joe Cressy, a long-time booster of the project. “But I believe the data speaks for itself.”

Cressy acknowledged that thanks to a cold snap, “business was in fact down on King in the early part of this pilot … but it was also down across the city.”

That city’s new spending data comes from Moneris Solutions Corp., a tech company that specializes in processing payments.

Other findings in the report paint a cheery picture of transit on King Street:

  • A 16 per cent overall increase in ridership on King streetcars.
  • A travel time improvement of four to five minutes during the evening commute in both directions.
  • Travel times for cars on most downtown streets since the pilot started have, on average, increased by less than a minute.

“Eighty-four thousand people are now riding the King streetcar. That’s an increase of 12,000 since the fall,” said Cressy. “It’s kind of like building a subway station on King for a fraction of the cost.”

Free parking brought in last month

The project has found enemies in King Street business owners like Al Carbone, who runs the Kit Kat Italian Bar and Grill and who placed an ice sculpture of a raised middle finger on his patio in protest.

“Eateries, bars and other small businesses on King Street have suffered nearly 50 per cent of revenue losses,” he said in late January.

Restaurateur Al Carbone says he wants city hall to completely scrap the King Street pilot project, and he’ll be keeping up a social media campaign until it does. (John Rieti/CBC)

Carbone also accused the city of “fudging” previous numbers that show the pilot project is increasing ridership without having significant impacts on drivers on surrounding streets.

In response to complaints like Carbone’s, the city brought in free parking on King Street for up to two hours in early January.

The boost in ridership has come with its own pitfalls: in December, CBC Toronto spoke to commuters who said that while travel times might be improving, crowding on streetcars was still an issue.

By adding new Bombardier Flexity streetcars, which can fit two to three times more people, the TTC has increased the capacity of streetcar service in the pilot area from 2,047 passengers per hour to 2,892 passengers per hour since the pilot began.

Horgan’s Great Blunder, The Pattullo Bridge Affair – A Complete Lack of Foresight

Foresight: The ability to predict what will happen or be needed in the future.

The announcement for the Pattullo Bridge replacement, by Premier Horgan, displayed a complete lack of foresight for transportation needs in Metro Vancouver.

The key to improving regional mobility in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley is a new railway bridge crossing the Fraser River, as the current decrepit, single track rail bridge crossing the river has long needed replacing.

The GVRD knew this back in the 70′s but with the forcing of the SkyTrain proprietary light-metro on the GVRD, all commonsense planning departed the region.

SkyTrain is far too expensive to build much past Surrey and lacks the flexibility to achieve much in reducing gridlock, which leaves the region with  “Hobson’s Choice” (a choice of taking what is available or nothing at all) of using existing railways or no improvement in regional transit.

The current SkyTrain Lobby fail to understand this and presently they they are lost in a transit ennui, with visions of SkyTrain everywhere.

Sadly, they seem to have the Premier’s ear.

For Premier Horgan, an announcement of a combined road/rail bridge would have been a winner, both by providing a much needed replacement for the Pattullo Bridge and improving rail access across the Fraser River with an eye on future transit needs.

As it stands, Premier Horgan and the NDP’s lack of foresight has just given the Fraser Valley a massive slap across the face and no chance of wooing the Fraser Valley voter in future elections.

The GVRD's 1970's preliminary plan for a road/rail bridge replacing both the Pattullo and Fraser River Rail Bridges

A Massive Conflict of Interest

Oh, what tangled webs we weave……..

The big news today is not the forthcoming announcement by the Premier and Minister of Transportation replacing the aged and decrepit Pattullo Bridge, with a new $1.6 billion bridge, rather it is revelation that so-called due diligence panels of handpicked experts who were hired to review TransLink’s business cases.

Included in the due diligence panels was a former SNC Lavalin Executive, yet SNC Lavalin hold the Engineering Patents for the ART Innovia proprietary light-metro system! In fact the due diligence panel, to review the TransLink business case for both the Broadway subway and Surrey’s LRT were filled with SkyTrain and light-metro types.

Even more disturbing, no one with any expertise with modern LRT, was on the panel.

As for TransLink’s Business Cases for transit projects, they are a joke, the Evergreen Line’s business case was easily shredded by transit expert Gerald Fox and the business case for the Canada Line allowed a subway to be built with just more than half the capacity needed to justify a subway!

A missive conflict of interest now hangs over both rail transit projects, abetted by Premier Horgan and Minister of Transportation Claire Travena.

The fix is in and with the Broadway Subway and the Surrey LRT, as the recommendations from the due diligence panels were censored from the briefing notes.

As Gerald Fox observed:

So I went back and read the alleged “Business Case” (BC) report in a little more detail. I found several instances where the analysis had made assumptions that were inaccurate, or had been manipulated to make the case for SkyTrain. If the underlying assumptions are inaccurate, the conclusions may be so too.

And concluded:

It is interesting how TransLink has used this cunning method of manipulating analysis to justify SkyTrain in corridor after corridor, and has thus succeeded in keeping its proprietary rail system expanding.

Common sense would derail both projects immediately, but building transit was never about common sense, it was and is by political diktat from the Premier’s Office; to build what the premier wants built. What the premier wants built is the political deal he or she cut with SNC Lavalin and Bombardier Inc. the patent holders of the proprietary ALRT/ART Innovia light-metro system.

This is the stuff how FastFerry fiascos begin!

Exclusive: A new Pattullo Bridge for $1.6B, but Broadway Subway and Surrey LRT costs remain secret

Bob Mackin

The cost of the new Pattullo Bridge is pegged at $1.6 billion, according to a mid-October briefing note to the NDP minister responsible for TransLink.

Premier John Horgan, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson will green light the New Westminster-to-Surrey spanner on Feb. 16. They are expected to announce the government, not TransLink, will be responsible for replacing the decaying 80-year-old bridge. A source close to the project also told theBreaker that the contract to build the new bridge is expected to include a community benefits clause that may require, among other things, a quota of aboriginal apprentices.

Aritst’s rendering of the new Pattullo Bridge (TransLink)

The briefing note, obtained by theBreaker under the freedom of information law, was written after the government received TransLink’s business case for the new four-lane bridge, which would be expandable to six lanes. Jan. 1, 2023 would be the target for opening.

“The Mayors’ Vision indicated that the bridge replacement would cost approximately $980 million,” said the briefing note to Robinson. “TransLink currently estimates the Pattullo Bridge replacement would cost approximately $1.6 billion.”

The project is not eligible for funding from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund, but TransLink was exploring options with the federal infrastructure bank and Trade Transportation Corridor Initiative. Horgan and Trevena threw TransLink a curveball last summer when they kept a campaign promise and abolished tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.

“TransLink is also looking for a subsidy to replace the tolls that were eliminated Sept. 1,” said the briefing note. “The transit authority had been counting on tolls to pay for up to two-thirds of the cost of the new Pattullo, which was estimated at about $1 billion in 2014. The amount of the subsidy has not been determined.”

Late last year, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan was voted to replace Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson as chair of the Mayors’ Council and a member of the TransLink board of directors. Corrigan suggested the Pattullo be the top priority, before TransLink builds the Broadway subway or Surrey light rail transit.

The cost estimates for the two rail projects were censored from the documents provided to theBreaker. However, one of the briefing notes was created Dec. 14 and quotes a Dec. 13 story by theBreaker about the ongoing cost secrecy.

Under the heading “Escalating Costs,” an aide to Robinson summarized theBreaker story that was headlined  “Mayors got secret update last year on TransLink mega project costs, but kept public in the dark,”

“The story is based on internal documents released through FOI that suggest the estimated costs for the megaprojects have risen significantly. Final costs will not be determined until TransLink submits its final business cases and will be shared publicly when they are approved (estimated late February).”

In 2014, the Surrey project was estimated at $2.21 billion and Broadway $1.98 billion. TransLink warned that costs have increased due to rising costs of property, labour, materials and equipment.

A briefing note said that $300,000 is being spent on so-called due diligence panels of handpicked experts who were hired to review TransLink’s business cases. The panels were struck in January 2017 to review what is officially called the Surrey L Line and the Millennium Line Broadway Extension.

“The focus of each panel was to review current alignment, geotechnical considerations, design and methods of construction; property acquisition; costs estimates; and formation and content of business case in relation to Treasury Board expectations,” the briefing note said.

Former SNC-Lavalin executive vice-president James Burke and ex-B.C. Deputy Finance Minister Peter Milburn are on both panels. Engineer Les Elliott is the third member of the Surrey panel, while veteran SkyTrain construction engineer and transit tunnelling specialist Jeff Hewitt are on the Broadway panel.

Their recommendations were censored from the briefing notes.

GCP-2017-74550-Mackin.pdf by BobMackin on Scribd

Metro Madness – Does TransLink Understand The Issue Of Subway Maintenance?

Subway maintenance costs are an issue that TransLink and the regional mayors have not even considered.

As subways age, they cost a lot to maintain. The TTC has put the cost just to operate and maintain 5 km of subway, at $40 million annually and just gives a hint of maintenance costs to come for TransLink.

If costs are deferred, like many transit operators do, the problems are compounded until so bad that the subway line has to be closed down altogether for repairs.

Vancouver already has the Canada Line subway, but as it ages, much money must be spent to maintain it, but in the future, how will those costs affect the rest of the transit system.

The Broadway subway, if built, will be another maintenance time-bomb for TransLink, yet subway maintenance costs have been completely ignored by all.

Memo to John Horgan; Claire Travena; and David Eby; not only is the Broadway subway a “FastFerry” project on steroids, the huge maintenance costs of this “White Elephant” project will haunt the NDP forever!

Line repair on a TTC subway line.


Md. shuts down entire subway system for emergency repairs

Posted on February 12, 2018

As sections of the Metro SubwayLink are repaired and made available for use, MDOT MTA will evaluate a partial reopening of the system.

As sections of the Metro SubwayLink are repaired and made available for use, MDOT MTA will evaluate a partial reopening of the system.<br />

Following a thorough inspection completed this weekend of the entire Metro SubwayLink, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) Administrator Kevin Quinn determined the entire system will need to remain closed for up to four weeks, through March 11, to ensure the safety of all customers.

After working with bus contractors since Friday morning’s rail closure, the Hogan Administration announced $2.2 million in emergency funding to run shuttle bus bridges to transport riders along the Metro SubwayLink route. These shuttle buses are in addition to the existing BaltimoreLink bus options at each station provided by CityLink and LocalLink routes. The weekend inspection of the entire system was conducted after routine inspections last week determined the elevated track from Owings Mills to West Cold Spring would be closed for several weeks to replace track in advance of the planned summer replacement project. As sections of the Metro SubwayLink are repaired and made available for use, MDOT MTA will evaluate a partial reopening of the system.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Quinn. “With bus bridges, we will be able to do the necessary rail repairs to reopen our system as quickly as possible while still providing our customers with critical access to work, school, medical facilities, and leisure activities.”

“On behalf of our citizens who rely daily on the Metro SubwayLink system for their transport needs, I want to express our gratitude to the Hogan Administration for this emergency funding we requested to provide dedicated buses that will travel the Metro SubwayLink route,” said Mayor Catherine E. Pugh. “It is important that we do everything possible to mitigate the inconvenience of prolonged disruption of the Metro SubwayLink service.”

Civic Maturity Comes With Light Rail

Light Rail, brings with it, civic maturity.

This civic maturity puts the transit customers before political friends; it puts financial reality ahead of political prestige; it puts the public interest as a whole, ahead of car drivers and even business owners. Light rail focuses on good transit and good planning, which in the future will make the city vibrant and livable.

Metro Vancouver sees no such transit maturity at all.

The anti-LRT crowd, offer cliched “fake news” and “alternative facts” about modern light rail ad naseum, but fail to mention that no one actually wants to build with their pet Innovia SkyTrain and/or the classic white elephant, Canada Line, also lack the maturity to understand modern public transit philosophy.

Metro Vancouver builds transit because of political deals made by the Premier of the day and executed by a neutered TransLink, for the benefit of Bombardier Inc., SNC Lavalin, land developers and land speculators. In Metro Vancouver, the transit customer does not count as transit is designed to move money, not people.

In Toronto, with the introduction of new low-floor modular trams, comes the next step of upgrading the heritage streetcar network to a 21st century light-rail standard and already, ridership has increased, as transit customers like the changes.

Of course there will be problems and of course some businesses will find the changes challenging. Car drivers are finding out that they also must give way to better transit, a lesson that is unheard of in Vancouver, where car drivers are forced off roads, without any noticeable improvement in transit at all!

The result, gridlock reigns in Metro Vancouver.

As for TransLink, their puerile “rah-rah” media friendly news releases claims are just that, claims, as evidence point to the opposite, people are avoiding transit.

The continued abysmal planning for SkyTrain; the continued planning for ‘rapid transit’ on routes that do not have the traffic flows to support it, shows a genuine immaturity with transit planning.

TransLink, the City of Vancouver and the metro Vancouver mayors have shown no signs of maturity, in fact they treat transit like a child’s Christmas train set, very expensive for what it does and then lose interest soon after ‘daddy’ sets it up Christmas Day!

Memo to metro mayors: Grow up and be adults;  do what is right and not what your political bagmen tell you to do.

City planners dreamed of transforming the crucial roadway in the core, but some ideas were later shelved for being too radical

Passengers prepare to board a westbound streetcar on King St. West near John St., on Feb 8 2018.

When the King Street pilot was first envisioned, it was about more than speeding up streetcars. City planners dreamed of transforming the crucial roadway, discouraging drivers in favour of transit and adding dynamic public space that would reshape the corridor.

Instead, the city “shelved” broader plans to improve the look and feel of King Street, nervous that being too radical would bring political and public opposition. The project was launched as a transit initiative that did little to improve what planners call the public realm.

The city then found itself on the defensive as business opposition mounted, forcing staff and politicians to scramble for ways to head off critics and add elements that would bring life to the street.

Observers say the response – including escalating offers of free parking and a restaurant promotion announced, then discarded – could have been avoided if the city had started with more comprehensive changes.

“There are components of the public-realm plan that were sort of shelved, and very clearly those components of the public-realm plan are a critical part of the success,” said former chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat, who left the role two months before the project launched.

“I think that there was some fear about taking the pilot too far too quickly, but it’s kind of like one of those situations where you can’t just dip your toe in the water. You’re either in the water or you’re out of the water, but you can’t be halfway in.”

In November, the city eliminated street parking and prohibited continuous vehicle traffic on King Street from Bathurst to Jarvis. Transit ridership is up, but some businesses complain of big drops in customers. Now, after three months, the year-long project is entering a pivotal period.

The worst of winter should end soon, likely bringing more people outside to use the street. The financial district’s business improvement area (BIA) has been surveying its members before it takes a public position on the pilot. A coalition of civic and residents’ groups has begun promoting King Street.

The popular musical Come From Away returns to a King Street theatre next week, and is expected to draw thousands. Around the same time, the city is planning to release credit card sales data that will help show whether businesses are, in fact, suffering.

The Globe and Mail canvassed more than 140 businesses throughout the pilot area and the responses did not suggest the street is deserted, as some opponents insist. But impacts vary widely. While most respondents said business dropped after the pilot launched, around one-third reported it being flat or improved.

For the rest of the story……

Dublin’s LUAS 55 Metre Tram

It has been said that longer trams are cheaper to operate than a coupled set and with the Dublin LUAS 55 metre long trams, sets a new standard in the British Isles and Eire. Whether the ancient streets and bridges can handle the beasts is another issue altogether.

Teething problems abound, but a quick comparison with the Canada Line proves interesting. The new trams will increase capacity on heavily used routes to over 7,600 persons per hour per direction, with the trams capacity of 380 persons at 3 minute headway’s.

The best, the much more expensive Canada Line can manage to do is 6,520 pphpd in the peak hour at 3 minute headway’s and unlike the LUAS LRT, one cannot just add another body module on the non articulated metro cars on the Canada Line!

Imagine one traveling down Broadway……..

Election Season Is Near – Abbotsford Mayor Proposes LRT For The Fraser Valley

In BC, when election time nears, politicians are looking for issues to garner votes.

In the Fraser Valley, traffic chaos grows with population, with the obvious results – gridlock.

Rail for the Valley has an affordable plan, yet it fell on deaf ears and still does. The key word is “affordable” because if a plan is affordable it is doable and BC politicians do not like that at all, as they prefer to sit moribund in their taxpayer paid offices and council chambers, traveling to and fro on the taxpayers dime and do absolutely as little as possible, except at election time!

The old saw about LRT in the median of Highway 1, is being used as an election gimmick, but the promoters of the scheme forget one important fact, the cost and by going “greenfield’s” construction is hugely expensive proposition, with costs almost on the same scale as SkyTrain light-metro construction.

The LRT in the median plan also means it will be very hard to utilize and the vast majority of customers will have to transfer at least two times to use it.

Estimated cost for a 65 km Vancouver to Abbotsford Calgary style LRT @ at a very conservative $100 million/km to build – $6.5 billion!

The Rail for the Valley plan is the superior plan because it is affordable and services far more destinations for transit customers.

Today’s cost for a 130 km Vancouver to Chilliwack diesel LRT or light DMU,  service (a train every 60 minutes each direction), serving, downtown Chilliwack, Sardis, Huntington (for the Abbotsford Airport), Abbotsford, Langley. Cloverdale, North Delta and Vancouver with many destinations within easy walking distance of the line, is under $1 billion.

The real reason is revealed for the Abbotsford Mayor’s LRT pitch  is; “At the very least, Braun said congestion is bad enough to the valley that the highway should be widened.”

The mayor of Abbotsford as shown no “great conversion on the road to Damascus” for LRT, rather a pitch to get Hwy. 1 widened, so more traffic can use it, creating even more congestion and gridlock.

The Alstom RegioTram, would make for an excellent transit servcie for a Vancouver to Chilliwack rail servcie.

Light rail to the Fraser Valley? Abbotsford mayor says it’s not ‘pie in the sky’

By Senior Reporter  CKNW

Abbotsford’s mayor is floating the idea of building light rail transit (LRT) down the middle of Highway 1 between Surrey and the Fraser Valley to alleviate congestion.

“No I don’t think it’s pie in the sky, I said that 20 years ago,” Henry Braun told Global News.

Braun says traffic is so bad on the stretch of highway between the two areas that it is actually faster to travel using the back roads.

“It’s taken me as long as two hours to get from [Abbotsford] city hall to downtown Vancouver.”

With the region talking transit mega projects, Braun is now arguing his city should be included. He’s proposing the LRT line be constructed using the space between east and westbound lanes.

“The median should be an LRT surface-based transit system like Calgary and Edmonton,” Braun said.

Braun is not the first person to float the idea of a light rail service to the Fraser Valley. Transit advocates have previously floated the idea of reviving the old BC Electric Railway Interurban line, which ran from New Westminster to Chilliwack until the 1950s.

Braun didn’t propose how the line would be funded, or say whether he thought it should be administered by TransLink or BC Transit.

But he said while it’s clear that the federal government’s transit priority is on the major urban centres, it’s time to get the same discussion going on at the local level.

At the very least, Braun said congestion is bad enough to the valley that the highway should be widened.

“The freeway was built when I was 14 years old,” Braun said.

“I’m now 67 and the freeway is still the same.”

SkyTrain Ka-Put Again

For a proprietary transit system that is supposed to have a remarkable operational reliability, it is breaking down an awful lot lately.

Could it be that SkyTrain is not as reliable as certain people would have us think?

Sadly, SkyTrain is demonstrating the perils of an aging proprietary railway.

Stalled train creates SkyTrain delays during afternoon rush

by Hana Mae Nassar

Posted Feb 5, 2018 5:02 pm PST

Last Updated Feb 5, 2018

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A big headache for those trying to take the SkyTrain this afternoon.

Expo Line SkyTrain service has been stopped between Waterfront and Commercial-Broadway St Stations because of a stalled train by Main Street-Science World.

According to TransLink, a bus bridge has being set up to help commuters, but all downtown Vancouver stations are being closed to help alleviate congestion.

Canada Line and Millennium Line service is unaffected.

Transit Police officers and additional staff have been called in and are on the platforms to help manage crowds during during the afternoon rush.



5:36 pm

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Service is slowly resuming on the Expo Line SkyTrain after a stalled train shut down operations between Waterfront and Commercial-Broadway stations this afternoon.

Stations are still dealing with crowds of people, and TransLink is asking for patience.

Expo Line SkyTrain service had been stopped between Waterfront and Commercial-Broadway St Stations because of a stalled train by Main Street-Science World.

A bus bridge had been set up to help commuters, and all downtown Vancouver stations were closed to help alleviate congestion.

How SkyTrain Zealots Want To Crush Rational Transit Thinking

The End of the Line for SkyTrain?

Recent articles, by the SkyTrain Lobby are nothing more than the old adage; “Repeat a lie often enough and the people will come around to believing it.”

What we call SkyTrain, a combination of three railways of which one is not compatible in operation with the other two, are just simply railways.

To try to give the two unconventional railways some sort of perceived advantage, they are powered by Linear Induction Motors or LIM’s and they are fully automatic (driverless). The problem is, the two railways, built as light-metro’s cost much more to build, more to operate and more to maintain than conventional railways. Sadly for the two unconventional railways, they became museum pieces because there were cheaper and just as good alternatives.

Why spend more for one railway, when the alternative was cheaper and just as good or better?

And here lies the problem for the SkyTrain Lobby, their much cherished ALRT/ART proprietary rapid transit system.

So let us examine what we call SkyTrain, again.

  • Only seven such systems built.
  • Six name changes in 40 years, starting with; Intermediate Capacity Transit System (ICTS); Advanced Light Rail Transit System (ALRT); Advanced Light Rapid Transit System (ALRT), Automatic Light Metro (ALM), Advanced Rapid Transit (ART) and now Innovia 100, 200,  300 series.
  • No sales in the past decade.
  • Designed to be elevated to mitigate the high cost of subway construction.
  • Limited capacity.
  • Patents owned by Bombardier Inc. and SNC Lavalin.
  • Maintenance intensive.
  • hugely expensive constriction costs.
  • Higher maintenance and operation costs, due to small cars and ’4-rail’ operation.
  • In comparison, the Expo line cot about 40% more to operate than the Calgary C-Train (both having about the same length at the time), with the C-Train carrying more passengers.
  • Only one supplier.
  • Not compatible in operation with the Canada Line, which though is called SkyTrain, is not.
  • Not compatible in operation with any other transit system.
  • Most studied of the light-metro family, with unprecedented exposure during Expo 86, yet no buyers in North America, during an era of unprecedented investment in light rail. Note, both the Detroit ICTS and the JFK/Port Authority were private deals between the operator and the UTDC/Bombardier, with the former used as a single track 4.5 km ‘people mover’ and an airport ‘people mover’ at JFK and parking lots and a subway station and are not used for urban transport.

Until there is honest debate about transit, instead of their constant harangue of SkyTrain myth and wishful thinking, congestion and gridlock will continue unabated in metro Vancouver, until the region and metro mayors enter into rational transit thinking.