Challenge Richard

SkyTrainai??i??s Expo Line was built in 1985 and opened in time for Expo 86 with 20 stations connecting Waterfront Station in Vancouver and King George Station in Surrey.

Between 1985 & 2012; One Hundred & Fifty One full service tramways have been built & opened worldwide, with another 56 under construction or approval.

The full report is in the Light Rail Transit Association (LRTA), International Light Rail magazine Tramways & Urban Transit (TAUT)Ai??for January 2013.

The Cardinal challenges Richard to explain why in the 28 years since 1985, only half a dozen Skytrain systems have been built worldwide.

Quoting Voony

ai???Integrating transit into pedestrian oriented streets, is also the only way to have an extensive and still successful pedestrian friendly streets networkai???

ThreeAi??of the latest street level Light Rail/Tramway/LRT systems, opened in 2012 areAi??not suprisingly,Ai??in France – Ai??Brest, Dijon & Le Harve

Dijon tram route T2 entered service on December 8 2012.

FRANCE: Dijon’s second tram route entered service on December 8, running for 11Ai??5 km (7.1 miles) from Valmy in the northern suburbs to ChenA?ve Centre in the south and serving a total of 21 stops.

Three stops in the city centre are shared with the 8Ai??5 km (5.3 mile) line T1 from the SNCF station to Quetigny Centre which opened on September 1

Operated by Keolis as part of the Divia network, T1 has carried an average of 36 000 passengers a day during its first two months in service, 6 000 more than the highest forecasts according to the Greater Dijon Authority. Two extra cars are to be deployed to reduce peak headways from 6 m to 5 min on T1, while T2 services now also serve the busiest section between Gare and RAi??publique.

‘The tram has changed the city – for the better – it has transformed our lives’, said FranAi??ois Rebsamen, President of the Greater Dijon Authority, who saw the new network as a tool for the development of Dijon as capital of the Bourgogne region.


8 Responses to “Challenge Richard”
  1. eric chris says:

    The joke going around our office goes something along the lines of:

    Back before the Expo Line was built, the NDP went out for tenders for rapid transit. The Chinese offered to do it for $1 million per kilometre, the French for $2 million per kilometre, the Germans for $3 million per kilometre and the Americans for $4 million per kilometre.

    The NDP instead decided to form TransLink to do it in BC for $40 million per kilometre; they bought the trains from Quebec and got their friends at SNCL to build it for $39 million per kilometre, saving $1 million per kilometre, or so they say. The other $1 million per kilometre in pocket change went missing and hasn’t been found but everyone at TransLink sure dresses well these days.

    Zweisystem replies: The Social Credit government built the Expo Line and the NDP government built the Millennium Line.

  2. eric chris says:

    Thanks for the correction ZS, it seems that the NDP followed the Social Credit for the Millennium Line. Then afterwards, the Liberals followed the NDP for the Canada Line.

    Anyhow, at $127 million per kilometre to build the new Evergreen Line (SkyTrain) along with as much as another $100 million per kilometre to integrate it into the current SkyTrain network (making the real cost of the Evergreen Line $227 million per kilometre) plus another $6 million annually in additional bus service hours to get riders to the Evergreen Line – the new 11 kilometre Evergreen Line can’t get much more ridiculous:

    Tram service for the Evergreen Line would cost about $30 million per kilometre, instead. However, it would be difficult to skim about $30 million per kilometre off the Evergreen Line (tram) when it only costs $30 million per kilometre.

  3. Fraser Pollock says:

    The Urban Transit Development Corportion of Ontario, a provincial crown corporation was the car builder and designer of the Expo Line. Just thought we should be clear.

    Zweisystem replies: The Mk.1 SkyTrain cars were a UTDC product, but the now called Expo Line was piggybacked onto the GVRD light rail scheme, just a few weeks before announcing a Vancouver to Richmond/Whalley/Lougheed Mall LRT, which at the time cost less than the Vancouver to New Westminster Expo SkyTrain line.

  4. Haveacow says:

    Actually we had a question from my office. Is the Evergreen line part of a crosstown east -west Millennium line or a branch that is feeding the downtown directly albeit a very indirect line downtown? The reason this is important is the east-west service will require a even greater capacity requirement (passenger and electrical)than is currently provided and may turn the downtown transfer station into a major choke point for the whole system. According to the Translink Expo line upgrade report the company has no plans to greatly upgrade any of the system capacity (passenger and electrical) beyond 15-16000 p/h/d and the electrical capacity to match. How is the system going to grow when such a low capacity seems to be the max and that same report absolutely nixes any chance of increasing platform size due to very high cost, a by product of your raised right of way?

    Zweisystem replies: the Evergreen Line is in reality the unfinished portion of the Millennium Line, which was the bastard child of the Broadway – Lougheed Rapid Transit Project. Like the Expo Line, the Millennium Line was too expensive to build at one go and the construction was deferred until later. The Evergreen Line’s name is strictly for political consumption.

    Unless they put in a “Y” switchat Lougheed junction and indications are, they are not, then placing the junction with the Millennium Line will be very important. There is a partly constructed junction for the Evergreen line to proceed East. So, if one wants to travel to Vancouver, one must make a transfer at the very crowded Broadway station. If instead, the junction is to the South, then the journey times for a direct trip to Vancouver will be about an hour, which will be the same if one transfers to an East Bound Train at Lougheed and again at Broadway. The entire Evergreen line is badly planned from the start, but there is so much political currency paid into the line from both political parties, it will be built.

    For many, for direct trips to downtown Vancouver, taking the West Coast Express would be faster.

    Some years ago, TransLink floated the idea that the WCE would terminate in Port Moody and all Vancouver bound passengers would be forced to transfer to the Evergreen Line. I believe saner heads prevailed over this bit of nonsense.

  5. Haveacow says:

    The question from my present office (temporarily my office. Oh the life a consultant) and co workers still stands for someone to explain. IF WE CAN TEMPORARILY PUT ASIDE THE DEBATE OF TRANSIT TECHNOLOGY, FOR THE MOMMENT. Instead of building a Sky Train line that will only make the existing situation more difficult why not spend the limited Sky Train money on linking the Canada Line with the Millennium Line and see how far west the rest of the money will take us?This greatly increases travel options for riders by adding the ability to transfer between the Millennium and Canada Lines and closes a gaping hole in your existing network. It adds extra capacity albeit, not a lot but, it does not make the transfer situation to the Expo Line many times worse, which in all of our humble opinions, the current Evergreen extension will do.Your current problem is that no extension anywhere can really occur untill you deal with the lack of capacity and the hole at the current core of your rapid transit network.

    Zweisystem replies: The Canada Line is a heavy-rail metro built as a light metro and the Millennium Line is a SkyTrain and as such, both metro systems are unable to operate on each others tracks. To make a “transfer” connection with the Canada line, there has to be a 2.5 to 3 km line built, of which 2 km would be in a subway under Broadway. My estimation would be the cost would be around $600 to $800 million and cut-and cover construction. An elevated connection via Great Northern Way and 2nd Ave to Olympic Station would cost around $300 million. Both options (full elevated line and cut-and-cover construction) would be highly contentious politically but I think the full elevated line to Olympic station does make sense.

    With the left over monies, we could extend the Expo line in Surrey up to 10 km.

    It is near impossible to extend the Canada line cheaply, because it has a 0.6 km single track stub in Richmond. I have been told by a transit specialist that if any investment was to be made for the Canada line, around $1 billion would have to be spent enlarging stations and complete the double tracking and upgrade the signaling system. I can see why the Germans prefer “line-of-sight” operation on their LRT lines where possible!

    The cost of a 130 km.+ Vancouver to Chilliwack TramTrain would cost under $1 billion, as per the RftV/Leewood study. With enough money left over to extend the Millennium line to Olympic station or build TramTrain from Vancouver to the Tri-Cities, a la the Evergreen Line.

  6. Richard says:

    Well, thanks for the headline, I think. Rather misleading though. Not much of a challenge.

    Myself and several others have repeatedly pointed out the faulty logic of this argument that you guys seem to like so much. For the tenth time, comparing a brand of metro to a type of transit is rediculous. It is like comparing Granny Smith apples to oranges.

    The fair comparison would be separated rail (metros) to transit that is not separated from traffic and pedestrians. It is the separation that increases the cost while helping to provide fast frequent safe reliable transit that a lot of people will use.

    Worldwide, I would expect the number of metros is closer to that of trams and LRT. What is for certain, is that the number of people who use metros far exceeds the number who use trams and LRT.

  7. zweisystem says:

    Richard, you and the SkyTrain Lobby still do not get it. Metro’s are only viable when you have the traffic flow (around 15,000 pphpd and up) to justify the investment. What SkyTrain carries today, is about four or five major routes crammed onto one ‘trunk’ metro line and you call this success. In fact it isn’t, it is a mirage hiding the huge annual subsidies being paid to SkyTrain and the rest of the bus system. There has been no modal shift despite well over $8 billion invested in the mini-metro system. It is this lack of modal shift and huge subsidy that has made SkyTrain obsolete that why you, TransLink, and the SkyTrain Lobby wish to ignore. This is why all SkyTrain type systems built, from Vancouver to Kuala Lumpor has never been allowed to directly compete against modern light rail because a direct competition who show how inferior the SkyTrain mini-metro system is. Only seven (7) SkyTrain systems built since when it was first marketed in the late 70’s and only two (2) have expanded, both due to political interference. Not a good record at all Richard.

  8. the Ragnore Brothers says:

    Only ten Ricardo, you suprise me I thought it was twice that number.
    So please tell your audience, what is Skytrain?
    Is it a train, is it a metro, is it Mass Transit System, or is it LRT? expect Richard, worldwide the number of metros is closer to that of trams and LRT?
    not good enough, please post the evidence.
    How do you know, that the number of people who use metros far exceeds the number who use trams and LRT?
    Because Translink told you to say it?
    Evidence please!