Trudeau’s Big Announcement: Big Winners – Bombardier and Bureaucrats

Ah, such a photo-op for our new PM; oh, such an announcement, but really, this just a rehash of old news releases tarted up for a photo-op so PM Trudeau can claim that BC has not been left out of the Liberals game plan of shoveling money off a back of a truck. The stumbling block of course is that regional mayors must ante up to pay for this lemon and that will be a hard sell.

The public spoke loud and clear last spring about the Mayor’s plan, but regional politicians remained deaf to the taxpayer’s wishes.  They will have a very hard time to convince the regional taxpayer to ante more money in what is fundamentally a very bad transit plan.

The big winner it seems is Bombardier Inc. who are the only makers of the proprietary ART cars and Bombardier Inc. also produce the bi-level commuter cars for the West Coast Express.

More cars for the Canada Line is rather silly as the small stations preclude operating longer trains and it seems nothing more than a sop to SNC Lavalin who heads the Canada Line’s mock P-3 operating consortium.

Trudeau did not mention that when a new Seabus is delivered, one of the two older ones will be taken out of service.

The $157 million for pre planning the daft Broadway subway and badly planned Surrey LRT, is a delight for our inept gang of planning bureaucrats who will make sure the money will be spent promoting their incompetence.

Sorry, Trudeau the Younger seems you belong to the “lets throw more money at it” club, in the vain hope that just by throwing money at transit, things are bound to improve, especially at election time.

As for the transit customer, that train has long past, as money spent on transit is to win elections.

Prime Minister Trudeau announces $934 million transportation investment for B.C.

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW

Posted: June 16, 2016

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls it “very good news B.C. has been waiting for.”

Speaking in Burnaby, he says his government has completed negotiations on an agreement with the province to provide federal funding to support public transit.

“So today, I am very happy to announce that our government will be investing four hundred and sixty million dollars in public transit in British Columbia, including three hundred and seventy million for public transit right here in Metro Vancouver.”

With contributions from the province and the cities, it will be a total of $934 million to be invested in public transit across the province.

This will cover, among other things, additional SkyTrain and West Coast Express cars, a third Seabus, and planning and pre-construction of the rapid transit line to UBC and the South of the Fraser light rail system.

$3.4 billion was previously pledged nation-wide for transportation.

Transportation tweet

Comments

4 Responses to “Trudeau’s Big Announcement: Big Winners – Bombardier and Bureaucrats”
  1. Jim says:

    So, nothing for the FVRD?

    Zwei replies: Nope, Nada, zip!

  2. Haveacow says:

    Hey guys you did get something, investments to “modernize and prepare the bus and rail network for subsequent phases of the 10 year vision by upgrading…”. To be honest I have worked in this industry for a while now but that was a first. An entire paragraph to tell people we going to add some bus bays at a few stations and make the trip between the bus and Skytrain at those stations more efficient (probably going to fix escalators and elevators and move some garbage cans out of the way). All while giving the impression that everyone should be really happy and grateful about it .

    On a more serious note, again money to upgrade stations on the Expo Line but not a dime for the kilometers of above grade concrete right of way between them. All of which are now 30+ years old and growing older by the day! Sorry guys really busy, got to go!

    Zwei replies: Not one new bus for South of the Fraser.

  3. Alex says:

    Here’s how I would have announced my plan for transit spending in Metro Vancouver. First of all I would change the location of the press conference to a bus depot and I would arrive on the newest bus that translink has. I would then layout my plan for phase 1 which would be:
    1) We are buying 1000 new Canadian made buses to improve our most underserved routes first and then the rest of the new buses will be used to add capacity to our busiest routes
    2) Starting on Monday morning we will have all 3 of our current Seabuses going into service during peak hours.
    3) Starting with the 99 B-Line we will convert all of our B-Line routes to BRT routes using trolley bud technology, dedicated bus lanes that will be enforced by cameras and the buses on those routes will have signal priority at intersections.
    4) Make the upgrades that our current Skytrain system needs, and there won’t be any extension of the system for the foreseeable future.

    My phase 2 plan would be:
    1) Convert most of the bus routes in Metro Vancouver to trolley bus technology.
    2) Continue converting B-Line routes to BRT
    3) Look at the ridership of the BRT route that goes along Broadway to UBC and make the determination of building a surface LRT line based upon the actual ridership numbers.
    4) Build a toll free 6 lane Pattullo bridge.
    5) Re-evaluate the business case of Skytrain vs LRT when building any future rapid transit line.(use more accurate ridership numbers, look at ease of access and ride times to major destinations on the line)

  4. eric chris says:

    @Alex, you pretty much nailed it. From my perspective, the fast public transit (B-Line and s-train) fiasco is a carry over from the fast ferry fiasco. Maybe fast and infrequent transit during peak hours has some merit. TransLink runs fast and frequent transit all the time, even at 2:30 AM. What other transit organization does this in the world?

    If you look at the 99 B-Line route, for instance, most the buses have virtually nobody on board, even during peak hours, much of the time. This is because the B-Lines operate so frequently that the B-Lines show up and leave before there are any people at the bus stop. At the same time, all the parallel routes on Broadway (No. 9 and No. 14) and on 4th Avenue as well as 16th Avenue have almost no riders, in comparison to the number of riders on the 99 B-Line route.

    Dumb is what TransLink is. There is no accountability for the “government” employees at TransLink. Their cost is our cost and they have no incentive to run public transit to save money. This has to change. TransLink’s operating and capital budgets have to be indexed to the population here. Right now, TransLink spends one-third more per passenger than any other transit organization in Canada and it isn’t enough for the big spenders at TransLink, they demand more! String-em up.

    Fire them all. They are all leeches on overhead and don’t matter.

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