Will Kevin Desmond Last?

I am beginning to wonder why TransLink hired this chap from Seattle, as he seems a wee bit out of his depth.

Zwei’s opinion is that Kevin Desmond was given the nod because of his familiarity with light-metro, which indeed the Seattle LRT is with now well over 80% of it route grade seperated either on viaduct or in a tunnel.

Mr. Desmond does have a good record winning plebiscites in King County, but his unfamiliarity with TransLink and especially the driverless SkyTrain light-metro, which he is looking into to operate 24 hours a day, could be his Achilles heel.

He erroneously claimed that the vehicles have only four hours each night  available for maintenance. It’s not the cars old chum, which a maintained as per schedule; it is the signalling system which needs to be constantly checked and kept in good repair, lest the system stops working during revenue operation. Driverless transit systems need down time every day to maintain good operation, unlike light rail, which with driver, does not have the problems that a driverless transit system does and can operate 24/7 if need be.

The cliche; “TransLink runs a system that is envied by many cities in the world.” is so tiresome that it makes the BS metre go off the dial. Just what cities envy Vancouver Mr. Desmond, please name names, because with Zwei’s 30 years experience very few cities knows very much about Vancouver’s transit system, let alone envying it.

This smacks of ignorance and I am beginning to wonder if Mr. Desmond will last any longer than Tom Prendergast.

TransLink needs help to improve customer experience: CEO

by Shannon Brennan

Posted May 3, 2016

(Photo by Dustin Godfrey for NEWS 1130)

TransLink runs a system that is envied by many cities in the world: CEO

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The CEO of TransLink is hoping the federal government keeps its promise to contribute some of the money needed to fix transit issues.

Kevin Desmond says customer experience will only improve if we invest in the system, otherwise, there just isn’t any way to address issues like under serviced routes and overcrowding.

“That is going to require as well some new funding going forward, so I am focused on how to improve the customer experience both within the resources that TransLink has and hopefully if we can obtain new funding to grow the system; that is where the real customer relief is going to be.”

“That would include a 50 per cent contribution to the TransLink regional transit needs and that is a big boost from the prior 33 per cent assumption of federal revenue,” he explains.

Desmond believes people will always be critical of a company that serves so many but is quick to point out TransLink runs a system that is envied by many cities in the world.

Comments

One Response to “Will Kevin Desmond Last?”
  1. Haveacow says:

    Its funny that you mentioned that few no about Vancouver’s Transit system, quite a few in Canada and the US do however, its the driverless part of the system that they know. I was at a party/BBQ recently at the parents house of one of my daughter’s friends. “Oh wow, they don’t have to pay unions” is usually the limit of what they know. Then the conversation is slowly directed towards me, when someone mentions that I am a planner and then all the eyes in the room start turning towards me and the predictable questions fly.

    I’m forced to say that yes, their system has no train operators but, because of the propulsion system and its extra track components, complex signaling system and heavy vehicle wear on very expensive vehicles as well as their issues with the automatic train control system, their maintenance costs are through the roof. The trains have no one but passengers on them so, they have to employ “attendants” and spread them around the system to answer alarms for sick or injured passengers or to escort people off the trains just in case the trains stop for some technical reason, between the stations. The bigger the system the more attendants you need. There system has hundreds of attendants. If you happen to be on a train that breaks down between the stations and stops you can be there for a while before an attendant gets you out of there. If you force open the doors and try to leave before the attendant arrives, they get really mad at you and now the whole line or the whole system is shut down to clear the tracks of passengers before they restart the trains. The automated nature forces new extensions to be very expensive to build, much more than even our tunneled phase 1 LRT system and only one company makes the technology for the trains and most of its key components. At this point the BBQ is silent and mouths are hanging open. It took a real good joke to bring back the smiles on most peoples faces.

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