A Matter Of Perspective

What is interesting with this story is the matter of perspective comparing Vancouver and Toronto.

In Toronto, the 504 streetcar servicing carries around 80,000 riders a day in 2018.

In Vancouver, where a subway is being proposed for Broadway, as far as Arbutus and with some promoters wanting it to terminate at UBC; in 2012 75,000 risers a day used all the bus services to UBC!

The most heavily used service was the Broadway 99B express service, seeing 25,800 riders a day!

Allowing for a moderate increase in service, the 99B still operates every three minutes (20 trips per hour) during peak hours, limiting hourly capacity to about 2,200 pphpd.

In Vancouver, we are spending $3.5 billion for a subway that will only go half way to UBC, which realistically will carry under 30,000 pphpd, while in Toronto, on streetcar route is carrying 80,000 plus people a day.

Even if ridership doubles with the subway (which is doubtful when one considered that subways have a poor record in attracting ridership) in the first years of operation, there will still be less people carried that what Toronto’s 504 streetcar route does today, in revenue service.

TORONTO Transportation Commission [TTC] has dropped the route 514 streetcar route on King Street as part of a plan to speed travel and reduce confusion by riders, CTV News reports:TTC King St. streetcar

Image result for toronto route 514 streetcar<https://tinyurl.com/y7raxg6p>

TTC makes changes to King streetcar, discontinues service on 514 Cherry routeChris Fox, CTV News Toronto

Published Sunday, October 7, 2018 10:12AM EDT 
Last Updated Sunday, October 7, 2018 11:24AM EDT

The TTC is discontinuing service along one streetcar route and splitting another into two new routes.

The 514 Cherry streetcar, which travelled along King Street from Dufferin Gate loop to Distillery District loop, has been taken out of service as of today.

In its place, the TTC is splitting the 504 King streetcar into new branches. The 504A King streetcar will travel from Dundas West Station to the Distillery District loop and the 504B King streetcar will travel from Broadview Station to the Dufferin Gate loop.

“We have gotten rid of the 514 in name only, the service to the Dufferin loop and the Distillery loop continues with the 504 A and B,” TTC Spokesperson Stuart Green told CP24. “Over the summer we had to do some rerouting for construction and we found that changing the routing and doing these shorter routes actually improved the reliability. You will now have in the morning rush hour a streetcar every three minutes or while still servicing all the areas served by the old 504 and the old 514.”

In a press release, the TTC said that the change will reduce the need to shorten streetcars as “a delay on one end of either branch is far less likely to affect service throughout the entire route.”

The TTC also said that the move will provide more clarity to riders, as all streetcars travelling along King will have the same number associated with them.

About 80,000 riders use the 504 King streetcar every weekday. That’s up from an estimated 72,000 daily riders when a pilot project prioritizing the movement of streetcars along the busy corridors began last November.

The TTC says that during the morning rush hour, there were will be 22 new streetcars assigned to the 504A route and 20 assigned to the 504B route.

The time to travel along the full route during the morning rush will be about 108 minutes on the 504A and 98 minutes on the 504B, the TTC says.

Comments

13 Responses to “A Matter Of Perspective”
  1. Rob Sutherland says:

    Also interesting is the total passenger volume of all services to UBC of 75,580 according to this 2012 chart which is still less than the King car’s 80, 000 per day.

    Zwei replies: Exactly and the reason I posted this!

    For too long, the region has been fed bumf about Broadway and this more than clears the air.

  2. Bill Burgess says:

    Let’s at least discuss comparable numbers in the case of King vs. Broadway!!!

    I think they show Broadway has greater transit ridership than King now that this ridership gap will increase with rail on Broadway.

    (Below are – I think, correct me if I am wrong – daily average ridership numbers, not the *weekday* average ridership numbers, which would be higher.)

    In 2017, before the recent jump in ridership to the above-cited 80,000/day, the average ridership on Toronto’s King St. 504 and 514 streecars was 72,000/day (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/504_King).

    In 2017, the average ridership of 3 bus routes on Broadway in Vancouver (No. 9, No. 14 and No. 99) was 83,408/day.

    (See p. 20 of https://www.translink.ca/-/media/Documents/plans_and_projects/managing_the_transit_network/2017-TSPR/2017_TSPR_Summary.pdf?la=en&hash=9725C1E7C4EBFAD2EEDF35386ED2C14086E96E3C. Annual boardings were: #9 – 7,273,000; #14 – 5,750,000, and #99 – 17,421,000 = total of 30,444,000 divided by 365 days = 83,408/day.)

    If either route-separated LRT or Skytrain was build on Broadway, some riders currently on other routes to UBC would divert to this rail transit. In 2017 the #4 had an average of 9,367/day, the #25 had 20,939/day, the #33 had 6,909/day, the #41 had 24,432/day, the #49 had 22,005/day, the #84 had 7,610/day, and the #480 had 2,523/day (numbers calculated from same source as above).

    For illustration, if 10% of these riders opted to switch to (or were forced onto) rail on Broadway that would add 9,378/day and would bump up the above Broadway ridership to an average of 92,787/day.

    Then bump that further by the number of people who will switch from cars to rail transit that is faster and more convenient than current bus service, including a small levy of riders originating on the recently-completed Evergreen and the future Surrey-Langley rail lines.

    Bump it up further by the projected growth in housing and jobs in this corridor, even the low-end projections.

    I am a fan of the King streetcar, which is proving what is possible short of a fully separated route, and how car drivers and shops on the route need to learn to live with the new reality.

    But it is not likely to keep up with route-separated rail on Broadway.

    Zwei replies:

    Two notes: TransLink uses “Boardings” and with Broadway most people Board twice, if not 3 times per trip. As well, by comparing schedules, at best, Broadway handles around 40K per direction each day.

    The notion that people would divert to take a Broadway subway is not based on any credible study.

    One example, TransLink’s bus ridership from South Delta to Vancouver all but collapsed when customers were forced to transfer from bus to the Canada Line and in fact the vast majority of the Canada Line’s ridership comes from U-Pass holding students and diehard commuters.

    When TransLink was compelled by the Mayor’s Council on Transit, lead by the CoV, all statistical recordings changed to camouflage the fact there wasnm’t the ridership to justify a subway and when senior planners at TransLink balked at planning for a subway, they were fired.

    With peak hour traffic flows under 4,000 pphpd, the subway will become Metro Vancouver’s 2nd transit white elephant.

  3. Bill Burgess says:

    Zwei…. no.

    You wrote that “Even if ridership doubles with the [Broadway] subway….there will still be less people carried that what Toronto’s 504 streetcar route does today”.

    The numbers I quoted show the 2017 Broadway bus ridership was greater than the King streetcar in 2018.

    The Toronto numbers are also boardings, and also for both directions. If I am wrong, correct me, but please stick to this point.

    Denying that Broadway Skytrain ridership will be greater than previous bus ridership is a very long shot. Good luck!

    Zwei replies: There is a science to transit and when pronouncements from TransLink DO NOT MATCH SCHEDULED SERVICE, one go hmm.

    The only bus route that will give any sort of indication of ridership for the Broadway subway is the 99B, which provides a peak hour servcie of 20 trips per hour (3 minute headway’s), which gives a maximum capacity of 2,200 pphpd! This number reflects well with the figure given in the table for the 99B. TransLink can claim any and all they want, but if the 3 minute headway’s remain, capacity will remain t 2,200 pphpd or about 13,800 pphpd fewer that would justify a subway.

    TransLink’s top planners recognized this and told the powers that be that there wasn’t the ridership for a subway and were fired for their efforts.

    The main problem I see for those who want a subway, you are naive about the costs etc. and the fact that subways are very poor in attracting new ridership.

    Just to refresh a little history, when Germany first started a massive subway building regime in the 50′s and 60′s, car use went up and total ridership on the subways were less than what the previous trams carried. This singular fact completely changed Germany’s appetite for subways. Then there was the grand subway mid life crisis, which bankrupted the transit authorities who rashly built subways because trams were old fashioned.

    There are many subway lessons to be learned, unfortunately TransLink remains grossly ignorant of.

  4. Chris says:

    Zwei replies:

    Two notes: TransLink uses “Boardings” and with Broadway most people Board twice, if not 3 times per trip. As well, by comparing schedules, at best, Broadway handles around 40K per direction each day.

    There is only one easy way to track ussage and that is by counting the number of people tapping when they board the bus. Every person has a unique compass card except those that pay cash which will be phased out. Now you can tap your visa/mastercard to board if you don’t have a compass card.

    Counting boardings is best way to determine transit. Everyone will make at least two trips per day, one outgoing and one return.

    Zwei replies: No the best way is for TransLink to release the “unique” usage of the Compass Card on the 99B. I have been told that TransLink will not because some very unpleasant truths will be released.

  5. Haveacow says:

    You guys are missing the point. There isn’t enough ridership for this line on Broadway itself to justify a 6 km tunnel and below grade stations. Considering the cost $3 Billion+ $3-4 Billion more going to UBC. Considering the amount of funding Translink has vs. the amount of funding Translink would need so that, everyone with an opinion on this subject could be made happy. The current bus ridership is just far too low. The fact that the line only goes to Arbutus, it has limited ability to draw passengers from parallel streets, which was the whole linch pin of Translink’s modeling so the line could be justified in the first place (because there’s just not enough ridership on Broadway itself it needs to draw passengers from other parallel bus lines). The transit operating technology (Skytrain) is limited in capacity (15,000 passengers/hour/direction) unless you spent billions to upgrade it. The current ridership planned for 2041 is still too low in my humble professional opinion, even if you want or can afford to build it all the way to UBC.

    Two LRT lines under construction in Canada, the 19 km Eglinton Crosstown and 12.5 km Ottawa’s Confederation Line have significant tunneling as well but both are guaranteed to have daily riderships on opening day that are much higher and are not in anyway limited in passenger carrying capacity, unlike the Skytrain system. Both of these lines being the first stage in much longer lines, with far, far higher potential ridership than the Millennium Line.

    In the case of the Eglinton Crosstown a long tunnel was needed (10km) because a significant strech of Eglinton Ave was laid down as a residential road in the 1880′s when it was first being suburbanized although, it was the major east-west concession road. Unfortunately it’s skinny 8.5-9 foot wide traffic lanes (4 lanes wide) made surface LRT operations unsafe. Remember, Toronto was settled almost a century before Vancouver. The area around Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue for example, was a booming farmers crossroad community way back in the 1820′s. It was also the site of a battle during the Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada (Battle of Montgomery’s Inn).

    Planned daily Ridership on opening day, for the Broadway Extension to Arbutus is 75,000-80,000 (Translink), Eglinton Crosstown 120,000-135,000 (Metrolynx), Confederation Line 230,000-240,000 (O.C. Transpo). Remember, just because a bus line is busy doesn’t mean it needs a subway. I don’t know who made the original claim but Broadway in Vancouver is nowhere near being the busiest bus corridor in North America. Maybe top 10, but not the busiest! Translink could do many cheaper measures to put off the need for building a tunnel, they just choose not to use these measures. I’m not saying never build a tunnel, it’s just too soon for one considering the high operating and construction costs of a tunnel and the really low ridership.

  6. Bill Burgess says:

    I agree that Translink should share more of the detailed data that is now (presumably) available from the Compass card system, including on unique users.

    But Zwei does us serious diservice by mis-characterizing the available data, and by insisting that uncited sources and his own back-of-the-envelope calculations should trump officially-released data.

    Contrary to his frequent suggestions, using ‘boarding’ numbers to express ridership is not a ploy by Translink to cover up their failures.

    You would never know if from Zwei’s carping, but Translink also reports ‘journeys’ (trips that may include a transfer, e.g., from a bus to Skyrain, or Skyrain to bus). Translink total boardings in 2017 were 406.84 million, and total journeys were 246.57 million (https://www.translink.ca/Plans-and-Projects/Accountability-Centre/Ridership.aspx ).

    So, on average, there are 1.65 transfers per journey, system-wide. This ratio has not changed much in recent years as both numbers have grown significantly (though by hopelessly innadequate amounts, given the urgent need to switch to transit), so boardings do not misrepresent trends over time.

    Another ‘Zweism’ is fake news about the Upass program. He is entitled to his (wrong) opinion that these are not ‘real’ transit users. I don’t know why he also seems to think that “diehard commuters” on the Canada Line (see above) are similarly unworthy.

    But on the issue of Upass numbers: In response to my email request to their PR department, Translink reported the following UPass numbers for 2017: Journeys – 32.7 million (up 6% from 2016) and boardings 54.8 million (up 7% from 2016).

    So, according to these numbers, Upass journeys were 13.3% of total Translink journeys and UPass boardings were 13.5% of total Translink boardings (the total numbers used here were cited above).

    The UPass program many not be revenue-neutral as mandated by the provincial government (fare discounting is offset by near-universal subscription – all students pay for but many make no or only occasional use of their Upass). So imagine the program fails to recover the fare-cost of one-quarter of Upass boardings. That would be the fares for less than 4% of total transit boardings. Hardly the crushing financial burden a la Zwei!

    Zwei disbelieves the 99B boarding numbers reported for 2017, based on his calculation of a maximum 2200 pphpd (people per hour per direction) for this route that he claims “reflects well” with the 25,800 weekday “trips” (not sure what this term means) reported in a table for the year 2012.

    OK help me understand this, Zwei:

    If the 99B buses carry 120 people (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99_B-Line; set aside the issue of seats vs. crush loads) and run every 3 minutes during peak period (Translink schedule) that is 2400 ppdph (120*60/3). But not all passengers occupy their space for the whole trip, so as passengers replace each other the boarding (and presumably “trip”) numbers diverge from the ppdph number.

    So, among oher unknowns, what passenger turnover rate is assumed?

    If the spaces actually occupied by passengers over the whole route averaged one third of the peak pphpd, and the buses on that route run 16 hours per day (arbitrary assumptions for purposes of illustration), that would translate into 12,800 pasenger spaces occupied in buses over their whole route each way (2400/3*16), or 25,600 occupied spaces in buses going both ways.

    But the 99B average weekday boardings in 2017 were 56,580 (see https://public.tableau.com/profile/translink#!/vizhome/2017TSPR-BusSummary/1_BusRouteSummaries), up a little from the 54800 reported in 2013 (2012 was not cited; note the difference with the 2012 (unsourced) table’s 25,800 “trips”).

    On the above (arbitrary) assumptions, that would mean there were an average of 2.2 passengers taking those places, or a turnover rate of about 2 – e.g., someone boards at Commercial and gets off at Arbutus, where they are replaced by a new passenger who travels to the UBC destination.

    My point is that it is very hard to translate between boarding numbers and maximum pphpd. Zwei, your basis for disbelieving the reported boarding numbers is not convincing. But please, change any assumptions above and correct any errors (I am a rookie on calculating transit capacity) to become more convincing.

    And when we finally manage to pry the Compass card data out of Translink, will you accept it, whether or not convenient to your approaches?

    Zwei replies: Unless there is an ongoing independent audit of TransLink and its methodology in ascertaining ridership numbers, all figures released by TransLink are suspect. In the USA, UK and Europe, there is an ongoing audit of ridership numbers and methodology. As Translink has no such scrutiny, they can report what ever they like without fear of being caught.

    Certainly Translink’s claims about light rail are unfounded, yet we hear the same drivel year after year. Again quoting American transportation specialist, Gerald Fox; “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. In the US, all new transit projects that seek federal support are now subjected to scrutiny by a panel of transit peers, selected and monitored by the federal government, to ensure that projects are analyzed honestly, and the taxpayers interests are protected. No SkyTrain project has ever passed this scrutiny in the US.”

    Until there is an idepedant audit of Translink’s claims, their numbers are strongly suspect.

  7. zweisystem says:

    Mr. Burgesse’s response is filled with to many errors to correct, but the max. capacity of the buses used on the B-Line is actually 100 people. I use 110 to somewhat conservative in my calculations.

    Transit vehicles seldom will carry what is believed “crush capacity” because people are moving about getting on or off the bus. In North America, due to the North American size of the transit customer, max. capacities are even less.

    Translink has cleverly manipulated facts to make themselves look good and as I previously stated without independent scrutiny, they can claim whatever they want.

    From what I have been told, the U-Pass was designed for about 33% compliance, where 67% of those forced to purchase the U-Pass, subsidize the those who use it. But, if more than about 33% use the U-pass, the subsidy falls onto Translink and customers who pay full fare. Translink does like the up front cash but they do not track usage and there is a massive black market on unused U_passes, with a mention every once in a while a person who is charge fraudulently using a U-Pass.

    The U-Pass is like fare evasion, you cannot quantify it as lost revenue as an empty seat is an empty seat, yet the bus still operates.

    TransLink and BC Transit before, just love to give ridership increases in percentages, yet seldom, if ever give the actual figures. In 2012, the 99B was operating almost on the same schedule as today, yet a near capacity bus route, miraculously almost doubles ridership, leads one to ask; “are they hanging off the bus?”

    But again, if TransLink has nothing to hide, why do they employ spin doctors?

  8. Haveacow says:

    As an adult who pays property taxes, I share Zwei’s misgivings about massively subsidizing young adults who already don’t pay the municipal taxes I do. However, I also understand that regardless of my misgivings, it’s better and more financially advantageous to have 100% of University and College students here in Ottawa, pay 65-80% of a full fare, then have only 25%, pay 100%. As for a black market on U-passes, I assume like our universities here in Ottawa they have a picture of the student on the pass or it’s part of their official student card, which also has a picture of the student. If they don’t, well maybe they should.

    It’s been long settled law here in Ontario, if you go to College or University and pay your tuition, you have to pay for the bus pass, it’s part of the tuition, you don’t have a choice and you can’t opt out, ever! I was aware of 3 cases that went to the Supreme Court of Ontario, they all ruled you have to pay for the bus pass. Counting people as less because they are students and not full property paying taxpayers, forces transit agencies to qualify different classes of adult customers by their financial status. Which is extremely inefficient. Remember public transit is best when it can maximise it’s revenue but it’s primary job is access, no matter how much the individual pays. Access must win out over revenue. That’s why some buses go down certain routes that never have any chance of even half filling the vehicle. It’s about providing access to all people.

    Yes,Translink uses boardings instead of complete trips in most of it’s public documents. This does majorly distort their ridership compared to other transit operators like the TTC, or the STM , which clearly mention if they are using Linked or complete trips vs. boardings. Sorry, Zwei is right they are hiding certain issues from the public by doing this. I can tolerate it because most large transit operators world wide do this at some point on sensitive issues.

    Even using Translink figures there is just not enough people and passengers to warrant a tunnel on Broadway right now, no matter how many ride the 99 or any other route along Broadway period! A busy bus corridor doesn’t necessarily warrant an expensive tunnel. Especially considering the high cost of construction and operations and all the other issues with the Skytrain. The Skytrain is just really expensive and complex technology for what it does.

    I have never seen an 18 metres long standard articulated bus carry 120 people in 25 years of working with transit. If there is a specific special event like the Olympics you can squeeze in maybe 95-100. With common bus body designs the length is usually only 18 metres or 60 ft. With the common seating arrangements of most manufacturers, low floor positions of wheel hubs, people carrying school bags, backpacks, heavy coats and jackets, packages as well as people of different sizes (keep in mind humans just seem to be getting bigger and bigger), the best you get at crush under normal peak hours is around 90. You might’ve gotten more for brief periods along the route but it’s just not done by most North American riders, it’s just too uncomfortable for most people.

    There are several texts that show how to change boardings to complete trips, then by using a bit of statistics, determine the break down by time period. Assuming you know about 8-10 other important pieces of information about the ridership. The answer is there is no easy answer that the public likes when it comes to ridership calculation. It’s meant to be difficult, so it is mathematically and scientifically correct. It pisses the professionals off quite a bit when the public uses formulas that at most have 3 or 4 variables and state that this number is correct. If possible state ranges of ridership instead of a single number, this points out to people you considered a whole range of possibilities.

    As for Compass Card Data it maybe illegal to share some data publicly because it may fall under proprietary product information. Many times I can’t share data because it was gathered using someone’s proprietary technology. Public transit agencies don’t have to give out data to the public if it means they can be sued by their own technology vendors. Private property law, protection of intellectual property, always trump public knowledge. Even if public funds are used to get the data. Just because it’s public money doesn’t necessarily mean you have the right to know!

  9. Bill Burgess says:

    Zwei, in making your case to disbelieve Translink boarding numbers, you seem to take the 25,800 weekday trips on the 99B in 2012 in the Table 3.2 you cite as representing all 99B boardings.

    In fact, they are only *UBC* passengers, those crossing the “UBC/UEL screenline”. The ‘screenline’ numbers are one-way trips derived by manual count (and not by Translink!) for one day at the intersections entering UBC (see
    https://planning.ubc.ca/sites/planning.ubc.ca/files/documents/transportation/reports/Fall-2012-Transportation-Status-Report-25-Mar-13.pdf).

    This illustrates my point in asking what turnover you assume when trying to equate Table 3.2 trips with your pphpd calculation. The additional passengers you disbelieve are not hanging off the bus, at least some are getting on and off the bus as it travels its route to and from UBC.

    As a numerical only example, and only to illustrate one of several factors that need to be considered, if 13,000 of 25,800 people who board the 99B at Commercial each weekday get off at Cambie and are replaced by another 13,000 people who get off at Arbutus, and who are replaced by another 13,000 who join those on the bus since Commercial and ride into UBC that is 51,800 boardings – which is close to Translink’s 99B weekday boarding number for 2013.

    Zwei, it is just not true (at least currently) that Translink fails to report ridership numbers. The sources I cited above include individual route boardings. Their ‘Accountability’ page provides easy access to both boardings and journeys by mode and over time (https://www.translink.ca/Plans-and-Projects/Accountability-Centre/Ridership.aspx).

    Zwei (or Mr Cow), please correct any errors by me. OK, say the 99B capacity is 90 rather than the 120 cited in Wikipedia (but have you actually been on that bus, like I have?). That does not change the point I was on.

    But Zwei, please stop your misrepresentation of transit facts so we can instead focus on serious criticism of Translink – they certainly deserve it!.

    Mr Cow made the point that we are missing the point. It is true. We all are. The IPCC climate change report released last week is emphatic on the need to get off fossil fuels…yesterday. It says we will exceed the 1.5 degree safety ‘guardrail’ within 10 or 20 years.

    Switching from cars to public transit is one of the most effective way of reducing fossil fuel consumption and one of the easiest to effect. The cost of building transit with far greater capacity than we even imagine today is nothing compared to the cost of continuing business-as-usual. Understanding that in our bones should not stop us from insisting that the money is spend as effectively as possible but we should at least realize the issues we are squabbling about are rather secondary.

  10. zweisystem says:

    I will happily take criticism from Mr. Cow, and the other professionals I correspond with, from you, not so much.

    SkyTrian has been built on a foundation of lies and deceit, abetted by the operating authorities less than honest statistics.

    It has been on the market for 40 years now, and only 7 have been built, all by intrigue and Federal Government financing.

    No one, it seems, wants the damn thing, why?

    There are also the incestuous relationship between both Bombardier and SNC Lavalin and UBC and SFU. Those professors who challenge the SkyTrain mantra are either treated to a “Star Chamber” style inquisition or sent to academic Coventry.

    As for the 99B bus, my wife takes it daily and in the past 5 years, never had a pass-up, rather a lot of buses do not run as per schedule causing overloading.

    As for the record, before the Canada Line opening, my wife thought I was a bit wet on the subject of transit, but today she is a firm believer that the servcie is “crap, run by idiots” (Her quote).

    What ever will happen after the elections, we will be getting piss poor transit for about $5 billion in investment.

  11. Haveacow says:

    I like Zwei and understand his frustration, I will say it now, the environmental assessment which chose the Skytrain for a tunnel on Broadway has many errors and assumptions and if it was done hear would most likely be facing review. But I don’t make those choices, for you so I will shut up!

    Zwei is the way he is because he has most likely rattled a few cages at Translink and like me an early pusher for changing to LRT away from Ottawa’s wierd fascination with BRT, was probably threatened by city and transit officials. First they quietly ask him to come on board, then they quietly threaten him, next he’s just crazy old Zwei, the tram-train nut and then they ignore you don’t answer questions. After a few years, maybe a decade, they come on to your side and forget you were ever that crazy guy. Usually after some key people retire or are shown the door. Or a senior level of government has said no this is just too much, expensive, overly complex, or it’s out of date, pick your phrase.

    Yes, he is gruff and could be more diplomatic but you need him desperately. You have all stopped asking real questions about Skytrain and it’s operations. As a professional, I think Zwei’s question about why there are only 7 Skytrain like systems world wide in the last 40 years is quite good. Nobody ever answers it. I would also do a follow on question, why do 3 of those 7 customers want to get rid of it, if it is so flipping good? Toronto, Detroit and Yongin, Korea all have different opinions about Skytrain technology as to why and they are important because they are all different! Three different communities all have different reasons for dumping the technology, some public and very obvious, some behind the scenes that you will never here openly asked. The only other city that uses the operating technology as a general rapid transit system, Kuala Lumpur may never build it again because their ex president is linked to it and he has been arrested under corruption charges!

    The advantage with Light Rail Transit and Tram-train by association, is that it is adaptable and has proven able to be used in a multitude of operating conditions. For example, how come LRT was only modeled operating on the surface not say a combined surface tunnel operation by Translink? Which I think is ideal for Broadway by the way.

    As for getting people out of cars and on to transit, I agree with 100% however, what good is a rapid transit system that is not only expensive to build and operationally complex. It is not Aging well and requires so much extra maintenance that your former Skytrain maintenance chief said it would be far cheaper to dump the linear induction motors for newer, far easier to maintain and 40% cheaper standard electric motors. In fact, there are many LRV designs from several of the major builders that not only could run on existing 3rd rail infrastructure but easily fit your right of way profiles. But no one asks , why? Being critical of transit doesn’t mean being anti-transit and pro car. Blindly never asking questions about what Translink does with Skytrain has gotten you into the issue you have now.

    The driverless technology doesn’t save much money especially, as the system gets physically larger. Remember, you have to employ over 200 people on your system as attendants just in case something bad happens. This oens up the transit agency using this system to legal issues others don’t have to face with a driver. A driver/operator can respond much faster than any of your attendants can in case of emergency. Ottawa’s Confederation Line will be partially driverless but there’s still a driver and their operating costs are set to be as low or lower than yours. We will see about that and ask those questions a couple years after it’s starts running! Like your Evergreen extension, I am giving it a couple of years of operations under it’s belt before I pass judgement.

  12. Chris says:

    What unique data does the compass contain?

    It just records where a user uses the card and how much money and types of passes is loaded on it.

    The upass is stupid. The university students that do not use the card are subsidizing the users that do use it. It would be better if all university students pay the concession rate which is slight reduction from adult rate. In 2018, the adult fare is $2.30 and concession is $1.85. Currently the upass is cheaper than the concession fare for under 18′s and seniors.

    #99 is a problem route. Buses always overcrowded and never on time. You wait 10 minutes then 3-5 buses show up at the same time. The section of Broadway west of Macdonald is a narrow street not desgned for large buses. The large buses always occupy both lanes when travelling west of macdonald. This prevents cars from passing the slower moving bus. Diesel buses make a lot of noise. Anyone living near broadway hate the #99. The electric buses are much quieter.

    It would be great to have a subway and get rid of the dirty and loud buses.

    Look at Granville today. It is quieter today because there is only one electric bus route on it. It is the #10 bus and it uses the bendy electric buses too. This only happened because the Canada line subway opened.

    Zwei replies: And a lot more cars as former transit customers abandoned transit because they were forced to transfer to the crowded and smelly Canada Line.

  13. Haveacow says:

    Compass Card Data shows how many, when and where people transfer. Until digital or chip based transit cards came along you had to either, have door counters on every vehicle in your fleet or a lot of complex math, that isn’t always accurate, is really just an estimate and is time consuming to put together. Digital or chip based access cards are also time sensitive which can show amazing changes of wear people transfer at different times of the day. It can show things that would have taken a crew of people to do at just one location or route several days of research, were as the compass card data can be shown for a specific route or the whole network in seconds. It can give details about the actual number transferring and therefore a better far, far more accurate look at boardings vs. linked complete trips.

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