A Subway To Nowhere

For a $5 billion, 12 km subway to UBC, under Broadway….

…..one could build a tram network in Vancouver and North Vancouver!

Zwei been advocating for trams on Broadway since the 80′s, well more and more people are now seeing that instead of a $5 billion plus subway to UBC, one gets way more bang for your buck investing in tram/LRT for Vancouver.

Because TransLink doesn’t have the bucks to build a SkyTrain subway to UBC, this ossified bureaucracy deems that it need be only a subway to Arbutus; a subway to nowhere.

No wonder TransLink and indeed Vancouver are international laughingstocks, when it comes to transit; no wonder the TransLink plebiscite failed.

Common Ground, have a read.


One Response to “A Subway To Nowhere”
  1. eric chris says:

    Fantastic article. TransLink doesn’t have a funding problem. TransLink has a spending problem.

    For the record: TransLink doesn’t require carbon taxes, mobility pricing taxes or any other new taxes. TransLink already imposes mobility pricing. It is called the gas tax which is so high that raising it is too risky so TransLink is trying to replace it with another mobility pricing scheme – tolls on roads and bridges.


    Drivers in Vancouver pay TransLink about $2.50 for every 100 kilometres traveled on roads and bridges, presently (10 litres of gasoline per 100 km typical fuel mileage * $0.25 in provincial and federal gas taxes per litre of gasoline = $2.50 in gas taxes or mobility pricing taxes per 100 km driven).

    Burn TransLink burn. TransLink is $3.6 billion in the hole and financially insolvent. Could the $3.6 billion hole in the pocket of TransLink have anything to do with TransLink’s “ must have” subway costing billions of dollars, by coincidence?


    Only aggressive reform of TransLink will do any good. Changing the status quo at TransLink means wiping TransLink off the face of the earth and the end of the 600 TransLink employees doing nothing all day and earning ridiculous salaries doing it, whatever that “it” might be.

    TransLink spends one-third more than any other transit organization in Canada per revenue passenger (Figure 4-9 of the TransLink Commissioner’s report in 2012 before he was fired for it; I mean before he retired). This implies that one-third of the 6.3 million service hours costing $137.38 per hour in 2014 are in excess of what other transit organizations in Canada need.


    TransLink can save $300 million annually by simply axing 2.1 million excess service hours annually and running transit like every other city in Canada. Rather than one 18 metre long articulated diesel bus in operation every three minutes along Broadway, one 36 metre long tram in operation every six minutes moves just as many people at one-half the operating cost of the present transit service by TransLink. Okay, transit users have to wait an excruciatingly long extra three minutes to cut their transit fare in one-half. How many transit users are going to complain?

    Shedding the unnecessary bureaucracy costing $100 million annually at TransLink saves another $100 million annually to pay for public transit rather than for the directors (or is that dictators) and CEO pulling in big salaries to figure out ways to tax citizens for their incompetence and stupidity. In total these optimizations of public transit free up $400 million annually, but let’s go further and boldly go and do what Elizabeth Murphy, in her article, recommends:


    Replacing the current hodgepodge of transit buses and s-trains in express and regular service with articulated trolleybuses and trams in regular service cuts operating costs for public transit in one-half from $1.6 billion annually currently to about $800 million annually to save taxpayers $800 million annually.

    Prudent public transit does not mean more of the same public transit by TransLink. It means economical and widespread tram or trolleybus service throughout Metro Vancouver.

    Here’s my out of the box plan for public transit in Metro Vancouver: convert the subways and viaducts into freight routes for trucks to move goods and reduce the number of trucks interfering with traffic on the roads. Fire everyone at TransLink and give control of public transit back to the mayors for the elected mayors to set the priorities for public transit in Metro Vancouver. Cut operating costs for public transit in one-half by converting existing bus routes into either articulated trolleybus routes or tram routes running on the existing roads to mitigate road congestion, air pollution and carbon emissions by public transit. Good plan? I think so.

    Of course, nobody at TransLink will go for it. Too bad, I hear; the federal government has been requested to investigate TransLink, Pulp Fiction, style. We’ll just have to wait and see what the federal government agents discover and do about the “best intentions” of the big kahunas reporting crap at TransLink. Warning: the following Pulp Fiction clip contains expletives as well as mature subject matter and allegory which may not be suitable for certain viewers, especially anyone who can’t differentiate between fiction and reality.


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