For the past several years, the SkyTrain Lobby, politicians and academics have all said, almost in unison, that Broadway was the busiest transit corridor in Canada, if not North America.

The old Joseph Goebbels quote is true; “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

Thus for the past several years the big Broadway lie, enabled by TransLink  has ingrained the notion that Broadway is the most heavily transit route in Canada.

Fact Check!

In a letter to several news organizations, all metro mayors and other interested parties, I laid the foundation that Broadway was not the busiest transit route in Canada .

Stung by this, TransLink wrote a letter to myself and in a round about way claimed that Broadway “is our region’s most overcrowded bus route.

No apology and not even a hint of remorse, TransLink continues to boast about Broadway!

Finally, on January 31, 2019, you contacted several news organizations and this Secretariat raising concerns over TransLink’s assertion that the 99 B-Line is the busiest bus route in the US and Canada. TransLink is confident in its data collection and peer comparisons, noting that the 99 B-Line route on the Broadway Corridor moves 60,000 customers per day on articulated buses running every three minutes at peak times. This is our region’s most overcrowded bus route. Pass ups are already common, as our regular riders on that route are fully aware. TransLink projects that the 99 B-Line from Arbutus to UBC will be at capacity in the peak when the Millennium Line extension from Commercial-Broadway to Arbutus opens.

Just a minor footnote, according to TransLink the 99B moves about 60,000 customers a day, but of course that is both ways, as TransLink slyly tries to once again inflate the real ridership on Broadway.


The big prize is the now $3.5 billion Broadway SkyTrain subway to Arbutus and TransLink does not want the truth to upset the subway bulldozer!


  1. Stuart says:

    “The big prize is the now $3.5 billion Broadway SkyTrain subway to Arbutus and TransLink does not want the truth to upset the subway bulldozer!”

    Not completely true. It is $2.8 billion extension to millenium line. BC government just started the bidding process on February 15.

    Broadway is busiest bus route in Vancouver and BC. Vancouver is difinitely not largest city in North American so impossible to have busiest bus route on the continent.

    Zwei replies: But peak hour ridership on Broadway is about 11,000 pphpd less than the Canadian standard fort building a subway. The problem is escalating cost, as estimates for the subway is now put at around $3.5 billion and here we have a dilemma, to reduce cost, the subway must have its scope reduced like the Canada line Line and that means cut and covwer construction.

  2. steve says:

    Sojust 3.5 billion to Arbutus?

    How much more to UBC? Another 3.5 billion? would not surprise me. Will it be a ‘subway’ too ?

    So then another 2-3 billion to upgrade original Expo line?

    In Surrey using LRT money just to extend ‘SkyTrain’ to Fleetwood, maybe? How much more to Langley? (I really doubt Langley’s much before 2040)

    So if and when gets built to Langley then Millennium line will have to be ‘refurbished’ oso to speak or upgraded at a few billions like expo line needs to be?

    Then the Canada line needing to expand stations in here sometime as well..

    Did I miss anything?

    Plus like Zwei has said before not many new users. Just people getting on earlier so new new revenue or not much. Translink will have to get rid of U Pass but probably won’t…

    These projects usually have cost over runs…. so what will be the final cost? To do all I listed is close to 20 billion….

    Like what the hell is going on????? Sad the big media all seem to buy the Translink kool aid….then ‘brainwashed’ many average ‘joes’ into believing what they are selling…. Translink would give used car salesmen or snake oil dealers a run for their money..

    Do people not realise how much their property taxes will go up? Maybe a huge jump in fuel taxes which effects more than filling your tank but food, clothing costs go up as well as delivery drivers will pass increase on to business who pass it on to the consumer…Heck they will probably try again to add a higher sales tax for GVRD/Metro Van or whatever it is called today…

  3. Haveacow says:

    We here in Ottawa had quite a surprise. Our Stage 2 LRT program went from $3.6 Billion to $4.7 Billion. This was due to 3 reasons.

    1. Inflation from the 2015-2016 price estimate, mainly concrete and paying user fees for the new lower carbon emitting concrete formulas. Concrete emits massive amounts of polluting gasses like CO2, during the kuring process. All of the specialized steel needed for construction (only 3 steel mills make it, 2 USA, 1 Sweden ) are located in countries in which we slap a 25% import duty on this special product, until Trump we got stock US prices for the 2 US steel mills.

    2. Originally our Stage 2 LRT project was adding only 30 km of service, now due to a upward scope pressure, mainly political, we have to pay for 44 km of service.

    3. When the 3 final P3 proponents crunched the numbers none of them could build the add ons to the Confederation Line for the amount the city wanted, all were a minimum of $600 million over the city of Ottawa’s maximum amount!

    This meant that for 2 weeks our city council got to scream about having very little notice about the change in price. The final vote is this week, 2-3 weeks later major construction starts.

    So I honestly believe Zwei when the Mayor’s Council and Translink believe it will cost $2.83 Billion and he thinks or may have been told that, The real cost will be closer to $3.5 Billion by the time construction on the first stage of the Broadway Line is ready to begin in 2020 or 2021. My Vancouver spies told me by the way that, starting in 2020 is going to be difficult and 2021 may be more realistic.

    Zwei replies: My spies have told me that Broadway will be cut and cover as the real cost has past $3.5 billion, a large part due to something called underground creeks.

  4. Progressive Horizons says:

    There seems to be some confusion between the claim of “busiest transit corridor” and “busiest bus route” in Canada + USA. Obviously the latter is true, as can be seen from comparisons to American and Ontario bus routes. The busiest bus routes in Ontario carry about 40k passengers per day total (source: “Toronto’s secret success: Suburban buses”), the busiest in the US carry 42-48k on NYC’s Bx12 (source: Facts and Figures) and about 55k on SF’s 38 (source: “What is the busiest individual bus line in your city?”). This is less than the 60k of the 99 B-Line.

    There are several transit corridors in North America that carry many more passengers than the 99B, but the question is, when did Translink ever claim that the 99B was the “busiest transit corridor” in Canada and the US?

    Your claim that the subway will cost $3.5 billion is interesting, but unsupported by any facts right now. It’s possible that it will increase to this amount, but we will have to wait for detail design from contractors in 2020. Your claim that the Broadway subway will be cut and cover for its entire length is completely inaccurate, since the project will be cancelled before anyone would dream of approving a change from deep boring (remember the disruption from the Canada Line? Imagine that, but on a totally different scale and destroying transportation access for tens of thousands of people). Cut and cover for some stations, certainly, but it will never be cut and cover for the entire Broadway subway.

    Zwei replies: obviously you do not live in metro Vancouver because the CEO of TransLink, regional mayors, especially the mayor of Vancouver and CoV Engineering Dept. all claimed that Broadway was the busiest transit corridor not only in Canada but the USA.

    As for the $3.5 billion, as the cost of cement and structural steel is rising at about 3 times the rate of inflation, the $3.5 billion figure is in the realm of reality.

    I have been told privately that cut and cover is a real option, until the boring machine is in place.

    Let have a modicum of reality. The 99b offers a peak hour capacity of 2,200 pphpd and the trolley buses offer another 1,500 pphpd peak hour capacity. That is the reality of the situation, there isn’t the ridership to justify a subway. Progressive, you are not.

  5. Progressive Horizons says:

    “the CEO of TransLink, regional mayors, especially the mayor of Vancouver and CoV Engineering Dept. all claimed that Broadway was the busiest transit corridor not only in Canada but the USA.”

    If this is the case and isn’t just some alternative facts, it should be easy for you to link to some articles showing this. To be clear, saying “the region’s busiest transit corridor” and “the busiest bus route in Canada + the US” (both of which are supported by non-Translink data) is not the same as saying “the busiest transit corridor in Canada + the US”. The burden of proof is on you, since if you say “it’s easy enough to Google” it would be clear that you don’t have any facts to support your claims.

    “That is the reality of the situation, there isn’t the ridership to justify a subway.”

    This was the same argument that led to the underdeveloped Canada Line, yet despite the poor design, the Canada Line carries 147k passengers per weekday, reaching this milestone 2 years ahead of projections. The Canada Line replaced the 98 B-Line with a ridership of 18k passengers per weekday, so the “reality of the situation” is that ~60k passengers per weekday (~2.2k pphpd) with the 99 B-Line is more than sufficient to support a subway. If you want to disagree with the facts, you’ll need to cite some sources, friend.

    Zwei replies: you pirate the name of a major US company, then you purposely use misleading information to press your point and now i can only assume that you are a troll.

    The Canada line has every south of the Fraser bus route feeding it by forced transfers. It also has taken Cambie bus passengers and the Airporter.

    Translink uses raw boardings is a vain attempt to confuse the public, because the minimum capacity of the Canada line in the peak hour is a mere 6,500 pphpd. The Canadian and American standard for a subway is a transit route with ridership in excess of 15,000 pphpd.

  6. Progressive Horizons says:

    Also, interesting that you claim that I “obviously” do not live in Vancouver, when it is 3:43 pm PST right now but 11:43 pm on your website. Perhaps *you* are the one who does not live in Vancouver.

    (see how silly it sounds to question people’s origins over the internet?)

    Zwei replies: You use a Swiss email account, which I have been told, is the favorite of scammers. you offer no proof that you do live in Vancouver, except state a nebulous time.

Leave A Comment