Has Metro Vancouver Past The Point of No Return With Transit Planning?


Metro Vancouver is approaching a critical decision on transit, but has the region already past the “point of no return” with regional transit?

The Metro Vancouver region has been able to afford one light-metro line every decade; the 80′s saw the the Expo Line; the late 90′s the Millennium Line; the 2000′nds the Canada line and the 20 teens the Evergreen Line. We are ready for one more light metro line in the 2020′s.

But is it enough to offer an attractive alternative to the car?

By comparison, for the same money invested, the region could have had a tram/light rail network three times as large.

Are the huge investments made (over $10 million to date) for light metro and future huge investments in the next decades to come, almost $10 billion for a subway and rebuilding the Expo/Millennium and Canada Lines to allow higher capacity, be cost effective?

Has the past decisions to not build with modern light rail, hamstrung sensible transit planning?

Those who want SkyTrain and subways, ignore the huge costs associated with the mode remain blind to the fact that transit to date has not reduced congestion.

The tried and true practice of inflating light rail’s costs to match SkyTrain, just makes TransLink look silly internationally.

If we continue doing the same thing, over and over again, ever hoping for different results, currently a problem endemic with regional transit planning, will the region be just wasting money on just more bad transit decisions?

Has the region already past the point of no return for good transit planning? Has the region now, forever ignoring the need for a user friendly regional public transit servcie and will continue with its present “Balkanization” of transit planning, where some regions get multi billion dollar transit solutions, leaving other regions wanting, to suit political needs?

Is “Road pricing” or “Congestion Charging”, the last desperate attempt to hide current transit planning malpractice and/or malfeasance from the public?

And now just in; has ICBC’s massive deficit which will lead to huge insurance increases, in part, the result of TransLink’s utterly poor transit planning, by not providing an attractive alternative to the car?


Who is in charge of the clattering TransLink train?
SkyTrain creaks, and the buses strain.
The planning is hot, and decisions are near,
And ignorance hath deadened the plannerai??i??s ear:
And congestion increases, but solutions in vain.
Political incompetence is in charge of the clattering TransLink train!

With apologies to Edwin James Milliken



2 Responses to “Has Metro Vancouver Past The Point of No Return With Transit Planning?”
  1. kitsilano_skytrain says:

    There is one more skytrain extension in the works.


    Next open house 22 Febrauary at Kitsilano community centre 5:30-7pm.

    Exciting news for Kitsilano!

    It will be built.

    Zwei replies: As the cost for the subway escalates past $3 billion and the traffic flows along Broadway are actually lower than the CoV claims, the proposed subway will become a money pit. The cost just to operate the Broadway subway will be in excess of $40 million annually, then add this to the other costs associated with this ill conceived venture and the result will be massively increased taxes, to pay the subsidies needed to operate the subway. The subway will not take cars off the road and because subways are user-unfriendly, may force more people to drive.

    The subway may be built, but it will cripple TransLink financially.

  2. kitsilano_skytrain says:

    The coquitlam extension was built on budget. The builder was responsible for any extra costs. Same will happen to broadway extension.

    Subway will attract more users.

    Canada line increased transit riders to Richmond and airport.

    Remember there used to be a private bus that went from airport to downtown. Not anymore, not needed.

    Canada line has more users than the old 98 bus. It has too many users because it is now overcrowded at peak times.

    There is fewer diesel buses comtaminating the streets of Vancouver.

    Zwei replies: You can bullshit all you want, the Evergreen Line was over budget and until there is a real audit done, no one will know where the money came from.

    Let me fact check you.

    1) Subways, with longer distances between stations are poor in attracting ridership, especially if one has to take a bus to the subway as one can lose upwards of 70% of potential ridership per transfer.

    2) Of Course the Canada Line carries more than the 98B Bus, because All Richmond, South Delta and South Surrey buses must transfer customers to the Canada at Brighouse. Before the Canada line, those buses gave a seamless (no-transfer) journey into town.

    3) The Canada Line is packed because it has very limited capacity, limited because the costs for building the damn thing were climbing past $3 billion! The Canada line has less capacity than a simple streetcar costing a fraction to build. Cost to increase capacity $1.5 billion+.

    4) The building of the Canada Line, emitted far more contaminates into the atmosphere than the diesels buses would have done for decades!

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