More Pre Election Transit News – Monty Python Plans For Transit

Unlike the mainstream media, the Georgia Straight always has better reporting on the local transit scene.

This is nothing more than a staged media event featuring two growingly unpopular Mayors, Hepner and Roberts and the ever unpopular TransLink.

With a May election looming the Liberals need to show that they are doing something, while the Federal Liberals want to see some action for the millions they have dumped in Metro Vancouver.

Zwei asks the following question: “Why is there consultation after the plans are revealed?”

I know, it is the TransLink “dog and pony show”, where Monty Python style planning from the Ministry of Silly Walk. results in a massive expenditure on very little that will not reduce congestion.

TransLink’s ten year vision is really no vision at all, rather a ruse to keep those six figured paid bureaucrats busy.

Translink says no plans for Millennium Line to UBC yet, public consultations begin next week

by Amanda Siebert on January 17th, 2017
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  • Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson speaks to the media at a Translink press conference at Waterfront Station on Tuesday, January 17. Amanda Siebert

At a press conference earlier today, Translink CEO Kevin Desmond was joined by Metro Vancouver mayors and members of the provincial and federal government, to announce a list of service improvements that are being rolled out as part of the first phase of the Mayors’ Council’s 10-year vision.

“These service improvements make room for approximately 185,000 more people on a weekly basis,” he said.

Desmond also announced that in April, major improvements to bus services would begin, with more improvements happening every three months for the next three years.

These will include new B-line routes, as well as new services to areas of the region that are not currently serviced by buses.

Surrey mayor Linda Hepner speaks to media at a Translink press conference at Waterfront Station on Tuesday, January 17.

Amanda Siebert

Consultations for the much-anticipated Millennium Broadway extension and Surrey-Newton-Guilford LRT will begin next week, but those improvements are part of the second phase of the council’s 10-year vision, and won’t be rolled out for some time.

Both Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner called on the provincial and federal governments to make a “firm commitment” with regard to capital funding for those projects.

“Phase two is critical to our overall region and to bringing to fruition the real mayors’ vision for the 10-year plan,” said Hepner.

When asked about the planned routes for both lines, with specific regard to the decision to terminate the Broadway extension at Arbutus Street, Desmond told theAi??StraightAi??that the alignment and start and end points were, “a reality.”

The planned route for the Millenium Line extension along Broadway.


“I wasn’t here when the decision was made to terminate it at Arbutus,” said Desmond. “The real crush of demand on the 99 B-line now, is really to Arbutus. We have plenty of customers, students, faculty, and workers going out to UBC, but for this first phase, that’s where we really need to get our resources….

“Will rail eventually get to UBC? I’d say that’s probably a good chance. When? I don’t know.”

Mayor Robertson added that the planning for extending the line to UBC would begin in the final two years of the council’s 10-year vision.

Robertson added that, with the planned development of the Jericho lands and the anticipated population growth, as well as the continued growth of UBC, improving transit service to that area needed to happen “sooner than later.”

The first phase of the Millennium Line extension is set to include 6 kilometres of track extending from VCC-Clark to Arbutus under Broadway.

The planned route for the Surrey-Guilford-Newton LRT line.


The first phase of the Surrey-Newton-Guilford Line, heading along 104 Avenue and King George Boulevard, will include 10 kilometres of two-way, street-level track, 11 LRT stops, and a new LRT operation and maintenance facility.

Public consultations for the Millennium Line extension to Arbutus will take place as follows:
Saturday, January 28 at Douglas Park Community Centre from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday, January 31 at the Croatian Cultural Centre from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, February 1 at Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Public consultations for the Surrey-Newton-Guilford LRT Project will take place as follows:
Tuesday, January 24 at the Guilford Recreation Centre from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, January 25 at Surrey City Hall from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, January 26 at the Newton Cultural Centre from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.





4 Responses to “More Pre Election Transit News – Monty Python Plans For Transit”
  1. tory says:

    Of course the decision’s been made already. It’s just that there’s the simple issue of funding. Once the funding comes, that in itself is the decision. Funding = decision. Decision = richer developers. And rich developers = I get to keep my job pushing paper.

    Zwei replies: TransLink needs $5 billion in new funding, now!

  2. Haveacow says:

    Have Translink given an updated construction cost in 2017 dollars for the extension of the Millennium Line to Arbutus yet? If so what is it?

    Zwei replies: The last estimate from a planning student I had a meeting with, was $3.2 billion for a full build extension to Arbutus, including track, electrics, signalling and cars. Translink’s current estimate of $1.9 billion, is 5 years old and does not include track, electrics, signalling, and cars. To reduce the cost of construction, cut and cover construction will have to be employed but after the Cambie St. fiasco, I do not think civic politicians in Vancouver have the stomach for another cut and cover project.

  3. Haveacow says:

    Well, I just finished a new updated estimation for the cost of the Millennium Line Extension from VCC to Arbutus taking into account:

    1. The rate of inflation since 2010
    2. The increase in the price of steel since 2010
    3. The increase in the cost of reinforced structural concrete which is about $280/cubic metre.
    4. The 21% devaluation of the Canadian Dollar since July of 2010, measured against the amount of equipment and materials that will most likely need to be imported, mostly from the US.
    5. The increased cost of the Mark 3 Skytrains from Bombardier.
    6. I assumed 2 Tunneling Boring Machines of medium size will be used using a non segmented and non sequential tunneling approach, similar to the project for the Evergreen extension.
    7. A Consortium approach (a group of companies bidding against another or multiple other Consortia) will be most likely used in a design-build format.
    8. This estimation has a class C to D quality of estimation and detail.

    The cost I predict will be $2.939-$3.259 Billion for a 6.5 km line with an average cost of $452-$501 Million per km, up, from $2.1 Billion predicted in 2009-2010. The price will drop by $110-$120 million, if trains are not included and ordered separately from this project. If performance standards approach is used the price will drop another $125-$200 Million, similar to the newer LRT projects in Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo, not like the TTC’s Spadina-York University-Vaughn Subway extension, which used a traditional non performance bond, standard biding approach. However, if the new approach is used I predict that at the least, one station will be dropped from the design and or electrical capacity will be reduced somewhat to handle a peak load of around 12000-13000 passengers/hour/direction instead of the current planned,15000 p/h/d.

    A full 13.5 km build to UBC will be $3.9-$4.3 Billion.

  4. eric chris says:

    @Haveacow, whatever the cost of the subway might be, the subway moves fewer people than the tram at grade, and the cost of the subway is four to five times the cost of the tram. If the subway from Commercial Drive to UBC averaged 80 kph, it could stop at as many stops as the tram traveling at 20 kph over the typical commuting time. People traveling on public transit aren’t oil in a pipeline. I keep reading that the subway moves 13,000 pphpd. Yes, the tram can move 13,000 pphpd, too, and if we were moving oil on public transit, both the tram and subway would have the same turnover.

    However, the tram has three to four times the stops of the subway. Does the tram or subway stop at more stops over the typical commuting time? It’s the tram, and due to the “tiny” subway trains holding just 300 to 500 passengers, the tram easily holding 400 passengers ends up having about twice the turnover of passengers compared to the subway going 40 kph. Planners at TransLink blundered and built s-train traveling in subway and viaduct lines to decrease the turnover and capacity of public transit.

    It is called a fatal error in engineering. It demonstrates ineptitude.

    It results in immediate dismissals in the real world, and the directors at TransLink have either been hiding their mistake or far worse owing to incompetence don’t even realize their mistake which has been reported to the federal government which I hear is in shock over the blunder. Stay tuned in 2017.

    Any public transit that’s faster than walking is technically “rapid” transit; the tram which is much faster than walking qualifies as rapid transit and removes scores of transit buses from Broadway in Vancouver to cut the road congestion by public transti. On the other hand, going with the subway under Broadway keeps the diesel buses on the roads to recycle passengers to the subway. The subway doesn’t curb road congestion from diesel buses on the roads including Broadway. The subway won’t reach UBC for decades, and the zillions of dollars for it was rejected in the transit plebiscite.

    Federal ministers have scoffed at the business plan for the subway in Vancouver. It needs more work they say. In truth, they are aware that the study used for the subway’s business plan is fraudulent and are giving the ones who prepared the business plan for the subway the opportunity to correct the business plan for them to go with trams or LRT at grade, instead. All the other valid business plans by public transit organizations in every other city in Canada are for LRT or trams at grade, and TransLink is bucking the trend with the subway along Broadway suited for trams.

    Going with the tram for rapid transit on Broadway in Vancouver costs less than $1 billion, takes two years to complete and goes all the way to UBC. It’s a daunting task and requires high calibre engineers who aren’t afraid of a challenge. It requires honesty and integrity from engineers. It requires squirrelly engineers who can fend off the snakes in the middle of rattlesnake country.

    Here’s my understanding of the vague discourse surrounding the funding for public transit in Metro Vancouver. Correct me if I’m wrong:

    Uno, feds have agreed to “invest” $20 billion “in Canada” for public transit infrastructure.

    “The $20 billion would be for new projects that he says municipalities desperately need, and would give local economies a boost, he said in the key Greater Toronto Area riding of Richmond Hill.”

    Due, Metro Vancouver based on the 2.4 million population which is 7% of Canada’s 35 million population is entitled to 7% of the $20 billion investment by the feds. TransLink can’t “apply” for more than $1.4 billion from the feds.

    Tre, the feds have agreed to pay 50% of the cost of the “infrastructure” but no more than $1.4 billion. Therefore, the 100% cost of all infrastructure including the subway in Vancouver can’t exceed $2.8 billion which by coincidence has been bandied about by TransLink looking to snag as much cash from the feds as it can get.

    Quattro, if TransLink applies for $1.4 billion and receives $1.4 billion from the feds, the province might chip in up to 40% of the total cost of the infrastructure if the NDP win the next provincial election. That is, the province is willing to chip in up to $1.1 billion (40% of the $2.8 billion total) if the feds give $1.4 billion.

    Cinque, this leaves Metro Vancouver to cover the remaining 10% or $300 million (still lots) for public transit infrastructure (capital cost).

    “NDP leader John Horgan promised Thursday that his government would commit to providing 40 per cent of funding for transit and major infrastructure projects, leaving Metro Vancouver with a 10 per cent funding responsibility. That plan is supported by Mayor Robertson, who says he has consistently called for a 50-40-10 plan between the three levels of government.”

    Sei, if the subway costs $2.8 billion, Surrey and the rest of Metro Vancouver get nothing for public transit. I’m going to go out on the limb and predict that the subway in Vancouver won’t go ahead as planned, and the new business plan which will eventually be rejected will shorten it about 50% to stop at Cambie Street to cost about $1.4 billion where it can tie into the subway fiasco on Cambie Street and leave about $1.4 billion for the Surrey LRT and electric buses in Metro Vancouver to replace the carbon emitting diesel buses recycling passengers to the viaduct and subway lines (to make public transit more polluting than if there were no public transit). This to me seems like the only way for the “planners” at TransLink to declare victory and save face.

    Sette, regardless of how much money the feds give TransLink: dysfunctional TransLink is desperate for cash. Snakes at TransLink have no choice but to try to rob the bank and go after road taxes in Metro Vancouver to pay for their crumbling viaducts and subways, to pay down their massive deficit approaching $4 billion and to pay for their bloated salaries. When they duz, theyz gonna get squirreled and challenged by the citizens and businesses opposing them in Metro Vancouver.

    Finally, ALERT !!!! S-train down !!. Stay calm unless some creep with a knife looks dangerous, then too bad, you’re dead and we can’t reach you !! Everyone at TransLink gets paid anyhow !! Do not panic !!

    “Jan 29 2017 2:45:PM

    SkyTrain Disruption… Track issue at New West & Columbia Stations. Currently no train service to either station. Expo trains from Waterfront to turn back at 22 St Stn. Expo trains from King George to turn back at Scott Rd Stn. Expo trains from Production to turn back at Sapperton Stn. Millennium Line & Canada Line are operating normally. Two shuttle bus lines have been put in place: one from Scott Rd Stn to 22 St Stn, and one from Sapperton to Columbia Stn.”

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