Referendum Angst

It will all about the TransLink Referendum in the coming months and regional mayors who haven’t a clue about modern public transit will try to force another tax upon the beleaguered taxpayer to fund questionable transit projects, that will do little to alleviate congestion and gridlock in the lower mainland.

The following is a reminder why LRT is built.

There are many aspects (wth LRT) to efficiency both in operating costs, the use of street space.”

” TriMetai??i??s first batch of railcars are still in service after 22 years. This has interesting cost consequences. In 2008, a railcar cost about $4,000,000. A bus costs about $300,000. If the railcar can do the work of 4 buses, it would replace about $1,200,000 worth of buses. But after about 14 years, these buses would need to be replaced by four more. And with 14 years of inflation, these will cost almost twice as much, say $500,000 each, or $2,000,000 total. So the $4,000,000 railcar saved $3,000,000 worth of bus purchases over its life. Not to mention all the operating efficiencies.”

There are no such savings with SkyTrain and/or light metro, as they operate on independent routes, which require many more buses to feed the beast. The following comment about the referendum states the situation very well.

The problem with the referendum is that it is based on a false premise that a Broadway subway and three poorly designed LRT lines will solve our congestion problems, they won’t and will only exacerbate the situation. After $9 billion spent on SkyTrain and light metro, the mode share by auto in the region has remained at 57%

Transit is not reducing congestion in North America, it hasn’t and a multi-billion dollar subway will not reduce congestion.

The Europeans found this out in the 70′s and 80′s where congestion actually increased after a subway was built. This is why active traffic calming is part and parcel of every new LRT line built across the pond. Road-space is reduced by having tracks on-street, which causes the “push-pull effect” which the transit pushes motorists to transit for lack of road-space and the quality of tram service attracts or pulls new customers to transit.

We use the extremely dated “carrot and stick” approach where motorists are taxed onto transit, which is a failed transit philosophy because there is always too much ‘stick’ and not enough ‘carrot’.

Traffic calming can be as simple as taking up two traffic lanes for the tram or creating pedestrian malls which has a tram operating through it.

A BCIT to UBC tram service with stops every 500 to 600 metres, would replace all bus service on Broadway and reduce operating costs by half yet would have the potential to convey more passengers than a SkyTrain subway (those short 80 metre long Skytrain station platforms constrict capacity) at about one quarter the cost of a subway! And as a bonus, by its very nature of construction, reduce auto congestion.

In Surrey, LRT is being designed as a poor man’s SkyTrain, dooming it to failure.

The real question is; “do our planners and politicians have the maturity to build with modern LRT!”

Mayors confirm hike to PST could be proposed in transit referendumMayors met on Friday ahead of a vote on the actual wording of the referendum question


Renee Bernard

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS1130) ai??i?? In less than a week, weai??i??ll learn more about the referendum question that will be put to Lower Mainland voters over the regionai??i??s transportation priorities.

The regionai??i??s mayors met on Friday, ahead of a vote on the actual wording of the referendum question.

In an emailed statement after the in-camera meeting, the mayors confirm that a hike in the carbon tax, an increase in the PST in the region, an annual vehicle registration fee or a combination off all three are being considered as sources of funding to get their proposed ten-year transportation plan off the ground.

Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which has been critical of TransLink spending, believes the mayors have already decided where the money should come from.

ai???The mayors are playing games. They are hiding what the final wording is. Chances are, theyai??i??ve already come to a consensus. The next six days is about how they are going to spin it to the public, to try to convince us to give TransLink more

He doesnai??i??t think the people of Metro Vancouver will accept any of the funding options.

ai???The vehicle levy was rejected ten years ago. A sales tax increase is an ugly proposition. We just had a province-wide debate on sales taxes. An increase in the carbon tax just reinforces reliance on a failed

In order for the ten-year transit plan to be realized, the region needs to come up with $7.5 billion.


2 Responses to “Referendum Angst”
  1. Sean says:

    If the Surrey LRT must be built, the only way to succeed is to let the lines become completely privately owned and operated with no government funding or interference. Translink would have no say in the line’s design and operation, and no taxpayer money is spent on the line, only fares.

    Zwei replies: I would say, if the LRT lines were properly designed to serve customer’s needs and not SkyTrain’s it would be easier to secure private financing. With Skytrain being a proprietary transit system, it would be impossible to secure financing, period.

  2. Sean says:

    Conclusion, Translink must give up control over the line’s designs.

    Zwei replies: Damn right. Transit should be designed to meet the customers needs, not politicians or developers.