The Emperor has no Clothes and no Transit

Zwei has decided to reprint this post from 2010, written by someone outside the metro Vancouver bubble, who tried to better the region’s transit.

In the ensuing time nothing has changed; the same old tired cast of charlatans trundling out the same old tired transit plans, desperately trying to convince the ever increasingly skeptical taxpayer to ante up more and more tax money to fund transit improvements that everyone knows will fail to deliver what is promised.

The regional mayors, act as a collective ”Ship of Fools” pretending they want better transit, when most secretly want miles and miles of new blacktop in their municipalities so their political friends can develop the ever diminishing ALR lands. The mainstream media,  desperate to retain advertising revenue form those in power and those who wield power, have acquired collective amnesia regarding transit and transit news and print, what they are told to print.

Herr Goebbels would be so pleased.

The region has no real transit plan and no transit.

The Emperor has no Clothes and no Transit

Posted by on Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vancouver is at first glance a beautiful city. It is surrounded by sweeping vistas and a dramatic skyline.

The climate is moderate but spend some time here and scratch the surface and it becomes far less attractive. It is a city that is divided politically; it is parochial, narrow minded and shallow. The people are characterless, flaky and disingenuous. Vancouver is the scam capital of North America, a skill set for which the local population is particularly adept.

There are times when I am certain that Vancouver is something straight out of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

It is a cold place, people in the same business do not interact of share information they do not network or help each other. There is an almost a Darwinian or Hobbesian social culture – Vancouver is an empty void.

The political environment is polarized and doctrinaire. The left adheres to ideas that are at least a generation out of date. Vancouverites think that Naomi Klein is an intellectual when in reality she is a very silly charlatan. To Vancouverites the secret is a serious work of self help. The right is equally foolish in the banality of their free market ideology.

You don’t meet people of substance here. You meet flakes. The press is dominated by yellow journalism. Rarely if ever have I read a real piece of investigative journalism. You do not meet people who form their opinions based upon facts. When you encounter Vancouverites and engage them in the discussion of social issues the argument usually become circular and they end of talking only about themselves. There is a kind of deep insecurity that comes from profound feeling of self loathing that is hard wired into the political culture here. Narcissism is the dominate religion and worshiping at the Temple of Mammon – real estate speculation is the Holy Grail.

People here (generally speaking of course) are stuck up, materialistic yuppies. The downtown scene used to have decent variety, now it’s full of “cookie-cutter” clubs and bars that cater to Armani clones.
Go east of here, or especially south of here, and you’ll find friendlier people that aren’t so consumed with cliques and materialism. If one hails from Harare, Timbuktu, Tripoli, or Darfur then yes, Vancouver appears pretty good, but “the most livable city on Earth”?

Not only is this pretentious, it’s just plain wrong.

No where is the contrast more apparent, than in Coquitlam and Port Moody; cities like Surrey, Delta and Langley, South of the Fraser River and east along the Valley to Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Politicians, planners, decision makers, wealthy Vancouver suburbanites and the `movers & shakers’ contemptuously dismiss the communities beyond downtown as the boondocks; the disdain for the citizens of the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the Fraser Valley is illustrated in the attitude of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, BC Transit and TransLink, to public transport in these areas.

The Emperor has no Clothes and no Transit.

From December 2010;The Rail for the Valley movement has long campaigned against this inequity:

Where’s The Transit?

http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/zweisystem/wheres-the-transit/

Transit Planning In Metro Vancouver – Where Have We Gone Wrong?

http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/zweisystem/transit-planning-in-metro-vancouver-where-have-we-gone-wrong/

Added costs for the Canada Line – Has The Taxpayer Assumed Risk?

http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/zweisystem/added-costs-for-the-canada-line-has-the-taxpayer-assumed-risk/

The truth is now beginning to be realised by the wider community; The Globe & Mail published the two following articles on March 25 & 26th.

Transit a hit-and-miss affair in B.C.’s Lower Mainland

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/transit-a-hit-and-miss-affair-in-bcs-lower-mainland/article1957867/page2/

Transit problems across Canada prompt calls for politicians to address issue

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/transit-problems-across-canada-prompt-calls-for-politicians-to-address-issue/article1957897/page2/

We can only hope that the upcoming May (2017) election will end to the sixteen years of ineptitude, inequality, corruption & nepotism which started in Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberal administration and now continued by premier Chritsy Clark and echoed by the provincial NDP will improve the outlook; I doubt it but, we can but hope and wish.

One should have some basis for comparison before showering such hyperbole on the overpriced, congested, and conceited squalor that is the most livable city in the world. If any city (or province) is presumptuous enough to put “the best place on Earth” on its license plates; it’d better well be the case, because it’s citizens don’t uphold the credibility.

Vancouver is a poor-man’s version of Seattle that, ironically, costs five times at much. Unlike Seattle, however, Vancouver has a dearth of friendly (and English-speaking) people, good music, and reasonably-priced beer. The self-satisfied smugness Vancouverites have toward their neighbour city to the south (or any metropolis, for that matter) stems from an amalgamation of an inferiority complex coupled with an identity crisis. Canada is like the U.S. in every way, except not quite as good. Nowhere is this exemplified more than in Vancouver.

Comments

6 Responses to “The Emperor has no Clothes and no Transit”
  1. zweisystem says:

    Sent to me.

    Why on earth is translink doing anything in regards to the Patullo Bridge, when the province is building the Massey bridge.(which by the way is a rotten egg too).Both projects should be handled in full by the province.(The subway on broadway is surely another boondoggle and waste of money.) What a joke this govt is. Can anybody atTranslink or the mayors group answer this without a red face?

  2. eric chris says:

    Thanks for the excellent post. I’m going to vent some steam:

    Modest spending on public transit for trams and electric buses (minus the expensive subway and viaduct infrastructure to keep unelected “directors”, supposed “engineers” and glorified monkeys making up to $30,000 monthly to do no work at the COV and TransLink for them to spend their time twiddling their thumbs to plan subway and viaduct infrastructure over decades) for the 5% to 20% of the people who aren’t able to take on the responsibility of owning a vehicle has its utility. Trams and e-buses are user and community friendly. Subways and viaducts are destroying Vancouver to make “investors” laundering money, rich, and Patrick Condon wrote an excellent article alluding to it:

    http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/03/06/Vancouver-Transit-Report/

    Road congestion is never going to be solved with public transit which 85% of the population can’t or won’t use. We live in a democracy and politicians aren’t elected to dictate how we commute. John Tory in Toronto and fascist Gregor Robertson in Vancouver forgot this and will be out of jobs in time but not before they pander to firms “befriending” them and lining up for billion dollar government contracts to build public transit infrastructure (subway and viaduct) which we don’t want and won’t solve road congestion. By the way, environmentally, concrete infrastructure for public transit by TransLink exacerbates climate change. Transit by TransLink is the least Green public transit possible.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/programs/metromorning/tory-tolls-metro-morning-1.3867215

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/transit-improvement-fare-increase-1.3864353

    Mayors who graduated with a degree in arts don’t have the requisite and basic knowledge of physics and calculus to understanding what is causing the road congestion or how to solve it. Their abstract reasoning skills are stunted. They are fools and tools parroting the same hackneyed rhetoric over and over again ad nauseum. They really need to shut up and go back to school to earn a science or engineering degree (electrical or mechanical).

    More bridges to clear up the bottlenecks will mitigate road congestion. Flying jet-cars and electric vehicles (including electric bicycles having an 80 km range with an overnight charge) will alleviate road congestion. Autonomous vehicles cutting the distance required between cars will make traffic flow smoother.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en_CA/bikes/collections/electric-bikes/c/B507/

    http://www.cocoamotors.com/

    http://lilium-aviation.com/development.html

    I predicted the election of Trump in 2016. He is going to be entertaining, for sure.

    http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/zweisystem/broadway-subway-is-luxury-wrapped-in-opulence-designed-to-sell-a-mock-p-3/#comment-119642

    Behind the scenes, things are in the works to end the reign of corruption surrounding public transit by the provincial government here. I predict the end of the pig-dogs at TransLink in 2017, full stop, period, trademark, got you losers. Live from Vancouver in the most politically corrupt province west of Quebec… and ready for prime time on SNL is Gregor Robertson talking crap about his subway solving road congestion to his vacuous and clueless lemming followers …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOwl87JVD9w

  3. zweisystem says:

    the first thing transit experts have told me; “subways do not reduce congestion, rather, they reduce ‘transit’ congestion on transit lines with huge traffic flows”. Our current subway madness comes via the USA, where there is the belief that the more money that is spent on transit, the better it is.

  4. Dondi says:

    Mr Chris: Please, please stop using demeaning terms like “pig-dog”. They do not add to your argument. They undermine it. They suggest you are self-indulgent rather than having a point we should pay attention to.

  5. eric chris says:

    Breaking News:

    “MONTREAL (Reuters) – Ontario transit agency Metrolinx said on Friday it is entering into an agreement to buy 61 light rail vehicles from French train maker Alstom (:ALSO.PA), largely as a possible alternative to a contested deal with the company’s Canadian rival Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO).”

    https://ca.yahoo.com/finance/news/toronto-transit-agency-buys-61-145604858.html

    “SNC-Lavalin, the engineering and construction giant, is the subject of criminal and civil actions in Canada and abroad. The company was blacklisted from World Bank projects for 10 years in 2013 for bribery in Southeast Asia. It is building TransLink’s $1.43 billion Evergreen Line and BC Hydro’s $1.1 billion John Hart Generating Station and bidding on the $3.5 billion bridge to replace the Massey.”

    https://www.biv.com/article/2016/11/anti-corruption-experts-lay-lax-enforcement/

  6. Haveacow says:

    I passed the information about the Metrolinx order of 61, 48 metre long 4 section Alstom Citadis Spirit LRV’s to Zwei on Saturday. It’s causing a bit of a stir here in Ottawa because we don’t want it disrupting our delivery schedule. This is how Bombardier got into trouble!

    Bombardier got 400+ orders (196 Flexity Outlook legacy streetcar replacements and 200+ Flexity Swift orders for various Toronto area and Waterloo LRT Lines) from the TTC & Metrolinx for what is primarily 2 different versions of their low floor Flexity LRV (using Outlook & Swift sub-models), both designed specifically for the North American market. 400+ LRV’s IS MASSIVE for an LRV order which normally number between 15-45 units in the European and North American market! Only now is Bombardier doing what they should have done 3-5 years ago which is set up a modern 100% Low Floor LRV only production and assembly line here in Canada (an addition to their pre existing Kingston Ontario, static and non static rail vehicle test facility). So they would not be stuck trying to produce an LRV never produced outside of their European production and supply chain in factories that, aren’t really suited for or manned by otherwise excellent workers who were unsuited for this types of LRV production. Specifically 100% low floor LRV production which have almost never been produced outside of Europe by any of the largest world wide LRV producers. This doesn’t include the number of Flexity LRV units which Edmonton has ordered for their new LRT Line.

    Although people seem to be generally happy here in Ottawa that the LRV design that we are assembling here in Ottawa was chosen by Metrolinx because of its high quality. It worries people because right now because only about 1/2 of the 34 unit order is delivered at this point, fully assembled and starting testing. The further update of 4 LRV’s (paid for by the federal government non sexy operational transit grants program) is also by contract supposed to be started as soon as the original order is finished. But Ottawa also has an order for a further 38 Alstom LRV’s and 5 DMU’s for our stage 2 program which must be done for 2021-2023 when all 3 line extensions open (one line extension each year starting in 2021). Ottawa and RTG (Rideau Transit Group) are both so concerned that this 61 unit order by Metrolinx will disrupt their production schedules that, Alstom Canada said that if they order gets any bigger they will immediately set up a new assembly plant here in Ontario for the production of the 100% low floor Citadis Spirit LRV design for North American orders. Alstom current Canadian plant builds only mainline railway and specifically rubber tired metro equipment for Montreal. The current Ottawa LRV’s are built in Alstom’s Hornell New York factory in the smaller individual sections and then shipped to Ottawa were they assembled at Ottawa’s Belfast Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility.

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