The Myth

The current transit philosophy is that transit be used to density the route it travels, to increase ridership potential. In Metro Vancouver, this has been taken to the extreme, where properties along a transit route have been up-zoned to permit high rise condominiums. The downside, of course, is that affordable accommodations are torn down and one needs to earn about $50 an hour to live in the new high rise condo’s!

Those who are dependent on transit are forced to move and the condo’s are sold to overseas investors who have the money to buy stacked “shoe boxed sided condominiums.

This has failed miserably and what is being planned will fail, with those responsible for this nonsense rewarded handsomely.

Transit is to move people, not to develop land. Land development comes after transit is built, not before and is regulated by city councils.

Heresy, you scream.

No, from the earliest history, public transport was to move people.

The horse drawn Omnibuses, enabled people to live outside a walking distance from their place of employment to their dwelling.

As artisans who lived in the slums could now live further afield, more housing became accessible along the omnibus routes.

With the railway, the middle class could now quit the disease infested inner cities to live in semi garden estates 10 to 30 miles way.

Thus began the suburbs.

Fast forward to the 50′s and the car largely replaced public transit. Though bus routes remained to cater to the poor, the elderly and students, most commutes were made by car.

By the 60′s, congestion and smog, made livability in major cities almost as poor as they were a century and a half ago.

Then came rapid transit, which was to be the cure all for all urban ills, but some forms worked and others, well not really, but for many, the family chariot was the only way to get to work.

Instead of building “rail” transit as cheaply as possible and building lots, to serve as many destinations as one could afford, most cities built a very expensive, showcase “rapid transit lines”, that did little if anything in reducing the evils of congestion and pollution.

Smart cities built with light rail, which was and is a very inexpensive form of “rail transit”and with foresight, planned tram networks which has the proven ability attracting the motorist from the cat if they live and work within the network.

Not so smart cities built with politically prestigious light metro or subways, believing (falsely as it turned out) that glitzy transit will attract ridership and when that didn’t happen, forced every bus passenger onto the glitzy and expensive light metro or subway, pretending it to be successful.

Very stupid cities and politicians do the same thing over and over again, ever hoping for different results.

Metro Vancouver falls under the very stupid category and why they plan to force people out of their cars, because they have failed to provide a user friendly transit system.

User friendly transit, an oxymoron in Metro Vancouver if there was ever one and why Metro Vancouver’s politicians believe in the transit myth and not transit reality.



4 Responses to “The Myth”
  1. Thomas says:

    I think light rail is the way to go but where Skytrain has been built, I don’t understand why we should not focus growth there. Even light rail and trams benefit from compact development around stations. Also Vancouver has seen transit’s mode share (travel to work) according to Statscan rise from 16 to 20% from 1996 to 2016. This is the greatest percentage increase of any major Canadian city (this is based on the Census, not Translink data which gets inflated due to transfers). We can’t afford more skytrain, but I think Transit Oriented Design around stations is working. As for affordability, that is an issue of foreign money rather than transit oriented design.

    Overall, higher density reduces the amount of car travel per capita. As for new investment, LRT makes more sense than new metro for the suburbs. The only Skytrain development that should happen is connecting the Millenium Line to the Canada Line at Cambie and Broadway.

    Zwei replies: We had the growth already, what is happening now is vulture capitalism, where massive instant slums are rising on the ashes of affordable housing.

    TOD at stations begs the question: if i do not work along the rapid transit line, then i will drive and is exactly what is happening in Metro Vancouver.

  2. Cambie says:

    Transit is to move people, not to develop land. Land development comes after transit is built, not before and is regulated by city councils.

    This is exactly what is happening on Cambie. Subway was built first to move people. Land redeveloped after 2010. Now subway is overcrowded.

    Zwei replies: The Canada Line is crowded because it has 40 metre long station platforms and can operate only 41 metre long trains (shorter than today’s trams) and every bus rider from Richmond, South Delta/Surrey is forcibly transferred to the Canada Line.

    In fact there is no evidence that the $2.4 billion Canada line has taken cars off the road and its increased ridership can be traced to population increase in South Surrey/Delta and Richmond.

    Internationally, the Canada line is regarded as a classic White elephant.

  3. Cambie says:

    Ridership has increased on Canada line by new residents on Cambie and in Richmond. Just look at all the development in Vancouver and Richmond. The increased population is choosing to use Canada line and not to drive. Without the Canada line there would be many more cars clogging up the roads. Translink is buying new trains for the Canada line. The two end stations could be upgraded to have double platforms to increase frequency. Airport could pay for its station and City of Richmond pay for the other. Trains are only crowded during peak hours. During mid day and in evenings, trains less frequent and not crowded. It is not a white elephant.

    Zwei replies: You absolutely have no evidence to support your claim. What TransLink and the operating consortium will not release is how many U-Pass taps of the Compass Card is used on the line. What appears to be high ridership, just may be cheap fare students using the Canada Line 4 or 5 times a day. The $110 million annual operating fee paid by TransLink to the operating consortium tends to support this thesis.

    No one has copied the Canada line and a severe capacity constraint does make it a “White Elephant”, so go back to your Translink masters and tell them!

  4. zweisystem says:

    The emails from tensorflow and Cambie come from temporary spam domains and as such, they will be treated as spam from now on.