TransLink Spends on Station Renovations

TransLink is renovating several stations on the Expo Line and as always, the real news is what one reads between the lines.

The Expo Line is near its life expiratory date and no, the Expo Line will not disappear in a cacophony of dust and debris, but extensive and expensive renovations and renewals must be made. One of the factors leading the TTC to replace the Scarborough ICTS Line, was that it is getting close to its life expiratory date and it would be cheaper to replace the ICTS line with LRT in the long term. Recent decision to replace the Scarborough ICTS with a subway was crack smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s driven decision.


The claim that the renovation is a; “bid to ease platform overcrowding and accommodate an increase in passengers expected when the new Evergreen Line starts rolling in 2016“, is somewhat over stated as the Evergreen Line will not generate the ridership increase that would warrant such an expense. If TransLink really was sincere in increasing capacity, they will have to lengthen the 80 metre station platforms at all SkyTrain stations and that will be a considerable cost.

The claim that peak hour capacity of the Expo Line is 14,000 persons per hour per direction is debatable, but  the contracted capacity of the Expo Line was 15,000 pphpd. The often quoted 30,000 pphpd capacity of the Expo Line was based on rakes of 8-car trains of MK 1 stock, operating with stations having platforms 110 metres long. The maximum theoretical capacity of the Millennium ART Line was claimed to be 26,000 pphpd, by Bombardier literature of the time of construction.

The claim that the Broadway/Commercial stations sees; “150,000 bus and SkyTrain passengers daily“, again is debatable.  What TransLink should say is that there are 150,000 boardings, which translates to 75,000 actual bus AND SkyTrain passengers a day. TransLink likes to double count SkyTrain customers transferring to buses to give the impression that more people are using SkyTrain and the Broadway B-Line than there really are.

The real story is that TransLink is spending large sums of money to renovate older metro stations, not to increase capacity or customer comfort, but because they have to and with a TransLink referendum coming soon, TransLink is trying to impress the taxpayer, with questionable statics and manipulated figures.


The preceding chart shows the ridership of all bus services going to UBC.  Note Broadways bus ridership (highlighted).

As TransLink builds for a busier future, Main Street station access will be temporarily limited

Starting early next year, Main Street-Science World will be served only by shuttle trains

TransLink is asking SkyTrain passengers to be patient as it upgrades seven Expo Line stations in a bid to ease platform overcrowding and accommodate an increase in passengers expected when the new Evergreen Line starts rolling in 2016.

The upgrades are to cost $164 million and the first big change for passengers will happen early next year at Main Street-Science World station.

During construction, which is expected to wrap up next summer, regular trains will no longer stop at Main Street. Passengers going to and from the station will instead have to catch two-car shuttle trains, which will run every 10 minutes, to Waterfront or Commercial-Broadway, where they will can transfer to another train.

“As with any construction project, we’re asking for the public’s patience,” said Jeff Busby, manager of TransLink’s infrastructure and planning.

Other stations scheduled for upgrades are Commercial-Broadway, Metrotown, Joyce-Collingwood, Scott Road, Surrey Central and New Westminster.

The improvements are expected to be completed at all stations by the end of 2016, which coincides with the opening of the Evergreen Line and an anticipated rise in passengers, particularly at Commercial-Broadway, the system’s busiest hub.

About 14,000 people an hour an direction board the Expo Line during the busiest times of days — usually in the morning and afternoon rush hours — and this number is expected to jump to 25,000 people an hour by 2043, Busby said. If the transit system were a freeway, he added, it would need 12 lanes in each direction to accommodate those passenger loads over the next 30 years.

Busby said the Expo Line, which opened in 1986, is cramped and often overcrowded. Generally, the station are changing to make them more accessible, with new elevators and escalators, wider platforms and passenger passageways.

“We’re experiencing crowding at stations with rush hour a key choke point,” Busby said. “That will increase with the opening of the Evergreen Line. In some cases, trains arrive and they so full people are unable to board.”

Busby noted that since 2008, TransLink has increased the capacity of the system by 30 per cent by adding new SkyTrain cars. The upgrades will allow SkyTrain to one day run five-car trains; the longest now are four cars.

The plan also calls for secure bike rooms to encourage more passengers to cycle to transit stations.

Commercial-Broadway, one of the biggest stations with 150,000 bus and SkyTrain passengers daily, is considered one of the biggest projects. It is slated to get a new east platform serving westbound Expo Line trains and a doubling of the existing pedestrian passageway over Broadway to connect with the Millennium line platforms and westbound 99 B-Line bus stop.

Busby said that construction on all the stations except Main Street-Science World will be kept away from passengers so that service isn’t severely affected. But he notes that passengers will likely be directed around the construction on designated pathways.

“What we’re hoping to do is put the overall project in perspective,” he said. “People have to keep the end in mind; we’re going to see a system that is much better.”


Station by station

Main Street-Science World

Completion: fall 2014


• expanded east station house with a new entrance;

• new west entrance

• new escalator, stairs and elevator

• open station design with better lighting and visibility

• New secure parking area for bicycles


Passengers served: 150,000 per day (bus/train)

Completion: Summer 2016


• new east platform serving westbound Expo trains

• new pedestrian passageway over Broadway, connecting with Millennium Line platform and 99 B-Line bus stop

• widening the walkway to Platforms 1 and 2

• new elevators and escalators to increase capacity and accessibility

• new secure parking area for bicycles


Completion: fall of 2016


• rebuilt east entrance and add new west station house

• new stairs and escalators

• replacement of the original elevator with two new elevators

• a relocated bus exchange

• new secure parking area for bicycles


Completion: end of 2016

• new elevator and two escalators in the east station house

• upgrades to elevator and escalator at west entrance

• better lighting and visibility

• new secure parking area for bicycles

Scott Road

Completion: winter 2013/14


• a new elevator at the west entrance

• enhanced stairs, ramps and curb ramps to improve accessibility

• a redesigned bus loop

• upgraded parking lot with new shelters and pedestrian walkways

Surrey Central

Completion: end of 2016

Still in the design stage. TransLink is working with the city of Surrey to identify upgrades to the bus exchange and SkyTrain station.

New Westminster:

Completion: fall of 2015


• improvements to existing escalators and stairs

• replacement of the south elevator

• improved station design with better lighting and visibility


16 Responses to “TransLink Spends on Station Renovations”
  1. Haveacow says:

    Sorry Zwei, I have to nick-pik here. As much as I hate Mayor Ford (being a born and bread very proud, Torontonian) the extension of the Bloor-Danforth Subway Line to Scarborough Centre and beyond goes back earlier than the Scarborough RT itself. Even I admit that, here in my opinion LRT is really not the best long term answer. The issue is Kennedy Station where the subway ends and the RT begins. A subway extension here ends the transfer needed here which usually means a 3-story walk up or down to transfer between the 2 lines. Originally the subway was to head east and not go to Scarborough Centre (part of the suburban downtown program to reduce 1 way travel on the subway during the morning and afternoon peaks) because downtown Scarborough was not going to need. a full subway. Unfortunately, the RT does handle 12000-15000 p/h/d during the peak period and yes, this can be handled by LRT but it does not reduce the 5+ transfer time between the 2 lines. You see only a minority of the passenger traffic at Kennedy Station is going to the buses and the future Eglinton Crosstown LRT line. The majority is going between the Subway and RT Line. With the planned Morningside LRT Line, which will begins at Kennedy Station, eliminating any easterly extension of the subway having another LRT line or an extension to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT heading to Scarborough Centre means a majority or in the future the largest minority group of passengers, are still going to suffer a long transfer time going to or coming from the Subway. This also eliminates the need to maintain that costly and ugly raised right of way that the RT uses to get to Scarborough Centre, which will soon likely need to be rehabilitated.

    150,000 boardings doesn’t necessarily mean only 75,000 passengers. It depends on the city and the formula being used however, between 10-20% of those boardings should be considered one way trips. Determining this can be complex and the exact number may never be conclusively known but, I would say something like 90,000-105,000 use the Broadway – Commercial Station Complex a day based on industry norms and the information available (still impressive though).

    Paraphrasing what you said, what is interesting is what was not included in the article but, often mentioned on the Translink website and in the Expo Line Upgrade Report. There is the continual reference to, needed power supply upgrades and the use of 5 car trains to get the full effect of the planned capacity upgrades for the future. A decision on those issues will not come till 2015-2016. Its the future upgrades for the power supply system that intrigues me the most. Its pretty clear to me that they have hit their electrical current limit and unless they act soon they will never be able to increase their current line passenger capacity above their stated 14,000 p/h/d because they just can’t put a greater frequency of trains or a 5 car train based service on a electrical current system that is maxed out. This time its not just the budget of Translink that is maxed out. I have stated here before that, this is a common way of keeping starter line systems from blowing their stated capital budget and not looking bad to the press because it is a highly technical and east to hide from a possibly skeptical public. Possibly running a little over budget during construction, cut back on the electrical current capacity limit of your line, only the experts can tell and it will only be noticed 2 or 3 decades later by everyone else. By this time you can call it an upgrade.

    Zweisystem replies: What I can remember from a conversation with an electrical technician back in the late 80′s, the LIM’s are very power sensitive and major problems occur even with the slightest drop in power. A LIM will never stall, but it will creep along very slowly if there is a drop in the power supply. The ice storms, way back in the early 90′s damaged many LIM’s (they are only 1 cm above the reaction rail), that several trains took upwards of 60 minutes to cross the Fraser Bridge. The operable LIM’s were drawing so much power that the entire Expo Line ran at speeds of 20 kph or less.

  2. Haveacow says:

    Sorry everyone that should be nit – pick, dam this cursed auto correct. That should also say, the LRT Line will not eliminate the 5+ minute transfer time to and from the subway, again dam this auto correct.

  3. eric chris says:

    Broadway station for sky train is analogous to a circuit fuse which keeps blowing in an electrical circuit. You have too much connected load at Broadway, and the 99 B-Line route is the load.

    TransLink is operating the 99 Bees at a ridiculous frequency to funnel riders from all over Metro Vancouver down Broadway. It is kind of like Starbucks offering 50 cent coffee along Broadway and $2 coffee on West 4th Avenue. Where are you going to go for coffee?

    Fixing the blown fuse at Broadway is easy. Take some of the load off Broadway and put it on 4th West Avenue. You can do this in a number of ways and the easiest way is to restore full trolleybus service – killing the 99 B-Line service. This will reduce travel times for most riders as the large number of current trolleybus riders being passed by the 99 B-Line (limited stops) will not have to make the forced transfer onto the 99 B-Line.

    That is, TransLink does not “continuously” operate a single trolleybus route on Broadway from Commercial Drive to UBC over the measly 13 kilometre distance. Get this, heading west, trolleybus riders on the No. 9 trolleybuses must alight at Alma Street for the last 25% of their trip to either board the No. 14 trolleybus or the 99 B-Line to reach UBC. Since the No. 14 trolleybus operates infrequently, almost all riders on the No. 9 trolleybus transfer to the 99 B-Line.

    TransLink brings the No. 14 trolleybus all the way from East Vancouver to make the last 4 kilometre trip west to UBC possible from Alma Street to UBC and the No. 9 trolleybus travel is curtailed at Alma Street and the No. 9 trolleybus is sent back east to Commercial Drive. Who in his or her right mind would do this?

    Couldn’t TransLink just operate the No. 9 all the way to UBC to save trolleybus riders the 10 to 15 minute delay for the trolleybus riders waiting for the trolleybus to get them to the 99 B-Line? TransLink could but this would compete with the 99 B-Line – especially if the No. 9 operated at the same frequency as the 99 B-Line. Express 99 B-Line service speeds up travel for a few riders and slows down travel for many more riders. In short, the 99 B-Line service makes the commuting time longer for most transit users on Broadway, just like sky train would. Yup, you got it, the 99 B-Line service is a clever scam by TransLink.

    Express 99 Bee Line (such a cutesy name) service is how TransLink creates record ridership and conditions riders to accept transfers required for sky train operating exactly like the 99 B-Line. It is the reverse eastwards and you can’t catch a single trolleybus from UBC to Commercial Drive. Anyone on the No. 14 must alight at Granville Street to either catch the No. 9 trolleybus or the 99 B-Line to reach Commercial Drive. Almost everyone making the transfer from the No. 14 catches the 99 B-Line.

    This crap costs taxpayers an extra $13 million annually (99 B-Line annual operating cost) for TransLink to create the illusionary and artificial demand for sky train to UBC. Crack news reporter, Kelly Sinoski, of the Vancouver Sun instead reports the news according to TransLink – “upgrades” for sky train stations.

    Right now the 97 B-line takes transit users to the Millennium Line and when the Evergreen Line replaces the 97 B-Line, you will not increase demand on the Millennium Line to any extent for years until the population in Coquitlam grows. When ridership on the Millennium Line does grow from the increase in population in Coquitlam, it will be to take workers living in Coquitlam to downtown Vancouver.

    These riders will not have to transfer to the Expo Line and can take the Millennium Line all the way to downtown Vancouver. It appears as if the upgrades for the Evergreen Line expansion are really maintenance costs for the crumbling Expo Line and are being concealed as “upgrades” for the Evergreen Line expansion connecting to the Millennium Line.

    Finally, how is a new and secure bike area at Broadway a significant cost and upgrade? How is it part of the sky train system? It isn’t worth mentioning and is used to overwhelm the reader with irrelevant and feel good information.

    For the $168 million “upgrades” for the sky train stations, we could have a budget tram line from UBC and part way to Commercial Drive up and running in 18 months. How the monkeys at TransLink have gotten away with their crap for so long is a mystery to me.

    Dianne Watts can’t become Premier soon enough to fire the monkeys at TransLink. Bungling buffoons at TransLink are just making fools of naïve taxpayers paying idiots who don’t use transit and who drive to work at TransLink.

  4. “Express 99 B-Line service speeds up travel for a few riders and slows down travel for many more riders. In short, the 99 B-Line service makes the commuting time longer for most transit users on Broadway, just like sky train would. Yup, you got it, the 99 B-Line service is a clever scam by TransLink.”

    Yes, I think I AM going to upend Eric’s comment above.

    Of the 100,000 boardings being serviced on the Broadway corridor, 60,000 of those are being serviced by the B-Line. The B-Line is carrying most of the passengers on Broadway, and this has to do with one big reason: it’s faster and more reliable than the local service. You don’t seem to get it at all. The only thing that eliminating 99 B-Line service would do, if replaced by an as-frequent articulated trolley bus service, is slow down everyone. And it would come with an extreme, unsupportable cost.

    Express services are more cost-efficient to operate than local services precisely because they take less time. It goes like this: if you can complete a trip in less time, you can complete part of the next trip for the same price. So the express service helps TransLink service the Broadway corridor in the most cost-effective fashion. You should remember that the ridership numbers and ratio do prove that the majority of the demand on Broadway is for express service.

    If you had any ACTUAL experience on what decisions are made in transit planning, you’d know that the current arrangement with the #9 and #14 has to do with logistics. West of Alma, there isn’t a lot of local transit demand or reason for it in the same way as Broadway – lined with local businesses – has east of Alma and throughout the Central Broadway area. Most people traversing west of Alma are going to UBC and not to places in-between. Operating all #9 trips to UBC would just waste taxpayers’ money; in addition, operating only some of the #9 trips (i.e. every 2nd trip) would force transfers anyway, so it makes sense to have the less frequent but continuous #14 do it instead (although the #14′s frequency there DOES meet FTN standards, so your idea of frequency would seem subjective). Running the 99 is the most cost-efficient way of servicing the travel pattern on the corridor, because of the reason I stated above. Also, the 99′s high frequency also nullifies the pain of a transfer from the #9 to Alma – and the speed can make up for it. It’s an arrangement that’s not unreasonable, and makes sense for TransLink and for all riders.

    In fact, it’s the arrangement that has always been in place. The #9 has NEVER had an all-day service to UBC – not even since before the first pre-99 express service on Broadway (the #31) existed. It has always been like this. The #99′s extension to UBC did not displace any through Broadway service.

    Also, the #14 doesn’t go through downtown to be a one-seat route to UBC from east Vancouver anymore. This maybe used to be the case when it (as the #10) was the express service on Hastings (now #135) and there was no express service or demand on Broadway. Today, East Vancouver residents can get to the #44 and #84 (both of which bring an express service to 4th Ave that apparently you don’t seem to know exists) to traverse the long distance in an actually reasonable amount of time. Anyone actually riding the #14 the whole way has way too much time on his/her hands.

    You’re forgetting what transit riders care about, Eric: they care about getting there in a reasonable amount of time. If they can’t get there in a reasonable amount of time, they might not make the trip – or drive. There’s just no sense in your idea – and no sense behind your reasons either.

    Voony’s Blog has a very nice article on the history of the 99 service. You’ll want to read up.

  5. eric chris says:

    Daryl, you don’t seem to get it. I live on the 99 B-Line route and do network modeling as part of my job.

    The No. 9 never operated to UBC from Commercial Drive as you wildly contend? It does now fool but TransLink curtails the No. 9 trolleybus at Alma Street (4 km from UBC for no reason) at 6:30 pm on weekdays and on weekends as well as for all summer for four months. Quit pulling lies out of the air without any basis – you sound like TransLink.

    Broadway is a trolleybus route. Do you understand what that means, Daryl? It means that TransLink is not supposed to be operating diesel buses on Broadway.

    The 99 B-Line travels through about 50 traffic lights stopping at about 50% of the traffic lights over 13 kilometres and if the No. 9 trolleybus operated at the “same” two minute frequency as the 99 B-Line, the 99 B-Line really only saves about 1 minute (non-peak hours) to 5 minutes (peak hours) for the entire route distance; however, the 99 B-Line costs someone transferring to it from the No. 9 or No. 14 trolleybus about 10 minutes to 15 minutes.

    In other words, the 99 B-Line express and trolleybus shuttle system used by TransLink is slower on Broadway than if TransLink just used trolleybuses. If the 99 B-Line were in a dedicated right of way, it might be faster, maybe, but the 99 B-Line operates on the street like a “tram” which you say is slow. If the tram is slow, isn’t the 99 B-Line slow, too, Daryl, you twit? You can’t say that the tram is slow but the 99 B-Line is fast.

    You incorrectly look at the world from “everyone” traveling from Commercial Drive to UBC over the entire route distance. Many transit users have to make a transfer from a bus on Broadway to board the 99 B-Line in order to complete their trip. For these riders, the express 99 B-Line slows their commute. I don’t want to argue with a fool like you. Show me your calculations proving that the 99 B-Line is faster than not having it.

    Essentially, TransLink is spending more money to make transit worse on Broadway with the 99 B-Line service. Then there is the sticky issue of 99 B-Line noise and emissions which don’t meet code. You feel that TransLink does not have to meet code, too? Please do me the honour of posting this comment on your “blog”, stupid jerk.

  6. Rico says:

    Hi Eric,

    Please keep it classy.

  7. zweisystem says:

    I would like to remind everyone that Daryl Dela Cruz is an 18 year old collage student with little background in transit and likes to inflate his credentials; Eric Chris is a professional engineer who has worked in the transportation field. For your information, Zwei has been involved with regional transit issues since 1986, a 27 year member of the LRTA, and has been mentored by both academics and professionals and still Zwei would not call himself a transit professional, nor an analyst, yet since 1990 Zwei has called for a one on one debate with a BC Transit and now TransLink planner on the merits of both LRT and SkyTrain and to date both BC Transit and TransLink have refused to do so. During the Canada Line charade, Zwei was twice escorted from public meetings by BC Transit officials because my questions were deemed disruptive. Both times, Zwie asked for a review of the subway option with those having real expertise in urban transportation and to substantiate the claim that LRT did not have the capacity of LRT.

    To date, both TransLink and BC Transit have refused to substantiate their claim the SkyTrain has a greater capacity than LRT.

  8. Rico says:

    While he may or may not be a professional engineer (no Eric Chris is listed with the Association but I could believe he is and is just using a pseudonym so his coworkers don’t get exposed to his vitriol) you just need to read his comments to recognize he is less mature than Daryl. I am also sure his math skills are great, unfortunately good math skills don’t help much if you have faulty logic……As for you Zei, like Daryl you are a Tech Fan, Trams for you Skytrain for Daryl. I am surprised that after 27years you have not learned more about transit in general, with Daryl you can see a steady increase in knowledge and a refining of positions, with you…….. There now a mea culpa, obviously I am not a transit expert either but with more than 20years experience hiring a wide range of fellow professionals and reviewing their work I consider myself pretty good at separating wheat from chaff and unfortunately you and Eric Chris produce a lot of chaff (as well as some wheat which is why I still bother commenting).

    Zweisystem replies: No I am not a tech fan, in fact the lower the tech is the better tech. I could give you a good debate for the return of the steam locomotive.

    The debate between SkyTrain and LRT has never been about technology, rather it is about building an affordable transit product that will attract the motorist from the car. SkyTrain hasn’t done it, despite over $9 billion invested in the light metro.

    If we invested the money we have invested so far into SkyTrain and instead built with LRT, we would have had at least three times the LRT network (over 210 km!), possibly extending as far as Chilliwack.

    Yes, SkyTrain carries a high volume of ridership, but the vast majority of SkyTrain’s ridership are bus riders forcibly recycled onto the mini-metro. The Canada Line is more of the same. Now add in the deep discounted U-Pass program with over 110,000 deep discounted monthly fares to bolster transit ridership and we truly have a transit mess, that is costing the taxpayer dearly.

    But I return to this question. After being on the market for over 35 years, during a period of unprecedented investment in urban transit, that only 7 SkyTrain systems have been built; what was wrong with the product? Not one SkyTrain project was ever allowed to compete directly against LRT (the politicians in Kuala Lumpor thought SkyTrain was a monorail and it was an unpleasant surprise for them when the project turned out to be a railway. The very next transit line was a monorail) and 4 of the SkyTrain lines built, in the USA (JFK), China, Malaysia, and Korea, were given cheap loans by the Canadian government.

    When you talk to the real transit experts, including those who work for Bombardier internationally, Skytrain is deemed, yesterday’s kit, too expensive to build and operate. SkyTrain is an operating museum piece, just like the Wuppertal Schebbebahn.

  9. Haveacow says:

    Well I don’t know about loans other than my mortgage but, I do know that the JFK Air Train has been bit of a disappointment for the airport and locals. Although it is used reasonably well by passengers to JFK, it was much shorter than originally envisioned and the over use of technology was a real budget issue. What local transport officials really just wanted was a special LIRR (Long Island Railroad) Commuter Rail Line that linked Kennedy and Laguardia Airports (not sure about the spelling) to the Brooklyn side of the Queensboro Bridge leading to Manhattan. The right of way existed but the use of this expensive technology absolutely killed what everyone really wanted by forcing the builders to cut back the scope of the project by ending the line at the Jamaica LIRR Station and another branch going to a local subway station who’s name escapes me right now. On top of that, the service that does exist requires a special fare just for the airport train and transfering to another LIRR train or to the NYCTA subway requiers an extra fair. To put it simply, its like using a overly expensive technology to travel from Vancouver’s Airport to the Canada Line then ending the line and then charge everone again to use the Canada Line to go downtown.

    Zweisystem replies: The JFK “Airtrain” was a private deal between the Port Authority (who run the airports), Bombardier and the Canadian government, who provided funding. The “Airtrain”, which is a Bombardier ART (SkyTrain) system is financed by a $7 dollar departure fee and because it was a private deal between the P.A. and Bombardier there was no US federal scrutiny of the project. The “Airtrain” was supposed to showcase ART abroad and by all accounts it has failed. Like the Scarborough Line, the “Airtrain” will be replaced by a conventional metro line within 20 years.

  10. zweisystem says:

    Actually the Canada Line’s fare from YVR to Vancouver is $5 more than the standard 2 zone charge.

  11. eric chris says:


    I’m not a transportation engineer, my grades and math skills were too high for transportation engineering which is a subset of civil engineering and I have a post graduate degree in chemical engineering. If you can’t get into chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering after the first year of general engineering studies, you usually have to settle for a seat in civil engineering.

    Incidentally, City of Vancouver and TransLink engineers are predominantly civil engineers. There isn’t much that I can learn from them and they don‘t take 12 calculus courses to complete their degrees as do chemical engineers.

    I don’t want to generalize too much because the top student after my first year went into civil engineering to take structural engineering to build bridges but most top students avoid civil engineering which pays less than chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering. Most of my work experience is in the USA and Australia.

    I’m Australian and a professional engineer, registered in multiple states and provinces. I believe, Peter Judd who is the chief engineer at the City of Vancouver isn’t publicly listed with APEGBC, by the way.

    Transit zealots cling to their misguided theory that transit reduces road congestion. It does not.

    Transit attracting drivers frees up road space and has the same effect as building more roads. The remaining drivers just drive more (U of T, 2009). You and TransLink have no come back for this:

    As a corollary, transit does not reduce carbon emissions and does not reduce air pollution. Diesel buses operated by TransLink are the most harmful to the health of the public in Metro Vancouver. Diesel buses operated by TransLink are not required to meet stringent air quality regulations and concentrate fine particulate matter (PM2.5) causing respiratory disease along the few mayor roads where transit operates.

    Sky train and Rapid Bus (99 B-Line)
    Fundamentally, the premise that fast transit (sky train and 99 B-Line) attracts drivers is flawed for two reasons. Firstly, sky train and rapid bus rely on slow buses to get riders to the sky train and the rapid bus stops located far apart in distance. Therefore, transit remains slow for anyone who has a car and who has to take a bus, first, to reach sky train or rapid bus. Drivers just prefer to drive and avoid fast transit by TransLink, instead.

    To counter this, TransLink “planning” has devised its Metro Regional Plan to build small villages at sky train stations to reduce the number of slow bus transfers required to reach the sky train stations. In the rest of Metro Vancouver, about 86% of the population will continue to drive or not take transit and the high rise condos at the small villages near the sky train stations are merely transforming Vancouver to make developers money and to sustain ridership for sky train.

    If you have a few million dollars to buy the penthouse condo near the sky train station to enjoy the high rise condo view, you will have to compete with the mainland Chinese millionaire who can outspend you and who doesn‘t pay the 50% tax rate that you do here. Really, fast transit only makes transit users commute longer distances (Marchetti effect). It increases transit costs and results in more pollution from transit users riding soot blowing diesel buses farther than if there were no fast transit.

    Secondly, and most importantly, drivers who have scraped up the money to get off transit to avoid the creeps on transit are not going back to transit. On transit, you are going to encounter the scum of the earth. During business hours, there are enough normal people going to work and school to ameliorate the nasty effects of creeps who are buffered by the many transit users.

    During non-peak hours the creeps are more in your face and hard to avoid. It is the jelly bean effect where you don’t have enough normal people to avoid coming into contact with that pedophile, rapist, murder… who you want to avoid on sky train where you can’t escape, 10 metres in the air in a locked carriage. Creeps are the biggest deterrent to drivers taking transit. TransLink and you fail to accept this.

    Moderators on this site have graciously allowed you to make comments and state assumptions which you and TransLink cannot support. I don’t intrude on Daryl’s blog which is nothing more than a propaganda site for TransLink. You have not reciprocated my courtesy and I have grown tired of responding to you.

    I’m taking a break over the holidays and will be back in 2014. In 2014, I’ll go over how trolleybuses on Broadway and West 4th Avenue can be used to double the capacity of transit at the Broadway Commercial sky train station. I’ll also show how standard trolleybuses can not only match the current capacity of the 99 B-Lines but also eliminate all the empty or nearly empty trolleybuses at present on Broadway – to slash transit costs and improve transit times.

    Zweisystem replies: I think we can all agree that the trolleybuses are not used to their best effect, which in the end costs the taxpayers more money for less service. Sadly, the trolleybus routes still follow the ‘ghost rails’ of the former streetcars, which they replaced, yet the operating authority has not modernized the routes, nor upgraded routes to compete against the car. All what Translink has dome is make the trolleybuses expensive loser cruisers.

  12. Haveacow says:

    Oh Daryl I just remembered something that I forgot to tell you. I was rereading your comments and forgot to inform you about a little point about modern trolley buses. They can bypass slower buses infront of them. Most manufacturers of these vehicles have a line bypass feature which automatically lowers the double trolley poles and turns on a battery which can power the vehicle off wire for several kilometres before it has to realign with the wires and reattach to the power system. The batteries are then recharged buy the power system and a regenerative braking system. The bypass feature is now a standard option and not overly expensive for the operator. So express trolley buses can go around slower vehicles and not get stuck in a slow line of buses.

  13. Haveacow says:

    According to the APTA, transit lines can have an effect on traffic in their own corridor and may have minor traffic reducing effects on corridors close to the transit line. Eric, you are correct that a single transit line will not reduce traffic across town on another corridor many kilometers away. What a good transit line does allow you to do is have more activity take place in its passenger traffic drawing area than if it was not there. For example, downtown Toronto would still exist without subways and streetcars but the amount activity and the built environment would be far less active and dense. If you have multiple high capacity transit lines in an area you can reduce road traffic over a larger area not just in and around the corridor but over many corridors in the area due to the area network effect. However, this based on the capacity of each line and relative frequency of the various services.

    Many anti-transit groups and individuals make this point a lot that, a single rapid transit line has no effect or very little effect on an entire road network because they have been somewhat successful at preventing more lines that prevent a real dense network of high capacity transit lines to form. When they aren’t sucessful at blocking the creation of dense network they point out excessive cost issues, rider comfort issues (creepy people, crowding), class issues and sometimes even race issues (I have seen this at public meetings when I have been working, its very sad to watch). Eric I am not saying your anti transit or any of these things but, the points you make point to the fact that the status quo of development and associated lifestyle

  14. Haveacow says:

    Sorry I got cut off let me continue, the status quo of suburban development and associated lifestyle beliefs really needs to be broken open and shown just how destructive they are for any chance at good transit to form. We marvel at Europe and their great transit but fail to realize that it comes because, they have polices and rules that limit exactly what we hold sacred here in North America, that everyone can have a single family house on a quarter acre of land with one or more cars in the driveway and that this form of development is sustainable economically or environmentally. On top of it all developers and car companies have us convinced that this lifestyle is a sacred legal right not a over indulged dream whose negative effects are finally becoming quite clear.

  15. Rico says:

    Hi Eric, it seems you spend a lot of time in BC it seems like it would be worthwhile to register in BC so you can practice professional engineering here. Which juristiction do you consider your primary jursiction where you do most of your work? I am looking forward to your analysis on the off chance you have some ideas that will work.

  16. Tony Marrington says:

    Eric & Haveacow 2 – Daryl & Rico Nil