TransLink wants $23 billion to expand transit system

From your wildest dreams department: TransLink wants 23 billion dollars over the next three decades to improve transit.

Ha, ha, ha; and this from an organization who has been less than honest about transit since their inception.

Really boys & girls, do you still want the public to believe that subways will attract more new ridership than a modern streetcar? Then show us the proof. Oh, I see, there is no proof and you want more money for this type of bumf?

Starting with the best of intentions, TransLink has devolved into an inept organization, which can’t even run the buses properly and if the bureaucrats spent more time in operating an efficient transit service, instead of spin doctoring for expensive light metros like SkyTrain and the Canada Line, and even more expensive subways for Vancouver maybe the taxpayer would agree to ante up a few more pennies for better transit in the region.

For the cost of a Broadway subway to UBC, is about $4 billion, we could build a BCIT to UBC LRT; a new Fraser River Rail Bridge; a White Rock to Surrey Central and Vancouver LRT; and the full build Vancouver to Chilliwack TramTrain.

As it stands, the regional taxpayer does not want to spend a penny more for transit, mostly spent on prestigious subways in Vancouver and maybe it is time to disband TransLink and start anew.

TransLink wants $23 billion to expand transit system

the money would be delivered over three decades

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) ai??i?? Itai??i??s a plan some are already calling unrealistic, while others argue it is much needed.

TransLink wants to spend as much as $23 billion over the next three decades to improve and expand the transit system.

The transportation authority is appearing in front of the Mayorai??i??s Council debating the dollar figure.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan is not in favour of the request. ai???The idea that the property taxpayer is a bottomless pit of money is over. The reality is that weai??i??re seeing, in every one of our communities, blow back from the

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is arguing itai??i??s going to take billions of dollars to help people move around and itai??i??s silly to think transit investments arenai??i??t needed.


8 Responses to “TransLink wants $23 billion to expand transit system”
  1. eric chris says:

    TransLink has lost sight of its prime directive: to provide reasonable transit service at a reasonable cost for the segment of society which cannot drive – mainly students and the elderly. There is this absurd notion that transit is primarily here to reduce road congestion and carbon emissions. It is what TransLink says to obtain funding but it is not the real reason for transit.

    I support transit but not the lies to make developers rich, politicians rich and the buffoons at TransLink rich – from taxing drivers to create their little transit economy. How do empty buses to UBC reduce road congestion? They don’t. Transit here is broken and has failed.

    On a macroscopic level, transit does essentially nothing as far the mitigation of road congestion – 1%, maybe at best in Metro Vancouver. On the microscopic level, the bus lane taking away one of three lanes from vehicles increases road congestion by 33%, on the other hand – this is real congestion caused by transit.

    In Metro Vancouver, carbon emissions would drop without the sky train and FTN transit operated by TransLink. On bus routes, FTN buses operated by TransLink have destroyed the air quality and quality of life – tranquility.

    TransLink is an abomination and the idea of taxpayers paying to increase road congestion and carbon emissions is going to lead to litigation. Clueless and wretched TransLink is heading towards its demise.

    Taxing drivers who are not going to benefit from transit to spend billions of dollars on sky train lines in the hope of someday filling the sky train lines with riders is not reasonable. Trams lines can be built as needed to meet the demand as it develops. It is the way forward to avoid taxing people who are not born to pay for sky train.

    There are better ways to reduce congestion than transit, single occupancy electric vehicles for one person for instance:

    It is disgusting to read about Mayor Robertson declare that it is silly to think that transit investments are not needed. What does this hack know, anyhow? Where are his calculations to show how transit will improve things?

    I’ve asked his top notch engineers how increasing carbon emissions reduces carbon emissions. They are just pulling numbers out of the air and are taking it for granted that transit by TransLink reduces carbon emissions and road congestion. They have no clue.

  2. Malcontent says:

    Maybe Translink should make transit more convenient.

    I used to take transit to work. I used to catch the 311 and get off in Vancouver a couple blocks from work in pretty descent time all on one bus and no transfers. Now that bus was re routed to Richmond Canada Line so I have to take a bus, then Canada line then another bus to get to work.

    It was the same back in 85/86 when SkyTrain opened and started my first job out of high school. Catching the ‘Fergueson bus’ in Surrey. (The one that went down 108th and over Port Mann into Vancouver via Cassiar and then Hastings) was awesome when i used to work near Commercial and Hastings. One bus then it was discontinued and forced to take a bus to SkyTrain then skytrain and then catch the #20 bus from Broadway to Hastings.

    Both times I went from one bus and no transfers to two buses and a Canada line/SkyTrain ride. That is not convenient.

    The worse mistake Translink did was forcing buses to Canada/SkyTrain lines. The real reason they did it was to pad the numbers.

    Translink is so poorly run and they think tax payers are a bottomless pit to pay for their grandiose plans. 30 years ago should of had LRT all over Surrey/Langley/Abbotsford and beyond. They don’t want useful system it seems just a gold plated one that is more of a tourist attraction….

  3. zweisystem says:

    It is a fact that if you make transit more convenient, more people will use it. Transfers deter ridership and some studies have shown that one can lose upwards of 70% of potential ridership per transfer! Translink has ignored this over and over again to pad their SkyTrain and Canada line ridership numbers.

  4. Haveacow says:

    Actually that is not true every system in the world transfers. Systems that restrict transfers increase operating costs and decrease frequency. Systems that make transfers difficult loose riders. Systems that try to have bus and surface transit lines that go everywhere to everywhere with single seats always loose ridership because good frequency becomes financially impossible. It is a lack of frequency that will ultimately deter any good ridership increases.

    Zweisystem replies: Even BC Transit (before they were chased from Metro Vancouver) admitted there was a “considerable drop in ridership per transfer” with their Lions Bridge replacement planning in the 80′s.

    Karlshrue’s now famous TramTrain was conceived to mitigate “loss of ridership due to transfer” problem. The goal for European transit planners is the “seamless” or no-transfer journey, though not completely avoidable, transit planners across the pond do take the loss per transfer seriously.

    For the record, ridership increased 479% (from 533,600 to 2,554,976) in just 6 months, from Sept 1992 to march 1993, on the Karlshrue – Bretton Line which eliminated one transfer from commuter train to tram!

  5. Daniel Shen says:

    Perhaps ULtra PRT (personal rapid transit) can work out fine. They can travel non-stop in a huge network, and it is 100% safe according to current statistics.

    Zweisystem replies: PRT is a pipe-dream and is relegated for airport or theme-parks.

  6. Daniel Shen says: shows how PRT is extremely effective, along with lrt to make the transit system really convenient. PRT is not a pipe-dream and is not relegated for airport or theme-parks. Plus, PRT’s driver-less, making it much less costly to operate than taxi. Also, considering that automated systems are 100% reliable, lrt should use Google technology.

    Zweisystem replies: You make a great leap of faith. Automated transit systems are not 100% reliable and PRT is no exception. Reliability for automatic transit systems decline as they age and the fact is, modern LRT is more reliable than automatic transit systems. Please do not ever say that PRT is cheap to operate because its not. PRT is a niche transport system that is best suited for airports and theme parks, not regional transit.

  7. Haveacow says:

    Daniel Shen, Zweisystem has made several good points. I can tell you as a transportation planner I get bombared with ideas like this at just about every public meeting I have to be at. The reality is that, when you see these really slick videos and pictures of systems like this it is great untill you have to actually plan and design these kinds of systems. First point is that every structurial engineer who ever sees these videos says the same thing. Every support and load bearing member that is visible in that video would have to be built with much heavier, bulkier and made of more substantial materials because they are just to light and would porbably not support the weight of the vehicles and stations. We live in a environment, especially in here eastern Canada that, would destroy those structures due to the constant freeze/thaw cycles and effects of ground frost by our autums,winters and spring seasons. As a planner I can tell you the screaming of the public that occurs when you plan somthing that might block out the sky even a little tiny bit. When the shear amount of lines and material costs are added up they stop being cheap. They move so few people only airports and amusement parks have the necessary density of passengers to make them even start to be affordable. Jacksonville Florida had the very first test PRT system built back in the 70′s, it was never added too and the technology was never used again. Even in Florida the whisper thin supports had to be big massive heavy concrete structures and they don’t even have frost. Monorails, PRT systems and gondola based systems all seem to occupy these spaces and they just never actually do enough or move enough people or go fast enough to do the job. The reality is that they are truly expensive to maintain because usually only one or two companies make the key spare parts. One other thing about the video in the link you posted. All the track was above grade seperated (most expensive type of grade seperation when you consider life time cycle costs) and on one way loops. The problem of loops or circles is that they look good on paper but are actually very impractical. One part of loop is always busier and no one except tourists have the time to go all the way around. It is amazing the number of circular subway routes that have or are about to end their use as a orbital lines. London’s Circle Line is the most recent route change. Once popular orbital super highways have also fallen out of favor for those and a whole other host of reasons that are appicable to road planning/construction/maintenance issues. One way loops are cheaper than two way loops but passing tracks are needed at stations and other key points of the line. Sometimes so many are needed one way loops become defacto two way loops and the construction and maintenace costs greatly increase as a result. These PRT systems never show you how many vehicles are really needed to maintain a basic service and I can tell you it is a lot once you start computer modelling these things.Thats why many of these downtown people movers start out as a core of a system but are never added to because once all the costs are in, no one has the money or political willingness to continue with a larger system. Detroit’s People Mover or Miami’s downtown people mover is an example of 2 systems that just ran out of political juice (for diffferent reasons mind you). Driverless systems do allow you to run more frequently but you have to spend the extra money you save, on much higher maintenance costs (a by-product of having more vehicles in service compaired to a driver based system). As well as have a army of attendants to go arond and pry people out of those things when the line or a single vehicle shuts down. Imagine what would happen in your video if one of those or a series of vehicles “fail” between stations on those one way loops.

    Zweisystem replies: Well said.

    The Morgantown PRT (the grandaddy of PRT systems) has become so unreliable that a small fleet of buses are kept on standby in case of breakdown.

  8. Haveacow says:

    Happy Canada Day Everyone!!!!