UBC expert fears Vancouver subway is still far off

Transit improvements coming soon? Don’t hold your breathe because TransLink’s planning is extremely suspect.

Certainly new buses will arrive for new routes and new drivers, mechanics and the rest of the employees needed to operate the new buses will be hired, but will this actually improve transit?

I doubt it because TransLink is fixated on its dated planning where bureaucratic and political prestige comes first and user-friendliness comes a distant last.

For this ever elder citizen, taking public transit today is the very last transportation option I would consider as the Mayors Council on Transit, don’t give a damn about a user-friendly transit system and customer comfort, all they care about is throwing more and more money on a dysfunction transit system all to garner votes from the 85% of the population who do not take transit.

UBC expert fears Vancouver subway is still far off

With funding now secured for $2 billion in transit improvements, the head of UBCai??i??s urban design program thinks other projects could see delays.

The 99 B-Line runs down Broadway in Vancouver, B.C.

Jennifer Gauthier/Metro

The 99 B-Line runs down Broadway in Vancouver, B.C.

By: Metro Published on Fri Nov 25 2016

The head of the University of British Columbiaai??i??s urban design program thinks it may be a while before any of his students are riding a subway to school.

After TransLinkai??i??s board and the regionai??i??s mayors approved $2 billion in transit improvements on Wednesday, Patrick Condon wonders if the other outstanding projects in the mayorsai??i?? 10-year plan will be given the same urgency.

While Minister Responsible for TransLink Peter Fassbender told Metro the province is ready with its share of capital funds for the Broadway subway in Vancouver, light rail in Surrey and the Pattullo Bridge replacement, Condon says government seems to be looking 20 to 30 years into the future in interviews heai??i??s heard.

ai???I think you could say that the signals are there that the funding of the very largest pieces of this 10-year plan is certainly not secured and may not be even likely in the short term, said Condon, of UBCai??i??s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. ai???20 years to get out to Arbutus Street with a subway is not going to help the corridor very much and itai??i??s not going to help the students of UBC. I suspect weai??i??re not going to be seeing good news about funding in the spring [when governments announce their budgets].ai???

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson stressed the region needs to move quickly to secure funding for Phase Two of its plan.

TransLink staff hope to have an investment plan for the next phase ready by 2018.

Condon had good things to say about the plan passed this week, especially the five new B-Line bus routes that will service Fraser Highway, Lougheed Highway, Marine Drive on the North Shore, 41st Avenue and Hastings Street.

ai???Those are really important to increase the mobility along these important, and what are largely considered to be suburban, corridors,ai??? he said.

The 99 B-Line along Broadway in Vancouver may be overcrowded and insufficient now, but Condon said it had a great impact on public transit use and development along that stretch of the city.

ai???Itai??i??s been killed by its own success but itai??i??s really changed the way people get around in this part of the city and to get out to UBC, for sure,ai??? he said. ai???I expect to see some of those same benefits to these other parts of the city: more higher-density residential units and less people depending on cars along those important corridors.ai???

The plan, which will be rolled out over five years starting in early 2017, will see a 10 per cent increase in bus service, 20 per cent more SkyTrain service, a new SeaBus, more West Coast Express trains and a 15 per cent increase in HandyDART service.

To pay for it, municipalities will raise their property taxes by an average of $3 per household, raise fares in July by up to 10 cents on a single zone and implement a new development fee, which requires approval from the provincial government.


One Response to “UBC expert fears Vancouver subway is still far off”
  1. eric chris says:

    Streetcars (trams) can be up and running from Alma Street to UBC in six months and all the way to Commercial Drive by late 2018 with the right engineers and mayor in Vancouver. Streetcars (trams) pay for themselves from operational savings.

    By 2018 TransLink will have squandered tens of millions of dollars to keep stalling and pretending to be planning the subway which TransLink has no right to pursue along Broadway after funding for the subway was rejected by voters in the plebiscite in 2015. To plan the subway, TransLink is breaking the law, basically. Building the subway requires billions of dollars in additional taxes from drivers who aren’t willing to fund the subway. Smart. TransLink smart that is.

    Granville Island isn’t interested in s-train and is looking at trams? How did that happen? Is TransLink aware?


    Gregor Robertson chasing the subway to UBC isn’t much different from Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick. In Vancouver, the subway to UBC is a ruinous pursuit.



    Smart cell phone apps costing almost nothing to implement have made the electronic Compass system obsolete. TransLink flushed $200 million down the toilet and will never put the Compass system to use, except to save face as a publicity stunt for a short time before the annual $15 million operating expense for Compass and the delays in commuting times by Compass force TransLink to abandon Compass, in favour of the smart phone apps costing little to nothing to implement. Poof, $200 million thrown away on Compass, just like that.


    As with the Compass system by TransLink, hub to hub transit (s-train, b-line and subway) by TransLink is predicted to become obsolete in the near future with the advent of smart road systems connecting cars shared by users. Public transit is about to be revolutionized. Billions of dollars have been spent on the “fast” hub to hub public transit debacle. Hub to hub transit is struggling and is losing ridership. In 10 years, hub to hub transit might have few commuters taking it. Hub to hub transit by TransLink is reminiscent of the “fast” ferry fiasco. Meddling by feckless individuals has created the ‘fast” hub to hub transit debacle as it previously did the “fast” ferry fiasco, which ended not so well and is the harbinger of what to expect for the s-train disaster. Poof again, billions of dollars on infrastructure for hub to hub transit is going to be wasted. Most public transit is going the way of the dinosaur and is going to be replaced with smart road systems. Too bad.



    Dear Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillor Geoff Meggs:

    Constructing the subway to UBC bilks taxpayers of billions of dollars for shady individuals to prosper and for incompetent individuals at TransLink to continue to laugh. You say that the subway under Broadway is going to reduce road congestion – just as the “successful” subway under Cambie Street did. Fine, show us. I’m offering to donate $1,000 to the Children’s Hospital if you can show us that the vehicle counts on Cambie Street are down now after the construction of the subway under Cambie Street. If you can’t, you donate $1,000 to the “No TransLink Tax” fund. Fair?



    “Sycophants chasing hub to hub transit”

    Do either of you “yes men” for TransLink and developers understand what level of investment might be necessary in new and independent s-train and subway lines to provide enough transit capacity for just one-third of the present drivers and their passengers on the roads during the peak hour morning travel? It is an astronomical amount of investment which is untenable. During the peak morning rush hour, there are about 413,667 drivers with passengers on the roads. At the same time there are about 40,000 transit users on the s-train and subway lines. Right now and not in 10 years, to target only one-third of the 413,667 drivers and their passengers during the morning rush hour costs about $21 billion in capital expenditures for the hub to hub transit infrastructure, and this does not include the added operating expenses. There is no guarantee that the drivers targeted will actually take hub to hub transit costing $21 billion, however, unless they are coerced to take transit through punitive measures such as parking restrictions used at UBC and downtown Vancouver.

    To make any noticeable reduction in road congestion, all of the $21 billion for the added infrastructure (subway and s-train) has to be used by drivers rather than by existing transit users making more trips, as is mostly the case, currently. Your futile plan to remove drivers from the roads is to spend $7.5 billion over 10 years to 15 years in all of Metro Vancouver. Good luck. You’ll accomplish nothing. You can forget it. It isn’t happening. You are just stringing along gullible and ignorant individuals with false hopes and promises about hub to hub transit doing anything meaningful to reduce road congestion in the far distant future. Transit by TransLink isn’t reducing road congestion at the present time; how is transit by TransLink going to do anything to reduce road congestion in the future? In 10 years to 15 years things will be worse with hundreds of thousands of additional drivers on the roads. You’re either stupid or corrupt for wanting to fund TransLink to reduce road congestion based on TransLink’s “success” at being a failure.


    In Metro Vancouver, transit by TransLink doesn’t even reduce road congestion based on data from TransLink. Road congestion from the extra transit buses required to transport transit users to s-train, b-line and subway lines more than offsets the reduction in road congestion by the drivers taken off the roads by the s-train, b-line and subway lines – hub to hub transit. Hub to hub transit by TransLink costs a fortune to not improve road conditions on the major roads where hub to hub transit is concentrated.

    “Millennium Line extensions = no to little added transit capacity”

    Both the Evergreen Line extension to the eastern section of Millennium Line and the proposed UBC subway (s-train) extension to the western section of Millennium Line are expected to reduce the hourly passenger capacity of the Millennium Line due to added delays caused by the added number of people boarding and alighting along the Millennium Line. Increasing the length of the Millennium Line is not expected to make the Millennium Line carry many more people.

    Extensions to each end of the Millennium Line are analogous to extending a garden hose at each end. The capacity of the garden hose does not increase as its length is increased at either end, and the water flow rate drops due to the increased frictional drag caused by the added lengths of garden hose. If you don’t understand this analogy, I’m not surprised, and you probably can’t grasp basic fluid mechanics, also.

    In Metro Vancouver, s-train lines such as the Millennium Line are primarily used by transit users commuting long distances from the outskirts of Vancouver into Vancouver, and once someone boards the Millennium Line in Burnaby, for instance, he or she is unlikely to alight until he or she reaches Vancouver. There isn’t much turnover of passengers on the s-train and subway lines and there aren’t going to be many extra seats to put more people on the Millennium Line when it is extended east or west. Billions of dollars are being spent on the Evergreen Line to extend the Millennium Line by 11 kilometres. When the Evergreen Line begins operation, essentially nothing in the way of added transit capacity will be achieved. Darn.

    Now, if tram lines in parallel to the existing s-train and subway lines were added at a fraction of the cost of the s-train and subway lines, that could have increased transit capacity. Transit users on trams make short trips and there is a high turnover of passengers relative to hub to hub transit having a low turnover of passengers (s-train and subway lines catering to long distance commuters). Trams reduce capital and operating costs for transit; whereas, subways and s-trains increase capital and operating costs for transit. Subway and s-train lines are a money pit. Increased turnover of passengers on the tram lines increases the revenue from transit users to reduce the taxes required to subsidize transit, as well. Unfortunately, you are too stupid to know how stupid you are or you are too corrupt to care about how corrupt you are.


    Neither of you have any clue about how to design efficient transit networks and neither of you know what you are doing. You can’t comprehend electrical and mechanical engineering and can’t see how s-train sucking up three times the electrical power of the tram having sophisticated mechanical and electrical equipment outclasses the lousy s-train technology operated by outdated personal computers with floppy disk drives.

    You are wasting the money of taxpayers and don’t have the education and integrity to be making decisions concerning the design of transit. Kindly stop helping us with transit. Find something else to do with your pitiful lives. Let competent engineers who do understand engineering do the thinking to design the transit network in Vancouver. Okay?


    Stomp, stomp, stomp! Go away. Get lost.”

    If you’re a pig-dog at TransLink and in a horror movie, you make poor decisions. It’s what you do.


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