Trudeau And Horgan Codemn Metro Vancouver And the Fraser Valley to Gridlock Hell

SkyTrain, the Edsel of Rapid Transit

An election is coming and time to bribe the voters with their own money.

So the the PM, needing cheap politcal points, helps our the premier with $1.3 billion announcement to fulfill his politcal promise made in the last election to Langley voters to extend the Expo line to their city.

Whether this is new funding or just reannounced funding is anyone’s guess, but it makes for a nice photo-op.

The announcement is a long term disaster for the region, brought to you by two very fiscally irresponsible politicians.
To recap:
The Expo and Millennium lines are an unconventional (powered by Linear induction Motors or LIM’s) proprietary railway, operating the recently rebranded Movia Automatic Light Metro (MALM). Using Linear Induction Motors (LIM’s), the proprietary system cannot operate with any other railway except it small family of seven systems.
MALM is the 6th rebranding of the proprietary railway, first marketed as ICTS and quickly rebranded ALRT for sale to the BC Government because ICTS was deemed as obsolete as an Edsel!
The sale of ALRT to Lavalin, meant another rebranding, ALM and when Lavalin went bankrupt trying to build ALM in Bangkok. Bombardier picked up the remains of ALM at a fire sale price and quickly found how bad it was and by giving it a quick makeover, using their own Innovia body shell to try to make the system salable. Rebranded again as ART and after only four sales (with two having Bombardier and SNC Lavalin involved in corruption charges, ART was included in the Innovia Line with the LIM being a customer add-on.
After 15 years of no sales of the LIM powered Innovia model, it was finally rebranded as MALM.
MALM is an orphan system, obsolete by today’s standards, which is now owned by Alstom after they purchased Bombardier’s troubled rail division.
 MALM can cost up to 10 times that of LRT to construct; costs a minimum of 45% more to operate and being proprietary means maintenance costs are much higher than LRT. Sky/train also lacks capacity and the all important flexibly which is important in the 21st century. Almost 1,000 employees work on the Expo and Millennium Line light metro system. The Canada Line has separate employees being a P-3, lead by SNC Lavalin!
A conservative estimate is that SkyTrain light metro network has cost the taxpayers three times more than if LRT was used. In other words, we could have at a light rail network three times larger than the present SkyTrain light metro network.
The announced extension will be a financial albatross around the taxpayer’s necks for generations as higher operational and maintenance costs at the Surrey/Langley end will erode present bus services.
SkyTrain also causes more pollution than LRT because of the vast amounts of CO2 produced for making the concrete for the elevated guideway, are more than any pollution savings over the life time of its operation.
There is no proof, even after 35 years of service in metro Vancouver, that SkyTrain actually attracts the motorist from the car as any hint of modal shift is non existent as mode share by Transit in Metro Vancouver has been around the 15% mark for almost 50 years!
In an age of unprecedented investment in rail transit systems around the world, not one city has copied Vancouver and not one city has copied Vancouver’s exclusive use of a proprietary light metro system for regional transit.
And the damned thing doesn’t run in the snow!
The $3.1 billion cost for the line to Langley  is almost twice McCallum’s campaign estimate of $1.65 billion.
What we have witnessed by Trudeau’s announcement is a crass politcal bribe to voters by continued building with an obsolete light metro system, which has connections to SNC Lavalin, that will cost the taxpayer dearly and completely deny Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley of any meaningful transit for at least 3 decades.
Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan have announced endemic gridlock in the Fraser Valley for decades to come. Well done!

Feds pledge $1.3B to finish Langley SkyTrain extension, funding to plan UBC extension

By Amy Judd Global News

Posted July 9, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced federal funding for the Surrey to Langley SkyTrain project.

Speaking in Surrey, B.C. on Friday, Trudeau said the federal government will provide up to $1.3 billion dollars for the Surrey to Langley SkyTrain extension.

This includes an elevated extension of 16 kilometres and eight stations.

“This will cut commute times and make your lives easier,” Trudeau said.

He also said the federal government will invest up to 40 per cent for the SkyTrain extension from Arbutus to UBC.

Trudeau said this was a second big day of announcements for British Columbians, following the news about $10 a day child care on Thursday.

Joining Trudeau was Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna, British Columbia Premier John Horgan, British Columbia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming, British Columbia Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman, Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, City of Langley Mayor Val van den Broek, and TransLink Interim CEO Gigi Chen-Kuo.

This federal funding was the third piece of the project needed. Provincial and TransLink portions of the SkyTrain project have already been committed.

Current funding for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain expansion will only take the line six stops from King George Station to 166th Street in Surrey’s Fleetwood neighbourhood.

Langley Mayor Val van den Broek said in June the final piece of the puzzle to get the trains out to 203 Street in her city is a funding commitment from the federal government.


3 Responses to “Trudeau And Horgan Codemn Metro Vancouver And the Fraser Valley to Gridlock Hell”
  1. Major Hoople says:

    It has always confused us why Translink and your politicians persist with Skytrain. When Milan almost bought the system a safety check was run on the operating nature of the driverless system and we found it wanting, if not dangerous. We always knew Canadian were daring, but really the faults we found with the system caused Milan transit authorities cancel the sale.

    This reminds me of the of the now long abandoned cement pylons for the abortive Aerotrain stretching across farmland in France.

    Building an elevated railway in the countryside is utter madness, but it seems Canadian politicians are indeed mad at wasting so much money on such a small line.

    I remember at an meeting in the USA over a decade ago, where the representative from TransLink was given a polite clap after his presentation, but over cocktails, became the butt of so many jokes. What was the cause of this mirth and repartee, the sad fellow was trying to tell us what we learned decades ago not to do, as the way to do it!

    I can see hundreds of km of new autobahns in your future.

  2. Adam Fitch says:

    from the Global story: “Trudeau also said the federal government will invest up to 40 per cent for the SkyTrain extension from Arbutus to UBC.”

    This is not true. The Globe and Mail reported that the federal government will invest up to 40 per cent of the cost of PLANNING for the SkyTrain extension from Arbutus to UBC. this is NOT THE SAME THING as funding any actual construction.

    It is simply kicking the can down the road. The Liberal hope that this will excite voters into voting for them in the next federal election, which is predicted to be soon. I hope that voters figure this ruse out, and do not vote for the liberals based on this non-promise.

    It is unfortunate that no elected officials point out that a skytrain extension to UBC is not a wise use of public funds, that it is a giant subsidy to the development industry, that it will not attract a large number of commuters from other modes, and that other transit methods such as true light rail and buses would be much more efficient and economical.

    I had held out hope that the Greens would point out these facts, but neither the provincial, the federal, nor the Vancouver Greens have had the courage to do this. I do commend Vancouver city councilors for doing this.

    It appears that, at the provincial and federal levels, only an unelected candidate could possibly do so.

  3. Haveacow says:

    This little gem was in the article from the Vancouver Sun,

    “The project was first estimated to cost $3.1 billion. It is now estimated to be $3.95 billion, said a spokeswoman for
    B.C. Transportation Ministry, who didn’t want her name published.”

    I guess that explains why even the shortened 4 station extension to Fleetwood quietly disappeared from public discourse. I bet the original $1.65 Billion only pays for 6.5 km or about 3 stations worth of Skytrain. Or the new storage yard they have to build specifically for this line has become so super duper expensive, due to the increase in local land costs, the whole line had to be refinanced from the beginning. I bet that original LRT line to Langley is looking better and better everyday.

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