A good read


There is an interesting article making its rounds, “5 lessons from Los Angles on transforming transportation (and coming after Portland)”,Ai?? in the various transit blogs and I believe it is well worth a read.

Zwei is going to comment briefly on each of the five lessons and how they would apply to Metro Vancouver.

Aim high, but be targeted.

In the previous plebiscite, well paid transit bureaucrats were trying to sell two very expensive transit plans that were, for the most part, vanity projects for the cities of Vancouver and Surrey. The public largely saw through this, especially the $3 billion Broadway subway and joined the “NO” vote with the NO campaign spearheaded by the No TransLink Tax campaign and Jordan Bateman.

There was no real long term plan but a continuation of a SkyTrain light-metro built every decade or so.

If you want to build a successful campaign, build a coalition.

Last years failed transit plebiscite is a very good indication that TransLink failed to build a successful coalition, which Jordan Bateman did, which lead to an embarrassing defeat. What has been noticeably left out of transit planning is the transit customer and until the transit customer is treated with respect and included in the planning and operation of public transit, TransLink will be continually held in high odor by the public and taxpayer.

A broader coalition is a stronger coalition.

TransLink relies on political friends and insiders for approval and has ignored small transit oriented groups such as “Friends of the Olympic Line”; “VALTAC”; and “Rail for the Valley”.

Today, TransLink has few friends, except for the SkyTrain Lobby and 130,000 students enjoying the $1 a day U-Pass.

Connectivity creates new opportunities.

TransLink is moribund with its light-metro style of planning, long rejected by transit planners around the world. The organization cannot see out of its very small box.

Learn from other models and create your own.

Since TransLink is wedded to light-metro an almost unique position, it refuses to learn from other models, except of course how to creatively tax people, such as road pricing and road tolls.

The real problem of course is that TransLink is run by the Premier’s Office and does what it is told to do and until that changes, bad transit planning and expensive political deals involving transit will be the order of the day and to hell with the transit customer and taxpayer.



2 Responses to “A good read”
  1. eric chris says:

    Yes, connectivity (tram service) is the key to putting more people on public transit. To what end, I’m not sure, as freeing up road space encourages latent drivers to drive, but if more people on transit is the goal, tram service is the answer and if it isn’t, at least it is affordable.

    Concentrating ridership on trunk lines (subways and viaducts) just makes for less affordable housing and there is a very strong correlation between the costly housing in Vancouver and s-train stations wiping out housing. Having small condo villages around s-train stations is aimed at making s-train viable by concentrating transit users. To do this, normal people with families are fleeing Vancouver to live in Delta and Surrey – to then drive into Vancouver – to then make the freeways clogged – to then make more bridges necessary.

    Not many people are content to spend their days living in tiny condos along s-train lines and the ones who are, typically are usually deadbeat slovenly government workers who ride public transit to their meaningless deadbeat jobs and back home, to then slouch it on the couch – day after day until they retire and die. They have few interests outside of relaxing and don’t need a car, bicycle or scooter. What a life.

    There has to be the honest realization that public transit has its niche, students and seniors, who s-train does a poor job of serving. TransLink isn’t fooling anyone with its false claims that public transit which 75% of the population never uses is going to solve road congestion. If TransLink were honest with people, it might find them more willing to fund transit. Seeing as transit is being used by crooks to fund their lavish lifestyles, people have had enough.

    TransLink has sold 575,000 comp-ass cards after six months of incessant advertising. People only take transit 4.6 days weekly and there are at most 378,000 people using public transit on a weekday. This is 16% of the population (378,000 / 2.4 million = 16%) and presumably the other 84% of the people are mostly driving.

    In any case, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m anti-transit – I’m not. In Brisbane, Australia, s-train has been passed up for, er LRT…


    Here’s a book which might be worth reading. I plan on ordering it out of deference to Jordan Bateman who did the most to thwart the TransLink scam-tax.


  2. Haveacow says:

    Eric, I know the Gold Coast has LRT but is that really Brisbane? I have never really understood the distinction between what is what. Where one community ends and another begins. So if I’m totally off the mark here forgive me. I know Brisbane has for city its size (around 1,000,000), an impressive amount of Commuter Rail, (some of it true Regional Rail) and has plans for a grand railway tunnel downtown. I also now its has what is the grandchild of Ottawa’s Transitway System, its famous and quickly growing Busway network. The Canadian and truly international consultant MMM (formerly McCormik Rankin Associates Canada) is the main designer of both systems. I didn’t know it has developed LRT as well? Last time I was there, there certainly wasn’t any.

    As for connectivity, I think the article is referring to having as many rapid transit and surface transit lines as possible, regardless of the mode of transit, meet and connect at as many points as possible. This is how Toronto and Montreal have been able to move more and more passengers without a lot of major investments over the last 20 years. With both cities now being forced to play catch up, they still force as much as possible, the new rapid transit lines to cross existing ones. For example the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, crosses or meets over a half dozen existing lines and has connections to each of them to allow quick and easy transfers. Not counting the Sheppard Subway, the soon to start construction, Sheppard LRT and Finch LRT will see both cross or connect to 02 existing lines as well as potentially 2 more each. This is the core strength of Toronto’s and Montreal’s rapid transit Network’s, the Grid. Every time lines cross there is a convenient transfer station with as simple a layout as possible. This picture shows the transfer between the Sheppard LRT and the Sheppard Subway at Don Mills Station.


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