A Repost From 2019 – Here We go Again……

The problem with TransLink is that you can never believe what it says; TransLink never produces a report based on the same set of assumptions.”

Former West Vancouver Clr. Victor Durman, Chair of the GVRD (now METRO) Finance Committee.

One hates to keep reminding people of TransLink’s lack of honesty, but dishonesty continues as nauseum.

It is interesting how TransLink has used this cunning method of manipulating analysis to justify SkyTrain in corridor after corridor, and has thus succeeded in keeping its proprietary rail system expanding. In the US, all new transit projects that seek federal support are now subjected to scrutiny by a panel of transit peers, selected and monitored by the federal government, to ensure that projects are analyzed honestly, and the taxpayers interests are protected.

No SkyTrain project has ever passed this scrutiny in the US.”

Gerald Fox, noted American Transit Engineer.

Again, one hates to keep reminding everyone that TransLink is just not honest with transit planning.

To counter the drive to reinstate a Vancouver to Chilliwack passenger rail service, operated as a regional railway, using mostly the former BC Electric interurban tracks, but using 21st century EMU’s, possibly powered by the “made in Canada” Ballard hydrogen fuel cells, TransLink blundered ahead with its own anti interurban plan.

This is the same TransLink who would tell all who listen that Broadway was the “most heavily used transit route in Canada and North America”, but after being caught on this exaggeration, they now claim This is our region’s most overcrowded bus route.”

After two critiques of TransLink’s “Interurban Passenger Rail”, by UBC Professor Patrick Condon and from Mr. Haveacow (a Canadian transit specialist), TransLink is not being honest with the Mayors Council on Transit and the taxpayer.

I will comment on three important points.

1) The folks currently promoting the “return of the interurban” are not Rail for the Valley, but a separate group promoting this vital transportation link. To date there are at least three separate groups promoting the reinstatement of the former interurban service.

TransLink’s rebuttal seems to be about the letter Zwei sent to the two Langley’s comparing an affordable Vancouver to Langley rail link that could be built far cheaper and far quicker than TransLink’s underfunded ($1.4 billion underfunded) SkyTrain planned extension .

2) Those mandarins sitting in Translink’s expensive digs in Sapperton, haven’t even bothered to tour the interurban line and to see personally the many destinations that the rail service would cater too. Like the “Lotus Eaters”, they live in a pampered taxpayer paid world of their own.

3) TransLink is hugely afraid of publishing the projected costs of SkyTrain to Langley, which using TransLink’s own figures, now will exceed over $200 million per km to build. Nor is TransLink being candid with the operating costs of the extension and the $2 to $3 billion rehab of the Expo Line to cater to somewhat higher ridership.

Today, the cost for a reinstated rail service from Vancouver to Chilliwack, using EMU’s or DMU’s, range for $750,000.00 for an hourly service to $1.5 billion, for a deluxe three train an hour service per direction.

Three trains an hour per direction is more than many bus routes TransLink operates!

This spring’s massive hike in gas prices are due, in part, to SkyTrain’s huge annual subsidies. In 1992, the subsidy for the Expo line from Vancouver to New Westminster was $157 million. TransLink and the Mayor’s Council on Transit, utterly refuse to give a clear figure to operate the light metro network.

A source told Zwei that the annual subsidy, including payments to the SNC Lavalin lead consortium operating the Canada Line, is over $100 million annually!

Why are they so afraid to tell the truth?

The Mayor’s Council on Transit are like rubes at a fair, buying the magic elixir, a cure all, hawked by seasoned con artists.

Parochial politics, seasoned by politcal intrigue, supported by dirty laundered casino money is driving both SkyTrain extensions and it is time to say stop!

Who is in charge of the clattering SkyTrain?
The axles creak and the couplings strain,
and costs are too high, as fiasco nears,
and sloth hath deadened Translink’s ear,
and the warnings flash through the night in vain,
for the Premier’s office is in charge of the clattering SkyTrain.


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