BC Transportation Minister, Rob Fleming, Must Resign!

Zwei has real issues from the following two statements from BC Transportation Minister Rob Fleming.

  1. . “In fact, what they analyzed was the superiority of high-frequency bus service, both from a capacity point of view – to move people out of their cars as the member wished for – and also to give flexibility in terms of service coverage, to be able to service a number of very dispersed destinations that are part of that area
  2. Highway 99 through to the year 2080 did not give ridership projections that would support light rail of SkyTrain systems”

Really, Transportation Minister, Rob Fleming?

Where have buses actually created a modal shift? Why has Ottawa shifted from true BRT to light-rail?

High frequency bus service will fail, simply for the fact, the BC Liberals inked a deal with the SNC Lavalin lead consortium, operating the Canada Line faux P-3, that ll south of the Fraser bus services must force customers to transfer to the Canada Line. Well, if Minister Fleming wanted any proof that this does not attract new customers, just look at South Delta and South Surrey bus services ,where the predicted new ridership did not materialize and pre-covid, was seeing a continued decline in ridership, as mode share for transit is slowly declining in metro Vancouver.

Mode share 2017

Minister Fleming also does not understand what light rail is and lumps it in with SkyTrain light metro, which modern light rail made obsolete decades ago.

Light rail is a mode that can deal economically with traffic flows of between 2,000 and 20,000 passengers per hour per direction, thus effectively bridging the gap between the maximum flow that can be dealt with using buses and the minimum that justifies a metro.
Simply, LRT is far cheaper to build, far cheaper to maintain and operate, has a higher capacity and is flexible in operation.
The Canada Line which is a heavy rail metro, built as a light metro and presently has less capacity than a modern streetcar!
No wonder TransLink and Flemming are misleading both the voter and taxpayer!
The current cost to extend the Expo Line to Langley is now around $400 million/km all found, while modern LRT could be built between $35 mil/km to $50 mil/km or put another way, for one kilometre of Canada line we could build 8 to 11 km of modern LRT and have a transit system that from the start have a much higher capacity than the present Canada Line’s max. capacity of 9,000 pphpd!
So sad that in an age of Global Warming and climate change, TransLink and the NDP hides behind misleading information, to continue their “rubber on asphalt” only transit planning.
Shame on TransLink – Shame on Rob Fleming.
As Transportation Minister Rob Fleming seems either ignorant of modern LRT or is deliberately misleading the residents of Delta and Surrey about modern LRT, either way, he must resign, it is the only honourable thing to do!
LRT in a highway median in Sweden.

LRT in a highway median in Sweden.

Light rail coming through Delta shot down, again

The new eight-lane immersed tunnel to replace the aging George Massey Tunnel is to be completed in 2030

Sandor Gyarmati
about 13 hours ago

Light rail going through Delta and onto South Surrey isn’t seen as a possibility, even in the long-term.

South Delta can forget about rapid transit coming through the community the foreseeable, or even long-term, future.

During the May 31 provincial government budget estimates debate, Delta South Liberal MLA Ian Paton posed several questions regarding the George Massey Tunnel replacement project to Transportation Minister Rob Fleming.

Noting South Surrey and White Rock and fast growing, and the aim should be to get people out of their vehicles, Paton once again pointed out the original bridge project cancelled by the newly-elected New Democrat government included a provision for future light rail.

“My question to you: with this tunnel being so modern, so high-tech, why wouldn’t we look to the future of some sort of light rail capability through the middle of the tunnel? Eventually, one day – maybe 10 years, maybe 20 years, maybe 30 years from now – we could get light rail. There’s tonnes of room down the middle of Highway 99 and the medians on either side for light rail to go down to South Surrey, White Rock,” said Paton, according to transcripts of the debate.

Fleming responded that there’s “actually been some fairly recent regional thinking” on the subject by TransLink and by the Mayor’s Council in its recent 2050 plan.

“In fact, they looked as far ahead as 2080, through TransLink and their planners. Highway 99 through to the year 2080 did not give ridership projections that would support light rail of SkyTrain systems,” noted Fleming. “In fact, what they analyzed was the superiority of high-frequency bus service, both from a capacity point of view – to move people out of their cars as the member wished for – and also to give flexibility in terms of service coverage, to be able to service a number of very dispersed destinations that are part of that area. SkyTrain, going through farmland, going down the Highway 99 corridor, did not have the ability to disperse to a number of endpoint destinations.”

Fleming also noted the analysis received came from TransLink, with regional mayors around the table also looking at the data to make the determination on where the greatest pressure points will be and what areas will have lesser population growth.

It’s the same message former Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena conveyed in 2020 on the question of adding future rapid transit capability for the new crossing.

At that time, Delta Mayor George Harvie said he was shocked by her response.

“Insofar as no need for light rail, I’m shocked. I’m working with my fellow mayors. We’re looking at what the next 20-to-30 years is going to require, and light rail is needed south of the Fraser. With all the people that we have coming, most of them are going to be residing and relocating to south of the Fraser where the properties are a little less expensive. But again, I’m shocked. I just drove the tunnel, as you know, and it’s a tough drive….we need to get people out of their cars and if we’re not thinking in the future, we’re going to have problems here,” Harvie said two years ago.

According to Metro Vancouver’s Draft 2050 document, Frequent Transit Development Areas (FTDAs) are intended to be additional priority locations to accommodate concentrated growth in higher density forms of development. They are identified by member jurisdictions and located at appropriate locations within the Major Transit Growth Corridors.

Corridor FTDAs are intended to accommodate medium development densities and forms that are consistent with bus-based rapid transit, while Station Area FTDAs are intended to accommodate higher development densities and forms that are consistent with rail-based rapid transit.

Meanwhile, among Paton’s other questions to Fleming last week was whether the new tunnel project would include a second exit out of Ladner, an issue recently raised by the City of Delta, which is asking the province to include another exit.

Fleming responded that they are having “active discussions” with Delta staff about the scope of the project.

The province is currently in an early engagement phase of the environmental assessment process for the Initial Project Description. The new tunnel project is to be further refined based on feedback received.

A Detailed Project Description is to be ready by next summer.

Following the environmental assessment, construction of the new tunnel is to commence and finish by 2030.

A brace of Cologne trams on a rural line.

A brace of Cologne trams on a rural line.


6 Responses to “BC Transportation Minister, Rob Fleming, Must Resign!”
  1. Haveacow says:

    You don’t have to choose between building expensive Skytrain or dirt cheap bus rapid transit lite there are many middle grounds to see. Transit doesn’t have to be always at the centre of large cities or dense urban areas to be successful. These videos from RM Transit could get ideas flowing.





  2. zweisystem says:

    I think the problem resides with TransLink, who really do not want to build with LRT and a very gullible transit minister who is afraid to do any research on his own.

  3. Adam Fitch says:

    2. Highway 99 through to the year 2080 did not give ridership projections that would support light rail of SkyTrain systems”

    If the Ministry of Transportation has a test for support of light rail, and Highway 99 failed it, then how did the Surrey to Langley skytrain extension pass it?

    Zwei Replies: I asked myself the same question. how did the BS Line pass and how did the Expo Line extension to Langley pass?

  4. Haveacow says:

    I’m always astonished about how people through NIMBYISM will fight needed public transit improvements but put green track beds around it and they suddenly don’t mind an LRT Line right across the street. Yet an operator like Translink, would probably fight a cheaper LRT Line on green track right of way over an ugly above grade Skytrain viaduct even though, a green track right of way is prefered by most people when asked.

  5. zweisystem says:


    When the government does not want to build with light rail, any excuse will do.

  6. Major Hoople says:

    I am aghast that TransLink would say there is not the ridership on the routes, when they are clearly expanding the former Massey Tunnel and adding four more lanes to highway number 99.

    Clearly there is the ridership that would satisfy a new tramway as the tunnel is being rebuilt with 8 lanes.

    What is even more puzzling is the claim that a high frequency bus service would be superior.

    How many buses an hour? One coupled set of trams can do the work of at least 6 buses and at least 6 bus drivers and as TransLink seems to have financial problems high frequency bus service will be a fiscal impossibility.

    If the Minister of Transportation wants BRT or a Canadian equivalent, he should read a little history about Essen’s O-Bahn, which unlike its tram cousins has not grown ridership. I would not say O-Bahn is not successful, but it is much less successful attracting new ridership when compared to new tram routes.

    Also, was it not a former Minister Transportation, I think, Kevin Falcon, on record claiming that no one builds with LRT anymore, 15 years or so ago? If only people in BC knew, internationally, how your politicians are laughed at.

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