Have We Crossed The Rubicon, With Regional Transit Planning?

According to Suetonius, Caesar uttered the famous phrase ālea iacta est (“the die has been cast”). The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has survived to refer to any individual or group committing itself irrevocably to a risky or revolutionary course of action, similar to the modern phrase “passing the point of no return”

In the late 1990’s, Vancouver’s lust for a subway under Broadway began and today TransLink, regional, provincial, and federal politician s will be at the required 2 metre distanced apart, singing hosannas with the $4.6 billion sod turnings, for the 12.8km extensions to the Expo and Millennium Lines.

A 5.8 km subway under Broadway or a 7 km extension to Fleetwood, will attract little new customers and for many, with bus routes altered to force bus customers to ride the extensions, a la the Canada Line, may just force more people off the light-metro than it will attract.

The forced transfer of Expo Line’s customers to the Millennium Line at Broadway Station, adding one more transfer before again transferring to the B-Line bus at Arbutus to continue West, will also deter ridership.

As Mr. Cow has stated, it will be at least 2030 before there will be funding for further extensions, which was predicted by American transportation engineer and consultant, Gerald Fox;

But, eventually, Vancouver will need to adopt lower-cost LRT in its lesser corridors, or else limit the extent of its rail system. And that seems to make some TransLink people very nervous.

By 2030, road and highway congestion will reach unbelievable levels, yet the current light metro network will be unable to deal with the burgeoning number of cars. Light-metro, now costing well over $200 million/km and the is not including cars, is impractical to create a user friendly network.

Since the early eighties, when the Expo Line construction started, the region has been able to afford and fund a light metro line every decade.

Expo line and Extensions – 1980/90’s

Millennium Line – 1990’s/2000

Canada Line – 20o4/2010

Evergreen line (uncompleted Millennium Line) 2010’s

For the 2020’s The Broadway and Fleetwood extensions and the 2030’s, the much needed $3 billion Expo and Millennium line rehab and possibly an extension of the Expo Line to Langley.

Not nearly enough to attract the motorist from the car!

Has the region crossed the Rubicon for transit planning? Has the die been cast for endemic congestion and gridlock?

No matter how much money the region invests for future light-metro expansion, it will not be enough to change Metro Vancouver’s collision course to endemic congestion and gridlock, which will lay the groundwork for a major expansion of the regional highway system.

Rail for the Valley has a solution, the Leewood Study, offering a realistic and affordable transportation network, connecting Vancouver to North Delta, Cloverdale, Langley, Abbotsford, Sardis/Yarrow and Chilliwack for less than the cost of a 7 km extension of the Expo Line to Fleetwwod. A Vancouver to Chilliwack regional rail service could offer an affordable transit option for the Fraser Valley and metro Vancouver, by offering many more destinations at a far cheaper cost. A under two hour journey time from Chilliwack to Vancouver may look very good if the alternative is idling in gridlock for two to three hours.

It seems Rail for the Valley’s solution seems to embarrass the almost 1,000 employees who work for TransLink who earn over $100,000.00 a year because Rail for the Valley offered the Leewood Study for free, which begs the question, what the hell do almost of those 1,000 employees, earning over $100,000 a year actually do?

As for endemic congestion and gridlock………..

Alea iacta est!


3 Responses to “Have We Crossed The Rubicon, With Regional Transit Planning?”
  1. Major Hoople says:

    The Metro Vancouver area seems to have reached a tipping point with regional transit.

    We told the MoT and politicians with the Canada Line that their cherished light-metro was far too expensive to extend in the future, yet it was all in vain. It became clear that no one involved in transit planning in Vancouver had any clue what to do and as the game was fixed for our competitors m SNC Lavalin and Bombardier, there was no point pressing the matter.

    Light-metro was a Pyrrhic victory for politicians and their friends SNC and now the taxpayer is stuck with the costs and from what we understand those costs are mounting.

    REM is in trouble as well as mounting cost overruns are dampening any politcal currency it was bringing.

    We just do not see any positives in the future for you, but a lot of negatives and history will show that we were correct with our predictions and those rose coloured predictions from SNC and Bombardier are slowly turning into a nightmare.

  2. Haveacow says:

    To be clear, what I said was that most people in Surrey and Langley will be waiting until after 2030 before they will get any cash for stage 2 of their Skytrain extension from Fleetwood to Langley. UBC students and downtown residents will most likely get their money for the second stage of the Broadway Millennium Line extension from Arbutus to UBC, much sooner. It appears anything more than 1 extension at a time, post pandemic, is just too much for Translink to pay for their local share of each project. The problem is that all the Provincial and Federal Governments can’t keep covering the local costs for every rapid transit project in Canada. Choices will have to be made eventually.

    As Waterloo Region ok’s the route and basic planning for the $1.3 Billion, 17km long Stage 2 extension of their LRT line from the end of stage 1 in southern Kitchener to downtown Cambridge and Ottawa’s stage 3 and 4 work get’s planned (stage 2 is currently under construction), these areas would love either the provincial or federal government to pick up all the local costs of their next line extensions. Waterloo Region at 35% of the total cost (Stage 1) and Ottawa (Stage 1 & 2) at 40% paid dearly to fund their local portions. Keeping in mind, both Ottawa and Waterloo got significantly more mileage per km for their LRT project dollars than Vancouver does with its Skytrain dollars. That being said, Ottawa will not be able to fund any more LRT extensions until 2030 because of their big financial commitment to stage 1 & 2 of its LRT network.

    Zwei Replies: The funding issue, is something the SkyTrain Lobby ignore completely and as i said before the region can afford a new rapid transit line every decade or so. 2030 is a mere 9 years away!

  3. Basingstoke says:

    If you been on the Skytrain. The Expo and Millenium lines overlapped each other between Production way and Lougheed stations. A transfer is just crossing the platform.

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