The Canada Line – Mediocrity Is Deemed Successful In Metro Vancouver

In one of the most biased reporting yet by the media yet, the Canada line is deemed a success.


The $2.4 billion plus projects paved the way for Vancouver to get rather ineffectual regional and provincial politicians to sign blank cheques for subways in Vancouver; paid for of course, by higher gas property taxes. Wow, those six figured salaried regional mayors just love higher taxes.

The Canada line was never a true P-3 because the SNC Lavalin lead consortium operating the mini-metro never accepted risk, which is the hallmark of a P-3 project and the line won a gold medal seemingly for deceit and deception.

Judge Pittfield, who presided over the Susan Heyes lawsuit against TransLink, called the bidding process a “charade“.

Gold medal material indeed! No, it was another ‘precipitation award, which are handed out and reported on far too regularly.

Business as usual it seem in BC.

The Canada Line paved the way for the city of Vancouver’s utterly dishonest planning for subways, because at best, the present line can’t carry more than 6,000 pphpd and even with new cars, its capacity will be limited to around 9,000 pphpd because of short 40 metre long station platforms.

The North American standard for building a subway is a transit route with traffic flows in excess of 15,000 pphpd!

Toronto streetcars in the late 40’s and early 50’s were able to handle traffic flows in the region of 12,500 pphpd on select streetcar routes!

Coupled sets of PCC cars offered capacities of 12,500 pphpd in Toronto.

The Canada line is the only heavy-rail metro in the world, designed as a light-metro and has less capacity than a modern streetcar. Not one city has copied it, except for Montreal, where the REM project is a Canada line clone, which will make billions for the consortium involved.

Making profit for the consortium involved was the sole reason why then premier Gordon Campbell forced the Canada Line P-3 onto TransLink. The Canada line was a BC Liberal “grift”, just like selling off BC Rail!

A very big problem is that capacity cannot be increased beyond about 9,000 pphpd, as the cost to rehab the Canada Line to obtain a higher capacity, is now around $1.5 billion and the capacity of the Canada Line must be increased before any extension of the line is even considered!

What the news item is really about is a slow news day and gullible reporters who do not do any research, being played by TransLink, in their quest to justify a Broadway subway.

The Canada line, is deemed internationally as a White Elephant.

Note #1: The prevalence of the dollar a day, ride at will, U-Pass (over 130,000 issued) inflates boarding’s. Not taken into consideration is how many bus customers are forced to transfer to the Canada line at Bridgeport and how many linked trips are involved. Over 80% of the Canada line’s ridership is forced to transfer onto the mini-metro!

Note #2: There is not charge for those traveling along the Canada Line at Sea island and how many employees use the line from their “free” parking lots. Does Translink count them?

Note#3: TransLink does not release the numbers of multiple trips taken by U-Pass holders on the Canada line, with some reports stating that some U-Passes are used up to 8 times a day on the Canada Line!

How many new transit customers did the Canada Line attract?

TransLink, of course, remains silent.

Canada Line celebrates a decade of success

by Taran Parmar and Kathryn Tindale

Posted Aug 17, 2019

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Today marks ten years since passengers were first able to catch a ride on the Canada Line.

It took four years to build, with a price tag of more than $2 billion, and the 19 kilometre route wasn’t an automatic hit with taxpayers and some politicians.

TransLink spokesperson Ben Murphy says while there was some uncertainty about ridership targets, the line is now a transit staple in Vancouver and Richmond.

“People didn’t think it would achieve the ridership targets we were planning. It really smashed those targets pretty much immediately,” he says, adding it’s clear it has become a ‘success story’ for the region.

“Back when this was being planned there were people who wanted it to be light rail,” he says “We went with the SkyTrain option because over the decade, it’s proven to be hugely popular and one of the big success stories for the region.”

In its first year, the Canada Line recorded more than 36 million boardings, and ridership continues to grow year over year. Murphy says since then, the average weekday ridership is 147,000 passengers, up five per cent from last year. He adds ridership is growing at YVR Airport Station, as there were three million boardings from the station, up 14 percent from last year.

“You’ve also got YVR, that’s been a success story in its own respect,” he says. But they did a survey last year and according to their numbers nearly one in three people are using transit to get to YVR. Of course the Canada Line plays an enormous role in that.”

The Canada Line received a Gold Award for Infrastructure from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships in 2009.


One Response to “The Canada Line – Mediocrity Is Deemed Successful In Metro Vancouver”
  1. Causa Causans says:

    When we were bidding for the Canada line, we were kicked from the bidding process because we dared to use modern trams instead of light-metro cars. The bidding specified light metro, SkyTrain compatible cars but only Bombardier made those.

    The reason we went with a modern tram was 1) Cheaper to buy; 2) cheaper to maintain; 3) higher capacity and 4) much cheaper to extend the line on a non grade separated right of way.

    Both Alstom and my company were kicked from the bidding process, by providing a better and cheaper option.

    What is ignored by your folks over there is that Vancouver telegraphed to the world that they were bumbletons and worse just plain ignorant.

    It comes as no surprise that Vancouver is now the hug of international money laundering.

    When we were kicked from the bidding process the rules were changed slightly, that the Canada Line did not have to be compatible in operation with the rest of the system, which made SNC Lavalin very happy because they did not want to share profit with Bombardier as a consortium. it had something to do with patents, but we were no longer interested.

    We did not even go to court like Siemens in Ottawa because we thought the system was unfair and biased towards SNC and the government. But then Siemens did have a contract, we were just bidding in a fixed game.

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