The Mayor’s Council’s Delusions Of Grandeur in 2050 – Where Is The money?

One has to just laugh at this tawdry attempt pre civic election spin for the regional transit system.

It also highlights the media’s lack of investigative reporting, as they treat dreamy news releases as “breaking news”.

The following quote exemplifies the Mayor’s Council’s delusions:

Among the improvements and goals, the plan includes additional projects to better connect communities through transit, in order to meet the goal of having one of the most modern and expansive transportation systems in North America.


The SkyTrain light metro system is approaching 40 years old. The proprietary Movia Automatic Light Metro used on the Expo and Millennium lines has had four owners with a total of seven systems built around the world. Today MALM is a museum piece, with a legacy criminal investigations.

The Canada Line is the only heavy rail metro in the world built as a light metro, has less capacity than a modern tramway costing a fraction to build!

No one has copied Metro Vancouver’s dated transit planning; no one has copied Metro Vancouver’s exclusive use of a light metro! Building more, is just doing the same thing over again, expecting different results.

It is 2022, with dismal ridership due to Covid, future ridership may not return as hoped. Pre Covid, mode share for transit was dropping prior to 2020.

Mode share 2017

But the bigger question is money, where is TransLink going to source the billions of dollars to make their dreams come true?

Let us look at the current financial picture for the regional rapid transit system.

Rapid Transit Funded

$2.83 billion for a 5.8 km extension of the Millennium Line, mostly in a subway under Broadway.

Notes: It is now estimated that the Millennium Line extension will exceed $3 billion due to inflation, especially how inflation affects the cost of cement and specialty steel.

Rapid Transit Partially Funded

$2.9 billion for the 16 km Expo Line extension to Langley.

Notes: The current estimated cost for the Expo Line extension is now $3.95 billion, leaving an over $1 billion shortfall in funding. The cost of the project may exceed $4.5 billion due to extraordinary engineering costs crossing the boggy Serpentine Valley. As TransLink cannot afford this, the project has been taken over by the province, with the project delayed to 2028.

$2 billion for new Movia Automatic Light Metro, TransLink MK. 5 cars replacing the the Advanced Light Rail Transit cars, refereed to as MK.1’s.

Notes: Freedom of information requests have been redacted to such an extent that one can only make guess that this order is only partially funded at this time.

Rapid Transit Unfunded

The mid life rehab of the Expo and partial rehab of the Millennium Lines, including an updated and enhanced electrical supply, a new automatic train signalling system (Bombardier is no longer supporting the present city-Flow system); new high speed switches; station rebuilding (being done piecemeal) and several other needed repairs and rebuilding. Estimated cost $3 billion.

Canada Line rehab to increase capacity, including lengthening station platforms to 80 metres; new cars; station rebuilding.; replacement of single track stub terminus’s at YVR and Richmond. Estimated cost $1.5 billion.

Notes: This must be done before any thoughts of extending the Canada Line.

Broadway subway to UBC, including portion of elevated guideway in the Endowment lands. Estimated cost, in excess of $5 billion.

Notes: Funding for the Expo line extension to Langley may be used instead for the completion of the Broadway subway to UBC.

Extending rapid transit to the North Shore: Little evaluation done. Estimated cost, $5 billion plus.

The big if.

In 2025, Toronto’s and Detroit’s earlier version (ICTS) of the proprietary Movia Automatic Light Metro will be closing down forever. Alstom, now owns the rights for MALM and as it is an oddball unconventional proprietary railway, may discontinue production at any time. The system has been on the market for over 40 years, yet only 7 have been built. No MALM system has been sold in the past 15 years. As MALM competes with Alstom’s own product line of light metros, abandonment of production may come sooner than many think.

If this happens, the costs for replacement parts, etc. will greatly increase over time, in turn, greatly increasing annual maintenance costs.

This means any cost estimates made today for expanding rapid transit will have little validity, in the near future.

What will transit look like in 2050?

Contrary to the utopia being presented by TransLink and the Mayor’s Council, the public will see transit dystopia: more new highways will be built, endemic regional gridlock will be the order of the day, as TransLink’s product continues to be largely user unfriendly forcing customers into their cars, mainly non polluting, self driving electric cars in 2050.


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What will transit look like around Metro Vancouver in the year 2050?

What will transit look like around Metro Vancouver in the year 2050?

Local mayors gathered virtually with the TransLink Board on Thursday to vote on the TransLink’s Transport 2050 plan, which maps out the next three decades for the transportation authority.

The aim is to make transit more reliable, more accessible, more affordable, and greener over the long term.

While it heavily involves TransLink, the strategy also includes solutions to greater transportation issues and climate strategies over several areas.

A drawing of people biking for the new transit plan
The Regional Transportation Strategy for 2050 hopes to have more than half of the transportation trips be made by public transit. (

The mayors have also been dealing with the short-term survival of service and projects, asking the federal government Wednesday to extend emergency pandemic funding for TransLink, which is predicting a loss of $200-million over the next two years.

You can watch the livestream of the vote here:

Among the improvements and goals, the plan includes additional projects to better connect communities through transit, in order to meet the goal of having one of the most modern and expansive transportation systems in North America.

Among the goals, “By 2050, active transportation and transit are competitive choices accounting for at least half of all passenger trips, with taxi, ride-hail, and carshare accounting for most of the remaining passenger trips.”

The plan also promises major steps in transit affordability.

A map of the transit routes by 2050
Map reflects Metro 2050 geographies as of 2021. (

“By 2050, none of us — but especially those of us with less ability to pay — need to spend more than 45% of our household incomes on transport and housing combined, ” the plan details.

Adding, “By 2050, people and goods are spending 20% less time stuck in congestion, compared to today.”

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