Cities by the sea

A tale of two marine citiesai??i??

Bordeaux & Vancouver have much in common

  • Ocean location

  • Temperate climate

  • Situated on a major tidal river

  • A large natural seaport

  • Extensive transport links, river, rail, air & road to the hinterland

  • Comparable land area, both city & metropolitan areas

  • An outstanding urban and architectural ensemble


Land Area Km2


Population Density /Km2

Metro Metro Metro
Vancouver 2,878 2,314,000 5,249
Bordeaux 3,875 1,315,000 4,779

Ai??SkyTrain is a light rapid transit system in Metro Vancouver. SkyTrain uses fully automated trains on grade-separated tracks, running mostly on elevated guideways.

Lines Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? ai??i?? 3

Track Length Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? ai??i?? 88 Km

Daily RidershipAi??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? – 400,000

The Bordeaux tramway is an at-grade Light Rail network, using five & seven segment articulated tram cars, running in dedicated ROWai??i??s.

Lines Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? ai??i?? 3

Track Length Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? ai??i?? 45 Km

Daily RidershipAi??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai??Ai?? – 300,000



To Richard & those other Translink cheer leaders, whose mantra is:-

Trams/streetcars, at-grade LRT cannot possibly serve a comparably sized modern city ai??i?? you do not have any idea of what you are talking about ai??i?? look further than your city boundaries as others have got it right.

If your planners were not so hung up on accommodating the car, then you could have it right as well.


5 Responses to “Cities by the sea”
  1. PC says:

    Bordeaux also has a fairly extensive regional rail system (TER Aquitane) which complements the tram and bus network.

  2. Justin Bernard says:

    A 45km tram system carrying almost as much riders as a 88km grade seperated system is an indication of the failure of trying to accomodate long distance riders with widely spaced stations, and attaining the highest possible vehicle speed.

  3. TJ says:

    Your numbers are deceiving. 300,000 is for the entire system. The tram itself has 160k passengers a day.

    So it’s 400k vs 160k.

    Zweisystem replies: Actually Wikipedia gives a ridership number of 165,000 riders per day in 2009 and the tram system has seen an over 25% increase in ridership in both 2010 and 2011. Please remember TransLink’s ridership numbers for SkyTrain and the Canada Line are guesstimates only and ridership on the metro has been overstated by 10% to 15%

  4. TJ says:

    Can you cite those numbers? that’s a huge increase–there haven’t been any extensions or new lines since then.

    Zweisystem replies: The numbers are from the operating authority.

  5. TJ says:

    When I said cite, I mean a link or document. I was looking through all their info and can’t find anything that says that.

    Zweisystem replies: the info comes from our man in Europe. I have found that linking info really doesn’t mean a thing because of the huge amount of wrong information on the net. You know very well that you can contact the operating authority and have it confirmed. The main problem is you do not want to believe it, nor will you accept numbers posted here. The problem is what is taken for granted overseas, is considered highly suspect here. The faith placed with TransLink and its dated transit and anti-LRT philosophy is almost reached a cult status.

    Bordeaux is carrying far more passengers than you would like and that doesn’t fit in with the anti-LRT rhetoric that is constantly spewed by the City of Vancouver, TransLink, most regional politicians, and the provincial Liberals and NDP! We are not an island immune from the truth.