TransLink and the City of Vancouver have trundled out their end game for the Broadway subway and it is nothing more than a grifter’s delight of fake news and alternative facts.
To remind everyone, subways are only built on transit routes when passenger flows exceed 15,000 pphpd (20,000 pphpd in Europe).
Current traffic flows on Broadway are less than 4,000 pphpd.
So it is time for TransLink and the City of VancouverAi?? to sell the Subway lie.
“If you tell a subway lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The subway lie can be maintained only for such time as the City of Vancouver and TransLink can shield the people from the political, economic and/or tax consequences of the subway lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the City of Vancouver and TransLink to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the subway lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the City of Vancouver and TransLink.”
In the East London vernacular; “the porkies are flying”.
So let’s look at TransLink’s big selling points for the Broadway subway; the $3 billion plus option!
A tunneled SkyTrain extension allows for the highest number of travelers and ensures the system retains theAi?? capacity needed for the regions growing needs.
There is so much wrong and misleading with this statement that the only conclusion available is to mislead the public.
- The SkyTrain Innovia Line’s Operating Certificate with Transport Canada limits capacity at 15,000 pphpd, unless an estimated $3 billion is spent to enlarge stations and station platforms to allow longer trains; renew the electrical system to operate more trains; a new automatic train control system; new switches to allow faster operation; the possible replacing some guideway beams on the Expo Line and more.
- If subway stations are built with only 80 metre long platforms, maximum capacity will be restricted to 15,000 pphpd, close to what the mini-metro system is carrying at peak hours (according to TransLink claims).
- It is interesting to note that coupled sets of PCC trams in Toronto were carrying 12,000 pphpd on the old Bloor/Danforth route and that modern LRT carries over 20,000 pphpd on on-street routes in many cities in Europe. Karlsruhe Germany recently operated coupled sets of trams, operating at 40 second headway’s, on one of the cities main thoroughfares, offering a capacity well in excess of 30,000 pphpd.! Karlsruhe is now building a subway on that route and gives good indication at the threshold considered to build a subway in Germany.
A tunneled SkyTrain extension reduces the need for transfers at Commercial Broadway Station – the region’s biggest transit bottleneck.
This is so dishonest, it is more than laughable.
Question: “Did TransLink and CoV spin doctors sleep through their arithmetic classes?”
- Present, Millennium Line and Expo Line customers need only to take one transfer from train to B-Line bus.
- With the subway, Millennium Line and Expo Line customers will still only have to make one transfer, unless…
- If the B-line bus service terminates at Arbutus, then Expo Line customers will have to make two transfers: to the Millennium Line then transfer again to a B-Line bus.
- All the subway will do is move the bottleneck to the Arbutus terminus.
Lower Operating costs.
SkyTrain technology has the lowest operating costs per km. and per passenger than other technologies like light rail and bus rapid transit.
This is blatantly untrue and demonstrates how dishonest TransLink and the CoV are.
- Just the Expo Line was found to cost 40% more to operate than Calgary’s C-Train (both lines, then, being about the same length), with the C-Train carrying more customers.
- In 1992, the GVRD found that just SkyTrain Expo Linewas subsidized by $157.63 million annually, more than bus and trolley bus systems combined!
- SkyTrain has been on the market, under various names since the late 1970′s and only seven have been built. Not one Innovia SkyTrain system has been allowed to compete against LRT! No LIM powered Innovia SkyTrain system has been sold in the past decade.
- The Toronto Transit Commission, estimates that 5 km of subway will add $40 million to operating costs!
Question: “If SkyTrain is so cheap to operate, why does no one want it?”
Claim #4 More flexible
Because SkyTrain technology is driverless, TransLink can easily add or remove cars to accommodate demand.
This old saw has been around so long, that I guess the CoV and TransLink spin doctors resurrected it, from the dead pile.
- Light rail, can increase capacity on demand, by adding more vehicles to form coupled sets, without added staff.
- Larger light rail vehicles, which today have a capacity three or four times as much as an Innovia SkyTrain cars, have ample spare capacity, that there is seldom any need to diagram more cars in operation.
- Light rail can operate on-street in mixed traffic; on a reserved or dedicated rights-of-way; elevated, in a subway and can also track-share with mainline railways. It is LRT which is truly flexible, not SkyTrain which can only operate on its extremely expensive guide way.
More efficient goods movement
Underground transit will free up road space for more efficient goods movement and vehicle transportation.
Desperation is shown by this claim.
- As subway stations will be inconveniently located and are generally user unfriendly, subways have proven poor in attracting new customers, thus car traffic on Broadway will not be reduced, but congestion, may increase, creating more, not less gridlock along Broadway.
- Emergency vehicles operators like dedicated tram routes because they can use them in an emergency, navigating around traffic jams.
- Several European cities now deliver freight by tram, as pioneered in Dresden and Amsterdam.
The SkyTrain extension will cut travel time from Commercial Broadway to Arbutus by half. People commuting from Coquitlam Centre could reach central Broadway in 40 minutes – as fast as the car.
The benefits of faster commute times to central Broadway are overstated and in fact not relevant, as commute times for people other than Coquitlam will remain the same or increased.
- One can lose upwards of 70% of potential customers per transfer.
- It is longer to travel by subway if one’s trip is 7 km or less.
Question: “Is the expenditure of $3 billion or more for a SkyTrain subway to Arbutus worth a few minutes in time savings for so few people?”
Meets Regional Vision
The mayor’s Council vision for Transportation outlines the need for the Broadway subway to help meet our collective transportation needs.
The Mayor’s Council’s 10 year vision, was doing what Vancouver wanted, to build a subway to both make Vancouver a world Class city (all cities are world class if they have a subway, didn’t ya know) and to appease land speculators and land developers who donated big money to Vision Vancouver for wholesale destruction of affordable apartments and theAi?? construction of high rise condo’s for overseas money launderers and speculators.
The mayor’s Council on Transit, was once described as a bunch of children playing with their toy trains that Father Christmas left them on Christmas morning.
- A $3 billion plus subway will rob much needed transit monies in other regions.
- A $3 billion plus subway will not reduce congestion.
- A $3 billion plus subway will increase transit costs and transit fares.
- A $3 billion plus Broadway subway will benefit no one except land developers and land speculators.
It is clear that the proposed Broadway subway is all about moving money and not transit customers.