A letter in todays Vancouver Sun ~
SkyTrain extension not an astute investment
Vancouver Sun January
David Gillen, director of the Centre for Transportation Studies at the University of B.C., should look into the subject further. If he did, he’d find that light metros like SkyTrain aren’t good investments. If the private sector were to invest in a transit project, much cheaper light rail transit would be the way to go.
Dublin’s and Nottingham’s new LRT lines are operating at a profit, even after paying debt-servicing charges.
Then there is the strange case of Gerald Fox, a respected U.S. transit specialist, shredding TransLink’s business case for the Evergreen Line in a widely circulated letter. Fox states that “the analysis had made assumptions that were inaccurate, or had been manipulated to make the case for SkyTrain . . . in corridor after corridor, and has thus succeeded in keeping its proprietary rail system expanding.”
The Evergreen Line project is like the Titanic racing through the fog towards a financial iceberg.
~ is an important reminder that by building SkyTrain light-metro on the Evergreen Line, will mean no money for valley rail.
A previous post “Can TransLink’s Business Cases be Trusted?”……….
……..demonstrates that TransLink is very adept in supporting SkyTrain, even operating in corridors without the ridership to support light-metro. There is only one taxpayer and the dubious SkyTrain Evergreen Line will take what little money is available to build, more, politically prestigious SkyTrain. Even SkyTrain was far too expensive for the now $1 billion over budget RAV/Canada Line, where a much cheaper generic metro was built instead.
If modern light-rail were to be built on the Evergreen line instead of SkyTrain, there would be enough money to build a basic Vancouver to Chilliwack Diesel LRT service, with the ability for an Evergreen LRT, to network directly with the Interurban, giving the possibility of direct Valley to Tr-City service and a much faster Tri-City to Vancouver service than using the SkyTrain Millennium Line.
As always, transit planning in the region is like the ‘squeaky wheel’ – the more one squeaks, the more you get greased. Fraser Valley politicians are just not squeaking in the volumes that their counterparts in Vancouver, Richmond, and the Tri-Cities have done.
Current transit planning is foolhardy to the extreme and in a time of great economic upheaval, squandering limited taxpayers money on hugely expensive make work or infrastructure projects, is like the captain of the Titanic ordering more coals onto the fires, even after the doomed ship had impaled itself on a massive financial iceberg.