“It used to be something called public transit … then for reasons you’re too young to understand, they did away with the public.”
The following letter, printed in today’s Vancouver Sun (Sept.2) clearly illustrates Translink’s failure to address the wants of transit customers. The politically inspired RAV/Canada Line needed a magic 100,000 passengers a day (about 300,000 fewer that what is really needed) to pretend it doesn’t need to be subsidized by TransLink, so TransLink in its infinite wisdom cascades as many passengers on to the RAV/Canada Line route as it possibly could to inflate ridership and it now seems it is just not transit customers South of the Massey Tunnel who are being inconvenienced, but West side transit customers as well. Will the author of the letter switch to the car instead of taking transit, time will tell, but he illustrates TransLink’s massive blunder: a failure to recognize that in the 21st century public transit is seen as a product and if the product doesn’t satisfy the publics needs, they will go elsewhere: Elsewhere of course is the car.
TransLink desperately wants to be all things to all people, to try suit the political whims of the provincial government and to a lesser extent, regional governments and by doing so is pleasing very few people. The same sort of thing that happened in Europe in the 1960’s and 1970’s, until a new transit philosophy emerged, based on customer wants, not politicians needs.
Sadly, we keep trying to force people to take transit, but with service so inferior compared to the car, it is a hard struggle and abandoning bus routes and forcing transit customers to transfer onto RAV just makes the transit product seem like a a bad product to many people.
Massively inconvenienced by transit-system changes
Vancouver Sun September 2, 2009
I live at 41st and Dunbar in Vancouver and work in the Harmony Air building in Richmond. Starting next Monday, my commute on transit will balloon from 25 minutes to 50 minutes. (When I drive, it takes me about 10 minutes.)
By eliminating the 98 B-Line and the 491 bus, TransLink has made its service very inconvenient. At the moment, it takes 150 per cent longer to user transit than a car; as of Sept. 7, it will take 400 per cent longer.
How can they encourage people to use transit when the service is so poor?