From the Georgia Straight – Patrick Condon highlights cost of Broadway transit

by
Just substitute TransLink for MTA

Just substitute TransLink for MTA

There is no doubt that TransLink, the province and the city of Vancouver are steamrollering ahead for a SkyTrain UBC subway. The $2.8 billion for the proposed 12 km. subway is rather conservative and the true cost would be nearer to $4 billion.

Going back to the $2.8 billion figure – $2.8 billion would buy you:

 1) A deluxe Vancouver to UBC Interurban, with a new rail bridge

 2) A LRT Evergreen Line

 3) A BCIT to UBC LRT, with a possibility of a Tramtrain service from Chilliwack to UBC without making one transfer!

Folk living South of the Fraser had better tell their political leaders that not one penny of their tax money should go to pay for this hugely expensive, yet needless subway. If Vancouver wants a subway, let Vancouver taxpayer’s pay for it!

If the UBC subway project goes ahead, watch for TransLink to collapse.

Patrick Condon highlights cost of Broadway transit

By Matthew Burrows

A senior researcher at the UBC Design Centre for Sustainability says that a proposed rapid-transit line along Broadway would be “the most expensive system we’ve had to date”.

Patrick Condon bases this on the provincial government’s 2008 Provincial Transit Plan. In it, the B.C. Liberals called for $2.8 billion for a new 12-kilometre rapid-transit line from Broadway Station to UBC.

“It’s about twice as expensive [per kilometre] as the Canada Line, and it’s about 15 times more expensive per kilometre than a system which, I think, shows a lot of promise, and that would be a European tram system,” Condon told the Straight by phone.

Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs called expanding the SkyTrain along Broadway a “city priority”.

“But I don’t think it can get ahead of the Evergreen project,” Meggs told the Straight. “I don’t think the regional consensus is there for Broadway until they have the Evergreen Line at hand.”

Meggs said he has no idea how much the Broadway project would cost. “We already have a high-speed line ending at the Millennium Line at VCC–Clark,” he noted. “It just makes sense to complete it somehow, either over to the Canada Line or, better yet, take it to Arbutus. It could be the hub of a future extension down the Arbutus corridor or over to UBC.”

Initially, Non-Partisan Association councillor Suzanne Anton told the Straight she didn’t want to get “embroiled” in a debate over whether SkyTrain expansion along Broadway should take priority over an Evergreen Line to Coquitlam.

“They both have to get built,” Anton said. “The Broadway line serves a need that’s already there, and once it was built, it would immediately start pumping operational dollars back into the system. In other words, it would be a net benefit to the system and not a net cost.”

At its Friday (September 25) meeting, the Metro Vancouver board will vote on a motion to advise TransLink that its 2010 10-year base plan, which calls for “Drastic Cuts”, is not in line with the region’s goals. The motion also states that TransLink’s upgrade and expansion program, which would require additional funds of up to $450 million per year, supports regional planning priorities.

“And I fully expect that it will be endorsed by Metro on Friday,” Meggs said.

http://www.straight.com/article-258880/condon-highlights-cost-broadway-transit

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6 Responses to “From the Georgia Straight – Patrick Condon highlights cost of Broadway transit”

  1. Chris Says:

    “The $2.8 million for the proposed 12 km. subway…”. I think you mean 2.8 billion. That’s one cheap subway! 🙂

    Zweisystem replies: Yes! Thank you – corrected.

  2. Chris Says:

    “The Broadway line serves a need that’s already there, and once it was built, it would immediately start pumping operational dollars back into the system. In other words, it would be a net benefit to the system and not a net cost.”

    I don’t see how this could be true unless the service attracts new ridership that isn’t already there (i.e. more riders than the existing bus services carry). Otherwise you’re just transferring customers from one mode to another but not gaining any additional revenue (unless fares are increased for the service).

    Furthermore, any increase in ridership would also need to cover increased operating and financing costs before any financial ‘net benefit’ is achieved.

    Zweisystem replies: With a Broadway subway, you would have to operate a surface bus system at an added cost, but with light-rail, you would not! A consultant in the UK with much expertise with subway’s told Zweisystem that subways in themselves, do not attract much new ridership, but used on transit routes with extremely high traffic flows (400,000 pphpd+). You can build a subway on low ridership routes, but be prepared to pay high subsidies to fund it. He thought the RAV/Canada Line was a joke, with the comment: “Understand the X-files were filmed in your part of the world, maybe that explains it!”

  3. mezzanine Says:

    The need light metro is there for the B-line:

    http://viewfromthe44.wordpress.com/2009/09/08/b-line-gong-show-4/

    http://www.straight.com/article-210219/sardine-99-bline-bus-disgrace

    My *guess* of what Ms. Anton is saying is that we will not have to wait years to see busy ridership (like the M-line); that it will be heavily used from opening, more like the canada line.

    Zweisystem replies: Does the 99 B-Line have the ridership (400,000+ a day) to justify a metro? No

    Again, we see Vancouver people wanting hugely expensive transit solutions paid for by someone else. What is completely discounted is light-rail and Vancouver is the only city in the world that doesn’t plan for LRT. The absolute ignorance of LRT and its applications has bankrupted TransLink while at the same time not creating the transit system that will attract the motorist from the car. Fiasco is the result, but of course the mainstream media supports SkyTrain and subways and buries the truth. The UBC subway will be the final straw in our absurd transit planning and TransLink will fold like a cheap deck chair

  4. A Broadway rail line has to go all the way to UBC. « View from the 44 Says:

    […] to go all the way to UBC. Posted by viewfromthe44 under Uncategorized Leave a Comment  Via Zweisystem, here’s a Matthew Burrows piece in the Straight about plans for rapid transit […]

  5. Where’s the low-hanging fruit? « View from the 44 Says:

    […] about a Broadway rail line seems to have pushed some buttons.  Zweisystem at Rail for the Valley says, “If Vancouver wants a subway, let Vancouver taxpayers pay for it!”  And Jordan […]

  6. UBC Liner Says:

    “With a Broadway subway, you would have to operate a surface bus system at an added cost, but with light-rail, you would not!”. Are you serious? A light rail system with enough stops to serve the local trips now served by the trolley buses would be much slower than the 99B. Why pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a light rail system that has worse service than the current buses along the route. That would be a real waste of money.

    Just as bad, the stops would be further apart than the trolley buses so people that have trouble walking would have to go further to the stops. With an aging population, that just seems like a bad idea. I was on crutches a couple of weeks ago so I really got to appreciate bus stops a couple of blocks apart.

    Worse service for a lot of money and likely less ridership. No wonder you have trouble convincing people of light rail.

    Zweisystem replies: Your ignorance of the subject is appalling. A light-rail service on Broadway, with stops every 500m to 600m (standard) and priority at intersections, would be faster than a B-Line Bus. Oh yes Mr. Mac, talk to the older folk at the new Canada line stations with no down escalators. Studies have shown that the most ridership that uses transit comes form a 300m around each stop, hence the 500m to 600m stops. It is asinine to build a $4 billion subway, then run a shadow bus service on top, just like what happened with Cambie St.; it just drives up the cost of transit.

    One wonders what blog name you will use next, UBC Liner or Taxpayer or RAC or?

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