When one constructs a transit system so user-unfriendly that the vast majority of the public avoid it at all costs, can there be any surprise that the public will continue to avoid public transit, even during the Olympics with its many road closures?
Early advertisements that there will be two hour waits at SkyTrain stations certainly has gone along way to make people planning to take transit to reconsider. Even one hour waits at SkyTrain/Canada Line stations are unacceptable and certainly points to how inept TransLink is. All the well paid spin doctors in the world can’t smooth-talk there way out of a looming transportation debacle.
The drop in vehicle trips (13%) can be attributed to the many businesses closing shop for the two week event. Zwei knows of many businesses in Vancouver that have suspended operations or reduced operating hours for the Olympic period because customers will not take transit, which will reduce commuting traffic. But this comes at a huge cost in lost wages, etc.
The real problem of course is the transit system was designed to suit political ambitions and not what the transit customer wanted or needed. For the majority of residents in the METRO area, the transit system is dysfunctional and to be avoided at all costs. It is a transit system of the poor, the elderly and students, with a few peak hour commuters thrown in. There has not been a desirable modal shift from car to transit, despite a now over $8 billion invested in three metro lines, yet we keep building with light metro, forever hoping that the next metro will solve our endemic transportation woes in the region.
The extremely weak plea to “walk, cycle, transit into downtown“, is laughable and one tires of this Vancouver cliché!
Zweisystem has one word for VANOC’s Olympic transportation plan: Pathetic.
Commuters haven’t left their cars at home…yet
Drop in vehicle trips only reduced by 13 per cent
Dave White/Tamara Slobogean Feb 03, 2010 06
NEWS Radio 1130
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – They can close all the roads they want, and limit cars in Olympic lanes… but will it really work? Way more commuters still have to park their rides during the Games to meet the goals of the Olympic Transportation Plan.
It all hinges on the habits of local drivers and in the last few months we’ve all heard a lot of this, “We do need more people to leave their vehicles at home, to know before they go, and to travel smart… Walk, cycle, transit into downtown.”
The plan has always been to reduce car and truck traffic in key areas by 30 per cent. With 9 days to go, the city’s Olympic transportation director Dale Bracewell says we’ve cut traffic by just 13 per cent.
Tomorrow we start dealing with Olympic lanes. Things stand to get serious Friday with the closure of the Georgia Viaduct, the city warns if you’re still driving then, expect real backups especially around the Granville and Cambie Street bridges.
The TravelSmart Challenge was created as a trial to reduce city traffic by five per cent each week leading up to the Games.