‘Blank slate’ transit plan bodes well – Um no, Not Until TransLink Stops Playing Dirty Tricks!


Though the transit debate is supposed to be a ‘Blank slate’, it seems TransLink is up to its own dirty little tricks as usual. It has been a long and well established fact that light rail (LRT) can and does carry over 20,000 persons per hour per direction. The claim that it can carry  only 6,000 to 10,000 pphpd is completely wrong and shows that the SkyTrain Lobby’s ‘dirty tricks department’ is in full operation.

It is the ability of modern LRT to cater to 20,000+ passenger loads, when there is demand, is one of the reasons it made the much more expensive SkyTrain light-metro obsolete. I wish that TransLink stop this tiresome little propaganda campaign and start to do real planning before it is further embarrassed by future events.

Want good transit planning? Avoid using TransLink!

From the Surrey Leader:

 ‘Blank slate’ transit plan bodes well

Published: March 23, 2010 4:00 PM

Although financially TransLink remains in a world of hurt (it needs hundreds of millions of dollars more each year to maintain and improve the transit system, with no funding source as yet identified), conceptually, things may be looking up.

TransLink planners are currently brainstorming how to improve rapid transit in Surrey, and according to project planning manager Jeff Busby: “Everything is on the table.”

That includes creating bus-only lanes, running transit routes through Hydro rights-of-way, using existing rail lines, and developing at-grade light rail.

The idea is to have the priorities already identified if and when TransLink receives more funding.

This “blank slate” approach to transit is a welcome one.

The perennial favourite for government has always been SkyTrain because it carries the most people – 10,000 to 25,000 per hour – compared to 6,000 to 10,000 for light rail and 2,000 to 3,000 for rapid buses.

But it is prohibitively expensive to build – more than $100 million per kilometre as opposed to $25 million per kilometre for light rail. And utilizing existing rail lines would be even more economical.

Vancouver’s Olympic experience proved bigger is not always better. The Olympic streetcar that shuttled crowds between Granville Island and the Athlete’s Village was hugely popular. So much so that Vancouverites want to see it stay.

Citizens south of the Fraser would likely have the same reaction to a revival of the old Interurban rail route, which would link the communities of Cloverdale, Sullivan and Newton – plus connect with the SkyTrain at Scott Road.

As Interurban advocate Allen Aubert says, “What’s not to like?”

Most people travelling from south of the Fraser – 80 per cent – stay within the region.

Offering a variety of transit options that would make hopping from town centre to town centre a pleasant and affordable option would be a move in the right direction.



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One Response to “‘Blank slate’ transit plan bodes well – Um no, Not Until TransLink Stops Playing Dirty Tricks!”

  1. Joe G Says:

    Gotta agree with Zwei on this one

    There are many, many examples of light rail carrying way more than 10,000 people per hour.

    Not NECESSARILY a new dirty trick though -even if there is a new “blank slate” transit plan, it takes awhile for the old myths to stop being propagated down the chain of command.

    But we are right to be skeptical.

    Zweisystem replies: BC Transit, later TransLink have claimed the 10,000 number since the 1993 N. D. Lea Study. TransLink has been corrected on this figure many, many times, yet they still repeat it.

    If it is not a ‘dirty’ trick, what is it then? Are they just repeating a lie so many times that they hope it becomes a fact?

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