Canada Line Metro Reaches Capacity of 100,000 riders a day? Really, that little?


Here we have a classic Vancouver Sun ‘puff story’ about the Canada line, where real questions are not asked and $150 thousand a year man, the classic spin doctor himself, Ken Hardie shows why he is paid such a stipend.

The real question should be; “We just spent $2.5 billion on a metro and its capacity is a mere 100,000 a day, what bloody genius thought that one up?”

It seems only in Vancouver, metro systems pay their operating costs with such little ridership and one wonders why more cities don’t built subways? The answer of course is that they don’t and the entire article is one of stuff an nonsenses, that should have been printed on April 1, not June 1!

What the article does show is that TransLink is desperate for positive spin on the Canada Line and the Sun will print it almost verbatim what the highly paid TransLink spin-doctors claim.

Certainly Hardie, doesn’t say how many bus riders are funneled onto the Canada Line, nor how TransLink apportions fares, if they even bother to or how TransLink factors in the deep discounted U-Pass used by Langara and UBC bound students, very important calculations that must be done before any claims of “paying its operating costs“, can be made. Certainly the claim that SkyTrain pays its operating costs is laughable because the province subsidizes the proprietary metro to a tune of over $230 million annually!

What is not surprising is the weak ridership numbers that go to YVR, which are in line with what other transit systems servicing airports carry.

The quote: “Hardie didn’t have a total count of how many new riders are taking the train……” is TransLink speak for, “The Canada Line is getting over 90% of its ridership from bus riders.” It must be remembered that 80% of SkyTrain’s customers first take a bus to the metro. In effect, we are giving bus riders a $2.5 billion metro ride, which for many, increases travel times.

What this story is all about is TransLink’s desire to build more metro and to fool the public in thinking that metro is doing a wonderful job, so let’s fund the Evergreen Line and the Broadway – UBC subway.

The sad fact is, if LRT were to have been built instead, it would be carrying more passengers to more destinations at a far cheaper cost; but of course no one would ever hear that from TransLink. 100,000 passengers a day is child’s play for LRT, yet it seems a big strain for a very expensive metro costing three times as much!

It is high time for BC Auditor General to audit TransLink and its metro operations to get at the real truth!

Canada Line races toward capacity

The SkyTrain branch nears 100,000 riders per day three years ahead of schedule after Olympics brought the crowds out
By Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun
June 1, 2010
The new Canada Line is nearing capacity three years ahead of schedule, prompting TransLink to look at “tactical options” to help ease pressure on the 19-km route.

The line has been recording an average of 94,000 trips per day — just shy of its capacity of 100,000 riders, a number TransLink had not expected to reach until 2013. It now anticipates it could reach that number as early as next year.

While immediate options to ease overcrowding include running an extra train from Brighouse during peak periods, passengers won’t see any more trains running regularly between Vancouver and Richmond until the summer of 2011.

TransLink believes passenger numbers are higher than projected due in part to the Olympic need to get drivers off the roads, as well as a push to funnel suburban bus commuters to the new line.

“You make your projections on what you know … years in advance of the project startup,” TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said. “It’s probably the Olympics that have been the key difference [between] what we were expecting and what we have.”

Ridership on the $2-billion Canada Line has been growing steadily since it began operating last August.

Hardie didn’t have a total count of how many new riders are taking the train, but according to TransLink figures, the number of daily commuters from south Surrey and White Rock using the No. 351 bus was up 38.9 per cent in May from last June.

Weekend traffic also rose by 52.5 per cent on Saturdays and 53.2 per cent on Sundays.

That increase, as well as a rise in commuters from Richmond, Delta and Vancouver, has contributed to passenger crunches along the Canada Line.

The squeeze is particularly severe at Brighouse, the transit hub for all local Richmond buses, and Bridgeport, where buses shuttle long-haul commuters from Delta, south Surrey and White Rock, during rush hour.

For Percy Bond, this means he never gets a seat when he boards the train at Brighouse for his commute into Vancouver. The only way he can do so, he said, is to get off at Bridgeport and take the airport train, which is usually empty, into downtown.

“I like [Canada Line] except for the fact it’s always full,” he said. “What surprises me is they can’t put three cars on … it would be nice to see in the rush hour.”

Hardie said that now, TransLink typically runs 14 of its 20 Canada Line trains, each with two cars, at 3.5-minute intervals, with another two trains added at rush hour.

By August of 2011, the transit authority plans to regularly run 16 trains, which will represent a 12-per-cent lift in service, every 3.33 minutes.

Hardie wouldn’t say how much this would cost.

But he noted that when “we run more transit, we spend more money.”

But that doesn’t mean commuters won’t see any improvements this year, he said, as TransLink has the option to improve service during peak periods to deal with severe overcrowding or pass-ups.

Options include adding extra trains to the Brighouse line during “peak of peak” periods, he said, as well as having buses scheduled for Brighouse shifted to Bridgeport, where commuters can catch a second, nearly empty train, from the airport.

While the airport trains don’t have the same passenger numbers, Hardie said TransLink isn’t considering moving some of those trains to the Brighouse line. He noted a new park and ride facility at Templeton on the YVR line is drawing more transit users and airport traffic is expected to rise. The park and ride is for airport workers and passengers, who are travelling on the Sea Island route.

The YVR line carries an average 9,300 passengers per day, or 10 per cent of the total ridership, compared with 15 per cent on the Richmond line.

Hardie noted the Canada Line has only been running for less than 10 months so it’s still early days and variables such as high fuel costs or parking can have an effect on transit use.

Vancouver commuter Ken Law, who lives at 49th and Cambie, drove downtown regularly until the Olympics. He said transit has proven to be more convenient, faster and cheaper, especially with higher parking prices expected with the HST.

“I find it okay,” he said. “If you can save money and don’t have to drive, there’s less stress.”

Hardie noted he expects ridership to continue to grow, especially as municipalities continue to densify areas around the transit stations.

Richmond has been densifying its city centre since 2000 in anticipation of huge transit use of the Canada Line. “There was a pent-up demand for effective, reliable transit in the Richmond, Vancouver transit corridor,” Mayor Malcolm Brodie said.

Meanwhile, Hardie noted there is another silver lining for TransLink if the Canada Line reaches its capacity by next year.

The rapid transit line was built as a public-private partnership, with TransLink guaranteeing to subsidize ridership shortfalls of less than 100,000 per day. It must also provide operator InTransitBC with some capital, as well as debt-service costs of $38 million to $39 million over the life of the 35-year agreement.

Once it hits an average 100,000 riders, Canada Line will reach the break-even point in covering its own operating costs, similar to the Expo and Millennium lines.

“With a lift in capacity next year, that could move [ridership] pretty darn close,” Hardie said, but added: “All signs still point to TransLink having to hustle to meet up with the demand.”


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17 Responses to “Canada Line Metro Reaches Capacity of 100,000 riders a day? Really, that little?”

  1. peter Says:

    How has Seattle done for ridership on their Light Rail? I see they spent pretty much the same amount of money, so I’m sure Link ridership there would be pretty close to the Canada Line’s, right? I’m sure their on-time performance (crucial to getting people out of their cars) is pretty good too, right?


    Zweisystem replies: The Seattle’s so called LRT is actually a hybrid light metro/rail system, badly designed and equally badly executed. If you had been reading this blog for the past year and half, you would soon realize that I am not a fan of Seattle Transit’s ‘rail’ transit planning.

    As for the Canada Line, there is no indication that it has attracted much new ridership, rather it has been force fed riders from the many bus routes (Airporter, 98-B. 600 series of buses from South Delta, 300 series of buses from South Surrey, Cambie St, just to name of a few bus routes cascaded onto the Canada Line) funneled onto the metro. Vancouver is the only city in the world that has a metro system with capacity limited at 100,000 passengers a day. A joke in anyones language.

  2. David Says:

    Like Zweisystem said, the quality of a transit system is not determined by how much it cost. In many cases throwing more money at a project only makes it more impressive for political photo ops. User appeal is almost never considered here in Vancouver and certainly wasn’t high on the list of priorities in Seattle or they’d have built something people would actually use.

  3. tzse Says:

    Weren’t you the one who anticipated the ridership to be nowhere near 100,000? It seems like you would bash the Canada Line’a ridership regardless of high it is. This post is pretty much useless then.

    Zweisystem replied: I did saythat the Canada Line would not have ridership of over 100,000 a day, which was based on the number of riders being funneled off buses onto the metro. It seems that many more people, mostly pensioners (discounted fares) are using the Canada Line to get to River Rock Casino than I anticipated. Given that TransLink doesn’t know how many new riders are using the Canada Line and I underestimated the number of people who used to get direct bus service to Vancouver, plus the granting of U-Pass to Langara students (very deeply discounted tickets) my calculations are off by about 20%. Yet there is no evidence that RAV has actually attracted the motorist from the car, which means the metro has not reduced auto congestion and pollution. Nor is there any evidence that TransLink is giving out correct ridership numbers, which is why there must be annual independent audits of ridership, preferably by BC’s Auditor General..

  4. KC Says:

    The Canada Line most certainly does NOT have a max. capacity of 100,000 rides per day. As of current, it utilizes about 5,000 pphpd of its 15,000 pphpd (passengers per hour per direction). The Canada Line will be capable of handling 300,000 passengers per day in the future with the addition of more trains to shorten headways…as with any train system, including LRT, or any capacity-based system for that matter.

    SkyTrain 1, Zwei -666.

    Zweisystem replies: As it stands, the Canada line has a maximum capacity of 100,000 to 150,000 thousand a day; the 15,000 is the maximum theoretical capacity of the Canada line as built. Until there is an independent audit of ridership, TransLink will claim any number they wish without fear of being caught out. The problem with the RAV/Canada Line is that it was built on the cheap and now seems to have capacity problems. The metro line is badly planned, badly built, and an embarrassment.

    Oh, by the way, the RAV/Canada line isn’t SkyTrain.

    Zwei 1; fertugo 0

  5. David Says:

    Have a look at the crowds at Waterfront at peak periods and tell me you’re going to run trains more frequently than every 2 minutes. Even now it takes so long to unload/load that the door chimes 3 times. The fleet consists of only 20 trains so unless more money is poured into the system 2 minute headways in Vancouver are impossible.

    That leaves us with a theoretical capacity of only 6120 pphpd.

    If we pour more money into the system and buy more trains then 10,200 pphpd is possible.

    If we spend even more money and increase the fleet to 45 trains, and start using both platforms at Waterfront then 90 second headways could be achieved in Vancouver.

    I don’t know how long it takes to run a train from the double track to Brighouse, unload, load, return to double track and safely move the points. 3 minutes maybe? Is the same thing possible on the YVR branch? If so then 90 second headways are possible assuming half the trains operate on each line.

    Practically speaking the system should be adjusted for load. More trains should operate on the Brighouse branch. Headways there might be only 150 seconds. Is that enough time to turn trains around? If not we’re going to have to pour yet more money into the system to rebuild a section of guideway.

    So after spending hundreds of millions of dollars we might be able to get capacity up to 13,400 pphpd.

    Longer trains would require selective door operation or re-building all the stations. One is an operational nightmare and the other is unaffordable.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    More news has come out to clarify that poorly written article. 100,000 is the number at which the system begins to pay for it’s own operational costs. Above that it will begin to turn a profit.

    More trains are coming into service in 2011 in line with the P3 contract. We can assume that the line has broken even and will continue to improve financially as more riders hop on.

    I know Zwei will talk about conspiracy theories and Translink fudging the books, but you can no longer deny that this line was a terrific success.

    Zweisystem replies: What success? We have built a $2.5 billion metro with extremely limited capacity and which hasn’t seemed to attract much new ridership except for casino bound seniors; we have only Translink’s word for it that Ridership is nearing 100,000; and congestion on the line can be attributed to:

    1) Overstating vehicle capacity and funneling more bus passengers than the metro can handle.
    2) Limited station capacity due to a single stub track, which limits capacity, causing station congestion, giving the appearance of overcrowding.

    As there is no independent audit of ridership or apportioning fares, TransLink can sing all the hosannas it wants, the Canada Line is an international embarrassment: the only metro in the world so built that can’t carry the ridership than a simple streetcar line!

  7. David Says:

    100,000 passengers isn’t enough for a subway to break even, especially with most travelling on discounted fares (concession fare, U-Pass, employer pass, monthly pass, FareSaver).

    Not only that, but whatever money is collected from those passengers has to be split between all the services they use (Coast Mountain Bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and Canada Line). But how can that be done unless each passenger is tracked all the time to know exactly how much they use each of the 4 services?

    Since the system can’t track passengers the only possible answer is that InTransitBC is getting a flat fee per boarding and that has got to be a terrible deal for TransLink and thus for us the taxpayers.

    Consider this:

    Passenger 1 is a healthy adult who walks to and from Canada Line occasionally and pays with FareSavers.
    Passenger 2 has a monthly pass and uses transit for all journeys. Canada Line accounts for just 1/4 of her transit usage.
    Passenger 3 is a U-Pass holder in South Surrey who needs a long distance, zone crossing bus to reach Canada Line and a second bus to get to school.
    Passenger 4 is my father-in-law who is legally blind and therefore travels free.

    1. Canada Line is entitled to a fare
    2. Canada Line is entitled to 1/4 of a monthly pass or roughly 20% of a fare
    3. Canada Line is entitled to 1/4 of a U-Pass or roughly 12% of a fare
    4. Canada Line is entitled to nothing

    Anyone want to bet that Canada Line is being paid just 1.32 fares for those 4 passengers?

  8. BCPhil Says:

    @David, there is plenty more capacity in the Canada Line without construction. You seem to have forgotten that at Waterfront there are 2 platforms, so the departure of trains could be staggered to increase their dwell time at the terminus.

    However I don’t think that is necessary. Most of the day the trains currently spend under 2 minutes in Waterfront Station before departing, and that is enough time. My experience has been that the train fully loads well in advance of departure, but there are always a few people running to make the train, and sometimes people at the doors keep them open so they can make it. If trains were more frequent, people wouldn’t feel the need to run.

    WRT fare recovery, Translink (as a whole) has a 41.9% farebox recovery ratio. NYC is at 36% (and their train ridership is greater than all other rail systems in NA combined). LA is at 30%, Boston is at 43.7%, Chicago is at 44.3%. We are right up there with some cities that are many times larger than ours with well established systems.

    Compare that with Europe: Paris=43%, Munich=42%, Milan=28%, and Brussels with it’s extensive tram system is at 28%.

    @Zweisystem: Portland has spent over $3.5 billion on their MAX network, for a grand total of just over 120,000 weekday boardings. That’s on their entire system. The ridership of just the Canada Line is 20,000 boardings shy of the entire MAX network. $2.5 billion seems like a steal comparatively.

    Zweisystem Replies: A steal really? Portland has 4 LRT lines (5 if one counts the Hillsborough Downtown Line as a separate line) two streetcar lines and a commuter rail line. Our 3 metro lines and commuter rail line has now cost the taxpayer well over $8 billion. Some deal. As well, Portland’s ridership claims hare verified by annual independanrt audits, something that TransLink has never allowed. Nice if you can get away with it!

  9. David Says:

    BCPhil needs to improve his reading skills.

    2 minute headways are currently impossible because there simply aren’t enough trains in the fleet. When InTransitBC buys more trains then it will be possible.

    I mentioned using both platforms at Waterfront when I talked about getting headways under 2 minutes. 4th paragraph of my June 3 post.

    Can Phil confirm that it takes less than 180 seconds for trains to get from the double track in Richmond/YVR, into the station, unload, load, depart the station, clear the switch and still have a safety factor before the switch is thrown for the next train?

    If that’s possible then both lines could operate at 3 minute headways (90 seconds combined) provided a sufficient number of new trains is purchased.

    If that’s not possible then the limiting factor is the single track. Fixing that problem will require re-building some of the guideway to accommodate two tracks. That’s not going to be cheap and will definitely disrupt service.

    Finally I said that more trains should be on the Brighouse line than the YVR line. That means train reversal time at Brighouse needs to be 150 seconds or less in order to best utilize the rolling stock.

    WRT to fare recovery I don’t care whether the fare box recovers 50% of operating costs or only 10%. The point is that any and all monies received for the operation of the system must be apportioned based on usage. The Expo line is only entitled to a fraction of revenue based on the number of passenger-km it provides versus the total passenger-km for the entire system. Just because Canada Line is privately operated doesn’t change the fact that it’s only entitled to receive a fraction of the money proportional to use.

    What Zweisystem and I both believe is that TransLink does not even attempt to apportion funds based on usage. I believe they simply take enough money out of the pot to cover the cost of the rail lines and whatever pathetic amount is left goes toward the buses. Thus, as the Comptroller General stated, SkyTrain looks like it breaks even while the buses appear to be a huge drag on the entire system.

    SmartCards, if fully implemented on all vehicles and used responsibly, could provide the data needed to accurately apportion revenue, but there’s no guarantee that TransLink will actually use that data to apportion revenue. In fact it’s likely the data will remain highly secret and TransLink will continue to issue whatever BS news releases it wants the public to see.

  10. Looking for the rest of the ridership story – From The North Shore News « Rail For The Valley Says:

    […]… Single track stub stations at YVR and Brighouse will constrain capacity. […]

  11. Michael Says:

    I was pretty “shocked” when I first got onto the Canada Line, the size of the platforms alone was shocking how undersized it was.

    Growing up in Stuttgart, Germany, a city roughly the same size as Vancouver the idea of Public Transit in North America still surprises me.

    Some example from my hometown:

    Back in the mid 70s they decided to build a new “Fast Rail Line” to connect outlying areas to the city. They decided to go with Standard Gauge, train sets that could be combined to up to three trains. Originally they started with six lines, then they tunneled through a part of the Valley in order to connect the airport in the early 90s.

    Meanwhile they also upgraded the streetcars from narrow gauge (like build in Toronto) to Standard Gauge, with no stairs.

    Why there is no thinking “ahead” in Canada one has to wonder. What could have been built for 2.5 billion? It seems what is being build in public infrastructure always only deals with the now, never with the future and maxing out these things out of the box is considered a “good” thing.

    On the Canada LIne, two weeks ago I spoke with a guy who’s partner is involved in the Canada Line, according to him there is capacity on the line to double througput, the question is: Will there be money to buy the trains necessary?

    Zweisystem replies: Building metro in Vancouver has nothing to do by providing better public transit, it has everything to do with property development: it’s all about densification.

    Stuttgart’s tram system was metre gauge, where Toronto’s streetcar and metro system are ‘broad gauge’ or the track width is wider than standard gauge by about one inch.

    The issue about capacity is interesting as we don’t know what the present capacity of the Canada line is. The question is: “Double what number?”

  12. David Says:

    At the recent transit conference TransLink listed Canada Line capacity as 6400 pphpd based on 16 trains per hour carrying up to 400 passengers each.

    Before the line opened train capacity was listed as 334 passengers per train which more closely matches capacity claims by all manufacturers and is similar to the standee density TransLink uses to calculate the capacity of SkyTrain cars.

    Why can’t TransLink be consistent?

    I visited Stuttgart in 1991 and was impressed with how they had integrated narrow and standard gauge trams into one system.

    As zweisystem says public transit spending in BC is a tool for securing votes for politicians and profits for land developers.

    Zweisystem replies: I beleive that the metregauge trams in Stuttgart are no more.

  13. Michael Says:

    “I visited Stuttgart in 1991 and was impressed with how they had integrated narrow and standard gauge trams into one system.”

    They were thinking long and hard how to do it and it wasn’t cheap, but the move to the larger trains was necessary and it was a question on when you want to pay for it, now or a later and pay a lot more.

    They actually did some really amazing engineering feats:

    1. They started out building new trains for the rack railway based on the new train design:

    2. They then converted one of the smaller lines over to the new train design, initially these trains had foldable steps as most of the platforms weren’t raised yet (they are running on a lot of stretches of the road at grade level).

    3. When they had fixed the kinks they started converting lines, this included massive laying of new tracks, while at the same time they started putting a lot of the trains underground in order to free up road space. No, not for cars but for pedestrians, they ended up widening sidewalks or closing down entire roads for car traffic (e.g. if this would have happened in Vancouver, Robson Street would be a pedestrian only zone).

    4. As they rolled out more and more lines they started building new platforms, higher ones, with ramps on both sides for people to get on and off, on lines where old and new ones were running they build new platforms while keeping the old ones for the old trains.

    5. Lines that were winding up and down the hills they decided to tunnel through. E.g. one of the lines I was riding almost every summer to go to camp started out as winding up and down a steep hill, by the time I left the new trains were in place and they had tunneled through that hill, shortening the train travelling times and putting a short bus line in that served the communities on the hill.

    6. Lastly they tore out all the old tracks (and switches!) and converted all over to the new trains (also having removed the foldable steps in the process).

    This entire changeover probably took close to 20 years from start to finish.

    “As zweisystem says public transit spending in BC is a tool for securing votes for politicians and profits for land developers.”

    Yeah, after four years here I understand that most things here aren’t done for the people but for “business”. Still pisses me off though.

    “Zweisystem replies: I beleive that the metregauge trams in Stuttgart are no more.”

    They have kept one line if I remember correctly as a “historic train” but when they moved the main depot they shut down the last metregauge regular line as well. I do have fond memories of it though, the high whining sound from the little electric engines and racing through tunnels watching out was quite something when I was younger.

  14. J.T. Says:

    100,000 capacity? Nonsense! Canada Line has infrared passenger counters in the overhead signage as you enter the station – look up the next time you enter. During the busiest day of the 2010 Olympic Winter games, the system counted 289,000 passengers on Canada Line only using all trainsets with noreserves. Granted, the trains were jammed moning ’till night – not tolerable on a daily commute but a fact nevertheless. the trains can be extended, as can most platforms – this is already built in. So ‘capacity’ of 200,000 – 250,000/day are entirely realistic. Don’t let facts get in the way of your opinions!

    Zweisystem replies: If what you say were true, we would have every transit agency in Europe and North America rushing here to see the phenomenon.
    Now, The Canada line does use infrared detectors, but does Translink release those numbers, or (as I suspect) rely on the way they do things on the SkyTrain Lines, which is guesstimates.

    The capacity of the Canada line is about 6,000 pphpd, which in theory, may be able to carry 285,000, but not practically; in fact the small stations would prevent passenger egress and restrict ridership. As usual practice with SkyTrain, TransLink most probably overestimates ridership by 15% to 20% on the Canada line. THIS IS WHY WE SHOULD HAVE ANNUAL INDEPENDENT AUDITS OF RIDERSHIP ON THE THREE METRO LINES.

  15. Michael Says:

    the trains can be extended, as can most platforms

    Really? This isn’t the first time I am hearing this statement about the platforms being made. Ironically enough nobody I know who is actually involved with the Canada Line from an engineering standpoint ever made that statement.

    So, please tell me. Where exactly are you going to extend the platforms? I looked beyond most of the platforms along the line after I heard that statement the first time and I cannot see how you would extend any of the downtown stations or even the ones further up the line that run above ground, not without some serious re-building of the stations / digging up the tracks again.

    There is also the problem that most of the downtown / uptown stations have limited access, the stairs at Cityhall for example are just not wide enough to allow enough passenger throughput.

    As for the numbers during the Olympics: Yes, they did squeeze more people onto it, they also had queues and lineups that could last quite a while to get people on. Sure, if you want to spend half an hour in line to get onto a train Translink can help you, but at that stage most people rather drive.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    The stations currently have 40m platforms. Spaces were dug out in the underground stations and tracks were aligned such that 50m platforms would be possible without massive renovation. This would allow for a “C” car to extend the size of each train.

    In addition the system itself can handle more train sets, I believe up to 28 or 30 total. Right now it has 20 and runs 14 on a daily basis.

    zwei’s freakout aside, the system did handle close to 300k passengers per day during the Olympics. There were big lineups at some points and as mentioned, this is not the type of operation that is sustainable.

    However with 28 3-car trains running, the capacity could be roughly 3x what it is today.

    Zweisystem replies: So the Canada line, with a fraction of the cars that use the Expo Line, carried more passengers than what the Expo Line carries? Don’t think so. During Expo 86, BC Transit tried to pull the same thing, while not increasing capacity, claimed impossible ridership numbers during the last week of the event. What Translink claims, isn’t necessarily factual, but when there is no independent audit of ridership, Translink can claim anything it wants!

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Zweisystem should really calm down on this whole matter and go [Expletive deleted]. After reading this article I can clearly see an overwhelming bias towards hating this Canada Line for no specified reason. And I live here in Toronto and know how important subway is to people’s commutes. Although I have never experienced the Canada Line your opinions are clearly falsely projected and you even know it. [edited for libel] There’s no [expletive deleted] point in convincing yourself of this nonsense and telling others about it. 100,000 is way more than some of the lines even in Toronto.

    Zweisystem replies: The Canada Line is wrong for two reasons: 1) It is a $2.8 billion metro/subway built on a route that clearly is nor going to generate the 300,000 to 400,000 riders a day to sustain it. 2) There is little chance that the Canada Line metro will be extended to serve the needs of Richmond.

    Toronto has built some very expensive subway lines and there is no coincidence that the TTC’s financial problems are associated with subway construction, operation and maintenance. Subways are only expensive to build, they are expensive to operate and unless subways carry the huge loads that they are designed to carry, the result is higher fares, subsidies, and taxes.

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