Posts Tagged ‘Gordon Campbell’

Prendergast’s parting words on Rail for the Valley

November 24, 2009

A couple weeks ago, it was announced that Translink CEO Tom Prendergast was quitting his position, and accepting a job as president of New York City’s Transit Authority. He had only joined Translink in July 2008, and now he has left! I am guessing he didn’t like what he saw.

Prendergast was as positive a force as could be expected in such an organization as Translink, run under the tightest of control of Premier Gordon Campbell.

Here’s an illuminating excerpt, his parting words on the possibilities of light rail for the valley (Surrey Leader, Nov. 24):

Kwantlen Student Association rep Nathan Griffiths said improved transit is needed to serve campuses in Cloverdale and Langley and asked about the potential to extend passenger light rail to the Fraser Valley.

“There’s really no impediment,” Prendergast responded. “It’s overcoming the cultural embracement of SkyTrain that has existed to date.”

He said TransLink is seeking to cut through the pro-SkyTrain “cultural bias” as it embarks on a careful examination of rapid transit technologies for line extensions west along Broadway and south of the Fraser.

Prendergast predicted the first light rail line that comes to the Lower Mainland will lead to much greater appreciation of its potential.

It’s interesting to think about this “cultural bias” towards Skytrain. Who actually has this bias? It isn’t residents or even politicians in the Fraser Valley: Not a single municipal candidate in Surrey the last election supported Skytrain expansion over light rail. Not a single candidate. Not one!

No, it’s the old-guard politicians of Vancouver, who were around for the previous Skytrain expansions and have the most personal stake in continuing to expand the Skytrain money hole. It’s Mike Harcourt, it’s Gordon Campbell, and others involved in Vancouver’s transportation decisions of the last 25 years.

To anyone who wonders why the problems with Skytrain often take centre stage on this blog, Prendergast answers the question.

To get light rail for the valley, we absolutely must cut through the pro-SkyTrain “cultural bias” that exists, not among the populace of the Fraser Valley, but among Vancouver’s political elite, who all-too-often take it upon themselves to make all the decisions for the rest of us.


From Radio 1130 – Cambie merchants still waiting for Canada Line business boom. Not coming? Yes, Zweisystem told you so!

September 13, 2009


Well the RAV/Canada line has been open for some time now and now one wonders where is all those subway passengers that were dying to shop on Cambie St., as promised by RAVCo. and InTransit BC?

Didn’t come? Well don’t hold your breathe, they’re not. It has been found in other jurisdictions where cut-and-cover subway construction has been done that it takes ten years for businesses to recouver financially. Unlike new light-rail lines, where adjacent business see about a 10% increase in revenue, businesses on top of a subway do not. The reason is simple; on-street/at-grade LRT transit customers see local businesses and with convenient stops can access them with little interruption of their journey. All subway passengers see is dank concrete and with widely spaced stations, seldom venture forth and patronize local businesses.

Zweisystem knew this, then why didn’t Gordon Campbell, Kevin Falcon, Susan Anton, Larry Campbell, TransLink’s planners, radio talk show hosts, reporters, and the rest who vaguely promised and/or spoke of a great upsurge in local business whence the RAV/Canada Line opened?

Dave White VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) | Saturday, September 12th, 2009 1:00 pm 

 It’s been nearly a month since the Canada Line opened, connecting downtown with Richmond and YVR. But Cambie Street business owners are still evaluating just what the line will mean for their businesses after enduring years of construction.

Leonard Schein with the Cambie Street Business Association says so far there hasn’t been a major spike in business. “We were looking forward to it, but the city is still doing some work and school is just back, and we’ll see over time how that does happen.”

Yip says her business is more likely to be successful with a solid customer base and community advertising.

Karyee Yip, who owns Honey Gifts on Cambie, isn’t expecting a boost because a station was never built in the Cambie Village. ‘It’s kind of disappointing that we lost a lot of business to build this line but we’re not really reaping a lot of benefits once the line is built.”

There is a good reason why the propaganda system works the way it does. It recognizes that the public will not support the actual policies. Therefore it is important to prevent any knowledge or understanding of them.”

February 26, 2009

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised to give $350 million for the beleaguered and ill planned Evergreen SkyTrain Line, which must bring joy to the hearts of the SkyTrain lobby and Bombardier Inc.

The SkyTrain/metro lobby is waking up to the fact that Fraser Valley residents want light-rail and they want it sooner rather than later. For almost 30 years the great SkyTrain propaganda machine ground on and on, spewing reams of phony claims, based on contrived facts. The so-called business case for the Evergreen SkyTrain line continues the sad saga of manipulating truth to insure more of the light metro is built .   It seems the Prime Minister has also been scammed to support this white elephant, with loads of Federal (photo-op) money for ‘politically prestigious’  and politically correct transit mega-projects. One guesses the Prime Minister is trying to buy votes for Conservative MP’s along the Evergreen line will operate; shades of Glen Clark’s Millennium Line.

The Vancouver Sun also embarrassed itself with a picture of a classic European style tram operating on-street instead of showing ugly elevated guideways which will be in place with the elevated automatic SkyTrain ART light-metro!  It seems the Vancouver Sun continues its long history of pro-SkyTrain propaganda and anti-LRT rhetoric, distorting facts to favouring SkyTrain.  The Evergreen Line will definitely not run at street level.

For the taxpayer, the Evergreen SkyTrain Line means higher property taxes; for the car driver, a car levy; and for the transit customer, higher fares, all brought to you courtesy of Gordon Campbell, Kevin Falcon, and now Stephen Harper. Harper’s and Campbell’s latest Evergreen Line gambit may backfire if Fraser Valley residents feel they have been ignored far too long and return MP’s and MLA’s not belonging to the federal Conservative or provincial Liberal parties.

As Abraham Lincoln said, “You can’t fool all the people all the time.”