Gordon Campbell has a very bad reputation for not telling the truth, in fact he is a habitual teller of very tall tales.
The Premier’s statement in the following article, ” But you know the operating costs of the SkyTrain are about 50 per cent a year less than with light rail. And the ridership is two and a half times greater with SkyTrain.” is a complete falsehood!
A 1996 comparison with Calgary’s C-Train LRT shows that the Expo Line costs 40% more to operate than Calgary’s LRT (both about the same length), yet the C-Train carries more passengers!
“Mr. Campbell, to restore your credibility, please provide the same type of – accurate – data for SkyTrain as can be found on the Calgary Transit website for its light-rail system.”
Operating costs, Calgary C-Train (2006).
Vehicle Maintenance costs: $13.9M (2006)
Station Maintenance costs: $2.8M (2006)
Right of Way Maintenance costs: $2.9M (2006)
Signals Maintenance costs: $2.4M (2006)
Average annual power costs: $4.8M (2006)
Annual LRV Operator wages: $6.0M (includes fringe benefits of 21.57%) (2006)
Total – $32.8 million
A 2009 study done by UBC Professor Patrick Condon also showed SkyTrain as being very expensive to operate and in his study, SkyTrain had the highest cost to operate than any other transit mode in the study, which reflects much higher operating costs.
Mr. Campbell’s other statement that ridership is two times and half a much as LRT’s is pure fiction, both SkyTrain and LRT have the same potential capacities. To remind everyone, capacity is a function of headway & train length. This comment from the Toronto Transit Commissions 1980’s ART Study sums up SkyTrain potential capacity:
“ICTS (which SkyTrain was called at the time) costs anything up to ten times as much as a conventional light-rail line to install, for about the same capacity; or put another way, ICTS costs more than a heavy-rail subway, with four times its capacity.”
There is no independent study that shows that SkyTrain attracts more ridership than LRT, in fact at-grade/on-street light rail tends to be very good for attracting ridership.
There are other erroneous claims being made in the article and they will be dealt with later.
Mr. Campbell demeans himself with such claims, as he continues to demonstrate that truth is not in his lexicon. SkyTrain was built and will be built for reasons of political prestige and not what is best for the transit customer or the taxpayer. SkyTrain has failed to find a market domestically,in the USA and in Europe because it is both more expensive to build and more expensive to operate than its chief competitor modern LRT.
Mr. Campbell, Rail for the Valley demands honest debate for the future of transit in the region, not your half baked statements based on fiction, to pursue your political aims.
“Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when we first practice to deceive“, Mr. Campbell, your tangled web of anti-LRT propaganda stops here, next time, deal in fact.
Burnaby News leader
By Jeff Nagel – BC Local News
SkyTrain detractors should consider the benefits of the technology and not focus solely on the lower cost of building new rapid transit lines with at-grade light rail, Premier Gordon Campbell said.
“It does cost less in capital – it costs about $150 million less,” the premier said in an interview with Black Press, referring to price estimates for the Evergreen Line to Coquitlam.
“But you know the operating costs of the SkyTrain are about 50 per cent a year less than with light rail. And the ridership is two and a half times greater with SkyTrain.”
The decision to make the Evergreen Line a SkyTrain extension rather than a separate light rail line will ultimately move more people, faster at lower long-term costs, he predicted.
Campbell spoke Thursday, two days after the release of a new study from advocates who say a 100-kilometre light rail line from Surrey to Chilliwack can be opened on existing railway tracks for less than $500 million, compared to $1.4 billion for the 11-kilometre Evergreen Line.
Several mayors, including Surrey’s Dianne Watts, have lobbied for light rail for future lines.
Also critical to any transit expansion in the Lower Mainland, the premier said, is to ensure cities concentrate growth along transit corridors to support use of new lines while also making neighbourhoods more livable for walking and cycling.
“You can’t have an urban transit system at rural densities,” he said. “You have to actually give yourself a chance for transit to make ends meet.”
Campbell signed an accord with Metro Vancouver mayors Sept. 23 promising to explore a multitude of methods to raise more cash for transit expansion.
He said mayors are free to put on the table even contentious options like a vehicle levy or forms of road pricing, which the agreement notes can help shape how people choose to travel.
But he cautioned the key is to deliver good transit services that work and not merely try to use tolls or other fees to deter driving.
“You can’t punish people into transit,” he said. “People use the Canada Line because they love it. It meets their needs.”
Asked about public concern over the potential tolling of all three Fraser River bridges out of Surrey, Campbell downplayed the issue, saying the province determined in advance residents supported tolling the new Port Mann Bridge to deliver congestion relief.
“There’s always going to be someone who says ‘I don’t want to do it,'” he said, but cited the time savings for users of the Golden Ears Bridge.
“Think of the opportunities for connecting families, for moving goods.”
He said an “adult conversation” is required on the options to fund TransLink for the future.
Other parts of B.C. need transportation upgrades too, he said, adding the province will be hesitant about steering money to TransLink that deepens B.C.’s deficit or makes it harder to fund health care.
“If there was a simple answer it would have been done a long time ago.”