YVR Lutyens, in a comment to the post below, provided a lot of great data that might otherwise be missed unless I reprinted it here as a separate post.  I’d certainly welcome response from Portland readers.

Portland may have things going for it like good coffee and great beer – I am a fan of the small block pattern downtown – but skepticism and criticism of its transportation policy are well founded. Unless you are Wendell Cox, Portland just isn’t a transportation success story.

There are successes like the increase in cycling, but the other transport metrics aren’t great and aren’t improving much. A comparison with Vancouver is telling:

Here are the APTA daily ridership stats in thousands for 2012 Q2 for Translink and Trimet:

Vancouver:

Skytrain:           397.2
Diesel Bus:       609.2
Trolley Bus:    230.0
Total:             1,273.5

Portland:

MAX:                 132.8
Bus:                    201.5
Total:                339.7

(Numbers don’t total because there are some extra things like commuter rail and Seabus.)

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These statistics favour Vancouver in several ways:

•        They don’t include Portland Streetcar at about 11,000 per day

•        C-Tran in Vancouver WA has about 20,000 per weekday so that would be more than Abbotsford Mission which is probably around 8,000 per weekday

•        These are unlinked rides, so Vancouver has an edge with a transfer based system

•        Vancouver is a shade larger

But even so, Vancouver just demolishes Portland.

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The difference shows up in mode share statistics as well. These are from thetransportpolitic.com, October 13, 2010:

Vancouver – Translink:

Auto           73

Transit       14

Walk            11

Bike               2

.

Portland – MSA:

Auto           81.52

Transit        6.08

Walk              2.13

Bike               3.17

The Portland MSA is broader than Translink’s operating area as it includes Vancouver WA. Both data sets are trip diary data sets which aren’t the most accurate and the US data is just commuting trips. This would explain part of the walk difference, but it doesn’t help transit because transit use is usually higher for commuting than for other travel. US data doesn’t add to 100% which shows how wobbly it is.

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These are the statistics for the City of Portland:

Portland – City:

Auto         70.1

Transit      11.5

Walk             5.8

Bike               5.6

Aside from cycling, they aren’t great either. City of Vancouver transit numbers over 20%.

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The transit gap is borne out in the financials of the transit agencies (in thousands):

Translink Fare Revenue – 2011:                                   444,743

Trimet Fare Revenue – Year Ending June 2012:   140,513

And we think our transit agency has budget problems. I think both of these include bus and station advertizing but those numbers will be negligible. Neither agency covers the whole metropolitan region. The outer suburban agencies aren’t much but probably a bit higher for Portland.

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Sources:

http://trimet.org/pdfs/publications/2012-audited-financial-statements.pdf

http://www.translink.ca/~/media/documents/about_translink/corporate_overview/annual_reports/statutory_annual_report/2011.ashx

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Portland has invested a little more than half of what we have in capital costs, and provides a greater operating subsidy per ride, yet with all that investment, it is no better than Seattle. In reality, Portland just isn’t a transit intensive city. The youtubes for a day in the life of transit in Vancouver and Portland also illustrate the point. Translink’s is just busier.

Of course there are other qualities to a transportation system beside transit ridership statistics. There are things that make life more pleasant or fun. Like Portland’s cycling infrastructure, downtown streetcar and possibly the aerial tram. But there is nothing like poor frequency to take the fun out of transit use, and Portland is plagued by poor frequency. Where MAX is interlined, it runs at a reasonable frequency, but most of the legs of the system run every 15 minutes or so. That really isn’t rapid transit.

It is possible that Portland actually is great, just that Vancouver is actually even more great. But I look Vancouver’s transportation system and see many things that aren’t that great, and Portland is worse on nearly every metric.

At least they have beer.

Comments

  1. As a Portland reader, I’ll chime in.

    On one hand, this is rather unfair and snarky. You have to consider Portland in the context of U.S. cities. Most cities our size don’t have anywhere near the level and quality of transit we have here. People cry about how great Portland is because, if you live in Toledo, Ohio or Indanapolis, Indiana or so forth, you don’t even have this. Portland’s level of transit quality — even after cuts made in the Great Recession — is high.

    This said, there are some fair critiques, and reasons for them. Density isn’t nearly as high in Portland. While you guys have all these high rise sprouting satellite cities like Burnaby and Richmond, we’ve barely got that with Vancouver (WA) and a bit growing at Hollywood. The Vancouver region is multipolar, Portland is still unipolar.

    While Portland historically kept its rail transit later than almost all other U.S. cities (streetcars to 1950, interurbans to 1958,) we also had some of the highest per capita auto ownership in the nation. We had the nation’s first gas tax and some of the earliest paved public highways for automobiles. We also built freeways through the urban core, less so than LA or SF, but more so than you. A lot of our growth was fueled by postwar suburban development, and our tech era growth (dating to the 1980s and 1990s onwards) was mostly in low density suburban Washington County, where companies like Textronix, Merix, and especially Intel locationed their suburban office and manufacturing park

    Never forget, then, that for all our pretentions, Portland is still a very American city.

    Another factor was the selection of light rail as our “rapid transit,” and this is where the comparisons are not fair. You cannot compare MAX light rail with SkyTrain because they are entirely different animals. We, for better or worse, didn’t think big when we began MAX in the 1980s. We viewed transit from a bus-centered perspective that saw any fixed guideway as an improvement and thus committed to a form that was limited by surface alignments through the urban core and short train lengths dictated by block size. A manned overbuilt streetcar mode — which is really what LRT is — is not nearly the level of service that an umanned grade separated heavy rail system is. We will never have SkyTrain’s density. Ever. It’s just not possible without completely rebuilding the entire 60ish miles of system.

    Interesting note, nobody here uses the term “rapid transit.” Ever. It doesn’t exist in planner lingo. We call it “high capacity transit” or HCT. The emphasis here is volume not rapidity, much to my chagrin.

    I should note there have been improvements. The Green Line MAX extension that opened in 2009 has almost no at grade street crossings and moves rather fast. In general, TriMet planning seems to be pushing LRT more towards Metro-like design, but surface alignments through downtown will essentially be a constricting factor on train length and train spacing for the next generation.

    Thanks to our urban growth policies, and our investments in rail infrastructure, things will probably improve. The region will densify, and this will drive transit ridership and transit demand. It’s only now, however, appx. thirty years after the UGB creation, that we are finally being forced to confront urban density. Things aren’t pretty. The very constituencies that advocated for the UGB and fought sprawl are now actively and vocally complaining about 3-4 story apartments being built in inner neighborhoods, and are now fighting the removal of minimum parking regulations because, after all, everyone is still going to buy a car, and they will just flood the neighborhood on street parking forcing out older resident’s cars, and transit isn’t good enough to rely on thanks to budget cuts (which really translates to everyone wanting high quality transit but nobody wanting to pay for it).

    Provincialism runs rampant and far, far too many Portlanders view growth as something they don’t want at all, rather than a characteristic of a dynamic metroplitan region. Condo and apartment towers are an ill, change is to be avoided.

    So when you consider all this, that we have made the progress that we have is a minor miracle. We could easily be Milwaukee, WI or Cincinatti or Cleveland. We aren’t nearly as transit rich as Vancouver, B.C., but we’re about as good as it gets for a mid size American metro.

  2. Much love for Portland amongst the Vancouver crowd, otherwise there wouldn’t be a post like “Multi-Modal Marval in Portland” in the first place. But I see how people could see this as a slam, and I agree with your points on Portland vs. other US cities. All relative I guess.

  3. I think “we could be a lot worse” isn’t really a very effective argument here.

    There was a fuss in the media here a few weeks when Metro, the regional government of Portland, released its Househould Travel Survey (link: http://library.oregonmetro.gov/editor/oahs_10232012.pdf).The survey mostly confirmed what many had assumed: the center city (downtown, as well as the historic streetcar neighborhoods to the immediate north and east) is doing quite well as far as mode-share, reduced VMT, and other metrics, but the benefits of transit investment haven’t made it out to the region as a whole, or even the far eastern parts of the city. Needless to say, the population of Portland mostly lives outside of those central sections.

    There are many parts of these well-served inner neighborhoods of Portland where transit lines converge and bike infrastructure is plentiful, houses have high walk scores, and so on, that provide a higher degree of choice of mode to residents. Sadly the level of investment does not extend to where many people work, in suburbs and distant neighborhoods. It is easy to think of Portland as a good transit city when you live in the Laurelhurst neighborhood and work downtown- just take the MAX. Its a completely different experience if you live in Laurelhurst and work in St. Johns, to the extreme north, or Vancouver, WA, or Hillsboro, or vice versa. Its an open question how to practically address these issues.

    Based on a lifetime of experience in Portland and four years in Vancouver, I do think Portland’s transit system is serviceable. It gets you where you are going. But rarely in Portland do you find the common Vancouver experience of walking to a bus stop (of 41st, Broadway, 4th, Main, and so on) and knowing without having to consult an app or schedule that there will be a bus arriving within a tolerable wait time. Trimet provides a mediocre service that many rely on, but it doesn’t have the network connecitons, frequency, quality of vehicles or level of buy-in needed to provide the truly emancipatory travel experience that gets people out of their cars.

  4. I think that we shouldn’t fall into the trap that so many urbanists make. As Jarret Walker Describes (interestingly born and transited in Portland and influencing vancouver), http://www.humantransit.org/2011/05/top-ten-rankings-the-1-way-to-confuse.html Transit is not a business. If it was, then why is the public subsidizing it. If it was a business, the taxi industry would cry out loud because like the bike share, transit steals “business” from taxi drivers.

    Transit is a public service that is similar to a swimming pool or community centre. Some Transit networks have decided to make themselves free. Of course, Trimet and Translink have similar fares, similar populations, yet it is still inappropriate to compare transit systems by cost or ridership.

    Because transit if a public service, attitudes to it, like any other government run agency, differ from city to city, even street to street in cities. Some feel that if they pay taxes, they should get at least some transit service (coverage goal). Others see the buses running empty in suburbs and whine that passups are happening downtown (ridership goal).

    It is inappropriate to compare transit systems because agencies that strive for a “coverage goal” will naturally have a higher cost/passenger, less ridership, but, lest we forget, transit is a public service. Optimization, what translink is doing, moves the agency towards a ridership goal. This looks good on paper, but the savings are marginal, it is mainly to show that Translink is actually doing ‘something’ to decrease costs.

    Side Note: as some have noted, Portland’s grid system has lasted for http://www.humantransit.org/2012/08/portland-the-grid-is-30-thank-a-planner.html 30 years, just dying in 2009 because trimet had to cut 15 minute service. This might cause the transit death spiral: Service decrease, ridership decrease, more service decreases……

  5. I think we also have to focus our comparisons not just on where we are now, but where we’re coming from. When Portland cancelled the construction of the Mount Hood freeway the city was already cut and scarred with numerous freeways, including some that completely encircle downtown. You can’t leave downtown without crossing a freeway somewhere very soon. That’s something that Vancouver never experienced, never got to, so of course transit is competing against a much more effective opposition in Portland than it is in Vancouver.

    There are many other things that you can point to but that alone is part of the reason – simply put, Portland dug itself deeper into the Motordom hole than did Vancouver. And so it’s hardly a fair starting line.

    Secondly, from a transit statistics point of view, looking at total boardings is useless. It tells us virtually nothing. Mode share is better, but even that comparison can get difficult depending on what the borders of the region’s are. So it is frankly irrelevant that Vancouver “demolishes” Portland in number of boardings.

    Mode share is a much more useful comparison, still, and does tell us a lot. It’s true that Vancouver has a much higher mode share than Portland. Seattle also has a higher transit mode share than Portland. That information is all available here: http://daily.sightline.org/2012/07/18/transit-smackdown-seattle-vs-portland-vs-vancouver/

    So it’s true that Portland relatively underperforms in transit, though more emphasis on the biking statistics – which are much more impressive than in Vancouver – help bring it a little into line. After all, those people who ride bikes are probably mostly not people who would otherwise be driving, but often people would be taking the bus.

    But this post goes beyond that simple comparison, beyond what is useful. In particular, it does so when it argues that Portland is somehow a wet dream of a fellow like Wendell Cox.

    This point is where the snarkyness comes out. Cox remains one of the biggest critics of Portland transit and urban growth policy – someone who in fact routinely holds up Portland as an example of an evil war on cars and suburbia or whatever he’s railing against, with the MAX investments and the urban growth boundary. To bring him up shows a level of snarkyness and contempt that I think is unbecoming and in problematic in any transit discussion.

    A more useful comparison would note that Portland is continuing to strive in the right direction. Right now, they are building a transit-only bridge to link the streetcar in a loop. The bridge will also carry the brand new Max Orange Line, a new line of MAX, and the city has been expanding the MAX system faster than Vancouver has with Skytrain, even if it’s not completely ideal.

    I can’t speak to a more intimate, first-hand knowledge of Portland – I haven’t personally been to the city, so anything I say should be taken with that in consideration. But purely looking at statistics I think the above comment misses the mark by a long shot.

    1. My continuing to strive in the right direction point is in relation to MAX at the least. The previously mentioned bus frequency cuts are a huge setback.

    2. I find it interesting how the 19km Canada Line has attracted more weekday ridership in 3 years than the entire 85km or so MAX has in 26 years of operation…. and this dropped last year.

      Faster expansion or not, you’ve got to provide a competitive transit service that people will actually use. The MAX isn’t really doing that job well…

  6. Hey Gordon!

    I’ve actually done a significant amount of research regarding the situation at Portland’s transit system and I have referred to a number of interesting data sets in my research. Portland is so far from a transit success story… in fact, it is an embarrassment.

    Whereas Vancouver’s commute-to-work mode share has probably been changing for the better (given the lower amount of vehicles entering downtown despite population growth), Portland’s has remained at a standstill despite billions in LRT investment – http://skytrainforsurrey.org/2012/02/26/portland-light-rail-modeshare-fail/

    TriMet is in even worse financial shambles than TransLink is. It has been unable to maintain a promised 15-minute frequent transit network, and schedules have been often extended on these routes to 17 or 20 minutes. http://www.humantransit.org/2009/11/portland-counting-by-17.html

    None of the Portland LRT lines are operating at frequencies that were promised when they were built. http://skytrainforsurrey.org/2012/05/28/portland-or-lrt-is-cost-ineffective-unable-to-operate-at-promised-frequencies/

    LRT ridership dropped last year. http://skytrainforsurrey.org/2012/07/28/portland-lrt-ridership-drop/

    I find myself wondering how is it that cities like Surrey are even able to use Portland as a transit role model… I wonder if the planners know of this. It’s a big concern for me.

    Daryl – SFU Transportation/Lecture program

  7. I love Portland. We visit a couple times a year. It’s like your cost of living is affordable enough that people there can “make” and “craft” local products and live a happy life. Up here, we’re just stores selling the same monolitic global stuff, trying to survive. Our highlight Robson street is just a mall of usual mall stores. We do have a small number of cool funky shops though — they sell Portland products in them. We even have a pub called “Portland Craft”.

    The problem you Americans have is that you don’t understand Vancouver’s insecurity culture. We constantly have to tell ourselves that we’re “World class” or “the best place on earth” or “everyone wants to live here”. We get giddy when we get mentioned in magazines. If they ever make a movie where Vancouver is actually Vancouver instead of a stand-in, we’ll all wet ourselves. So, that’s why you’ll see headlines like “Vancouver demolishes Portland”. I recommend you do what Toronto always does when we pull on their pants leg for attention, just shrug and say “meh”.

    1. Having lived in Toronto for a number of years, I’ve got to say that if any city suffers from an “insecurity culture”, that would be it.

      Also, Seattle.

      1. I think all of these cities do. For the record, we in Portland definitely do. We’re obsessed with being “world class” and do a LOT of naval gazing. I think when you aren’t a true top world city (e.g. London, New York, Tokyo, et al) but are on the make, you lean towards self absorbtion, boosterism, and latent inferiority complexes.

        Also for the record, from this side of the border, many Portlanders view Vancouver as urban paradise, or at least the pro growth, pro-metropolitanism ones do.

  8. Wendel Cox loves Houston. Houses are cheap. $100k or so for a decent one. You don’t need land zoning. He proposes we turn our ALR in Metro Vancouver into housing and build farms on the mountains if we have to, if it works in Italy to grow stuff on the sides of mountains it would work here too apparently. I pointed out to him that that took around 1000 years to develop to where it is today.

    He is a whacko that unfortunately shares the beliefs of too many people.

  9. Well, I do not know of any demographic statistics here, but ujust in intuitive terms, readers should know that the Canada Line serves an inernational airport, and also a huge Chinese Canadian population that may have different attitudes towards transit.

    There has also been an explosion of condo development along the Number 3 Road portion of the Canada Line in Richmond. It started before the line was completed, and has continued strongly. So comparing the results of the Canada Line to the Max Line in Portland may not be a simple comparison.

    1. The Airport branch of Canada Line is the least busy part of the whole system. People tend to assume airports are major destinations but think about it: you go to work say 240 times per year, and and the airport maybe 3 or 4 times. You’d have to be a very frequent flyer (two business flights every week) to even go to the airport as often as the job. Airport employment is actually the main source of trips to the airport, but that happens at really odd hours because of airport shifts.

      By the way, the Portland MAX also goes to its international airport (and it’s also the least busy part of the line).

      As for the ethnic propensity to ride, the Expo Line (not in Richmond), which runs 50% more often than the Canada Line — every 2 to 3 minutes — has a peak load problem – more passengers than fit during the morning rush. So other ethnic groups also seem to like the system.

      What really matters is the Portland system doesn’t run often enough, which is even worse than running a little slowly. (The speed difference from the Vancouver system isn’t a bif a discrepancy as frequency).

  10. This post isn’t a slam against Portland at all, and wasn’t really meant for Portlanders. If it was a slam against anything it was a slam against the Portland transit hagiography that is prevalent around here. If we are to take urban development and climate change seriously, as I do, we need to take a clear-eyed view of what works in the world. Portland’s transit share is less than Edmonton’s or Victoria’s, and that needs to be kept in mind when extolling the virtues of Portland’s transportation policy.

    And the transit idolization can have real negative consequences. Toronto seems to be embarking upon a daft LRT expansion plan, and its supporters regularly cite Portland as a model. I strongly doubt that these supporters know that they might just as well cite Edmonton.

    I have a bit of the zeal of the converted on the issue of light rail. I used to be a strong believer in light rail based transit systems and was disappointed when Glen Clark replaced light rail with Skytrain for the Millennium Line. But now I think he did us a favour. Aside from Calgary, light rail hasn’t been that successful in the US or Canada, especially when considering the cost.

    Like Calgary, Portland is building its newer light rail lines with more metro-like qualities. But costs are going up as well. The Orange Line under construction is $1.5 billion for 11.7km or $128 million per km. (The Canada Line was $115 million per km.) While I understand that the area around the Orange Line has got good capacity for long term growth and intensification, the current ridership projections are quite modest for this level of investment: 22,765 to 25,500 weekday rides by 2030.

    (I can’t stand Wendell Cox, but the point is that he might find things to like about Portland. Or at least Clark County.)

    Gordon: they didn’t like your headline.

  11. @yvrlutyens

    Well said. I used to be an LRT fan too and spoke out publicly against the decision to go with SkyTrain. Since then, SkyTrain has proven itself where for the most part, LRT has not lived up to the promise. The flexibility ends up being the problem and LRT systems end up being inefficient but still expensive compromises. The cheap easy surface parts are done first, then future lines and extensions end up being a lot more expensive. Either that, or they choose freeway corridors because they are less expensive. But who wants to live near a freeway or wait for a train there either.

    In the States, even after massive investment investment in LRT, heavy rail still accounts for 9 times the number of trips and the number of trips has increased by way more than LRT.

    Especially if a system is going to have significant sections underground or elevated, it really makes sense to have the whole line grade separated. Due to the 20% to 30% lower headways that are possible with automated grade separated systems, expensive underground and elevated stations can be made 20% to 30% shorter while having the same capacity as longer LRT stations. Likewise, 20% to 30% fewer trains and space to store and maintain the trains are required for the same ridership levels. The $4.6 billion Eglinton LRT that is over half underground is a prime example where automated grade separated rail likely would have been way more cost effective than LRT. They are only expecting up to 5,400 passengers per direction by 2030. The stations can accommodate 90m trains. If they went totally grade separated, they could probably shorten the platforms to 60m or even 50m saving a lot of money.

    1. I believe that the cost for Eglinton LRT was still significantly cheaper than a subway (by several billion I think) and since the at grade is on a wide boulevard (think King George?) and projected ridership is not that high it seems like a reasonable decision to me. Also pretty sure part of the decision was planning for a future at grade extension all the way to the airport that would not have been feasible as Metro. That said I believe Skytrain frequencies are a big part of Vancouvers transit success but we do have a place for LRT on places like King George …. lets just make sure the Broadway line continues to be grade separated.

    2. There are several big problems with the proposed Eglinton LRT Line. Cost being one. The corridor along Eglinton from Pearson to Kingston Road is around 33km. At Canada Line construction costs of $115 million per km, the whole line from the airport to Kingston Road would be $3.8 billion. In many respects Toronto is a lower cost environment than Vancouver and the route has fewer geotechnical difficulties, but even so, $5 billion is a solid figure for a high quality, high frequency metro service that is mostly underground. So what on earth is going on when the current LRT plan which only covers about half of the Eglinton route plus a retrofit of the Scarborough RT and is only partly buried cost $4.9 billion. And the proposed complete burial of the LRT line would cost $8 billion even though it to would only cover about half the total Eglinton route. There is something seriously wrong here. In Montreal, the high cost of public works has been linked to mafia involvement in the construction industry. I don’t think that anyone has suggested that this is a factor in Toronto, but there must be some reason why costs in Toronto are double or triple what they are in Vancouver. If this were gas prices, it would be the subject of a royal commission by now.

      The second big problem is the quality of service. The Eglinton corridor is going to be one of the most important in the city and it has huge development potential. The proposed LRT line is going to be too slow to adequately serve that corridor and grow ridership. It really doesn’t matter if it is cheaper to extend to the airport if the service isn’t useful when it gets there. The LRT proposal is also trying to provide local service and thus the stations are too close together. Real rapid transit shouldn’t replace local service or else it won’t be very rapid. The number of stations makes even less sense because they are boring the tunnels under Eglinton. (This is an area ideal for cut and cover construction.) Bored tunnels make the stations deeper and thus more time consuming to access (as well as more expensive to build).

      Third big problem is the negative impacts on pedestrian quality of the street where the line runs at grade. The proposed mock-ups of Eglinton show two LRT lines, a station platform, two bike lanes and four car lanes. This is essentially an eight lane road. This is not very pedestrian friendly. At many intersections without station platforms there will be left turn bays instead. Because the car lanes are already trimmed to two, there will be little opportunity to narrow the road in the future and create a more pedestrian friendly atmosphere. And for true rapid transit, the trains will have to travel quite quickly and restrict the number of cross streets which is an annoyance for pedestrians and cyclists.

      Fourth big problem is the process. Usually I find that there is too much focus on the process for these types of project, but here bad process is driving bad design. Part of the bad process is the political culture that is almost exclusively focused on the politics and personalities of city council and not about whether or not the plan is a good idea. These particular personalities do make for a good soap opera, but in ten years they will be irrelevant. Public transit decisions will be crucial for the next 100 years. Another part of the bad process is poor technical analysis at the TTC and Metrolinx level. I’ve actually read the studies and they are filled with nonsense. They state that the capacity of a bus is 50 when the capacity of a 40’ bus is more like 80 and the capacity of an articulated bus, which is the bus that everyone would use for this type of application, is more like 120 and can be crush loaded higher. There are many other false and disingenuous assertions in these reports. And what is missing is a table that simply compares the various options. A table like the one found at page iii of this report: http://www.sfu.ca/mpp-old/pdf_news/811-04-RAV%20Mae.pdf. I don’t know how one can have a useful debate about public transit without having the costs, travel times and ridership projections of the various options at the ready.

      OK that was probably a slam.

  12. Vancouver is simply ahead of Portland in terms of growth. It is the ONLY place in Canada that is not tundra-cold, and it has experienced a lot of growth since the 90’s (80’s?). And it is very constrained, geographically. Portland is simply less dense, and is developing a lot more slowly. The MAX is frustrating, and the recent cuts are deplorable, but Portland is playing the long game, trying to get transit in place to avoid future highways, building infrastructure to develop around. That said, Portland is pretty timid compared to Vancouver in torturing drivers (gas taxes, towing, limiting parking, etc). Anyway, the cities are so dissimilar, the comparison seems barely relevant. A final point: Vancouver’s rapid development has successfully filled the trains and buses, but is there a downside? Historic preservation, organic, architectural development, gentrification, diversity of shop spaces, living spaces; all of these seem to an issue in Vancouver, less so in Portland.

  13. Weighing in late here: it makes me positively wince about the thought of a surface level LRT along Eglinton St. That street cuts across some major arteries. Toronto, given its density and volume of commuters, cannot deal with inefficiencies of a surface level LRT. I travelled that street by bus for 2 different jobs from different subways stations for 7 years in Toronto. I was back last summer. Still busy.

    I am saying this in the context of now living in Calgary and using their LRT here, at surface. I find it too slow compared to Vancouver and Toronto where I lived and worked in both cities also.

    LRT also affects the flow of car traffic. It’s not a winning situation.

  14. Folks reading this from a stateside perspective need to understand that anything written in the US that highlights great achievements usually winds it’s way into english Canada.

    Because the Portland system performs so well within the US context and gets alot of written praise, (with a US audience in mind), Canadians often assume that Portland is something to aspire to for us as well.

    We need either continent-wide publications that place cities within Canada and US on the same spectrum, or a much louder Canadian voice so that Canadian readers can base their knowledge on a Canadian context, rather than a US one.

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