1. In the past, I have heard from engineers involved in the building of the Millennium line that there was a concern that SkyTrain technology might be phased out due to its expense and single builder, so the line was structurally built to handle LRT. The Canada Line third rail cars are not SkyTrain technology as we know, so the possibility exists that a LRT technology- tunnel or ground level- might be used from Arbutus to UBC or even closer to VCC particularly if the False Creek line is considered. It would also be more acceptable to local residents if rail transit is really ever considered for the Arbutus line in the future.

  2. Another outrageous taxpayer disaster. Governments picking favourites that fall flat on their face. I visited the lavish and plush Bombardier plant in Burnaby when they were making rail cars for the Millennium Line that runs from New Westminster to Vancouver. A beautiful facility. You could have shot a James Bond flick in there. Clean, modern, large bright offices. Taxpayer subsidized. Then; poof. Gone. The Canada Line has Hyundai cars. Excuse me. How did that happen? Now Vancouver is going back to Bombardier for a little line to Kitsilano? Cute. Are they going to call it SkyTrain and make them in Burnaby again?
    What a disaster. TransLink purchased that earlier facility and we presume it’s underused. It certainly isn’t manufacturing. Must be empty with just a few maintenance operators. Meanwhile TansLink is cutting bus services for seniors and disabled people in Champlain Heights and everyone in Ocean Park and South Surrey.
    Thank god we’re all rich.

  3. The Canada Line has Hyundai cars because the efficiency of using the same cars on all lines wasn’t allowed to be considered in the bidding process and because the consortium that bid with Bombardier followed the original instructions and proposed a mix of bored tunnel and surface running on Cambie. The Hyundai group went with cut-and-cover to offer lower construction costs. Had they been required to compensate for the 3.5 years of mess on the surface, the Hyundai bid would have had to have been higher and perhaps a modified Bombardier one might have won.
    Bombardier cars operating on the Canada Line would have been quieter because the axles can steer around corners. A different bunch of designers and engineers might have also found a way to reduce the curvature of the track around QE Park and banked the corners to permit higher speed through that section. It’s rather hard to believe anyone with an engineering degree specified flat corners.
    The NDP changed the Millennium Line from low cost European LRT to SkyTrain so they could claim to be creating more jobs in BC. As you note those jobs didn’t last long because virtually no other jurisdiction is interested in Bombardier’s mini metro system.
    TransLink is cutting bus services because you and your friends all voted No in the referendum.

  4. Funny that. The Mayors Council 124 page document says:
    Sufficient capacity in the current bus system exists to accommodate expected population and employment growth on many corridors and in many communities. Persistent overcrowding and pass-ups are currently limited to a select number of corridors and times of day. Transit service investments would increase bus service by 6% over the ten-year plan period, a total increase of about 310,000 annual service hours.”
    As we can clearly see TransLink only says that they want more money for EXPANDING services. Nothing ever said that voting NO would mean cutting services within a few months.
    Now the public are being punished for voting down their plan. We get it.
    What a nasty spiteful streak they have.

  5. “Nothing ever said that voting NO would mean cutting services within a few months.”
    What an absurd claim. That point was made repeatedly during the campaign.
    The Mayor’s Council plan lays it out quite clearly: Costs were estimated to rise 6.9% per year, due to population growth and inflation. Meanwhile, revenues were not keeping up. Transit fare revenue was shown to be climbing with ridership, fuel tax revenue was dropping as people are driving less and/or consuming less fuel, and property tax and fuel tax revenue are capped by legislation. The net increase in revenue was shown to be 3.6% per annum. The gap in those two meant that without new revenue sources, services would have to be cut. They won’t be cut on the Skytrain lines because those have a higher cost recovery. They will be cut on the more expensive to operate bus routes, most likely. And so here we are. It isn’t a surprise at all, except perhaps to those who thought that money would just show up from somewhere else if the no vote carried the day.

  6. Jeff is just trying to push his agenda. I quoted from the Official Plan that was presented and approved. The wording states that sufficient capacity exists, it’s expansion that the extra money was needed for.
    Since you work closely with TransLink Jeff, perhaps you can pull up a quote to refute their statement in the Plan and show that your claim is not just bluster.
    By the way David; many of my friends voted Yes.

  7. I don’t work closely with Translink, but I am able to read and understand the plan the Mayors put forward. The official plan. The one that talks about the funding gap.
    “Rapid population growth and inflation mean that costs are growing every year. And, while we’re seeing some growth in transit fare revenue, fuel sales tax revenue is declining every year because of less driving and more fuel efficient vehicles. Ultimately, the growth in current revenue sources is not keeping up with the growing need, meaning that the cost/revenue gap continues to grow every year”
    Full details, with figures referenced above, are here; see page 33
    Lots of quotes available from various leaders on cuts to service should the plan not pass. Surely this isn’t a surprise. Maybe someone should call the leaders of the no side campaign and ask them where the buses are.

  8. Eric said: “Funny that. The Mayors Council 124 page document says:….”
    To close the loop on that, your quote is from page 8 of the Mayor’s Council Investment Vision (Appendices), the 124 page document. It dates from June 2014, prior to the campaign. Notably, it included (on page 110) the details I provided above, about the funding shortfall for current levels of service. it was in Appendix F, How to Fund. That appendix includes lots of financial projections that explain the funding shortfall.
    Full 124 page document here:
    By the time of the campaign, in March 2015, the Mayor’s Council had summarized the effect of a No vote in terms of service impacts. Link provided above. Eric, I trust that clarifies for you that you were quoting from an earlier document, and cherry picking a quote to try and make your case, when your own link included the full details. Bluster indeed.

  9. Lots of quotes you say Jeff but none you can find right now. Where have I heard that before?
    Perhaps when TransLink slows down from throwing their own executives under the bus with a fat wad of our cash they will start to try and understand. Maybe. The best advertising move that TransLink could do is to improve service. If they think that reducing service will do anything other than turn more people away from them and and from giving them any more money they are dreaming and doomed.

  10. Eric: Finding quotes isn’t difficult. One could always use Google. Let’s do that for you.
    Google “translink service cuts”. The first response I get is a Vancouver Sun article with an interview with the interim CEO of Translink, from June 27th 2015.
    The quote is: “If anyone thinks that in a No scenario we can move on or even deliver the status quo, we can’t,….”
    Full article here:
    So when you said above that Translink had a “nasty and spiteful streak” you were basing that on your misreading of a quote from the June 2014 Mayor’s Plan, while leaving out the rest of the paragraph that talked about service cuts on some routes even with additional funding if the vote passed. Obviously with a No vote there would be even more cuts.
    When it was pointed out that your own source discussed the funding gap, in a later section, you then doubled down on denial.
    When the funding gap was then clarified for you, you doubled down again, suggesting that there are no quotes about this challenge from the time of the campaign.
    Note: Correct link for the Mayor’s Council 124 page appendices is here:

  11. Nice try Jeff but it really falls short. The commentary was about being advised that a No vote would result in service reductions. Your quote from the June 2015 Vancouver Sun by Mr 35,000 dollars-a-month-on-top-of-his-other-salary, and now departed, Doug Allen was AFTER the voting had been closed.
    Incidentally, nobody thinks Doug Allen being brought in as CEO II, after CEO I, Ian Jarvis was kicked down the corridor was any help the Yes side at all.
    Perhaps you would like to try again, bearing in mind the chronology.

  12. “Voting “No” is not a vote for the status quo. It is a vote to cut service per person: less buses, less SkyTrain service, and less Seabus service, because there won’t be any funding for the current system to grow as the population increases.” – Gregor Robertson, March 15 2015
    It isn’t tough to find the quotes. But the best info is in the information linked above, which shows the consequences of a no vote very clearly. How could anyone think that with a shrinking revenue base, inflation, and demands for more services as population grows, that somehow there would be no reductions in service levels? It is not logical. The funding backgrounder distributed by the mayor’s council during the campaign was very clear.

  13. I will accept that some cuts were planned regardless of the referendum outcome. They were the result of the financial reviews of TransLink that strongly suggested “optimizing” service levels. In other words, cut service on poorly subscribed routes so service on other routes could be maintained or perhaps improved.
    What we have is the classic shape versus serve debate in public transit. Clearly the current mood of the Provincial government and the public is that serving existing demand should be the priority: services that aren’t pulling in enough customers should be cut because they’re too much of a strain on the overall financial picture.
    If the will of the people is that transit should only exist where demand warrants then we should anticipate a complete halt to expansion into new areas and further cuts to existing service that isn’t pulling in enough customers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *