Similar to YVR Airport’s approach, UBC may decide to kick in some money and other inducements and approach senior governments to help pay for running the Broadway subway from Arbutus to UBC. The distance is around 7 km, a longer distance than the currently-underway Broadway Millennium Line extension that stops at Arbutus.
Perhaps the owners and developers of the 92-acre Jericho Lands should get onboard for this ride —  making their development transit-oriented, benefitting themselves and benefitting the city as a whole.
Words from UBC’s President, Santa Ono:

Check out the plan.
ubc-extension
According to University News:

 Building on recent news of funding for the Millennium Line Broadway Extension to Arbutus, UBC’s Board of Governors today endorsed an advocacy strategy to accelerate completion of the SkyTrain line to the university’s Point Grey campus.
The need for improved regional transit connectivity emerged as a key theme during consultations on UBC’s new Strategic Plan and pursuing an accelerated investment in rail rapid transit to campus directly supports the plan’s three themes: collaboration, inclusion and innovation.
UBC’s Board endorsed an exploration of a direct contribution from UBC along with other partners towards the project . . .
UBC is B.C.’s third-largest employment centre after downtown Vancouver and Central Broadway, and one of the region’s busiest transit destinations with over 1,000 buses a day.

Kenneth Chan writes in the Daily Hive:

The amount and nature of UBC’s contribution will depend on the outcomes of technical work to understand project scope and costs, consultation with the UBC and external community, and discussions with other partners.
This contribution could include the following combination:

  • Land for stations (Example: similar to York University providing land for the recent Toronto-York Spadina Subway extension)
  • Charges collected from developers (Example: similar to the City of Richmond’s fees from the new developments to help fund the new Capstan Way Station)
  • A financial contribution from new revenues generated by rapid transit (Example: Vancouver International Airport provided the $300 million needed to build the Sea Island span of the Canada Line)

As Jordan McElroy writes at CBC News:

UBC’s board of governors passed a motion on Thursday endorsing talks with other levels of government to extend the rapid transit line, and to explore contributing to its cost, provided it doesn’t come from academic funds.
. . .  Funding for that [existing] extension has been mostly secured in recent months, and UBC Vice-President for External Relations Philip Steenkamp told the board of governors there was a “narrow window to accelerate completion to UBC.”
The university has not said how much of the estimated $3 billion cost it would be willing to provide, but suggested a contribution could come from the sale of land, developer charges, or an extra levy, similar to the Canada Line extension to YVR.

 

Comments

    1. Because it is so much better to have tens of thousands of students and staff clog the streets to and from UBC twice a day?

    1. Patrick please stay away from math. Assuming the UBC ‘subway’ is only used by staff and students at UBC (obviously not true) that is 60,000 people lets assume all have no kids and some are living together, so lets say 40,000 units. Lets keep it simple and say 1,000 sqr ft. Construction costs were at least $175 / sqr ft in Vancouver (2014 no land) so a 1,000 sqr ft appartment would cost $175,000 assuming no land. Times 40,000 units is 7 Billion. Perhaps you should go back to the free Prius example….oh wait…

    2. In addition to UBC paying for tunnel and 2 stations on the Endowment Lands and on campus, developers could pay for 2 stations immediately to the east.
      I could see a station at the Jericho Lands (Trimble & West 8th Ave.) as well as a “future” station on the University Golf Course lands – both at least partially funded by developers. These 2 stations would replace a single station at Sasamat, but the Jericho Lands station would still be within walking distance of the Sasamat retail area.
      That just leaves Macdonald and Alma stations (and tunnel east of the Endowment Lands) for the public coffer.

  1. Madness to miss this opportunity. Like it or not Vancouver is a growing city and it’s foolish to pretend otherwise.

  2. I agree…..call up the subway fairy and put one everywhere.
    While you are at it get me a new sailboat.
    The point is not subway good or bad. The point is the opportunity costs (i.e. what are you NOT buying instead?) of making a choice to extend an antiquated technology (according to Toronto where they are tearing their version down) with a “mini metro” vehicle with a tiny cross section.
    This tiny train mini metro is not used anywhere else. It is being discontinued by its makers. The reason is if you are going to tunnel why push through such a tiny train? Yet we seem married to it at all costs.
    The Millennium line is burdened with a system unable to meet the 20,000 ppdph capacity target without rebuilding every station out to Coquitlam (longer platforms) and changing the electronics (they are calibrated to the demands of the system) at a cost of an additional 5 billion. All for loads we wont see for 50 years. Demand on the corridor is now 7,000 ppdph right now.
    And the real solution for UBC is housing at UBC.
    And growth is something we control and currently growth is making it impossible for people who actually live and work here to stay. So who benefits?
    All of this is linked, None of it is good for the people who live here. That is the choice that confronts us.
    Tamim Raad head strategic planner at Translink had the audacity to say all this out loud. He was fired weeks later. This is the Province and city we live in. As Trump would say. Sad!

    1. “None of it is good for the people who live here.”
      That kind of mass assumption and generalization doesn’t make for easy conversation…
      Evergreen, Canada lines are built, both are wildly successful. But the next one will be a disaster! As will the next!

      1. The Evergreen and Canada Line are not wildly successful. This is a myth.
        Only 7 of the proprietary ICTS; ALRT;ALM;ART (SkyTrain has been renamed at least 4 times) have been sold in 40 years and only 3 are seriously used for urban transit. Of those 3, Toronto is tearing theirs down because it will soon become “life-expired”, just as our Expo Line will soon be.
        The Canada line is the only heavy-rail metro in the world, built as a light-metro and has less capacity than a modern tram, costing a fraction to build.
        No Innovia SkyTrain has been sold in a decade and Bombardier Inc. is soon to close manufacture of the LIM powered Innovia cars. When the production line is dismantled, that will be the end of it.
        Why no interest in this “wildly successful” transit system, simple, both the Canada Line and Innovia SkyTrain costs not just a lot more to build than LRT, it costs more to operate and maintain, than LRT and has less capacity than light rail.
        During the same period, that Innovia SkyTrain has been on the market, over 200 new build LRT systems have been built and many of the 350 existing “heritage tram systems have been upgraded to light rail.
        It is for this reason Innovia SkyTrain and the Canada Line clone have never been allowed to compete directly against light rail, because it will lose.
        The only thing that is “wildly successful” is demonstrating that our planners (those who have not been fired for stating the truth), politicians (who make the political decision to build with SkyTrain) and the population who accept Translink’s propaganda about SkyTrain being wildly successful, are nothing more than world class rubes.
        Innovia SkyTrain has had more wold exposure than any other proprietary transit system in the world and delegations from all over, come to study SkyTrain, then go back home and build with light rail.
        The sad fact is, Innovia SkyTrain has helped more cities, with more prudent politicians and planners, build with light rail.
        They came.
        They saw.
        They built with light rail instead.
        A fitting epitaph for the proprietary Innovia (SkyTrain) light-metro system.

    2. When you make an investment like this, you have to plan for the passenger loads that you will see in 50 years. The Expo Line is 33 years old and is at 80% of its maximum capacity.

    3. “None of it is good for the people who live here.”
      That kind of mass assumption and generalization doesn’t make for easy conversation…
      Evergreen, Canada lines are built, both are wildly successful. But the next one will be a disaster! As will the next!

    4. You need to be more selective in where you get info from. Rail for the Valley is not a credible source. For comparison census data is (see how Vancouver performs relative to other cities and the changes since 1986 and tell me which North American city over 1 million has got a better return for its transportion dollars).

    5. I don’t think there’s a single true statement in this post.
      And the propulsion system is the least important part of transportation technology. If you take that out of it, many cities build light automated metros, including world leaders in transportation such as Copenhagen, due to the benefits in frequency and operation costs that automation provide.

      1. There’s also driverless medium rail/light metro lines in Milan, Singapore, Moscow, Seoul, Taipei, London, Honolulu and Barcelona.
        If Patrick’s specifically looking for driverless LIM trains, there’s Tokyo, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Guangzhou, Toronto, Detriot and New York (JFK’s AirTrain).

    6. Toronto’s getting rid of Line 2 because the province forced it on them, and so they’ve soured towards any kind of RRT. We’re getting the same thing with LRT in Surrey, which is equally unpopular and may or may not kill other surface rail projects in the future.
      //The Millennium line is burdened with a system unable to meet the 20,000 ppdph capacity target without rebuilding every station out to Coquitlam (longer platforms) and changing the electronics (they are calibrated to the demands of the system) at a cost of an additional 5 billion. All for loads we wont see for 50 years. Demand on the corridor is now 7,000 ppdph right now. //
      It’s going to be completely overburdened, even though nobody’s going to be using it? Give me a break.
      Also worth noting is that the Canada Line only needs about 5,500 pphpd to break even and pay for itself by 2020. That’s the idea behind SkyTrain – “high cost, high reward” instead of “medium cost, low reward” like most of North America.

      1. This is truly funny: Building LRT may kill LRT. I suppose what you mean is, never building LRT will enable LRT to thrive.

    7. Patrick, who cares if there is an upgrade required to get past 20,000 pphpd. Honestly. If you think it’s that expensive to upgrade a line, then just install a parallel route. That shrinking of the “subway grid” benefits everyone, adding redundancy, increasing catchment and providing additional network benefits.
      I however know for a fact that you are exaggerating how much it costs to upgrade a system, especially an elevated one. Upgrading the electrical substations isn’t horrendously expensive. Just put a new unit in-between the old ones and feed power along the 4th and 5th rails from closer by. There’s no magic to a step-down transformer, and power rail capacity is related to how far the power needs to be transmitted.
      The biggest issue is simply moving people within the stations, and lengthening the platforms when needed.
      Burrard needs to be upgraded soon (Translink has already bid the prelim design), and Granville has already been upgraded. This is because not enough capacity was available in the existing escalators to clear passengers between the tight train headways. The Burrard upgrade won’t be cheap, but its unlikely to be ruinously expensive like you imply. It could be lengthened should capacity be needed.
      All the elevated and surface platforms however would be super simple to upgrade. Most track alignments seem to have about 120-140m of area where a platform could be installed easily. Lets just say we can fit a 7 car Mk3 Train. Using wikipedia capacity numbers and extrapolating, we get 931 people per train. At 105s headway, that’s 31,920 pphpd. At 75s headway, that’s 44,688 pphdpd.
      Seems like lots of capacity to me.

      1. Many Expo Line stations have been rebuilt lately (after only 30 years) for costs ranging from $25million to $60million. That IS ruinously expense. You could build ALL the stations for a similar LRT line from scratch for those costs.
        SkyTrain technology has not been adopted elsewhere in anything remotely considered successful. Why is that?
        Canada Line guideways climb or descend fairly abruptly out of several stations making platform lengthening problematic.
        Build LRT from Main Street/Science World to UBC and have redundancy through the central Broadway Corridor. Cheaper and more appropriate for the neighbourhoods it passes through.

        1. Holy crap Ron, you have no concept of what actual infrastructure costs if you think that’s expensive.
          Just a minor refurb on Burrard St. and some new pipes was $58M. An upgraded interchange for Brunette Avenue and Highway #1 is going to be several hundred million!
          For an LRT station you still need to do utility relocations, traffic management, weird schedules to avoid excess congestion, all sorts of engineering, etc. It’s not just a paver platform beside some train tracks.
          For a Skytrain station, you still need to periodically rehab or replace elevators, escalators, electrical systems, sensors, etc. Buildings don’t just last forever without upgrades and rehabilitation. These are stations that have literally seen hundreds of millions of passengers pass through them since they were built.

        2. The phrase “you get what you paid for” comes to mind. SkyTrain stations are indeed more expensive to build/repair/upgrade, but the ridership numbers prove that they’re worth every nickel of it.

        3. LRT makes no sense on Broadway whatsoever or anywhere where there are many road intersections. Perhaps on ground west of Blanca to #UBC or the very short section of the (failed) tourist train from OV to Granville Island, but then tunnel the ONLY option due to traffic congestion or property value destruction if elevated.
          Second route south from downtown would be useful, for example under Burrard to Broadway. Burrard bridge even has holes already in the concrete pillars as there was a plan for an electric railway before we decided sailboats are more important than people. The whole crossing of False Creek needs to be revisited. Needs 2-3 low level crossings for ped and bikes. Sail boats have to lower their mast to get under it. Big deal. Easily doable with a winch.
          Burrard plans see here http://www.vancouverhistory.ca/archives_burrard.htm “.. He went on to explain that the large base of the piers was required because at the time the B.C. Electric Railway had planned running a railway on a lower deck beneath the roadway. “That railway will never go in now,” Grant said. “The BCER is no longer interested.”

        4. Separate ROW almost complete from Main Street/Science World station to Broadway and Arbutus (with a short 2 block tunnels from False Creek to 6th and Fir). West of Arbutus, Broadway can lose 2 lanes to accommodate LRT. It can edge over to 8th to pick up Jericho lands and jog back to 10th on to UBC.
          Great connectivity to all three existing/proposed lines. Less massive development pressure. Visible = merchants benefit from exposure. Cheaper. Easily enough capacity. Catalyst for expanding LRT/tram network. More stations = more access.

        5. I doubt you’ve ever been on a sailboat Thomas.. Can somebody who has sailboat maintenance experience please put Thomas’s folding mast to bed for good?

        6. It has been done many times. Thomas ignores the responses.
          We sailed a 17’ open day sailer, moored summers at the marina just near Granville Island, many years ago. The vessel had a 25’ mast. We had to wait for the bridgemaster to turn the swing span to get out through the False Creek rail trestle bridge. Although we unstepped the mast when we trailered the vessel, it would have been crazy to do it when the boat was afloat. Maybe Thomas sailed different vessels in Edmonton.
          Thomas also ignores commercial traffic such as tugs, police and fire vessels, Coast Guard vessels, and larger power vessels. And the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

        7. Broadway can lose two lanes when the SkyTrain’s built all the way to UBC and the LRT can take over the bus routes. Surface rail is a non-starter otherwise.

        8. Ron: I have been on many and sailed many regattas. You loosen ONE piece, namely the headstay (also referred to as a forestay) and lower the mast. Once behind the bridge you tighten it again. An electric winch can be used to winch it up even with a one man operation.
          I cannot believe we are so beholden to yesteryear thinking of a old steam ship or sail boat era for FalseCreek. This is now a residential body of water. You may get a few dozen sail boats leaving on the best summer day, rarely more than 20. On most days of the year you can count them on one hand, or with one or 2 fingers.
          These new bridges can be high enough to let power boats through, or the “commercial” traffic you allege exists there. Maybe 10 m clearance. or 6m even.
          And for that we sacrifice the convenience of hundreds of thousands of pedestrians or bikers year round that would use these 1-3 new low level bridges across False Creek?
          Where is this vision for some of the mayoral or council candidates ?

  3. Let us talk about the real world and not “Lotus Land’ planning, based on sparkle ponies.
    In the real world, subways are not considered on transit routes until customer flows exceed 15,000 persons per hour per direction and in Europe, this number climbs to 20,000 pphpd because the success of the modern tram’s ability to carry high volumes of customers.
    So, let us look at the 99 B-Line. In peak hours the 99B operates at 3 minute headway’s or 20 trips per hour. The capacity of the articulated buses are about 110 persons, thus the 99B peak hour capacity is 2,200 pphpd!, ad in the other trolley services and customer flows are less the 4,000 pphpd.
    Now 4,000 pphpd is 11,000 pphpd below the number that would justify subway construction.
    In fact 4,000 pphpd is the bare minimum for a tram or light rail!
    The TTC now estimates that the 5.5 km, one stop subway, replacing the life expired SRT (their version of SkyTrain) is now put at $3.3 billion and may soar to $4 billion! Operating costs, just for the 5.5 km subway will add a further $40 million annually to the TTC’s operating costs.
    Operating costs, something that the subway lobby do not mention because subways are hugely expensive to operate.
    So, for the subway lobby, let us say the Broadway subway is built, what then? Who is going to use it?
    Not many because, except for cheap fare students and faculty, going to UBC, the subway will not attract the motorist from the car, simply because subways are very poor in attracting the motorist from the car.
    Oh, yes, the subway is not going to UBC, it is going to Arbutus and UBC bound types will have to transfer on to a bus, which will certainly mot attract the motorist from the car!
    The other problem of course is that the SkyTrain subway will have limited capacity, because the Innovia SkyTrain Lines capacity is capped at 15,000 pphpd via its operating certificate from Transport Canada and at least $3 billion must be spent on the Innovia Lines to rebuild stations with longer 120 metre platforms; replace and increase the electrical supply; replace the signalling system; replace all switches; and much more.
    Back to costs. The Broadway subway will cost at least $40 million a year to operate, so over a 30 year period, it will cost at least $1 5 billion (inflation adjusted) in operating costs and then the subway must be refurbished and that will cost, again billions, taking monies away from other much needed transit projects.
    To mitigate costs – cut and cover construction.
    A Broadway subway, will not improve transit but it just may bankrupt TransLink and fracture Metro Vancouver.
    Talk to real experts about subways, as I have done and understand they are not a transit panacea, rather they are a hugely expensive piece of kit, offers no advantage over other systems like LRT, and in the end, unless there are the traffic flows to sustain it, become a drag on the transit system.

      1. Let us talk about the Canada Line.
        As the project’s cost soared past $2 billion and aiming for $3 billion, the R/T Line was truncated to such an extent, that it’s stations have 40 metre long station platforms (the Innovia Lines have platforms 80 metres in length) and can accommodate trains 41 meres long.
        The maximum capacity is around 9,000 pphpd.
        A simple streetcar can carry more people.
        At this point, it must be mentioned that the Canada Line is a faux P-3 project and the SNC Lavalin lead consortium operating the Canada Line can legally withhold much of the operating data.
        There is also a legal agreement between TransLink and the SNC lead consortium that all Vancouver bound buses from Richmond, South Delta/Surrey must force transit customers to transfer from bus to Canada Line. his forced transfer given the impression of high ridership but it is a charade.
        The Canada Line’s limited seating capacity, forcing many customers to stand is a well tried technique in transit propaganda.
        It is also interesting to note that the Canada Line is heavily subsidized, through its operating agreement with TransLink and the consortium receives about $110 million a year.
        There is no real evidence that the Canada Line has taken cars off the road and ridership increases are due to population growth in Richmond, and South Delta Surrey and with the proliferation of cheap fare U-Passes, crowded trains are the norm.
        TransLink refuses to give “unique’ use of the compass card, which would give almost exact ridership numbers, nor does TransLink give “unique” use of the U-Pass or how many U-pass taps there are in a day and instead gives a nebulous boarding numbers, which with many transit customers are forced to make 2 or 3 or more transfers.
        To increase capacity of the Canada Line, over $1.5 billion must be spent in rebuilding stations with 80m platforms, new signalling and the rebuilding of the stub terminuses in Richmond and YVR.
        Internationally, the Canada Line is regarded as a curiosity; a white elephant as for the $2 billion+ cost (the Susan Heyes lawsuit against TransLink had documents indicating that the cost was around $2.7 billion!) and the concept of building a heavy rail metro as a light metro has not been copied.
        In the real world, the Canada Line would not have been built as a subway, nor would it been a P-3 as it defies any and all business models.
        The Canada Line, like the Innovia SkyTrain Lines (they are incompatible in operation) has given Vancouver a bad reputation when it comes to transit as no one has copied Vancouver’s light-metro model for transit.
        As one transit expert from the UK told me; “Understand the X-Files where shot in Vancouver, maybe that explains it.”
        Gerald Fox, noted American transportation expert said the following about TransLink and the Evergreen lin when he easily shredded the Evergreen lines business case.
        “It is interesting how TransLink has used this cunning method of manipulating analysis to justify SkyTrain in corridor after corridor, and has thus succeeded in keeping its proprietary rail system expanding.”
        And
        “It is interesting how TransLink has used this cunning method of manipulating analysis to justify SkyTrain in corridor after corridor, and has thus succeeded in keeping its proprietary rail system expanding. In the US, all new transit projects that seek federal support are now subjected to scrutiny by a panel of transit peers, selected and monitored by the federal government, to ensure that projects are analysed honestly, and the taxpayers’ interests are protected. No SkyTrain project has ever passed this scrutiny in the US.”

        1. I love how you keep posting the same made up numbers and ‘facts’ even after they are show to be wrong, I hate not going through your posts line by line but that will have to wait till I have time.

        2. Capacity can be increased on CanadaLine by extending a train 10 m or so on each end into the tunnel, where people could stand or sit that do not wish to exit ie the last rear or front doors would be closed.
          Frequency can be increased somewhat.
          It was indeed a rush job due to the Olympics. If Vancouver hadn’t had the Olympics we’d be studying alternatives still today and used buses or cars instead. That is better why ?
          Trams make no sense WHATSOEVER in Vancouver as it blocks cross-traffic as we see in Edmonton with their LRT that ought to have been below ground to NAIT, at University Ave and at 76 Ave which creates major traffic jams to this day, or as we see in Calgary downtown. As such they are now studying tunneling options ( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/green-line-meeting-route-transportation-committee-1.3636563 ) . We will see the same congestion in Surrey-Langley when the tram opens there. Big mistake.
          I drive or ride along Broadway from/to UBC almost daily and if you added anything on the surface it would be utter mayhem. A surface train could make sense west of Alma or past Blanca only. Add the new 20+ year medium- to high-density development at Jericho land and a train to me is a total no-brainer.
          A train is missing to and along the northshore, too, connecting W-Van’s Dundarave with N-Van’s Lonsdale Quay and one spur via a new Lionsgate triple decker bridge to downtown with a stop at Stanley Park.
          We should also extend have a train under Burrard to Broadway from downtown.

        3. All this is moot. The decision has already been made with SkyTrain in a subway at least to Arbutus, hopefully beyond to the campus with UBC kicking in a contribution. Let’s hope the federal funding holds through the next election irrespective of Kinder Morgan.
          Patrick and Malcolm are two peas in a pod when it comes to transit. The comparison is not and never should be between grade separation (SkyTrain) and surface LRT, but between decent public transit and the sadly still almighty car.

        4. It’s okay to talk about various forms of public transit as long as it isn’t surface rail.

        5. No Ron. I’m a big fan of all forms of transit, but feel the technology choice must follow the service demand. Broadway is very unique where both surface transit and a subway are needed, but the surface is and will continue to be well-served by the trolley bus which will serve primarily local demand. It’s a complete waste to replace the trolley with a tram. And it’s beyond understanding when someone suggests that a tram can replace buses and a subway. Regional demand will be ideally served by the subway mainly due to the constraints imposed by one signalized pedestrian crossing every 180 m on the surface. I don’t really care about the rolling stock, make or propulsion as long as they move as many people as needed and it’s powered by electricity. It seems to me that 41st Ave would make a great case study for surface rail, as long as someone like Condon doesn’t foolishly suggest that would be one-size-fits all solution everywhere when in fact demand management criteria are quite variable, and this the levels of investment will differ from one project to the next.

        6. I think the planned B-Line should be enough for 41st for a very long while. We can decide if we need RRT or just LRT (and if Larch-Victoria needs to be tunneled) once it reaches capacity.

        7. Why do you put tram in my mouth? I’m talking LRT because half the length from Main to UBC has a separate ROW and only West Broadway and part of 10th would be on the road. Both have relatively low traffic volumes and we should be encouraging further reductions.
          It’s funny that some foresee a relatively near future of AVs but can’t imagine pedestrian friendly crossing of LRT at 4 minute headways. Even in the worst case, wait times would be about 60 seconds. Crossing time would average 3 minutes out of 4 and it can be further improved with islands mid-crossing. That is much more time than MVs allow now.
          This is also more than ample for 90% of the road the crossings. And since 10th is an alternate parallel arterial only one block away, coordination between the two can reduce turn movements on and off Broadway where they cross the rails. Only a small handful of cross streets have any significant traffic. And we should be continuing the twenty year trend toward reduced MV traffic anyway – especially with excellent new transit in place.
          41st may not be unlike Broadway in twenty years. If the arguments against LRT is valid then it pretty much can’t go anywhere. I don’t believe they are valid.

        8. Ron – unlike Europe, LRT, streetcars and trams are all the same thing in North America. Some streetcars have tunnels and signal priority, some LRTs have mixed-traffic sections and stop at every red light.
          Two trains (each way) every four minutes means one every two minutes – I don’t envy crossing Broadway if so. There’s a reason why European trams are off the street and separate from pedestrians.
          //41st may not be unlike Broadway in twenty years. If the arguments against LRT is valid then it pretty much can’t go anywhere.//
          Now you’re getting it. LRT can go on the old rail lines, where cross-traffic is scarce already. It can go on some roads, if closed off to traffic and limited in speed or frequency.
          Putting it on active, busy arterials and trying to fight the bikes, buses, pedestrians and drivers that already use it? Don’t get your hopes up.

    1. Actually, a limited stop subway would deter many from using transit. Fact is, rapid transit does not take cars off the road as “rapid transit” is deemed user-unfriendly in many cases. User friendliness is the key for operating a public transit system.
      As traffic flows along Broadway are slight, under 4,000 pphpd, a European style trolleybus operation would probably be the best bet in reducing congestion.
      With stops every 500 to 600 metres and priority at important intersections a modern trolley servcie, operating 2 minute headway;s (30 trips an hour). would probably attract more ridership than a subway.

      1. A tram or trolley or BRT was one of the options studied, and rejected. The main reason is it creates mega traffic jams due to far too many intersections and pedestrian crossings. It make ZERO SENSE on Broadway as we see in Edmonton or Calgary with their LRT. The tram in Surrey to Langley will experience similar traffic issues as the new NAIT LRT line in Edmonton http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/david-staples-metro-line-lrt-should-be-renamed-gobsmacked-line.
        Look at the pickup on CanadaLine. A major success. Where is the one on and to the northshore ?
        Glad to see a second stop on UBC, hopefully maybe even 3, ie at 16th @ Wesbrook, mid-Campus and where the current bus loop is.
        We shall see if the Musqueams contribute for the massive Jericho land development close to the Alma.

        1. Now explain why that term applies here and how DMJ/Zwei isn’t just tacking on adjectives to make things sound fancy?
          Nowhere in our current system does a skip-stop or express train system occur. The strategy behind skytrain almost entirely makes express trains infeasible, because the headways are so tight that you can’t thread a faster train through.
          Limited-stop is more of a bus term. Trains generally get referred to as express trains. Aside from a few odd lines in the Eastern US, very few systems worldwide interline express trains and subway trains.

        2. Skip stop can work in tight headways with the A & B trains each stopping at every 2nd station.. both trains always 2 to 4 minutes apart. Some would be both A and B stations

        3. Yes a UBC Express subway, or one that stops only every second to 4th station in the morning or return in the aft to Cambie @ Broadway makes sense but it requires more than 2 tracks. I doubt this is in the budget.
          In lieu of that, we ought to have dual entry/exit platforms though at very busy stations, say Cambie @ Broadway so folks can leave on one side of the train while folks enter on the other side. That reduces stop times probably by half. If you’d like to see one like that go to Munich Marienplatz where very long 6 car commuter trains called S-Bahn come every 90 seconds to 2 minutes serving the region radially with 8+ lines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_S-Bahn

        4. Yes, correct, Jason.
          It helps with station stops where a lot of people simultaneously enter and exit. For example the airport today, and certainly stations downtown or at interchange stations such as future Broadway @ Cambie or Broadway @ Commercial.

      2. “Fact is, rapid transit does not take cars off the road”
        Wrong. If anything, the slowness and unreliability of a tram service is what would encourage me to drive my car. Skytrain will be faster, more frequent, and more reliable than any tram you can think of that runs on the street. Skytrain has higher frequency and service level than most Japanese subways I have ridden in Tokyo.

      3. Zwei, Stats Can disagrees and says Vancouver took more cars off the road than any other city over 1 million in North America.

      4. People who always harp on about the speed keep missing an important point. SkyTrain may serve commuters well, from the far flung suburbs living in sprawl created by roads and supported by SkyTrain. You need speed when you live so far away.
        But it does little if anything to serve trips other than long commutes. Ultimately it’s all the little trips that add up to congestion, frustration, pollution, carnage and high costs for transportation. SkTrain contributes to intense, walkable nodes but does nothing to make the whole city friendly for walking, cycling and transit. It is too limited in scale and network and too expensive to make it so. Condon’s goal, for example, is to make the entire city accessible to frequent high quality transit but create a land use plan where most people don’t need to go far for most trips – so speed is not the most important element of the system. Rather than intense nodes of 40 storey buildings you create neighbourhoods of four to eight stories.

        1. Nope. Just like Condon, you miss that speed also means throughput.
          If your train averages 40km/h instead of 20km/h, you need half as many trains to serve the same number of passengers, all while providing better service.
          The Skytrain is the fastest urban rail system in North America by average speed. Broadway is likely to be slower than the average Skytrain segment due to station spacing, but I honestly still expect that it will average above 30km/h.
          If Skytrain was neither fast nor frequent, it wouldn’t have nearly as much available capacity.

        2. Sorry urbanflux. You’re math is not correct. Speed and throughput are unrelated. Frequency, vehicle capacity and speed of boarding are part of the equation. But how fast the vehicle moves is irrelevant.

        3. Continuing the thread. It’s true you need fewer vehicles to cover the distance if they move faster. Again, missing the point. You also need fewer vehicles if they don’t need to go as far.

        4. For trains it does. Let me explain:
          If you have a train and it takes 1 hour to do a route with X number of people, then it repeats the route. The capacity is X per hour.
          If you have a train that takes 2 hours to do the same route, and carries X number of people, then it’s capacity is X/2 per hour.
          Unless you make the station infrastructure much larger (and more expensive) and spend much more money on rolling stock, speed correlates very closely to capacity until headways become a limiting factor.
          Close headways can cause congestion, and excess passenger density can similarly cause delays and dwell time increases, both of which lead to a net reduction of system capacity. Hence why crowding and low train speeds lead to drop offs in carrying capacity, which can lead to more crowding and lower train speeds.
          Are there any other basic train related questions I can answer for you?
          If you are a train geek, I’d suggest that you should read about the effects of maintenance deferral on the New York Subways. There are all sorts of fun feedback loops for capacity, speed and ride quality. Jarrett Walker is also pretty good at explaining this stuff.

        5. If a train of X capacity arrives every two minutes, it matters not how fast it goes between stations. Close headways can cause congestion no matter what speed the vehicles travel.
          If an LRT costs X and a SkyTrain costs 2X you can build two LRT lines instead of one SkyTrain. If they have the same capacity and frequency you can move twice as many people with LRT. Throughput is double but speed is less. If the stations have the same capacity you have twice the station throughput too. But you don’t typically need stairs, escalators and elevators for LRT so station capacity could conceivably be higher. And don’t discount the loss of “speed” climbing in and out of grade-separated stations nor the time to get to more distant stations in the first place.
          (Use a 3X or more factor for trams.)
          Now there are a lot of “ifs”. But since SkyTrain and especially Canada Line have such short trains, LRT vehicles could easily match capacity. It might be difficult to match SkyTrain frequency but you could get close. Most people would be pretty happy with 3 minute headways and twice as many locations served.

        6. There is no evidence that making public transportation slow does anything except shift people to cars. This compares to Vancouver with its investment in rapid transit which has contributed to the fact car use went down in Vancouver more than any other North American city ( or conversely were active transportation and transit use went up the most ).
          Vancouver and Portland make a good comparison between a smaller faster more useful system (Vancouver) and a larger slower less useful system (Portland). Both cities started building their rail at the same time, transit use in Vancouver is way up since 1986 (start of Skytrain), transit use in Portland is basically the same. So the irony is the evidence shows Skytrain is better at meeting Patricks stated goal of reducing car use and increasing active transportation than any of the non-legacy streetcar systems in North America.

        7. Saying it’s so is not evidence, Rico. There are many variables that contribute to car use. Vancouver has densified at many times the rate of Portland. It was the West End and development around Yaletown and Downtown South that spurred walkablity on the downtown peninsula where we saw the first signs of declining car use. These areas have very, painfully, slow transit. (The relatively recent Yaletown CL station only slightly affects that dynamic since you can pretty much just walk to the core as fast.)
          Portland’s Max is sprawly like suburban Portland and often runs along freeway ROWs, not to where people want to live. It is more park-and-ride driven. Conversely the Livable Region Strategy focused high density mixed use development around strategic SkyTrain stations. These factors have probably played a bigger role in enticing people than the mode of transit technology.

        8. Ron, you are correct that there are lots of factors associated with active transportation and transit. You are also correct that regional planning plays a huge part in this. That said the type of transportation system obviously is the most important part of changes to active transportation and transit use. Also note I am talking about census data and to me the important thing is the rate of change. It seems to me it is very unlikely that Vancouver’s massive improvements are very closely linked to its rapid transit improvements, this is especially evident in the fact that after new sections of rapid transit open those areas see bigger increases in transit use than areas not served by rapid transit. Now back to Portland versus Vancouver, to me they seem like good comparisons. Both significantly invested in transit at about the same time and both did not significantly increase major highways (I may be wrong about Portland, correct me if I am), both had strong land use planning. The major difference is in the transportation system chosen.

        9. And now that the latest cost estimates are in for Surrey LRT and Broadway subway we can see that the cost of the subway is over 3X the cost of LRT. We could build two LRT lines to UBC for greater service and resilience and still have 1/3 for other transit projects.
          Of course, more likely that a single LRT to UBC will meet their needs for many decades and those remaining funds could help with urgent transit improvements elsewhere much sooner.

        10. Where would the LRT go, Ron? Surely not on Broadway as it would clog up all major intersections like we see downtown Calgary (now considering to move it underground) or Edmonton south and NAIT LRT, and soon between Surrey and Langley.
          Skytrain could go above ground only west of Alma, or better Blanca.

        11. Broadway, west of Arbutus, can handle the loss of two travel lanes. You’d be replacing them with a higher capacity system and a key point of better transit infrastructure is to reduce car dependence. We should be looking at reducing the amount of cars on Broadway and elsewhere. I’d recommend the grassy strip along 8th to pick up Jericho lands before jogging back to 10th’s Point Grey Village and on to UBC.
          With the exception of 3 or 4 blocks, east of Arbutus there are existing ROWs all the way to Main Street/Science World Station for connectivity to the Expo and Canada Lines. Less than half the length would be on-street in it’s own lanes and with almost no cross streets of major significance to create service delays.
          This would add resiliency to the system by creating a second option for Central Broadway and serve a broader area for 2/3 the cost.

        12. Tunneling under Broadway is a GIVEN now .. the only question is: where will it come out ? Alma (as it is low density west of there) or Blanca ? or never ie all the way to UBC underground ?
          Unknown somewhat today is density at Jericho lands, likely a mix of high and medium density with some commercial underneath, so the train could run through / under that land quite easily west of Alma and designed into the foundations before any work starts there in earnest in mid 2020s !
          The spur you suggest, from Science Center at the east end of False Creek along the tourist tram line connecting Granville Island would also have to be tunneled west of there (AND possibly connected east of False Creek to Cambie / Broadway line west of Commercial). I can see a future, ADDITIONAL spur there, as much as I can see a spur under Burrard from downtown to Broadway, or trains to N-Van and W-Van, but we are likely talking 20-30+ years out, or more likely 40+ years given the snail pace here.
          Cost is a no-brainer at UBC Broadway line as densification west of Arbutus would pay for the line due to clawed back CACs and add’l transit levies.

        13. The only “GIVEN” for tunneling under Broadway is to Arbutus.
          For LRT, a two block long tunnel gets you from the False Creek ROW to the Arbutus Corridor at 6th and Fir. A station there would connect to buses at the Granville Bridge head.

        14. Ron, since you seem to have completely forgotten the lessons learned from the Canada Line, here’s a refresher:
          – Future ridership can’t be predicted by current ridership – “build it, and they will come.” So rapid transit built in 2020 has to designed for 2040 or even farther away.
          – Cost is irrelevant; what you want is cost/benefit. Whereas many LRTs need to be free of use to attract riders and struggle to break even on day-to-day operation, the Canada Line is due to pay back its capital cost by 2020 and has 120K+ riders daily. That’s the same ridership as every Portland streetcar route put together.
          – Reducing car dependence is about rezoning the city and keeping rapid transit separate from traffic, so that said rapid transit is more convenient than driving. Streetcars don’t magically create walkable neighbourhoods on their own.

        15. I haven’t forgotten a thing. I’d compare our SkyTrain to our LRT system… if I could. Vancouver’s SkyTrain and Portland’s trams or Max is not a fair comparison as I’ve written elsewhere in this post. Vancouver has far greater density and has concentrated it around SkyTrain. We’ve reached a critical mass of acceptance of TODs. Portland largely has a park-and-ride system that follows freeways.
          Reducing car dependence comes in many forms but you want to bludgeon people with SkyTrain and SkyTrain only. As noted earlier, our densest, most walkable neighbourhoods have terrible…. p a i n f u l l y… sloooow….. transit. Surface transit. Buses. Mixed with traffic. It challenges everything you’re trying to convince me of.
          But what I’m promoting is mostly off road, separated from traffic or otherwise in it’s own lanes with very few cross streets that have significant traffic. It would meet UBC’s needs for many many decades. Meanwhile other transit projects could be moved forward with the significant savings. Or those savings could subsidize housing at UBC so fewer people are forced into stoopid long commutes in the first place.
          The latter is the better solution. That’s not what SkyTrain delivers.

        16. Nobody’s getting bludgeoned with nothin’ – you yourself note that surface transit is a pain in the donkey. We could compare with Toronto or L.A., but their light rail network is increasingly designed towards tunnels, elevated sections or off-street ROWs so as to avoid traffic; even Calgary is opting for grade separation. It would seem that density and on-street rail are mutually exclusive.
          But what I’m promoting is mostly off road, separated from traffic or otherwise in it’s own lanes with very few cross streets that have significant traffic.
          Are we talking about the same Broadway? There’s 17 cross streets between Arbutus and Alma, to say nothing of Alma to UBC along 10th. One stopped bus would stop the lane behind it, and one accident (car/bike/foot, take your pick) would stop the entire street, like the bridge closures last week. LRT on 10th might work, but you’d have to tunnel it on 9th – in which case it might as well be SkyTrain.
          It would meet UBC’s needs for many many decades. Meanwhile other transit projects could be moved forward with the significant savings.
          The feds and province are only giving us $3B because our metro costs $3B. If it’s just $1B, the other $2B will end up funding another highway.
          Again, rapid transit is a long-term investment, and usually you get what you paid for. I’d rather take “high cost, high reward” over “medium cost, low reward,” especially since that puts us in a better position to fund the next $3B about 7 years from now (and SkyTrain lines do indeed get built about every 7 years).
          Or those savings could subsidize housing at UBC so fewer people are forced into stoopid long commutes in the first place… That’s not what SkyTrain delivers.
          I don’t think anyone wants to commute across the city, but it is what it is… unless the Physics Department rigs a DeLorean, goes back to the 1910s and gets Victoria to move UBC to Commercial-Broadway instead.
          Until then, SkyTrain delivers the ability to NOT need housing at UBC. You can just live at home, wake up and ride to UBC within an hour. Saves students the price of living in a dorm, and saves the UEL forest from being completely cleared by 2050.
          Besides, surely you don’t expect students to spend every day of their semester on campus? They want to enjoy our beautiful city just like the rest of us, and SkyTrain is the better answer for that as well.

        17. Justin, I suggest you read a post by Anonymous WRT redefining walkability. Your comments are so stuck in a pre-conceived mindset that you are unable to see outside of it.
          Unfortunately you’ve normalized hour-long commutes instead of seeing them for the absurdity they are. Nobody needs to clear the UEL forest. Spending transit dollars wisely does not fund more highways. You are fear-mongering because your arguments require it.
          I never said surface transit is a pain in the … what? Are you suggesting that we abandon all buses and replace them all with SkyTrain? Good luck with that!

        18. I will add that those 17 cross streets etc. don’t matter – they have little traffic and can be tamed to give LRT absolute priority. Between Main and UBC there are few cross streets that do matter: Quebec/Terminal (the trickiest), Burrard and Macdonald. That’s it. Three intersections on a 14 km line.
          No doubt many of the smaller crossings would need to be maintained though not necessarily all of them (for motor vehicles). Traffic is light on even the busiest of these, namely Westbrook, Blanca and Alma. Given the long stretches of separate ROW and the exceedingly small amount of cross traffic this route is begging for surface rail instead of subways at 3 times the cost.

        19. If it’s normalized, it’s because “live where you work” is a fantasy for many people. I once met an animation student who commuted to Cap U from Delta; given the choice between adding $20-40k to his student loan or waking up much earlier, he chose the latter. I assure you, there are others just like him. Unless you want to lobby for a Cap U campus in Richmond, of course…
          Fear-mongering? So the feds and province will just randomly give Vancouver two-thirds of the price of a metro (even if we’re not building a metro) out of charity? And student housing is free of charge, doesn’t take up any space, and won’t need to be expanded as enrollment climbs? Please.
          It’s too late to apply “be on the way” planning to UBC, but that doesn’t mean we have to compound that mistake.
          I could easily argue that you can’t see outside of your mindset… and now we know for a fact that you don’t use the Broadway corridor.
          The problem isn’t cars; most of the time, traffic is stopped at non-timed intersections by pedestrians, and that’s okay. Closing off 1 in 6 of those pedestrian crossings and running a 29kph train through them is the OPPOSITE of walkability.
          When you’re so fixated with the idea of a utopian pleasure trolley that you’re willing to wreck said utopia to have it, it’s time to step back and reflect. Same thing I had to do when I was 14 and wanted the SkyTrain to zoom over Central Broadway (won’t work; no room).
          “As noted earlier, our densest, most walkable neighbourhoods have terrible…. p a i n f u l l y… sloooow….. transit. Surface transit. Buses. Mixed with traffic.”
          On this, we agree entirely. But, as you’ve pointed out, SkyTrain can’t be everywhere at once – not in our lifetimes, at least. That’s why the SkyTrain is the express network, while the buses are the local network feeding into it; the B-Lines are a semi-express stopgap until demand for a SkyTrain appears.
          Unless it’s grade-separated or off the street, an LRT is basically a $1 billion B-Line. That’s a completely unwise use of transit dollars.

        20. The “fantasy” of live where you work won’t be achieved with faster transit. But it is a more desirable goal so I’d put more focus on that and less on faster transit. The success of our regional town centres will be best measured by how walkable they are and less on how fast people can go somewhere else.
          Some people will choose long commutes. I wouldn’t encourage it.
          If we propose 3 LRT lines instead of 1 SkyTrain line for the same price there’s no reason senior governments would balk.
          I think SkyTrain is fine. Buses, LRT, trams, gondolas, bikes, cars (in moderation). I don’t think it’s the right choice for UBC.
          I’ve been to many places with trams and LRT and I can assure you the pedestrian environment beats Broadway every time. All the pedestrian crossing should be maintained. No reason no to.
          LRT can have at least twice the capacity of a B-Line and offer a higher quality ride. Building a subway that won’t reach it’s potential capacity in it’s lifestime is completely unwise.

        21. More like an extra third more than the B-Line. The 99 average 4,678 pphpd right now. According to TransLink’s own numbers, the RRT would get 12,475 out of 26,000 by 2041, but the LRT would get 5,225/7,200. SkyTrain is wise, a tourist tram is not.
          //The “fantasy” of live where you work won’t be achieved with faster transit. But it is a more desirable goal so I’d put more focus on that and less on faster transit. //
          That’s a socio-economic and community problem. Rapid transit is a transportation problem. Using the former to try and fix the latter is like training a fish to climb trees.
          By your logic, the Acela Express is better for Cascadia than a high-speed rail line would be.
          //The success of our regional town centres will be best measured by how walkable they are and less on how fast people can go somewhere else.//
          And of course, a train shooting down the middle of the street every three minutes won’t affect walkability at all.
          //Some people will choose long commutes. I wouldn’t encourage it.//
          Long commutes are exactly what SkyTrain expansion is supposed to cut down on. You can’t change people’s destinations, but you can change how quickly they get there.
          //I think SkyTrain is fine. Buses, LRT, trams, gondolas, bikes, cars (in moderation). I don’t think it’s the right choice for UBC.//
          Block F. The Jericho lands. West 10th is soon going to get the same treatment as Cambie’s getting – let’s make sure we’ve got enough capacity for it. UBC itself should be fine with one or two stations on West Mall and Wesbrook, plus connecting bus lines.
          //I’ve been to many places with trams and LRT and I can assure you the pedestrian environment beats Broadway every time. All the pedestrian crossing should be maintained. No reason no to.//
          You can have trains, or you can have pedestrians. If you want both, you’ll have this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-lwT_1g3Ms
          Or you can put the train over or under the street, and you’ll have the same pedestrian environment too. New York, London, Singapore and even our downtown have it, because a busy street is a symptom of population rather than design.

        22. This is truly funny: Building LRT may kill LRT. I suppose what you mean is, never building LRT will enable LRT to thrive.

        23. Hmmm. That last post shouldn’t have ended up here. Anyway…
          From Wikipedia:
          A light rail track can carry up to 20,000 people per hour as compared with 2,000–2,200 vehicles per hour for one freeway lane,[32]. For example, in Boston and San Francisco, light rail lines carry 9,600 and 13,100 passengers per hour, respectively, in the peak direction during rush hour.[24].
          So you might question why TransLink downplays LRT capacity.
          Treating land-use and socioeconomic issues as separate from transit is *exactly* what I am criticizing.
          Speed does not make a commute shorter. It makes it take less time. This continues our society’s over consumptive habits and high energy use but it also erases options when things break down or even if you want to detour to meet a friend for a beer off of the corridor.
          Seattle and Vancouver are where they are. Nobody is forced to visit one or the other. We have the ability to shape the region in which people live and travel. Should we encourage people to live in Maple Ridge and then build them a spanky new $15billion SkyTrain?
          An LRT would no more “shoot down the middle of a street” than a bus. I’d love to see dash cams of our bus system compiled for short you-tube videos. One thing that a dash-cam exaggerates to great affect is a myopic vision. It makes the infraction look way more sudden than it actually is. People have also fallen onto the SkyTrain tracks. If LRT is such a bad idea why do so many places build them?
          Block F, Jericho Lands, West 10th and all significant new developments should be designed to serve and house their own neighbourhoods so fewer people need to commute. That doesn’t eliminate commuting or travel but it takes pressure off of the entire transportation system. A much better strategy for urban design and city-building that reduces the high cost of transportation to individuals and society.
          We took a wrong turn a century ago – mostly because of the car. It’s absurd to think a 30 or 50 km commute is normal. We don’t have to continue down that road. It’s a choice we make as a society.
          Our regional town centres are opening up the option of walkable lifestyles yet again. Within the city proper we need to house all socio-economic backgrounds or suffer the plight of a rich ghetto. Sending them packing to the distant ‘burbs is in noone’s best interest.

        24. Perhaps you’d like to go to the next TransLink open house and tell them you know how to do their jobs better than they do? San Fran and Boston have tunnels for their LRT in critical areas, meaning that they’re able to have larger trains and higher frequencies without significantly disrupting their streetscape.
          //Treating land-use and socioeconomic issues as separate from transit is *exactly* what I am criticizing.
          Speed does not make a commute shorter. It makes it take less time. This continues our society’s over consumptive habits and high energy use but it also erases options when things break down or even if you want to detour to meet a friend for a beer off of the corridor.//
          Socioeconomics and communities are fixed with land-use policies and zoning. It’s entirely possible to have LRT “create” a series of park-and-rides, or RRT “create” a beautiful walkable neighbourhood.
          Once again, you can’t change peoples’ destinations with transit, but you CAN change their ability to get there. Ideally, no matter where you are in the city, where your friends are, and where the beer is, you can all get there inside of two hours.
          //Seattle and Vancouver are where they are. Nobody is forced to visit one or the other. We have the ability to shape the region in which people live and travel. Should we encourage people to live in Maple Ridge and then build them a spanky new $15billion SkyTrain?//
          The West Coast Express isn’t encouraging people to live in Mission, is it? Notwithstanding West Van and Kerrisdale/Point Grey, most people would much rather live closer to a regional centre if they could afford it – rapid transit allows them to get there without driving, which is good.
          //An LRT would no more “shoot down the middle of a street” than a bus. I’d love to see dash cams of our bus system compiled for short you-tube videos. One thing that a dash-cam exaggerates to great affect is a myopic vision. It makes the infraction look way more sudden than it actually is. People have also fallen onto the SkyTrain tracks.//
          The bus can brake fast – I know that from personal experience. It can also swerve around accidents. An LRT is inherently larger and on-rails, which means it can do neither. By virtue of grade-separation, track intrusions are limited to stations on SkyTrain.
          //If LRT is such a bad idea why do so many places build them?//
          Zweisystem, is that you? Never would’ve guessed.
          Asia builds metros. Europe builds metros and light rail. The States builds light rail because they’ve got “use it or lose it” federal funding and can’t save up for metro; even then, Honolulu and L.A. have managed to fund their own.
          //Block F, Jericho Lands, West 10th and all significant new developments should be designed to serve and house their own neighbourhoods so fewer people need to commute. That doesn’t eliminate commuting or travel but it takes pressure off of the entire transportation system. A much better strategy for urban design and city-building that reduces the high cost of transportation to individuals and society.//
          The Patrick Condon school wants everybody to stay in their own little bubble and leave rarely, as if they were Bilbo and our city was a series of Bag Ends. The Jarrett Walker school wants to allow everybody to better connect to everyone/everything else in the city, bringing it closer together. So which one is really better for individuals and society?
          //We took a wrong turn a century ago – mostly because of the car. It’s absurd to think a 30 or 50 km commute is normal. We don’t have to continue down that road. It’s a choice we make as a society.//
          We agree on the first sentence. But getting rid of the car doesn’t get rid of the reasons for having the car; that’s where transit-oriented design and fast transit comes in. If you find a way to put everything within a five-block radius of everybody without resorting to communism, do let me know.
          //Our regional town centres are opening up the option of walkable lifestyles yet again. Within the city proper we need to house all socio-economic backgrounds or suffer the plight of a rich ghetto. Sending them packing to the distant ‘burbs is in noone’s best interest.//
          It seems that you’re stuck fighting the extinct Spoke and Hub model from the 50s, where people like to live far away from downtown and ride in. North Shore aside, most suburban residents either do try to live where they work, or commute into the nearest town centre: http://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/interactive-map-shows-metro-vancouver-commuting-patterns. The rest seem to have been priced out of Vancouver and Burnaby (can anyone say “rent increase” or “demoviction?”).
          The “rich ghetto” isn’t caused by SkyTrain, it’s caused by car-oriented design, lack of density and unaffordability. What you should really be pushing for is a crackdown on speculation and money laundering, and more rental-only zoning near transit stations & regional centres.

        25. //Perhaps you’d like to go to the next TransLink open house and tell them you know how to do their jobs better than they do?
          Our SkyTrain planners designed Columbia Station – a disaster. TransLink grossly underestimated Canada line ridership and built too small of a system. I told them both things at open houses. So yeah! I wish they’d be questioned more often.
          //San Fran and Boston have tunnels for their LRT in critical areas:
          We have a wonderful separate ROW in the most critical area.
          //The West Coast Express isn’t encouraging people to live in Mission, is it?
          Absolutely.
          //Ideally, no matter where you are in the city, where your friends are, and where the beer is, you can all get there inside of two hours.
          Two hours is a bad metric for a beer. You should be able to walk everywhere worth going in two hours. SkyTrain perpetuates sprawl and leaves fewer options for travel other than narrow corridors. Great for long distance commutes. Poor for most other things.
          //…most people would much rather live closer to a regional centre if they could afford it – rapid transit allows them to get there without driving, which is good.
          So would LRT and you could have three times as many lines serving a much broader catchment for each.
          //If you find a way to put everything within a five-block radius of everybody without resorting to communism, do let me know.
          Exaggerating my goals into absurdity does nothing to further your case. We can reverse the development patterns of the last century. But not by continuing the development patterns of the last century. SkyTrain is an improvement over SOVs but we need to get to the next level which is not about long commutes.
          //The Patrick Condon school wants everybody to stay in their own little bubble and leave rarely, as if they were Bilbo and our city was a series of Bag Ends. The Jarrett Walker school wants to allow everybody to better connect to everyone/everything else in the city, bringing it closer together. So which one is really better for individuals and society?
          Condon wants everybody to be ABLE to stay in their neighbourhood but be ABLE to get elsewhere on high frequency quality (though slower) transit. Walker would cost us more money than we have and retain the sprawl mindset, longer commutes, less resilience and less inter-connectedness. Obviously self-sufficient neighbourhoods and great connectivity in a more compact city is more desirable.
          //The “rich ghetto” isn’t caused by SkyTrain, it’s caused by car-oriented design, lack of density and unaffordability.
          SkyTrain concentrates higher land value around SkyTrain stations and then serves narrow corridors and geographically small hubs. (Not that that is all bad.) LRT at three times the networking capability broadens the travel options and allows a broader spread of land values served by excellent transit. It allows lower-value niche areas to also have access to good transit and completely avoids the spoke and hub you accuse me of being stuck in. More networked, more options, more versatile, more resilient, more road diets.

        26. //TransLink grossly underestimated Canada line ridership and built too small of a system. I told them both things at open houses. So yeah! I wish they’d be questioned more often.//
          TransLink was forced to build small because of the Olympic deadline, P3 shortcuts, and naysayers like Condon and Corrigan – as always, TransLink got the blame instead.
          Question away, but be careful of the fine line between “constructive criticism” and “desperate trolling.” Just look at Zwei.
          //We have a wonderful separate ROW in the most critical area.//
          If you mean the SkyTrain tunnel, it should cover the Macdonald-Alma stretch too. It’s already a perfectly walkable village, and shouldn’t be disrupted by surface rail.
          //Two hours is a bad metric for a beer. You should be able to walk everywhere worth going in two hours.//
          More like walk everywhere worth going in 5-10 minutes, or halfway between stations. Two hours of walking is exactly what SkyTrain’s supposed to help with.
          Perhaps I’m phrasing it wrong. Obviously you’re not all going to a bar in in Maple Ridge, but if you’re in Dunbar and your friend’s near SFU, it’d be a lot easier to walk a bit and meet in the middle via SkyTrain than via streetcar.
          //SkyTrain perpetuates sprawl and leaves fewer options for travel other than narrow corridors. Great for long distance commutes. Poor for most other things.//
          You keep saying that, but that doesn’t make it right. Birth control doesn’t encourage sex.
          //Exaggerating my goals into absurdity does nothing to further your case. We can reverse the development patterns of the last century. But not by continuing the development patterns of the last century. SkyTrain is an improvement over SOVs but we need to get to the next level which is not about long commutes.//
          Exaggerating? People commute across the city because their destination is across the city.
          For example, I’ve done taxes at Joyce-Collingwood, shopped at Metrotown, visited open houses in Surrey and Cambie, met somebody off a plane at YVR, and paid fees at my university all within the past two weeks. If you can put a not-full tax clinic, mall, airport and campus by my home (as well as many other homes), then by all means, slow my transit down.
          I could argue that autonomous cars are the next level. But they aren’t, and neither is light rail – they’re just fads, luring the public away from better solutions.
          //Condon wants everybody to be ABLE to stay in their neighbourhood but be ABLE to get elsewhere on high frequency quality (though slower) transit.//
          I’m afraid that we’re going to need a whole more than $3B and three lines for that. And that’s it’s not going to be any better than just buying more buses.
          //Walker would cost us more money than we have and retain the sprawl mindset, longer commutes, less resilience and less inter-connectedness. Obviously self-sufficient neighbourhoods and great connectivity in a more compact city is more desirable.//
          Try actually reading Human Transit. Walker wants the same kind of compact neighbourhoods – he just realizes that compactness is land use and zoning, and transit is people-moving. Fast transit connects. Slow transit isolates.
          //SkyTrain concentrates higher land value around SkyTrain stations and then serves narrow corridors and geographically small hubs. (Not that that is all bad.)//
          SkyTrain can’t perpetuate sprawl AND geographically small hubs.
          If you mean the tower nodes, that’s Vision Vancouver cautiously developing one lot at a time because they’re scared of the NIMBYs on Kingsway and Commercial. On the other hand, Cambie residents can’t wait to sell, which is why everything between Oak and Columbia all the way down to SW Marine is getting rezoned. http://vancouver.ca/images/web/cambie-corridor/proposed-cambie-corridor-plan.pdf
          SkyTrain supports spread-out density and walkable neighbourhoods just fine – you need City Council, not TransLink, to actually create them.
          //So would LRT and you could have three times as many lines serving a much broader catchment for each.//
          //LRT at three times the networking capability broadens the travel options and allows a broader spread of land values served by excellent transit. It allows lower-value niche areas to also have access to good transit and completely avoids the spoke and hub you accuse me of being stuck in. More networked, more options, more versatile, more resilient, more road diets.//
          Once again, that “excellent” transit is the same level of service provided by B-Lines.
          If you really want rapid transit coverage (as opposed to rapid transit ridership), how about we take Condon’s streetcar network and replace it with a series of BRTs for a fraction of the cost of LRT? We can always replace them with higher-capacity transit later.

        27. Ron, I wanted to post this w-a-a-a-ay above but couldn’t. Correct me if I am wrong, but I read your Broadway rail transit solution as missing central Broadway altogether in favour of Main / Terminal – Arbutus. This may work physically and certainly supports your argument on costs. However, you are skipping 65% of existing and future transit demand in the Broadway-UBC corridor altogether. That is, 2/3s of all transit users are destined to stop in central Broadway between Main and Arbutus where the largest job centres and population reside. UBC is the smaller of the two centres of gravity. Not serving the largest concentration of demand does not make sense.
          Moreover, half of all Broadway transit users are coming from the region outside of Vancouver proper. I get the simple idea that compact, self-contained and hopefully human-scaled communities are best (I live in one and love it), but that is not the reality for everyone. Even with 50 years of effort, not everyone will agree to voluntarily limiting their mobility choices. Not meeting their mobility needs with transit means only one thing: They will continue to hop into their cars in droves. There always have been, are and always will be regional transit commuters, whether by necessity or by choice. That is a fact of life. That is one (but not the only) reason why this urbanist calls for the urbanization of the suburbs with high-capacity electric rail transit designed to outcompete the car.

        28. @Justin
          //If you mean the SkyTrain tunnel
          I mean the False Creek ROW which parallels Central Broadway and avoids the two busiest cross streets: Cambie and Granville as well as Oak Hemlock and Fir.
          //Once again, that “excellent” transit is the same level of service provided by B-Lines.
          Already cited that this isn’t true.
          //Birth control doesn’t encourage sex.
          Huh? Sorry. You lose.

        29. @Alex. I take it as a given that a SkyTrain subway will go to Arbutus. I’m talking about beyond. Ridership drops by half.
          LRT could go just from Arbutus to UBC but that’s not very well connected. I’m talking Main to UBC via False Creek, Broadway/Arbutus at 2/3 the cost of extending the subway. Direct connections to all three Metro lines.

        30. I’m beginning to understand that nobody has understood what I’ve very clearly spelled out.

        31. – The False Creek ROW skips Broadway, which is basically the entire reason for the Arbutus Extension. Save it for the Downtown Streetcar.
          – You cited Boston and San Fran, which have much higher populations and partial grade separation. If Portland’s a bad comparison, so are they.
          I cited TransLink’s projections – B-Line = LRT, and RRT beats both.
          – Illusory correlation, a popular fallacy among politicians down south. Way I see it, sprawl and car dependence have been here since WWII ended and SkyTrain had done much to slow them down.

        32. // I take it as a given that a SkyTrain subway will go to Arbutus. I’m talking about beyond. Ridership drops by half.//
          As seen with the Canada Line, induced demand works for transit as well. You can’t insist that TransLink build small, then bash them for doing exactly that.
          //LRT could go just from Arbutus to UBC but that’s not very well connected. I’m talking Main to UBC via False Creek, Broadway/Arbutus at 2/3 the cost of extending the subway. Direct connections to all three Metro lines.//
          Or perhaps the LRT could just go straight down the Greenway and let the SkyTrain do the heavy lifting? Play to light rail’s strengths, not its weaknesses.
          //I’m beginning to understand that nobody has understood what I’ve very clearly spelled out.//
          The feeling is very, very mutual.

        33. @Justin
          Ridership will always drop by half beyond Arbutus. Central Broadway ridership will grow to justify a subway because it sure doesn’t today. I’m okay with that. Beyond Arbutus will grow too – induced demand. But not enough to justify a subway. LRT will handle the volume for a very long time.
          By the time a subway is warranted the LRT will be old but will have done a great job at much less cost. It will have also broken this anti-LRT mindset that is as pervasive as the anti-bike one. I believe they both come from a protection of motordom. They both threaten the vast swaths of public space that had been devoted to only them.

        34. Because of course, drivers are the only ones who use 10th or Broadway. Let’s ignore that it’s the busiest bus corridor in upper North America and that about 15k pedestrians cross Central Broadway every day – can’t win the war on the car without some collateral damage, after all.
          Nobody here is anti-LRT, only advocating that we use the right technology on the right corridor instead of failing to force through a “one size fits all” network.
          You’d thread that very tiny needle between BRT/RRT on the Interurban/False Creek corridor, because it’s off the street and merely supplementing the existing SkyTrain backbone…. by contrast, Surrey’s LRT (or Broadway’s, if TransLink loses its courage) is straight down the middle of busy arterials, and will run into the same problems the rest of North America faces: collisions, backups, train delays resulting from track blockages, high operating costs and low returns… but hey, the developers made a quick buck.
          Why fight a losing battle? Why not make a more long-term investment (which will pay for itself anyway), build a proper rapid transit line and get many more drivers off the road?

        35. I’ve ignored nothing. I’m not proposing LRT on Central Broadway. Not quite sure how often that needs to be repeated. And it’s not the busiest bus corridor once it’s west of Arbutus.

        36. You’ve suggested using the False Creek rail, and closing off every intersection between Quebec and Burrard. Apologies for getting confused.
          And again, UBC-Alma may be smooth sailing, but Alma-Arbutus, not to mention Alma itself, can be nearly as problematic as Central Broadway. For minimal headache, SkyTrain should at least go that far; LRT – if any – can follow down 6th, turn onto Highbury to connect at the terminus station, then head to UBC.

        37. Ron, ridership is currently about 60/40, Broadway vs. UBC. I’ve lived in Vancouver for 40 years and know to expect it to change, sometimes profoundly in some areas, thus the ridership of today is no guarantee the pattern will be the same moving forward over the coming decades. There are perhaps 300,000 additional residents coming on stream in perhaps as little as 15 years between the campus, the 150-acre UBC golf course (prime greenfield land — surely it won’t remain single low-intensity use forever), Jericho and density increases in West Point Grey and Kits. All of these have the potential to be transit-oriented.
          LRT or B-Line west of Arbutus will always impose a huge transfer penalty either side of Arbutus Station. And you’ve still got a pedestrian-activated signal at just about every intersection to Alma. In addition, the signalized cross streets are quite closely spaced from Arbutus to Alma, so signal priority or no signal priority will impinge significantly on either train efficacy or pedestrian safety. A dedicated light rail median (inevitably fenced except at stations) will impose a continuous barrier in the street that blocks pedestrian cross-street movements outside of stations. Businesses will love that, won’t they? A tram without signal priority will be a very costly infrastructure-heavy local bus service without the dedicated median. Any type of surface train will have a helluva time with the sections of slope above Alma that exceeds 6%, and an expensive tunnel will likely be seriously considered for at least one km, likely two, of the route in any case.
          The knocks against LRT anywhere in the Broadway-UBC corridor are just too numerous to suggest transit service quality will be anywhere above moderate. This is not to suggest that light rail or enhanced BRT cannot be considered on a plethora of other corridors in the Metro, as I’ve reiterated repeatedly.
          Broadway is unique.

        38. “SkyTrain perpetuates sprawl.”
          Huh?
          I have seen Calgary’s C-Train LRT justify covering the landscape with thousands of hectares of single-lot subdivisions at a time at the periphery. Sprawlers funded councillor’s campaigns in outlying wards to promote low density exurban development, then had the gall to call it “controlled growth.”
          However, Calgary does not have geographical features like mountains and ocean and political boundaries like the ALR constraining their land. Just oceans of undervalued farm land waiting for sprawler’s money.
          What perpetuates sprawl is poor land use decisions that foster great gobs of inefficiency and waste. Transit in ALL forms can help or hinder that by choice. Calgary has apparently learned that lesson and built the West Leg of C-Train with ToD and a majority of grade separation. And the proposed Green Line is even better and runs both in the street or rail corridors outside of downtown and in a subway within downtown.
          Urban form is part of the land use decision making process. You can have Zurich or Strasbourg villages, Manhattan or ticky tacky plaster palaces to the horizon irrespective of the transit technology. It’s all a matter of local government enlightenment.

        39. @Justin
          //You’ve suggested using the False Creek rail, and closing off every intersection between Quebec and Burrard. Apologies for getting confused.
          You’re points have degenerated into a series of straw men. That’s two in a row. I’ve said no such thing.

        40. @Alex
          //Any type of surface train will have a helluva time with the sections of slope above Alma that exceeds 6%, and an expensive tunnel will likely be seriously considered for at least one km.
          The steepest grade clocks in @ 4.3%. That’s the Sasamat hill. So can the expensive tunnel.
          Are you trying to persuade me that it is more difficult for pedestrians to cross vehicles passing every two minutes than the constant stream of MVs today? I propose removing two or more lanes of those..Broadway would be a very different street. More pedestrian friendly. No continuous barrier. 50 km/h LRT speed when on the street but absolute signal priority. That potentially leaves more crossing time than today. If we so choose.
          Businesses would prefer exposure rather than putting most of their potential customers out of sight.
          //Broadway is unique.
          Yes, let’s pull that our every time LRT is proposed anywhere. The unique thing about Broadway is it has a parallel arterial one block away. Let’s use that unique feature to advantage.
          //LRT or B-Line west of Arbutus will always impose a huge transfer penalty either side of Arbutus Station
          Let’s face it. Most people will have to transfer somewhere. This proposal connects directly to all metro lines. So it’s only those fortunate ones already on the Millennium Line who wouldn’t. Of course the ones who might take advantage aren’t even born yet. LRT could be in place much more quickly.
          Yes Point Grey will grow. Do you envision a series of bedroom communities or thriving mixed-use neighbourhoods with lots of employment opportunities? Do you envision the type of land development that came with the car and now needs SkyTrain to whisk people across the region? I hope we’ve learned to aim for the latter. Yes we need excellent transit for all the obvious reasons. But the idea that we design primarily for people to travel far is absurd.
          //I have seen Calgary’s C-Train LRT justify covering the landscape with thousands of hectares of single-lot subdivisions at a time at the periphery.
          Calgary is Calgary is Calgary. Open the dictionary under “sprawl”. Are you trying to persuade me that it would have been different if they built SkyTrain?
          //Urban form is part of the land use decision making process. You can have Zurich or Strasbourg villages, Manhattan or ticky tacky plaster palaces to the horizon irrespective of the transit technology. It’s all a matter of local government enlightenment.

      5. SKIP STOP —No need for more than one track in each direction. EXAMPLE The Airport train stop at Yaletown but skipping Olympic village. —– ( The Richmond train doing the reverse.) — Bottom line is that the Richmond train would leave downtown 2 minutes after & arrive at Broadway 2 minutes behind the Airport train Then same story to Bridgeport station . Less travel time for most,

        1. The only thing skip stop does is bring the average speed for a section of the line up a bit while increasing the amount of passengers who have to wait at a station.
          The stations would need to be bigger to account for some passengers waiting longer.

        2. Don’t forget the added confusion (“Okay, does this one stop at Oakridge or Langara?”) . For maximum ridership, transit should be as simple and convenient as possible.

  4. If the Mayors and Translink do go ahead and spend over $4 billion on this wildly unpopular and expensive system out to UBC the result will, once again, be that fast-transit to the growing parts of Surrey, Langley, etc., will again be under serviced because all the dollars are going to Vancouver’s pet project.
    The train lovers that yearn for a European style happy transit system will again be playing with all the money in isolation as sprawl, congestion and motordom expand in the ignored peripheries.
    Expensive condos will sprout along Broadway and even out to UBC. The university itself suggests some financing will come from charges to these buildings, ensuring that they will only be for those with sufficient levels of Cambie Corridor cash to splash out. What do we estimate, minimum $1,200 a foot.
    The new community will be blessed with one bedroom condos coming in at just about a million bucks. Maybe that’s a dream. More like $1,400 and a million two.

    1. Unpopular ? I’d say quite the opposite. Why don’t you ask a typical B line 99 rider or UBC student ?
      Anyone who thinks Vancouver will ever see new market condos below $1000/sq ft should get their head examined. Vancouver will always ALWAYS be expensive to buy (unless we see a major virus that kills 30% of the population or if we stop all immigration). We may see more rentals though, subsidized by the 75% of market condos that pay through their nose to make the mandated 25% rentals or even sub-market rentals !
      Cheaper housing will exist further out, in New West, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond or Delta/Tsawwassen where land is cheaper. But also coming in close to $600+ now minimum, for woodframe. Probably $700+ for concrete.
      A serious debate on the negative aspects of high immigration is in order. It has not only benefits [ I am an immigrant, btw, and I think it has benefits up to a point, but immigration is too high today ]. There are major costs, as we see with casino money, drug trades and very high home prices in GTA and Vancouver.

      1. Thomas. I say wildly unpopular in the world market for Skytrain context.
        As for immigration; this is a federal responsibility. In November 2017 the Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced that immigration levels will be increased by 13%. With further increases to come. There is absolutely no discussion in Canada to reduce immigration. New immigrants always start life in their new country in the less expensive areas, unless they are wealthy and we know where those people settle. So, it depends on which strata of immigrants the Liberals decide to allow in as to which areas of the city will see greater population growth.

        1. I am well aware immigration is a federal responsibility. The issues are felt locally though ie policing, housing, roads, transit or medical system, ALL strained to capacity, or breaking down already ! Where is the debate? More is better? Why? Maybe 50% less is better?
          As such I am glad the federal government is ponying up $4B for the MetroVan transit plan although it does not yet include phase 2 of this UBCLine. We shall see where the $s come from for this line
          Musqueams?
          Province?
          Feds?
          UBC?
          Additional levies on new development?
          Congestion pricing?
          City of Vancouver?
          Higher user fees?
          Or better, what mix of the above ?

    2. Elevated lines could be built to U B C , Langley ( & other ) using density value capture & the existing $ 4 billion budget. Elevated lines Don”t HAVE to be ugly

      1. IF Then cabinet minister Bill Van der Zalm had proposed a SUBWAY to New Westminister it would not have been built.

        1. Justin—— If the l East line is above the West line ( instead of next to each other ) there could be platforms on both sides of broadway for both directions with faster boarding & travel time

        2. Sorry Bob, didn’t see your reply there (not your fault – this type of comments page formatting gets tangled after 50+ posts).
          Split platforms are okay for a tunnel, but a split viaduct is going to create all kinds of unnecessary engineering problems…. and still requires building teardowns for the stations.

      2. Not unless you want to demolish half the Broadway corridor to make room for stations and track turns. Alma-UBC, maybe.

        1. (1) Developers want stations ( elevated or tunnel ) to be part of their project to charge higher rents They prefer a subway as long as they are not paying the extra billion $ —— (2) only 2 track turns.

        2. 1) Those stations are the entire point of having a SkyTrain line. Unless you want it to ride straight to UBC without stopping?
          2) There’s another at 10th and Alma. Nope, it’s gotta be a subway.

        3. Those stations can be elevated like most of vancouvers skytrain stations. Elevated stations can be extended if needed. Elevated rides are preferable to long tunnels Developers will co operate because they want those stations

        4. And those elevated stations would be big like most of Vancouver’s SkyTrain stations. Since central Broadway is pretty dense already, that means TransLink and/or the City’d have to remove a lot of it to make room for the stations; I’d say “penny wise, pound foolish” but the price of buying and demolishing all those midrises and highrises means that they wouldn’t be saving pennies OR pounds.

        5. Hard to overstate the difference in experience riding the elevated sections of Skytrain (it’s right in the effin name) and the underground sections. If you really want people to believe their transit experience is considered important by the requisite people who will pick it for them, then give us some sunlight and while you are at it, plan for sea level rise, because it’s pretty clear them-there tunnels will be pipelines for seawater in not such a long time.

        6. Subway or train elevated makes NO DIFFERENCE to most people. Speed and user experience ie comfort matters.
          What is missing at busy stations is exiting on one side of train and boarding on the other to reduce station stop time. That should be considered at Cambie @ Broadway intersection as it will be a VERY BUSY station.

        7. Sunlight and a view beyond a tunnel are part of the user experience.
          Two systems with no other differences but above ground or under ground. Which would people pick?
          Hint: CHUDs are just a movie trope not a real thing.

        8. Most people in Metro Vancouver would prefer to build 40 k of skytrain instead of 15k of subway with the $ 4 billion plus. Access to elevated stations can easily be from both sides of the road , unlike most underground stations

        9. Actually, you’d have the westbound entrance on the north side of the road and the eastbound entrance on the south side – that’d make access harder than an underground station.

  5. Always? Man you’re way off.
    Immigration almost entirely ends up in Greater Toronto and Metro Vancouver which are hardly cheaper areas. Even the arguement that they go to cheaper areas if the city is only true in some immigrant communities.
    ——-
    Who cares if what other cities are doing? If New York hasn’t had a significant expansion of transit since WW2, should we do the same? LIMs are great for avoiding longer tunnels than necessary. The Skytrain Bridge would have required a much larger run up if other vehicles were used. There’s a reason why the Canada Line gets stuck at the North Arm bridge frequently, it’s traction.
    If you’re listening to know nothings like DMJ/Zwei then you’re just going to keep chasing your own tail about market penetration. I tell you as an engineer, we don’t care about market penetration when selecting technologies. It’s all about usage cases and suitability. LIMs are great at quick acceleration, maximizing a small loading gauge and handling hilly terrain.
    Rather hilariously, LIMs actually have pretty decent market penetration in some areas, including Japan. The Oedo Line in Tokyo carries about 840K people per day LIM rolling stock.
    I’ve personally seen small locomotives slide significant distances. Traction matters, especially when exposed to weather. A LIM doesn’t have the same issues with wheel slippage that traction motors.

  6. There are a few issues conveniently ignored by Patrick Condon and Mr. Johnston-Zwei:
    Geometry. Every single intersection between Main and Alma except three is signalized. This allows everyone to cross the street safely at almost every corner. With signal priority, a surface tram will cut the walk signals short and limit pedestrian mobility. This is truly problematic in Central Broadway, especially in the VGH precinct with a higher-than-average number of elderly and infirm people needing to conduct the simple act of crossing the street with enough time to reach the other side, often with mobility aids.
    Who gets signal priority in the tram option, trains or pedestrians? It’s not possible to choose more than one.
    Mobility. There are two kinds of transit: fast / regional, and slow / local. Broadway is unique in that it currently and always must serve both. There is a lot of hyperbole about train capacity, but not a peep about frequency. To match the frequency of SkyTrain at the Burrard Station there will be 96 6-car trains an hour, or eight at each station every five minutes (I timed them once). Moreover, SkyTrain moves at 80 km/h between stations, and is clearly in the fast / regional category. High capacity LRT can move as many or more, but then one must get back to the geometry of Broadway and those inconvenient pedestrians crossing the street every 180 metres for a 6.2 km stretch of Broadway.
    Conclusion #1: It is not possible to achieve the speed, frequency and ridership on Broadway with surface trains unless you build a fenced median down the middle, like a Great Wall that limits pedestrian crossings to eight Main-Alma arterials, down from 36 out of 38 existing signalized crossings.
    Conclusion #2: It is not possible to respect existing pedestrian rights on Broadway with trams that have signal priority. Trams with no signal priority will merely replicate the Number 9 bus service. Why spend 1.5 billion to put the Number 9 on rails when you can just keep the bus?
    Conclusion #3: The only possible way to achieve improvements in the existing transit service while respecting pedestrian rights is to also respect BOTH fast / regional and slow / local service by building a high-capacity subway with a complementary improved Number 9 bus service. Taking enough private cars off the road will also afford an opportunity to vastly improve the surface pedestrian realm as a net benefit.
    Conclusion #4: Any discussion about costs is completely irrelevant without discussing the quality of transit service over the life of the asset, and the pedestrian experience. The form of urbanism should enter only after this juncture, not prematurely with costing as the single driver. Irrespective of the lame beancounting presented above, even a $6 billion subway will have 60 years of profitable service during its lifetime, and that can be achieved by low rise and mid-rise development.

    1. Well said.
      Besides cost there is also revenue and value, such as CACs and higher property values. As such this line is self-financing due to vastly increasing property values along the line and a few blocks in each direction per station. Billions in CACs and tens of millions in additional annual property taxes. CoV is the big winner here.
      ==> Where is the SFU paper or thesis to analyze this in more depth ?
      This line should be in the ground now. I do not get the dilly-dallying with so much additional revenue right in your face.
      What are we waiting for if senior governments can borrow at 2%? The Guinness family clearly saw these benefits and massive real estate gains when they built the Lionsgate bridge in the 1930s. They benefit to this day.

  7. Many world cities are experiencing rapid price rises for dwellings, so much so that the median age in the cities is rising because the young cannot afford to live there, so they move out to the suburbs.
    The Broadway subway will render Broadway and proxims up-scale and expensive. *New* Cambie-ish. Kits will become plush and no longer cheap and forget about funky.
    The young and the middle earners will go out to the subsurbs, just as they have and are doing in San Fran, NY and even Brooklyn, London, Paris and etc.
    The centre of Vancouver, including Point Grey, Kitsilano and maybe even UBC lands will increasing be like Coal Harbour. Shiny but not exactly vibrant.

    1. You are not commenting on the multiple-level effort to build affordable market and non-market rental housing, which will start to arrive in about two years.
      In addition, the average market prices of condos along rapid transit lines in East Van, Burnaby, Coquitlam and elsewhere are lower in average price than West Side condos where NO rapid transit line currently exists.
      There seems to be a great need for remedial training in research skills with some anti-rapid transit commenters here.

      1. The multiple efforts to build affordable market housing has been missing for a long time – over ten years. Too late. Vision missed it. During that time people have been leaving the centre and the city for affordable market housing, which they find elsewhere. Last week an architect told me of three members of the firm that had quit and moved away from Vancouver, for just this reason. Non-market rental housing dos not really create vibrant communities.
        As Michael Kluckner, and others, have written here, reasonably priced dwellings are always found in older buildings. Successive generations have found this in; Yorkville, Kitsilano, The Montreal Plateau, Shoreditch in London, The Haight or North Beach SFO, Surry Hills in Sydney, Brooklyn. These were or are where older and cheaper housing stock helped create neighbourhoods for dynamic young people and professionals and their cafe´s, restaurants and neat shops, etc.
        New condos along Broadway will not be cheap. Artists and crafts people will not be moving in to create a new ‘buzz’ and the prices for those lovely condos out around Wesbrook or the Theological Neighbourhood is not going to come down.
        In fact, Broadway will become more like Wesbrook and less like old 4th Ave or Yew.

        1. Sixty per cent of Vienna’s housing is public rentals. Is Vienna not filled with vibrant communities? Or the well-treed streets of South Granville that are filled with charming older rentals sprinkled with newer mid-rise condos? Government can choose to build the planned rentals near transit on Broadway, and can choose, like Vienna, to design them well and set the rates without a profit margin, or outright subsidize a portion of them.

  8. Why does no one ever talk about super cheap ideas like:
    1) Make UBC schedule more afternoon & evening courses to avoid rush hour. I hear in Barcelona there’s a Uni that has day & night ‘shifts’
    2) Run student only-buses from Commercial Dr and from Cambie. And make UBC chip in $$
    3) At LEAST stagger pick ups! Have some empty B-lines start their route at Cambie for chrissakes!
    4) Encourage/force UBC to develop more downtown space & programming. It’s ridiculous that thousands of ppl schlep out there & back everyday.
    5) Have express busses that only go between Commercial & Cambie since anyone with EYES could see this is one of the primary uses.
    I’m fairly confident 2,3 & 5 would do wonders to alleviate lines and congestion.

    1. 1) Won’t make much difference, the night buses are often packed too.
      2 and 5) Only half the 99’s riders go to UBC; the rest get off somewhere along Central Broadway. And since it’s a straight line all the way down, one big route is much more efficient than two small ones.
      3) Where are these empty buses you speak of, and where can I board one???
      4) Unless they tear up Robson Square, I don’t see how they can.

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