Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Malcolm Johnston of the Light Rail Committee Offers Excellent Comment

[The foto is of Dublin's wonderful LUAS system.]

David, years ago and in a different life, a I got a phone call from a European Transit type, representing one of the main players in the LRT/streetcar game.

The call went something like this:

"Hallo - I would like to speak to the head of the light rail department."

I replied, and some what taken aback by this and apologized;

"Sorry this is the Light Rail Committee and we don't have departments, let alone the people to staff them!"

The chap replied; "I was given your number by someone at TransLink."

I replied something like this; "I think you were given the toss by TransLink because they just don't do LRT, nor do they talk to people who do!

Realizing he was given the "bum's rush" by the transit types in the Ivory Towers on Kingsway, we talked for over an hour about transit and transit applications.

He told me that "one could build a LRT line from BCIT to UBC, via Broadway and 10th Ave. and a line from Main street to Stanly Park, that would double current bus ridership in two to three years, providing the revenue not only to pay operating costs, but to pay the dept servicing costs as well.

By doing so, it would be easy to find a transit company to plan, build and construct a LRT/streetcar line on the two routes with no cost to the taxpayer!

As well the LRT/streetcar service would replace buses operating on the route, thus saving TransLink a lot of money!

I am still laughed out of transit meetings when I repeat this, but of course, it is the same old TransLink/SkyTrain crowd the runs them; the same tired hacks that practice professional misconduct on a daily basis!

More recently, this quote from Gerald Fox, noted American transit experts should send chills down taxpayers spines.

"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."

In Vancouver, the Luddites rein supreme! Tax and spend forever!


Robert said...

So the guy who made the telephone call was an ëxpert, or just happened to agree with the receiver of the call. And this of course proves the current authorities are all wrong? Get a grip, or at least be factual and objective.

Anonymous said...

Interesting quote from Mr. Fox. Does he have a list of all of the places where ALRT was deemed not to pass muster ("scrutiny", in Fox's words) and/or a link(s)/citations for some o these studies?

Anonymous said...

Despite the supposed US expertise in transit matters, keep in mind that Skytrain has surpassed ridership in total numbers, passengers per capita, and passengers per kilometre, putting Vancouver's Skytrain in the top 10 in ridership in North America when we're not even in to top 10 cities in terms of geographical size or population. I'd say that's quite a success story, wouldn't you?