Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Malcolm

The gentleman in question later sent me several "in house" technical videos of light rail operations. As well when I faxed him for information (which he always courteously replied to me) was to a the head office of a large transit concern.

The only city that has copied Vancouver's SkyTrain "light-metro" philosophy was Seattle and their new hybrid light rail/metro system is a costly fiasco.

Who else copies Vancouver - no one, I wonder why?

Most transit experts I talk to (and I have talked to a lot), who live outside of the lower mainland, have all echoed the same phrase: "the problem you have in Vancouver is SkyTrain!"

With a metro system where 80% of its customers first take a bus before using it, is an indication of massive problems.

The problem with SkyTrain is that the region is funding a hugely expensive metro system, that is operating on routes that do not have the ridership to support it. The result:

A $230 million+ annual subsidy (not including the Canada Line), which means every higher fares and taxes to pay for it.

You can continue to build with SkyTrain, but be prepared for larger property tax increases and higher fares to pay for it! There comes a point of taxpayer exhaustion, then what?


Anonymous said...

Most transit systems in other parts of the world have separate fares for buses and metro systems.
Your ticket for a London bus won't get you on the Underground. That's another fare.

Malcolm Johnston said...

No not true any more, with most transit systems having 'value added fare cards. With a zonal fare system, the fare paid are apportioned to the various transit modes used. Same is true with the Oyster Card.

The Rail for The Valley Folks have a good piece explaining this.

Anonymous said...

I checked the fares on London Transit and there are still separate fares according to the mode of transit, whether one pays cash, or with an Oyster Card.
Example; 4 Pounds cash for zones 1-5 on the Underground, and 2 Pounds for the bus. Similar differences with the Oyster Card.

Anonymous said...

If you pay with an Oyster Card, you get the best fare possible at time of use, Oyster also, detects transit mode and zone fare. In London a 'thru-fare' (complete journey) has always been used with the fare apportioned to each mode used. In the elder days it was done by hand, today computer.

You mistake 'cash' fare with 'zone' fare. The amount of combined fares available in London, would make TransLink blush.

Satish Reddy said...

Where do you get all your figures from? Particularly, can you provide a breakdown of the $230 million subsidy for per year for Skytrain?

The following website compares ridership on various metros in North America

Vancouver is 8th using the riders/mile metric. Every city ahead of Vancouver on the list has a metro population at least 1.5 times greater.

Anonymous said...

Where do these transit experts live, and why should we listen to them? If I were a transit expert, there are literally dozens of cities in North America that I would be concerned about before Vancouver.

Supposed experts in Vancouver were proposing the Canada Line be an LRT down Arbutus. I used to believe their arguments, but now every time I ride the Canada Line to Richmond, I can't help but think that had we listened to self-appointed transit experts I would be taking a 1km+ detour to Arbutus Street (and back again!) to ride down an abandoned one-way train track.