Archive for the ‘Letters’ category

There is a good reason only seven SkyTrain type systems have been sold in the past 30 years.

November 25, 2009

Vancouver Courier

Letter to the Editor

The article “TransLink’s Prendergast offers parting advice” contains an error, which is commonly made by those who know little about modern LRT, which must be rectified.

The comment: “At-grade light rail typically can’t carry as many people or run as fast as grade-separated SkyTrain,” is absolutely false.

The maximum capacity of a modern LRT line is over 20,000 persons per hour per direction and even some European streetcar or tram systems do manage 20,000 persons per hour in peak hours on portions of their lines.

SkyTrain, limited by automatic (driverless) train control can only manage under 15,000 persons per hour and needs a billion dollars or more in upgrades just to match what modern LRT can achieve today.

As for speed, SkyTrain’s higher commercial speeds can be, in part, accounted for fewer stations per route kilometre than comparable LRT systems.

The maximum speed for SkyTrain is about 80 km/h, yet in Portland, their MAX LRT line travels at 90 km/h on portions of their line.

MAX’s commercial speed is lower than SkyTrain because it has about twice as many stations per route kilometre than SkyTrain and the light rail travels as a streetcar through downtown Portland, with no track reservation or signal priority at intersections.

St. Louis’ LRT system in fact has a higher commercial speed than our SkyTrain light metro.

One would wish the media stop listening to the many SkyTrain urban myths and start dealing with established facts about modern light rail.

Malcolm Johnston


TramTrain perfect for Valley LRT

November 15, 2009

Letter to the Editor

The Light Rail Committee has long supported the reinstatement of the Vancouver to Chilliwack interurban service and has long corresponded to transportation experts in Europe and the USA, who also support the return of the interurban.

The concept of TramTrain, where specially designed streetcars or diesel light rail vehicles can safely ‘share the track’ with regular railways, has never been explored by TransLink, who prefer to squander billions of dollars building the SkyTrain metro system on routes that do not have the ridership to support the mode. It is all so easy for TransLink, grab taxes from valley residents and spend it on SkyTrain and subways in Vancouver.


– Rural residents tired of getting stuck with the bill

October 29, 2009

Aldergrove Star

Letter to the Editor

Regarding the increased taxes for TransLink. Here we go again… rural, unserviced taxpayers paying more to support urban services.

We rural taxpayers are screaming for service and now I have to pay three cents more per litre for my gasoline so I can get to work in 25 minutes because a bus would take me one and a half hours.

As for the Aldergrove Border Crossing opening at 5 a.m. during the Olympics… shake your head… The statistics quoted may be correct, but that crossing gets little crossing during the wee hours simply because it’s not open.

Do they really think that we enjoy driving to Sumas to cross the border just to drive back to Aldergrove? Open the gate, and people will use it.

D. Atkinson, Aldergrove

– New Canada Line already outdated

October 23, 2009

ED. The continued incompetence of TransLink management is well documented in this must-read Letter to the Editor.

Richmond News
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Does anyone else out there feel like I do?

Congratulations TransLink! You have designed a system that is already outdated. The new Canada Line is crammed to the doors during rush hour and there is virtually no room for expansion. What are you going to do in five years when the population of Richmond has grown 20 per cent?

Go green? What a joke. I’m thinking about going back to my car. At 60 years old, I’m getting very tired of paying $100 a month to be crammed in, having to stand, and being pushed and shoved for 30 minutes.


– Can’t imagine daily bus rush

October 22, 2009

Peace Arch News

Letter to the Editor

I have not noticed any further comments on the new transportation arrangements to Vancouver.

Yesterday, I went “into town” to one of the art shops I patronize.

Previously, it took me 40-50 minutes to arrive at my destination. This time, the bus left White Rock Centre close to 5 p.m., with me arriving at the Broadway store at 6:40 – almost in tears.

A blooming disaster, if anyone would’ve asked me!

The Canada Line was standing room only – all the way – unable to find a comfortable spot where I felt secure. The 99 B-line was packed full, a young woman graciously ceded her seat to me. Great speed and dexterity used to “debus.”

The return trip was only one hour, but would not have been for my luck and age, as I was one of only four passengers that got on that bus – another 20 were left behind.

Three more minutes is nothing, you say. It adds up.

Standing squished next to driver, I dared ask if it is always this busy at this time. No, it is like this all day long, since the 98 B-line was taken out, he replied, just as gently.

Then, I was swept up to the Canada Line in mad rush. This time I, like most other rude people, walked on before all “detrained” and grab myself one of just a few seats available at that instant.

I do not understand why or how commuters accept this situation; can’t imagine this on a daily basis.

Alicia M.B. Ballard, White Rock

– TransLink is broke and broken

October 6, 2009


The Tri-City News

TransLink is broke and the reasons are easy to understand.

TransLink operates light metro (in the guise of SkyTrain and the Canada Line) on routes that do not have the ridership to support them. SkyTrain is subsidized by more than $230 million annually and to date more than $8 billion has been spent on light metro in the region, yet TransLink’s regional share of ridership is about 11% to 12% and has not changed in almost two decades.

There has not been a discernible modal shift from car to transit in the region in almost two decades.