Archive for the ‘Light Rail Transit’ 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

Delta

Paul R. Landry: The TransLink tax merry-go-round

November 21, 2009

The Straight

By Paul R. Landry

Newly minted Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Shirley Bond was quick to rebuff a $450-million ask from the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation to support TransLink’s latest incarnation of its 10-year transportation plan. Her “no” was made more significant by the fact that the mayors were being supported by business, labour, and environment leaders.

So, it won’t be long before the residents and businesses of Metro Vancouver will be asked to pony up as much as $340 million a year in higher taxes, fees, and fares to fund TransLink’s mandate as our local transportation authority. That’s a whopping 35 percent increase from today’s funding levels—a hike of up to $150 per man, woman, and child in the region.

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Denver chooses light rail to airport

November 20, 2009

9News.com

DENVER, USA

DENVER – Travelers in the metro area are closer to being able to take light rail to Denver International Airport. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) announced Friday that the environmental approval for the FasTracks project to the airport has been completed.

During Friday’s news conference, leaders from RTD and DIA shared their excitement.

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Ottawa rapid transit network trains will be low-floor electric light rail

November 19, 2009

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa rapid transit network trains will be low-floor electric light rail, powered by overhead wires that will be automated along the Transitway, but manually operated at street level.

With little ceremony yesterday, the city’s transit committee unanimously approved the technology that will someday form the main line of the city’s rapid transit network.

A single type of car will be used for each section of the completed network, rather than a mixed fleet with small trains serving lower capacity routes.

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Private partner may design, build and finance new TTC projects

November 19, 2009

By Allison Hanes, National Post

Metrolinx and the Toronto Transit Commission are in talks to bring in private partners to design, build and most notably finance the new Finch Avenue light rail line, the overhaul of the Scarborough rapid transit line and possibly the 33-kilometre partially buried Eglinton Crosstown line.

While the TTC often contracts out design and construction work, it would be the first time a major infrastructure project in the city is bankrolled by the private sector and paid for with public dollars on delivery, said John Howe, the vice-president of investment strategies for Metrolinx.

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Alternatives to Broadway Corridor SkyTrain

November 16, 2009

beyondrobson.com

Posted by Jake Tobin Garrett

Nov15Skytraintunnel.jpg

Image by Graham_Ballantyne from the BR Flickr Pool

On October 23, 2009 several mayors voted to increase funding for Translink to $130m in order to keep services running at the same level we are experiencing now (as opposed to a cut back to 1970s levels–ouch). Unfortunately, this plan falls short of the increase in funding Translink needed for expansion, and so expansion has effectively been shelved for the moment.

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Los Angeles County chooses light rail

November 14, 2009

ED. Design of L.A. stations are superb – if only Vancouver could have hired architects with vision and imagination.

L.A. Times

By Christopher Hawthorne ARCHITECTURE CRITIC

Mariachi Plaza Station (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) This stop was designed by architect William Villalobos and artist Alejandro de la Loza.

Sunday’s opening of eight new Metro stations on a path from downtown to East L.A. lays down tracks toward an exciting future.

It’s the latest light-rail line in Los Angeles County, running six miles from downtown L.A. through Boyle Heights and into East Los Angeles. When it opens to the public on Sunday, the Gold Line will run from Pasadena to East L.A. The Eastside extension cost $898 million to build. Construction began in 2004.

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