Archive for the ‘skyTrain’ 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


Alternatives to Broadway Corridor SkyTrain

November 16, 2009

Posted by Jake Tobin Garrett


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.


Canada Line to lose millions each year despite strong ridership

November 15, 2009

Rail for the Valley

By zweisystem

Another TransLink Bambozzle

From the “Tip of the Iceberg Department”; the RAV/Canada Line is going to cost TransLink money but until the BC Auditor General has a go at TransLink, SkyTrain and RAV, the public will never know the true costs of the new subway or of TransLink’s metro operation.

The $14 million to $21 million shortfall mentioned is just on the $300 million or so P-3 part of the project and TransLink’s portion of the metro and does not include the annual debt servicing costs of the over $1 billion in senior government money invested in the subway. If TransLink’s appeal of Susan Heyes lawsuit fails and hundred of other affected merchants sue, TransLink’s shortfall for the RAV/Canada Line will increase dramatically.


– Tom Prendergast is resigning as CEO of TransLink

November 6, 2009

ED. One of the main reasons for Mr Pendergast’s abrupt departure was “…past decisions on rapid transit lines tipped too easily in favour of SkyTrain-type technology” (read government interference) and his pledge to vigorously analyze alternatives like at-grade light rail, were blocked by the Campbell liberals.


“There’s something wrong somewhere. I think it is a bad sign,” says George Puil, former chair of the 10-year-old agency, which manages all transit and roads in the South Coast region. It has been plagued by money shortages and conflicts with the provincial government almost since its first day”.



Departure of TransLink’s CEO ‘tragic’ turn for region

By Jeff Nagel – BC Local News

It’s a major blow for the region and hopes for transportation improvements.

Tom Prendergast is resigning as CEO of TransLink to return to New York.

Prendergast was a big part of the vision behind TransLink’s recent push for an ambitious expansion of the transit system.

He fused together a surprisingly strong coalition of both Metro Vancouver’s 21 mayors and a new professional board of directors that was installed to replace elected politicians in 2008. (more…)

– TransLink faces $97 million deficit

October 30, 2009

Province abandons TransLink, mayors fill in the blanks

By Sarah Chung

The Lower Mainland will be facing higher transit fares and an increase in fuel taxes after the Metro Vancouver Mayors Council approved a $130 million supplementary plan for TransLink last Friday.

The $130 million approval means an increase in fuel taxes by three cents a litre, and a ten per cent increase in transit fares. The alternative was for mayors to refuse any funding increase, which would force an array of cuts, including a 40 per cent reduction in bus services.


– Region’s sustainable transit plan must be funded

October 29, 2009

Vancouver Sun

By Mike Harcourt

If TransLink’s “sustainable Metro Vancouver” budget increased $450 million per year — on top of its present approximately $1-billion budget — we could have:

– Three more LRT lines (Evergreen Line from Lougheed Mall to Coquitlam Town Centre via Port Moody, the Millennium Line extended toward the University of British Columbia and an expanded and extended Expo Line);

– Seven Bus Rapid Transit(BRT) Lines: King George Highway and Scott Road in Surrey; Lougheed to Abbotsford, 200th in Langley;