Letters

This is a random collection of various newspaper reader comments about transit in BC

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Keep public services public

Burnaby Now

November 28, 2009

Dear Editor:

Our public services are rapidly being taken over by private, profit-seeking corporations. More and more they are providing the services that were once provided by the public sector, which is accountable to the voters. Now new contracts are being signed between government and the private sector that are kept secret in the name of business interests.

We have no idea whether these companies are living up to their contracts; we can only monitor the quality of service they provide. Advocates for seniors in private, for-profit care facilities are finding many problems ranging from shortages of staff to poor quality food. Private companies are sub-contracting services like cleaning and care. Recently, three of these sub-contractors providing care staffing went bankrupt, causing disruption.

Management is under constant pressure to increase profits, and one way to do that is to cut back on staff and wages and benefits. B.C. TransLink, our public transit system, has contracted with the American company MVT to manage the HandyDART service, and now the system is embroiled in a strike.

Transit service to the disabled has not been available since the end of October, leaving many prisoners in their own homes. MVT management has refused the union offer to go to binding arbitration for fear they will not get all the concessions they are demanding. With the company refusing to bargain, no one knows when the service will resume.

Boosting profits is the prime objective of MVT, providing a critical service is simply a means to that end. Meanwhile the people dependent on the HandyDART drivers to come and pick them up – so they can escape their depression-causing isolation and resume their lives – continue to wait.

TransLink contracted out its responsibility to provide quality services and to provide fair conditions for workers. I think TransLink should be held responsible for getting MVT back to bargaining or demand they accept the union offer of arbitration. We should not be content to allow the rights of disabled people to be so callously disregarded.

Elsie Dean, Burnaby

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Vancouver Courier

Nov. 25.09

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

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

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Taxpayers pay for wrongheaded transit

Re: “Premier part of Prendergast’s exit,” Nov. 13.

Thanks for Allen Garr’s excellent article. Glad you still have some intelligent antidote rather than the insipid Mark Hasiuk.

Garr underscores again how transit is mismanaged by the province, Metro Vancouver and above all by TransLink. Why we had to attract an expensive executive to run transit is one big question. Is the government telling all of us (taxpayers) that we do not have capable transit managers in Vancouver?

The Commercial-UBC extension using SkyTrain will cost the good taxpayers of Vancouver $1.98 billion. If we had a visionary at the reigns of TransLink, who would advocate a light rail system, the cost would be $370 million and we would have lots of money left over for the Evergreen Line.

Premier Gordon Campbell, take note. Our province is nearly bankrupt thanks to your policies. We are back in debt more then ever. TransLink is broken–sorry, I mean broke.

When your next appointment is made, let’s source local–at least we can save $60,000 in relocation costs and create local employment. It is time that media and local politicians start to ask very hard questions about Vancouver’s SkyTrain system. The buck must stop here and not at the taxpayers doorstep. May these idiosyncrasies encourage citizens to speak up and become involved.

Petra Hartt,

Vancouver

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The Straight
EVIL EYE
Nov. 20.09

TransLink is bankrupt, both in revenue and in thinking.

It is a monstrous bureaucracy that has done little to provide a transit service that would alleviate gridlock and pollution. SkyTrain is a good example of its blinkered thinking: SkyTrain costing up to 10 times to build for about the same capacity of light rail (from the TTC) is an orphaned transit system long rejected by transit planners around the world, yet TransLink still plans for more.

RAV is a cheaper SkyTrain clone (because SkyTrain itself, was too expensive) will operate on a transit route that will be lucky in achieving 60,000 passengers a day. Sad fact is, if LRT were to have been built instead, we could have had a larger network (even servicing the Olympic skating Oval) for one third the cost. But no, TransLink wanted an expensive subway to appease Gordo and his pals.

TransLink operates many bus services that carry less than 20 passengers a day, yet on routes that cater to high ridership such as Broadway, not enough buses operate! This is not just sheer incompetence, it is sheer lunacy.

We have a TransLink board of Gordo puppets, who know little about transit and alot about who pays their stipend, making decisions that are both foolhardy and expensive. The public are ignored, except of course forced to pay more for a dysfunctional Transclunk.

TransLink is like the Titanic after hitting a financial iceberg, the captain and crew fully believe that a rescue will come in-time, while at the same time the passengers are drowning in red ink. Let us hope that this TransLink ‘Titanic’ sinks with captain crew, never to be heard from again.

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Nov. 15.09

Mr. Mayor and councillors, stop playing with transit and leave it to the experts

Abbotsford News

Letter to the Editor

When are the mayor and councillors in the City of Abbotsford going to come to terms with the reality of living in this city?

There are not enough employment opportunities in Abbotsford to sustain the level of income required to support the cost of living here. That is why so many people have to take an antiquated two lane road every day, to pursue opportunities in Langley, Surrey, Burnaby and beyond.

The City of Abbotsford persists in throwing taxpayers’ money at a token bus service that can take you no further than Aldergrove, Mission or Chilliwack, using completely unrealistic timetables. I have never seen more than half a dozen people on these buses at any time of the day.

Why are Abbotsford residents unable to connect to the excellent transit system that lies to the west of us? I have to drive for 30 minutes to catch a TransLink bus in Walnut Grove that provides a service every 10 minutes to the SkyTrain.

Mr. Mayor and councillors, stop playing with transit and leave it to the experts. Stop the scare tactics about the cost per litre on gas prices of joining the TransLink system – if you take the time to check the price at the pump, there are times of the year when I have witnessed prices in Vancouver the same as in Abbotsford. Typically there is only a five to seven cent difference. Let us take those empty buses and point them in the right direction.

Why are we the only municipality in the Lower Mainland left with no connection to the 21st century? We will be no better off when the Hwy. 1 Port Mann project is completed, as the upgrades stop at 216th Street, meeting the needs of those from Langley west, who are “penalized” with marginally higher gas prices.

Bob Moore

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October 23.09

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.

I was stunned to read in the Richmond papers that TransLink expects ridership to increase. Where? By riding on the roof? Get real. People work during the day. They start in the morning and go home in the evening and yet you have failed to foresee these numbers. In the real engineering world, if you failed this badly, you would never get another job, ever!

The station length precludes the addition of more cars.

I have been riding the Canada Line for over a month now and you have done nothing to improve conditions.

The situation is ripe for pick-pockets. I’ve already had a suspicious incident.

On my very first train ride I witnessed a shouting match because of overcrowding. On Monday this week, I witnessed a young man selling drugs two feet outside the Brighouse station.

This morning, a suspicious person in a green jacket asked to see my ticket. When I asked politely to see some ID, he left the area. I think he was looking to snatch a wallet. Green Canada Line jackets are for sale on eBay.

Last week I heard a UBC student brag how he travels from UBC to Richmond free. He gets on at Brighouse (no ticket required) and then gets on the back door a 99 at Broadway (no ticket required).

Two weeks ago I had to ask the connecting bus driver why he was doddling along at 20 kph for the last 100 metres before the Brighouse station when a departing train was about to leave.

He had no idea of the train schedule and the fact that 15 people on his bus now had to wait 12 more minutes for the next train. How insane is that? The system is in chaos and it’s only two months old.

Does anyone in your office actually get out there and look at the situation? To me it’s obvious what is needed immediately.

The YVR train from downtown is always less utilized, and between Bridgeport and YVR is never full in rush hour. So, run them every third train instead of every second. Two to Brighouse, then one to YVR. Increase train frequency from three minutes to two effective immediately, before you have a crowding disaster.

I have told you before, TransLink, if you cannot and will not run the transportation system properly, get out of the business and let people who know what they are doing do their job.

Barrie Hobkirk, Richmond

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Oct.1.09

There are alternatives to Broadway SkyTrain

I don’t understand the apparent obsession with building a rapid-transit line directly on or under Broadway when a perfectly good alternative route already exists just a few blocks north of Broadway along the 6th Avenue railway spur [Straight Talk, September 24–October 1].For the most part, this line is already in a deep trench and would only need to be covered—obviously much cheaper and far less disruptive than either a tunnelling or cut-and-cover operation under Broadway itself. The 2nd Avenue–6th Avenue line could easily be connected with the current Millennium Line terminus at VCC, would tie in to the Canada Line at the Olympic Village Station, and—unlike a line on Broadway—would serve Granville Island, a high-volume and hard-to-park destination. From Granville Island, the line could be extended up the Arbutus rail corridor, and then by means of a cut-and-cover operation under the 16th Avenue centre median, out to UBC, thus making it a true “college” line, connecting Douglas College, SFU, VCC, and UBC.In a time of limited availability of dollars for transit expansion, an “on Broadway” line is just too expensive to be realistic, and this “off Broadway” alternative is the only feasible and sensible solution that is ever likely to come to fruition.> Gerry Polman / VancouverTOP……………………………………………………………………..

 

JUNE 09.09

The TransLink board of amateurs is at it again, holding another phoney public consultation process. Sorry, not this time, as it’s a case of TransLink trying to fool the public once again. Please no more.

The recent $600,000 award to a Cambie Street merchant for negligence may be repeated more than 100 times, and is due to less-than-honest public consultation with the RAV cut-and-cover subway. The public is tired of TransLink’s spiel.

Much of TransLink’s financial woes are due to the folly of building with the hugely expensive, yet obsolete SkyTrain light metro system. Bolstered by questionable reports and studies, TransLink blunders on, forgetting the cardinal rule that elevated and/or subway systems need enormous daily traffic flows of 400,000 to 500,000 passengers a day to justify construction or huge subsidies (read tax increases) must be made.

Hasn’t the TransLink board ever questioned why no one in North America or Europe builds with SkyTrain?

TransLink keeps operating buses on routes that do not have ridership. Example: in South Delta, three local bus services carry fewer than 50 customers a day. The result: more subsidies and higher taxes. How many more bus routes operate like this, haemorrhaging taxpayers’ money?

Isn’t it time for independent audits of the bus routes and SkyTrain? The estimated $450 million TransLink shortfall is due solely to inept planning, political interference, and absolutely zero oversight. The taxpayer is maxed out and fat-cat bureaucrats need to understand this.

For too long transit has been treated as a “Mom and apple pie” issue and politicians and the board believe the more expensive a project is, the better it is. Yet it hasn’t worked.

Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, is a definition of madness and it seems exactly what TransLink and its board suffers from.

Malcolm Johnston

Light Rail Committee

Delta

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Elevators too small; 3 block walk to catch the bus

Last Tuesday, I took the Canada Line from the airport to my home near Bute and Davie streets in the West End. The trains glided smoothly, like Toronto’s modern streetcars, and the temperature inside was comfortable.

However, the cars are half the size of those in most other cities with subway systems. And the seat configuration puzzled me: I’m used to bench-style seating along the two sides that maximizes luggage space and standing room.

A bigger issue is accessibility at the stations. The elevator at Yaletown fit only three people comfortably. (One had luggage; another had a bicycle.)

On arriving at ground level, I expected bus service right outside the exit on Davie Street. Instead, we had to walk three blocks uphill to Richards Street to connect to the Number 6 bus.

My primary problem right now is getting to and from the station — always with luggage, as I am a flight attendant.

A friend of mine who was at the Yaletown station saw taxis parking haphazardly and illegally around the entrance, as well as some passengers, who had left with luggage, start up the hill on Davie and then give up, returning to take a cab.

Clifford Chan

Vancouver

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Linda
August 24, 2009

Yes, definitely, how is it countries like Japan have payment/ticket  technology down to a science and yet, we are wasting our time and money on inadequate systems.   Another example are the ticket machines on our buses.  You know the ones that take about 8 seconds to read your ticket and spit it back.  When I complained to a bus drivier about them, he informed me that they were bought, 2nd hand, from NYC transit, at a pretty penny and they were advised NOT to buy them.    They are such a joke, esp when compared to instant ticket readers that can be found in all stations in Tokyo.

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Canada Line boondoggle

Carol Vignale, TransLink’s ‘lil puppy desperately extolling the virtues of the Canada Line is not a transit expert, and has little knowledge about modern public transit (Canada Line a boon? South Delta Leader, Aug. 14, 2009).

Metro/subways are never planned for unless projected ridership on the line exceeds 400,000 to 500,000 a day. If a metro line does not carry such numbers it must be heavily subsidized; the fewer the passengers the higher the subsidy.

Higher subsidies translates into road tolls and higher property taxes.

But there is more. Subways have proven very poor in attracting new ridership and the Canada Line may very well force more people into cars.

The Canada Line is too costly to be extended and as designed will only offer faster journey times to those who live and work near RAV stations. For many, taking the car will be faster than taking a bus transferring to RAV at Casino Junction and possibly transferring to another bus to complete their journey.

One can lose upwards of 70 per cent of potential ridership per transfer.

A metro system’s speed does not attract ridership itself, rather it is the speed of the overall journey that is important. Studies have shown that RAV will increase journey times for most current bus customers, who will lose their direct express buses and be forced to transfer onto the metro.

According to the group DoRav Right, which did an independent audit of the RAV/Canada Line, the cost was near $2.5 billion, not the $2 billion quoted by the B.C. Liberal Government.

The Canada Line P-3 was a charade and the consortium which built the subway used cheap foreign labour and a bait and switch from bored tunnel to cheaper cut-and-cover subway construction. The recent successful action by Cambie St. merchant, Susan Heyes, against TransLink, may wipe out any cost savings the switch as more merchants are now suing TransLink. At no time did the consortium assume risk on RAV, as the taxpayer will soon find out.

What the RAV/Canada Line really is, is a hugely expensive, politically prestigious, under-built metro system, like a cheap Xmas train-set, that will fail to attract sufficient patronage to justify its construction.

And one wonders why TransLink is in such financial peril and (Premier Gordon) Campbell has forced the phony ‘carbon’ or gas tax and HST onto the public.

Malcolm

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August 21, 2009

Private Operator? Just great. So its not public transit but private transit at the tax payer expense. Didnt know there was enough margin to make a profit off PUBLIC TRANSIT. Oh right there isnt hence the subsidy. So the surcharge all also goes to this company which by the way you didnt even mention their name in this piece.

Two billion in public funds(how much of those millions in bonuses because the line was finished ahead of schedule and law suites from the Cambie merchants), a subsidy to the operator on top of the usual subsidy for transit. Nice deal for the operator. How is this a partnership? Did this un-named company invest in the construction of the line? I dont think so. Are they paying for the turnstiles on the Canada Line which were at one time promised for this year. Just what is at stake for them? Is there an out in this 35 year swindle? The line looks great and is fast and quiet and air conditioned though the stations are small but why does a private company get to make a profit off of the publics investment?

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August 21, 2009

When I used Translink’s online form to comment on a texting bus driver, I got a message saying that my Yahoo e-mail address was invalid. I tried my Excite mail address and got the same thing. I use Apple Safari and thought this might be the problem so I tried Opera and it was the same thing. Went to the library where they use Windows-based computers and again, their online form wouldn’t accept my e-mail address. Is this Translink’s way of not dealing with the public?

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CK
August 19, 2009

It’s typical of Translink to try to put spin spin spin … the placement of a Park & Ride at River Rock is to try to entice transit users to River Rock. Like we don’t have enough problem gamblers in BC. And for many who don’t live in downtown Richmond, if they can drive all the way to Bridgeport River Rock, they might as well drive to Vancouver. And the train, only three-day old but the train windows are already smuggy, no cleaning. The stairwells at the Broadway Cambie station need scrubbing. Time to let some of the Translink executives go and hire some cleaners to clean the buses and trains. World class, not yet.

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Mamabear
August 19, 2009

I think it is a huge mistake not to create Park and Rides at the stations. It would definitely encourage those who are going downtown to drive to and park their car there and then jump on the Skytrain. It is unrealistic to expect that people will switch to transit cold turkey – they need to ease into it  When Toronto built their suburban subway stations many years ago, they built adjacent parking lots. Consequently, it was a serious alternative to those who wished to drive part way and then use public transit downtown. It made it easy and convenient and people embraced it wholeheartedly. There was a big shift to using public transit immediately by many who had previously only driven to work. I love taking the Skytrain to work downtown but want to drive from my house to those stations as the local bus is very slow and unreliable (i.e. every 20 minutes if we are lucky!).

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Drivin’ instead

Did they say $3.75 for a single ride?! What a rip off. And just wait until it goes up to $4.00 the day after the ‘Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympic Games.’ It makes me very disappointed to think of all the piles of our tax payers’ cash that will be flowing to the ‘Public/Private Partnership’ crooks who are behind this whole thing. Remember, they get paid in full for a set number (overestimated, of course) of riders, even if not a single person ever uses this turkey. And Trans link are canceling the 98 B-line, one of the better buses in the whole Lower Mainland! Wow. This fiasco reminds me of the ‘Mono Rail’ episode of The Simpsons.

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Mike in Langley

We don’t need park and ride facilities??? Translink has their finger on the pulse of their customers… ya they know what we need alright. It’s obvious from the number of tickets and towing on day two (schools not even in yet) and they again (arrogant as they are) are telling their CUSTOMERS what they need. What happened to customer input and service. Another bureaucratic blunder…what a bunch. This again will make people angry enough not to use the system…which kind of defeats the point of spending all that money.

Arrogant Idiots.

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Gord Pollock

Remember the big Be Part Of The Plan consultation Translink just finished? I looked at the results. They comment that there was strong interest in more park and rides, that people had mentioned this at every meeting and often online.

I don’t relish accusing Translink of ignoring their customers, but when they get this input then claim there’s no interest in Park’n’rides, what other explanation is there?

(I used to live by Landsdowne. Their parking lot is underused. They could totally tear up part of it and turn it into a parking garage.)

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8/17/2009

P3s are not that great. The private sector would still manage to make money over the life of the contract even if they had to pay for cost over-runs. Also, there are ridership guarantees in the contract, which I think are a little high at 100 000 per day because I think it will be a few years to reach that level. That means Translink will have to pay the private partner money when ridership falls short, which I think it will, so this project could end up costing us, the taxpayers, a lot more than the $2 billion it cost to build it. I am also in the dark when it comes to the ridership numbers because I wasn’t able to find how much Translink will provide for each rider to the private partner. Turnstiles are not going to be installed until at least 2012, which would have made it easy to track ridership.Having a completely different system than Skytrain will make it expensive to run and maintain after it is handed over to Translink in 35 years because it means having staff trained for 2 different systems from running it to working on it. Also, it would have saved money by only needing to stock parts for one system and would have been a lot more convenient to have the Canada line tie into the Expo line at Waterfront.There will be an added fare for riding the line to YVR, as opposed to the rest of the system, but conveniently that won’t happen until after the Olympics (well some time in 2010).I also wonder if they will ever extend this line further like they plan on doing with the other lines. As for station platform extensions, my understanding is that they only allowed for a 10m extension, which means that if another car was added to the train it would stick out 5m at each end.After all the problems I see with this, I do feel that the line should have been built, just that the technology should have been the same as the other lines and not a P3 project. Lastly, as a local taxpayer for this project, I hope this doesn’t cost me more than it already has.

 

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Andrea C. // Aug 18, 2009

I had to ride “the thing that mauled Vancouver” and experience it for myself.

I got on at Waterfront at 7:30 p.m. this evening. Nearly everyone else on board was a looky-lou like me. I was at the very back of the train, so I was treated to a retreating view of the scenery. I was sure I would get nauseous, but this new train doesn’t go nearly fast enough for that. The first part of the trip featured the round tunnel of many pieces and pipes and wires. The second part featured the relatively smooth square tunnel of pipes and wires. I found the atmosphere in the tunnels suicidal, and I’ve been on a few metros in my day (not the really grand ones). The stations ceased to be of interest after the second stop. They are, bluntly, small and ugly on the inside. The lighting was harsh, too.
After maintaining a easygoing tempo along a relatively brief “underground” second, the train made a valiant climb for the great outdoors and pulled into the Marine Drive Station. The air con/exchange whirred noisily ahead.
Long story short, I went all the way to the “new, new” YVR (yawn) and went back along a stingy single track towards the parkade/casino. This time I didn’t make it downtown because the lack of air exchange in my car was making me want to throw up in my mouth, literally. It’s really lovely smelling chewing gum someone chewed at the other end of the car a few trips ago. It wasn’t worth the reduction of in-car noise. I sincerely hoped no one on board was nursing a contagious disease, because I was surely breathing it in. I had to bail at Broadway (another dinky station).

This line was clearly made for shuttling the worker drone from his or her suburban box to his or her stifling cubicle downtown, no frills. There was no intention on the part of the designers/powers that be to make the link anything but as depressing and unimpressive as the average working stiff’s work or home enviroment. Bah, humbug.

So glad I don’t have to ride this thing. Ever.
I know I’m still paying for it, but I’ll gladly pay to stay off, thanks. (And, no, I’m not a driver).

P.S. Maybe all of the savings incurred from the bare bones construction job has been plowed into safety, maintainance and the like. Maybe.

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Bill Lee // Aug 18, 2009

The Canada line has no washrooms. One day there will have to be a Critical Piss-In to point that out.

And if you get faint there is no where to sit and rest on the platform. 2 single seat chairs don’t make it. The Refuge areas for wheelchair are very poorly marked. And who decided to have shallow elevators? With no corner mirrors for who-is-behind-you.

I was disappointed by the signage. “Way Out” rather than Exit? All the station platforms look alike from the train cars. At least in Montreal they have colours and differences. Anyone standing who is above the Richmond average height of 167 cm (5 ft 6 in) can’t see the station signs from the windows So lifeless, colourless, they really expect it was just for them, little Alan Dever. How does well-over 6 feet Jean-Marc Arbaud, CEO of InTransit, see the station signs?

There is no moving light on the in-car station maps, and there is no map of the system to show the interchanges and what leads to what. I’ll be glad to see the Translick agreement when Cameron Ward’s FoI request is shown.
People were standing on one side and the door opens on the other.

No, the readographs are not sufficient. One language, too crowded with block lettering and if sitting down, can’t be seen over the heads of standees.

The crowd gave a loud cheer when the cars came out of the 57th street tunnel, so I expect that they were a little nervous about the tunnel. They’ll get over that by the second fire.

Speaking of which I see there the first bombs will go off at a flammable site just opposite the BridgePort Gambling-losers-R-Us station. And I can’t wait until thousand of newspaper pages fly along the tunnels from the 24 and Metro as where we see them on the Skytrain.

At the Airport I was shocked by the disinterest in the comfort of the international passsenger. You come out of the international terminal, tired, dehydrated from a 13 hour flight and some guard says that you can’t come up here, speaking in some pagan language, and pointing to something far off. Ain’t going to happen. We are all going up the down stairs to get on Now!!

Signs, as at the Federal jurisdiction airport, are in three languages, though they use the form of Chinese characters used by smaller countries like Singapore, and not that of Hong Kong. But once on the platform there is no other language than the barbaric Germanic Anglo-saxon. And they want us to pay for the ticket when we only have Euros or US Dollars or RMB or our JCB card and Yen or the transit thugs will taser us again. There is a sign saying “Change at Bridgeport” so there must be a Bureau de Change there. Riiight.

I’ve had to buy a newspaper to throw away to get change from a $20 for the tiny community bus with the unhelpful Sikh driver, me very tired after 15 hours from Asia. Charging when you don’t give change, or we only carry “large bills”? Fuggeddit. Canada Line, a fully controlled part of CLCO, should give up charging anything from that Airport station. It is an excess imposition, few ever do take transit. And the well-being of all visitors would be enhanced by multi-lingual greetings, maps, indexes and welcoming INTransit thugs who speak five languages and wear a soft suit and wave/waive everyone on board free.

There never have been many people taking the city bus to and from the airport. And many have been workers, or foreign students saving money.

And those airport workers and in the airport shops still making the training wage of $6 an hour (before they are fired before six months are up), will resent paying two hours of wages to get on and off the airport. Though Canada-line has set up several airport checkin booths at the stations, this is not going to happen. When they find that there are so few customers, the trains will cut back to once a half hour, or once a hour and everyone will be late for the plane. Stupid, stupid.

I hope that B.C.’s next premier makes CLCO execs “an offer they can’t refuse” and breaks the management deal. SNC-Lavalin will give the system to the Metro for tax write-offs and other considerations.

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