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  1. Does anyone know why there have been a bunch of new hybrid artics from BTC on the 20 the past week or so? I've seen ocassional non-trolleys before but they are rare and usually from VTC. Is the 20 being moved to BTC, or maybe this is a trial to prevent the 20's from always being bunched in groups of 3 in the afternoon?
  2. Capacity can't really be expanded in any reasonable fashion beyond the 5 car trains and maybe a small bump in headway, all of which is accounted for with the mid-2030 at/over max design capacity. Could Translink theoretically spend billions (likely tens of billions) of dollars to lengthen stations, reconfigure tracks and allow longer trains? Yes, but that makes zero sense financially when there are other options to provide better transit to other places while relieving capacity from the Expo line. Additionally that would entail completely shutting down the Expo line for weeks, if not months or years on end as they rebuilt some stations and difficult sections of track..... which is massively problematic to say the least. The business case for a project like this would be disastrous, especially compared with alternate projects that would provide service on other corridors. Not to mention it would be a political nightmare for any official that votes to extend all the stations and shut down the whole line for track re-configuration in areas. Simple math for branching: when you branch a line, frequency is divided. For an example like the Expo line, you can't just add more trains, as the main line will already be running at max throughput, so more trains aren't possible, and branch frequency is limited further by each additional branch https://humantransit.org/2011/02/what-rivers-teach-about-transit.html
  3. The Expo line can not handle any more extensions or branches unless or until alternate or reliever routes for the Expo line are built. Even right now, before any extension in Surrey, the Expo line is expected to be at/above the max build-out capacity (5 car trains, lowest possible headway) within ~15 yrs (mid 2030's). Unless there is other options built to take some ridership from the Expo line (such as a Kingsway line, regional/express rail to Surrey and SoF or other???), we are just building an even worse disaster for 15-20 yrs from now (pass-ups, overcrowding, station and line shutdowns, etc). One of my main concerns with the Expo extension to Fleetwood or Langley is that more people are specifically being funnelled into the Expo line (which is already at/over current capacity in peak periods) with no plan for what happens when the Expo line's capacity can't be expanded any more in a few years. On a different track, in general, branching isn't very advisable as it both cuts frequency by 50% on the branches (sometimes that is fine, but many times it is problematic), and it also reduces long-term flexibility as it makes frequency changes, maintenance/re-construction, and other alternations much more difficult and disruptive to the line. So I definitely think any future lines in Surrey should be independent of the Expo line.
  4. Bi-articulated bus is 24m, and most modern LRV in North America are about 30m to start, and can be extended up to 50m or 60m fairly easily, so there is still double the capacity potential at a minimum. Would have to be a double-ended bus ­čś»
  5. Just curious, why not existing side-of-road bus lanes with zero cars allowed with right-turns happen from the second lane? Same end result without the cost of adding bus stops since they can drop off on sidewalk like now, and also safer for people waiting for the bus, especially if it gets crowded due to delays, etc. So, leave out Commercial for example, which would cover the cost many of busways, but not all. Busways on Hastings, Commercial, etc. You increase ridership (partly from organic growth, partly as the city continues to densify) on these already high ridership routes and, within a decade, you have the 99 problem where you literally can't increase capacity with more buses, and they are over-crowded much of the time Now we have to spend more money to build LRT, or an even larger sum for grade separation, instead of building more lines in other parts of the region.
  6. Cost-benefit rations can be helpful, but they are limited by what someone determines should be included or excluded (for example, opportunity-cost isn't part of a CBR; how would that ratio change, if it looked at the combination of the 2-5 LRT lines that would exist as part of the CBR if LRT was chosen over Skytrain?). It is also hard to assign a monetary value to qualitative metrics such as reducing the road space for cars, and therefore the number of cars on the road, which often increasing walkability and liveability. You can assign values to portions like pollution reduction impacting overall public health, but you can't really assign values to the whole qualitative metric. Basically, yes, CBR is important, but it should by no means be the main or only determinant of whether a project is worthwhile or better than another. On already busy routes, BRT can quickly run into capacity issues, and end up costing more as you now have to pay for 2 projects instead of just one. Our current B-lines are a relatively cheap way to build ridership and learn the characteristics of that ridership without the full cost of BRT. BRT may still make sense for some routes, but can just be a costly short-term project if replacing a well-performing B-line or other busy route. As far as capacity expansion, yes BRT is easier to expand until you reach basic operating thresholds (more-or-less 5 min headways), but after that, it is far easier to expand LRT capacity (simply add another section to the train). Additionally, a single LRT vehicle can carry about double the capacity of an articulated bus that would most likely be used for BRT, so you have a much larger initial room to grow before reaching those capacity constraints anyway. IMO in Metro Vancouver, we have little reason to build BRT in most places, until it is almost at that 5 min headway anyway. B-lines perform well, and you can have painted bus lanes which work relatively well for minimal cost compared to BRT. The primary reason for LRT (or any train) over buses is capacity. There may also be additional reasons (city-building, shaping density, etc), but the higher capacity and easier expansion of capacity are the main capacity is the main reason for trains IMO. Last thing as more of a thought-experiment; what is of more value to you? 1. A complete network (both N-S and E-W) of at-grade LRT, each line spaced roughly 1km apart, covering the whole city of Vancouver (basically covering the whole existing bus network) or 2. Three "full metro" (tunneled) lines: the Broadway Extension to UBC, 41st Ave from UBC to Joyce, and Victoria/Commercial from Marine to Hastings The cost of both is roughly the same. There isn't necessarily a "right" answer, but it forces you to take a larger perspective, looking at both opportunity cost, as well as viewing the transit network vs individual lines/projects.
  7. Clarity and basis in fact is great. That is all. Great, can you point me to what models they have that are compatible with our current lines as I haven't been able to find any? Also, will they actually be bidding on the proposed Fraser Hwy extension then, and if not, why? The reason for that the year$ difference is simple: the time of construction is different. Fraser Hwy was always going to be built later, and even now, it will still be a couple years behind the proposed SNG line. Also, money guaranteed now, doesn't increase in value, hence having to set money at/close-to YoE (or fixed contract) date. In any case, we have $1.58B currently available (albeit there are numerous hoops to go through with changing the use before it can actually be spent on something other than SNG LRT) that was set for the SNG line. Another ~$1.9B *may* become available, subject to Phase 3 approval, approval from province and feds, and approval of the business case. And we need $2.92B for Fraser Hwy Skytrain to happen, plus the cost for whatever ends up being decided for SNG. Translink figures on page 45. During the AM and PM peaks, yes, the majority would be NoF, but throughout the whole day it likely flips (based on numbers I have heard for other parts of the system) with more SoF. One thing to keep in mind is that skytrain and skytrain-like systems that we have been building are inaccessible enough (long station access times) and stations too far apart (1-3+km vs 600-1000m) to encourage use for more local trips. Closer stations, faster to access, and less walking means more local use. Lastly, just to clarify, I do think we need to serve both more local trips (800m-5km), plus more regional trips, but it is not efficient to try to serve both with a single expensive system (vs a more local LRT and a regional rail system). If the eventual aim is to build Skytrain for SNG and down to White Rock was well, I would argue that we would be better served by using the same amount of money to build it as more local-ish-serving LRT and regional rail (following the SRY corridor) for the same cost. We would have more capacity that way, and serve more areas, while also having an efficient regional spine that can be extended and branched to various places as needed (Abbotsford/Chilliwack, back to Delta/Richmond/Vancouver, Tsawassen, etc)
  8. I would envision the LRT most likely being in the median on it's own ROW (see image below), possibly with some elevated sections if needed to help with grade or particularly problematic areas (maybe around Hwy 1?) Note, that the main purpose of this LRT system would be as follows: 1. Massively increase capacity to avoid the over-crowding that already exists. 2. Somewhat improve travel time due to more priority and further separated ROW 3. Further segregate transit from traffic with to minimize disruptions from cars and make it more reliable. 4. Grow the existing medium-density that fronts Hastings for much of it's length to ~500m on either side of Hastings to improve walk-ability and live-ability. As for the lights, the LRT should have complete priority over all the lights secondary intersections (there's a lot pedestrian/bike triggered lights), which would be relatively simple to build when the system is constructed, and would also have priority at major intersections, but may occasionally have to stop depending on the frequency of the line (basically timing a full-cycle of the lights, meshed with the frequency of the LRT). This could even occur now with the B-line, but I'm not sure the cities/Translink are willing to put in the cost as a stand-alone piece. So yes, the lights are an issue, but it is totally solvable by building in transit-priority at the lights. The downside of building more Skytrain lines, subways, etc is that there is a giant opportunity cost. As an example, for the cost of extending a Millennium line subway to UBC (~14km, $7-8B), you could build 70-120km of surface rail (LRT, regional rail, etc). That could mean a Hastings line (from Park Royal, across the 1st Narrows, to Barnet Hwy and PoCo) plus a 41st Ave line (from UBC to Joyce) plus a Marine Dr line (from New Westminster to Marpole). I'm not saying that we shouldn't extend the Broadway line to UBC, but we need to be aware that the technology and grade (above, below, or at-grade) chosen has a massive impact on the scale of what we are able to build. Yes. The best way to get to SFU will be gondola. From SFU to Duthie or Kensington, connecting with the Hastings line. It will literally save Billions of dollars compared to trying to tunnel under the mountain, provide a much more frequent service, and provide a unique draw for tourists and locals vs a tunnel. Gondolas are cheap AF compared to any other form of rapid transit and can easily run in virtually all weather, unlike buses (and sometimes trains in the snow not working). If you want phenomenally expensive, doing your proposed route as a "full metro" would be accurate for that language. That ~15km route, fully tunneled, as a metro would cost ~$7.5-8.5B.
  9. Solution: Use the ROW from PoCo down to Braid, then through the Grandview Cut. We need more tracks there for express/regional service to Surrey/Langley, and the valley anyway (Expo line reliever), so why not make use of them for the current/expanded WCE as well? Have high capacity LRT on Hastings from Tri-cities to downtown, and serve the regional purpose with a dedicated regional corridor serving both SoF and the Valley along with the PoCo/Coquitlam and out to Mission.
  10. What you say is incorrect, they just rounded up for both to near nearest $100 million. The $1.7 Billion refers to the SNG LRT, which is actually $1.65 Billion, while the $3 Billion Fraser hwy Skytrain is $2.92 Billion While we are committed to it for our current lines, that doesn't mean we have to expand those lines, further limiting us in the future to being dependent on a a single suppler. Just to clarify on this point as it is often overlooked: the vast majority of trips in Surrey and Langley stay within Surrey and Langley. For the vast majority of trips and discretionary riders, there wouldn't be an extra transfer. If you look more specifically at discretionary commuting to NoF, then that is a fair point, but then we need to realize that extending Skytrain only worsens the over-crowding on the Expo line and shortens the time we have left until the Expo line simply can not be expanded anymore and can not handle another person. Basically, we are looking at 2030 instead of mid-2030's. That sounds like a super-shitty compared to 27km of LRT....
  11. It seems like a very expensive rail line for low ridership east of deep cove. It would be the fastest way between North Van and the Tri-cities, but there is challenging terrain, an extremely expensive bridge/tunnel, no good pre-existing ROW to follow, and quite low ridership potential and population from Port Moody to Deep Cove. The North Van portion, seems like a fairly standard good proposal, albeit there are some minor changes I would prefer. That said, I do like the idea of connecting North Van to the Tri-cities as it would be significantly faster than any existing mode of transportation, while providing a regional connection that ties the region closer together. I had a similar idea in my map, but instead of rail, I chose gondola as it reduces cost by an order of magnitude compared to rail. It also minimizes disruption to the many natural areas and avoids the terrain, ROW, and bridge/tunnel obstacles, while still being significantly faster than anything else. I agree that there are other rapid transit connections that should be made to the North Shore before Deep Cove-Port Moody (Lion's Gate, Waterfront-Lonsdale, Second Narrows), but Deep Cove-Port Moody would provide a significant regional connection and alternate route to/from the North Shore. By providing a high quality transit option, it may also significantly reduces car use in otherwise completely car-dependent areas.
  12. Surrey can't because virtually none of it is their money. It is all coming from Translink, the province, and federal governments, and all of it is specified for SNG LRT. Funds are paid as the projects proceeds, and they won't be paid for a different project. If funding isn't used for a specific project, it just never comes from the source (feds, province, Translink). The changes would have to go through the full process for funding, again, to potentially see the light of day. That process is convincing the rest of the Mayor's Council to change the 10-year Vision according to McCallum's wishes, then either convincing the province to allow it's money to be used for these other things, or by submitting a new funding request to the province, and lastly going through the full federal application process for PTIF funding of the new project. This is not a quick process, and *IF* McCallum can convince the Mayor's council to change the 10 year vision, then would need to be a number of specific reports, proposals, and business cases completed as to why SNG BRT and Fraser Hwy Skytrain are better and should be built instead of LRT and what the effects they may have, etc. If this is all pushed through at record speed, with minimal to no pushback, it would still delay everything by a year, and much more likely we would be looking at 2-4 years delay, assuming approval can actually be gained from all 3 levels of governance. It is very possible, that we could be at this exact same spot 4 years from now at the next municipal election with no construction even having started yet. People (and lots of politicians) can also say lots of things, but be lying or not completely saying everything. It is extremely rare for someone to despise transit for years, then suddenly care about it so much. Much more likely is that they are just saying it as a wedge to get elected, and/or to slow/kill the whole process and promote cars instead.
  13. Could you point to a source for this (other than McCallum's statements)? Everything I have seen, including the announcement the other month from Horgan and Trudeau, and recent posts from reporters, is that funding is locked for SNG LRT, can not be used for anything else. If SNG is cancelled, funding disappears, and there would have to be a process of changing the 10-year vision (which wouldn't be guaranteed to get support from other mayors), plus re-negotiating with both the province and federal government to re-secure funds for Surrey.
  14. If you actually read it and didn't attempt to only take select parts of a phrase, you would see that I said it is often the most cost efficient when capacity expansion is needed beyond that of buses. Trains can have a drastically higher capacity than buses. At-grade systems are usually the cheapest to build. As for being "promotional" I definitely promote more and better transit. As for hypocrisy, you would have to point out where I was being hypocritical. Regarding Surrey LRT, "better" is a highly subjective term. If you are referring specifically to travel time, then the planned LRT would not be much better than BRT. As for capacity, and using it as a "city-building" piece of infrastructure, LRT would perform "better" on those accounts. I do understand many people are opposed to the Surrey LRT for many reasons, some founded in reality, some not. Sadly, that debate seems to driven many people to become anti-LRT or pro-BRT at the cost of all else, and the technology is now more important than the improvement of transit. Loving or hating transit for some route just because it is a particular technology is not rational and does not lend itself to rational discussion. As I mentioned in my post you quoted, we need bus lanes and transit priority of all types much more widespread than we have currently. This is the "low-hanging fruit" to improve transit quickly and relatively cheaply (it may actually save money due to faster, more reliable travel times, so less buses are needed for the same service) and we need more of it.
  15. I like expanding transit because it is the most space efficient method of helping people move, aside from walking. Expanding transit capacity with more frequency, dedicated lanes, rail, or grade separation is extremely beneficial to achieve this, so I support it. LRT is often the most cost efficient method of increasing capacity beyond that of buses, which can enable a wider spread of expansion vs more costly options. Transportation contributes ~40-50% of our emissions in Metro Vancouver, and to do our part in tackling the crisis, we need to displace private cars with transit, walking, cycling, and other forms of active transportation. As a part of this, we need to electrify our transit system, and moving to electric rail lines can be part of that. The B-line will be sufficient near-term, but 41st Ave has the highest ridership after Broadway. If we are not planning for higher capacity services there, there is a significant problem with our transportation planning. We should not end up at a point where we have buses at 3 min headways and still can't keep up with demand (99). LRT is often the cheapest and most cost-effective option to increase capacity over buses. It can be at-grade, elevated, or tunneled as needed, providing flexibility of options along a route. Technically, LRT can operate fine at any level of ridership, but I would agree that, yes, we should have the B-line in place for 3-10 years to further build ridership before the increase of capacity from a train would be worth the investment. LRT can run just fine at many road widths that are narrower than 41st. 41st has 5 lanes in that section: 3 travel, 2 parking. Remove parking lanes, and you have room for LRT. Super easy. Note that if bus lanes are built, simply replacing the bus lanes with LRT would work perfectly, only changing the type of transit it is used for. Transit planning is NOT about any particular technology. Technology should be one of the very last decisions for a route, not something pre-determined at the beginning. Bus lanes, signal priority, queue jumpers, and other transit priority are features of building a high-quality transit system. It is sad that it took so long to get them implemented on many routes (and there will still be many others that should have various forms of transit priority), but it hasn't been very long that transit has been widely accepted as a public good and priority. And not just that, but 41st Ave is already by far the second busiest bus corridor in Metro Vancouver after Broadway with almost 11 million ridership.
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