Show your support for RAV

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http://www.discovervancouver.com/rav/



Stump, you may want to leap on this.

I haven't been paying too much attention to this, but it's primary purpose is to connect the airport with the downtown core, isn't it?


Does it make sense to build a publicly-funded and eternally subsidized transit system to service the needs of those who can afford $1000 plane tickets?


Isn't that why we have the (very reasonably priced yet greatly under-utilised) Airporter bus system and taxis?

No, no, no. You are confusing that with the Arbutus Corridor solution. Buying the rights for the corridor from CN will pour more money into rich shareholders and will also conveniently serve the creme de la creme folk in west Vancouver when they buy $1,000 tix to Mazatlan. The people to the east -- along Oak, Cambie and Main -- will continue to use buses and cars to get to downtown and Richmond.

If enough people from Richmond and South Van are going to use it, then sure, go for it. However, I would think if you're going to build something like this, wouldn't it make more sense and serve the needs of more people to build a spur that parallels Broadway and goes out to UBC?


People might even get off at some of the other stops. Looking at the existing proposed RAV route is kind of amusing. One of the future stops they have listed is 33rd and Cambie. The only thing there is QE Park (which suddenly is beginning to sound like a less attractive place to go) and a church. Admittedly, it looks like a nice church, but I don't think it needs a Skytrain stop.

Look at the traffic patterns - UBC only gets a net of 10k commuters(vehicular) daily while Richmond gets a net of 40k commuters (based on 96 stats but order of magnitude is likely correct.) And as of then Richmond was second only to the Northeast (Tri-cities) area in growth of commuters. Add to that the benefit to tourists (inbound and outbound) and you have a substantial reason to support a fixed link of some sort between Vancouver and Richmond. (Skytrain makes sense on many levels but we have some goddamned hippies tied to the past with their trolley cars that moan loud enough to derail a very good choice in systems.)


In forty years (hell in ten years) we will be kickng ourselves for not getting some kind of link in place for the Richmond/Vancouver corridor. It needs to be done in the near future so lets stop bellyaching about the cost today as it will only cost more in the future and we won't have any federal money to help then.

If the northeast is the largest growth area for commuters, why not make the next SkyTrain / RAV line out in that direction ...


Like TransLink originally planned.




On another note, rich West Siders certainly aren't in favour of an Arbutus corridor RAV. I doubt they associate transit with cheap and convenient rapid mobility right at their doorstop - they all have cars anyway. Remember "we are the creme de la creme"? Instead, it's more like crime, noise, and an invasion of hoi polloi.

I'll agree with Trav here. A transit line of some sort is needed between Richmond (and the Airport) and Vancouver. Tourists will find it easier to get to the city, residents will find it cheaper to get to the airport (especially for long trips where they would normally be parking their cars or taking a $40-50 cab ride.


Also, opposing the RAV line should have nothing to do with income. Who cares if tickets cost $1000. And if you can afford that you don't need cheap transportation to the airport. That's a very bigotted way of thinking of things.



A RAV line will be needed as the population grows. The connecting link out to Coquitlam will also be a needed but I believe that has already been agreed upon (just not a start date for work).

Monorail!

The best part of this debacle is when Gordo pipes up and offers to cover off the risk. Oh, the province will take care of it! OK, fine then. After all that's not my money they'll be spending. Wait a minute....


Sheesh, they must think we're idiots.


CK

Come on the province covering the cost overruns

is way better than TransLink and the

Municipalities.


At least for those of us in those municipalities.


It's the people in the rest of the province that

should be pissed.

Well, sir, there's nothing on earth

Like a genuine,


Bona fide,


Electrified,


Six-car


Monorail!


What'd I say?


<b>MONORAIL!!</b>

Is there a chance we will over spend?

I find it hilarious that some people here who are presumably "pro poor" are against a line connecting to airport station... I guess you're only "pro poor on the east side" rather than for people in the outlying communities that need to get into town for their mc-job.


Do you think that the people in Richmond wouldn't like a faster, more effective way to get to downtown? Did you realize that the "R" in RAV stands for RICHMOND.


Maybe you weren't informed, but Richmond has some significantly cheaper rent than Kitsilano, or even the Cambie area. I've had to move to Burnaby to afford rent, and I choose the B because of the skytrain.


The busses suck, regardless of whether you're on the B line or not, you get stuck at lights, they go slow, it's cramped and over utilized. All of the long haul transit routes are incredibly full because people are willing to go to hubs (like a skytrain station, or if none exists a 98/99/601) to get where they need to go.

Those aren't problems caused by buses per se, but rather by underfunded bus systems. More buses kills overcrowding, dedicated lanes lets them get where they're going faster. Plus, they are significantly cheaper to run, because the roadways are already in place.


Dedicated train lines are great. But, when they are under-budgeted and ridership projections are over-inflated, they are a boon-doggle waiting to happen.


If they would provide us nay-sayers with a clearer picture of the costs and risks involved, and were up-front about the fact that it may take decades to get people out of their cars and onto trains then there might be more support. But right now, I personally feel that I can't support RAV, because the people pushing it have a less than stellar record of decision-making and I think the RAV will be just another example of our Liberal gov't's pro-development bias biting the taxpayer on the ass.


CK

Monorail!


But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...


Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!


Monorail!

We're twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville.

Just tell us your idea, and we'll vote for it!

My work here is done.

I've taken the liberty of cutting and pasting the

following - from somebody who actually studies

this sort of thing. A few things may appear dated

since the RAV-ers plan to make the Translink

board keep voting until they get the response

they want, but valuable food for thought in any

case.


CK


--------------------



Last week the Trans Link Board of Directors killed

the complex and

expensive RAV project. This week SpaceShipOne,

a simple and cheap space

vehicle took off from the Mohave Desert, flew into

space, and returned safely.


The two events are related. Increasingly the

smart money is moving away

from bloated technologies to smarter, cheaper,

lighter, greener

technologies. This week's space flight

dramatically underscores this trend.

Last weeks RAV vote, albeit less dramatic, is also

part of this trend. The

Trans Link board rejected the bloated and dated

technology of the 80s,

trusting that smarter, cheaper, lighter transit

options could be found and

deployed in less time and for less money than

could Skytrain style RAV.


They are right. Extremely cheap, fast, and

flexible transit options exist,

so cheap that for the same amount of money

budgeted for the RAV we could

have a line to Richmond on the Arbutus Corridor

in a primarily dedicated

right of way capable of trip times close to those

anticipated for RAV.

Incredibly, there would be enough money left

over for a line up Main Street

and east/west lines on both Broadway and 41st.

Such a system would initiate

the first square in a system that could expand to

Burnaby, New Westminster,

Delta and Surrey in succeeding decades.


Where can you get such a flexible and

inexpensive system? How do we know it

will work? It is as near as Portland, Oregon - go

take a look. Portland

folks love it and cant expand the system fast

enough. Portland style ultra

light rail is pollution free, easy to board,

neighborhood friendly, and can

be had for less than 20 million cdn per kilometer.

That's only 380 million

for the 19 kilometers from downtown Vancouver

to downtown Richmond.


The Vancouver region has been a transit and

sustainable communities leader

for a generation. The Expo line was, for its time,

a tremendously

beneficial investment. But its time is past. The

tradition of transit and

sustainable communities leadership can be

maintained if our elected and

appointed leaders use this interregnum to look

boldly and creatively at

lighter, greener, cheaper, smarter technologies:

technologies for a

sustainable region and a sustainable future.


Patrick Condon


Professor Patrick M. Condon

UBC James Taylor Chair in Landscape and

Liveable Environments

Center For Landscape Research

Faculty of Agricultural Sciences

Stump,

While I don't want to argue the pros and cons of Light Rail versus SkyTrain versus monorail versus subway versus... as I am not qualified, I did go have a quick look at the Portland Transit website (linked below)


Their most recent line cost US$350 million for 5.8 Miles. That works out to CDN$50 Million per kilometre (or $950 million for the entire route, not counting the bridge). Now perhaps Mr. Condon was just referring to the construction costs and not the land acquisition costs?

Since Stump borrowed, I will borrow as well. This is from Eric Ansley writing for the RAV:Rant forum regarding the Arbutus Corridor solution:


1. An above ground line will make the traffic situation worse. That is a nonstarter.


2. Rapid transit works when it stops where people pay to get on. Rapid transit must service all stops in between to pay for itself, not just two terminals. The Arbutus option would be a big money loser.


3. While Cambie is a commercial street between 2nd and 25th, the heritage boulevard is a special asset. Except for OakRidge between King Edward and Marine, it does not have the residential density or commercial vitality that is needed to make sure that every stop on the line is used and contributes revenue to pay for it.


4. Main Street is lined with businesses and those who make good use of transit services along most of its length. While and airport link makes very good sense, primary use of the Line has to be by those who live and work here. I support an underground RAV line down Watson or under Main Street where it will also serve the citizens of Vancouver, and not primarily those from Richmond bedrooms who work or party downtown.


If revenue vs. capital cost is TransLink's concern, then this option needs to be reconsidered. We have an opportunity to show the world in 2010 that British Columbia and Greater Vancouver is forward looking, not with an airport showpiece or bedroom line, but a working link that serves us well the day it opens, as well as after the Olympics. Let's move forward with a plan that makes sense. Right now.

Fred Bass' take on the situation:



Deciding the RAV line isn't like baseball


Letter


June 24, 2004


Re: TransLink is broken; it's up to Victoria to fix

it, Editorial, June 23


Is this democracy or baseball, where it takes

three strikes before you're out? Twelve

responsible, representative, and highly informed

leaders have twice said no to the proposed

Richmond-Airport-Vancouver rapid transit line.

Clearly, it is not TransLink that's broken, but

The Vancouver Sun's sense of democracy.


Melbourne, Australia, and Vancouver were judged

this year to be the most livable cities in the

world. Two years ago, Melbourne also said no to

a

$1.5-billion, 22-kilometre rail link to the

airport for its 3.4 million people. A look at the

State of Victoria auditor-general's report (May

2004) shows how its team evaluated a project

similar to RAV and decided to choose a rapid bus

system, rather than lose $350 million to $450

million over 10 years.


So why is it that when TransLink directors did

not support the largest public expenditure ever

contemplated in this region, with further high

cost over-runs likely (they occur in 70 per cent

of major infrastructure projects), some people

regard those directors as incompetent people?


Transportation and transit funding is very

complex. Too often peoples' views are based on

ego and blind faith, rather than on facts.


So here are some facts:


1. To build the SkyTrain Expo Line in the 1980s

consumed so much money that only 32 buses

were

purchased over the next decade. We are now 300

to

450 buses short of the number planned for 2004.


2. The Vancouver region has the lowest number

of

transit hours per capita of any major city in

Canada.


3. Even after building two SkyTrain lines, 80 per

cent of our ridership is still in buses. We need

more buses.


4. The largest gain in ridership seen since 1986

(last year's jump of 13 per cent) was not caused

by building a new transit line, but by the new


U-PASS program at the University of B.C. and

Simon Fraser University. This

demand-management

strategy required students to buy a year's bus

pass when they paid their tuition, thereby saving

them the costs of a car, gas and parking and

reducing UBC parking needs by 30 per cent.


5. Public-private partnerships require a 15 per

cent to 25 per cent profit to be worthwhile for a

private investor. That's a lot of extra public

money to spend when you're spending $2 billion.


Fred Bass


Councillor, City of Vancouver


© The Vancouver Sun 2004

Just a couple of replies to Bass:


1. Is the only solution to a city's public transportation woes to throw more buses on the road? Bass seems to think none of Skytrain should have been built. Do you think Surrey commuters would be equally satisfied with the hundreds of buses they could have had in the place of Skytrain? Without Skytrain, you would see more vehicles on the road. Most of those buses would be reaching the end of their lifespan if they had been bought during Expo and would all need replacing.


2. The accounting doesn't consider the cost of wages, jobs that pay far above education and experience levels required for other occupations. Wages are 70 per cent of the operating costs of buses. I don't begrudge the drivers for being savvy enough to negotiate these deals, but taxpayers cannot afford to pay these wages. Buses are a short term solution since the city can't afford the operating costs.


3. The U-Pass program was a mandatory program for all students. You could not opt out so no wonder there was an increase in rider ship.


4. Regarding the profit that has to be paid for, well where do you want to run with that argument? Should we start nationalizing industries, such as automobiles and steel so we eliminate the profit and make the product more cheaply? It is a lousy, lousy economic argument.


5. Since you are a proponent of pavement over track, you may want to look at the cost of RAV compared to road upgrades planned throughout the province. See Vaughn Palmer's article in the Vancouver Sun. RAV is $1.5 billion. There is another $10 billion planned in road and bridge improvements planned for BC. RAV, in the larger scheme of things, is not that significant.


6. Regarding "responsible" and "representative" leaders, the last time I checked, the Translink board was not elected. But it does have a lot of COPE members who are looking to score cheap political shots.




Replies to the Bass replies:



"Is the only solution to a city's public

transportation woes to throw more buses on the

road? Bass seems to think none of Skytrain

should have been built."



I don't think anyone's suggesting that buses are

the only solution. But they are the cheapest

solution for our immediate woes.



"Do you think Surrey commuters would be equally

satisfied with the hundreds of buses they could

have had in the place of Skytrain?"



As for Surrey commuters, I won't presume to say

I know what they want. But, I'm guessing we'd all

rather ride around in a Cadillac rather than a Ford

Fiesta. Unfortunately, we have to choose the

vehicle that meets our budget.



"Without Skytrain, you would see more vehicles

on the road."



Supposition. Who's to say a properly funded and

designed bus system can't compete?



"Most of those buses would be reaching the end

of their lifespan if they had been bought during

Expo and would all need replacing."



Uh-huh. And I keep running out of groceries, yet

I still go to the supermarket as necessary. Surely

you are not suggesting that Skytrain or RAV

trains run forever without maintenance or

replacement?



Cool. Some replies. Just some notes:



"Uh-huh. And I keep running out of groceries, yet I still go to the supermarket as necessary. Surely you are not suggesting that Skytrain or RAV trains run forever without maintenance or replacement?"



- Average lifespan of a bus is 16 years. Buses wear out quicker and require more maintenance.



"Supposition. Who's to say a properly funded and designed bus system can't compete?"



- Much like Principal Skinner, I am a small man, a very small man (Jury Duty episode from 1995). But I do commute in a car down Cambie and Oak. And the thought that by 2040, you are looking at a 80 per cent increase in car traffic scares the f*** out of me. And now I am being told that the answer to my concerns is more buses and a street level tram. For the love of god, I just can't see it. It doesn't sound like a liveable region strategy to me.



"Translink's board is made up of elected officials from the GVRD appointed by their respective gov'ts to represent them in matters transportation related."



- Translink is made up of elected officials -- heck even some Senators are elected officials -- but THEY ARE NOT ELECTED TO THE BODY THEY ARE REPRESENTING. And the fact that they are holding up RAV in the face of overwhelming public opinion to score cheap political points is sticking in the craw of a lot of folk.



"Bad, bad COPE! Gimme a break."



- The attack against RAV is highly political. Look at comments by David Cadman and Anne Roberts. Vancouver City Council is a launching pad for provincial politics. COPE considers itself the opposition to the BC Liberals since the NDP committed elector-cide. The RAV debate is about transportation policy, but it is also about politics.



"As for Surrey commuters, I won't presume to say I know what they want. But, I'm guessing we'd all rather ride around in a Cadillac rather than a Ford Fiesta. Unfortunately, we have to choose the vehicle that meets our budget."



- Yes, we do have to live within our means, but not investing in transportation in the Greater Vancouver area, which was woefully neglected under previous governments, is costing us more. Talk to people who commute from the suburbs into town. Look at the time they spend on the road rather than at work or at home. It is scary. Transport Canada estimated that the cost of congestion on our regional road system is in the order of $1 billion annually and increasing.

And some more replies



"Wages are the biggest cost in all kinds of industries. They are the big ticket item where I work too."



- I see my begrudging, but raise you your defensiveness. The wages paid to Translink bus drivers are way out of whack with any sensible measurement. For example, wages in the heavily unionized automotive sector are actually less than 20 per cent of operating costs. But we are getting off the point.



"Those wages stay in the community however, and trickle throughout, from the local grocery store, to the myriad of other goods and services we all purchase everyday."



- Well then, let's keep off the point. So from your argument, we will all be better off with higher wages no matter what we are doing? Since we are concerned with profligate spending, why don't we privatize the bus service, hive it off to independent operators and put the money saved into transportation improvements and our under funded health care system. Funny, it is an argument we never see.



"If the amount of people killed in private vehicles is any indication, driving, esp. a big bus with numerous distractions is probably a fairly complex task. Plus, you have to have people skills, avoid getting assaulted by de-institutionalized nutters and drug addicts, and stay on time."



- Many of the same arguments were made to oppose the deregulation of the airline industry in the early 80s. Deregulation was going to cause safety standards to plummet.


"Transportation and transit is a cost, like that of sewage or water services, that if we are smart, we are willing to eat a portion of, to ensure a liveable city where people want to work and pay taxes. Why is it that transit must pay for itself?"



- Well it would be nice if that were the case, but it ain't. Both left and right governments have cut bus service in times of need. Strikes have not helped much, as far as having reliable public transport is concerned. But at least if we have RAV, we will have a little more dependability and the capacity we need, at least until the next big snow.




“I see my begrudging, but raise you your defensiveness.”


You’re probably right. I work in a unionized environment. The union is a vital check/balance against corporate greed and mismanagement. Everybody benefits from unions, because it’s unions that are the only thing out there fighting for workers. Most, if not all, significant advances in workers’ rights came about because some union somewhere fought hard to win them.


“The wages paid to Translink bus drivers are way out of whack with any sensible measurement. For example, wages in the heavily unionized automotive sector are actually less than 20 per cent of operating costs. But we are getting off the point.”


I don’t think they are out of whack. We should agree to disagree perhaps. As for the automotive sector, you’re comparing a goods-producing industry with a service industry. I would think it’s self-evident that building something will have a higher raw material cost than simply operating it.

" So from your argument, we will all be better off with higher wages no matter what we are doing?”

Yes. Good luck finding anyone who wouldn’t agree with that statement.

“Since we are concerned with profligate spending, why don't we privatize the bus service, hive it off to independent operators and put the money saved into transportation improvements and our under funded health care system. Funny, it is an argument we never see.”


Because a transit system is a large, complex operation that requires a central planning system. Because the moment you start contracting out that sort of thing, the corner-cutting begins… and usually ends when someone gets hurt or killed. Ask the British about train privatization and the boon it has been to them. Not. Since health care is suddenly an issue, why don’t we take the RAV money and put it into health care, or driver training to reduce car crashes, or buying every kid a bike so they don’t get saddled with the car addiction that plagues so many, encourages a sedentary lifestyle, and contributes to heart disease, air pollution, etc. ? Sorry, but I don’t think your argument has much substance unless you want to look at some truly novel ways to spend that money.

"Many of the same arguments were made to oppose the deregulation of the airline industry in the early 80s. Deregulation was going to cause safety standards to plummet.”


But we’re not talking about de-regulation, or even a comparable accident rate. A lot more planes would have to fall out of the sky to hold a candle to the carnage we see everyday on the roads. Further, a pilot doesn’t have to deal with the same things a bus driver does, and has a host of technology and other aids such as air traffic controllers to assist them, and a lot more real estate to work with in terms of airspace compared to roadway.

"Transportation and transit is a cost, like that of sewage or water services, that if we are smart, we are willing to eat a portion of, to ensure a liveable city where people want to work and pay taxes. Why is it that transit must pay for itself?"

“ Strikes have not helped much, as far as having reliable public transport is concerned. But at least if we have RAV, we will have a little more dependability and the capacity we need, at least until the next big snow.”


Well, that’s great if you live on a Skytrain or RAV route, but what about the rest of us? Which is the whole point. You want all the current users to subsidize the fence sitters who need a fancy-shmancy train to lure them out of their cars. Reward your current customers first I say. More buses for the overcrowded routes. More service to the suburbs like PoCo, Port Moody, etc. Hell, more buses to and from Richmond. And then, when we’ve maximized our usage of the current roadways (by using buses which can carry dozens of people in the space required for 3-4 cars) talk to me about tearing up more greenspace for robo-trains.


That’s all I’ve got to say on the matter. I won’t be responding (probably) to this thread after this post.


Regards,

CK

sorry for the goofy formatting errors. substitute quotes where you see weird question marky stuff

Well you are getting to my other transportation points I have held all along Stump. Gas taxes should be raised and there should be an entering downtown tax like they have in London. When are we going to see COPE push for these other sensible transportation solutions?

Nice debate, gents.


My meager input? Gas tax should go through the roof. That'll force everyone to travel green-style. :)

Couldn't resist this one. Remember the great Space Elevator debate some months back?


http://vancouver.indymedia.org/news/2004/06/146116.php

emd By emd

Wow, I have been out of town for a week or so and I didn't even realize they were voting again! But the RAV line has been approved by Translink. Click the www to see the article on CKNW.

Imma gonna weigh in on this one... too juicy to miss!



First, to whoever says we should have an "entering downtown tax" Why don't you go find out something about the London system. It's REALLY expensive. And it only works because of London's superb use of highspeed transit (i.e. The Tube, you might have heard of it) Vancouver doesn't have anywhere NEAR the infrastructure to do that, nor do we have the laws that would allow it. If you're a proponent of that, then you're legalizing tracking of your vehicle by a government authority. you can't do that here.



Second: As for Bus Drivers wages staying in the area. I agree. However this is also true of the wages for all the people that build the RAV Line, and all the industries that are involved in the construction.



Third: The member of the Translink board are of course elected to represent Something. Nothing to do with translink though. Those that represent people in any region other than vancouver and richmond of course don't care for the rav line because they won't see much benefit from it, regardless of whether it makes more sense. So their votes are tremendously politically motivated.



Fourth: I cannot in any good concience support the use of more greenhouse gasses for transporting people. If you want more busses I suggest you go breath in some fumes. The roads are already congested. A more environmentally friendly, sustainable solution makes so much more sense in this regard that I support it on this point alone, the rest are just sugar.


Fifth: "rewarding current users first" seems like a pretty "me me" approach, and for that I'm concerned. If you want to increase ridership, then fine, build the trains that will get more people involved. The reason that big cities, like london and new york and paris have such a huge portion of their population travelling via transit is because of those long haul routes that are accessible. Busses will never solve that problem because it's still going to take an hour to drive in from surrey no matter which route you take. There's lights, there's distance, there's a limit to how fast you can safely go that is signifcantly slower than the trains.



Next: Timing with skytrains is easy. Overloaded routes should ALL get skytrains. Then there could be a carrier every few minutes, or however frequently is needed. Busses pile up, I don't know how many times I've waited for a 98 or 99 and see two leave a stop almost together, and not another one for another 20 minutes. Traffic patterns are dynamic enough that it's impossible to prevent this situation.


And I said I wouldn't make any more comments....


Regarding construction worker wages vs bus driver wages. I would agree with you but... we already have a shortage of construction workers re: the buildup to 2010. How much do you want to bet that the RAV will have to use out-of-town workers as much as locals? Further, those construction jobs are part of a boom and bus cycle that B.C. needs to break free from. The bus driver wages by comparison are likely to stay local and be long-term.


As for congestion and fumes. I should have been clearer. I would dedicate a lane to buses so that the only people suffering from congestion are car users (the horror, the horror), and make sure trolleys are used wherever possible.

Reward current users first is a good strategy because it utilizes a cardinal rule of business, namely it's easier to keep a current customer than to get a new one and satisfied customers are the best advertisement any company can hope for.

There's another mix up. Public Transit is not a private business. Rewarding current users, does nothing to increase ridership, so reach out and find out why more people aren't taking the bus. If we were to simply say "make the streets more crowded" which provides a disincentive to driving then all you do is make people upset with the transit system, which will put additional barriers to adoption and make people more angry about the taxes that go into it. The translink officials who are elected will soon be elected on the premise that they'll make the road systems better rather than increase ridership, then the bus system will get worse. Pissing people off is almost never the solution.


In order to create bus only lanes without simply removing 2 current lanes, which I know isn't what you said, and I hope isn't what you're suggesting, you essentially have to build 2 more lanes, then you're undertaking a project that's of similar cost to the RAV line that uses more space, suffers from lights and to some degree traffic problems as well and is still stuck with low speed limits.


And while I do agree with increasing the use of trolley busses on short routes, they go more slowly and must stop more frequently and suffer from an even lower speed limitation, so are no good for long haul or express routes.

Why the transit union doesn't like RAV...


Fewer jobs per passenger.


Why the transit unions like light rail....


One bus driver per 2 car train.


Why we should like RAV from an operational standpoint vs lightrail...


Fewer vehicles on the road (buses _and_ cars) causing accidents.

Longer operating life of trains (No moving parts on a skytrain)

Cheaper/easier maintenance on a common platform (ie. already have skytrain unless you are planning on replacing this).


Speed of transit to destination.


Labor shortages will hit a light rail/bus centric system harder than the low manpower skytrain system. (I'll buy every bus driver that 'loses' his job to skytrain a hammer if he signs up and completes a carpentry apprenticeship before 2010)


etc.....


PS - I live in PoMo and you could NEVER get me on a bus to downtown, the airport, richmond etc... but a skytrain to downtown and/or to the airport would be an easy choice over cab or longterm parking. (maybe they can grass over one or two parking lots out at the airport after the train goes in.)

My take is simple. I like the idea of rapid transit...why? because it's fast. It gets me where I need to go faster than a bus caught in traffic. Now busses shouldn't be chucked out of the picture. THey are crucial for picking people up (and dropping them off) close to their homes and taking them to bigger transit arteries. The thing is, trying to get even as far as Downtown vancouver from richmond Centre on a bus takes on average 45 minutes in light traffic, and sometimes up to 1 1/2 hours if there's an accident on the road. (i.e. 98 b-line to downtown, 410 to 22nd Street Station)

If the RAV line isn't a feasible option, because for whatever reason it's not green enough, financially stable enough, what have you, I'd like to see more bus routes going to different places with fewer stops to cut travel times down. I understand it's cheaper than taking a car, but for a busy person, such as myself for example spending 2 hours (4 hours round trip) on several busses to get anywhere outside the city I live in is a bit of a waste. I think there is room for improvement, and maybe all this debate about the RAV line will help to evoke some fresh ideas, if not perhaps it will improve the transit situation.

Dugly:


I'm suggesting exactly what you think I'm not.


Take away lanes from cars. Keep taking them away until people wake up and smell the exhaust and start choosing sustainable methods of transportation. I think any benefits to our society that we attribute to cars are long gone.


I don't like cars Dugly. They kill people. They stink. They are inefficient. Unfortunately, they are often the only option. We need more options, not more space to move cars more quickly. We need to make it even harder to get around by car. We need to make it so hard that only a moron would consider using their vehicle for any trip under 20 km.


Take a look around at our city. Take note of how much space sits empty waiting for a car. Take a look at our air. Air. It used to be colourless and odourless. Now it's yellow and it stinks... and Vancouver is probably one of the better cities in the world pollution-wise. Don't blame the buses for that. Blame the people who drive, drive, drive. Don't blame the bus system for congestion on the streets. Blame the idiots who drive while yakking on their celphone and get in accidents. Blame the f*ckheads in SUV's with mag wheels that will never see the off-road action they were ostensibly designed for. Don't blame Critical Mass. They're not blocking traffic, they are traffic, moving along quite nicely at zero cents a litre and doing more for freedom from OPEC than Shrubya ever will no matter how many countries he occupies.


Is it sinking in yet? The problem isn't how do we make more roads, or rails, or trails. It's how do we pull the needle out of our collective arm and kill the addiction to car culture before it kills us.

Well CK, while I agree with the concept that less cars per 100 people is admirable I think that your approach is inevitably self defeating. First you're suggesting to reward current riders rather than improve transit for people in cars, and now you justify that by saying something like "We'll just make things so crappy for everyone not on busses that they'll all want to take the bus". So what's wrong with making some kind of alternative? A skytrain to Richmond so that, like Sarah says, it doesn't take 4 hours of ones day to go from Richmond to downtown and back, when driving roundtrip takes about an hour? It would seem that someone in your position would hope to look at ways to increase ridership rather than reward current riders, and it's pretty clear that a RAV/skytrain/subway line to Richmond would go a long way toward doing just that. So I still don't even understand what you're trying to get at? What would you do? Seriously what would you do, you don't have any ideas, you have no solution, other than "just take away roads" which I don't believe anybody reasonable has ever thought likely. Name a place where that has worked?


People are willing to take the bus, be it for financial or environmental or plain social reasons, but when it takes enough extra time that you can no longer say, spend time with your kids, or play ulti, or any number of things that are important to you, then I'm going right out to buy whatever gas hog is in my price range and I'm doing it with a clear conscience.


If our best plan is "just make it more and more inconvenient" then you've already lost.


Thank whatever you wanna thank that the vast majority of the population doesn't think like you.

The link below references an article about freeway removal in San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. While we're not talking about freeways here, the experiences and observations in the piece are that when you remove car-handling capacity, the cars don't jam themselves into other spaces, they simply disappear. The drivers find other ways to get around, or they eliminate the ned to get around as much. In other words, what Stump said.


This isn't a hard and fast rule, but it has been seen to happen before. It's not unreasonable.

"People are willing to take the bus, be it for financial or environmental or plain social reasons, but when it takes enough extra time that you can no longer say, spend time with your kids, or play ulti, or any number of things that are important to you, then I'm going right out to buy whatever gas hog is in my price range and I'm doing it with a clear conscience."


If you think buying a car lets you spend more time with your kids or doing what-have-you, you're deluded. If you think that people are clamouring to give up their cars for the good of the planet, but just can't find a reasonable alternative, you're deluded, and the people you describe aren't looking too hard for alternatives.


If you think the RAV line is going to hit it's ridership projections in less than a decade your name is probably Ken Dobell, and you're deluded.


If you think I'm deluded, you need to think about how our city will look in 50 years if we blow our transportation budget trying to replicate the unsustainable attitudes we have towards speed, convenience, and our entitlement to both.


We'll get rid of our cars eventually. We have to, or else kill ourselves and our society in the process. It's time to rethink our core values, simplify, and realize that a half-hour in a car is wasted, while an hour on a bus or bike can be productive.


recommended reading:

Ivan Illich

Jane Jacobs.


you have your homework. Get to the library (preferably by bike or bus)


;-)


I'll save ya'll some time with the Ivan Illich stuff. Raise your hand if you want me to try and find a precis of Jane Jacob's theories as well.


Social effects of motorized transport


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ivan Illich gives a set of very interesting facts and figures when he discusses his concept of convivial transport:



The United States puts between 25 and 45 per cent of its total energy (depending upon how one calculates this) into vehicles: to make them, run them, and clear a right of way for them when they roll, when they fly, and when they park. For the sole purpose of transporting people, 250 million Americans allocate more fuel than is used by 1.3 billion Chinese and Indians for all purposes.


The model American male devotes more than 1,600 hours a year to his car. He sits in it while it goes and while it stands idling. He parks it and searches for it. He earns the money to put down on it and to meet the monthly installments. He works to pay for gasoline, tolls, insurance, taxes, and tickets. He spends four of his sixteen waking hours on the road or gathering his resources for it. And this figure does not take into account the time consumed by other activities dictated by transport: time spent in hospitals, traffic courts, and garages; time spent watching automobile commercials or attending consumer education meetings to improve the quality of the next buy.


The model American puts in 1,600 hours to get 7,500 miles: less than five miles per hour. In countries deprived of a transportation industry, people manage to do the same, walking wherever they want to go, and they allocate only 3 to 8 per cent of their society's time budget to traffic instead of 28 per cent. What distinguishes the traffic in rich countries from the traffic in poor countries is not more mileage per hour of life-time for the majority, but more hours of compulsory consumption of high doses of energy, packaged and unequally distributed by the transportation industry.


Man, unaided by any tool, gets around quite efficiently. He carries one gram of his weight over a kilometer in ten minutes by expending 0.75 calories. Man on his feet is thermodynamically more efficient than any motorized vehicle and most animals. For his weight, he performs more work in locomotion than rats or oxen, less than horses or sturgeon. At this rate of efficiency man settled the world and made its history. At this rate peasant societies spend less than 5 per cent and nomads less than 8 per cent of their respective social time budgets outside the home or the encampment.


Man on a bicycle can go three or four times faster than the pedestrian, but uses five times less energy in the process. He carries one gram of his weight over a kilometer of flat road at an expense of only 0.15 calories. The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man's metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well.


Bicycles are not only thermodynamically efficient, they are also cheap. With his much lower salary, the Chinese acquires his durable bicycle in a fraction of the working hours an American devotes to the purchase of his obsolescent car. The cost of public utilities needed to facilitate bicycle traffic versus the price of an infrastructure tailored to high speeds is proportionately even less than the price differential of the vehicles used in the two systems. In the bicycle system, engineered roads are necessary only at certain points of dense traffic, and people who live far from the surfaced path are not thereby automatically isolated as they would be if they depended on cars or trains. The bicycle has extended man's radius without shunting him onto roads he cannot walk. Where he cannot ride his bike, he can usually push it.


The bicycle also uses little space. Eighteen bikes can be parked in the place of one car, thirty of them can move along in the space devoured by a single automobile. It takes three lanes of a given size to move 40,000 people across a bridge in one hour by using automated trains, four to move them on buses, twelve to move them in their cars, and only two lanes for them to pedal across on bicycles. Of all these vehicles, only the bicycle really allows people to go from door to door without walking. The cyclist can reach new destinations of his choice without his tool creating new locations from which he is barred.


Bicycles let people move with greater speed without taking up significant amounts of scarce space, energy, or time. They can spend fewer hours on each mile and still travel more miles in a year. They can get the benefit of technological breakthroughs without putting undue claims on the schedules, energy, or space of others. They become masters of their own movements without blocking those of their fellows. Their new tool creates only those demands which it can also satisfy. Every increase in motorized speed creates new demands on space and time. The use of the bicycle is self-limiting. It allows people to create a new relationship between their life-space and their life-time, between their territory and the pulse of their being, without destroying their inherited balance. The advantages of modern self-powered traffic are obvious, and ignored. That better traffic runs faster is asserted, but never proved. Before they ask people to pay for it, those who propose acceleration should try to display the evidence for their claim.

Living in the real world - home in Port Moody work in W. Van - thats my reality and the fact is there are hundreds of thousands like me....


Yup I could bike. I could bike 50km each way to work (2hrs each way at 25km/hr which is fast). No shower at work so I have to do some splashing around in the bathroom then change to business attire (note 70% of canadians work in the service industry - we have to be presentable to the public).


After work I either bike home 50km or go to my ultimate games 30km then bike home 50km home. Total bike time for the day say 5 hours. In a car 2hours max in bad traffic. Yeah I'd be in great shape, but I'd never be home for more than sleep - not a great family life.


You'd say - so change where I work or live. Easy to say but hard to do. I can't afford a home near where I work that I would be happy living in. I will not live in a box. Change where I work - maybe but that would take time and effort for a benefit that is nebulous and there are few enough good employers in this town to make me want to stay where I am.


My point is that you put forward this grand thesis from Mr. Illich that doesn't work for me today. So we need to work at creating a system that rewards the behaviour you propose while still functioning in the real world of peoples lives today. You have already made these changes in your life because you bought into the vision (or the vision matched your preconcieved notions perfectly and now you have a reason for what you do rather than just being frugal).


So RAV is a step that works to get people out of cars. Consider it step one. Get people out of the cars using some form of mass transit (trains being second most efficient in your cut and paste above) that works for the people who aren't using it. Then when they get used to that they may consider biking to the train, or biking to work, or locating themselves near their work. RAV is a good second choice to arming the public with bikes.

emd By emd

I will be one of the first riders of the RAV line. I am the perfect demographic for it. I live 3 blocks from Cambie and I work 10 minutes from 3 road. The RAV line will save me time & money and I can't wait for it!!


And my wife already, walks, bikes, or buses to work.


I could take the bus right, but I don't as it realistically requires 2 transfers and a bunch of waiting.


That is why I support the RAV line. Although I wouldn't care if it was an LRT. As long as it is fast.


I do agree with Stump's (what happened to the 'y'?) idealism and I appreciate his passion for it, I think this RAV line is a good step in the right direction.

we live in the same world. We made different choices.


You outlined all the things you won't do, like live in a box, or catch a bus, or move, or get a different job. Now, you pay for those choices with time and money. Now, you want me to help you defray the cost of your choices.


thanks, but no thanks.


regards,

CK

No Trev, we're all Deluded. Stump is the only one that matters, his intellect outshines all of ours, and his values are the only ones that matter. He can conveniently ignore the fact that transit is a public good, not a money making venture.


Your problems are not HIS problems, he wants a better bus service for himself, rather than for people in "Richmond" they can go figure out their own problems, as long as it doesn't involve driving because that interferes with HIS bus commute.


What he fails to realize is that we, and when I say we I'm referring to the huge number of people who drive occasionally when they need to go somewhere quickly, WE are NOT deluded. We have priorities, and if you think that spending 3 extra hours in transit is a productive use of your time, then by all means, set up an office for all I care.


I support RAV because I think it's a step forward. I'd fight against taking away lanes of traffic in order to pacify some extremist views because I think it's not part of any solution to our current problems. If transit was good enough to get people to and from work and we had alternatives, sure I'd say, get rid of some traffic lanes, but it's not, and without a better option like RAV or a subway it's not going to be.



I'm Deluded? Fine, I'm also apparently an idiot but I still get a vote, and so do you. If this ever goes to any kind of democratic vote I guess we'll see who's on the side of the majority, maybe we won't see why, but that's asking too much.


If you still think I'm deluded because I couldn't play Ulti without a car, there is NO way to get from Work to Field X (I think there might be 1 field I can make it to) on transit or bike in time for a game. Maybe by 7, if I was lucky. So for me, and probably many others, a vehicle DOES offer me more time to do things I want. For you, maybe not, but fine, don't call me deluded.


If I seem a little frustrated, it's because you resort to name calling when there is no cause, no precedent. You're no longer on topic, either, but that's another story.


"No Trev, we're all Deluded. Stump is the only

one that matters, his intellect outshines all of

ours, and his values are the only ones that

matter. He can conveniently ignore the fact that

transit is a public good, not a money making

venture."


OK. First off, it's "Trav" I assume it's the Travis I

know. He's a big kid and won't bee-atch if I

needle him some.


Secondly, I'm not saying I'm smarter than you.

But I believe the sources that I've cited are

smarter than us both. And, I believe they've

done their homework and know whereof they

speak. I've done a little homework too, and while

I'm no expert, I'm pretty sure I have a better

grasp of transit/transportation issues than many

folks. Aren't I special!



As for my values. who cares? My entire argument

against RAV in its current incarnation is that it's

simply not a good value for our money. The only

value I care about w/r/t RAV is that my gov't

doesn't blow my taxes on ill-thought out

schemes. Are you for government cronyism,

waste, and mismanagement? You must be on of

those darned Liberal voters ;-).



As for public transit being a public service rather

than a money-making venture, you seem to

think that only profitable enterprises need worry

about satisfying their customers. Not so. The

customer doesn't care if you're in biz for profit or

the common good. They expect service. So, my

statements regarding customers and customer

service stand esp. as there are alternatives to

utilizing transit.


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