Show your support for RAV

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"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


I ride a bike 99% of the time, because I find

transit too slow and crowded. Other trips are

probably an even split betw. bus/taxi/car/walking.

As for my commute - my work and my house are

about 30 blocks apart. In Vancouver. As for

ignoring your problems, no man is an island

when it comes to cities. But, frankly, you seem to

feel you're entitled to more coconuts than the

rest of us, to continue with the island metaphor.

I simply have different solution to your problems,

but you don't like it. That hardly means I'm

ignoring them.

Finally, the RAV line does make sense. But the

way it's been funded, the rush to put it into place,

the lack of transparency, the refusal to examine

other options all point to big problems down the

road. If we are going to fix the problem, let's

identify the problem and then find the best

solution. Not choose a solution and then find the

problems to justify them, which is what (IMO) is

the current state of affairs.

kindest, politest regards


Talk about moving targets in an argument. I argue a point. And you hare off on another tangent. But I'll follow your tangent.

I get nothing out of RAV except higher property taxes. I would use RAV or the NE line (when it gets done) as much as I could. I don't directly benefit from it, but I see it as a positive addition to the transit system in the GVRD.

I made life choices and I am paying for them, I didn't complain about that. But I also believe that a very large number of GVRD residents live in my world not in yours. So if we believe that yours is a better world (and I admit that it is on many, but not all, counts) then we need to bridge our way there. Only an idealist will cling to the idea that it could be crammed down peoples throats. Baby steps get you to the same destination as a giant leap, it just takes a little longer, but it's way easier going.

hmm posting at the same time. Looks like we agree that RAV in general is ok. Leave it at that.

Yes the process could be better. But, I think our choices today are limitted by those of the past. Skytrain is the GVRD's technology of choice and to change that would cost more than any other option presented. And adding another mode to the transit system with light rail just smacks of inefficiency.

emd By emd

All this talk of being more efficient actually made me do something. Starting next week I am car-pooling with a co-worker. One less car on the road!!

Kudo EMD and thanx.

Travis, I agree about baby-steps. I wish I'd thought to put it in those terms. I just think more buses first is the best baby step because it addresses the current under-capacity and buys us some time to determine if there is a better technology than Skytrain.

Gotta go, The Man expects his pound of flesh in x-change for my fat unionized paycheque!



Personally, I would rarely use the RAV line, I don't live anywhere near Richmond, or the Downtown core. I live in Burnaby, and I am a lucky member of our society that can use that skytrain line. And let me tell you, I like it. It's vastly preferrable to busses, although I do find myself on those as well. It's cleaner, faster, more frequent and runs later. I simply want my fellow Vancouver Suburb dwellers in Richmond to have the same option.

And, by the way, the only field I thinkI could make it to by 6:00ish on Transit is the Slocan field, it's got a skytrain station right there! I go to winter pickup at AL on skytrain too.

As for croneyism, I think that if there is a better way of implementing a RAV line than that should be explored, however just as you "trust" that the people who published your evidence (I'm assuming you're thinking of the biking blurb you put up, the freeway argument is addressing a different issue) I "trust" the consultants that the gov't has investigating a RAV route. I honestly don't believe that (G or L) Campbell is sitting in his office thinking "How can I funnel a couple mill to my buddies?" Their actions are following guidelines put forth by those consultants, who apparently do know what they're talking about. One of the constraints that we have w.r.t. implementing this is that it, if at all possible, should utilize much of the same technology that we already use. This seems enormously reasonable to me. So it doesn't matter to me if it's 30 feet or 10 feet off the ground, tunnelled, or in huge ditches, that's where costs can be saved. Routes should be determined with ridership and future expansion in mind, rather than "can we save 50 mil today".

If we save 200 million now, but end up having to build 2 more lines where 1 more would do, then I'd say it's a false savings. I'm in this world for the long haul too, and I"d also like to go to the parks in beautiful Vancouver in 100 years (which at this rate is how old I'll be when grand kids arrive)

So anyone have a good lead on a used road commuter bike? (not a mt. bike... hopefully not a hybrid) with fenders? I got $75 waiting for the right deal, and I need to get good value for my money. If I can get a good (not great, but good enough) bike I'll bike commute exclusively for rest of the month and leave my gas guzzelling SUV at the side of the road (except for ulti at UBC, hell I'll even bike to slocan).


Call me a cynic, but here's my response to part of your most recent post.

I don't necessarily think either Campbell is thinking about how to funnel cash to their friends. I do however think that at least as much thought is given by them to whether their actions will keep them in office as to whether what they're doing is right and for the greater good. Unfortunately the two aren't always (or even usually) one and the same.

To stay in office, I believe they will push for this sort-of-skytrain line because it is highly visible even to the majority of the constituents who won't benefit from it, it can be spun to be generally beneficialand it will make them out to be forward-thinking. Thus, it should get them votes and help keep them in office.

You say that routes should be determined with ridership and future expansion in mind. That seems to assume that skytrain is the answer. I say that transportation options should be determined with ridership and future expansion (and demand) in mind. To me, this has not hapenned, and the information so far presented has not convinced me that ridership/demand will justify building a skytrain rather than either improving bus service, or other technology (LRT?).

What has to change for vancouver to remain liveable in future generations isn't so much the transportation infrastructure, or policy, or gas prices, but attitudes and awareness. If people are aware of the impact of their actions and are willing to change their lives a little to reduce that impact, then the demand will exist for better alternatives and politicians will be killing themselves to make it happen. As it is, the politicians have to ram alternatives down people's throats to appease the vocal minority who understand.

Yep, that's cynical.

By the way, my reason for linking the freeway article was for the observations that with reduced automobile capacity, people stop driving.

Also, while a 75$ bike will get you anywhere you want to go, you might want to earmark more than that, as it sounds like you're a bit picky. If you're about to complain about spending that much on a bike, consider that you'd probably spend more than that on gas for the SUV you're planning to park for a month.

Hey Dugly:

Also, if $75 is all you've got for a bike, I suggest the best source will be hitting a few garage sales and looking for an old ten speed (get a road bike not a cheap mtb) that just needs some air in the tires, and oil on the chain. Upgrade to a flat handlebar set-up instead of the 'drop' bars, buy a rack and panniers, and you're good to go.

There's lots of old CCM's, Sekine's, etc - just sitting in folks' garages waiting to be rode.

If you really want a nice ride however, I'd suggest checking out the various hybrid/commuter/courier style bikes manufactured by the Cdn company Devinci. Screamingly fast, well designed, nice gruppos, and did I mention screamingly fast. Not that you'll get one for $75 (probably have to throw at least a zero on the end of that figure). Heck, I'd be out buying one right now, but my commute isn't far enough to warrant the expense, and anyway my 3rd bike will probably be a full-suspension free ride bike, so I can sully my 'no broken bones' track record for off-roading ;-).

Two wheels good, four wheels bad!



OK, one last thing I promise.

I just wanted to say that finding alternative, sustainable transportation options isn't an all or nothing endeavour. If you commute by car, even taking the bus, bike or carpool once a week translates into a 20% reduction in your commuting footprint. If we can get a majority of people to make a sustainable choice just once a week, we are well on way to a much greener, cleaner, quieter, safer tomorrow (cue the angelic choir).


"In fact, to help fund that line we will reduce existing service on Cambie of course, but service will also be cut on Oak and Granville just to push passengers over to the RAV line and boost the ridership numbers. Those folks from Delta who now ride directly into Vancouver on comfortable commuter buses will instead be shifted to local buses and get a tour of the Richmond Town Centre where they will transfer to the RAV line."

This is exactly what was said will happen with the millenium line, in fact, every argument I've heard so far has been applied to the millenium line, and I certainly believe that Vancouver is better off for having it. You may dissagree with me about that.

The "local" busses from delta to richmond will never materialize. My bet is that they'll keep the commuter busses for that portion of the trip.

The idea that translink has taken the politics out of transit is laughable, and it's at least as bad when the province doesn't get involved. I read through the translink 25 year plan that involves building super highways where the traffic isn't in order to appease the disproportionate representation of specific communities on the board. And that same representation method is making it immpossible for projects that are of the "greater good" to be accomplished. It's the infighting on Translink that's keeping the NE connection from materializing. It's the infighting of different municipalities that's blocking RAV, not ideology. It's just politics, like anything else.

And as for Campbell's choices being about re-election, I suppose there's something about that in his decisions, however judging by his past actions he seems to be acting with his own ideology in mind, rather than getting cheap (or expensive) votes. The cut's he's made are at a huge political price, and I don't think even he expects to be re-elected, but they were made on his ideology. I don't agree with most of them, but it's undeniable that the impact on BC's economy has materialized, we've got the highest precentage of working people making $16+/hour. We have the fastest growing economy in Canada for 2 years straight. Now of course this might have to do with other factors, but it seems to me that it's working at least better than the NDP era when our economy was consistantly shrinking. I don't agree with everything he's done, but I have no reason to believe that you're right about this just being a re-election bid. that's just rhetoric.


I agree that more busses is good and once the RAV line is in place any new buses can be redeployed to the next most needy area. But part of the current 10yr plan is to add 400 buses and upgrade the current 1300 buses. It looks to me like this is being taken care of.

Also, Translink did a study of a bus only option and came to the following key findings (link below is to the best bus plan):

A summary of the initial review of the Best Bus Option would indicate the following key success factors:

Substantially lower capital costs estimated at about 20-25% of the rail options;

Lower ridership and revenue estimated at only two-thirds that of the lowest performing rail option;

Significantly longer travel times (25% to 75% longer depending on option) compared to rail options;

Higher operating cost over the 35 year life of the project; and,

Higher regional subsidy assuming that the Federal, Provincial and Airport Authority

contributions would not be available.

The key is that ridership increases on a bus option would not meet the ridership increases provided by the skytrain option. With Skytrain they are estimating 100k riders per day so at 2/3rds thats 33,000 car trips per day extra. Current ridership on that path is about 40,000 so really we are talking about an increase in ridership (by 2010) of 27,000 vs. 60,000 or more than double. What is the worth of this decreased auto use.

I know this assumes that Translinks studies and projections are on target and that may be a stretch but even if they are out by 10-20 percent then we are still significantly better off. And then you bring in the operating costs of buses vs. train and the current RAV plan (with all the risks taken out of it by the Prov. and Fed. Govt's) really looks better than busses and will allow more alternative plans in the future.

"I don't agree with most of them, but it's undeniable that the impact on BC's economy has

materialized, we've got the highest precentage of working people making $16+/hour."

I hear a report today that suggested this is a downward trend, ie, the avg was higher in the past. Is

that the case? If it is it's not something to awfully proud of IMO. As for economic growth, I've never

seen much to convince me that the economy pretty much does whatever it's going to do, and

governmental initiatives rarely do much to affect it.

"With Skytrain they are estimating 100k riders per day so at 2/3rds thats 33,000 car trips per day

extra. Current ridership on that path is about 40,000 so really we are talking about an increase in

ridership (by 2010) of 27,000 vs. 60,000 or more than double. What is the worth of this decreased

auto use.

I know this assumes that Translinks studies and projections are on target and that may be a

stretch but even if they are out by 10-20 percent then we are still significantly better off."

What if those figures are way off? The impression I'm getting, based on the previous Skytrain

projects is that those figures for RAV commuters are wildly optmistic. Like double the probable

amount. Also, how long are they estimating before the 100k figure will be reached?

Dugly, right on message re. jobs data, but be careful, it is the BC Liberal message...

From - (albeit an avowed NDPer)

On July 6th Labour Minister Graham Bruce set a new record for a misleading news release. He claimed that BC leads Canada in job growth and that it has more people making over $16 per hour. The job numbers depend on cherry picking the dates for comparison, and his wage data is simply wrong.

It is apparently very important to the Campbell government to pump up every possible report on economic performance so as to try to convince British Columbians that three years of pain have yielded some result. Statistic Canada's Labour Force Survey for June will be released on Friday. Rather than wait for the most recent figures, the Minister of Skills Development and Labour issued a news release on Tuesday comparing employment gains by province from December 2001 to May 2004. During that period, using seasonally adjusted numbers, BC's employment grew by 7.4% compared to the Canadian average of 6.1%. Why would anyone use December 2001 as the base for comparison, unless it was to distort the numbers? May 2001 is the starting point for comparisons relevant to the last BC election. Instead of 7.4% as employment growth, the number shrinks to 4.1% for BC when May 2001 is the starting point.

It costs $3 per series to purchase data from Statistics Canada. Hence the data for 10 provinces and Canada for employment and wages is a minimum of $66. Paying that fee, however, will not allow you to verify the government news release with respect to wage data. The publicly available data include average hourly wages by province as measured by the Labour Force Survey, but they do not include a distribution of wages as included in the Ministry's news release. Hence, when Graham Bruce says that according to the Labour Force Survey 57.2% of British Columbians earned more than $16 per hour in 2003, it is not possible to verify his figure. It is possible that the government is using unpublished data available to it but not to the public, or perhaps they are being creative. One way or the other, the Campbell government attacked members of HEU for making that much and used its legislative muscle to impose a 15% wage cut. It is more than a little strange that they would now try to boast about the number of people earning over $16 per hour in 2003; what about 2004 after their imposed wage cuts?

Data from the "Survey of Employment, Earnings and Hours", also published by Statistics Canada, show that average weekly earnings in BC grew by only 2.6% between April 2000 and April 2003 compared to 5.2% for the Canadian average. Between Arpil 2000 and April 2004 (the most recent month available), average weekly earnings in BC grew by only 5.0% compared to 7.7% for the Canadian average. That makes it hard to believe the suggestion in the BC government news release about relatively high wages in BC.

This is what really jumped out at me from the Translink best bus option study:

"It is stressed however, that definitive work has not be undertaken to fully assess the technical and financial potential of the bus-based rapid option. Nonetheless, the work provides a limited review of what might be possible with such a system."

At least they were honest about it.


Another RAV article in today's Georgia Straight. Of particular interest is the last para which, to summarize, suggests that these sort of projects regularly under-estimate costs, and over-estimate ridership, resulting in projects costing far more than expected and delivering far fewer benefits than expected.


Ridership in that corridor is already at 40k today. Replacing that with skytrain should result in increased ridership due to speed and convience. Translinks estimate of 100k ridership is as of 2010 which I will admit is agressive since it won't be done til 2008 +-. A more realistic number would likely by 80k but that's still 40k less car trips per day thus reducing pollution and other traffic issues significantly. Also the bus option projects about 67k in ridership so that would be your base minimum for skytrain. Is this enough to fully offset the costs of skytrain construction. Maybe not as of 2010 but you should look at it over a longer span of time as the expected life of the system is 35years.

Over 35 years I would expect the system to pay for itself manyfold.

I don't share your optimism, or faith in the numbers touted by RAVco Trav. I hope you're right and I'm wrong.



About the "100k by 2010," I wonder if they're estimating that's the anticipated number for that year when there's a large influx of visitors, and then come 2011 ridership will drop to 70k.

Also, they estimate 67k (note that it's a much more precise number than the large-looking 100,000 - could 100k be a rounded up number?) for a bus system, so the ridership increase for a train is really only 13000. Does that much smaller increase justify the extra expenditure?

I really didn't want to get sucked into this debate, but I just can't be left out of what is sure to be a 100 post thread! Go VUL Forum.

Without getting into a debate about the good or bad nature our our civilization (making comparisons to India's Economic or Transit system is a little pointless) here is why I think RAV is a good idea.

1. Nobody knows the numbers (100K, 67K, 40K) but the demand for transit along this route is clear. Buses up and down Cambie, Granville and Main are packed. I know, I'm on them. Living on Main Street I would walk 10 blocks to my RAV station and happily get on, leaving my car and bus behind. Some posts back there was a claim that ALL stops must pay for themselves and that the Cambie route didn't have many populated stops. This is simply not true and supported by the ridership of the 98-B. Additionally, as with the Expo line, not only will current car and bus users migrate to the line, but future development will concentrate around the line, increasing ridership. Already the questionable choice of the Millenium Line route is attracting development along that line so while it is losing money, people will adjust (make choices)

2. I can't help but point out (much to many people's dismay) that during the transit strike the congestion on the streets was REDUCED. It was easier to get around main streets without busses everywhere. I'm not saying that we need to stop transit, but options that have 0 impact on the current road system are by far the best idea.

3. The Free Money can't be beat. 300M from the Airport (funded by those who make choices to fly) won't happen for the NorthEast, and the post claiming that a spur out to the airport is pointless is mute as that part of the system (and more) will be paid for by the Airport money. The Airport spur will be the least expensive per km of the whole line (no tunnels, traffic flow problems or residence to contend with). 450M from the Feds is also not likely to be seen again, and that is tax money from Joe Toronto's gas tax filling up his SUV.

4. Has anyone mentioned that this line (unlike the Expo and Millenium Lines) will directly replace several current bus routs? What is the benifit to the whole system when the 98-B line buses are put on the 99 and 97 routes? Plus, less buses downtown, better for everyone.

I have made my choice. I live in Vancouver, work in the core, have a car but bus 3-4 days a week. I want a better option and RAV is it.

For the last point on choices, polls indicate that well over 50% of people are supporting the line (69% in the last poll I heard), so does that count as a public choice?

I can't speculate on the basis of their projections. But they made it explicitly clear in the report that the RAV project is not an olympic project and I highly doubt they would pad the daily average ridership figures for an annual average with the ridership of a 2-4wk period (if you count the week before and after as the part of the olympics) even if they included them in the average for the year, the would only have a marginal upward tick 4/52nds of the estimated increase.)

As to the reality of the number I think that 100k maybe high but only a little. I look at how little service there is between Richmond and Vancouver as of now and they have 40k of daily traffic and can't help but expect that with a skytrain alternative and with airport traffic that the ridership totals would approach the 100k area within a year or two of 2010. Now if I was a cab company I would be quite upset with the RAV line because it's going to bite their traffic alot.

Now to whether it justifies the expenditure. Lets say its 90k of traffic for arguments sake.

That's a decrease of 50k (vs current system say 30k vs best bus option) in daily commutes of 20km per day or 365 Million commuter kms decrease or 4-5 deaths (rate of 10/Billion Km was found on website for New Zealand so +- 1 death if you want to argue it. Then talk about fuel, reduced R&M on the current roads reduction in need to expand the current bridge and road systems, and even air pollution as other costs. For the soft costs; What is a life worth, what is air quality worth, what is livability of the city worth? These are the arguments for public transit generally, so they apply to all the alternatives, but if you get more people off the road then the benefit is greater from a proposed system that attracts ridership faster.

Its not that I trust their figures it's just that I don't think they are off by so much and I think the benefits of the system outweigh the risks. I may end up being wrong as at 2010 but call back in 2040 and tell me we should never have put the RAV line in.

Three quarters of the way there!

There seems to bee a deep suspicion by many that this is some government boondoggle

unnecessarily being forced down our throats. This isn't a conspiracy for the rich, nobody living in

Shaugnessey or West Van will ever ride this train. This is going to benefit the rest of us in the


Why should it pay for itself? Sure that's nice, but hardly a requirement for a capital expense. This

is mass transit people! This is very good for our city.

The people that are arguing that busses would better suit the route are at best naïve, and at worst

contrary for the sake of contrary. I'm happy to admit that I know much less about public transit

dynamics than the people that are planning RAV, and you should be too.

Knowledge and education about public transit aside, my common sense tells me that a train is

much better than a bunch of busses. Would anybody argue that our transit system would be better

off without the skytrain routes, and substituting them with more busses?

"Would anybody argue that our transit system would be better off without the skytrain routes, and substituting them with more busses?"

Most of the opposition to the RAV is about the lack of transparency, the lack of detailed analysis of other options, the artificial deadline, and the erroneous, if not downright misleading data being proffered as justification for the project.

Rapid transit from Richmond to VAncouver is a great idea. If it beggars the rest of the system it's not such a great idea anymore.

I don't think you've addressed the real opposition to the project Temple, merely your impression of what the arguments are.

As for claiming ignorance to be a virtue... well, whatever floats your boat.

*sigh* ... I might as well get into it too... obviously it just wouldn't feel right if I couldn't keep my mouth shut over this too. (although I tend to just stay out of politics because it's best that I not argue those things that I don't know that much about... not that it's stopped others here [*grinning, ducking, and running*], but still)

So I'll add this... it'd sure be nice if the RAV was already in place... I have to leave work way too early tonight to get to my games at Winona using the slower other public transit options. Bah, screw it, I'm taking my truck (a big fuel-guzzling SUV normally reserved just for pulling the trailer) to work from now on.

*pulling tongue out of cheek*

There's a station planned for 57th Ave, but it's dependent on the final pricing for the whole project (according to my quick skim of the info). Without it, it's going to be a long walk from the nearest station to Winona.

Just FYI, Mortakai ;-)

I may have taken only a partial impression of the -shall we say- ill feelings towards RAV.

Why argue the particular ridership numbers of this project if you think it's a good idea?

Are you merely trying to say that this project will likely go over budget with the taxpayers taking

up the slack?

This is probably the worst type of attitude for a taxpayer to have, but: No shit.

When have you ever heard of a capital project being produced on time and on budget? Or a private

company's project for that matter.

I don't think you need to have detailed arguments to convince people that RAV will go over budget

(including it's revenues till 20XX from ridership):

Carmac: "Our first born children."

Ed: "Heh heh, our first born."

Carmac: *opening the envelope* "What the RAV wound up costing."

Ed: "Hey-OH!"

I would think that if we're going to spend X hundred million on RAV, wouldn't we still want to build

it for 1.5X hundred million? This is a capital project that's good all around. The only real question is

the cost.

If we want to devote our energies to keeping the costs low, to developing a realistic budget and

sticking to it, that's great, but I'm not sure what the best way to do that is.

Suggestions would be great.

You can have it Good... You can have it Fast... You can have it Cheap!

(...but you can pick ONLY TWO)

Basically that's one way of looking at the "laws of Project Management".

1. You can have it good and fast, but it ain't gonna be cheap

2. You can have it good and cheap, but it ain't gonna be fast

3. You can have it cheap and fast, but it ain't gonna be good

Project objectives are typically set by defining the "Triple Constraints", being the Time constraint, the Budget constraint, and the Performance criteria.

One of these three will be the 'weak constraint', which is the least important of the three... one of these will be the 'driver', which is the most important of the three.

I haven't taken a lot of time to analyze this, but I think the 'driver' for the RAV is the 'Performance' (i.e., the end result of the project itself)... which means that no matter what, no (or little) compromise will be made on this (... and this also includes 'safety' items). I'm then torn between whether the 'weak contraint' is the cost or getting it done on time (think: 2010 Olympics). I think politically, the backlash will be worse if it's not done before the Olympics rather than just going over budget, so I'll say the cost is the 'weak constraint'. What this means is that no expense will (read: should) be spared to make sure that it's built without compromises and on time... so good luck coming in on budget.

And by the way, this isn't my opinion, it's generally accepted Project Management methodology.

Here's a link to an article by the New York Times about declining sales of Olympic tickets. It purports that one of the most pressing issues is transportation between sites inhibiting peoples ability to get between 2 events in a day, and that locals are expecting gridlock.

Not to turn this into an argument about the Olympics, but the RAV would be an integral part of the transportation links at any event like the Olympics. A quick, reliable transportation method between the airport and the downtown core, where the majority of the tourists will be staying, is necessary.

Of course, it's impossible to justify the cost of the entire operation based on a single event, but the potential loss of revenue if people are frustrated by transportation is huge.

Projected ticket sales will account for 14.5% ($140,789,000) of revenues for the 2010 games (according to the official bid book available online). Unless there's a huge dent in ticket sales (hard to believe a ten minute difference in travel times will spawn such an catastrophe, but mmmkay whatever) revenues for the games will be relatively unaffected.

A bigger concern should be the cost of security, which is bound to climb higher and higher if things continue to destabilize internationally.


Yah, Security will undoubtedly be a bigger concern than transportation, but I think that it would be irresponsible to underestimate first impression.

Tourism is one of the most obvious benefits of hosting the Olympics. The fallout of tourism will be dependant on the views of those attending the olympics as much as the publicity Vancouver and Whistler will recieve from TV. If those people get frustrated by stupid and difficult ways to get between the Airport and their hotels then their enjoyment of the city will instantly diminish.

is it cheaper to have a couple of security guards at the sky train stations, or paying for several bus drivers to man the bus routes? I dunno, i figure the costs will all even out in teh end, and I still like the idea of having a sky train getting me downtown.

I like the idea of less congestion, more freedom of travel, less driving and less travel time.

Maybe the RAV line would offer this? I sure hope so. with gas prices as theya re I certainly wouldn't want to feel like a car is my only decent alternative to get anywhere outside of my little corner of Richmond.

Mega Bump -

So....was it all worth it?


At first blush it appears so. But there's caveats. The cancellation of
other express bus routes forced riders on to the Canada Line, so it's
hard to get an apples to apples comparison when the playing field was
tilted. Would the line be carrying as many people if the 98-B still ran?
Are we happy that the system itself is already at capacity and the
stations were built without the capability to handle longer trains?

Personally, it's handy for me when I visit a specific client in Richmond
(but only because there's a bike path nearby) and for the short trip
from Cambie/Broadway to downtown. I give it 7 out of 10 in the short-
term, with the expectation that inability to handle additional growth in
the future will highlight some hasty decisions made to meet Olympic
considerations, which will reduce that positive. It sure would have been
better for Cambie businesses if we had used the Arbutus rail corridor

The Canada Line is not at design capacity. Not sure why you think that. Current capacity is on the order of 6,000 passengers/direction/hour, and maximum design capacity (more trains, longer trains) is 15,000 passengers/direction/hour.

Correction - longer trains are not possible. Design of the stations has limited the trains' length. Future proofing fail.

I have read that the stations were designed to make it possible to extend them, but only a little. This might accommodate a third car. If true, this still limits the trains' length to not much more than the current length.

Capacity-limiting factors extend beyond the trains, however. Already there are major bottle-necks at escalators and stairs when a train arrives, and these will only get worse with longer trains.

Major Bottleneck??? Do you mean that once in a while it may take you 30 seconds to get out of the station??? I hope that isn't a reason to get back in a car...

The capacity of the RAV line can be increased with more trains running more frequently. The point here is that ridership projections have been met so far, and exceeded. So far all Skytrain lines have hit the ridership marks and are moving significant numbers of people. There should be no debate in the future about meeting ridership numbers based on the past 3 lines.

I wonder about the hardship to retail stores on Cambie for the construction phase vs the benifits since 2010 and for the next 50 years? While it is wrong to site the movement of people under the street as a benifit to stores on the street, the existance of the line does cause increased density along the route and that does help local businesses. You need look no further than Cambie Village in 2006 vs 2012. The number of people living, eating and shopping in the area between Broadway and the Cambie Street Bridge has greatly increased and will continue to do so. It seems like owning a business in that area wouldn't be such a bad thing right now.

Note that 98-B line busses did not disapear in favour of the RAV line, they were moved to other routes and are now moving people in other areas. This was another (small) benifit of the line, additional hardware to other high capacity routes without capital outlay.

The RAV line is along a route where people want to live, shop, eat and go. Marine Drive development will keep building up demand, as will construction around Oakridge and in Richmond.

If Stumpy gives it a 7 out of 10 I call that a big win! I'm going with 9 out of 10, with the only loss of a point due to what may be a final capacity limit being hit down the road.


Definitely not a reason for me to get into a car. Hopefully not a reason for anyone else, wither. It really is a minor complaint, but if the trains are extended (instead of/in addition to increased frequency) there will be considerable crowding on the platforms and exits. To me, that is a shortcoming of the station design. Hopefully that crowding won't be enough of a negative experience to turn people off of transit.

I will confess that while this project was in proposal phase, I was very skeptical of it. In the end, it is a highly beneficial part of transit infrastructure, though with limited future-proofing. Long-term, it has/will benefit businesses along the route, but a certain part of the population will continue to view the line negatively due to the way it was approached and perceived prior to construction. Seeming to not consider the Arbutus corridor (due to wealthy NIMBYs?) and the change in construction methods will for some taint the line for many years to come.

Expansion limitations aside, I agree it was a good investment - in part.

I would be curious to see ridership stats to/from the airport. I suspect a very small percentage (outside of YVR employees) use RAV to catch their flights. I feel like that part of the line was an expensive olympics-only capital flush.

7.5/10 :)

I have taken the skytrain to the airport a few times to catch a plane, but that's largely because a) I'm cheap and b) I live just a few blocks from a station. Each time I have, I'm surprised that about a dozen other travellers are also on the train. However, I think that's a very small percentage of traffic through YVR and I doubt that would be worth the added expense of that section. I'd be curious as to the employee ridership - that may change the picture.

I agree YVR staff ridership would be interesting.

I believe it had a non-trivial effect on traffic going the other way, though. I heard that taxi trips dropped a lot; if you're arriving in Vancouver, it's way easier to get into town via transit now. I don't know how many taxi trips need to be saved to make up for the carbon footprint of building the RAV line, but less taxi trips is a good thing in my book.

And the line has made me more willing to take transit to/from the ferry. I've made it from Tsawwassen to Fairview in less than an hour.

In more build it and they will build more news, YVR is poised to create a mega outlet mall, which will bring in more skytrain trips. On the surface maybe this just creates more people moving around, but this mall may compete with the Washington State outlet malls, in which case it would reduce trips down South which might have an impact, albeit a minor one overall.


"The capacity of the RAV line can be increased with more trains running more

I think we will reach that milestone faster than you realize. The stations are
inadequate in terms of design to handle longer trains and there's time and space
constraints elsewhere along the system that limit capacity. Tackled in greater
detail by Stephen Rees in the link included below.

2 things with regards to staff ridership at YVR

A) all staff (with the exclusion of executives and emergency staff) are required to use the rav line or walk from the 1st station on sea island

B) as yvr is a 24 hour facility and the RAV line is not ridership is lower then you might think as staff who begin or end shifts while the RAV is no longer in service will choose to drive their vehicles

i believe ridership numbers might be found in the YVRAA annual report but not entirely certain

CK, I'm sorry I don't see in your article what the actual constraints are to the
ridership. Are you referring to the contractual obligations he mentions/refers to?

Ridership limits are dictated by the loading platform and how often you
can run trains. We are already near the frequency limit AFAIK at peak
periods and the stations themselves are under-designed to handle future
ridership numbers. Basically you can't run bigger trains (ie more cars) that
could carry more riders,

"Ridership limits are dictated by the loading platform and how often you
can run trains."

OK, I'm with you here.

But I don't see where you got this one from: "We are already near the frequency
limit AFAIK at peak periods"

I was hoping to see something that indicated this in the article that you posted,
did I just miss it?

"The Canada Line is capacity constrained by lengthy sections of single track and
short stations: it is feasible to insert an extra car in each train but that is not
anticipated for a long time. While most systems hit a physical maximum at a
train every two minutes (imposed by the ability of people to get on and off
trains at crowded platforms) the single track sections impose a much longer turn
around time requirement. These physical constraints have not yet bitten. "