Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Politics hijacks transit planning yet again

with 25 comments

Having looked at Glasgow for a comparison on Compass, here’s another very instructive comparison, a bit closer to home. This op-ed piece appears in the Toronto Sun and is by R. Michael Warren who is a “former corporate director, Ontario deputy minister, Toronto Transit Commission chief general manager and Canada Post CEO”. He was present when the decision was made to buy “the province’s untested “Intermediate Capacity Transit System” (ICTS)” which we know as SkyTrain.

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 10.43.13 AM

The parallels between us and them are obvious. The tussle between city and suburbs, the choice of technology – it’s all exactly the same

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been on the wrong side of this issue longer than anyone. “Stopping the war on cars” to him means putting rapid transit below ground or making it grade-separated. Out of the way of cars.

It seems to me that an endorsement by Rob Ford should be enough to deter anyone. But Vision Vancouver wants a subway under Broadway. And for very similar reasons. What is even more striking is the way that the link has been made in local planning for Grandview - where towers were suddenly added to the plan, much to the surprise and dismay of those who had been consulted. And one suggestion has been this is necessary to show that Vancouver is committed to increasing density (in the form of high rise towers) at subway stations. The quid pro quo being that if the City wants rapid transit then there has to be supporting denser land use. No repeat of what happened along the Expo Line – with no development happening at all at Broadway, Namaimo or 29th Avenue stations. By the way exactly the same effect was seen along the second subway in Toronto. The Bloor-Danforth line cannot be seen as clusters of towers around stations the way the Yonge line can be.

It is also worth re-iterating that the idea that a subway can be inserted underneath an existing street without interfering with it is foolish. Sure cut and cover subways and surface light rail create disturbance all along the street, but subway stations are significant objects at major intersections and have to have connections to the surface. And despite the nonsense that was peddled by the Canada Line constructors, entrances are needed at all street corners, not just one of them. If only to handle transfers to other transit effectively.

But also if you build very expensive subways, and you want fast services, there are going to be fewer stations – and most development is going to have to occur within a short walk of the station entrance. Do not think you can do that without upsetting the neighbours. Or you can have enough new development without increasing building heights significantly.

To make the headline a bit clearer, politics is always going to decide how public money is spent on major infrastructure projects. There is no way this can decided simply by technical considerations. These are not engineering  decisions. They are planning decisions. They are about place making. We have already plenty of experience of what happens to places when decision making is based on engineering standards. It is absolutely right that both politicians and communities get involved. The important thing is that the final outcome is not decided on short term political advantage.

The Scarborough RT was supposed to have been extended north and then east from Scarborough Town Centre to serve a new area of affordable housing known as Malvern. But the route, protected from development, ran though a neighbourhood that got built before the line did. When the TTC got ready to start building the local politicians listened to the protests of the neighbours who did not want trains running past the end of their backyards. Malvern, by the way, is now one of the greatest concentrations of visible minorities in Toronto – and one of the poorer and most troublesome areas for crime and social problems. Which cannot be blamed on SkyTrain!

What the headline means is that politicians tend to make decisions based on what is best for their party, or will be most popular with current voters. Politicians who act with an eye to the long term future are much rarer. But the decision to build the Canada Line underground beneath Cambie was based on those kinds  of calculation. Or rather, the decision to refuse to consider light rail – either along the existing CP right of way in the Arbutus corridor or along the “heritage boulevard” of Cambie Street – was all about placating the existing voters, not about accommodating the people who were going to move to the Vancouver region.  Or looking at something like “the best benefit-for-cost solution”.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 28, 2013 at 10:48 am

25 Responses

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  1. A few thoughts, as a Vancouverite living in Toronto for the last few years (although moving back soon)

    I’m not sure that it would be reasonable to say the political motivations for a subway under Broadway are the same as those in Scarborough. Rob Ford doesn’t like subways; he likes cars. He likes subways only in that the won’t take space away from vehicles. Hence why also doesn’t like cyclists, LRT, streetcars etc. He makes no secret about it; he wants to end the “war on the car”. Its helped make him popular with enough people to get him elected and still maintain a base level of support. Much as I hate to admit it, its entirely possible he’ll win again.

    I don’t know that Vision can be accused of the same motivation. Vision has certainly been accused of favouring a particular mode and subject to plenty of frothing-at-the-mouth Province editorials about it, but that mode isn’t the car. I’ll leave others to argue about whether they’re motivated by sensible policy, catering to developers etc., but in light of the viaducts plans and the vehicle capacity they’ve removed to create biking and walking experience, I’m not sure its as simple as Ford-style “it won’t mess up car traffic”.

    My biggest concern is that transit projects in Vancouver are devolving into what is happening in Toronto. In Toronto, transit technology, political personalities, service type, place of residence (old city of Toronto versus former suburbs), urban vs suburban development patterns etc. have all become so hopelessly conflated with each other that rational public debate is almost impossible. A few examples:

    1)
    “Vehicle technology automatically governs everything else and everything that has traditionally been correlated is inherently caused by it without exception”. Rob Ford sees technology as implying lots of things it does not inherently imply. Amusingly, of course, the Scarborough LRT will use the same guideway as the RT, and will not interfere with cars at all. But because its “LRT”, and “LRT messes up traffic, he doesn’t see that. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vCpKUNRBEw. Of course, I think the “you cant ever inconvenience car traffic” attitude is flawed in and of itself, but even if you accept it, his technologically-based way of looking at things makes him doubly ill-informed about this particular project. Detailed context-specific discussions about intended types of service to be provided, future land use with and without different infrastructure are more useful than mode wars.

    2) “Where the project is getting built” is confused with “who is benefiting”. This is especially acute when there is an urban/suburban divide. Despite its name, the Downtown Relief (subway) Line greatly benefits residents of the eastern part of the City of Toronto (i.e. Scarborough, East York, parts of North York etc.) who are travelling to downtown. Plus the people in York Region who won’t get their desired Yonge subway extension until the DRL is built to make room for more people to use the Yonge line. The benefit for people already living in the downtown area is probably fairly minimal; the new Streetcars will be far more beneficial. Despite that, there are still plenty of “look at those downtown elites giving themselves subways while the making the rest of us have LRT” type feelings. Hence Metrolinx has had to rename the line a more neutral “Relief Line”.

    On an unrelated note, the single-entrance-at-stations thing is a Translink policy, no? Presumably motivated by a combination of cost and (supposed) safety concerns. Both Millennium Line and Evergreen Line stations are all single-entrance (except Lougheed and I think Ioco or whatever it will be called). I don’t necessarily agree with the policy; the downtown subway stations in Toronto usually have entrances on all four corners of the street, which is convenient and always puts you right at the the right spot for making your transfer. But the Canada Line is hardly the only example of this occurring.

    jared

    August 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

  2. The motivation for subway under Broadway is the commitment to no reduction in road capacity for vehicle traffic. Being nice to bikes for the City is a bit like us using our blue boxes: it doesn’t make a great deal of difference to major issues – like global warming say – but it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling that you are at least doing something. In fact people who use blue boxes use that as an excuse for doing much worse in other areas.

    I would be much more impressed if Vancouver had some bus priority measures installed already on Broadway. Stripping parking in the peaks helps a bit – but is hardly a significant commitment.

    The critical issue for a region that is hard pressed to fund transit expansion is that every mile of subway under Vancouver means much less for BRT or LRT covering much greater distances in the suburbs. Where the need is – I would suggest – much greater.

    The single entrance thing at stations was sold as a security issue – which is simple spin. The actual reason is building down to a price not up to a standard.

    Stephen Rees

    August 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm

  3. Okay, but regardless of whether the lane is being removed from general traffic for bikes or buses, the point is its still being removed. The effect on vehicle capacity is the same. And the effect on demand for the lane (and thus congestion level) is actually probably more acute when you build bike lanes, because the buses will still have to use general traffic lanes, thus taking up road capacity on the remaining lanes. Are you suggesting that the city views Broadway in particular as being special for traffic flow here, in a way that say, the viaducts or Burrard bridge aren’t? Or that removing traffic lanes for bikes is ok, but its not ok for transit? To be clear here, I’m referring to circa 2013 politician and staff attitudes. I’m well aware of the not-enough TSP for 98 B-Line issues, but that was a decade ago (when there weren’t traffic lanes along arterials being removed for bikes either). Attitudes do change.

    Don’t get me wrong, I, like you, am disappointed by the city’s lack of initiative on improving bus service with the tools they have at their disposal. For example, I emailed them about the Point Grey Cornwall consultations to inquire whether they would look into if it would be effective to put in some queue jumpers at the approaches to Point Grey and MacDonald intersection, since they’re probably going to get slowed down here a bit more by all of the extra traffic making the turn (apparently my email had no effect). However, I’m just not sure its a “can’t remove car capacity” thing so much as an issue of passing the buck to TransLink by asking them for more service, but otherwise not doing very much unilaterally. Which is too bad, because I think reallocating traffic space to bus lanes probably wouldn’t generate nearly the level of controversy as the bike lanes do, and could generate a pretty decent return on investment.

    The scarcity-of-funding issue on the other hand, I’m more sympathetic to, in terms of how it affects both what and when something gets built on Broadway. Just to be clear, my original post was not trying to be “pro” of “anti” Broadway subway, but rather to discuss the motivations behind why its getting political support.

    jared

    August 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm

  4. On Burrard there was – and is – no need for 3 lanes for GP traffic, since the bridge vehicle capacity exceeded that of the signal controlled junctions at each end. The viaducts have yet to be removed, yet if we had had an earthquake like they did in San Francisco they would be gone and all would be well. The CoV continues to consult when it is clear that the removal of the viaducts does not actually reduce capacity of the network – it just shifts it around. And the people who live on the streets that get more traffic are understandably unhappy.

    Having seen Cambie merchants go bust and get no compensation due to the Canada Line, the CoV is understandably wary of the backlash on Broadway if the same thing happens there. But that is the fault of the system that does not accept responsibility for its actions. In this case the special organizations that are always set up to build major projects. And the courts that have supported this abandonment of the rights of those impacted.

    Stephen Rees

    August 28, 2013 at 5:30 pm

  5. Our major problem in Vancouver is that far too many people in B.C. including the majority of politicians, haven’t used various types of transit. May be once in a blue moon, if at all, or for politicians photos op, but not often enough for being knowledgeable.

    Having bikes on Broadway would be a horrible idea, As it is there should not be ANY parking at all anytime along major streets to allow more cars AND transit (buses, LRT, whatever).

    Why is it that it works in so many cities around the world, in countries that all have different cultures, but is deemed impossible in Vancouver?

    Much as I like LRT systems, by the way, their construction is as destructive as building a subway in an open cut, as they did on Cambie. I was in Bordeaux-with a rented car–in 2003, when they were building 3 lines at the same time in the downtown area. It was a mad house, a nightmare.

    All the streets where the trams lines were going were closed to all vehicles, with the whole space between sidewalks a trench (all the utilities had to be moved away from their original location).

    Businesses were compensated somewhat..but it wasn’t easy for them.

    Red frog

    August 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm

  6. The Burrard Bridge lane removed turning capacity on the southwest corner of Burrard and Pacific, since the dedicated bridge lane for right turning vehicles was converted into the bike lane. No idea what its like these days, but at when I used to use it on occasion while living in Vancouver, I recall it being noticeably more backed up after the bike lane was added. Maybe enough people are avoiding it these days and its less of an issue? No idea. Direct NS capacity as you mention isn’t all that different.

    The viaduct removal does in fact decrease capacity. The city suggests that there is a difference of around 500vph between current demand and future capacity (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6dY4TMJhYg#t=686), mainly supposed to be made up for with more transit ridership. Note that this is the difference between current demand versus future capacity. Since it also shows the viaduct is already below capacity (around 0.7), the actual capacity decrease will be quite a bit more than 500vph. I do think fears about traffic congestion are somewhat overblown. But it is nonetheless a decrease in traffic capacity being proposed by the city.

    I am getting nitpicky though. More to the point, you are removing lanes of traffic, which is a political risk regardless of its actual impact on capacity. See the Burrard Bridge bike lane trial in the 1990′s where council quickly changed their minds after people got upset. Or in the months leading up to the change in 2009. Or the median Granville Bridge ped/bike path idea that was floated last year (and may still be the plan?). If there is any piece of infrastructure in the region that has way too much capacity, the Granville Bridge is probably it, and yet that didn’t stop certain segments of the population from getting upset at the long-term prospect of removing lanes. Or Point Grey, although of course that also got tied up into a “rich millionaires getting their way” thing, rather than purely a traffic thing.

    jared

    August 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm

  7. Don’t get me wrong, I, like you, am disappointed by the city’s lack of initiative on improving bus service with the tools they have at their disposal. For example, I emailed them about the Point Grey Cornwall consultations to inquire whether they would look into if it would be effective to put in some queue jumpers at the approaches to Point Grey and MacDonald intersection,

    I myself wrote to the city to support the scheme. Not that it was any improvment for buses. But since it was no obvious degradation considering the existing situation, what could have eventually happened whteher the original intention to put a bikelane on Cornwall had prevailed, I think it was a sufficient motive of satisfaction…
    especially considering the war on Transit leaded in other part of the city by the current council:
    When you are besieged, holding a position is itself a victory of some sort,

    Voony

    August 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm

  8. It seems the City Engineers are unfamiliar with the well documented phenomenon of disappearing traffic. Just as adding capacity induces more trips to be made, so reducing capacity causes a loss of trips. Traffic expands and contracts to fill the space available. Take a look at the work of Phil Goodwin for lots of evidence. (e.g. http://www.worldcarfree.net/resources/freesources/EvidenceontheEffects.rtf‎)

    I also do not see anything on that YouTube presentation about when the data for “present traffic” was collected. In the case of Cornwall, one of the things the locals did not seem to grasp was that traffic in the area has declined significantly over the last six years. Recent traffic counts during the consultation period showed that the older data they had been relying on was not an accurate measure of present demands.

    Stephen Rees

    August 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

  9. The station spacing along Broadway will likely be independent of technology so that the line meshes with the local bus network. A subway or light rail line will likely have the same stop locations as the B-Line.

    Automated metros can have short platforms and short trains. Older subways often have entrances at both ends of the platform to increase the catchment or reduce access times. The time saved by walking to the other end of a station with a short platform is small. The catchment is not enlarged much by the addition of a second entrance. The number of people on each short train is lower, which reduces the required station capacity and the need for multiple escalators and entrances proportionately.

    mike0123

    August 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm

  10. “Automated metros can have short platforms and short trains” Do you take the Canada Line regularly? what will happen in 10 years if more high rises are built along it? (besides Oakridge)…

    Not all automated metros have short trains…Line 14 in Paris was built as an automated one from the start..and had to have a high passenger load..there are other examples of big automated metros in Europe, Asia, South America…

    Having several metro entrances is not done ONLY for the benefit of the metro passengers… It is also done for people that aren’t taking the Metro and can then cross busy streets at anytime, without having to wait for street signals..especially when one would have to cross 2 streets–perpendicular to one another. I have done that many times myself..

    Red frog

    August 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

  11. They’ll start using all their trains. Then they’ll buy more trains. Then they’ll make them long enough to fill up the platforms.

    Paris is actually a good example because of the similarity of the dimensions of its metro stations to Expo and Millennium stations. Do most of the stations there have just one entrance? Line 14 is new and has longer stations, but existing lines are also being automated.

    mike0123

    August 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm

  12. That’s a good point about the platform length and the need for multiple entrances because of walking the length of a long platform. Some Toronto stations have 2 ticketing halls (one often automated with the revolving cage door), and I think some of the Eglinton LRT stations will also have two ticketing halls – that’s bound to be expensive.

    Then there’s also the City’s policy of encouraging on-street activity, rather than “mole people” (especially in Vancouver’s climate)

    Guest

    August 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  13. @Mike re: Paris “Do most of the stations there have just one entrance?”

    Depends on the station. Cité only has one entrance, but then it is deep level, on an island, and the access to the platforms is by elevator. Republique on the other hand is a major interchange between several lines and is a rabbit warren of pedestrian tunnels with multiple entrances. Even after a month I found we kept popping up out of the wrong one, but then, as tourists, we did not make the same journey every day. It didn’t help that the entire Place above was being reconfigured – but using the subway was sometimes easier than the surface to get across it. Bonsargent just down the line was not as close to our apartment but was a lot easier to negotiate.

    Every station on the Paris metro has faregates – and every trip you can see someone come up with a way to negotiate them without a valid fare. The system still uses magnetic stripe tickets as well as smart cards.

    Stephen Rees

    August 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  14. “Then they’ll make them long enough to fill up the platforms”
    That is the problem..on the Canada Line the “trains” are 2 cars permanently attached to one another. They would have to split these and insert a single special car in between. But then the doors at the very end might have to be kept shut.

    “Do most of the stations there have just one entrance?” you are talking about Vancouver right?
    Some stations on the Expo line only have one entrance, 2 if you count the elevator. Those with a higher average volume of passengers have 2, plus an elevator.
    On the section of the Millenium line, from Sapperton to VCC-Clark, only Lougheed has 2 entrances–and 2 elevators.

    I do know that Paris is retrofitting more lines with safety platform doors, the first step before automation. I have been going to Paris many many times and still go there.
    The quais in the stations of all the lines but #14 are 75 to 90 metres long, depending on the stations..Expo/Millenium are 80 metres so they are indeed similar (some lines in Paris have 90.3 metres long trains).

    I was surprised when the SkyTrain first opened that it didn’t have these safety doors..as the few ALRT already built had them. “As of November 2008, at least 54 deaths have occurred on the platforms and tracks of the Expo and Millennium Lines..”

    Do any of you look at http://www.urbanrail.net when planing a trip involving transit?
    The guy that created this site visited Vancouver (and Seattle, Tacoma, Portland etc.). His take on ransit in Vancouver: http://schwandl.blogspot.ca/2012/07/vancouver-skytrain.html

    Red frog

    August 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

  15. It’s difficult to find information on the internet about the typical layout of Paris metro stations in English because there are so many websites that discuss the Art Nouveau design of the early stations entrances. I used the system years ago as a tourist on a few occasions. I didn’t study the layout of typical non-transfer stations, which I think would be interesting for comparing to the bulk of stations here in Vancouver.

    I hope the piggyback method of fare evasion doesn’t become known here. I’d rather see a few jumpers than be jumped on.

    Automated metros don’t have to have short platforms, of course. They make them possible at a given capacity and they make them less expensive.

    The massive underground stations on the under-construction Eglinton and Confederation light rail lines are probably the reason why they are so expensive.

    mike0123

    August 30, 2013 at 8:12 pm

  16. I hope the piggyback method of fare evasion doesn’t become known here

    and still, it will be basically the only method to enjoy your right to travel with young kids (allowed to travel free in theory)…at the difference of virtually all other system in the world, where an attendant can still keep open the gate for you and your kids…

    But, as we have seen with the discontinuation of the family pas (still existing in Toronto and Montreal, both with faregate and smart card), Translink, has taken pretext of the compass card to introduce a family hostile polic. (a question of “value”, something which, in virtually any other network in the world could have been the fruit of a political decision, not a technical one ).

    regarding the platform doors,
    to be sure it is not a pre-requisite to automation as the skytrain, and the Lyon’s subway demonstrate it, but it is a pre-requisite toward a better system reliability (by intrusion prevention rather than detection ) and performance (trains can enter the stations at higher speed behind a platform door than unprotected).

    In fact, the former, especially considering the social cost (a full platform witnessing horrible death under a train wheels, and the much bigger trauma on the train driver) amply justify the installation of platform doors.

    in some sort, the installation or not of platform door is a question of “value”.

    see also: http://voony.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/subway-and-lrt-safety-in-france/

    Voony

    August 30, 2013 at 10:18 pm

  17. re: transit reliability (platform door). You have to think about the lost kitens too:
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/08/30/us/ap-us-kittens-stop-subway.html

    Voony

    August 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm

  18. Stephen, how can you say that “the removal of the viaducts does not actually reduce capacity of the network – it just shifts it around.”? This is not logical.

    Adam Fitch

    September 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

  19. The difference between Toronto and Vancouver is that Toronto already has a segregated right of way – the Scarborough RT – that could be used for LRT. Vancouver has a clogged street (Broadway) with a BRT line that is over capacity during peak periods. The bike lane reduced the Burrard Street bridge from 3 to 2 lanes (a 33% decrease), but installing a LRT on Broadway would either reduce traffic from 2 to 1 lane (50% decrease) in each direction or eliminate street parking. Since the store owners would assuredly not allow street parking to be removed – and street parking makes the area better for pedestrians anyway – you are going to have 1 lane on Broadway and a surface rapid transit system that is not going to be all that better than the 99 B-Line.

    The difference between a subway on Broadway and the existing bus service is more than an order of magnitude greater than the difference between any local bus route in Surrey and a LRT in Surrey would be because of the difference in existing congestion. By providing a rapid service from the Broadway Expo Line station to South Granville and UBC I believe a Broadway subway could benefit Surrey passengers more than the construction of a light rail line on King George Highway or some other street. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the new 96 B-Line does.

    Chris, Public Transport

    September 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

  20. The City presentation shows that their new arrangement provides enough capacity for most of the day. In an urban traffic network overall capacity is determined by the intersections and how they are controlled. The number of lanes or any one link is not going to be critical. The only capacity measure that actually matters is people capacity NOT vehicle capacity. Even using our very limited ability to model vehicle traffic shows that removing the viaducts moves traffic to other streets – and only in the afternoon peak would that become an issue if there were no alternative. But the great thing is that there always is an alternative, which is why gridlock only very a temporary problem. It solves itself as people adjust their trip making behaviour – something the model undertands poorly. Traffic is more like a gas than a fluid.

    Stephen Rees

    September 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

  21. I think the point was about “required” capacity, rather than “ultimate” capacity.
    Obviously, if you have 2 parallel roads (or rail lines, pipelines, etc) and you remove one, then there is a reduction in overall capacity.
    The question being examined is whether the remaining road(s) is/are sufficient for current needs.

    Guest

    September 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm

  22. The 99 B-Line on Broadway does not qualify as BRT. It is simply a limited stop bus service in mixed traffic.

    While many believed that converting a traffic lane to a bike lane reduced the capacity of the bridge to handle vehicle traffic that was not the case – both in theory and in practice. The number of lanes is not what determines the flow of vehicles on the bridge – the signalized intersections at each end do that. Removing one GP lane has not caused any disruption – despite what all the opponents predicted.

    I dispute the idea that on-street parking improves the pedestrian experience anywhere. Its value to merchants is generally overrated.

    Stephen Rees

    September 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm

  23. On-street parking provides physical separation between pedestrians and traffic, but so do planter boxes, trees, bike lanes, etc.

    I visit businesses on Broadway frequently, but can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times in the last three decades that I’ve used metered parking there. I sometimes stop on my way to/from work on the bus, but most often I drive on Saturday and park in a lot or on a side street. Some locations have great free options a short walk away, but most require plugging a meter. Having to pay a loonie doesn’t really bother me, I really hate dealing with parallel parking on a major street. I would much rather find a spot on a side street where I can choose a larger space that’s easier to get into, doesn’t hold up traffic (yes I actually think about the impact I have on other drivers) and can be exited without having to wait for a break in traffic.

    If street parking were removed from Broadway I would have a more difficult time finding parking, but my spending would likely remain the same because the alternatives are more expensive, less convenient to get to, unfamiliar, offer a poorer shopping experience, etc. Removal of street parking would make transit more attractive so some of my trips might switch from car to bus.

    The southbound lineup on the Burrard Bridge at 5:30pm is definitely longer than it used to be, but that doesn’t mean there has been a reduction in capacity or an increase in traffic. All the vehicles are still waiting at the same red lights they’ve always done. The difference is that the waiting area has gotten narrower. It’s possible that traffic has actually gone down. A simple mathematical example:

    Put 120 cars into 3 lanes and each line will tend to be 40 cars long.
    Put 100 cars into 2 lanes and each line will tend to be 50 cars long. The lines are longer, but they move faster because the signals on Cornwall are the limiting factor.

    David

    September 4, 2013 at 4:32 pm

  24. I seriously doubt that having built the Canada Line as an at-grade LRT line would have had the best cost-benefit ratio either given that it would have split No. 3 Road and the downtown Richmond community in half (closing all but four intersections in the proposal, essentially destroying the community), yet still fail to meet the set maximum travel time standards to downtown Vancouver.

    Building the Canada Line as a partly at-grade LRT line would have also destroyed its affordability for us. Such a choice would have meant any tunnels (which were required by EVERY proposal, even those that had at-grade sections) would have to be bigger than they currently are without any overhead caternaries.

    Daryl Dela Cruz

    September 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm

  25. @red frog

    “Automated metros can have short platforms and short trains” Do you take the Canada Line regularly? what will happen in 10 years if more high rises are built along it? (besides Oakridge)…

    The Canada Line is not running at its maximum frequency, which is a matter of buying more trains. There’s also the potential of platform expansions down the road. Most of the time I’m on the C-Line I don’t have a bad experience getting on and then being on the train, really.

    By the way, the world’s highest capacity Metro, serving Mecca, is a driverless system.

    daka_x

    September 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm


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