The Future of Vancouver Transit, Post-Olympics

In anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics, transportation planners in Vancouver are plotting permanent expansions to the city's public transit system. Demand will be high during the games, but many wonder what will happen after.

"When life returns to normal, will Vancouver be left with legions of commuters using sustainable transport options?

Or will people simply revert back to their cars, as one planning expert has argued? VANOC today unveiled its comprehensive transportation plan, a wide-ranging strategy that's meant to ensure athletes, spectators and media get from accommodations to venues -- and back -- in a timely manner.

Clearly, the logistics are daunting. During the Games, Vancouver will host up to 135,000 spectators each day -- the equivalent of staging 17 back-to-back Superbowls, VANOC's executive vice president Terry Wright told reporters.

And that's on top of an expected 6,100 athletes and officials, 10,000 accredited media and a 55,000 strong workforce."

Full Story: 2010 Games Traffic Plan a Permanent Roadmap?



The Skytrain is an LRT

This article includes something that always bugs me in articles about Vancouver - it says that a LRT lines could be built as a cheaper alternative to the Skytrain. The problem is that the Skytrain is an LRT itself - specifically it is an ALRT, or automated LRT. Its high cost comes from its elevated guideway, not the fact that it is a "Skytrain" or that it is automated.

When people refer to LRT as an alternative to Skytrain, do they mean a street-running LRT like streetcars in Portland or Toronto? Do they mean an LRT in its own ground-level right-of-way like Calgary's C-Train that can also operate on-street where necessary? When proposing alternatives, it would be nice to see what exactly is being suggested so that we can form an educated opinion as to whether we agree with the alternative or not. A regular LRT that requires a driver can be just as expensive as the Skytrain if it too requires an elevated guideway. The cost is determined by the geographic context: whether or not a grade-level dedicated right-of-way is available, if street-running would still provide the required service levels, or if an elevated (or underground) guideway is in fact necessary.

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