Category — Transit
There’s no good news for transit riders in the first report by new Translink Commissioner Robert Irwin, who declares that the very real service reduction required by Translink’s “service optimization” program in its 2014 Base Plan “avoids overall cuts on the ground.”
This is no consolation to the thousands of Translink riders who experience overcrowding, pass-ups and late buses on the existing system, where more and more riders are sharing service that has not been increased for several years.
Bus drivers, members of Unifor 111, have been front and centre highlighting this problem.
Under service optimization, buses are moved from lower ridership routes to higher ones, allowing marginal improvements on some routes while service is reduced on others, usually in outlying areas.
Irvin acknowledges that the 2014 plan “flat lines (but at a slightly lower level) overall transit service for 10 years,” meaning many more people will be boarding the same number of buses for a long time to come. He then warns critics that riders have had it good, maybe too good: [Read more →]
December 2, 2013
Port Metro Vancouver raising curtain on huge Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project, Massey Bridge dredging plans
Port Metro Vancouver CEO Robin Silvester used his annual presentation at the Vancouver Board of Trade today to connect the dots between the Massey Bridge project and the port’s future plans for the Fraser River, while unveiling the first photo I had seen of the huge Terminal 2 project at Roberts Bank.
Silvester set the Twittersphere humming with his reminder that BC’s Gateway investments, including Port Mann Bridge, total $9 billion, putting the massive $6 billion Panama Canal upgrade completely in the shade.
But he made it clear the work is far from done. Soon to come: Port Metro Vancouver’s $2 billion Terminal 2 project, which is already two years into the consultation phase, according to Silvester. (Jobs to be created: 18,000.)
The artists’ rendering he showed was new to me, but clearly based on this version released in September. It shows Roberts Bank nearly doubling, capable of berthing three very large vessels at once in deeper water northwest of the existing terminal.
And thanks to the Massey Bridge, the ability to “dredge slightly deeper” will allow PMV to improve “the flow of goods on the Fraser River.” This will not mean larger vessels going upstream, a PMV executive told me later, but allow the 70,000-ton vessels now using Fraser Port to come in fully loaded and deeper in the water. (Longer and larger vessels would have problems maneuvring upstream.) [Read more →]
November 26, 2013
Tom Prendergast, chairman and CEO of New York’s massive Metropolitan Transportation Authority, announced Wednesday that fare and toll increases will be smaller than expected, but service improvements will continue.
Saying it’s time to give commuters a break, Prendergast rolled back fare increases of 7.5 percent during the next two years to only four percent, still a significant lift, but a big improvement.
“We try to keep costs down in order to minimize the financial burden on our customers, and as this financial plan shows, we are succeeding in that effort,” Prendergast said. “Our customers want value, which is quality and quantity of service, and that service has to be reliable and safe. Through this financial plan, that’s what we work to provide.”
November 14, 2013
What are the hard truths about transit? It turns out many of the arguments now roiling the political waters in the Greater Toronto Area have their parallels here, as this useful infographic on the myths and realities of transit illustrates.
Among the realities: long-term operating and maintenance costs are higher than initial capital costs “and must be considered before deciding to build.”
The infographic is part of the materials produced by the Transit Investment Advisory Panel created last month by the Government of Ontario to review transit needs in southern Ontario.
October 30, 2013