Comment 118927

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted May 30, 2016 at 16:06:18

You would be replacing that Skytrain system right now with modern LRT if had gotten it from the province in the 1980's. To be fair, the Skytrain is a Light Metro system not Light Rail Transit System. The term Advanced Light Rail Transit was tied too it for marketing purposes not as a legal definition of rapid transit type and capacity. Like most Light Metro Systems worldwide, it was cheaper to run than early LRT systems of the 70's and 80's vintage but now, Skytrain is clearly outmoded by many new LRT features. Ottawa's new LRT has a built in peak passenger carrying capacity that greatly exceeds Skytrain and is cheaper to operate per km, even with the driver. The updating costs are also as high as a full scale Metro/Subway Line

Although initially very useful for Vancouver, the proprietary technology (you are legally required to by Bombardier parts) is very costly to build and very costly to maintain compared to modern LRT. Where as there are 7 companies that offer North American specific LRV designs, plus 5 others that haven't sold any units here but have North American designs ready to go. All offer significant cost savings for spare parts because the higher number of competitors (this includes Bombardier as well).

Regardless of the train if you plan to put it in an expensive right of way you don't end up saving anything. For example, Vancouver is planning a Skytrain line running in a tunnel underneath Broadway Ave. The cost per km (using a 2010 cost estimate)is almost as much as a TTC subway line ($330 Million/KM for the Skytrain, vs. $375 Million/km for the current Spadina Extension)and the TTC subway carries easily twice the peak passenger load even though Skytrain is designed to run more frequently (Skytrain 15,000 people/hour/direction, 30,000+ p/h/d for a TTC subway line). Skytrain is forced to use stations platforms that are quite nearly half the length of a TTC subway station platform (80 m vs. 150 m), limiting current but also future line capacity. The driverless system still requires that you hire, as in the case of Translink in Vancouver, "Attendants" whose job is to monitor the system and go out to stalled trains or in a lot of cases recently, whole lines as well as respond to sick or injured passenger alarms. The bigger the system the more attendants you need. So the driverless system in Vancouver as of last year, had to employ over 200 "Attendants". This why Victoria and Surrey BC are considering LRT instead.

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