Tuesday, April 8, 2008

City of Burnaby Questions Evergreen Line SkyTrain

As I posted earlier the year, I suspected that there was something fishy about the provincial government’s plan to shift the Evergreen line from light rail to SkyTrain and restudy the southern alignment. Well, the City of Burnaby also has similar concerns. A report from Burnaby’s city manager calls into question many of the findings in the Evergreen Line Rapid Transit Project – Business Case (2008).
The announcement of the "Evergreen Line Rapid Transit Project – Business Case” by the Province sets the conditions for the senior government funding for the Evergreen Line to proceed to implementation. Business Case 2008 concludes that ALRT is the preferred technology primarily due to its higher ridership, better service to transit riders and the capability for system integration with the Millennium Line. However, ridership estimates appear to exaggerate the case for ALRT by overestimating ALRT ridership and underestimating LRT ridership. Comparing the model forecasted ridership against actual ridership of existing ALRT and LRT systems in Canada shows that ALRT to have only slightly higher ridership than LRT.

As the evaluation of the two corridors in the business case notes the Northwest Corridor as superior to the Southeast Corridor on almost every account except for its potential community impacts. As such, it is difficult to understand the conclusion in Business Case 2008 that the Northwest Corridor is considered to be only slightly better than the Southwest Corridor. Burnaby Council has consistently supported the Northwest alignment for rapid transit to the Northeast Sector. However, recognizing the potential impacts of rapid transit along North Road, the City has set a number of conditions (“Essential Elements”) which are appropriate requirements to guide the planning and construction of rapid transit through Lougheed Town Centre.
Thanks to Jordan Bateman for tipping me off to this.

1 comment:

Grumpy said...

First, SkyTrain is not ALRT, that was four names ago. SkyTrain is now marketed as ART or Advanced/Automatic Rapid Transit.

Secondly, can TransLink or BC Transit before, show any independent study that an elevated SkyTrain attracts more ridership than at-grade LRT? If not, then it makes the case for ART metro on the Evergreen line even worse!