Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Light Rail Facts

One of the reasons that South Fraser OnTrax support ground level light rail is that it attracts more ridership per dollar than other forms of rapid transit. The simple fact is that ground level light rail can go more places dollar-for-dollar than other forms of rails based transit.

The telling tale is the story of Edmonton and Calgary; both cities received the same amount of money for light rail back in the day. Edmonton went with a tunnel and Calgary went with ground level. In the first quarter of this year Calgary had a light rail ridership of 20,326,500 while Edmonton had a light rail ridership of 6,027,100. In fact our SkyTrain system in Metro Vancouver had a ridership of 28,532,600 when adjusted for the Olympics which isn't that super considering how our population is double that of Calgary.

The proof is in the number. Light rail is cheaper to build which means it can go more places and attract more ridership. The math couldn't be more simple, yet we are still obsessed with SkyTrain technology in our region. I really don't get it.

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