Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Transit Value

One of the things that I noticed lately is how some people in the media are quick to point out how they think that transit is a waste of money. If you've been reading the papers lately, there has been calls for yet another audit of TransLink because of perceive waste. While I think that audits are a good thing, TransLink has been audited recently by KPMG, the Office of the Comptroller General, and handful of reviews by the independent TransLink Commissioner already. While some of these reports have found some savings, there hasn't been any revelation of major waste that could go to funding more transit. I suspect that the call for more audits in nothing but politics.

But even beyond the perception that TransLink is wasteful, there is the perception that transit in general is wasteful which I find odd.

The new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge and 37 kilometre Highway 1 expansion is being constructed at a cost of $3.3 billion or $89.2 million per kilometre. TransLink's SkyTrain system which is one of the most expensive transit systems in the world costs an average of $86.9 million per kilometre.

Here is a fun fact: the SkyBridge only cost $50.9 million (1990) or $80.1 million today to build. The SkyTrain bridge can handle more people per hour than the Port Mann Bridge will be able to handle once it is completed. If you want to talk about value for money, I think that transit is your best bet.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing the TransLink audit being completed, so we can get to the business of improving transportation in the South of Fraser.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post, if you want good transit it takes money, so does roads. Money is not infinite so building expensive roads takes away from transit. Unfortunately people tend to think of roads as free or being paid for thru gas tax and think of transit as subsidized. Tough to fight that.