Friday, May 13, 2011

BC Rapid Transit Presentation

I do not know where to even begin with their presentation.   I assume there are reports out there that might be able to explain how they came up with some of their numbers, but on the surface I can not reconcile the numbers in the presentation with reality.

I wish I had paid attention to this, but the engineering consultants they brought in are experts in large construction projects and not at all expertise in traffic or transit in general.   I look at the resume of their skill sets and heavily about building rail based transit systems.

I do not see anyone on the team that knows anything about demographics.   I also do not see a single traffic engineer.   I also do not see an economist.   I am really, really stunned to find out that a group of engineers that make their living building rail based transit recommended a rail based transit system.  Give your head a shake people, this was so clearly not an objective review of what we need.

I look at the numbers in their presentation and I have no idea how they have managed to come up with them.  Just as a starting point, the business as usual case has the buses immediately taking 12-14 minutes longer to make the trip to downtown than they do now.   Is something going to suddenly happen that makes the #50 take an hour instead of 46-48 minutes as it does now?  Or how about that the LRT will be 6 minutes faster than the current #50? And that by 2038 it is projected to take about as long as the current bus takes.  

Business as usual calls for a $250,000,000 capital investment between now and 2013 - on what!?!?!?!?!   A completely new bus fleet for the whole CRD and some spares?

The rest of the evaluation is such a load of ...........   There are so many obvious errors in it before I even see the detailed analysis that all I can say is that this looks more like an attempt by someone to sell us something that we do not need and can not afford.   I am being driven to be very,very sarcastic because of the fundamentally flawed nature of all this and the clear conflict of interest the engineers working on this had.  

I have to stop writing about this issue because it is really pissing me off that a lot of money has been spent by BC Transit on a presentation and recommendation that seems very clearly to me to be more than flawed.  I am not looking forward to having us spend more than a $1,000,000,000 for line that will not have enough riders to cover its operational costs and therefore cause bus service to be reduced in the rest of the CRD.  
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