With a Federal Election Campaign now all but official, Prime Minister Trudeau is out in front of the election announcement tossing transportation money at all big cities in the nation. For Greater Vancouver, its a $1.3 Billion pledge that will fund the WRONG kind of transit.
Here are the simple facts, folks. This is how many trips each system of transit will carry (pphpd—people per hour per direction):
Modern Tram (8 cars): 65 000
Skytrain (4-car Maximum): 15 300
8-Lane Freeway (2 HOV): 6 720
4-Lane Arterial Road: 1 600
1 Bus or Trolley: 1 540
Modern cities do not need to chose between Freeways and Regional Transportation Systems: They Need Both. Yet, keep in mind that not all types of transit are alike.
Modern Tram can move 10-times more trips than a freeway, is cheaper to build, and consumes 4-times less land! Tram carries 4-times more passengers than Skytrain and is 5-times cheaper to build.
Skytrain is neither a Freeway, nor a Regional Transit System. It doesn’t offer the flexibility and freedom of movement of an 8-lane Freeway, although it carries 2-time more trips. And it is prohibitively expensive to build.
Then, there are Skytrain’s ‘dirty secrets’. Skytrain ‘blights’ the places it crosses. And you can hear the screeching wheels from miles away.
The Modern Tram makes about as much noise as a Tesla and it promotes neighborhood revitalization, including infill with affordable human-scale housing.
Skytrain? Skytrain builds Towers profiting a select few, increasingly powerful, multinational corporations. The money does not stick around to benefit the local economy. Rather, it is sent overseas. Meanwhile, Canadians are left to deal with the land price inflation triggered by building the Skytrain-and-Towers.
Thus, we can fairy say that Skytrain-and-Towers are destroying the Canadian Dream by ‘Lifting the Price of Land’.
Let’s look at the facts:
The Canadian Dream: “If you work, you can afford to buy a house on a lot.”
To Qualify for a CMHC Mortgage and build your dream: The House Price = 3-times annual income.
Average Annual Income per Household (Vancouver): $85,000
Qualifying Threshold for a CMHC Mortgage: $255,000
Average Price of a Fixer-Upper on a Lot in Vancouver: $1.7 million
Thus, the House Price is 7-times o-v-e-r median household incomes (in Vancouver). It’s just as bad in all other the metro regions in the province, and nation wide.
With the Canadian Dream is currently priced 7-times over what Canadian families and individuals can afford the question to ask our national leaders is this:
What is your government doing about it, Mr. Trudeau?