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Victoria Rapid Transit Project - CRD/BC Transit - Light Rail (LRT) has been recommended


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#1 UrbanRail

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 06:07 PM

I though I would start a new thread solely on the new rapid transit study that is about to begin this fall and is to be completed late next year.

Here are some links to BC Transit draft plans concerning the study.

Report on Rapid Transit Master Plan
http://bctransit.com...cmtg-ri-496.pdf

Report on Rapid Transit Master Plan (Attachment 1 - Victoria Rapid Transit Work Plan)
http://bctransit.com...cmtg-ri-508.pdf

Report on Rapid Transit Master Plan (Attachment 2 - PowerPoint Presentation)
http://bctransit.com...cmtg-ri-510.pdf

Your thoughts please.
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

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#2 amor de cosmos

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 06:42 PM

looks good to me!

#3 thant pix

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 07:38 PM

I think it was cowardly of them to waste an extra 2 years and 0.8 million dollars instead of going ahead with the Douglas street corridor plans.

#4 G-Man

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 11:43 AM

^ Agree. Everyone suffers because of customers going to second rate restaurants in their cadillac seville.

#5 LJ

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 09:18 PM

Well at least it is cheaper than Vancouver spending 10 million on a study to see if they should run skytrain to UBC.
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#6 mat

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 05:44 PM

My understanding through the media reports was the transit plan is not limited to the Langford/Colwood corridor to downtown (and back), but would include ideas for other routes.

#7 G-Man

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 11:00 PM

^ Sure...

#8 van-island

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:05 PM

To paraphrase someone relatively high up in MoTI who I spoke with about a month ago:

"That rail corridor has been studied to death, and every time the studies come back saying that the implementation of a passenger rail service wouldn't be feasible at this time. So our ministry isn't considering the possibility of passenger rail in that corridor at the moment, and don't expect to for some years to come."

Straight from the horse's mouth (albeit before the "study" was announced). This is the reason that I maintain that Falcon's "studies" are nothing but political election pieces to get votes because he knows that he's getting hammered on the rail issue. Papers from the Island to Chilliwack are in favour of it, there is big time public support, and it has been done successfully in other parts of the world, so Falcon figures that if he's not seen to be doing something come next spring, then he's OUT. The studies are just a mechanism to release the pressure that's been building and DELAY.

Now he can sit back and say during the election campaign, "Yes, passenger rail is definitely a possibility and we are in fact studying it at this moment." He will make vague promises of rail, but if he gets in it will never happens while he's in office.

This is my main election issue. Bye bye Falcon if I have anything to say about it!

#9 van-island

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:17 PM

Might I also just say that it is very likely that all these "studies" will say exactly what MoTI wants them to say - if you were a consultant who depended on fat gov't contracts for business, would you come back with a conclusion that the Ministry doesn't like? Exactly.

So they will come back saying "rail not feasible at this time. Sorry not enough "density." This is of course a lie, and reveals how clueless we are about transportation planning here in BC.

What they should really say is "not enough mode-share." How many people travel the Malahat every day? If 50% of these people used the rail line, would there be sufficient ridership? I bet there would. But at the moment, mode-share is nowhere near 50%, and this is a problem caused by first government policy, and second by poor (inconvenient) transit service. If this government had any sense, they would implement policies that encouraged transit and discouraged driving, while installing convenient and fast service on the line. These actions would be a start in raising mode-share. (not to mention that rail attracts passengers like nothing else!)

But this will never change while the BC government carries out business as usual, despite the fact that numerous pieces of legislation commit them to plan for public transit and other modes and reduce car use.

#10 G-Man

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 12:51 PM

^I don't think the government pays consultants to lie to it.

#11 Bernard

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 02:02 PM

As someone that works as a consultant I have some experience in this field.

The federal government has a really bad habit of seeking people to write reports that justify the decision they have already made. I try to avoid working for them.

My experience of the provincial government is that the reports are seriously considered. No situation is a blank slate and no consultant comes without some biases, but with those provisos, the provincial civil servants are very good at a neutral approach to issues.

The odds of study coming back and saying rail is not feasible is a realistic result because the business case for rail from Langford to Victoria remains very weak and the costs remain high.

I have been asking for several years now for a realistic business case for the construction and operation of a rail transit service. I have yet to have seen anything that convinces me that it makes any sense at all.

I would be very surprised if a serious study is done and it comes out with a recommendation that rail is financially feasible. If the study comes back and says it makes no sense, will this end the idea? Will discussion of it end?

#12 LJ

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 03:05 PM

The only way it will happen is if it is a political decision, based on politics not finances.

If the government of the day is convinced it can pick up a few seats it doesn't have by building/running rail transit, it will happen. If they feel there is nothing to gain - won't happen. It doesn't matter who is in power.
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#13 UrbanRail

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 05:50 PM

I doubt rail will never come. It will come. Sorry Bernard the discussion of rail in this region will never end. I have worked too hard over the years to see this dream become a reality.
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#14 UrbanRail

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 05:54 PM

I have been asking for several years now for a realistic business case for the construction and operation of a rail transit service. I have yet to have seen anything that convinces me that it makes any sense at all.

I would be very surprised if a serious study is done and it comes out with a recommendation that rail is financially feasible. If the study comes back and says it makes no sense, will this end the idea? Will discussion of it end?


I am curious. Why are highways never required to have a strong business case for the construction and operation of them, but transit and rail does? Just putting more buses on the roads is not the answer. If Environmental studies of highway projects were actually done properly, they wouldnt be built at all. The Malahat Study had an environmental study done and for some reason ramming a new 4 lane bypass highway through Goldstream Park had greater approval then the rail line upgrades. I have never understood that. Whatever happen to having a strong environmental and social case. Highways have neither
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#15 mat

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 06:53 PM

I am curious. Why are highways never required to have a strong business case for the construction and operation of them, but transit and rail does? Just putting more buses on the roads is not the answer. If Environmental studies of highway projects were actually done properly, they wouldnt be built at all. The Malahat Study had an environmental study done and for some reason ramming a new lane highway through Goldstream Park had greater approval then the rail line upgrades. I have never understood that. Whatever happen to having a strong environmental and social case. Highways have neither


We watched the EN pass today through Langford - it was full. Slightly pathetic though to see a single car.

#16 yodsaker

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:58 PM

Governments seem ready to loosen the purse strings to help ride out the economic storm and infrastructure is always top of the list. This may be the best opportunity in ages to get it done.
But that will require vision and decisions at the top. Where is W.A.C. when we need him?

#17 Bernard

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:51 AM

The decision to build more highway capacity in BC tends to happen long after there is a clear demand for the space on the roads. It has been a long time since government built a highway or road that was not already clearly in demand.

The idea of a business case for any infrastructure project is a good idea. Highways and roads should undergo as rigorous a process as transit, but that does not happen.

Roads and highways are in 2008 in a different category from rail. A road based network is needed for our society to function whereas rail is of secondary importance for our transportation system and we are capable of living without it.

#18 Coreyburger

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:08 PM

The decision to build more highway capacity in BC tends to happen long after there is a clear demand for the space on the roads. It has been a long time since government built a highway or road that was not already clearly in demand.

The idea of a business case for any infrastructure project is a good idea. Highways and roads should undergo as rigorous a process as transit, but that does not happen.

Roads and highways are in 2008 in a different category from rail. A road based network is needed for our society to function whereas rail is of secondary importance for our transportation system and we are capable of living without it.


Wow, I am going to completely disagree with this. Basically, transportation drives land use. If you want to create a more sustainable society, you need to have more sustainable transportation. Not only will you reduce the footprint of the transportation, there are a bunch of other benefits to increased density.

Now in transportation the addition of supply increases demand. If you build a new highway, people will drive more. Likewise if you increase bus service, rail etc.

What does this mean for Langford? It means if we want to create the density, we need to build the rail line. It is cheap and a no-brainer.

#19 Bernard

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 01:12 PM

What does sustainable transportation mean? A high use roadway is more sustainable than an low use rail line. The lowest impact transportation at the moment is via the sea. A large ship uses the fewest resources per unit of good moved.

Transportation does have a supply and demand aspect to it, but simply building a road does not mean there will be a demand for it. Supply does not cause demand.

Transportation can drive land use if the intent is to develop a new area or site and you are trying to get people there. If you made the Pat Bay highway an eight lane freeway you would not dramatically increase development in North Saanich. Land use is first and foremost driven by local government zoning and secondarily by economic factors. At best transportation is a tertiary influence on land use. Without the first two, the transportation network is not going to drive the land use.

If you four lane the Malahat you make it much more realistic for people to live in Duncan and commute to Victoria, so in that case, yes the road works would push development in Duncan.

What are the transportation demands in Greater Victoria? Most of us live in the core of the region and have most of our transportation demands met. We have problems with commercial traffic in some regions at some times. We have demand for buses on some routes that exceeds the supply and could use more buses and ways to allow buses to move faster in the city.

On the westshore there is a demand by some people to be able to get into town. At the moment the commute from Langford to town is not very bad by almost any measure. Is it realistic to think that the demand is going to rise high enough to make rail something that is needed? I can not see a scenario in which this seems likely to me.

The core of the region has the space to take all the population growth, but the local governments have to get out of the way. Oak Bay, Saanich, Esquimalt and Victoria need to look at their zoning bylaws and see what can be done to allow more people to live in the core. They could allow a lot more subdivisions of lots especially in neighbourhoods like the Uplands or Broadmead. They could reduce the street set back of houses, they could allow secondary buildings on lots, they could allow secondary suites, there are many things they could do. Increase the supply of housing in the core and the demand for houses on the Westshore will fall and fewer people will commute into town from there. This strikes me as a much better solution to the Colwood crawl than building a rail line.

#20 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 03:46 PM

The core of the region has the space to take all the population growth, but the local governments have to get out of the way. Oak Bay, Saanich, Esquimalt and Victoria need to look at their zoning bylaws and see what can be done to allow more people to live in the core. They could allow a lot more subdivisions of lots especially in neighbourhoods like the Uplands or Broadmead. They could reduce the street set back of houses, they could allow secondary buildings on lots, they could allow secondary suites, there are many things they could do. Increase the supply of housing in the core and the demand for houses on the Westshore will fall and fewer people will commute into town from there. This strikes me as a much better solution to the Colwood crawl than building a rail line.


I recall the opposition to allowing secondary suites in Victoria. Folks in the Uplands and Broadmead would likely take up arms rather than relinquish their setbacks and lawns and low-density SFH lifestyle. There will be 5 commuter rail lines and free trolley lines downtown and flying cars that don't need new highways before that happens.

You can't shape the market in such a way that it won't or can't offer buyers what they're looking for, and plenty of people would rather eat dirt than be prevented from buying (or pursuing their dream of) that house wherever it may be.

The car-oriented suburb is a recent invention, but it's not going to disappear overnight just because we "densify" the core. If, however, we densify the core and ensure that this entails a matched, step-for-step increase in amenities in the core, you might eventually get more buy-in (literally). Key word: amenity. Density without amenity is no good. (By the way, did I mention that first-rate public transportation is ...ding-ding-ding! ...one amenity?)
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