Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Canada Line is open

The Canada Line has opened several months early and on budget, another success in BC for a P3. The only issue that could be a problem is if the ridership numbers are not as high as forecast, if it is not there some liability on Translink's end to make up the shortfall, but having seen the numbers suggested, I do not think that this will be an issue.

As of yesterday, Metro Vancouver has the longest light rail transit system in Canada and the longest automated light rail system in the world.

  • Vancouver 68.7 km
  • Toronto 68.3 km
  • Montreal 65.3 km
  • Calgary 48.8 km
  • Edmonton 15.2 km
  • Ottawa 8.0 km
Vancouver also has one of the fastest average speeds for the rapid transit system, the average speed being 45 km/h.

In the next five years Edmonton and Calgary will both expand their networks, but so will Vancouver with the opening of the Evergreen line in 2014. Toronto has many plans, but few of them actually underway. Should Toronto go ahead with some of their plans, their network will be larger than Vancouver's, but Toronto has had many plans over the last thirty years and they have acted on almost none of them. Montreal is still in the pie in the sky stage.

No city in Canada has built as good an LRT system as Vancouver or as quickly. At the start of January 1986 Vancouver had nothing while Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto had more less what they have today. In the last 23 years 2/3s of the LRT built in Canada has been in Metro Vancouver. Over the next ten years we will see about another 30 kilometres of line built, once again most of the building in Canada unless the TTC's plans actually happen.

What has been nice about rapid transit in Metro Vancouver is that it has been politically non-partisan on the provincial level. The Expo line was built under the Socreds, the Millenium line under the NDP and the Canada line under the Liberals.
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