Not enough land or people for LRT

There is an ongoing debate about light rapid transit in Victoria. In December transit planners suggested starting off with an LRT along Douglas Street. How many people would this service benefit? It would not be enough to justify the expense. Has anyone considered, what would happen to all the double-decker buses that would not be able to go under the LRT wires?

Because of all the trolley wires in downtown Vancouver, there are no double decker buses in the Vancouver transit system.

The transit concept for Douglas Street does not show the poles that are needed every 30 meters and all the attached wires.

Victoria did a study in 2002 which said it would cost $19.5 million per kilometre for LRT to the West Shore, plus $12 million per year to operate.

The average cost per kilometer in Charlotte N.C., Minneapolis, Minn., Phoenix, Ariz., and Washington, D.C., actually cost $29 million per kilometre in 2002. These four cities have millions of people to justify the cost. Victoria doesn’t have that kind of population, so who is going to pay for this? Victoria needs 18 km of LRT from the West Shore, so in 2002 the cost would have been $351 to $522 million, just think how much that would cost today.

We need an overpass at McKenzie Avenue on the Trans-Canada. With or without an LRT, the West Shore is growing and is going to keep on growing.

The longer we wait the more the overpass is going to cost, and the gridlock while it is being built will even be worse. Politicians promoting LRT are telling people what they want to hear, but who is going to pay?

How can you justify $19.5 to $29 million per kilometer in 2002 for LRT when the total cost for the McTavish overpass was only $24 million in 2011.

As much as I would like to see Victoria have an LRT, we the taxpayers cannot afford it.

Much larger cities such as Calgary and Edmonton have LRTs that do not pay for themselves.

Victoria doesn’t have the land for large enough park and ride stops along the E&N rail line. With LRT in Victoria you would need buses in the suburbs to pick people up and buses to drop people off after the LRT ends. Do you think people will walk from the Johnston Street Bridge in the rain to downtown destinations?

If we had designated bus lanes going into the city you could use the same bus and driver for picking passengers up, getting them into town and to their destination. With LRT you would need additional bus transportation at both ends of the LRT route.

In addition to the much needed McKenzie overpass, we should have designated bus and carpool lanes going in and out of town.  This would reduce some of the traffic as well as speed up the commute for the people using those lanes.

Kent Deans

Langford