Referendum – The Mayors Plan

Referendum – The Mayor’s Plan

Copyright 2015 Francis B Jameson

Reprint or excerpt freely linking to as the source.

The “Mayors’ Plan” as published on includes the following. No price tags or cost per passenger are given for any of them. There is no data on prospective loads. People are asked to “Pledge to Vote Yes”, but there is no option to vote no. Shouldn’t municipal Councils listen to the voters? Incidentally they are still calling it a referendum which it is not, it is a plebiscite, big difference.

One thing which is very interesting though. In this survey they will see that the pledges are not the same for everything. Very interesting. Will the results of this statistically invalid survey be published. Especially if the broadway subway and Surrey light rail do poorly. Remember the brand new Chair and vice-Chair of the Mayors Council are each dedicated to one of those $$$$$ projects.


An additional seabus, reducing peak interval from 15 to 10 minutes.

Sounds like a cinch. $20K per peak passenger trip. Only twice as much as a bus. Each vessel makes 3 trips in the 90 minute a.m. peak. But there is now a spare seabus sitting near the quay. Why not operate the existing 3, reverting to 2 only if maintenance is required?

OK, 1 month’s tax.

An additional west coast express train.

Capital cost of a train is $50K per commuter into downtown over a longer peak. Higher than seabus because each makes only one peak trip. However since the rail line was built over a century ago, the combined capital cost is much lower than a skytrain. Waterfront route, but the train would be fully depreciated before burrard inlet rises over the tracks.

WCS carries peak 6,500 commuters daily now, this would bring the number close to 8,000. Consider one alternative to the total WCS, an additional 2 or 3 lanes of cars each way along the edge of Burnaby mountain. Or choose 160 single unit buses, one a minute.

This one’s a gimme, 3 months tax.

30% more handy-dart service.

Sure, maybe more than 30%. Not the big $$ anyway. Put in this package to draw in votes.

Another gimme.

300 kilometres of off road bike routes.

These are wonderful. Some however are so far away from the public eye that they are rarely used for security reasons. Keep them in plain view..

Another gimme.

Pedestrian improvements including access to transit stops.

Another gimme.

B-Lines, 11 new routes, 159 additional buses.

B-Lines are excellent. The 44 and 99 are prime examples. Other existing lines are less patronized. Adding a b-line takes passengers away from the local bus. Implementation should be dependent on available patronage. Some like metrotown west are obvious, but routes to UBC need to be seasonal.

Some important B-Lines are not listed. Millennium to downtown Vancouver, Millennium to UBC,(faster than a subway) seasonal, and Metrotown-Kingsway-Broadway to offload the expo line and the 99. Only $100M.

Yes, 5 months tax. Phase in only as needed.

Local buses. More service to lower-density neighbourhoods. More corridors with 15 minute service, 7 days a week. 70% of metro residents will have access to more frequent service. Please differentiate betw

“Will have access to”. That doesn’t say that they will ride the buses, sharing space with the same neighbours they see in their village. Empty buses roam the streets all evening seven days a week wasting diesel. A Provincial audit pointed this out, but many Mayors said, we want them anyway. 400 buses, $175M, 8 months tax. But since many people won’t ride “Public Transit”, cut it to 5.

Local buses. More frequent peak hour service so that people spend less time waiting.

It should be noted that in high volume areas service interval is commonly around 5 minutes on a route, and as low as 2 minutes on a corridor.

Partially yes. 5 months tax.

Only where people will ride them!

This item needs to be added. Municipalities speeding up bus service.

In the official report of the point grey bike route, ambulances were rated as 5th priority for use of the streets, buses 11th. Everything from watersliding down main street to food trucks to street fairs which shut down granville, the real busiest bus corridor west of Ottawa, are granted priority over the buses. Also closing off multiple streets which pushes cars onto the bus routes.

City of Vancouver’s published long term plans, like 2040, officially abuse transit. Yet just improving traffic management on broadway would reduce trip time by 12% resulting in a 1/7th increase in capacity of the 99 with existing buses.

$ unknown. Yes.

This item needs to be added. Greenlighting the B-Lines.

This has been tested on main street, it is working.

$ unknown. Yes.

So far still under half a billion.

80% more night bus service.

We have a couple of thousand taxis in the Region. We have half a dozen websites offering rides home to the inebriated. Both of those are better equipped to handle late nighters than a bus service. There is currently night bus service from downtown granville, and from broadway, all the way to Coquitlam, leaving until 3 a.m. Please see separate page on late night buses.


Maintaining and upgrading the major road network.

Upgrading presumably means expanding. So although we’re trying to shift drivers onto transit, we’re going to expand the roads as well? Local roads, local property taxes. No mention of the money involved

50-50 on this one

Expo, millennium, and Canada lines, 220 additional fleet vehicles and station upgrades.

Is this a typo? That’s almost as many vehicles as the 2 existing skytrain lines. Enough to extend the king george line to Fort Langley. Adding 20 more vehicles on the Canada line reaches its line limit. The expo is almost at line limit now. The additional trains from the evergreen line, which must have been included in the budget for that line, will sharply reduce service interval on the millennium from the current 4 minutes. Therefore the millennium line doesn’t need any more. Where could these other 200 vehicles go?

This one is probably close to a billion. Will anyone who understands where these 50 trains would be added please explain where my math has gone so wrong. E-mail to and this article will be corrected.


A replacement 4 or 6 lane pattulo bridge.

This would bring 50% more traffic into New Westminster, which cannot handle the traffic it has. Residents enjoyed 2 weeks of pattulo free driving when the fire closed the bridge for 2 weeks.

See the separate page on sea-level rise. The south approach to the pattulo will be under water very soon. Any new crossing should be high above the Fraser, with high ground on both sides. There are only two locations west of Hope for this. A crossing to old yale road would achieve this on the south side, but traffic on the north side would be impossible. Possibly 6 street could be used.

Since the two existing downstream crossings will also be under water, what is needed is one crossing to replace the highway 99 crossing, the highway 91 crossing, and the pattulo, all in one. And with far less SOV travel than is now the case on the three combined.

Back to the drawing board on this one for sure. And why is this bridge part of Translink anyway? Move this to the provincial government where the other bridges are. Same with golden ears.

Let’s not rebuild yesterdays bridge. Pattulo was great in the 1930’s. Year 2100 will need massive transportation re-routing.

And since port mann is tolled, would a new pattulo not be? Therefore no money.


2,400 kilometres of on road bike routes.

Painting a couple of white lines on a 4 lane road and calling it a bike routes is begging for trouble. Burrard street downtown is an absurdity. The curb lane is used by taxis, buses, and parking. Buses have to weave back and forth between the curb lane and the second lane, crossing this so-called “Bike Route”. Dunbar around 27th is terrible, an incentive for cyclists to speed downhill in the midst of traffic. A person was killed on a bike-shoulder in the area near the mary hill bypass. Has anybody added up the statistics on these routes. These routes tempt parents to bring children who are too young to be on the road. The organized proponents of bike routes everywhere are the overwhelmingly agile cyclists. Not everyone is.


Surrey Light Rail.

This would increase trip time for everybody. Please see separate page.

Absolutely NO.

Extend the millennium line west to arbutus.

Would increase trip time for 2/3rds of the riders. Please see separate page.

Absolutely NO.

So we still have only half a billion in capital expenditures.

That’s 2 Years of tax at $250M annually.

But Translink is running a sizable operating deficit as well, and as demand grows, so will it’s deficit. Most trips lose money. So the story doesn’t end here. Please see a separate page on a more logical means of funding the ongoing deficit and this half a billion. Willbe uploaded soon

Supporting details can be found on info@ (C) February, 2015

Proponents websites include

A website listing some current Translink revenue sources is

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