1) Rapid transit takes an enormous number of vehicles off the road
Think traffic is bad in Metro Vancouver? Here is something to consider: If the people currently taking the Expo Line were to drive instead they would require 16 freeway lanes to accommodate them. The ultimate capacities of our Skytrain lines are equivalent to 26 lane freeways. Now look at the Expo Line running from Surrey to downtown Vancouver and the Millennium Line that could eventually extend from Port Moody to UBC. Picture those as 26 lane freeways packed with vehicles and ask yourself, would rather have that traffic on the road?
2) A massive number of additional vehicles could be coming and competing for your road space
If current ownership rates persist, this region will add a staggering number of vehicles over the next 30 years. Placed end to end in a straight line, they would stretch from here to Montreal. On our road network they would cover every lane of the highlighted major routes. This is just the additional vehicles. As a driver you should want to do everything you can to reduce the number of vehicles on the road in front of you.
3) That massive number of additional vehicles will also need to park
Those vehicles don’t just take up space on the roads. A parking lot large enough to contain all of them would cover 22 square kilometers – an area one quarter of the size of Burnaby. So the next time you are frustrated looking for parking remember that there could be many more vehicles coming that will be looking to do the same thing.
4) Transit frees up a huge number of parking spaces
Trouble finding parking downtown? During their busiest hour the Expo Line and Canada Line bring enough people downtown that if they needed to park, they would require two parking structures with floor area equivalent to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. At their ultimate capacities they would require four. This is for just an hour worth of passengers. So keep in mind that without transit things could be much worse…
5) Either way you will pay for transportation infrastructure, so why not pay for less?
Pictured below are the 48 additional 8-lane bridges Manhattan would need if they didn’t have transit. Without a doubt New York taxpayers saved a lot of money by not having to build them. Whether through tolls or taxes or fees you will end up paying for more transportation infrastructure. With transit you benefit from requiring less of it, even if you personally never use it.
Note: Click on linked text for calculations and references