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ION - Waterloo Region's Light Rail Transit
#46
Here's how Aissa responded to the Record's questionnaire:
Quote:What are the 3 issues that you believe need the most attention in your municipality (school board)?:  I believe the three most important issues in this campaign are Regional debt, which has tripled in the past 5 years, increasing property taxes which will have to be raised to pay for this debt, and affordable housing in the Region.


What do you intend to do about those issues if elected?: no response

What's interesting is that there's no mention of what he would do with the LRT other than be concerned about Regional debt.

Meanwhile Telegdi does a lot of handwringing over the LRT but makes no promises to kill it.

Quote:What are the 3 issues that you believe need the most attention in your municipality (school board)? What do you intend to do about those issues if elected?


LRT: If continued, the LRT program would impair the future financial health of our region for the next 30 years and take away from other priorities. I will call for an independent review of the transit program to include making all LRT documents public; reconsider the less costly regionwide Bus Rapid Transit system; and seek public input through meetings, polls, or a referendum if needed.

Public Trust: I believe that government must be open and accountable. I will challenge the status quo and be responsive to constituents.

Responsible Government: I will work to keep taxes and user rates affordable; care for our most vulnerable citizens and those on fixed income; address road safety; expand community safety programs, daycare, affordable housing, and initiatives to protect the environment.

What do you intend to do about those issues if elected?: no response

Likewise Telegdi's site http://www.voteonkwlrt.ca/ promises to study LRT vs BRT, with "a referendum if necessary" but not necessarily a referendum. 

So it seems these guys want to use the LRT as a, um, vehicle to get elected but (my wishful thinking) won't make much of an effort to kill it if they succeed. And politicians wonder why the public is so cynical about politicians... 
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#47
Chuck Howitt of TriTag responds to Shortreed: Don’t ignore the benefits of light rail transit in Waterloo Region 
Quote:John Shortreed's Oct. 14 opinion column talked a great deal about the costs of the Ion, our light rail transit system, but conveniently ignored the benefits. He also failed to account for the expense of not building rapid transit in Waterloo Region, or the potentially staggering costs of cancellation...
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#48
(10-16-2014, 05:43 PM)ookpik Wrote: Chuck Howitt of TriTag responds to Shortreed: Don’t ignore the benefits of light rail transit in Waterloo Region 

Quote:John Shortreed's Oct. 14 opinion column talked a great deal about the costs of the Ion, our light rail transit system, but conveniently ignored the benefits. He also failed to account for the expense of not building rapid transit in Waterloo Region, or the potentially staggering costs of cancellation...

I notice that Howitt's editorial didn't answer any of Shortreed's comments about the flawed financial plan (the 1% contingency is the big one for me).  A plan can have all the benefits in the world, and be fantastic for the community, but if short cuts are taken on the financial side, we'll end up paying more for it in the end.
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#49
I find Telegdi's stance unbelievable. I mean Jay Aissa is an unexperienced naif, so no surprises there; but what is Telegdi's excuse?
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#50
(10-17-2014, 01:43 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: I find Telegdi's stance unbelievable... what is Telegdi's excuse?

Beats me. And I've followed him since his UW days and I've voted for him in every election I could--except for this one.
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#51
There are certainly some scary candidates in this election. I am worried that Jay Aissa will be elected as Regional Chair.

I honestly can't believe the negativity towards improving transit infrastructure.
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#52
This map shows a list of public and private investment along the rapid transit corridor, although the information could use an update.

http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/aboutT...wresv7.pdf
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#53
(10-17-2014, 12:20 PM)nms Wrote: I notice that Howitt's editorial didn't answer any of Shortreed's comments about the flawed financial plan (the 1% contingency is the big one for me).  A plan can have all the benefits in the world, and be fantastic for the community, but if short cuts are taken on the financial side, we'll end up paying more for it in the end.

I am not aware of any shortcuts taken on the financial side, and I don't know what Shortreed was referring to in saying that contingency was reduced from 10% to 1%. The main contract has been awarded, and there is very little that GrandLinq is not expected to cover out of that fixed price.
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#54
A good investment 
Quote:According to the rapid transit implementation options report to regional council from February 2011, the bus rapid transit option would have been $702 million in capital costs. As everybody knows, the light rail transit option has $818 million in capital costs.


In other words, the extra cost for light rail transit is only $116 million, or less than 17 per cent. Yet according to Shortreed's article, light rail transit is a bad investment.

The "savings" in BRT are $116 million, assuming Queen's Park and Ottawa would contribute the same amount as for LRT. But if LRT gets killed there will be about $250 million in cancellation costs. 
Moreover this ignores the ongoing costs of LRT vs. BRT. The labour cost savings in having a single LRT driver vs. multiple bus drivers ought to make that an easy win for LRT.
The anti-LRT group, who claim to take their pro-BRT position out of some sense of fiscal responsibility, to explain their "logic."
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#55
Does anybody have numbers about these labour costs? I agree that it makes sense that labour costs would be the deciding factor here (you need more buses with BRT, and unless these will be magical driverless buses you are then paying salaries) but I do not have numbers to get a sense of whether this is a realistic argument.
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#56
(10-18-2014, 02:05 PM)fakepnijjar Wrote: Does anybody have numbers about these labour costs? I agree that it makes sense that labour costs would be the deciding factor here (you need more buses with BRT, and unless these will be magical driverless buses you are then paying salaries) but I do not have numbers to get a sense of whether this is a realistic argument.

I don't have specific numbers but from what I've read... 

An LRT coach can carry more passengers than a regular bus. But during peak times several LRT coaches can be combined into a single train with a single driver. Yes you can add more buses during peak times but each one needs a dedicated driver.

In addition LRT coaches last about twice as long as buses. Since LRTs are powered by electric motors I'd also expect them to require less maintenance than a fossil-fuel powered bus.

If you want more specific numbers and a more detailed analysis Google is your friend. 
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#57
(10-18-2014, 02:05 PM)fakepnijjar Wrote: Does anybody have numbers about these labour costs? I agree that it makes sense that labour costs would be the deciding factor here (you need more buses with BRT, and unless these will be magical driverless buses you are then paying salaries) but I do not have numbers to get a sense of whether this is a realistic argument.

I've read in several different places that nowadays the biggest cost in public transit are salaries here in Waterloo and in other cities across North America. Buses while expensive are amortized over many years and fuel costs are not that significant.
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#58
Wouldn't a busway require more frequent repairs than rail, too? Seems unlikely that we can get provincial or federal funding for that.
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#59
The LRT cars will last for much longer than buses so their higher costs end up deferred over many more years than a bus fleet. Rubber tires wear out faster and there's still ground level pollution from dozens of buses going up and down King street with a busway, LRT should help local air quality. Rails will probably last longer than a busway, and probably end up similar in costs if rebar and concrete are used.
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#60
Melissa Bruntlett, who reports living in KW between 8 and 23, includes a shout-out to the ION in her piece for Spacing National.

http://spacing.ca/national/2014/10/15/mo...rsed-city/

Quote:Instead of resting on its existing public transportation  a system of buses running every fifteen to thirty minutes on average  the region has approved a massive light rail project that will connect the northernmost area of Waterloo to the southern sections of Kitchener, eventually extending even further southeast to Cambridge. This LRT system will act as a gateway to the local universities, the large tech companies, as well as a link to the VIA Rail station that will also start serving GO Transit Rail, getting commuters to and from the GTA, ultimately easing the immense traffic congestion most residents experience daily. It is a far cry from what I grew up with, and it’s an exciting step forward that sets an excellent example for other suburban cities of what can be achieved outside the urban centres.
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