Originally Posted by djh
What is the explanation for this? Why does it cost more to add existing trainsets to an automated system? It's automated, there are no drivers needed, it's computer-controlled so the software handles it...so why does it cost more?
Trains aren't powered by well wishes and unicorn farts. Adding a train means you need to buy the electricity to run it. Lets say if we run more trains to increase capacity by 15% a day, we are increasing the electric bill 15%. While it might not be a staggering figure, depending on ridership levels and patterns at certain times of day, it could impact finances. If increasing capacity isn't offset by increased ridership it seems pointless.
If Canada Line can move the same number of people with 15% less operating cost, shouldn't it do that until it NEEDS to increase capacity? As it stands now how many people are turned away by not enough space on trains?
While more capacity during peak times is probably warranted, right now during non peak hours the system seems well balanced between wait times and passenger volumes. I think we are jumping the gun on the sky is falling talk. There is still plenty of capacity left in the system without having to buy anything. Just look how well it did during the Olympics.
We might also be seeing peak demand early. Usually ridership figures are figured to start at around former bus levels and grow slowly from there as more people discover the system or external factors in their lives drive them towards transit (dead car, new job/home, needing to save money). However I think the Olympics forced Canada Line onto people who might not have tried it for YEARS. And people found they liked it ahead of schedule.
I can see sort of a plateau form in ridership levels as we get to our estimates early. It will probably level off just based on the customer base available in Richmond and south Vancouver at the moment. As new high density comes online we'll see surges in ridership, but in the mean time I can see a leveling off of growth after this amazing (not even first full) year of ridership.