Updated Dec 29th:
I've worked on this for a while.
1) Obviously there is no need for such an extensive system right now, or in the very immediate future.
However, the goal I had in mind when I worked on this is "Wouldn't it be nice if pretty much every part of the lower mainland was accessible by transit in under an hour?" You could be in Langley, think "I feel like going to that sushi restuarant I really like in Aberdeen", jump on a train and make it happen.
Now of course RIGHT NOW that seems like a stupid idea - you would simply drive and that's all there is to it. And that's the problem. Vancouver's roads and highways are already congested to the core, and it's only going to get worse. We're a driving city much like LA, but it's out of necessity not choice.
This extensive rapid transit network would allow a large number of people to live and work in the lower mainland and NOT NEED A CAR.
2) If that kind of ideal seems like a pipe dream, it isn't. This is what we're moving towards. 6 billion cars on one planet simply does not work. Forward-thinking communities already invest a lot in transit, and for the purposes of this fantasy scenario we're assuming that 50 years down the line Vancouver will too.
3) The other assumption with the system is that regional densification is only going to continue. The amount of single family houses will decrease as neighborhoods get denser. Some of the places the lines I drew go to would not need skytrain the way they are RIGHT NOW. But I can see some of them becoming denser in the near future.
4) There is no way to build this kind of infrastructure with all the different cities maintaining their own governance. While I understand the historical reasons for it, I think it's ultimately harmfull to everyone involved for Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey etc to all administer/govern/police themselves. The different cities should become "boroughs" of one large city.
5) Obviously this kind of project would require dozens of billions of dollars. So let's pretend money is no object. It's just more fun this way. Either we have a trillionaire philantropist that decided to gift the city with this, or the city has undertook this out of pollution-related necessity.
6) Although I'm calling this my Skytrain
dream system, I fully realize skytrain might not be the best choice for every component of this. Just some form of rail that can achieve 80-100kph and goes independent of traffic (ie no traffic lights). Also, "skytrain", just like today, doesn't guarantee above-ground. It could be underground if that's what suits the area better.
7) If you suspect that the map/ideas are inspired a bit by the new york subway you are correct. That's intentional. Just like all except one New York subway lines pass through Manhattan, all except one line on this map pass through downtown. And the millenium line passes through false creek south which could conceivably grow to be connected to downtown and be an extension of the urban centre.
8) Lastly, bear in mind I know some areas of the lower mainland VERY well, and some not well at all. So you might look at some part of the map and think I'm insane/stupid/both to put a skytrain line there. If that is the case, PLEASE tell me so, and we can discuss it and I'll adjust the map. I'm just fine with constructive criticism
In fact all suggestions/ideas/criticisms are welcome.
- I originally had station ideas on all lines (including current lines), but the map looked too cluttered and google separated things onto separate pages causing more pain.
- Now I only have TRANSFER stations on there.
- If two different coloured lines are running immediately next to each other, they're sharing the track the same way Expo/Millenium lines do right now. Obviously, later they'll separate
- If two stations are very very near each other, they're transfers stations. I didn't make them overlap too closely so that the separation is still visible at a higher zoom level.
- Finally, station locations and spacings are SOMEWHAT approximate. In some places you might think I put too many in one stretch, in another you may think I put too few. Either way let me know, I'm curious what you guys all think.