The question on Light Rail Transit someone had to ask…

This morning, you might have heard CJOB talker Geoff Currier discussing the pros and cons of Light Rail Transit (LRT) for Winnipeg while filling in for Richard Cloutier in the 9 a.m. to noon slot. As usual, Currier did a good job of keeping the conversation going.

There is, however, one question that I’ve yet to hear mentioned on CJOB or elsewhere: the safety question.

Don’t get me wrong, a light rail system has its merits — it often offers a smoother ride without the extremely high costs of a subway system and lower passenger-mile costs than bus rapid transit (BRT). But we still need to make sure that it doesn’t become Portage Place on Wheels.

A light rail system would presumably have several cars running down a track together, with the passengers at the back riding a long way from the driver — the perfect place for the ‘sleepers’ who are frequently kicked off our existing transit buses by frustrated drivers, and probably not a bad place for some of Winnipeg’s less illustrious citizens to engage in bad behaviour, from drug dealing, to sex, to stealing I-Pods.

By all means, let’s proceed with rapid transit — but let’s also think ahead to the challenges we’ll face when it’s up and running.


About theviewfromseven
A lone wolf and a bit of a contrarian who sometimes has something to share.

5 Responses to The question on Light Rail Transit someone had to ask…

  1. PolicyFrog says:

    While they’re using the term “LRT,” they seem to be actually talking about modern streetcars. Usually those kinds of vehicles are not connected into trains. Instead you get one unit that can hold about 200 people. Easier for the driver to monitor than a multi-car train, but still more challenging than a bus.

  2. theviewfromseven says:

    Thanks for the clarification, PolicyFrog!

  3. Reed Solomon says:

    I want rail and i don’t care for studies done by Winnipeg Transit any more than I care for studies of the banking industry done by CIBC or studies of the Oil Industry done by BP.

    Heck I don’t even care about feasibility studies. If it costs this much, and other cities of a similar size have them, just do it. Just do it already.

  4. Mr. Nobody says:

    Reed, do i sense some high level frustration in your post…..seriously, you can always move to Montreal or Toronto to get your fix of rail based transit systems.

  5. Reed Solomon says:

    Or Vancouver, yes. You have a point. I could always move to a real city with a real transit infrastructure and people who actually make things happen.

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