Ladysmith transit an inefficient flop

Ladysmith – The expansion of CVRD conventional transit to Ladysmith is a prime example of CVRD ideology usurping the realities of economics and common sense.

According to the latest B.C. transit information and performance summary (IPS) the Ladysmith vehicles (GM Arbocs) carry only 1.3 one-way rides per hour – basically ghost buses.

The two 20-seat vehicles cost $86,000 (combined) per year in capital leases and travel approximately 360 km per day. They consume 4.34 litres of diesel fuel per ride which is over 10 times the GHG per passenger-kilometre of a light duty passenger vehicle with average occupancy.

The transit cost per ride is also an extremely expensive $65.08 per ride or $10 per passengerkilometre. This is over 16 times the cost per passenger-kilometre of a mid-sized car such as the Toyota Camry and four times the cost of a taxi.

CVRD taxpayers and provincial taxpayers (same taxpayer, different pockets) are the primary source for the Ladysmith expansion (97 per cent split between the two). The fare and advertising cost recovery is a measly three per cent.

The total cost per annum is on track to be over $350,000 per year (vehicle leases $86,000 and operating costs $266,400).

Furthermore, in the next five years, all the CVRD conventional transit vehicles will have to be replaced.

The CVRD continues with fixed route, fixed schedule conventional transit in areas that do not merit such an expensive model. It should be demand responsive paratransit (i.e. dial-a-bus or van) in the low ridership areas.

Unfortunately, for the taxpayers of the CVRD, the CVRD’s dogma appears to be transit at any cost, rather than cost effective transit that actually reduces GHG.

Paul Williams