Zweisystem looks at the cost of taking the Canada Line to YVR and concludes it’s too expensive, especially when compared to the price of a cab, which is $30 from downtown.  How expensive is the Canada Line?

[T]here will be a $2.50 RAV surcharge on a two zone ($3.75)  TransLink fare. To get to the RAV/Canada line, a potential passenger must take a cab to a RAV/Canada line station with a minimum fare of $5.00 not including tip. The minimum cost of trip via RAV to the airport is $11.25, with one transfer.

Look. You can’t just decide to add a $5 cab fare to the cost of the Canada Line and declare the cost of a trip to the airport $11.25.  Most people coming from downtown aren’t going to take a cab, or even a bus, to get to a Canada Line Station.  The sort of traveler who isn’t willing to walk to a station downtown isn’t going to take the train anyway.  People in other parts of Vancouver are going to take buses to get to the Canada Line, and people outside of Vancouver but on another Skytrain Line are going to take that to get to the Canada Line.  While it’s true that any transfer will make things a little less friendly for tourists, decent signage can take care of that.  And besides, a lot–maybe most?–tourists are going downtown, and so won’t have to transfer anyway.

Comparing the cost of a trip on the Canada Line and the cost of a cab, Zweisystem observes that if you can get three or four people together, a cab starts to look like a really good option.  It  sure does!  Just like it does in most cities that have rail transit to the airport!  So people traveling in packs will take cabs.  That’s fine, they’re carpooling!  But all the people traveling alone or in couples–and who want to save a little money–will take the train.  That’s most of the students, shoe-string travelers, and conference-goers who want to save their per diem for Vij’s–to say nothing of the people who actually work at the airport and do the commute every day.

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