Some recent articles related to local transit.
One from The Tyee talks about installing barriers on the platform to prevent passengers from falling into the tracks and to prevent potential suicide attempts. Clearly, one person’s life is not viewed as being worth the millions of dollars it takes to keep people from accidentally falling into the tracks. The article has some pretty gruesome descriptions of how some people have died on SkyTrain tracks. It makes me think the barriers may well be worth it. Especially at Broadway Station where people are constantly cramming along the edge for a chance to get onto the train.
One bad thing, though, is because we the Mark 1 (MKI) and the Mark 2 (MKII) trains operating at the same time, we have different door alignments on the trains. It would be hard to operate a proper barrier with that kind of system. Another helpful thing could be the addition of a station captain that watches over the platform. The SkyTrain system is relatively small and may not be able to warrant a captain on each platform, but the benefit would be somebody who can hit the emergency stop if he/she sees trouble. They can also provide an extra set of eyes to monitor the safety of transit users.
The other article is found in the Richmond Review. I was directed there by Stephen Rees’ post. It seems that money is not easy to come by for TransLink. At a time when both the federal and BC governments are talking about spending on infrastructure, it is sad to see they are not focussing this money on sustainable infrastructure, such as public transit and alternative energy sources. The federal government still supports the Alberta tar sands and the provincial government still seems bent on building the Gateway highway projects. At least Kevin Falcon has opened up to the possibility of light rail South of the Fraser, instead of SkyTrain expansion in Surrey.