Letter: Debate over SkyTrain’s suitability is long finished

Editor: So Daryl Cruz, an armchair expert on transit, wants SkyTrain to Langley. Well, if anyone supports him, let me know because I have shares in the Lions Gate Bridge to sell them.

I shake my head at the LRT/SkyTrain debate, because the debate has been long over, with modern light rail making ICTS/ALRT/ALM/ART — or what we call SkyTrain — obsolete by 1983.

SkyTrain’s official name keeps changing because no one wants it and only seven such systems have been built since the late 1970s.

The reason for this is dead simple, people wanting good transit are very good at math  and SkyTrain costs more build; costs more to operate and maintain than modern LRT without any operational benefit.

Also lost to Cruz and his lot is that during the same period that SkyTrain has been on the market over 200 new light rail operations have been built or are nearing completion.

No one is asking for SkyTrain anymore, except our local cabal of SkyTrain enthusiasts, and Bombardier Inc. has hinted that production of SkyTrain may cease by the end of 2016.

Over 10 years without a sale may force the cash-strapped company to abandon SkyTrain. What then?

Remember the Edsel?

Well, SkyTrain is more and more looking like the Edsel of transit systems; an operating museum piece and museum pieces cost a lot of money to keep in operation.

Malcolm Johnston,