This project investigates the factors behind transit technology choices in Canada. Specifically, I examine the case of the Expo Line in the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD)- the region’s first Rail Rapid Transit Line. The literature suggests that a transportation system can be evaluated from a political optimality or a technical optimality. I provide definitions for both of these perspectives. In this case, the GVRD’s plans for light rail were replaced with the new technology of Advanced Light Rapid Transit by the province. An evaluation from a technical perspective would have raised questions of reliability, safety and cost. Thus, the system is more politically efficient than technically efficient. The result is that the region is left with a technology that has, in the subsequent 25 years, sold very poorly and has only one supplier.
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