This article and recent report demonstrates one of the problems with transportation planning and funding. Considering the limited amounts of money, does it not behoove cities to maximize those funds to the best potential? This study questions why Vancouver would spend this money on a subway line that services so few, instead of a tram (lightrail) extention that would service more city neighborhoods.
"There is no doubt that such a system would not be as fast as a subway," concludes the UBC team. "However based on the Portland experience, the benefits may be an improved quality of life in many neighbourhoods, an improved investment climate for higher density homes and job sites, enhanced access for citizens within their own districts and to other parts of the city (especially for the rapidly expanding seniors' demographic) and a substantially reduced cost per ride.
This again makes me question the $3.8 billion New York City is going to spend to build one phase of the Second Avenue Subway. Most of New York is already convinced that the other phases will never get built. For more on the Second Avenue Subway and NYC Subway in general, check out 2nd Avenue Sagas.