Metro Vancouver Density Map

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Recently a lot of talk has been going on about transit, or the lack of south of the Fraser. For the most part the  talk is about rapid transit. Everyone keeps talking about population in raw numbers and how Surrey is under served as the main argument. Now it’s true Surrey is under served but what are the underlying issues for that? What people really should be talking about is population density when discussing transit needs. When you look at the density it’s obvious why a line to UBC is necessary over any extension in Surrey and the insane suggestion of Langley. When you figure in the amount of employment in Vancouver the decision is even clearer. 
Just look at the population density for Vancouver and its surrounding suburbs.

Population numbers based on the 2006 Census:
Vancouver: Population: 578,000, Area: 44.3 sq miles, Density: 13,047/sq mile
Surrey: Population: 395,000, Area: 122.5 sq miles, Density: 3224/sq mile
Burnaby: Population: 216,336, Area: 38.1 sq miles, Density: 5678 per sq mile
Richmond: Population: 174,461, Area: 50.1 sq miles, Density: 3482 per sq mile
Coquitlam: Population: 121,452, Area: 58.9 sq miles, Density: 2062/sq mile
Port Moody: Population: 27,512 Area: 10.1 sq miles, Density: 2723/sq mile
Port Coquitlam: Population: 55,375, Area: 11.1 sq miles, Density: 4988/sq mile

Even if we were to exclude downtown Vancouver’s population the average density in Vancouver outside downtown is still around 10,500/ sq mile or 3 times that of Surrey. I guess people fail to mention that.

Just a little food for thought.
Later this week or next I will delve deeper into the rapid transit debate.

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