Please see some replies ***
From: Simon Norton [mailto:S.Norton@...
Sent: Sunday, 16 May 2004 9:23 PM
Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Brisbane bus lane
In reply to Karl Fjellstrom, firstly I didn't myself use the word "insane"
and said specifically that I have no knowledge of Brisbane.
*** Perhaps better then not to express your 'thorough support' for this
language. I'm not in any way against bus lanes, though full Bus Rapid
Transit systems have many advantages. But bus lanes are site specific and
your outrage at the removal of this one was misplaced. To put it in
perspective, the 12 buses per hr (off peak maybe 6) on the busy CBD street
in question is maybe 500 passengers/hr/direction. But peak volume in
Brisbane is up around 10,000 p/h/d.
However, a bus every 5 minutes is very frequent by UK standards in most
urban areas and if whatever frequency Karl had in mind for a threshold was
adopted then we would have hardly any bus lanes. For example, one of the
major radial routes into Cambridge has a park & ride bus every 10 minutes, a
local city bus at the same frequency, and a few country buses (3 per hour)
-- only a little more than the Brisbane route.
*** Yes, and Cambridge has a population of around 100,000, Brisbane around 2
*** Most of the 'threshold' pointers I mentioned were proposed by the TRB
for US cities (BRT Implementation Guidelines, 2003) and are easily met by
many streets in Brisbane. Different considerations would apply to the
segregated busway (where the same guidelines suggest a BRT line on a
segregrated busway can be viable with as few as 5,000 passengers daily), or
to lanes shared with HOVs, or part time bus lanes, etc.
*** That said, I've been working in Asia and am used to the high bus
volumes. I'd be interested to hear of examples of all day, with flow,
bus-only lanes (ie not segregated busways or HOV lanes) applied in cities of
1.5 million plus population where peak hour frequency was *less* than 25
buses per hour.
And, yes, it has aroused complaints among motorists.
*** and cyclists, http://www.camcycle.org.uk/newsletters/51/article6.html
But last time I used it -- on a Saturday afternoon (i.e. not at a peak
time) -- I did indeed see cars stuck in the non-bus lane, and even the bus I
was on was delayed 3 minutes by the volume of traffic. I hate to think how
much it would have been delayed in a free for all (delaying in turn the next
outward journey on the relevant service).
Who said that there was no demand for bus travel on that street ? Maybe if
the bus service was improved to Karl's threshold people might start to use
it -- in particular the motorists who would see it as an alternative to
getting stuck on the non-bus lane, which would therefore have knock-on
effects on traffic levels in the rest of the city.
*** no need to hypothesise because we can see the results. The bus lane was
tried there a long time (some years), the demand didn't rise, and it was
removed. Maybe in hindsight they should have re-routed some other buses
through that street.
*** regards, Karl
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