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Re: WorldTransport Forum Comment on WTPP Vol 12, No. 3

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  • Lee Schipper
    I had a great ride on the Brisbane line in 2003 * I dont think there is a simple way of measuring footprints * in Australia, China, India, the majority of
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 23, 2006
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      I had a great ride on the Brisbane line in 2003 * I dont think there is a simple way of measuring footprints * in Australia,
      China, India, the majority of electric power comes from coal. Is that clean?

      Lee Schipper
      Director of Research
      EMBARQ, the WRI Center
      for Sustainable Transport
      Washington DC
      +1202 729 7735
      www.embarq.wri.org

      >>> jay@... 7/23/2006 1:27 PM >>>
      Hi Ken,

      What do you think about the Bus Rapid Transit system in Brisbane, AU?
      While I prefer rail, it seems that the BRT system offers a lot in the
      way of flexibility. Also, when running on the alternative fuels or even
      electricity, I believe it can be very clean in regards to emissions.

      Although I am not versed in the impact of roads. If anyone has any
      insight in regards to the impact of road building vs. rail construction
      (and also the effects of tunneling), I would be much appreciative.

      Sincerely,
      Jay Corrales
      Move San Diego Board of Directors
      San Diego, CA, USA


      Ken.Crispin wrote:
      >
      > We would like to see more focus on rail rather than road, as it is the
      > much cleaner environmentally sustainable mode of transport that leaves
      > a smaller footprint on the environment also.
      >
      >
      >
      > Ken Crispin. Project Manager.
      >
      > Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre In'c.
      >
      > Napier. NZ.
      >
      > clean.air@... <mailto:clean.air@...>
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
    • Roland Sapsford
      Recently Auckland, New Zealand has just completed a busway complete with stations on the North Shore of Auckland Harbour. This is a distinct dedicated route
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 23, 2006
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        Recently Auckland, New Zealand has just completed a busway complete with
        stations on the North Shore of Auckland Harbour. This is a distinct
        dedicated route with one lane each way and is not a guided busway.

        Auckland is a sprawly city of 1m people somewhat similar to Perth in
        density. The busway is performing well in terms of patronage, and park
        and ride stations are full especially at the northern end. The bulk of
        patronage growth has been through car and bus journeys to the stations
        along the way. The route runs parallel to an existing 6 lane motorway
        and has been built by Transit New Zealand - the national highway
        building authority - which is very experienced at contract management.

        I mention all of this in preamble to the fact that the most
        disappointing aspect of this is that the per km cost has been around
        three times that associated with equivalent light rail and the land use
        footprint of the corridor is considerably larger.

        The Brisbane situations is complex and has involved the expansion of
        both rail and bus services. The busway in part functions to get buses
        past highway congestion and performs this role quite well. I understand
        operating costs have been higher than projected, but I am unsure as to
        the extent of this.

        As someone with considerable experience in transport debates (and
        someone who helped ensure the above project proceeded) I am concerned to
        see busway proponents in this country and elsewhere adopting the kind of
        misleading and hyperbolic claims I normally associate with the highway
        lobby. Curitiba for example is often cited as a bus-based system; they
        have the same issue of capacity on routes versus flexibility and to
        achieve high capacity their trunk buses operate very much like trains.
        A large study team from New Zealand went to Curitiba a couple of years
        ago and produced quite a detailed report on a wide range of urban
        sustainability issues.

        The best place for information on impacts of road versus rail
        construction is Europe, where there has been significant construction of
        both major roads and major rail projects in the last two decades. In
        general impact of construction relates to the land footprint, rather
        than mode. This is particularly important in cities, because a major
        economic rationale for cities is to maximise the opportunities for
        interaction while minimising distance travelled. Highways have very
        limited peak volumes in relation to the land they occupy, when compared
        with rail especially, and so have much higher adverse economic impacts
        in urban settings where peak corridor volumes are high.

        As to tunnelling - its really hard to generalise. For highways it is
        generally a matter of relative cost. The impacts are considerably less
        than cut and fill for example! Tunnelling costs tend to be higher than
        daylighting (though this depends on the cost of fill disposal) but the
        local impacts are far far less. Whether tunnelling is viable depends on
        huge range of factors that are highly localised (eg geological
        conditions).

        Best wishes
        Roland Sapsford
        Wellington, New Zealand





        Jay Corrales wrote:
        > Hi Ken,
        >
        > What do you think about the Bus Rapid Transit system in Brisbane, AU?
        > While I prefer rail, it seems that the BRT system offers a lot in the
        > way of flexibility. Also, when running on the alternative fuels or
        > even electricity, I believe it can be very clean in regards to emissions.
        >
        > Although I am not versed in the impact of roads. If anyone has any
        > insight in regards to the impact of road building vs. rail
        > construction (and also the effects of tunneling), I would be much
        > appreciative.
        >
        > Sincerely,
        > Jay Corrales
        > Move San Diego Board of Directors
        > San Diego, CA, USA
        >
        >
        > Ken.Crispin wrote:
        >>
        >> We would like to see more focus on rail rather than road, as it is
        >> the much cleaner environmentally sustainable mode of transport that
        >> leaves a smaller footprint on the environment also.
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> Ken Crispin. Project Manager.
        >>
        >> Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre In'c.
        >>
        >> Napier. NZ.
        >>
        >> clean.air@... <mailto:clean.air@...>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
      • Jay Corrales
        Hi Lee, Yes, I agree that currently there is a lot of dirty electricity production which would have to be considered as you look for a true alternative, but
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 23, 2006
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          Hi Lee,

          Yes, I agree that currently there is a lot of dirty electricity production which would have to be considered as you look for a true alternative, but what I see in the near future is that electricity could be mostly derived from clean energy sources such as solar and wind power.  I think an opportunity could exist for a bus depot with a solar panel array to charge vehicles and supply extra energy to the electricity grid.

          Sorry to be so off tangent now... but I also have read that electric-powered vehicles are much cheaper to maintain than internal combustion vehicles (I haven't done much research on this yet, but I believe they mention it in "Who Killed The Electric Car").   I also see the possible opportunity for the using integrated solar panels on the roof as well.

          Jay Corrales
          Board of Directors
          Move San Diego
          San Diego, CA, USA


          Lee Schipper wrote:
          I had a great ride on the Brisbane line in 2003 * I dont think there is a simple way of measuring footprints * in Australia,
          China, India, the majority of electric power comes from coal. Is that clean?  
          
          Lee Schipper
          Director of Research
          EMBARQ, the WRI Center
          for Sustainable Transport
          Washington DC
          +1202 729 7735
          www.embarq.wri.org
          
            
          jay@... 7/23/2006 1:27 PM >>>
                  
          Hi Ken,
          
          What do you think about the Bus Rapid Transit system in Brisbane, AU?  
          While I prefer rail, it seems that the BRT system offers a lot in the 
          way of flexibility.  Also, when running on the alternative fuels or even 
          electricity, I believe it can be very clean in regards to emissions.
          
          Although I am not versed in the impact of roads.  If anyone has any 
          insight in regards to the impact of road building vs. rail construction 
          (and also the effects of tunneling), I would be much appreciative.
          
          Sincerely,
          Jay Corrales
          Move San Diego Board of Directors
          San Diego, CA, USA
          
          
          Ken.Crispin wrote:
            
          We would like to see more focus on rail rather than road, as it is the 
          much cleaner environmentally sustainable mode of transport that leaves 
          a smaller footprint on the environment also.
          
           
          
          Ken Crispin. Project Manager.
          
          Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre In'c.
          
          Napier. NZ.
          
          clean.air@... <mailto:clean.air@...>
          
           
          
           
          
           
              
          
          
          .
          
            

        • John Whitelegg
          Hi, A small contribution. We have to move (I suggest) from an energy/emissions perspective on this to a wider total impact perspective. It is remarkable
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 24, 2006
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            Hi,

            A small contribution. We have to move (I suggest) from an energy/emissions
            perspective on this to a wider "total impact" perspective. It is remarkable
            that after 30 years or more of general debate about transport and
            environmental impacts we still miss/downplay things like:

            land take (and the impact of loss of land for transport infrastructure on
            food production and biodiversity)

            fragmentation (a tiny land take is a 100% change in character if it
            physically divides and separates a formerly unified area)

            landscape (see Ian McHarg)

            noise (see excellent analyses from World Health Organisation)

            fiscal matters (who says that spending billions on roads or high speed
            trains is a good way to allocate resources against competing demands in
            health care, education, poverty, pensions etc)

            social justice (what proportion of our transport spending benefits the top
            10% income band? We have some evidence in the UK that 30% of spending
            benefits the top 10%)

            children..are our transport systems and cities child friendly. Definitely
            not

            transport and health. is there a connection between the Uk with the highest
            rate of child obesity in Europe and the highest rate of kids being taken to
            school by car in Europe?



            there is lots more!

            energy and emissions are important but we have to be careful to factor in
            other things


            very best wishes

            John Whitelegg



            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Lee Schipper" <SCHIPPER@...>
            To: <jay@...>; <WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2006 7:01 PM
            Subject: Re: WorldTransport Forum Comment on WTPP Vol 12, No. 3


            > I had a great ride on the Brisbane line in 2003 * I dont think there is a
            simple way of measuring footprints * in Australia,
            > China, India, the majority of electric power comes from coal. Is that
            clean?
            >
            > Lee Schipper
            > Director of Research
            > EMBARQ, the WRI Center
            > for Sustainable Transport
            > Washington DC
            > +1202 729 7735
            > www.embarq.wri.org
            >
            > >>> jay@... 7/23/2006 1:27 PM >>>
            > Hi Ken,
            >
            > What do you think about the Bus Rapid Transit system in Brisbane, AU?
            > While I prefer rail, it seems that the BRT system offers a lot in the
            > way of flexibility. Also, when running on the alternative fuels or even
            > electricity, I believe it can be very clean in regards to emissions.
            >
            > Although I am not versed in the impact of roads. If anyone has any
            > insight in regards to the impact of road building vs. rail construction
            > (and also the effects of tunneling), I would be much appreciative.
            >
            > Sincerely,
            > Jay Corrales
            > Move San Diego Board of Directors
            > San Diego, CA, USA
            >
            >
            > Ken.Crispin wrote:
            > >
            > > We would like to see more focus on rail rather than road, as it is the
            > > much cleaner environmentally sustainable mode of transport that leaves
            > > a smaller footprint on the environment also.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Ken Crispin. Project Manager.
            > >
            > > Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre In'c.
            > >
            > > Napier. NZ.
            > >
            > > clean.air@... <mailto:clean.air@...>
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > The New Mobility/World Transport Agenda
            > Consult at: http://NewMobiity.org
            > To post message to group: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
            > To subscribe: WorldTransport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > To unsubscribe: WorldTransport-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Anzir Boodoo
            Jay, ... While it would help, the electricity requirements for electric traction of vehicles are massive. I was surprised to read that the huge solar array on
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 24, 2006
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              Jay,
              On 23 Jul 2006, at 23:35, Jay Corrales wrote:
              > Hi Lee,
              >
              > Yes, I agree that currently there is a lot of dirty electricity
              > production which would have to be considered as you look for a true
              > alternative, but what I see in the near future is that electricity
              > could be mostly derived from clean energy sources such as solar and
              > wind power. I think an opportunity could exist for a bus depot
              > with a solar panel array to charge vehicles and supply extra energy
              > to the electricity grid.
              >
              > Sorry to be so off tangent now... but I also have read that
              > electric-powered vehicles are much cheaper to maintain than
              > internal combustion vehicles (I haven't done much research on this
              > yet, but I believe they mention it in "Who Killed The Electric
              > Car"). I also see the possible opportunity for the using
              > integrated solar panels on the roof as well.
              While it would help, the electricity requirements for electric
              traction of vehicles are massive.

              I was surprised to read that the huge solar array on the roof of the
              new Berlin Hauptbahnhof station will generate at most 5% (five
              percent) of the station's electricity needs - though with hundreds of
              electric trains calling every day, perhaps it's not surprising at all...

              I have been involved in an informal railway think piece for years,
              and we've not managed to work out how to generate a railway's
              electricity requirement "internally" without large amounts of extra
              land for wind turbines and biomass burning. I believe even to supply
              diesel trains with biodiesel will require a huge investment in
              processing facilities as those that exist already are stretched to
              capacity.

              --
              Anzir Boodoo MRes MILT Aff. IRO
              transcience, 72 Staplehurst, BRACKNELL RG12 8DD
            • Tramsol@aol.com
              John & all I recall a conversation recently with someone who did a cost-benefit analysis on alternative uses of the land used for transport infrastructure -
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 24, 2006
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                John & all

                I recall a conversation recently with someone who did a cost-benefit analysis on alternative uses of the land used for transport infrastructure - neatly summed up by a member of Manchester Airport's Ground Transport Planning team who said their policy on reducing the amount of car parking available for a growing number of passengers & staff using the site "We get a better return on the land when it is used for retail and hotels instead of car parking" - can we put figures to this?

                Maybe we can as the last days of the GLC saw some studies carried out on major corridors like the A41 Finchley Road where residential roads had been buldozed to create a 6-8 lane dual carriageway out to the M1.  I cannot recall exactly which review showed a positive and which one showed a neutral figure for which corridor, but in essence it would actually be a profitable exercise to rip up the second carriageway and rebuild the houses, which would be 'worth' more than the road...  Some of the more venerable contributors might recall this in greater detail?

                In this part of Glasgow a complete residential building (town house/tenement) of 4-5 floors prior to refurbishment seems to be getting in excess of £1m, and eyeing up the great swathe of land taken out by the City Centre motorway I just wonder how the sums might work out today, when compared to the 1960's when property in the area was cheap.

                Dave Holladay
                Glasgow

              • Tramsol@aol.com
                In a message dated 7/24/2006 2:29:29 PM British Summer Time, ... Maybe a return to the external combustion engine where heat is generated and used at the
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 24, 2006
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                  In a message dated 7/24/2006 2:29:29 PM British Summer Time, ab@... writes:

                  I believe even to supply 
                  diesel trains with biodiesel will require a huge investment in 
                  processing facilities as those that exist already are stretched to 
                  capacity.


                  Maybe a return to the external combustion engine where heat is generated and used at the driving mechanism - having recently listened to a piece on BBC Radio 4 about the modern steam engine (purer water, higher pressure, no boiler scale, and full secondary combustion with injected steam in the firebox to better manage the burning process).  Do I see the ghost of Bulleid and the Leader Class.....

                  Dave Holladay
                  Glasgow

                • Michael Yeates
                  Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 10:19:15 +1000 To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com From: Michael Yeates Subject: Re: WorldTransport Forum Comment on
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 28, 2006
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                    Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 10:19:15 +1000

                    As a resident of Brisbane, I hope nobody takes offence at the following and hope it will result in ongoing detailed critical review rather than international conferences and other promotional material that promotes our Busways without reference to impacts and context.

                    I totally agree with the points John raises below which were to all intents completely ignored in the initial decisions by government in regard to transport planning and provision in SEQ (including the Busways) and thus continue to be ignored ..

                    So Brisbane has Busways, but it is also about to spend over $2 billion on a tunnel for more convenient travel by car ... and there are several more tunnels planned .. also for cars ...!  This of course was predictable ... see http://www.yeatesit.biz/transfiles/busways.pdf

                    Did anybody consider how this would impact on children walking or cycling to school, to illustrate just one of John's points below?

                    Put simply, it is far too easy to focus on the easier or more politically acceptable parts of integrated planning rather than "integrate" the complexity of issues ... and in many ways, the energy<>pollution issues are relatively easy for as is well known, if not often accepted by politicians and other interested decision makers, traffic prediction is not exactly accurate or even reasonably reliable.

                    Put another way, as Bent Flyvbjerg et al and others have shown, these big projects rarely if ever have legitimate well researched and well supported justification that is then monitored and evaluated critically and independently over time so not surprisingly the benefits are exaggerated and the costs underestimated or ignored ... exactly what is happening in Brisbane with its billion dollar Busways and billion dollar tunnels ... paradoxically, all designed (not necessarily intentionally or explicitly) for more cars on the roads ....
                     
                    For example soon after the first Busway was opened, an informal platform survey found that most of the passengers either (i) worked at or near the outer end major regional retail centre (ie Garden City at Upper Mt Gravatt) and were primarily using the busway for additional non-essential trips that they would never have done before the Busway or (ii) drove to the Busway often a longer distance than previously (another form of induced travel) and quite a few of these had transferred from using rail (30 minute frequency) to using the much higher frequency buses on the Busway but relying on the very large and very expensive Park'n'Ride parking because there was so little improvement in service levels of local buses as a result of the Busway. Why? Because virtually all the buses went into the CBD on the Busway.
                     
                    Aside from recent transport conferences held in Brisbane with a focus on the Busways, there has been an enormous effort put into publicising the Busways in Brisbane and beyond.

                    But at the same time, there has been almost no critical review so it is not surprising that people see the aspects that have been promoted.

                    There is however some information about the busways provided via investigations by the Queensland Parliament Public Works Committee (see http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/committees/committees.asp?area=PWC&LIndex=7&SubArea=PWC )

                    see PWC Report 39 and a further report (which reduced criticism) at PWC Report 42 at http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/committees/committees.asp?area=PWC&LIndex=7&SubArea=reports&Bindex=3

                    Transcripts of public hearings can be found at
                    http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/committees/documents/PWC/transcripts/w970212a.pdf
                    http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/committees/documents/PWC/transcripts/w970911.pdf
                    http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/committees/documents/PWC/transcripts/w970324.pdf

                    Also, while there has been rhetorical support for "integrated" public transport, in fact nearly 10 years later, very few buses go close to the some 70 train stations in Brisbane because the bus system still remains extremely radial ... a point further exaggerated by the Busways ... thus the buses and Busways operate in opposition to, rather than in "integrated" support of, the already high capacity rail system.

                    So not surprisingly, there is a major congestion problem with buses in the CBD approaches and an increasingly greater layby and float problem .. the solution to which is building more Busways (extensions underway in the CBD right now).

                    But like cars, more buses simply congest the roads once their useful role and performance is exceeded ... so SEQ is rapidly becoming a case study well worth considering as to whether BRT and an emphasis on buses is simply the result of conceptual thinking that sees buses as more efficient cars ... and Busways as freeways for buses ...!

                    But in addition, Brisbane now has a series of related problems ... not enough buses ... but then it is argued, there is nowhere for more buses as the CBD and approaches are already congested ...!

                    Busways are no different to freeways and motorways ... they provide a dream of unlimited capacity, flexibility and utility when opened but end up congested and in need of increased capacity ... .

                    Until the points that John makes below are also included, rail will be seen as too expensive and inflexible by those who regard buses as large cars ...

                    You might also find it useful to see what has been said eg 
                    Paul Mees at http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/brisinst_publictrans.html
                    Peter Newman at http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/newman_peter_busway.html
                    and some of my own articles at
                    http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/yeates_michael_busway.html
                    http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/yeates_michael_unsmartcity.html
                    http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/yeates_michael_ride.html

                    These are sourced from a collection of articles at http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/brisbane_institute_transportseries.html

                    The local newspaper is "The Courier-Mail" which has current news at http://www.couriermail.news.com.au/queensland and recent news at http://www.couriermail.news.com.au/archives

                    So if anyone wants a research topic of local<>global interest and importance, come to Brisbane and have a long critical look ... but please, if you really want to get behind the rhetoric and marketing/promotional hype, be prepared to try to travel without relying on using a car.

                    Michael Yeates
                    Brisbane
                    Australia

                     

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