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RE: [carfree_cities] Bus Rapid Transit

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  • philip@aal.cix.co.uk
    ... Yes. ... GMPTE, the local Government Agency that oversees public transport in the county - and are currently my employers. The above observations are
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 4, 2001
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      > >including short stretches of guided busway,
      >
      > When you say "guided busway", do you mean buses with those small side
      > mounted wheels on the front?

      Yes.
      >
      >
      > >In contrast, the initial LRT line in Manchester cost over �120 million,
      > >which is about �7 million a mile. However, this was essentially a Heavy
      > >Rail conversion, and subsequent extensions are/will cost considerably
      > >more, as Houses, School playgrounds, farmland etc have to be
      > compulsorily purchased and destroyed (just like with major Roads)!
      >
      > I'd like to (know?) who is planning this.

      GMPTE, the local Government Agency that oversees public transport in the
      county - and are currently my employers.
      The above observations are largely to do with the Ashton-under-Lyne
      extension, which is definitely going ahead. The School playground is
      actually just reduced in size - not least to keep the actual Line a safe
      distance from the School premises. I believe the School has been
      "compensated".
    • Ronald Dawson
      ... So I see. http://www.gmpte.gov.uk/newsdesk/library/ashmetb.html Dawson
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 4, 2001
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        Philip wrote:
        >GMPTE, the local Government Agency that oversees public transport in the
        >county - and are currently my employers.
        >The above observations are largely to do with the Ashton-under-Lyne
        >extension, which is definitely going ahead. The School playground is
        >actually just reduced in size - not least to keep the actual Line a safe
        >distance from the School premises. I believe the School has been
        >"compensated".

        So I see. http://www.gmpte.gov.uk/newsdesk/library/ashmetb.html Dawson
      • Chris Bradshaw
        As an Ottawan, I find the disadvantages of busways to be greater than Ryan mentioned. Because the Ottawa system was built to allow later conversion to light
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 4, 2001
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          As an Ottawan, I find the disadvantages of busways to be greater than
          Ryan
          mentioned.

          Because the Ottawa system was built to allow later conversion to light
          rail, it is
          more costly than either alone. For instance, the grade of the
          right-of-way was
          limited to accommodate the more limited capability of rail, but the
          width of the
          right-of-way had to be wider than needed by light rail due to the need
          for
          additional snow storages and the decision to allow buses to pass each
          other in the
          stations and most everywhere else. Also, security is expensive, since
          stations had
          to be below/above-grade rights-of-way, although bus-only would allow
          stations to be
          at-grade, thus accessing the natural security ("eyes on the street")
          that comes
          with at-grade stations. Below/above grade stations are also cheaper to
          build.

          The system has also failed to stimulate infill development at the
          stations (they
          are really only stops, since buses for different routes don't have
          unique "docking"
          areas). This is because of one of the so-called advantages: reduced
          need to
          transfer (whereas rail systems require transfers between two different
          systems for
          the collector and the long-haul portions of th trip, busways don't).
          The lack of
          transfering means that there is little extra pedestrian traffic at the
          transfer
          points and also, those wanting to board the system at these points often
          cannot
          find an empty seat. Add to that the fact that those coming from further
          out
          usually don't pay extra for their seats for the longer trips they get.

          For those wanting to limit transfers, rail provides a different
          solution: live
          closer to the main lines, rather than in the far corners of sprawled
          subdivisions.
          The bus sustem, by reaching the latter areas of cul-de-sacs and
          crescents) reduces
          the amount of walking (and cycling) that transit commuters will do
          (often to avoid
          the wait for a connector bus, when the walk isn't that far), and it
          reduces the
          reliance by people on the shopping and services near their home (and
          this
          discourages such outlets ever being located in the first place).

          Most people today don't live or work near these "conveniences." As a
          result, even
          if they can commute to job/school by bus/walking/cycling, they can't
          "chain"
          personal-business destinations into those trips, as SUV (single-occupant
          vehicle)
          commuting can. Either workplaces will have to provide these outlets
          within a short
          walk of workplaces, or neighbourhoods will have to provide them. Else,
          we will
          never get people out of cars.

          Chris Bradshaw, Ottawa

          = = = = =

          "Lanyon, Ryan" wrote:

          > Ottawa, Canada probably has one of the first major bus rapid transit systems
          > (see www.octranspo.com). Briefly, some advantages and disadvantages are:
          >
          > Advantages:
          > - routes are flexible, and can use the rapid transit system for part of the
          > way, primarily through downtown, preventing the need to transfer (we have a
          > number of express buses that offer door-to-door service from suburbs via
          > neighbourhood collectors and then the rapid transit system)
          > - the system can easily go from dedicated bus-only roadways to dedicated bus
          > lanes, which works well when the project is built in phases (no need for
          > immediate grade separation or new infrastructure)
          > - steeper grades are more easily accomodated (assumption)
          > - the system can be integrated into the local expressways. Bus-only lanes
          > on expressways immediate show stalled car commuters the benefits of taking
          > transit (works with rail if the line runs parallel or over the highway).
          >
          > Disadvantages:
          > - the usual down sides of bus transportation - noise, pollution, social
          > stigma
          > - rail transit is still seen as preferred. We're building our first light
          > rail line (on existing track), but there is talk of extending the rail
          > system and replacing the bus-only ways
          > - buses can get held up in traffic where the system merges with other roads
          > - too many buses (and drivers) are needed in heavy volumes that could be
          > served with fewer trains (capacity and cost issues)
          >
          > I think in general what we've experienced is that the system works well for
          > a city under 1,000,000. Our metro area recently surpassed that mark, and
          > new strains and pressures are pushing us toward light rail instead.
          >
          > The opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of my
          > employer.
          >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: Craig Bollen [mailto:craigb@...]
          > > Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 11:11 AM
          > > To: 'carfree_cities@...'
          > > Subject: [carfree_cities] Bus Rapid Transit
          > >
          > >
          > > I've never had the opportunity to use a system like the
          > > proposed Bus rapid
          > > Transit below.
          > > Does anyone have any experience? Because the bus transit
          > > ways are fixed
          > > does the line have the same benefits as a typical rail line?
          > > Any Opinions?
          > >
          > > http://www.ltd.org/brt1.html
          > >
          > > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
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          > > carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
          > > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
          > >
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          > > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          > >
          > >
          >
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        • Lanyon, Ryan
          ... Also, security is expensive, since ... I think you mean at grade stations are cheaper to build. I disagree with your argument that bus-only stations would
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 5, 2001
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            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Chris Bradshaw [mailto:chris@...]
            > Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2001 10:07 PM
            > To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] Bus Rapid Transit
            >
            Also, security is expensive, since
            > stations had
            > to be below/above-grade rights-of-way, although bus-only would allow
            > stations to be
            > at-grade, thus accessing the natural security ("eyes on the street")
            > that comes
            > with at-grade stations. Below/above grade stations are also
            > cheaper to
            > build.

            I think you mean at grade stations are cheaper to build. I disagree with
            your argument that bus-only stations would be at-grade. If the system was
            entirely built at grade, then it would not provide rapid transit. Take the
            downtown core, for example, where the buses do run at grade. It provides a
            slower service because of the need to stop at crossings. Grade separation
            speeds up the system, and has nothing to do with modal choice.

            > The system has also failed to stimulate infill development at the
            > stations (they
            > are really only stops, since buses for different routes don't have
            > unique "docking"
            > areas). This is because of one of the so-called advantages: reduced
            > need to
            > transfer (whereas rail systems require transfers between two different
            > systems for
            > the collector and the long-haul portions of th trip, busways don't).

            I think this is really a planning failure, not a failure of a bus-only
            system. Baseline Station is a very large transfer point, where local routes
            feed into the rapid transit system. Unfortunately, there is a six-lane
            arterial on one side, and a large parking lot on the other. Pedestrian and
            cyclist traffic abounds, but there are still no services or transit-based
            infill development.

            > For those wanting to limit transfers, rail provides a different
            > solution: live
            > closer to the main lines, rather than in the far corners of sprawled
            > subdivisions.
            > The bus sustem, by reaching the latter areas of cul-de-sacs and
            > crescents) reduces
            > the amount of walking (and cycling) that transit commuters will do

            Again, the choice of mode for rapid transit does not affect this. If a rail
            system exists, it still has feeder bus routes. In Toronto, numerous buses
            feed into the Finch subway station (not just from the north), so the entire
            public transit network still reaches into the cul-de-sacs and reduces the
            amount of active transportation.

            > The opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of my
            employer.
          • J.H. Crawford
            ... Right. Grade separation is almost essential. And I hope we agree that the only direction to go is down, never up! ... This is what s wrong with taking the
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 5, 2001
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              Ryan Lanyon replied:

              >I think you mean at grade stations are cheaper to build. I disagree with
              >your argument that bus-only stations would be at-grade. If the system was
              >entirely built at grade, then it would not provide rapid transit. Take the
              >downtown core, for example, where the buses do run at grade. It provides a
              >slower service because of the need to stop at crossings. Grade separation
              >speeds up the system, and has nothing to do with modal choice.

              Right. Grade separation is almost essential. And I hope we agree
              that the only direction to go is down, never up!

              >I think this is really a planning failure, not a failure of a bus-only
              >system. Baseline Station is a very large transfer point, where local routes
              >feed into the rapid transit system. Unfortunately, there is a six-lane
              >arterial on one side, and a large parking lot on the other. Pedestrian and
              >cyclist traffic abounds, but there are still no services or transit-based
              >infill development.

              This is what's wrong with taking the easy way out: building rapid
              transit systems down the middle of freeway meidans. It's quick
              and cheap, and the stations are anywhere near anything useful.
              Fundamental error.

              >Again, the choice of mode for rapid transit does not affect this. If a rail
              >system exists, it still has feeder bus routes. In Toronto, numerous buses
              >feed into the Finch subway station (not just from the north), so the entire
              >public transit network still reaches into the cul-de-sacs and reduces the
              >amount of active transportation.

              Well, if the area is dense enough (a la Manhattan), it has ONLY rail.




              -- ### --

              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              postmaster@... Carfree.com
            • Chris Bradshaw
              ... I prefer below-grade r-o-w, but at-grade stations. This involves the transit vehicles climbing into the station, naturally losing momentum via gravity,
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 6, 2001
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                "Lanyon, Ryan" wrote:

                > I think you mean at grade stations are cheaper to build. I disagree with
                > your argument that bus-only stations would be at-grade. If the system was
                > entirely built at grade, then it would not provide rapid transit.

                I prefer below-grade r-o-w, but at-grade stations. This involves the transit
                vehicles climbing into the station, naturally losing momentum via gravity, and then
                descending into the trench after the stop, accelerating via gravity again. This
                "graviotram" technology saves lost of energy, but is more problematic with rail, as
                the cars are longer (hard to handly the changes in grade) and they have more
                trouble with hills.

                > Again, the choice of mode for rapid transit does not affect this. If a rail
                > system exists, it still has feeder bus routes.

                Of course, there are still feeder route from the largest stations, but the simple
                fact that riders have to transfer means that 1) they will consider shopping for
                things they need at this transfer points, and 2) if it is not so far to get the
                rest of the way home, walk instead of waiting for the connector bus, providing both
                "eyes on the street" and giving them more exercise. When a bus-only system is used
                _and_ the routes run from the burbs all the way to the centre of town (vs. having
                only transitway-only routes run downtown, in which transfering is very common), the
                rider has no need to even look up from his book or newspaper to notice the
                neighbourhood-core shops. If he doesn't patronize them, he and the neighbourhood
                will lose them.

                Chris Bradshaw


                >

                >
                >
                > > The opinions expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of my
                > employer.
                >
                > To Post a message, send it to: carfree_cities@...
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                >
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