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Old September 12th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #1
XAN_
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MISC | General discussions about urban transit technologies

So, there are many awesome threads about specific city/country, but none to discuss some principal and common issues about urban mass transit worldwide.

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First question - does someone know the cost of building new trolley line (not the tramway which is called trolley by North Americans, but an actual trolleybus) over existing street/road in countries of EU and North America? I know that it varies greatly, but I'm interested not in average number, but rather in a number of standalone figures (example: 3 km line in city X costed 3 mln. USD, 4km line in city Y costed 7 mln USD, etc.)
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Old September 13th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #2
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I am writing from Vancouver and I believe it has the largest trolly system in NA. Trolley buses are more expensive to buy but also cheaper to run. They are also non-polluting and much quieter than standard diesel. They tend to be more popular in hilly cities like Vancouver where their pick-up and ability to climb hills is far superior.
As for your question precisely I have no idea.

Interesting topic for a thread. I believe that the most explosive growth in the next 20 years in non-standard technologies will be monorail. There are huge system now under construction and many more planned especially in developing nations as they are easily built and are, by far, the most affordable elevated system and can manuveur around the older congested cities better than standard rail. In these very densely populated cities they have the benefit of running on rubber tires which makes them much quieter and they have the smallest footprint of any elevated system which results in less obtrution and much less shawdowing of the street below. Vancouver type SkyTrain never really took off and Bombardier is putting all it's funds into it's monorail technology which is already paying handsome dividends.

Despite what many think of PRT as a tonka-toy it does have it's niche. I could see more small systems that feed into main transit lines from particular locations suchas a small PRT to connect a local university/college or main shopping centre to a primary mass transit station. It gets rid of one of the largest inhibiters of people using mass/rapid transit, the dreaded "last mile".
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Old September 14th, 2012, 08:06 AM   #3
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My guess that is PRTs are much needed if any system aims to cater for widespread ridership other than in places like Manhattan.

On top of that, I think we'll see more and more systems becoming completely UTO (unmanned train operation), which slashes costs and allows for systems to operate at higher frequencies.
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Old September 14th, 2012, 08:57 PM   #4
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Actually what does PRT stand for?
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Old September 14th, 2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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Personal Rapid Transit.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAN_ View Post
First question - does someone know the cost of building new trolley line (not the tramway which is called trolley by North Americans, but an actual trolleybus) over existing street/road in countries of EU and North America? I know that it varies greatly, but I'm interested not in average number, but rather in a number of standalone figures (example: 3 km line in city X costed 3 mln. USD, 4km line in city Y costed 7 mln USD, etc.)
Here are cost estimates for proposed trolleybus extensions / reroutes in San Francisco:

OWE.1 (Reroute of 33 Stanyan from Mission to Valencia between 16th and 18th)
Distance: 175 m one-way + 175 m one-way = 350 m total
Cost: $1.95 MM
Cost per one-way km: $5.6 MM / km

OWE.3 (Reroute of 6 Parnassus from Masonic + Frederick + Clayton + Parnassus to Haight)
Distance: 425 m one-way + 525 m one-way = 950 m total
Cost: $5.05 MM
Cost per one-way km: $5.3 MM / km

OWE.5 (Reroute and extension of 22 Fillmore to Mission Bay)
Distance: 3.5 km total
Cost: $13.10 MM
Cost per one-way km: $3.7 MM / km

OWE.6 (Extension of 6 Parnassus to West Portal Station)
Distance: 2.5 km total
Cost: $19.2 MM
Cost per one-way km: $7.7 MM / km

The substantially higher cost for the last project is likely due to the need to consider existing overhead for existing light rail lines (running on pantographs) along Ulloa Street and at West Portal Station. West Portal in particular will require some nasty special work that isn't needed for any of the other projects, as there's two existing light rail alignments feeding into the station, and I suspect they will be doing a little loop for the trolleybus extension right in front of the station, crossing both alignments.

If you are interested in more details:
Map of improvements: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mtep/images...ects_color.gif
Cost estimates: http://www.sfmta.com/cms/mtep/docume...05,%202011.pdf
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Old September 16th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Leeds, in the UK, is getting a trolleybus system put in. (£250m)
http://www.ngtmetro.com/

Here in Glasgow, we are getting a BRT line put in (at a cost of £40m), but there are no plans to use trolleybuses, which is a great shame.
http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/residen...defastlink.htm
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Old September 16th, 2012, 07:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
My guess that is PRTs are much needed if any system aims to cater for widespread ridership other than in places like Manhattan.
PRT doesn't still exist , and I really doubt if it could really work; until now we have seen nothing serious, even if the core technology was done in '70ies
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Old September 16th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruston View Post
PRT doesn't still exist , and I really doubt if it could really work; until now we have seen nothing serious, even if the core technology was done in '70ies
Well, one can imaging PRT as the network of automatic taxis (optical guided, maybe?). That would be a nice addition to many transit systems, but it wouldn't be the "magic button", which would resolve all transit problems in all cities, as some naive people dream.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 07:57 PM   #10
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I think there's a PRT system at Heathrow Airport..

I'm not a big fan of it though. I don't see how it's better than more traditional forms of mass transit.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 01:27 AM   #11
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The first and longest continually operating PRT system is the 12km Morgantown PRT. It connects the two main campuses of the West Virginia University in the city. It was built in the 1970s and is definately old school but still works very well and is EXTREMLY heavily patronized.

The PRT has daily ridership of 16,000 passengers per day but this is in a city of just 29,000! That is the same riderhip level of the Charlotte LRT which serves a metro 1,7 million. Even a more extreme example is the Seattle LRT which cost 2.5 billion, is 20km long and serves a metro of 3.5 million has ridership of only 28,000 per day.

This was the kind of set up I was talking about earlier...........point to point travel to directly related centers or connections from one particular major centre to the nearest mass transit station.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 02:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
The first and longest continually operating PRT system is the 12km Morgantown PRT. It connects the two main campuses of the West Virginia University in the city. It was built in the 1970s and is definately old school but still works very well and is EXTREMLY heavily patronized.

The PRT has daily ridership of 16,000 passengers per day but this is in a city of just 29,000! That is the same riderhip level of the Charlotte LRT which serves a metro 1,7 million. Even a more extreme example is the Seattle LRT which cost 2.5 billion, is 20km long and serves a metro of 3.5 million has ridership of only 28,000 per day.

This was the kind of set up I was talking about earlier...........point to point travel to directly related centers or connections from one particular major centre to the nearest mass transit station.
Morgantown PRT is a single line with 5 stops - the main difference respect "standard" LRT or Tramways or last century Schewebebahn monorail is that stops could be activated by users ; Heatrow PRT is a single line that connect the Terminal 5 with two different stations in a parking 450 metres far away one from other - apart the fact that one single station in a central location would be more useful - no one of these systems demonstrated the feasibility and usefulness of a "real" PRT that by definition should be a network of different lines in many directions where the user could choose the destination.

The concept itself of PRT seem to me that doesn't cope well with the pattern of mass transit, with heavy traffic loads in one direction following day hours.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 02:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolothos View Post
I think there's a PRT system at Heathrow Airport..

I'm not a big fan of it though. I don't see how it's better than more traditional forms of mass transit.
It is not a substitute, but it has 3 advantages depending on how it is employed:

(1) it solves last-mile problem, allowing - for instance - a rail station to have a wide catchment area as people can ride PRT to reach their final destinations. Last mile connectivity is the main issue that dooms many transportation projects in lower density areas, and PRT solves that. It speeds transit trips by eliminating slow walking to/from stops.

(2) it allows 24/7/365 operation, even for erratic patterns, regardless of one's ability to maneuver a vehicle (you can put you 11 year old kid in a pod and send him/her to a sport's class or a night out in a friend's house)

(3) it provides a ride with privacy and relatively increased comfort and safety since the passenger doesn't have to deal with strangers in close proximity

It is not like PRT will take over trains or trams or anything else, but complement it and offer alternatives.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 04:03 AM   #14
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Regardless of whatever else you say about the West Virginia University PRT, you have to acknowledge that the system works!















My own personal view is that the automobile will gradually morph into something that resembles PRT. I fully expect that within the next 30 years cars will become self-driving and will be powered by batteries or renewable, carbon-neutral fuels. Traffic congestion will be eased by computer operated cars coordinating movements and operating with shorter following distances. Parking availability will be eased by cars dropping their passengers off at the front door of their destinations and then driving themselves to remote parking areas.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 05:33 AM   #15
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I doubt it.

Anyhow

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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quashlo View Post

OWE.6 (Extension of 6 Parnassus to West Portal Station)
Distance: 2.5 km total
Cost: $19.2 MM
Cost per one-way km: $7.7 MM / km

The substantially higher cost for the last project is likely due to the need to consider existing overhead for existing light rail lines (running on pantographs) along Ulloa Street and at West Portal Station. West Portal in particular will require some nasty special work that isn't needed for any of the other projects, as there's two existing light rail alignments feeding into the station, and I suspect they will be doing a little loop for the trolleybus extension right in front of the station, crossing both alignments.
Agree, SF MUNI’s electric TB system should be expanded. However IMO it should be cost effective & focused on strategic extensions & new expansions. That stated cost for the expansion of the 6 Parnassus sounds WAY TOO HIGH. After all the twists & turns of that route, does it really make sense for a short but so expansive extension to West Portal Sta? That’s already WAY over congested with tracks & wires!
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Old August 8th, 2013, 03:55 PM   #17
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The public transport on the little island Schiermonnikoog (the Netherlands) is the first European network with a fleet of 100%-electric buses only.

I visit the island en network yesterday to experience these Chinese BYD-buses for myself and you:

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