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Old June 23rd, 2005, 08:17 PM   #1
Cloudship
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Adelaide Busway

Has anyone regularly used the Adelaide Guided Busway?

I have ben reading up on it a bit - some people make it out to be a complete failure, others maek it out as a revolution. I am interested in getting the general user's perspective - is it successful? Has it improved transit in the area, and is it worth the money spent? Lastly, wht is the perceived level of safety and reliability of the system?
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Old June 30th, 2005, 12:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship
Has anyone regularly used the Adelaide Guided Busway?

I have ben reading up on it a bit - some people make it out to be a complete failure, others maek it out as a revolution. I am interested in getting the general user's perspective - is it successful? Has it improved transit in the area, and is it worth the money spent? Lastly, wht is the perceived level of safety and reliability of the system?
Well I used it a few times when I was there on holiday - in 1991!

Because the system is unsignalled and buses often drive in convoys there have been a handful of shunts where buses crash in to each other (no fatalities, AFAIK) and apparently rader speed traps are used to ensure the buses do not speed!

Apart from that it works well and is simple robust technology.

The O-Bahn / Kerb Guided Busway is only used in a handful of places globally, in addition to Adelaide there are 2 cities in Germany and 6 systems (in 5 towns / cities) in Britain where it is seen as a useful tool to give buses a dedicated right of way which by-passes congested roads.

There is loads more info on my website - although it might not answer all the points you raise.

http://www.garden.force9.co.uk/OBahn.htm

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Last edited by spsmiler; June 30th, 2005 at 12:26 AM.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 03:57 AM   #3
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It would not be very reliable in colder climes with the snow.
It also has the stigma of being nothing more than a bus. Even if the service is great many will not take it due to just that.
A great bus with new technology, more seating, fast, comfortable is still just a bus in the eyes of the populas.
Could be very effective in poorer nations where a bus does not carry the same stigma.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 06:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2
It would not be very reliable in colder climes with the snow.
It also has the stigma of being nothing more than a bus. Even if the service is great many will not take it due to just that.
A great bus with new technology, more seating, fast, comfortable is still just a bus in the eyes of the populas.
Could be very effective in poorer nations where a bus does not carry the same stigma.
It at least provides a smoother ride, eliminating that part of the bus stigma. If they used more modern vehicles I'm sure that would also remove some of the stigma. The main reason why people take public transit is because it is convenient. Part of the bus stigma is that it is not very convenient and it is not very comfortable. Those problems can be eliminated by having a guideway and other 'rail' features like payment before boarding, comfortable stations and level boarding. You don't need metal wheels and metal rails to have good convenient service.

Regarding snow removal, I'm sure if we put enough thought into it we could find good methods of dealing with it. It would just have to be different than clearing roads now.
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Old June 30th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2
It would not be very reliable in colder climes with the snow.
It also has the stigma of being nothing more than a bus. Even if the service is great many will not take it due to just that.
A great bus with new technology, more seating, fast, comfortable is still just a bus in the eyes of the populas.
Could be very effective in poorer nations where a bus does not carry the same stigma.
:o We're lucky in Australia that no major cities have snow (at least not predictably).

Here in Brisbane, there's more of a Rail stigma than a bus stigma. We have our own Busways, but they're not guided (why bother when you're paying for the driver anyway). And it gives the added advantage of allowing busses to overtake others. The advantage of the bus is that as everyone boards up front with the driver it's difficult to avoid paying the fare. Many many times I've come across people on trains, obviously not capable of paying any fare, who stink something horrible. The other facet is that here the rail lines tend to run through poorer suburbs (in the outer city), while the busways and freeways run through the richer suburbs. Without the population density to support rail to the door, any rail system would rely on busses to feed it anyway. The busway just gives an advantage of being able to continue non stop towards the other end of it without having to stop and pick up passengers as you would if you did a bus/rail transfer.

Granted the ride isn't as smooth as metro grade rail, but it serves a much larger more sparsely populated area.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 11:58 AM   #6
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In brisbane there is definately a stigma catching buses - on the north and western side of the city - but definately on the south people prefer buses and to a less extent on the eastern city

But on the northern and western side - more people prefer trains
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Old July 1st, 2005, 12:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachary24
In brisbane there is definately a stigma catching buses - on the north and western side of the city - but definately on the south people prefer buses and to a less extent on the eastern city

But on the northern and western side - more people prefer trains
Definately.

Although, the South side can't really cope if the trend keeps continuing. Buses are always packed at any time of the day, a railway line to Greenbank would have been a much more preferable idea.

The outer northern and westwen, however are big bus users seeing as they're prime examples of unplanned sprawl and now have heavy reliance on the car and they're only form of Public Transport is the bus. Buses aren't really capable of running a decent, frequent service if it makes all these long trips from outer suburbs<>city. A change is needed and the rail system really needs to stop being taken so lightly, it's the only thing that will ultimately save Brisbane from traffic anarchy.
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Old July 1st, 2005, 02:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shado
The advantage of the bus is that as everyone boards up front with the driver it's difficult to avoid paying the fare. Many many times I've come across people on trains, obviously not capable of paying any fare, who stink something horrible.
Yeah, otherwise fare evasion is going to be as bad as it is in Melbourne, where there is always an open ticket barrier (or no barriers at all at the outer stations) so that wheelchairs, prams, bikes etc fit through and there is no staff member to watch over it (except for the city stations). And validating a tram ticket is totally voluntary, I've never validated my ticket on a tram (but I have to have a valid ticket to get to the tram in the first place) before.
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Old July 2nd, 2005, 02:07 AM   #9
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Fare evasion is a huge problem on Adelaide transport as well. Even on the buses it is a problem because the ticket validators are several metres behind the driver, and the driver often drives off before everyone or anyone has validated their ticket. It is a problem on all Adelaide transport because they all use the same ticket validators, and there is often no staff watching.

Shado, buses can overtake each other at the two interchanges in case buses break down. The buses also have tyres with steel plates in them so that the bus can maintain at least 50km/h should the tyres flatten or blowout. There's also emergency exits along the tracsk so that buses can enter or leave the track should there be an accident or track maintenance.
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Old July 4th, 2005, 11:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachary24
In brisbane there is definately a stigma catching buses - on the north and western side of the city - but definately on the south people prefer buses and to a less extent on the eastern city

But on the northern and western side - more people prefer trains
True, something to do with the fact that the southside gets all the new natural gas airconditioned busses while many of the old diesel ones roam the north/west.

Quote:
Buses aren't really capable of running a decent, frequent service if it makes all these long trips from outer suburbs<>city. A change is needed and the rail system really needs to stop being taken so lightly, it's the only thing that will ultimately save Brisbane from traffic anarchy.
Actually rail can't cope with the sprawl, because it's higher cost - higher capacity. Busses work well with the sprawl because the only infrastructure you need at the end user is a small sign. A seat if you wish to go all out. The rail system needs to be expanded, but that it only affordable and worth doing in conjunction with increased densities around stations. There are already many stations with sprawl around them that aren't being fully utilised as it is.

You're right though, busses can't cope with sprawl and provide a frequent rapid service, but it doesn't have anything to do with the suburbs<>city, part of it. It would be just as bad even with a Bus>Train transfer point.

Quote:
Shado, buses can overtake each other at the two interchanges in case buses break down. The buses also have tyres with steel plates in them so that the bus can maintain at least 50km/h should the tyres flatten or blowout. There's also emergency exits along the tracsk so that buses can enter or leave the track should there be an accident or track maintenance.
Would be nice, but busses don't always break down where you want them to. Granted only once have I seen one break down here mid-stream, but being able to pass it was nice, (though obviously it slowed things down slightly for saftey reasons).
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Old May 1st, 2009, 01:29 AM   #11
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The O-Bahn - Bus/Rail Hybrid

What happens when you combine a bus with a fixed guideway? The O-Bahn, located in Adelaide, Australia, showcases this interesting mix of BRT/light/heavy rail.




While Adelaide holds the distinction of having the longest fixed guideway, it was not the first city to implement this idea. Essen, Germany has "dual-mode buses" which run on the streets as well as the tram tunnels in a similar fashion. The main difference is that the buses also share the "road" and "rail" with trams.

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Old May 1st, 2009, 03:14 PM   #12
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The O-bahn has nothing to with LRT/heavy rail. It's a guided bus, and nothing more. Adelaide even had a hell of a time trying to find replacement buses after Mercedes Benz refused to manufacture new buses for the system.

Essen used to run dual-mode buses in the tram tunnel, but I believe they stopped running the buses when the buses reached retirement in 2001. It wasa unique service though.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 05:45 AM   #13
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The O-bahn in Adelaide must be the least mentioned mode of transport in the Australian forums. No one really seems to care about it.

It's quite a strange system, I'd love to see it adapted for light rail as it passes right through some nice inner city areas.


image hosted on flickr


You can see the route on this map of Adelaide's rail system.

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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:05 PM   #14
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It seems to me that this system successfully combines the disadvantages of the Bus concept with the disadvantages of the rail concept.

At least if the vehicles used have the capacities of a bus or are in fact (adopted) busses.

The infrastructure hardly can be cheaper than a light rail, but with certainly higher maintenance costs of the tracks (that busses with rubber tires on concrete or road bring with them), while at the same time even a BRT seems to be able to come up with higher or at least equal capacities.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinB View Post
[…]

Essen used to run dual-mode buses in the tram tunnel, but I believe they stopped running the buses when the buses reached retirement in 2001. It wasa unique service though.
Right, there are no buses in the tunnels anymore.

But outside the tunnels "Spurbus" is in service:


wiki
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:56 PM   #16
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Other systems:

STAN in Nancy:



Translohr in Clermont-Ferrand:



Phileas in Eindhoven:


wiki
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 02:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoKo65 View Post
Right, there are no buses in the tunnels anymore.

But outside the tunnels "Spurbus" is in service:


wiki
Do they run still on this bus-ways?
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 03:00 PM   #18
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Do they run still on this bus-ways?
They do, but not in the tunnels anymore.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 03:03 PM   #19
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Essen:


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Old May 3rd, 2009, 03:07 PM   #20
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It would be much better to put some real rail vehicles instead of those busses...
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