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Old May 1st, 2005, 05:32 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by FM 2258
It doesn't seem as cool as light rail in my opinion.
I realize that this is a matter of opinion. This is my coolness ranking:

Minimally Cool (Conventional Buses):

Somewhat Cool (Guided Buses & Electric Trolley Buses):

Marginally Cooler (Rubber-Tired Trams & Light Rail):

Much Cooler (Grade Separated Rail):

Coolest (Maglev & Monorail):

Last edited by greg_christine; May 1st, 2005 at 05:59 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 06:24 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Wally
The Montreal Metro is not a bus. Its a train that happens to use rubber tires instead of steel wheels. It has no steering wheel, it operates like a train and cannot get out of its guideway.

And the reason why BRTs are inferior is because they are buses, not trains. Its not just about service level; its also about psychology and attractiveness. You can make buses look like trains but they are still buses and therefore continue to hold the stigma that sticks to buses. People are simply not attracted to buses as they are to trains. And if people want flexibility, they would use their own rubber tire vehicles.....their own car!

The attractiveness of rail based systems is the fact that they are NOT flexible. They are permanent and it is that sense of permanence that give the route and area the presence of a dedicated and decent rapid transit system that would allow residents and developers to build transit oriented development.

Bombardier and Irisbus try to make their buses look like trains but the
commuting public has not been fooled and their systems are just crap.
First of all what makes rail so great. Yes certainty is an important factor. You know for sure that if the train starts at one end it is going to end with the other. LRT is great, but does LRT necessarily need to use metal wheels on metal tracks? I used the Metro as an example where a subway used rubber tire vehicles. A guideway BRT would be like an LRT using rubber tired vehicles. It would have all the wonderful features that LRT has:
-Certainty or Permanence (you know it goes from one end to the other, no getting off midway)
-Speed (travels on dedicated corridors at up to 80km/h)
-Safety (travels on mechanical guideway, which by the way can work in winter weather)
-Efficiency (travels on a dedicated corridor away from traffic)
-Comfort (Stations would be sheltered and climate controlled. Hub Stations could be entire buildings with shops and retail)
-Frequency (buses could operate with headways of as little as 1 min)
-Smooth Ride (a guideway makes the ride much smoother)
-Image (this a bus on a rail, not just a bus on a road)
-Level Boarding (will use low floor vehicles with level boarding, which ironically some LRT systems don't have like DART)
-Environment (the system can use trolley or diesel-electric buses)

As you can see this Bus-rail system would operate like an LRT except that it uses rubber tired vehicles. I realize like many LRT buffs that a lot of BRT systems aren't really rapid transit and are a half assed solution. This system will have a few additional features. First of all, no driver steering is required for guideway sections, the guideway does the job. Second of all, the Bus unlike an LRT vehicle can 'hop' off the tracks and go to a particular destination. In Winnipeg, the dedicated corridor to the University of Manitoba actually ends about 2 kms from the actual University. With an LRT system, passengers would have to transfer to a bus which is inconvenient and inefficient. With a Bus-rail system, the bus could get off the guideway and go directly to the University on normal streets. Thus an unnecessary and inconvenient transfer is avoided on a congested route.

There is also no reason why a Bus-rail system would not spur Transit Oriented Development. The system would be handling large numbers of passengers and therefore encourage development like LRT. Also I believe that Public Transit can't just be something to relieve congestion. It should ideally be the ideal mode for getting anywhere in the city. Cars are expensive, polluting, inefficient and less safe when compared to public transit. A car culture also promotes sprawl and environments where people don't walk. If you are going to leave flexibility to cars, then you're basically saying that LRT comes secondary to cars. I have done a thorough examination for what Rapid Transit system is best for Winnipeg. I can give you the presentation if you like. We did consider LRT at first, but realized it wouldn't serve our city as well as a Bus-rail system. Also LRT would be four to five times as expensive. LRT may be great for other cities, but Bus-rail is best for Winnipeg.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:43 AM   #23
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^ First and foremost there is no such thing as bus-rail. The closest thing there is to a bus-rail is the kerb guided bus system like the one in Nottingham, UK (same city from the Robin Hood stories).

And frankly, those things are so butt ugly and simply does not make any sense. Hence why the kerb guided bus has not been used in great numbers unlike the conventional LRT.

Also, one thing that you have to realize is the Montreal Metro simply is not a bus. It has no steering wheel and is completely dependent on the guideway infrastructure to make it work. Its dependency on its track is identical to that of a steel wheeled train.

If people board a bus pretending to be a rail vehicle, the physical presence of steering mechanism and the fact that the same vehicles can be seen roaming in the streets away from the guideway brings a stigma that is embeded in modern day culture. And having a one minute headway does not make sense since it will just increase the operating cost so much the system will loose money.

You can play with the technicalities all you want such as having a physical guideway in the street or manipulating headway frequencies but the bottom line is it is the people who would ultimately use the system. And if the target market (people who you are trying to give up their cars for transit) step inside a vehicle and sees anything that resembles a bus, then it won't make it attractive.

The bottom line is this. The main attraction of a rail based system that get people out of cars and into transit and therefore spurring transit oriented development isn't the headway or the speed or the rail like features. It is the rail vehicle itself!

Last edited by [email protected]; May 1st, 2005 at 07:48 AM.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 05:26 PM   #24
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The typical member of the public wouldn't even be aware that one is on steel wheels and the other is on rubber tires.

The cost numbers provided in the USDOT/FTA/CALSTART report on the Paris tests are compelling ( http://www.calstart.org/programs/brt...rip_report.pdf ):

· Metro $ 77 M / km
· Line 14 (Newest Metro) $ 140 M / km
· Metro Automatique $ 56 M / km
· Tramway (LRT) $ 17 M to $ 28 M / km
· Rubber Tire Tramway $ 12 M / km
· Trolley Bus (Nancy) $ 1.6 M / km

I see the same logic progression repeatedly in discussions with light rail supporters. The argument starts that light rail is superior to heavy rail/monorail/maglev (Take your pick!) because it can operate underground, on an elevated viaduct, or on the street. The skeptic then notes that buses can do the same. The light rail supporter then vilifies buses as unattractive to the middle class. The reality is that every US city that has light rail relies on a bus system as a feeder to the light rail network. The typical light rail passenger begins their commute on a bus.

My own opinion is that on-street operation should not even be a part of the discussion of fixed-guideway systems. A system is not really rapid transit unless it is off the street.

Last edited by greg_christine; May 1st, 2005 at 05:57 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 07:39 PM   #25
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I think you should look at real life examples on how successful LRT are compared to BRT or guided buses into really attracting people out of cars and into transit. And note that a number of new BRT lines are being built in preparation for LRT(since cities tend to want proof that an LRT system is justified first prior to releasing funds), not as a substitute unlike the guided bus (whose aim is to replace rail rapid transit all together). And as far as buses as feeder systems, I agree. The role of the bus should solely be a feeder system that channels passengers into a main rail based system.

As for Translohr, that product is uniquely a rubber tired tram unlike the Irisbus Civis, the Bombardier TVR, Phileas guided bus or the O-Bahn guided bus which are truly buses made to look like trains for the sole purpose of fooling the public. Just because the Translohr is a true tram in rubber tires doesn't mean the Civis and other guided buses are also trams in rubber tires. In the surface the Translohr technology is acceptable(which is why it is more successfully in securing orders as oppose to the other guided bus schemes to date) BUT it has one manufacturer, hence extremely proprietory unlike the "off the shelf" LRVs.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 12:31 PM   #26
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In Nancy :

How it works :

Outside its track (diesel-produced electricity) :

Begining of the track :

Switching to electricity mode (using the old troleybus electric system of the city and not light rail-like pantographs) :

Downtown Nancy (http://nancy-guide.net/photos/photos_de_tram.html) :

Length 25 meters
Width 2.50 meters
Height3.22 meters

seats : ~178

Guidance : 4 axles
Max speed : 70 Km/h
Max accel. rate :1.2 m/s
Max brak. rate : 1.2 m/s
Emergency brak. rate : 5.5 m/s
Max sl. : 13%
Directionnal axles : every
Expected life : 30 years
Weight : 25.5 t

Power : 300 Kw
Aux. power : 200 Kw

Width of the track :
normal : 3 m
turn : 3.42 m

At this time, almost 50 000 people a day uses this single line. It works finally correctly but with slow speed at a few critical places. Rollers will be exchanged by a new model that will reduce noise. Camera and monitoring equipement was added this year. Making this vehicle reliable needed too much time and money that's why line 2 and 3 will be optical guided trolebuses ones.
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Last edited by scalpel; May 2nd, 2005 at 01:08 PM.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 12:47 PM   #27
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In Lyon there is no Civis bus....but Cristalis which are "normal" trolley buses

the 12 meters version

The 18 meters version

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Old May 2nd, 2005, 08:17 PM   #28
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Great pics and data!
Thanx a lot!
Here in Brazil, a magnetic or optical guided system is proposed for hybrid (diesel-eletric) buses in any corridors, in cities like Sao Paulo or Rio... the government says that real tramways are very expensive... they prefer built metro lines and feeder buses corridors.
I' am afraid, because that kind of buses are really experimentals...
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 05:19 AM   #29
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^ Be afraid....be very afraid...
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 10:34 AM   #30
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Some quick points -

One problem with the guided bus systems is they are often proprietary. I know for the Adelaide guided busway they cannot get buses from different manufacturers to run on it. With lightrail, you can buy the cars from a number of suppliers that will work with the system you city as.

Quality of ride is also an issue. I'm yet to get an a bus that is a smooth a ride as a steel wheel tram.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #31
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even though this pic is hosted from a Nottingham website it is NOT from Nottingham.

More likely its from Leeds, where there are infact two such guided bus systems!

The pic below IS from Nottingham and shows one of the steel wheel trams in the city centre.



With the O-Bahn / kerb guided bus system it IS possible to use buses from many bus builders. All that is needed is the fitting of physical guide whelles and the training of the bus drivers.

In Adelaide you have both Mercedees (sp?) Benz and MAN (now NEOMAN) buses.

It should be possible for the Optical guidance system to be fitted to other buses too.

However I agree that the GLT/TVR, system is restricted to Bombardier vehicles.

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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:10 AM   #32
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^ Thanks for clarifying, spsmiler. I assumed it was Nottingham because of the URL so I'm glad the city made famous by the Robin Hood legends actually doesn't use this dreadful technology and instead uses the more desirable and beautiful rail based LRT system. I feel sorry for Leeds as they have such an ugly guided bus system. I hope they shut that eyesore down and replace it with rail as soon as possible.

And yes, it is possible for ordinary buses to be outfitted with the optically guided system. I hear the system only costs around $20k to install but for some reason, Irisbus Civis jacks up the price to practically double to that of a conventional low floor bus such as the New Flyer Invero. I suppose this one the reason why Irisbus is getting killed in the market place but also note that the optical guidance system has so much limitations it simply isn't practically. Honestly, if you have to use a bus and need to have a service that require close docking, why bother with a silly optically guided system instead of relying on the skill of experienced bus drivers?
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Old May 8th, 2005, 12:11 AM   #33
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Wow they are very beautiful those trams, seems a bit futuristic
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Old June 10th, 2005, 06:05 AM   #34
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Bump for Cloudship!
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