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Old December 29th, 2006, 01:42 PM   #41
Alargule
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Exactly. Thinking of trams as a quicker mode of transport in traffic-jammed cities than fully independent metro lines is sheer nonsense.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #42
sweek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alargule View Post
Exactly. Thinking of trams as a quicker mode of transport in traffic-jammed cities than fully independent metro lines is sheer nonsense.
Eusebius has done it before saying trolleybuses would be faster in London than the metro.
http://skyscrapercity.com/showthread...nd+netherlands
It's absolutely ridiculous and we've shown him the average speed of trams vs. metro, but he just ignores that and keeps preaching that having go to underground (which is true for maybe 20% of the metro stations in the world?) costs so much time, while obviously it's a lot faster than being stuck in traffic overground and stopping every few meters.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eusebius View Post
Many people see a metro as thè adagio. Trams, (trolley-)buses and similar groundfloor-level means of transportation simply prove to be the quickest means of transport.
On a recent visit to San Jose, I rode the light rail system from Winchester to Mountain View. Most of the route is in the median of city streets. The trains do not share lanes with motor vehicles and the trains have traffic signal priority at intersections. The train that I was on actually didn't even stop at many of the stations. There are strips near the doors that the passengers must press to request that the driver stop at the next station. If the strip hasn't been pressed and if there is no one standing on the platform, the driver doesn't stop at the station. Even with all these advantages, the nineteen mile trip took one hour and fifteen minutes for an average speed of about 15 mph. This is quite "adagio" by any standard.

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Old December 29th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #44
Metropolitan
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The use of the metro system varies a lot from a city to another. This depends not only of the system in itself, but also of the general organization of the city.

London for instance is a very spread out city with long distances between metro stations. As such, it's very frequent that people need to couple their metro trip with a bus trip to go from their own house to the closer metro station.

This is not at all the way metro is used in Paris. Indeed, not only Paris is a denser city, but also it has a denser metro network in the city proper. As such, no matter where we are in the City, there is a metro station at less than 200 meters from our location. That simply means that, inside the city of Paris, we can go wherever we want by metro. Buses are only used exceptionally (elder people, people who aren't in a hurry, or people having a direct route by bus which doesn't exist by metro). Just to give a figure, Paris metro network represent 1.335 billion trips in 2004. The bus network in the city of Paris represented only 355 million trips the same year.

Actually, the bus line which was the most used was the line making a circle around the city proper. This tramway line which has been inaugurated recently has never been thought as a metro line, obvious it's not. This tram line is nothing else than an improved version of the former bus lines.

Unfortunately, this tram line is certainly not the solution to the mass transit problems of the metropolis. Things have to be clear about Paris organization. The City of Paris is exactly like Manhattan, and the inner suburbs of Paris are exactly like the Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn. This is not about several towns having grown next to one another, this is about one single city which has massively grown out of its historical borders. Some of Paris Inner suburbs are twice more densely populated than the City of Westminster.

As such, the use of the RER network is actually a lot more similar to the one of the London tube than the metro network is. Indeed, the RER, just like the London tube, is used to serve the whole urban area, and not only the core like the Paris metro does. As such, just like with the London tube, many people living in the peripherical areas of the urban area takes a bus between their house and the closer station. Generally, in all mass transit systems in the world, the metro lines have a much higher traffic than the suburban rail lines. In Paris, RER lines have more frequent trains and have a denser traffic than metro lines... that's why I can't agree with people considering it as a mere suburban rail system. The RER is undoubtedly a hybrid system made of fully independent lines which do not share the same track as opposed to what we can see on cercanias or s-bahn.

Anyway, the big problem about Paris is simply that since the 50's, the city has massively grown. The population of the urban area has grown from 6 million people in 1954 to 10 million people nowadays. Unfortunately, outside the RER network, very few has been made to adapt the mass transit network to the new dimensions of the city. That's the reason why Paris have nowadays a very efficient metro system in the center, a moderately efficient system (though completely saturated) from the center to peripherical areas, and a desperately poor system everywhere else. Just to make you understand how saturated is the RER network, the RATP is currently considering to hire "pushers", just like in Japan, to fill up the trains.

As such, what is needed for Paris is a circular metro line such as the proposed metrophérique, coupled with extended metro lines and new RER lines. This new tramway line will not solve anything about the problems of congestion in the urban area. As I have said, this is nothing else than an improved bus line... with one tram every 4 to 5 minutes at rush hours, and an average speed of 20 km per hour, because of the car traffic crossing.

Finally, to answer to Eusebio, the metro in Paris is considerably faster than a bus or a tram. Firstly, there is generally a train every 2 to 3 minutes at rush hours as opposed to 5 to 10 minutes for buses. As such, the time needed to get underground is already less than the time needed to wait for the bus (or the tram) to come. Afterwards, the metro obviously goes faster (something like an average speed of 50 km/hour, counting stop at stations) than the tram or the bus.

But more importantly, in a city such as Paris, what is needed is fast connections between lines. Between two metro lines, you just have to take a corridor to go from a platform to another. However, for a connection between one metro line and one tram line, we need to exit the metro system, cross a street and pay again to take the tramway. This is considerably longer.

Nowadays in Paris, most of offices are built in the inner suburbs. In areas such as La Défense, but also in places like Levallois-Perret, Boulogne, Issy or Neuilly. To answer efficiently to the demand, what is needed are circular metro lines which do not serve the city proper of Paris but actually to skirt round the city and go fastly from one inner suburb to another. Obviously, tramways are not efficient answers to this.

Last edited by Metropolitan; December 29th, 2006 at 05:10 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 01:39 AM   #45
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I assume neither Alargule nor Sweek wear watches. Just look at your watches when you travel, then compare underground to overground PT and report back to me, thank you.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 02:03 AM   #46
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Hahaha, just look up your posts under "Bikkel" and see our responses there, and the actual times it takes you to travel the same distance by tram vs. metro. I think we proved the whole point using average speeds already, which were about twice as high? Walking into and out of a station isn't going to add much to that.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 02:29 AM   #47
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There are cases where using a metro can be time consuming, for example...
- when stations are very deep, so elevators or a series of stairs or long escalators must be used to get in or out (examples in London, St. Petersburg),
- when stations are very crowded (examples in Tokyo),
- when station architecture requires unnecessarily long walks to reach the platform,
- when the network design consists of U-shaped lines (e.g. Hamburg, Washington),
- when transfer routes between lines require a long walk (examples in Shanghai, Paris, London),
- when the metro is not optimized in terms of efficiency and wastes time between stopping and door openening, between doors closing and departure, or when trains stay too long in stations (e.g. Rio de Janeiro).

So it is almost universal to every city in the world that if you have to travel only one station (or two stations with transfer between lines) it is advisable to walk instead of using the metro/subway. Tourists waste even more time when they have to familiarize themselves with network and pricing details and have to temper with types of ticket vending machines they have never seen before.

But generally, metros are of course faster than buses or trams. Municipalities wouldn't waste money for tunnel construction if they were not. Or, as Metropolitan pointed out, passengers wouldn't use the Paris metro if buses were faster. In many cases, metros are even faster than travelling by car.

Last edited by micro; December 30th, 2006 at 02:34 AM.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 02:58 AM   #48
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Of course micro, all those things add up time. And I'm not denying that. A well-designed system is obviously better and faster, and interchanging between Bank and Monument for example is an awfully long walk. But trams, with grade-crossings and other traffic to care about, lower max. speeds and slower acceleration / braking in most cases, is not going to make it much better. And they too suffer from bad design, bad interchanges between them, long routes, and on top of that too many stops for people travelling longer distances.

It's a nice option for short routes in not-so-dense areas, where traffic is too much for bus use, but not enough for light-rail/metro/train. But it's surely not the solution for big cities' traffic problems.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #49
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Maybe it was a mistake that I have hidden my most important message in the last sentence... Of course metros are faster than buses and trams
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Old December 30th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #50
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No no, I saw that, I just wanted to add some things.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 01:26 PM   #51
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@Sweek
Nonsense; timetables don't include the time needed to reach the metro platforms and that's my point throughout that UK thread but I seem to need to repeat this on each and every page.

This new tramway is separated from the streets and depending on whether it gets priority - buses here do for example, sensors in the roads check if a bus is approaching and when so, switch the traffic lights to green - many of the objections simply don't prove valid.
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Old December 31st, 2006, 02:24 PM   #52
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Sigh, we've been through this. When your average speed, including stopping, is about double that of a tram than maybe having to go going underground/overground (many stations are above ground) isn't going to make much of a difference, unless maybe if you're travelling for one stop; in whichcase you're a lazy bastard. :P There might be a few long walks (Monument to Bank, Green Park from the Piccadilly to the Jubilee/Victoria , Angel to the way out... but the average time to leave an underground station will be around 2 minutes. I do it every day, you know.

And did you read about how even though it gets priority it still gets stuck in traffic? And how it's STILL SLOWER?
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Old December 31st, 2006, 02:38 PM   #53
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This is very common
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Old December 31st, 2006, 04:27 PM   #54
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On a recent trip on the San Jose Light Rail system (Winchester to Mountain View), my nineteen mile trip took 75 minutes for an average speed of about 15 mph. On a recent trip on the Washington Metro (Orange Line L’Enfant Plaza to Ballston), I recorded a little over ten minutes to travel about six miles for an average speed in excess of 30 mph. If it takes an additional two minutes to get to the platform of the metro station as compared to the light rail station, the metro is faster for any trip of more than one mile. (The light rail line requires four minutes to travel one mile at 15 mph. The metro requires two minutes to travel one mile at 30 mph.) Note that this does not take into account the longer wait time between trains for the typical light rail line.
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Old January 4th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweek View Post
(..) still gets stuck in traffic? And how it's STILL SLOWER?
The tube gets stuck too because of other traffic standing in the way on the tracks. The gain with surface transits comes from the stops at shorter intervals that are closer to one's destination also.
Do you live in North-London? I bet you are, because when you're going into the city from South-London (or the SE counties) you have few underground tracks to travel on and in many situations you'd need to descend.
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Old January 4th, 2007, 10:13 PM   #56
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Situations like this could be prevented (or at least reduced) with stricter enforcement of traffic laws. Cars shouldn't be entering the junction unless there is space the other side of the road. Drivers queueing across the junction like that should be fined! This can be done automatically with cameras.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:27 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eusebius View Post
The tube gets stuck too because of other traffic standing in the way on the tracks.
Hmm? Do you really know what a metro/subway/tube/underground is?
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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:28 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eusebius View Post
The tube gets stuck too because of other traffic standing in the way on the tracks. The gain with surface transits comes from the stops at shorter intervals that are closer to one's destination also.
Do you live in North-London? I bet you are, because when you're going into the city from South-London (or the SE counties) you have few underground tracks to travel on and in many situations you'd need to descend.
When it's other trains that form the other traffic it can easily be managed by a modern signalling system, that can run trains fast and at short intervals.
When the other traffic is unpredictable like it is with cars, that's a whole other case and safety becomes a much bigger issue, and you'll never reach those high speeds.
More stops = slower again.
And yes, I live in North London, but go South of the River too. But seriously, train is faster than metro, is faster than light-rail, is faster than tram, is faster than bus. It's not that hard.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 03:34 AM   #59
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Now, this whole issue I never made up but simply came to the notion after comparatative trips. Like today, a trolley bus in Arnhem speeds up to around 57 miles an hour within seconds after a busstop. They're powerful machines, climbing from river level to 250 ft within a mere 2 miles. With powerful enough buses or trams plus exclusive rights on roads and squares, surface transits will beat subterranean hubs. Arnhem is quite busy and bustling; it's not like there was plenty of space. Car traffic has given in space.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 02:21 PM   #60
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And still the timetables show an average speed that is much, much lower than that of tube travel in London for example.
And to be honest, I think they're just plain ugly vehicles too, and I don't want a whole cable mess in London.
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