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Old September 4th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #261
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BRT is just the new buzz word of the day. Hence it's not surprising that many operators label their regular bus services "BRT".

But what is a "quality" BRT? BRT enthusiasts claim it's virtually like LRT. That would mean at least partial (if not mostly) grade seperation, accessibility, certain quality of stations, high frequency of service.

What people never take into consideration are the mere economical disadvantages of BRT compared to LRT:
- The life cycle of any road vehicle is considerably shorter than the one of rail vehicles. Heavily used busses are completely worn out after 10 years.
- lower capacity, which means more buses in order to reach the same capability, which means higher costs for salaries (number one cost factor in western nations!)
- Gas prices: With peak-oil already reached, gas prices are very likely to go up gradually and become a major cost factor, whereas green electricity production is booming
- Environmental factors: higher pollution, higher emissions, particulate matter problem is a major health risk --> Kyoto Agreement
- Lower running smoothness compared to rail, lack of the 'rail bonus' means lower passenger numbers
- in addition to bus wheel noises which are the number one traffic nuisance for nearby residents
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Old September 4th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #262
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightrail View Post
What about 2 minute headways? Vancouver, B.C.'s 99 B-Line (a BRT running in mixed traffic) along Broadway runs every 2 minutes in the peak and every 4 minutes during the day - it carries 44,000 people per day. The only concession to true BRT is all-door boarding at all stops (but no ticket machines at the stops, passes and transfers can load on rear doors and people needing to buy a ticket load on the front door)
The 99 B-Line is NOT BRT, Not even close. It's a heavily used limited stop line. The 99-Line is another great example where a bus line was simply-rebranded, and considered a "success" because of fairly high ridership.
I have been hearing talk about building an underground line along this corridor. 44,000 riders a day does not justify upgrading a bus line to a fully seperated underground rail system. Not yet. An LRT line can be built on the surface that will increase the speed, and capacity of the line, and it will not take years to build. THEN you look at maybe building an underground rail line.

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As a transit rider the frequencies of some LRTs built before the demand is there leave much to be desired (off peak frequencies on Portland's MAX for instance). I'd rather have shorter waits for small vehicles and proper shelter during those waits.
Considering the success of LRT in North America, not everyone holds that sentiment. For the record, it's up to the agency to determine how they run their system. It has little to do with technology. Calgary Transit runs trains every 5-8 minutes during the peak, and 10-15 minutes in the off peak. That is not that much worse than the Skytrain which runs trains every 8 minutes(not the combined section). Heck, the Canada Line is running trains every 20 minutes in the off-peak! I have been to Vancouver a number of times, and I have seen trains packed to the point, that I had to wait for another train.
Small vehicles won't make a difference, if the agency does not buy enough for shorter waits.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rheintram View Post
BRT is just the new buzz word of the day. Hence it's not surprising that many operators label their regular bus services "BRT".
Not always, in several cities it IS quite a alternative for the rail transport.

Quote:
What people never take into consideration are the mere economical disadvantages of BRT compared to LRT:
- The life cycle of any road vehicle is considerably shorter than the one of rail vehicles. Heavily used busses are completely worn out after 10 years.
Which means the passangers will get newer buses, the comfort will be higher, they will use new technologies

Quote:
- lower capacity, which means more buses in order to reach the same capability, which means higher costs for salaries (number one cost factor in western nations!)
As somebody already mentioned: it's better to wait short and ride the "small" bus than wait hours and ride the "huge" train. For me as passenger is very important how long do i have to wait.

Quote:
- Gas prices: With peak-oil already reached, gas prices are very likely to go up gradually and become a major cost factor, whereas green electricity production is booming
There are already mentioned new technologies: hybrid, ozon and so on. And u can always build a troleybuss BRt-system as well (like Barquisimeto i.e.)

Quote:
- Environmental factors: higher pollution, higher emissions, particulate matter problem is a major health risk --> Kyoto Agreement
As above: new technologies make buses more 'friendly'
And besides: every mass transit system is better than cars, and bus systems are 1. cheaper and 2. faster to build 3. more felxible which means less cars on the roads.

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- Lower running smoothness compared to rail, lack of the 'rail bonus' means lower passenger numbers
- in addition to bus wheel noises which are the number one traffic nuisance for nearby residents
This is some kind of "legend". The so called 'rail bonus' is just 'good and fast transportation bonus', because rails are usually indipendent from the individual traffic, hence more reliable. If the bus systems were build the same way (as it is the case with BRT) this 'rail-bonus' turnes in 'BRT-bonus"

The well planned BRT systems give us today the proof that they are alternative to the trams, and it's possible to skip the tram when the passangers numbers are increasing. From Bus to BRT to metro line (if this is really needed)
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Old September 5th, 2009, 12:51 AM   #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustinB View Post
The 99 B-Line is NOT BRT, Not even close. It's a heavily used limited stop line. The 99-Line is another great example where a bus line was simply-rebranded, and considered a "success" because of fairly high ridership.
I have been hearing talk about building an underground line along this corridor. 44,000 riders a day does not justify upgrading a bus line to a fully seperated underground rail system. Not yet. An LRT line can be built on the surface that will increase the speed, and capacity of the line, and it will not take years to build. THEN you look at maybe building an underground rail line.



Considering the success of LRT in North America, not everyone holds that sentiment. For the record, it's up to the agency to determine how they run their system. It has little to do with technology. Calgary Transit runs trains every 5-8 minutes during the peak, and 10-15 minutes in the off peak. That is not that much worse than the Skytrain which runs trains every 8 minutes(not the combined section). Heck, the Canada Line is running trains every 20 minutes in the off-peak! I have been to Vancouver a number of times, and I have seen trains packed to the point, that I had to wait for another train.
Small vehicles won't make a difference, if the agency does not buy enough for shorter waits.
This is about BRT, not LRT

The 99 B-line IS BRT! It was originally conceived as a bus rapid transit - an LRT on wheels. It has distinct stops and all-door boarding. It is not a re-branding because it never existed prior to being developed as a B-line. It was and is the fore-runner of Skytrain, orginally extending to Lougheed.

44,000 is the ridership of the 99 - add in the ridership of the trolley buses running almost as freqently as the b-line and you're up to around 80,000 people a day. Adding rail would most likely double the ridership and then some. So yes, a Skytrain line is justified in the Broadway corridor.

Where do you propose to build an LRT on the surface along Broadway that will be faster than a bus? You're not making any sense.

Canada Line has just opened, is carrying 85,000 people a day before any bus routes have been rerouted to feed into it and it runs every 3 minutes off-peak until 6pm, then every 6 minutes to 11pm then every 10 minutes to last train (the branches run at half these freqencies).

Skytrain runs every 108 seconds on the combined section in the peak and every 3 minutes in the day and 4 late at night and half that on the two branches (none combined section).

Why are you comparing the late-night frequency on Vancouver's skytrain lines with Calgary peak frequencies.

Get your facts right before coming up with half-assed statements and stupid comparisons.

I'd support LRT too if it was separated from traffic (in tunnel or on it's own right-of-way) and had priority. I prefer SKytrain because it would require no break at Commercial-Broadway for travellers and uses a proven technology in the Vancouver region.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 03:22 AM   #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightrail View Post
This is about BRT, not LRT
The 99 B-line IS BRT! It was originally conceived as a bus rapid transit - an LRT on wheels. It has distinct stops and all-door boarding. It is not a re-branding because it never existed prior to being developed as a B-line. It was and is the fore-runner of Skytrain, orginally extending to Lougheed.
BRT is NOT LRT on wheels. Not even close. The 99 lacks qualities that would make it true BRT. The 99 B-line is a product of slick marketing. If people think a fancy shelter, colourful livery, and a few less stops is BRT, then that is all we are going to be stuck with. You can achieve this on any bus route. I want quality BRT with level boarding, and at least segregated median lanes. York Region Transit's Rapidway are a step in the right direction.

http://www.vivanext.com/rapidways

Quote:
44,000 is the ridership of the 99 - add in the ridership of the trolley buses running almost as freqently as the b-line and you're up to around 80,000 people a day. Adding rail would most likely double the ridership and then some. So yes, a Skytrain line is justified in the Broadway corridor.
44,000 from a limited stop service, and roughly 36,000 from routes that make frequent stops does not justify a underground rapid transit service, whose stations would most likely be 1km apart or more. The next logical step would be to either put the buses in their own lanes, or build surface rail. Not an underground line, which will most likely only be used by UBC students.You'd think agencies would learn from Toronto. Going to from a bus to an underground transit line is a recipe for failure, and high maintenance costs.

Quote:
Where do you propose to build an LRT on the surface along Broadway that will be faster than a bus? You're not making any sense.
LRT can be easily built on Broadway. The key is to increase the capacity of the corridor. You do that by putting buses in their own lane, or building LRT in it's own lane. You increase the speed of transit. I've visited Vancouver a couple of times, and I remember Broadway being 6 lanes along most of the corridor. It won't be difficult to give two lanes to buses, or rail. Much cheaper, and faster to build then an underground system, and you're not building a line with excess capacity.

Quote:
Canada Line has just opened, is carrying 85,000 people a day before any bus routes have been rerouted to feed into it and it runs every 3 minutes off-peak until 6pm, then every 6 minutes to 11pm then every 10 minutes to last train (the branches run at half these freqencies).
For such a great automated system, the frequencies are pretty crappy. All that money spent on a stripped down transit line, in which riders are forced to transfer to. That must suck, transferring to a single line station, and having to wait 20 minutes for a train.

Quote:
Skytrain runs every 108 seconds on the combined section in the peak and every 3 minutes in the day and 4 late at night and half that on the two branches (none combined section).
Why are you comparing the late-night frequency on Vancouver's skytrain lines with Calgary peak frequencies.
Get your facts right before coming up with half-assed statements and stupid comparisons.
YOu should get YOUR facts straight. The Skytrain does not run 108 seconds. It runs around 2 minutes peak on the expo line, and 5-6 minutes on the Millenium line. It IS capable of 108 minutes(same with LRT), but Translink does not have enough trains to even run that frequency. Hell, in Budapest, LRT run at a frequency of 90 secs ON THE SURFACE, using 54 metre long trams.
That comparison was made to show adrimn that LRT can achieve short frequencies, no problem. The fact remains, skytrain technology isn't that special. LRT can do everything Sytrain can do, and is more flexible. It's funny how you tell me to get my facts straight, when you cannot even define BRT properly.

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I'd support LRT too if it was separated from traffic (in tunnel or on it's own right-of-way) and had priority. I prefer SKytrain because it would require no break at Commercial-Broadway for travellers and uses a proven technology in the Vancouver region.
It will still require a transfer for most of the riders. I'll wager most of the riders on the Broadway will be coming from Downtown Vancouver, Richmond, and Surrey. They are going to be transferring at Broadway. Proven technology? Last time I checked, Translink is heavily subsidizing that "proven technology, and sadly, the Evergreen is being delayed again.

But this thread is about BRT, and the 99-Line is a perfect example of how riders are being deceived into believing a limited stop service is BRT.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 03:43 AM   #266
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Anytime someone starts a thread about BRT, PRT, monorail, maglev, or any other system that doesn't ride on steel wheels, light rail fanatics jump in to voice their prejudices. The result is that any such thread becomes a debate about the weaknesses of light rail.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #267
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Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Anytime someone starts a thread about BRT, PRT, monorail, maglev, or any other system that doesn't ride on steel wheels, light rail fanatics jump in to voice their prejudices. The result is that any such thread becomes a debate about the weaknesses of light rail.
That's true!
It's maybe because they are afraid, BRT is a real alternative to lrt.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #268
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Anti-rail fanatics love how BRT is built in North America, because they know North American BRT systems are not true rapid transit, and are simply a re-branded express bus line. Calgary is doing it right. They installed the express bus service since the corridor does not justify rapid transit yet.
Anti-rail fanatics cannot accept monorails, and PRT simply are not viable transportation alternatives, and will never be more than niche circulator systems, that usually cost much more than an conventional rail system, or proper Rapid Bus system.
Case in the point, the ULTRA PRT installation which was delayed AGAIN until 2010.
It will always be an LRT vs. BRT debate with Mr. Christine. PRT can never be a alternative to rail, so he has to look towards buses.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 02:35 AM   #269
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The way I see it, BRT should be rather the first stage than an alternative of rapid transit. Initially, cities should built BRT lines with short headways during peak hours (5 minutes or less) to encourage urban development in the areas served by BRT lines. Then, as the time progresses and those areas in the city grow, the BRT structure (busways, stations, etc) should be converted into LRT (second stage), so that they can maintain service quality and keep stimulating growth in those areas. Finally, when those areas are about to become fully developed urban areas (i.e. high density areas, including residential and business buildings), the transportation system should be upgraded to heavy rail, which then would be much easier to build, once there will be enough room already to go on with the construction work, causing fewer disruptions in traffic and less of a negative effect in local shops and businesses during the construction of the heavy rail line (third stage).

Other than that, BRT lines should also feed traffic to higher capacity transportation systems (light and heavy rail), intersecting stations of those systems (where they exist, obviously), rather than competing with them.

As someone mentioned, Curitiba has a fully functional BRT system (the first in the world, actually), but there are plans to convert the BRT's North-South Trunk Line into a subway system -- funding is the main issue at this time.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 04:36 AM   #270
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The following are some videos of BRT systems around the world.

Brisbane, Bogota, & Curitiba
Part I

Part II


Bogota


Curitiba


Paris


Cleveland


Los Angeles


Eugene (TV Commercial)

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Old September 6th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetView View Post
...
As someone mentioned, Curitiba has a fully functional BRT system (the first in the world, actually), but there are plans to convert the BRT's North-South Trunk Line into a subway system -- funding is the main issue at this time.
Just about every light rail advocacy website carries a story claiming that a rail transit line is to be built to replace the main trunk of the Curitiba BRT system. I have actually seen a graphic for a proposed subway line in Curitiba. I haven't seen any evidence on the Internet that the subway line is actually being built. Lack of funding is the likely explanation. A light rail line could be built at much lower cost than a subway; however, light rail would offer no significant performance advantage over the existing BRT system.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #272
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If you call the one in Paris BRT,then there are millions of kms of BRT in the world. Thats just a buslane.
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Old September 6th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetView View Post
...
As someone mentioned, Curitiba has a fully functional BRT system (the first in the world, actually), but there are plans to convert the BRT's North-South Trunk Line into a subway system -- funding is the main issue at this time.
That's the point! The lrt/tram has never been the option in Curitiba. It's been skipped by BRT! So there is no need to waste money for the second stage. Two are more than enough: BRT-->Metro
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Old September 6th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Just about every light rail advocacy website carries a story claiming that a rail transit line is to be built to replace the main trunk of the Curitiba BRT system. I have actually seen a graphic for a proposed subway line in Curitiba. I haven't seen any evidence on the Internet that the subway line is actually being built. Lack of funding is the likely explanation. A light rail line could be built at much lower cost than a subway; however, light rail would offer no significant performance advantage over the existing BRT system.
They have been talking about it for many years, but now it's getting serious. Curitiba is going to host the world cup in 2014 and it's a requirement that each host city must provide decent transit. The North-South Trunk Line is a major transportation line for the entire metro area (providing connections to neighbor towns like Colombo, Almirante Tamandaré, Araucária and Fazenda Rio Grande) and it's been operating over capacity for years. About three years ago, they managed to increase capacity by adding new Volvo B12M buses (which are 2 meters or 6½ feet longer than the older B10M), but it's still over capacity. Currently buses have 2 minute headways during peak times and are nearly always full. So, there really is a necessity of upgrading it to a subway system, but like I said, funding is an issue. City of Curitiba is in talks with Federal Government of Brazil, trying to assure that they will get the needed money and have the subway system built by 2014, in order to comply with the FIFA requirements.

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That's the point! The lrt/tram has never been the option in Curitiba. It's been skipped by BRT! So there is no need to waste money for the second stage. Two are more than enough: BRT-->Metro
In this case, I have to agree. However, let's not forget that Curitiba is in Brazil and it's not always easy to get loans to finance investments in public transportation, due to lack of credit. Actually, much of the money that has been used to finance investments in transportation in Curitiba came from banks of other countries (like France and the US). The last major improvement in the NS Trunk Line was back in 1994, when the tube-stations were built and the first double-articulated buses entered into service. An LRT system could have worked well if it had been built a few years ago, when the buses were not so overcrowded. It's too late for LRT now, especially considering that Curitiba will host the world cup in 2014 and that new bus routes that funnel traffic into NS Trunk Line have been added recently (and there are more to come by the end of next year).
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Last edited by StreetView; September 6th, 2009 at 09:34 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old September 7th, 2009, 08:35 PM   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Anytime someone starts a thread about BRT, PRT, monorail, maglev, or any other system that doesn't ride on steel wheels, light rail fanatics jump in to voice their prejudices. The result is that any such thread becomes a debate about the weaknesses of light rail.
The same song,sang too many times... when BRT-fanatics have no more arguments.But in "our" (it means:polish) topics I got used to Falubaz's half-true-oppinions (or I could even call it worse,but maybe not this time).But every time I meet such a guy,I wonder why he writes such a bu... things
I know what's about Falubaz:he's a local patriot (or rather a local nationalist) from Zielona Góra and he "loves" Gorzów Wielkopolski (the co-capital of Lubusz voivoidship;the other co-capital of that voivodship is of course Zielona Góra).Unfortunately,the important element of Gorzów's pride are... trams (it is confirmed fact,described even in Wikipedia).Zielona Góra has no chance to have it's own light rail,so Falubaz's strategy is clear like water taken just form the source:"prove that trams are an old-fashioned mean of transport and you'll prove that Zielona Góra is more modern tha Gorzów".
But take care:ZG is going to have trolleybusses,so from the day he got to know about it,a diesel engine ins't the best solution for him anymore
But go back to the topic

Costs... The main problem with BRT is that it looks cheaper only from the first sight... just like a chinese car:you buy it for few times less money than a car made by Volkswagen (made in EU) or Toyota.But it's a last good news:next you can see the quality of this car is very poor,the technology used to produce it is old fashioned and at least you have to scrap it very soon (did you ever wonder,why scrapping of the 15-year old car is obligatory in China?Of course,if it's a home made car ).
You mentioned above Busway in Brisbane.Fortunately I have some data about it (exactly the cost of some sections):


• South East Busway (completed 2001):
15,6 km (9.7 mi), US$421 million
$27 million/km
$43 million/mile

• Inner Northern Busway (completed 2008):
4.7 km (2.9 mi), US$408 million
$87 million/km
$141 million/mile

• Northern Busway Project (currently under way):
1.2 km (0.7 mile), US$158 million
$132 million/km
$214 million/mile

And comparing this to some light rail projects:


• Charlotte — Lynx LRT, South corridor (completed 2007):
9.6 mi (15.5 km), US$496 million
$32 million/km
$52 million/mile

• Sacramento — Folsom LRT extension (completed 2004):
7.4 mi (11.9 km)
$25 million/km
$41 million/mile

Probably thanks to Busway Brisbane is starting to build a subway line (and still thinking seriously about light rail) and their neighbours in Gold Coast prepared everythig they need (including money) to travel by light rail in 2014?

You get something you didn't expect:sometimes BRT is more expensive from the beginning. I don't remember,but in some of canadian greater cities BRT also turned out to be more expensive than LRT (I mentioned it in a polish topic;maybe Falubaz remembers,where they are? ).Why Vancouver is going to convert it's BRT into a more usefull mean of transport (and BTW:why they are going to borrow 2 Flexity Outlook trams from Brussels next year?).Why Montreal is going to build the first light rail line?Why everyday we got to know about new light rail projects in North America?

Even in South America something changes: few months ago Falubaz (who was telling that you don't need a subway when you have BRT) received a bad surprise from Curitiba: it was the news about the first metro line in this city.The Curitba's BRT reached "the final border" of it's capacity! Then Falubaz started to persuade us,that subway is usefull and is the next stage above the bus
But the last shot came about a month ago:news about the first light rail line in Brasilia

And a final question:do you know about some european BRT lines,which have to be converted into light rail (eg. the only BRT in Finnland and some lines in France? ).


If you want me to explain some other BRT hidden costs,just ask;one post is too short to write everything about it

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Old September 7th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #276
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Costs... The main problem with BRT is that it looks cheaper only from the first sight... just like a chinese car:you buy it for few times less money than a car made by Volkswagen (made in EU) or Toyota.But it's a last good news:next you can see the quality of this car is very poor,the technology used to produce it is old fashioned and at least you have to scrap it very soon (did you ever wonder,why scrapping of the 15-year old car is obligatory in China?Of course,if it's a home made car ).
Indeed. That's why I said that BRT should be the first stage of rapid transit. BRT systems have a short lifespan compared to heavy rail systems because the ridership quickly reaches the capacity.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 11:24 PM   #277
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Eurotram started here again his privat war - his enemy is known as "BRT". If u guys need a "professional" (in fact a 'very good' home made) psychoanalysis, just say: "BRT is good", "great", "awesome" (or anything positiv), and u get the even better result when u say "BRT is an alternative to trams" - but the latter one is on ur own risk.
U can be chased through out the threads

@ Eurotram - Jak masz coś do mnie to dawaj na PM i "don't make a village" jak to ktoś b. znany powiedział.

@ StreetView
Sure, the problem is, some routes never reach that high capacity, when a heavy rail is needed and in fact BRT is pretty fast and cheap way to make the city transportation WAY better.

Btw. isn't it interesting how many cities all around the world start building BRT-systems?
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Old September 7th, 2009, 11:57 PM   #278
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I have no preference for either, but it should be pointed out that in relation to Brisbane:

The most recent busways are the more expensive inner city fragments of the future northern busway, involving tunnelling and bridges, and thus more expensive than the existing south east busway, which mainly follows a freeway right of way. The northern busway as a whole will follow an existing major artery and should be much cheaper than the initial parts.

Each day the South East busway alone carries more passengers than the entire suburban train system. This is due to the busway operating as a trunk route - buses originate in the suburbs before joining the busway on their journey to the city - the number of routes using it is about 20 I think - headways are quite short. Its catchment is therefore massively larger than a train line alone could manage.

The public subsidies for bus passengers is much less than it is for train passengers.

The underground line proposed has nothing to do with the busways, rather it is required as there are more lines radiating out from the city than pass through it, which will create a bottleneck as more train services are added.

The South East busway (and all busways in Brisbane I understand) are designed to be upgradeable to light rail in the future.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 03:20 AM   #279
StreetView
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falubaz View Post
@ StreetView
Sure, the problem is, some routes never reach that high capacity, when a heavy rail is needed and in fact BRT is pretty fast and cheap way to make the city transportation WAY better.
In parts, I agree with you, but the thing is that we live in different continents, so we tend to see things a little differently. I said 3 stages bacause currently I live in Brazil and it's a developing country in which infrastructure lacks. In most of the cases here a BRT system would solve the problem for now but would need further expansion in capacity. Same thing in North America: population is still growing at large rates compared to Europe's growth rate (and obviously small compared to Africa's population growth). I know in Europe population sizes are pretty stable and hence a BRT system could suit a city well for many decades, but I overlooked this fact.
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Last edited by StreetView; September 9th, 2009 at 02:06 AM. Reason: mistyped
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Old September 8th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #280
Falubaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreetView View Post
In parts, I agree with you, but the thing is that we live in different continents, so we tend to see things a little differently. I said 3 stages bacause currently I live in Brazil and it's a developing country in which infrastructure lacks. In most of the cases here a BRT system would solve the system for now but would need further expansion in capacity. Same thing in North America: population is still growing at large rates compared to Europe's growth rate (and obviously small compared to Africa's population growth). I know in Europe population sizes are pretty stable and hence a BRT system could suit a city well for many decades, but I overlooked this fact.
Yep, that sounds right to me.
Nevertheless the Brazil's Curitiba showed how it's possible to solve huge problems with small money and in fact it impressed the richer countries a lot.
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₪₪₪[Świat] „Przebłyski pamięci”₪₪₪Moja Ameryka - nie tylko Stany
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