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Old September 13th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #301
JustinB
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A quick comment about Mr. Christine's analysis of the Translink Evergreen Line. It is well known that the studies for the Evergreen Line were conducted to favour Skytrain Technology. The study was conducted with each technology being assigned a different alignment.
The LRT routing contained more tunneling, and more stations which increased the cost considerably. If the the same routing were used for all 3 modes, chances are LRT would have come out as cheaper than Skytrain with roughly the same ridership.

As it stands, the Evergreen Line has been delayed once again, as Translink simply cannot afford to build automated metro technology at the moment. Makes you wonder why Translink is not willing to look at other technologies than Automated Light Metros.

Concerning RTA's BRT system. IT is not really BRT, but more of an express bus system with some dedicated laneways.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 04:00 AM   #302
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Both Skytrain and light rail featured the same tunnel segment to avoid a steep grade. The guided bus option did not feature a tunnel as guided buses could climb the grade. The initial decision was in favor of light rail almost by default as guided buses were rejected as being developmental and Skytrain was rejected as being above a predefined cost cap. I am not sure how this could be viewed as a skewing of the criteria to favor Skytrain. Skytrain was shown to have a major advantage in ridership. This was in large part due to the fact that Skytrain would provide a single-seat ride to central Vancouver whereas light rail and BRT would require a transfer. The decision was subsequently revisited with Skytrain being selected.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #303
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Both Skytrain and light rail featured the same tunnel segment to avoid a steep grade. The guided bus option did not feature a tunnel as guided buses could climb the grade. The initial decision was in favor of light rail almost by default as guided buses were rejected as being developmental and Skytrain was rejected as being above a predefined cost cap. I am not sure how this could be viewed as a skewing of the criteria to favor Skytrain. Skytrain was shown to have a major advantage in ridership. This was in large part due to the fact that Skytrain would provide a single-seat ride to central Vancouver whereas light rail and BRT would require a transfer. The decision was subsequently revisited with Skytrain being selected.
LRT, and Skytrain were studied using different alignments, number of stations, and different headways. and even different speed! Independent analysis showed the Skytrain alignment was less costly then the chosen LRT alignment. Why not just use the the less costly alignment for BOTH modes in the study, instead of studying 2 different alignments? Why did the Skytrain alignment have 8 stations, and while the LRT alignment have 12? Why was LRT headways automatically set at 5 minutes, and Skytrain 3 minutes?

Translink went out it's way to make Skytrain technology the preferred technolology, and now they are paying for it, since it seems they cannot even afford to build the line at the moment. Translink is not willing to look at cheaper options(surface rail), and because of this stubborness, The Vancouver region is going to be stuck with a limited system, and reduced service due to the insistence of building expensive metro systems that are not really reducing congestion, and only increasing an already huge debt.

And the Evergreen Line would not go to Central Vancouver. To go to Central Vancouver, the line would have to travel SE through WestMinister, and Burnaby, and travel along the combined Expo/Millenium line section. To continue on to Central Vancouver, a transfer would still be required regardless.
One seat ride? Not likely, and definitely not a valid reason to spend billions, and go further into debt.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 05:32 AM   #304
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The initial study selected light rail over Skytrain and BRT. It is ridiculous to claim that the study was deliberately skewed against light rail when light rail was the selected option!

The information I have on the present proposal indicates that the Evergreen Line would be integrated with the existing Millennium and Expo lines. Trains would run through to central Vancouver without a transfer being required. This was one of the reasons that Skytrain was forecast to achieve higher ridership than BRT or light rail. The time required to transfer between lines is eliminated with Skytrain. The initial study commented that the commute to central Vancouver with the Skytrain option would be so quick that riders on the West Coast Express commuter trains would likely transfer to Skytrain at Coquitlam.

The following are some numbers for the selected NW route from the initial study.

Travel Times, Coquitlam City Center to Millennium Line
Skytrain: 13 minutes
Light Rail: 23 minutes*
Guided Buses: 25 minutes*
* Includes walk and wait time for transfer to Millennium Skytrain Line for Light Rail and Guided Buses.

New Transit Riders
Skytrain: 2600
Light Rail: 2100
Guided Buses: 2000

Maximum Transit Riders per Hour - Peak Direction
Skytrain: 5900
Light Rail: 2600
Guided Buses: 2100

Capital Costs
Skytrain: $840 million
Light Rail: $670 million
Guided Buses: $285 million

Annualized Capital and O&M Cost per Passenger Boarding
Skytrain: $4.30
Light Rail: $6.95
Guided Buses: $4.10

Benefit/Cost Ratio (Average)
Skytrain: 0.8
Light Rail: 0.7
Guided Buses: 1.4

Reading the study really opened my eyes to the reality that very little room exists for light rail between BRT and a system like Skytrain.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 05:49 AM   #305
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For anyone who is interested, the following is from the business case document that outlines the switch from light rail (LRT) to Skytrain (ALRT) as the chosen technology for the Coquitlam/Evergreen Line. I'll offer apologies that this does not concern BRT.

=========================================================

BACKGROUNDER

BUSINESS CASE RELEASED:
ALRT TECHNOLOGY ON EVERGREEN LINE

Benefits of ALRT for Evergreen Line:

The business case recommends ALRT for the Evergreen Line because it:
· will accommodate two and a half times the ridership of LRT (2021), ensuring it will meet current and future demand and support the Provincial Transit Plan goal of doubling ridership by 2020;
· will enable faster travel time – almost half the time from Coquitlam Town Centre to Lougheed Town Centre (12.6 minutes versus 23.6 minutes for LRT on the Northwest route, for example);
· has more frequent schedules – every three minutes versus five minutes for LRT;
· will easily integrate with the current rapid transit system, notably the Millennium Line.

Route Description
· Northwest Route from Lougheed Station, elevated on North Road to Burquitlam, then tunnelled to Port Moody where it runs at-grade parallel to the Canadian Pacific Rail right-of-way to Coquitlam West Coast Express Station, then elevated on Pinetree terminating near Douglas College in Coquitlam.
· Southeast Route from Lougheed Station, elevated on the south/east side of Lougheed Highway to Coquitlam West Coast Express Station, continuing north on Pinetree terminating near Douglas College in Coquitlam.


Capital and Operating Costs (2007 dollars)

Capital Costs NW CORRIDOR
ALRT $1.4 billion
LRT $1.25 billion

Capital Costs SE CORRIDOR
ALRT $1.4 billion
LRT $1.1 billion

Annual Operation & Maintenance Costs NW CORRIDOR
ALRT $10.2 million
LRT $15.3 million

Annual Operation & Maintenance Costs SE CORRIDOR
ALRT $10.8 million
LRT $15.1 million

Operating Cost per Passenger (at 2021) NW CORRIDOR
ALRT $0.45
LRT $1.70

Operating Cost per Passenger (at 2021) SE CORRIDOR
ALRT $0.48
LRT $1.49


Summary of Alternative Frequency, Capacity and Operating Speed

Frequency: time between trains (minutes)
ALRT 3.0
LRT 5.0

Maximum Operating Speed (km/hr)
ALRT 80
LRT 60

Peak Hour Capacity (2021)
ALRT 10,400
LRT 4,080


Summary of Route and Technology Characteristics

Total Distance (kilometres) NW CORRIDOR
ALRT 10.9
LRT 11.2

Total Distance (kilometres) SE CORRIDOR
ALRT 12.6
LRT 12.6

Total Travel Time (minutes) NW CORRIDOR
ALRT 12.6
LRT 23.6

Total Travel Time (minutes) SE CORRIDOR
ALRT 14.8
LRT 17.7

Annual Riders (000’s – 2021) NW CORRIDOR
ALRT 22,900
LRT 9,000

Annual Riders (000’s – 2021) SE CORRIDOR
ALRT 22,500
LRT 10,300
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Old September 15th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Reading the study really opened my eyes to the reality that very little room exists for light rail between BRT and a system like Skytrain.
Yet this study doesn't show any parameters crucial to make it really objective. No capacity of vehicles is shown, no average speed and so on. It is very easy to couple two trains together on LRT and completely impossible on BRT - that's why the parameter of hour capacity is so important. Of course, if you take a LRT car of equal size to BRT bus, it will be more costly. But you have to remember about the hidden potential of rail transport.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #307
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That is the same study I am talking about. The study has been soundly criticized by transit planners, and experts. This study does not take in consideration LRT's ability to couple separate vehicles into trains. Translink did not even use the same route alignment for LRT! For some reason, the LRT route has more tunneling, yet still contains street running. AND Translink set LRT's speed limit to 60km, with Skytrain at 90km!
With Mr. Christine, you can never tell if what he posts is telling the whole story, or not. Numbers do not tell you if one mode is better than the other.
It's even more shameful that this line will never be built anyways. It's too expensive, and Translink isn't willing to look at other options, namely LRT.

Quote:
Reading the study really opened my eyes to the reality that very little room exists for light rail between BRT and a system like Skytrain.
Reality is, you have fallen for a flawed business case.

This is what you get when you utilize flawed Business Cases, and choose an overly expensive technology with little benefit:

Fare hikes, and possible service cuts!

http://www.theprovince.com/Fare+hike...290/story.html
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Old September 15th, 2009, 11:26 PM   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
For anyone who is interested, the following is from the business case document that outlines the switch from light rail (LRT) to Skytrain (ALRT) as the chosen technology for the Coquitlam/Evergreen Line. I'll offer apologies that this does not concern BRT.

=========================================================

BACKGROUNDER

BUSINESS CASE RELEASED:
ALRT TECHNOLOGY ON EVERGREEN LINE

Benefits of ALRT for Evergreen Line:

The business case recommends ALRT for the Evergreen Line because it:
· will accommodate two and a half times the ridership of LRT (2021), ensuring it will meet current and future demand and support the Provincial Transit Plan goal of doubling ridership by 2020;
· will enable faster travel time – almost half the time from Coquitlam Town Centre to Lougheed Town Centre (12.6 minutes versus 23.6 minutes for LRT on the Northwest route, for example);
· has more frequent schedules – every three minutes versus five minutes for LRT;
· will easily integrate with the current rapid transit system, notably the Millennium Line.

Route Description
· Northwest Route from Lougheed Station, elevated on North Road to Burquitlam, then tunnelled to Port Moody where it runs at-grade parallel to the Canadian Pacific Rail right-of-way to Coquitlam West Coast Express Station, then elevated on Pinetree terminating near Douglas College in Coquitlam.
· Southeast Route from Lougheed Station, elevated on the south/east side of Lougheed Highway to Coquitlam West Coast Express Station, continuing north on Pinetree terminating near Douglas College in Coquitlam.


Capital and Operating Costs (2007 dollars)

Capital Costs NW CORRIDOR
ALRT $1.4 billion
LRT $1.25 billion

Capital Costs SE CORRIDOR
ALRT $1.4 billion
LRT $1.1 billion

Annual Operation & Maintenance Costs NW CORRIDOR
ALRT $10.2 million
LRT $15.3 million

Annual Operation & Maintenance Costs SE CORRIDOR
ALRT $10.8 million
LRT $15.1 million

Operating Cost per Passenger (at 2021) NW CORRIDOR
ALRT $0.45
LRT $1.70

Operating Cost per Passenger (at 2021) SE CORRIDOR
ALRT $0.48
LRT $1.49


Summary of Alternative Frequency, Capacity and Operating Speed

Frequency: time between trains (minutes)
ALRT 3.0
LRT 5.0

Maximum Operating Speed (km/hr)
ALRT 80
LRT 60

Peak Hour Capacity (2021)
ALRT 10,400
LRT 4,080


Summary of Route and Technology Characteristics

Total Distance (kilometres) NW CORRIDOR
ALRT 10.9
LRT 11.2

Total Distance (kilometres) SE CORRIDOR
ALRT 12.6
LRT 12.6

Total Travel Time (minutes) NW CORRIDOR
ALRT 12.6
LRT 23.6

Total Travel Time (minutes) SE CORRIDOR
ALRT 14.8
LRT 17.7

Annual Riders (000’s – 2021) NW CORRIDOR
ALRT 22,900
LRT 9,000

Annual Riders (000’s – 2021) SE CORRIDOR
ALRT 22,500
LRT 10,300
Greg,I must agree with WotaN.First of all this document was prepared in a hmmm... strange way.I suppose someone was interested with choosing Skytrain;it's not so bad solution,because Vancouver is a big city and it's metro area has over 2 Mio. inhabitants,so really developed system of S-bahn (forgive mi using of german term,but it's short and popular in our area) is necessary (we all know,that Skytrain is more similar to S-bahn than to tram-type-light rail.What makes me feel that this document favours Skytrain?For example number of stations:someone mentioned that light rail had to have 12 stops while Skytrain - only 8!Less stops mean a higher average speed and higher attractiveness for passengers. Another bull shit:max. speed of LRT.60 km/h?!What kind of idiot produced that nonsense? Today's standard is minimum 70 km/h,Porto's Eurotram has 80 km/h and some LRV's used in North America even more (for Avanto in "city version" it is 55 Mph!).Of course their acceleration is also excellent.But if someone expects bigger flows of passengers on those lines,then in fact Skytrain is e better solution.Why?Because it's no big problem to add two or more middle sections (even motor sections) and it will ride as well as today (but it's capacity increases twice or more);try to do the same with a bus or trolleybus (that's why trolleybuses were rejected as being developmental)
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Old September 16th, 2009, 03:13 AM   #309
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Regarding differences in the travel speed and the service frequency between the Skytrain and light rail options, I strongly suspect that these are dictated by a light rail alignment that features operation in the medians of city streets for a significant part of the route. A service frequency of 5 minutes is about the maximum that is accepted for light rail with traffic signal priority in order to avoid excessive interruption of traffic light cycles for motor vehicles. A service speed of 60 km/hr is consistent with the motor vehicle speed limit in an urban business district. Light rail lines operating on the medians of city streets are usually restricted to the same speed as the adjacent traffic lanes. One advantage that light rail does have over Skytrain is that the stations are simpler to build, which probably explains why the light rail option featured more stations. It should be noted that the positioning of stations for light rail can actually be a problem if city blocks are short as cross-streets in way of stations may have to be closed.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #310
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In addition to the Vancouver Coquitlam/Evergreen Line study, there is one other study that I have come across that compares BRT, light rail, and heavy rail in the same corridor. That was a study for a connection between San Jose and the future terminus of the BART system at Warm Springs. The study is especially interesting because it included environmental impacts. Again, BRT was forecast to offer similar performance to light rail, but at much lower cost. An extension of BART to San Jose was the highest cost option, but offered far superior performance. The following are some of the numbers.

Average Weekday Ridership (Year 2025)
Busway BRT: 49,100
LRT: 56,600
BART: 87,200

New Trips (Year 2025)
Busway BRT: 35,600
LRT: 37,700
BART: 60,600

Capital Cost (2001 dollars in millions)
Busway BRT: $1,155
LRT: $1,514
BART: $3,710

Annual Operating & Maintenance Cost (2001 dollars in millions)
Busway BRT: $19.5
LRT: $41.8
BART: $63.0

Farebox Recovery
Busway BRT: 21.8%
LRT: 20.8%
BART: 64.4%

Cost per New Rider
Busway BRT: $11.40
LRT: $14.75
BART: $19.36

Daily Trips Removed from Roadways
Busway BRT: 30,791
LRT: 29,006
BART: 51,747

Daily Travel Time Savings (Hours Saved)
Busway BRT: 74,931
LRT: 71,117
BART: 153,913

Net Change in Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Tons)
Busway BRT: -175,612
LRT: -121,813
BART: -151,208

Net Change in Air Pollutant Emissions (Tons)
Busway BRT: -773
LRT: -625
BART: -1,211

Net Change in Regional Energy Consumption (BTUs)
Busway BRT: -1,297,871
LRT: -1,016,665
BART: -1,482,662

Level of Noise/Vibration Impacts (Potential # Residential Impacts)
Busway BRT: 254
LRT: 707
BART: 321
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #311
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In a short statement: BRT are crap. They are a political demagogic choice for appeasing poor voters, at least in developed industrialized countries.

Dozend of technical features that make BRT crap were singled out in this thread. Indeed, I should people in US (where popular initiative ballots are way common) should mobilize do ban governments spending taxpayer money on those systems. They have banned streetcars (probably misinformed) in Cleveland, now they should pass ballots propositions to ban BRT and dismantle BRTs that are already in place - or at least downgrade them to just an old, inefficient bus service.

It is better to have 10km subway or 30km tramway than 100km crap network of BRT with competes with cars for roadspace (intesad of offering an alternative), pollutes like a chimey, is noisy etc.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #312
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Rail transit is good as it provide ALTERNATIVES to road transit. Busways, however, are a kind of Third-World, poor country solution - duct tape to stop a bleeding. It will not work, escpecially in US, when buses are viewed as a lesser-vehicle used mainly by illegal immigrants and the extremely poor.

Good rail transit: T-Rex project, Salt Lake City light rail etc.

Bad transit: all BRTs in America, begining with Los Angeles's one. They steal space from cars, and are built solely because road capacity is already there. BRT would never be a choice if systems were compared as if no infra-structure exists and right-of-way for busways had to be bought from private landlords instead of stolen from car drivers.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 04:57 PM   #313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrelot View Post
Rail transit is good as it provide ALTERNATIVES to road transit. Busways, however, are a kind of Third-World, poor country solution - duct tape to stop a bleeding. It will not work, escpecially in US, when buses are viewed as a lesser-vehicle used mainly by illegal immigrants and the extremely poor.

Good rail transit: T-Rex project, Salt Lake City light rail etc.

Bad transit: all BRTs in America, begining with Los Angeles's one. They steal space from cars, and are built solely because road capacity is already there. BRT would never be a choice if systems were compared as if no infra-structure exists and right-of-way for busways had to be bought from private landlords instead of stolen from car drivers.
I tend to agree. I think that a lot of the time, BRT (in the U.S. at least) is used as a stopgap to prevent rail transit projects from being realized. Instead of converting the Miami BRT to auto travel, why not HRT? Miami already has HRT infrastructure. Rail is shown to attract more riders than bus.

To go off on a small tangent, some "BRT" projects just aren't, anyway. If there's no dedicated ROW and stations, it's just a glorified bus. Buses (and to some extent, BRT) are easier to divest from and defund as well, as bus infrastructure can easily be converted to auto use (how convenient). When politicians try to sell you on the "fact" that buses are "more flexible", remind yourself what this probably means to them: "politically flexible", that is, while tearing up steel rails is a tough task, discontinuing bus routes isn't.

The fact the Pittsburgh's LRT attracts only marginally more riders than Miami's BRT isn't really a fair comparison; the core of population Miami is 25% larger than Pittsburgh and the metro area is about 60% larger.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrelot View Post
...
It is better to have 10km subway or 30km tramway than 100km crap network of BRT with competes with cars for roadspace (intesad of offering an alternative), pollutes like a chimey, is noisy etc.
Here we go again.

So its better to serve 100.000 than let's say 100.000.000 ppl?
Have u heard about new technologies? electric/hybrid/gas and so on - buses?

Is it better to live in lets say Houston with only one crapy tram line serving few citizens and the rest using private cars than lets say Bogota with splendide BRT network serving millions of people there?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #315
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1.Don't the imigrants or poor people have right to travel in the city?
What reason is this?

2.Crapy build BRT are as crapy as crapy build LRT - and u have that in many us-cities, even in SLC the TRAX mix in the regular road trafic and - (what the heck!) is not street separated in downtown! But in States its really hard to create a good trnasportation system because of the density in cities. They are just built for cars.

3. There are good examples of BRt in the world. Search a bit. It doesnt hurt that much.
Start maybe with Curitiba or Bogota.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #316
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Quote:
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I tend to agree. I think that a lot of the time, BRT (in the U.S. at least) is used as a stopgap to prevent rail transit projects from being realized. Instead of converting the Miami BRT to auto travel, why not HRT? Miami already has HRT infrastructure. Rail is shown to attract more riders than bus.
All good points, but I wanted to touch on this one. Miami does not have the money or the political will to extend MetroRail south down the bus way. The cost would be prohibitive. If there is expansion of the system it is likely to be LRT instead of more HRT, and likely going North or West rather than South down the busway.

BRT is not the best form of transit (and rarely comes close to rail), but in this case the system is already in place and makes sense to keep it that way. It could definitely use a few million dollars to spruce it up and add nicer stops, TVM's, etc. The overall transit system in Miami is not too bad, I have used it many times. Expansion is needed, but not really in this area, IMHO.

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Old December 7th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #317
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Well, sometimes I catch myself thinking about what might have happened if planners of older days took this kind of approach:

- improve a Poney Express with more efficient water and graind depots, developing a new poney breed suitable to long trips in US Western INSTEAD OF building the Transcontinental Railroad

- revamp US routes, widen some dowtown crossings, optimize truck routes, build auxiliary lanes on steepest mountain passes only INSTEAD OF building the Interstate Highway System.

- increase efficiency of telegraph lines, add 'newer' technology to facilitate typing INSTEAD OF scrapping it altogether in favor of telephone landlines.

Sometimes, a cheap, convenient and 'efficient' solution prevent us from getting state-of-the art systems, even if they take longer to be in place. Majority of people use cars, indeed, a huge majority. Any system planned to offer an alternative ought to be, at least, as good as. Extended cars with chaffeurs, hard seats and bumpy rides (=buses) will not sufice this condition.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #318
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We cannot compare Houston and Bogota. Bogota is a Third-World city in a violence-ravaged country - almost a low-intesity war zone.

Houston is one of the richest cities in America. If I'm not mistakenly reading data, more than 90% of morotized trips in Houston Metro Area are done by car. The other option is not walking 10 km or cycling 10 km - is getting into a car.

And drivers for whom driving costs is not such a big concern will not drop the car for a bus. I wouldn't.

Moreover, Houstoun is a very nice metro area with very interesting suburbs. There's no way you are going to have an efficient system to transport people around except if you use hybrid solutions like Park-and-Ride.

In sum: there's no need for extended PT coverage in Houton, because people there are capable of bear the costs of driving their cars
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Old December 7th, 2009, 08:52 PM   #319
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We cannot compare Houston and Bogota. Bogota is a Third-World city in a violence-ravaged country - almost a low-intesity war zone.

Houston is one of the richest cities in America. If I'm not mistakenly reading data, more than 90% of morotized trips in Houston Metro Area are done by car. The other option is not walking 10 km or cycling 10 km - is getting into a car.

And drivers for whom driving costs is not such a big concern will not drop the car for a bus. I wouldn't.

Moreover, Houstoun is a very nice metro area with very interesting suburbs. There's no way you are going to have an efficient system to transport people around except if you use hybrid solutions like Park-and-Ride.

In sum: there's no need for extended PT coverage in Houton, because people there are capable of bear the costs of driving their cars
As I recall, there were serious plans for a full subway (Metro) system in Houston in the early to mid 1980's (saw a news article once from 1982 or 1983), but then a new, sprawl-friendly mayor came in and killed the entire project.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 05:31 PM   #320
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Pittsburgh operates a light rail system that is about 25 miles long and attracts about 26,000 passengers per day. Light rail advocates declare it a success. Miami operates a busway that is about 20 miles long and attracts about 20,000 passengers per day. A light rail advocate posts an article about it under the title "BRT Failure in Miami". To some, any light rail line will always be considered a success and any busway will always be considered a failure.
Greg,now you're writing just like an embittered BRT advocate;maybe could you be so kind and describe these two systems a little bit better?Because (as I remember) LRT line in Pittsburgh connects the city with the airport and it's going not only through the most populated areas;and where goes this Miami BRT line? I rememeber some manipulation done by Falubaz,it was about tram lines and BRT lines in Nantes;he compared.BRT line had about 20000 travels daily and the "weekest" tramline - ca. 35000.But there was one interesting thing:bus line had it's ending just behind city centre and the compared tramline ended it's "travel" after passing the city suburbs.So those comparison was a little bit unfair,wasn't it? And how it is about this case?
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