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Old May 27th, 2007, 04:13 AM   #41
greg_christine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
One thing to note about the Gold Line/Orange Line comparison is that the Orange Line's corridor is about 40% more densly populated.

That's not to say the Orange Line isn't a success or the Gold Line didn't cost more than it should have. Just to note that there's a slight apples-to-oranges comarison going on here.
You probably saw that claim on the Light Rail Now website < http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_brt_2006-10a.htm >. The actual claim is that the Orange Line serves "at least 40% more major activity centers than does the Gold Line". The website does not provide an explanation of what constitutes an activity center. I find the claim somewhat outrageous given that the Orange Line spans through a series of suburbs from Canoga Park to North Hollywood whereas the Gold Line passes through Pasadena and has its terminus at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

The Light Rail Now article does make some valid points regarding access for the handicapped and the ride comfort of the buses versus light rail but Light Rail Now neglects to mention the cost difference. The $330 million cost of the Orange Line is mentioned but the $859 million cost of the Gold Line is not.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #42
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I think I was actually looking at http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_brt_2006-08a.htm, which claims the Orange Line has both a 42% greater population within .5 miles and 40% more "major activity centers", whatever that means. The site cites the census bureau as the source for the data; I don't know LA at all, so I don't have any context for whether this is a believable claim.

At any rate, it appears (based on what I've read) that when BRT is built to emulate LRT (high-quality stations, dedicated right-of-way, etc.), it attracts passenger loads basically comparable to LRT. When BRT is built to be a glorified bus (see Boston's Silver Line phase 1), it attracts passenger loads basically comparable to a bus.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 01:37 PM   #43
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In Canada
Ottawa has the two Transitway routes but other buses also use the transitway to get downtown.....so it is a combination...BRT system + busway.

VIVA (York Region north of Toronto) is not yet a BRT but is moving itself into the next stage...but there is a chance that some of the lines may jump to LRT instead of moving to BRT.

Toronto itself will have express buses operating in a category B ROW in 2-3 years but this wont make it BRT.

Mississauga (west of Toronto) is building a transitway with GO Transit but it is more like a busway than a BRT system.

Vancouver's B-Lines operate pretty frequently...they may be the best example from Canada....

what else?
Outside of that....Transjakarta (Jakarta), Transsantiago (Santiago de Chile), are recent examples. Bogata and Curitaba are the older classic examples of BRT.

Cheers, m
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:11 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
I think I was actually looking at http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_brt_2006-08a.htm, which claims the Orange Line has both a 42% greater population within .5 miles and 40% more "major activity centers", whatever that means. The site cites the census bureau as the source for the data; I don't know LA at all, so I don't have any context for whether this is a believable claim.

At any rate, it appears (based on what I've read) that when BRT is built to emulate LRT (high-quality stations, dedicated right-of-way, etc.), it attracts passenger loads basically comparable to LRT. When BRT is built to be a glorified bus (see Boston's Silver Line phase 1), it attracts passenger loads basically comparable to a bus.
Prior to the opening of the Orange Line BRT, the official ridership projection was 5000-7000 passengers per day in the first year of operation. The Orange Line has far exceeded this. Prior to the opening of the Gold Line LRT, the official ridership projection was 26,000-32,000 passengers per day in the first year of operation. The Gold Line has fallen well short of this. I am not sure if the ridership projections accurately reflect the populations and numbers of activity centers in the given corridors or if the ridership numbers were simply cooked so that they were what they needed to be in order to justify the cost of the lines.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:21 PM   #45
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For anyone who is interested, the following are some screen dumps from the LACMTA's website on the Orange Line:








To view the original presentation, please go to the following link:
http://www.metro.net/projects_progra...nteractive.htm
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:37 PM   #46
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ooh, i didn't know that there is the BRT system in LA. interesting. Bangkok is also in the process of constructing a BRT route.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 05:16 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayviews View Post
Why not light rail?

If there is one US city that needs light rail that doesn’t have it, it’s Milwaukee. Even with all-bus, Milwaukee seems to have higher transit ridership per capita than many cities that have built light rail & several good potential rail corridors.
Milwaukee is a very dense city in population by American standards, it has pretty high transit ridership and include many potential rail corridors. What it lacks, however, is political will of any sense. Milwaukee's county exec, who controls transit, is fundamentally opposed to light rail and was once quoted as wishing to have 'a county where no one has to ride transit' (he's unique political fluke in a mainly socialist/democratic county). At least right now commuter rail might be built between Milwaukee and the suburbs to the north and south. And streetcars might soon run in downtown but only in a tourist sense.

Here's a map of the current bus plans for reference:



Re all of the responses so far, how would you rate your BRT-ish service? Does it rate up with light rail service or is it unplesant, etc?
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Old May 28th, 2007, 05:33 AM   #48
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY0-1WMH_iA
A video on LA's Orange line.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 05:43 AM   #49
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More images:



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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:42 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milwaukee-københavn View Post
...
Re all of the responses so far, how would you rate your BRT-ish service? Does it rate up with light rail service or is it unplesant, etc?
It is with much trepidation that I offer my opinion as I know that many light rail advocates will disagree with me. The most important factor for any transit system is travel time, which is a function of travel speed and station wait time. The Orange Line BRT and Gold Line LRT in Los Angeles offer similar overall travel times. As a consequence, they have produced similar levels of ridership.

If a BRT line is built to a high light rail standard with exclusive travel lanes and priority at traffic lights, it can achieve travel times similar to light rail and as a consequence will have ridership similar to light rail. Conversely, if a light rail line is built to a low streetcar standard with operation in lanes with mixed traffic, both the speed and the ridership are likely to be disappointing. The smoother ride of light rail vehicles and better accommodation for wheelchair passengers plus a fascination with trains among a small minority of the commuting public might produce a modest ridership advantage for light rail; however, it is debatable whether this advantage is commensurate with the greater cost of light rail.

For Milwaukee, light rail doesn't appear to be on the menu of options being discussed, so the issue seems purely academic.

Last edited by greg_christine; May 29th, 2007 at 02:50 AM.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:53 PM   #51
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A BRT line recently opened in Eugene, Oregon:

http://www.ltd.org/search/showresult...73fb145404cef2







Only about 60% of the EMX line in Eugene is in dedicated travel lanes. There are already plans underway to extend the route. The extensions would be similar to the original line with segments in both exclusive lanes and in mixed traffic lanes.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 02:29 AM   #52
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Wrote up a great reply last night, but when I clicked submit, I got an error that the server was under maintenance and when I clicked back my entire reply was gone

Anyways, BRT is much faster and versitile when used in urban areas where you cannot give its own private corridor and instead has its own ROW in the roadway. While articulated or double articulated buses race down the roadway, light rail usually crawls, especially on turns. The one pitfall with BRT is operating costs per passenger tend to be higher, since the vehicles cannot carry as many passengers. But you get what you pay for, since you can run more buses easier than LRT trains (less wait times) and you can install a new route on a parallel corridor to relieve pressure along a heavily used route much easier than you could with a LRT route (meaning closer to door service and improved ridership).

Here are some YouTube videos of both systems in urban areas:

BRT (Bogata, Columbia)



LRT (Portland, Oregon)*



EDIT: Changed it to one where you can see it straight on this forum

This is just to show LRT running through an urban area with lots of turns and near by stops. There are plenty of LRT videos of trains running on their own private corridors going just as fast, if not faster, than the BRT in Bogata. In fact, with LA the irony is that they run LRT through the middle of the road in many places, where it would be much better suited for BRT, and run BRT through its own private corridors, where it would be better suited for LRT. Still, when you look at the BRT's passenger numbers you can see it is a viable and attractive form of transit, especially when you consider that it runs from residential areas to the rail station, and not right into downtown like the LRT, and that it runs through an upper class area where most people could just drive themselves to the rail station to avoid the transfer.
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You are genius too Electrify, never would have thought of this if not for your thread.

Last edited by Electrify; May 30th, 2007 at 04:55 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 05:43 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
It is with much trepidation that I offer my opinion as I know that many light rail advocates will disagree with me. The most important factor for any transit system is travel time, which is a function of travel speed and station wait time. The Orange Line BRT and Gold Line LRT in Los Angeles offer similar overall travel times. As a consequence, they have produced similar levels of ridership.

If a BRT line is built to a high light rail standard with exclusive travel lanes and priority at traffic lights, it can achieve travel times similar to light rail and as a consequence will have ridership similar to light rail. Conversely, if a light rail line is built to a low streetcar standard with operation in lanes with mixed traffic, both the speed and the ridership are likely to be disappointing. The smoother ride of light rail vehicles and better accommodation for wheelchair passengers plus a fascination with trains among a small minority of the commuting public might produce a modest ridership advantage for light rail; however, it is debatable whether this advantage is commensurate with the greater cost of light rail.

For Milwaukee, light rail doesn't appear to be on the menu of options being discussed, so the issue seems purely academic.
But by the time that you have built your BRT to the high light rail standard, you no longer are dealing with a lower cost. That is where all the "savings" that BRT proponents come from, and when they do get built, the public finds out that indeed they have not gotten something that is equivalent to light rail standards.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 06:54 AM   #54
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BRT doesn’t require a system of overhead wires and electrical substations. BRT doesn’t require steel rails. The asphalt that BRT does require is fairly cheap. The transit authority doesn’t even have to pay for the asphalt if it is part of an existing road. BRT stations don’t require a platform precisely aligned with the floor level of the buses as ramp systems are generally used for the boarding of wheelchair passengers. Returning to the example of the Gold Line LRT versus Orange Line BRT, the following are the construction cost numbers:

Orange Line BRT: $330 million
Gold Line LRT: $859 million

The above comparison might not be completely valid as two different corridors are involved. There are several studies that have looked at BRT and LRT in the same corridor. As might be expected, BRT is the cheaper option to build. The amazing thing is that most of these studies also find that BRT is cheaper to maintain and operate:


VANCOUVER - COQUITLAM/EVERGREEN LINE

- Capital Cost
Guided Buses: $285 Million
LRT: $670 Million

- Operations and Maintenance Costs per Passenger Boarding
Guided Buses: $4.10 /Passenger
Light Rail: $6.95 /Passenger


LAS VEGAS - HENDERSON TO NORTH LAS VEGAS

- Capital Cost
Bus Rapid Transit: $700 Million
Light Rail: $1,115 Million

- Operations & Maintenance Cost
Bus Rapid Transit: $218 Million/Year
Light Rail: $203 Million/Year


SAN JOSE - WARM SPRINGS BART CONNECTOR

- Capital Cost
Busway BRT: $1,155 Million
LRT: $1,514 Million

- Operations & Maintenance Cost
Busway BRT: $19.5 Million/Year
LRT: $41.8 Million/Year


NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA

- Capital Cost
Bus Rapid Transit: $178 Million
Light Rail: $250 Million

- Operations & Maintenance Cost
Bus Rapid Transit: $4.7 Million/Year
Light Rail: $9 Million/Year


SEATTLE - I-90 TRANS-LAKE WASHINGTON LINE

- Capital Cost
Rail Convertible BRT: $3.7 - $5.0 Billion
Light Rail: $4.6 - $6.2 Billion

- Operations & Maintenance Cost (Net change relative to common baseline)
Rail Convertible BRT: -$17.2 Million/Year
Light Rail: +$29.0 Million/Year


The source documents for the above information can be found on the Internet:

“Northeast Sector Rapid Transit Alternatives Project, Phase 2 - Evaluation of Rapid Transit Alternatives, Executive Summary”, Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority, March 31, 2004.

“Regional Fixed Guideway”, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, PowerPoint Presentations dated December 15, 2005 and January 19, 2006.

"Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor MIS/EIS/EIR, Major Investment Study (MIS) Final Report", Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), November 2001.

“Newport News Considers Light Rail”, Seth Freedland, Daily Press, September 28, 2006.

“Sound Transit Long-Range Plan Update, Issue Paper E.1: I-90/East King County High Capacity Transit Analysis”, Sound Transit, March 2005.
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Old May 29th, 2007, 11:13 PM   #55
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Are there any other cities that have brt-ish systems?
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Old May 30th, 2007, 03:48 AM   #56
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york region, canada has a nice system, though not fully brt yet
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Old May 30th, 2007, 04:26 AM   #57
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Mexico City has a BRT system too. It's called Metrobús.

It has 1 line that runs through 19.7 kilometers of Insurgentes Ave., and another line is being built nowadays.

Let's see some info:

Length: 19.7km
Terminals: 2
Stations: 34
Distance between stations: 550 meters
Passengers per day: 250,000
Passengers at peak hour: 7,300
Fleet: 97 Scania and Volvo buses
Cost: 5.2 million dollar per kilometer



This is a terminal...


And this is a station...




The bus...


And the bus interior...
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Old May 30th, 2007, 04:30 AM   #58
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Then is it the same? You are still talking gasoline versus electric. That in itself is a huge issue, and even many buses use an overhead electrical system. But theirs need to be dual wire. And no, asphalt roadway isn't always cheaper than steel rail. Most people seem to think all there is to making a road is grading it flat and pouring down pavement. There's a lot of structure to a rod, and it covers a large amount of area. Not to mention frequent upkeep, issues with climate, and huge issues with runoff. Buses are not able to get any further away form the platform than a normal light rail would be able to, it's just hat light rail is easier to get those tight tolerances from. And lastly, if you are talking about using roads that are already there, you are taking away from existing transportation. No difference than would be to close it off for a couple of rail lines, except that bus lanes have to be wider and take up more road space.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:00 AM   #59
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Quote:
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Then is it the same? You are still talking gasoline versus electric. That in itself is a huge issue, and even many buses use an overhead electrical system. But theirs need to be dual wire. And no, asphalt roadway isn't always cheaper than steel rail. Most people seem to think all there is to making a road is grading it flat and pouring down pavement. There's a lot of structure to a rod, and it covers a large amount of area. Not to mention frequent upkeep, issues with climate, and huge issues with runoff. Buses are not able to get any further away form the platform than a normal light rail would be able to, it's just hat light rail is easier to get those tight tolerances from. And lastly, if you are talking about using roads that are already there, you are taking away from existing transportation. No difference than would be to close it off for a couple of rail lines, except that bus lanes have to be wider and take up more road space.
Yes, but according to the sourced numbers, it is still cheaper maintenance than LRT. I can see LRT having cheaper cost per passenger, since one vehicle with one driver can move as many people as several buses and drivers.
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You are genius too Electrify, never would have thought of this if not for your thread.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 02:03 AM   #60
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Quote:
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Yes, but according to the sourced numbers, it is still cheaper maintenance than LRT. I can see LRT having cheaper cost per passenger, since one vehicle with one driver can move as many people as several buses and drivers.
I'd like to note that the numbers specified above for the VANCOUVER - COQUITLAM/EVERGREEN LINE are per passenger boarding:

- Operations and Maintenance Costs per Passenger Boarding
Guided Buses: $4.10 /Passenger
Light Rail: $6.95 /Passenger

Please understand that just because I am presenting these numbers does not mean that I am a big fan of buses. When I visit a city with a metro or light rail system, I'll often dedicate an afternoon to riding the trains. I've never done that for a bus line. Despite being a fan of trains, I think it is important to be realistic about the cost. It is also important to remember that transit lines are built for the general public, not just for rail fans.
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