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M II A II R II K

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Costs & Advantages of Bus Rapid Transit

A study by the United States General Accounting Office concluded that bus rapid transit presents an attractive option for mass transit and has several advantages over rail systems.

Those advantages include lower capital cost for construction and a lower operating cost and also higher speeds. In comparing the capital cost of constructing a heavy rail system versus a bus system, the numbers are really astonishing: the Honolulu rail would cost as much as $300 million per mile, whereas you can improve a lane for buses on arterial streets for $1 million per mile, or you could build a new lane for buses -- the busway would cost about $14 million per mile, again compared to the Honolulu rail system at $300 million per mile. So it's just a huge difference.




[video=youtube;P0kCCJmNKgQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0kCCJmNKgQ[/video]
 

W. K. Lis

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Costs & Advantages of Bus Rapid Transit

[video=youtube;P0kCCJmNKgQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0kCCJmNKgQ[/video]

What about the pavement rutting? Rutting is the depressions caused by the bus wheels in road pavements, especially during hot temperatures?

f5b916bf4c8580b977f205c7a91f.jpeg
 

Molybdenum

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RedRocket191

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One of the best advantages of BRT is being exploited by Ottawa and Mississauga - using it as a means to get many different routes to a common destination.
 

gweed123

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This primarily occurs at bus stops only and not along the whole route. One way to solve this is to use concrete instead of asphalt at the bus stop. More info: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2006/03/27/the-huh-bub-why-concrete-bus-stops/

Ottawa has this at all Transitway stops. At full stations, the right lane is concrete and the left lane is asphalt. At downtown stations, the bus lane is concrete at stops. The curbs at all stops also have rounded metal plates covering them, to avoid chipping of the curb.

One of the best advantages of BRT is being exploited by Ottawa and Mississauga - using it as a means to get many different routes to a common destination.

Route overlap, yup. Works great is you're bringing people from a lot of different locations that have relatively low ridership into one central place. The highest frequency route (the 95 bus) runs about every 3 minutes during rush hour, running from Barrhaven to Orleans. Along the way, it overlaps with the 93, 94, 96, 97, and 98, so the combined frequency on the central stretch of the route is pretty much, well constant. At any station along the central stretch during rush hour there are at least 3 buses that you can board at any given point.
 
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ShonTron

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BRT has many permutations and combinations. There's BRT-lite, full BRT, open BRT and closed BRT and combinations thereof in a single system.

Open BRT is what Ottawa does well, but the first open BRT might be the East Side Bus Tunnel in Providence, Rhode Island, an old streetcar tunnel that was converted for bus use in the 1940s and still used today as a tunnel several blocks long between Downtown Providence and the east side (including Brown University) that avoids congestion, traffic lights and allows buses to avoid steep hills between downtown and Brown, two key trip generators. Open BRT means that BRT infrastructure is constructed that various routes can branch on and off and use a common, rapid corridor. Closed BRT is what the Orange Line in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley uses, a service exclusively used and used exclusively by a designated BRT operation.
 

doady

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What about the pavement rutting? Rutting is the depressions caused by the bus wheels in road pavements, especially during hot temperatures?

f5b916bf4c8580b977f205c7a91f.jpeg

Is pavement rutting and other maintenance issues specific to bus rapid transit, or does it happen with regular buses and streetcars as well?
 

Peepers

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If you look at a satellite map of Toronto there is HUGE potential for BRT's along the many Hydro right-of-ways (as I am sure most on this forum are well aware).

I can never understand why this potential isn't being exploited? No one is even talking about BRT's ?

BRT's are completely lost in the debate over Subways vs. Streetcars.

I used to live in Downtown Ottawa for a few years and I took the OC Transpo BRT to work in the east end of town and it was a far superior experience than taking the Subway, Street Cars or any other form of rapid transit I can think of.

The buses travel at near highway speeds along dedicated bus lanes which makes for a stress free ride because you are going to where you need to go FAST! I never experienced any kind of delay even during Ottawa's brutal winters.

Why are BRT's being overlooked? Is it because they are not "sexy" enough?
 

gweed123

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BRT has many permutations and combinations. There's BRT-lite, full BRT, open BRT and closed BRT and combinations thereof in a single system.

Open BRT is what Ottawa does well, but the first open BRT might be the East Side Bus Tunnel in Providence, Rhode Island, an old streetcar tunnel that was converted for bus use in the 1940s and still used today as a tunnel several blocks long between Downtown Providence and the east side (including Brown University) that avoids congestion, traffic lights and allows buses to avoid steep hills between downtown and Brown, two key trip generators. Open BRT means that BRT infrastructure is constructed that various routes can branch on and off and use a common, rapid corridor. Closed BRT is what the Orange Line in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley uses, a service exclusively used and used exclusively by a designated BRT operation.

To me, closed BRT is rather pointless. It seems like it's just such a waste of potential. It's like going to an all-you-can-eat buffet, but only sticking to one or two things. The corridor is there, why not get as many routes as possible using it?

For example, the 176 in Ottawa runs fairly close to my house (about a 10 min walk). The 118 is about a 2 min walk, and what I normally take to Baseline, which is then a 20 min ride on the 95 or 94 into downtown.

The 176 normally runs from Barrhaven to Tunney's Pasture, but in peak periods they extend to route to the Rideau Centre (therefore going through downtown), using the Transitway. So for my ride home, sometimes I take that one instead, because it's 0 transfers plus a 10 min walk vs 1 transfer plus a 2 min walk.

It's little efficiencies like that that you don't really get with LRT systems, because overlapping routes isn't possible to nearly the same degree. Just an anecdote, haha.
 

Coruscanti Cognoscente

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Even BRT isn't as cheap as we'd like to believe. IIRC the cost of the Mississauga BRT keeps ballooning. Probably still not to LRT or subway level, but still. The cost of both BRT and LRT are underestimated to make them look attractive vis-a-vis subway, but then the cost-savings are never there.

Though I do still believe we should be building more BRTs.
 

sixrings

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I think the streets that are major but can be wide enough for BRT should get it... An extra bus lane on streets like Kipling, Lawrence, Islington, Kennedy, Warden, makes sense to me....

Then LRT on Eglinton, wilson, Finch, Keele (to eglinton), Don Mills (to Eglinton)

Subway from Keele/Eglinton down via dundas west via union via pape to Don Mills/Eglinton
 

M II A II R II K

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Guangzhou’s ‘Hot’ Story: A Roadmap for Cities


Jul 12 2012

By Neal Peirce

Read More: http://citiwire.net/columns/guangzchous-hot-story-a-roadmap-for-cities/


.....

Guangzhou and the delta are served by flashy new high-speed trains and high-class air service. And the city proper has implemented a “bus rapid transit†(BRT) system to move hundreds of thousands of passengers through its downtown, quickly and efficiently — a setup that’s arguably state of the art. The need for high grade services is undeniable. In the last five years, the Guangzhou-Pearl River Delta economy has doubled in size. In 2003 it passed Hong Kong, the original wonder Asian factory for the world. In 2007 its economy passed that of Taiwan. It is now half that of all of Korea.

- On an early (1979) trip of American planners to China, I heard Chinese officials being urged to save the country’s bike culture, and foster public transportation, because the nation’s vast millions in private cars would be a disaster. China, of course, didn’t listen, discouraging bikes and pouring money into roadways. The net result: hideous gridlock and immense roadway demand (Beijing, famously, now has six ring roads). Belatedly, public investment has begun to shift to high-speed rail and city subway systems — of which China now plans literally dozens more.

- In Guangzhou, Zhongshan Avenue — a key artery through the city and one of the world’s busiest bus corridors — was a special nightmare of buses, cars, trucks jockeying for space, the whole moving tortuously slowly. So the U.S.-based Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) approached the mayor and suggested reconstructing the center of Zhongshan Avenue for buses only. Regular traffic would be relegated to the sides (still three lanes each way). Guangzhou’s mayor, justifiably suspicious, became convinced after ITDP took him to Sao Paulo to see a BRT system in efficient operation. Soon afterward, construction began on Zhongshan Avenue.

- The result: no buses delayed by others loading or unloading passengers. In fact, passengers pay their fares to enter the stations and then know, by number and destination, precisely where to stand for the next bus as it swoops into its designated pullover location. Net result, says Karl Fjellstrom, ITDP’s man on the scene: some 850,000 BRT passengers each day. The buses continue, at the end of their 14-mile exclusive right-of-way, into neighborhoods for passengers’ convenience (and fewer transfers). Overall traffic congestion has been dramatically reduced, with each Guangzhou BRT station handling as many as 300 buses an hour. Rental bicycles are located at the key city stops. The bus stations have roofs so passengers don’t need to wait in the rain.

- Fjellstrom believes BRT systems — which can be built at a fraction of the cost, at a fraction of the time — easily trump the case for subways. One doesn’t need to buy that argument completely to agree that from now on, in China, the U.S. and elsewhere, BRT systems shouldn’t be seen as outlyers but one significant way to resolve cities’ 21st century transportation crises.

.....
 

unimaginative2

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Fjellstrom believes BRT systems — which can be built at a fraction of the cost, at a fraction of the time — easily trump the case for subways.

I understand what he's saying in terms of North America, but in the Chinese context, that's a bit absurd. China builds 100km of subway in the time that it takes us to pave a few bus lanes, and often for not much more money!

BRT has a lot of potential in the GTA. The 407 Transitway would be a very useful connection from suburb to suburb. It has advantages over rail as it can be served by local bus routes for short segments to speed their trips, sort of like the Ottawa Transitway. I think the same could be said for bus lanes on the 401. As just one example, the Neilson bus often runs full for its entire segment on Ellesmere. Every second bus, say, could be diverted along the 401 and greatly speed people's trips from Malvern to the Town Centre and the RT.
 

dowlingm

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BRT might be cheap to build, but it's cheaper to destroy
The Shirley Highway Busway was the first exclusive bus facility on a US urban highway when it opened in 1969. It was so successful that in the early 1970s, over 50% of all the passenger traffic on the Shirley Highway, the portion of I-95/I-395 from Woodbridge to the Potomac, traveled via bus.

Despite this success, Virginia opened up the busway to car traffic after a few years, beginning with HOV-4 users in December 1974. Since then, the restrictions on cars have been periodically reduced, and soon even single-occupant vehicles will be able to use the road, thanks to Virginia's HOT lanes project.

Wherever you build lanes that cars could use, car drivers will want to use them, and will exert political pressure to do so. Every BRT project that exists or is planned anywhere could be converted to a road for cars, without spending an additional dollar on construction.
 

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