TAS

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I'm just annoyed that these nobodies are all splitting the progressive vote, and Caterina will likely win because of all these fringe candidates.

I think referring to the candidates who have invested a lot of their time, energy, money and more in this election as NOBODIES is an extremely rude comment.
I would also argue that the more conservative leaning Battiste who advocates for the city to slow down on LRT and is against the city being involved in Blatchford is more in line with Caterina on some issues.
 
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TAS

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Two things, unrelated to each other.

First, regarding Watson: Here's an interesting article from 2018 that I came across, which details just how superior a people-mover the Valley Line West will be compared to BRT. Here are some especially relevant parts, with text bolded by me:

"According to the report now heading to a public hearing March 21, the west LRT line is expected to see 40,100 riders on opening day and will meet demand by running trains every five minutes. One train can hold 550 people. Seven articulated or double buses are required to carry the same number.

Since a quality bus rapid transit system would give buses their own lane and priority over other traffic, the bus rapid transit system could actually have a greater impact on vehicle traffic. The one-minute frequency would “significantly impact intersection performance. City officials said the bus rapid transit line would be cheaper to build, about 75 per cent of the cost of LRT. That means $1.7 billion instead of the $2.2-billion estimate released earlier this week.

But buses cost more to run and maintain, and have a shorter lifespan than a train. That means the total life cycle cost of bus rapid transit over 35 years could be 20 to 30 per cent more than LRT."

I was surprised to see that the cost of building a brt line would be 75% of the LRT line's cost; that's not much of a gap considering how much more efficient LRT is. As well, it was nice to see that we have some recent numbers from city administration which show what would need to be done for the BRT to compare to the VLW in terms of ridership, and how its lifetime cost would likely be worse. If Watson is hoping to commission a study between the two modes, I think she's wasting her time. This is a recent enough study; it has the answer right here. The City has been trying to get this done for decades now, so let's see it through. Let's get this done, as well as a Metro Line extension across the CN yard, then we can debate whether future projects are needed. In my opinion, these two projects are necessities to get our core LRT infrastructure reaching all quadrants of the city. Should we debate whether a second east-west line down Whyte, a Metro extension to St. Albert, etc. Are necessary? Sure, I don't mind that. But the projects currently in the works have long been needed and demanded by residents, and we should get them done while we have support from the feds (and even the province to an extent, seeing how even the UCP re-approved VLW funding), there is growing demand from residents to extend our mass transit options and reduce the need for car dependence, etc.

Regarding the Valley Line Southeast, my friend's parent is an engineer with TransEd. They learned about the project deadline extension (and thus their contract extension) from a Global News segment. As well, apparently there are lots of times where people have been trying to cut corners on important things (even things that impact safety) in the name of speed, and they're always been the sole person responsible for making them do it right. I know this is pretty vague; I tried pressing my friend for more details but she doesn't remember much. She just knows that her parent comes home every day very drained and tired of their job because of the position they're being put in by being that sole person "holding things up" in the same of doing them right. I thought it was an interesting insight into the state of things in TransEd at this point.

A few things i found very interesting about the article you linked to:

1. As you noted, that cost of BRT vs. LRT is very surprising. Calgary was originally planning their 46 km Green Line to be a BRT first at a cost of $1.5 billion versus $5B for just a section of LRT they are doing now. And our line is 14km and it was going to cost $1.7Billion vs $2.2B for LRT? That's a mighty expensive BRT line our city planners we're estimating and more than 3x the cost of the Calgary project per km.

2. I hope we meet out projected ridership of 40,100 trips per day on day one of the line opening (that's 14.6 million trips per year), but I'm kinda thinking that number is bogus - especially given the fact that instead of adding 2.5 million trips per year when the $665M line to NAIT opened, we actually lost 3 million trips per year system wide (a swing of 5.5 millon to the negative). That's a significant misprojection - and that was pre pandemic. And that must have hurt revenues to some degree and currently we have a bus network with new deficiencies compared to previously.

3. At the end of that article, it was surprising to read one of council's pro lrt voices, Andrew Knack, was actually open to the idea of 'slowing down' the west LRT project given some council members were concerned about the price tag.
From the article you posted:

"If cost is the issue, Knack said he’d rather slow down and see what emerging technologies like trackless trains can offer. Slowing down is fine.

“The wrong approach is to do a half measure,” he said.
 
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The_Cat

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Edmonton has gone over this enough times. Sometimes switching to new technologies (e.g. CBTC vs fixed-block on the Metro Line), isn't always better. I think one issue I'd look at is the Capital Line LRT. I know the Stadium Station is being upgraded, but why is the LRT shut down to 20-minute frequencies every weekend?
 

thommyjo

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A few things i found very interesting about the article you linked to:

1. As you noted, that cost of BRT vs. LRT is very surprising. Calgary was originally planning their 46 km Green Line to be a BRT first at a cost of $1.5 billion versus $5B for just a section of LRT they are doing now. And our line is 14km and it was going to cost $1.7Billion vs $2.2B for LRT? That's a mighty expensive BRT line our city planners we're estimating and more than 3x the cost of the Calgary project per km.

2. I hope we meet out projected ridership of 40,100 trips per day on day one of the line opening (that's 14.6 million trips per year), but I'm kinda thinking that number is bogus - especially given the fact that instead of adding 2.5 million trips per year when the $665M line to NAIT opened, we actually lost 3 million trips per year system wide (a swing of 5.5 millon to the negative). That's a significant misprojection - and that was pre pandemic. And that must have hurt revenues to some degree and currently we have a bus network with new deficiencies compared to previously.

3. At the end of that article, it was surprising to read one of council's pro lrt voices, Andrew Knack, was actually open to the idea of 'slowing down' the west LRT project given some council members were concerned about the price tag.
From the article you posted:

"If cost is the issue, Knack said he’d rather slow down and see what emerging technologies like trackless trains can offer. Slowing down is fine.

“The wrong approach is to do a half measure,” he said.
The SE line will be interesting as a test case for ridership.

The NAIT extension is apples to oranges though. It basically added 2 useful stops to an existing line. People heading to NAIT already used transit. To macewan from the south side, already took buses or the capital line and walked from Jasper.

The SE and West open whole new quadrants of the city to ridership. They won't just replace bus trips, they'll convert drivers.

As a west side resident, I have dozens and dozens of friends that drove to macewan or UofA from out here due to transit being so bad. Most of them would have taken the LRT if it existed. So students will be a main driver of use.

Both of these lines also connect major hospitals to suburbs.

WVL connects to the mall (which sucks for parking on weekends and all of december), so I can see many people not buying large amounts of items preferring the train for its ease.

Not to mention sports and downtown event ridership from the suburbs. Century park was full years ago. These new lines add thousands of park and ride options.

I suspect the west line will greatly exceed ridership expectations!
 

TAS

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@thommyjo

You explained why ridership did not increase with the NAIT line and that makes good sense. But why then did the city expect it would increase by 2.5 million trips - did they not expect the same thing that you just explained. These projects are being pitched and decided upon based in part on ridership but the city did not seem to take into account what you explained as to why we shouldn't have expected ridership to go up.

Any thoughts on my other question regarding the BRT cost from the city for west valley line? Or any insights from anyone on that?

Why was the cost of BRT going to be so much higher in Edmonton versus other municipalities that have built BRTs?

I mean $1.7B for 14km of BRT? I looked at costs of several other cities including Calgary and none come close to what our administration reported it would cost here.
 
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nv96

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People who say we should slow down LRT - isn't it the reason why Edmonton has build only ONE LRT LINE since 1978?? It's been 44 years, how much more do we need to slow down? This rhetoric just makes me mad.
Sometimes I swear, when Edmonton went through that 15-20 year period around 1990-2010 where relatively nothing substantial was built here, it's made a lot of folks weirded out by constant growth/construction/change. Remnants of still trying to shake the small/medium town mindset as a city matures into being a big city. It's the same stuff I hear with the new towers going up--"Who is even living in those places? Do we need all these new towers?"
 

Edmcowboy11

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One thing though I do question when it comes to the numbers provided by Administration. I have seen instances where it appears admin may find numbers that will support their vision and/or numbers that will be against an opposing vision.

Good example of this is the debate about elevating the track above Whyte ave at Bonnie Doon. Admin already had their desired concept and an above grade would not fit in to their vision. Therefore when they made their study about cost, their report to council stated that elevating would be far too restrictive. In turn council chose to stay at grade. I'm not saying all the decisions by admin are bad, but sometimes one has to step back and look if admin is really doing whats best or are the finding the numbers that will support their point of view.
 

The_Cat

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I think much of the NAIT line (to this point) is to public venues (MacEwan/Rogers Place, RAH/Kingsway Mall, NAIT), which probably may have residents living along or near the Capital Line taking the train to NAIT. There is probably little, if any, time savings if someone living in North/NW Edmonton to take the Metro Line. I'm thinking when the LRT is extended to residential neighbourhoods, we'll see an increase in demand again.
 

The_Cat

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From Reddit:
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Gronk!

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Are there are any plans to rename some of the LRT stations? I find it a bit silly having 2 stations named "MacEwan".
If anyone wants my humble opinion, "102 Street" should be renamed to "City Centre", while "Coliseum" should be renamed to "Northlands" and "MacEwan" should be renamed to "Rogers Place" or "ICE District".
 

David A

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we have been in vancouver since tuesday and the amount of construction going on is still crazy for both private and public sector projects including the broadway subway.

we have also yet to experience a single road or lane closure. broadway has excavations in two lanes as deep as 20’ for subway construction and still maintains two lanes of traffic each way and keeps the sidewalks open.

how many years have we lived without one of only three east/west connectors downtown while concurrently restricting the other two along with many of north/south connectors?

at the end of the day it simply comes down to priorities and will (or lack thereof).
I noticed the same when I was there in early September. It was actually much easier to get around downtown there than here, with no significant detour/blockages.
 

David A

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Are there are any plans to rename some of the LRT stations? I find it a bit silly having 2 stations named "MacEwan".
If anyone wants my humble opinion, "102 Street" should be renamed to "City Centre", while "Coliseum" should be renamed to "Northlands" and "MacEwan" should be renamed to "Rogers Place" or "ICE District".
One reason for the MacEwan name is I think ETS doesn't want too many people to realize there is an LRT station right next to Rogers Place, because it can't handle event crowds.
 

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