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I think the train helps a lot for occasional users as well. A bus for a one of concert or sports game isn’t the same experience as the train for a one off. So I think we’ll see good usage for that.

But ridership I think isn’t the best metric for Edmonton right now. I think we need to go after arc card adoption. Once people have them, their likelihood of use is a lot higher. That’s the strategy ride sharing and food delivery companies were built on. 60% of the battle was getting the app downloaded on your phone.

So few people even think about ever using transit. Once they have an arc card, it at least becomes an option.
 
I think the train helps a lot for occasional users as well. A bus for a one of concert or sports game isn’t the same experience as the train for a one off. So I think we’ll see good usage for that.

But ridership I think isn’t the best metric for Edmonton right now. I think we need to go after arc card adoption. Once people have them, their likelihood of use is a lot higher. That’s the strategy ride sharing and food delivery companies were built on. 60% of the battle was getting the app downloaded on your phone.

So few people even think about ever using transit. Once they have an arc card, it at least becomes an option.
I wish we actually had gone fully digital and added an app that you could tap on your phone/smartwatch, or add it to your digital wallet, as well as do it with credit/debit tapping. I have an ARC card, but tbh, if I didn't leave by the LRT and used it somewhat frequently, I wouldn't really have it in my wallet (it's a small card holder with slots for 6 cards... I would usually have ID, 2 debit, 2 credit cards and my Costco card, if not for the fact that I sue the LRT more than Costco).

As an infrequent user (which I will soon become, since I'm moving to Summerside, temporarily) I'd probably have to remember to load the card, and grab it, every time I decide to use it. Chances are that someone less transit inclined will always forget, and end up driving or taking Ubers, rather than transit. If we had the option to use debit/credit or an app, that would never be an issue.
 
Sadly I think when the SE Valley line opens ridership is going to be very anemic. Those that utilize the Bus for similar routes will make the shift but with the state of safety the number of folks shifting from personal vehicle to transit will be a very small.
Exactly. The Valley Line is basically going to be an extremely expensive replacement bus between Mill Woods and downtown. You'll convert existing bus riders to the line (obviously) but drivers won't be convinced, especially given that the travel times won't be much better than a bus. But I think it will be more a reflection of the poor design of the line rather than safety issues.
 
I am not betting on ridership being low. I'm visiting someone that moved to Vancouver who hasn't taken a bus once, but takes the SkyTrain daily. I took the bus once yesterday, but I'll stick to the train or walk/bike now.

I think trains have more potential riders than busses due to preferences, from classism, comfort, predictability, frequency, etc.

One thing I noticed about the SkyTrain, is that it doesn't offer more coverage than Edmonton's system will in 2027, but it goes to every place that I'd ever want to go. If something isn't along the SkyTrain, or within walking distance, I'm probably not going there. Also, the SkyTrain is surprisingly slow. I prefer Edmonton's subway portion, it feels more New York.

The big ridership boost is absolutely going to be the West line. Opening up West Ed to young people along the entire line.

But do not underestimate young people's hatred for driving.
 
I am not betting on ridership being low. I'm visiting someone that moved to Vancouver who hasn't taken a bus once, but takes the SkyTrain daily. I took the bus once yesterday, but I'll stick to the train or walk/bike now.

I think trains have more potential riders than busses due to preferences, from classism, comfort, predictability, frequency, etc.

One thing I noticed about the SkyTrain, is that it doesn't offer more coverage than Edmonton's system will in 2027, but it goes to every place that I'd ever want to go. If something isn't along the SkyTrain, or within walking distance, I'm probably not going there. Also, the SkyTrain is surprisingly slow. I prefer Edmonton's subway portion, it feels more New York.

The big ridership boost is absolutely going to be the West line. Opening up West Ed to young people along the entire line.

But do not underestimate young people's hatred for driving.
Interesting points.

As I've noted before, although SkyTrain in the Lower Mainland and Edmonton's LRT are vastly different systems, they actually have several striking parallels. Both started out with a single simple line from downtown (with a subway portion in the city core) that hit a few major destinations such as the arenas and stadiums. Subsequently both systems expanded and have concentrated on linking key amenities like major shopping centres, educational institutions and hospitals. All are key generators of traffic and are destinations popular with residents who may be car-challenged, such as students and seniors. This process will only continue with expansion of SkyTrain to UBC and with Edmonton's Valley Line which will bring an additional two hospitals and four major shopping centres onto the LRT network.

Neither the Lower Mainland nor Edmonton will ever be like central Paris, where most any destination is only a couple of hundred metres from a Metro station. But I think overall planners have managed to design lines that will hit the most popular destinations and serve the most important trunk routes, while allowing for bus feeder networks into local neighbourhoods.

My bone of contention with the Valley Line is the lack of grade separation and signal priority (not to mention the failure to elevate at Bonnie Doon). But those are separate issues. The route itself is well-chosen.
 
My bone of contention with the Valley Line is the lack of grade separation and signal priority (not to mention the failure to elevate at Bonnie Doon). But those are separate issues. The route itself is well-chosen.
Who says there's no signal priority?
This is such a persistent myth.
It might be implied by phrases like "runs with traffic" that there isn't signal priority, but, you can bet your ass there is. And it's covered in the project agreement.
This link should work: https://www.edmonton.ca/sites/defau...T Schedule 5 Part 6 Systems.pdf?cb=1691910599
Table 6-3.3 Page 6-56 - 6-57.

Anecdotally, a friend and I have seen the effects of trains getting priority at intersection in Mill Woods. In my case, my bus gets stuck at 34 Ave and is noticeably late getting to Mill Woods TC. It's been nice this summer with the trains not running to not have to have wonder if I will make my connection or not because trains are getting priority at 34 Ave.
 
Who says there's no signal priority?
This is such a persistent myth.
It might be implied by phrases like "runs with traffic" that there isn't signal priority, but, you can bet your ass there is. And it's covered in the project agreement.
This link should work: https://www.edmonton.ca/sites/default/files/public-files/assets/RoadsTraffic/Project Agreement Valley Line LRT Schedule 5 Part 6 Systems.pdf?cb=1691910599
Table 6-3.3 Page 6-56 - 6-57.

Anecdotally, a friend and I have seen the effects of trains getting priority at intersection in Mill Woods. In my case, my bus gets stuck at 34 Ave and is noticeably late getting to Mill Woods TC. It's been nice this summer with the trains not running to not have to have wonder if I will make my connection or not because trains are getting priority at 34 Ave.
From the outset it has been made clear that some trains will be held at stations due to the phases of nearby traffic signals, before proceeding on a green light. So trains will not always have signal priority.
 
Who says there's no signal priority?
This is such a persistent myth.
It might be implied by phrases like "runs with traffic" that there isn't signal priority, but, you can bet your ass there is. And it's covered in the project agreement.
This link should work: https://www.edmonton.ca/sites/default/files/public-files/assets/RoadsTraffic/Project Agreement Valley Line LRT Schedule 5 Part 6 Systems.pdf?cb=1691910599
Table 6-3.3 Page 6-56 - 6-57.

Anecdotally, a friend and I have seen the effects of trains getting priority at intersection in Mill Woods. In my case, my bus gets stuck at 34 Ave and is noticeably late getting to Mill Woods TC. It's been nice this summer with the trains not running to not have to have wonder if I will make my connection or not because trains are getting priority at 34 Ave.
From the Edmonton Journal:

Now the details: Here's exactly how the Valley Line LRT could impact you​



"There’s a key intersection at 90 Avenue and 83 Street where the LRT is being given only partial priority over traffic.

That’s where the Bonnie Doon traffic circle is now. The train will have to hold at one of the nearby stations, leaving when it can hit a green light and co-ordinate with traffic."
 
For anyone who doesn't want to read through the agreement to find it: The line has only partial priority at a handfull of intersections along between downtown and MWTC.
1691957010658.png

1691957064737.png
 
From the outset it has been made clear that some trains will be held at stations due to the phases of nearby traffic signals, before proceeding on a green light. So trains will not always have signal priority.
I mean, does that not also happen for the capital line? I’ve sat on the north sask bridge so many times on that train.
 
I mean, does that not also happen for the capital line? I’ve sat on the north sask bridge so many times on that train.
The bridge back ups are more so to do with Metro line trains turning back at HSS. Prior to the Metro line operating to HSS trains would only ever back up onto the bridge if there were late trains and/ or heavy loads slowing trains at University.
 

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