There is no other solution for American cities. If you look across the globe, the only cities that have actually shifted people from private cars back into public transit are cities that have built bus rapid transit.The BS detector is huge on this one. Not only is Curitiba losing people to private vehicles because of the crush loaded conditions, the chief of the system has admitted they have to build a subway. Might I also add, there are many cities that aren't in third world countries that have amazing transit systems to emulate. Such as Paris, Berlin, Vienna, London, and Madrid etc....(H/T Frank M) How about a yellow tram that's six segments and comes every minute like in Budapest?
There's way more capacity there than on an articulated bus. 173 feet of tram every minute. And it would certainly do some heavy hauling across Manhattan. Anyone want to take some civic leaders to Budapest with me? As Daneel states:
The big order was for the world's busiest tram line, along the Grand Boulevard (lines 4/6). This is nothing to be proud of, the daily 200,000/hourly max. 10,500 passengers would be in the capacity range of a subway. But an orbital subway was never built, so pairs of "Industrial Articulateds" transport the masses in close succession. So when finally new vehicles were ordered, they were for the world's longest passenger trams (precisely 53.99 m; only the CarGoTram freight trams in Dresden/Germany are longer [59.4 m]). The new series 2000II got the nickname Óriáshernyó (=giant caterpillar).
But another quip I have with Walter is his flip flopping and misleading statements. In his BRT post on Streetsblog, Hook nonchalantly states that BRT can cost as little as $8 million a mile.
Very good BRT systems have been built for as little as $8 million a mile. With the same capital budget, we could build more than twice as much proper BRT as light rail, probably 5 to 10 times more, with no loss in the quality of service, the capacity, or the speed.First off he's comparing cheap non-BRT Rapid bus to full LRT. That is hardly an even comparison. The Healthline BRT in Cleveland which is the closest thing we have to that type of BRT on city streets in the United States was $29 million per mile ($200/6.8mi). The Portland Streetcar cost $24m/mi. If we just took lanes from cars and inserted the rails instead of rebuilding whole streets the capital costs would be comparable and operating would be much less. More riders, less drivers.
Look, if you want a big network of Rapid Bus or BRT in a major city go ahead and do it. Los Angeles has been fairly successful when they aren't trying to expand like Krispy Kreme in 2000. That is an excellent model to emulate for routes that need better transit service right away. But let's not pretend that BRT or Rapid Bus works on the corridors that actually need rail or a Subway like Second Street.
Finally, there is this:
Hook is hoping it works. He says at least one American city should have a well-designed BRT, one that really does feel like a train.If you want something that feels like a train, then why not build a train. I'll never understand why cheap is always the best option to some people. You get what you pay for.