Friday, September 4, 2009

So Much for Faster

One of the claims of BRT is that its faster to implement. As we know from work here in the Bay Area and other parts of California is that with all the environmental regs that sometimes isn't true at all. Poor cars, they just have too many buses in their way. It's too bad really since places like San Francisco and LA should have had bus lanes a long time ago. There's more than enough ridership on the lines to justify the dedicated lanes.

10 comments:

Matt Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Fisher said...

I agree. BRT has been a success in Ottawa, Curitiba, Bogota, et al. And if lucky, BRT can pave the way for an eventual conversion to rail. It can provide as many amenities as rail at a fraction of the cost.

Justin said...

Re-branding a bus, and removing a stops, and calling it "rapid" is an insult to our intelligence.

Matt Fisher said...

Okay, I apologize for my comment earlier. I believe BRT can be a legitimate form of real rapid transit, as our Transitway here in Ottawa has demonstrated. It doesn't demonstrate that BRT is "just like rail, but cheaper". That must have been a brief about face on my part.

I will, however, still say that the Transitway is a success, and has paved the way for light rail in Ottawa, as much as BRT has been a success in Curitiba or Bogotá. And the idea that it can be a substitute for rail is still outlandish. In no way was my comment meant to treat BRT as such.

But nevertheless, BRT can still be an interim measure in situations where the demand can only warrant BRT for rapid transit, or the money isn't available. The Transitway has provided good rapid transit to Ottawa for the past 25 years. It doesn't mean that BRT can make rail unnecessary.

david vartanoff said...

yes, BRT can be better than local stop bus routes--before it was rebranded to become the cheap alternative to rail transit, we called them Express Buses. As such, in LIMITED situations such as the availability of alternate limited access highways, they can be very successful. BRT however, is NOT capable of serving high load routes precisely because buses cannot be coupled up like train cars, and require a driver for each unit.

Anonymous said...

Just because BRT is not a worthy replacement for rail does not mean that Bus lanes are not worth putting in.

In London Bus lanes are needed just to keep the ordinary service running at a reasonable speed. That combined with electronic travel passes and no cash purchase in Central London means much faster journey times. And more importantly more reliable trips. Non of these improvements are branded as BRT though. Outside of London where such improvements are not universal they might try and sell such improvements as a High Quality Bus Corridor.

david vartanoff said...

No objection to making bus routes work better in low density areas where they can serve the market. What riles me is the clear effort to substitute BRT for higher capacity rail options in heavy ridership routes like Geary in SF. (>54k/day).

Andrew said...

As for Ottawa most of the transitway was built on former rail ROW.

Jonlin said...

City Transit Advocates is down! Could you put it back up?

Matt Fisher said...

One more thing: A new busway, the first segment of the West Transitway, opened just recently, after it was supposed to open earlier. Goes to show another example. This one part is from Bayshore Station (a busway station at a major suburban shopping centre, Bayshore) in my home of Nepean to Pinecrest Rd. I hope this becomes LRT to Kanata.