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Thread: Edmonton BRT

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    My ridership numbers are an estimate. After nearly 30 years of LRT in Edmonton, we only peak at 42,000 riders (ETS Website numbers) in September, midweek.
    That's easily answered by the fact that we only have a partial LRT system at this time! Having a complete system, even an extra line or two, would see those number increase dramatically.

    It is no way whatsoever a sign that Edmontonians do not and would not in future take the LRT.
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  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    Does this imply that transit should go in first and that new construction should be reserved for UofA students and people who work near the LRT stations?
    No, people can live where they want to live. It just shows that the best laid plans (I support TOD's and my business has been expropriated for the Fort Road TOD) doesn't alway mean that you will increase transit usage just because it sits right beside a LRT station.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  3. #103
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    I would say the goal is to provide public transportation at a reasonable cost.
    I don't believe free ridership inside the inner loop would be economically sound although it could drastically increase ridership.

    Edmonton does have one of the lowest densities in North America. However I believe we have the density in certain areas that would be suitable to LRT. WEM is definitely one of the larger potential destinations. Frankly I believe these LRT lines to MacEwan and Nait are a mistake at this time. They are so close to the LRT line that slightly increased bus service would be all that's needed. WEM needs it bad.

    One of the LRT ideas I had was like a number/pound sign. Two N-S lines and two W-E lines with intersections. They could also have switches at the intersections so there could be an LRT loop route as well.

    I believe the next LRT expansion (after sLRT) should be to WEM.
    Granted the idea I had was a little more grand, WEM to Bonnie Doon via Whyte, but I'll settle with WEM to downtown/LRT

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    My ridership numbers are an estimate. After nearly 30 years of LRT in Edmonton, we only peak at 42,000 riders (ETS Website numbers) in September, midweek.
    That's easily answered by the fact that we only have a partial LRT system at this time! Having a complete system, even an extra line or two, would see those number increase dramatically.

    It is no way whatsoever a sign that Edmontonians do not and would not in future take the LRT.
    To add to Myles' argument that those ridership numbers are B.S.:
    How many people live near the LRT line?
    What's the population of Belvedere and Clareview, where the two residential LRT stations currently reside?
    Most of our city's population live in the west and south ends, does anyone seriously expect them to use the LRT every day?

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    To add to Myles' argument that those ridership numbers are B.S.:
    How many people live near the LRT line?
    What's the population of Belvedere and Clareview, where the two residential LRT stations currently reside?
    Most of our city's population live in the west and south ends, does anyone seriously expect them to use the LRT every day?
    There are more stations on the current LRT line than just two and buses collect people from all over the Northeast to put them on LRT. Of the 42,000 peak, 30,000 average ridership some also come from the southside stations and travel to downtown.

    Before you call my numbers B.S. give me you understanding of the number of existing bus ridership from each area; WEM and Millwoods going to downtown. Not people that take the bus from WEM and go south or north or west, just downtown.
    Before you spout off some more false information, go to the City of Edmonton website and search for the 2005 Edmonton Household Travel Survey, 61 pages, and review the data and calculate the ridership from the survey.

    Now the most important point about numbers. All these numbers are not new ridership. They are total ridership. That means at least half are current users of ETS according to Gordon Mensies. Therefore the gains only reduce traffic by a smaller portion and since the average car has 1.4 people in it we can estimate how many cars trips would be taken off the roads.

    SE LRT line 30,000 average ridership
    WEM LRT line 30,000 average ridership
    Total ridership 60,000
    Total users 30,000 (round trips)
    Current users of ETS 15,000 (50% of users)
    Traditional auto users 15,000 (50% of users)
    Number of daily cars trips removed from steets
    15,000 auto users x 2 trips / 1.4 people/car = 21,428 car trips

    2,560,000 Average daily trips in Edmonton in 2005 (from May 2006 Household Travel Survey, City of Edmonton Transportation Dept.)
    77% by car
    1,971,200 Average car trips in Edmonton in 2005 less 21,428 car trips,.

    Building two LRT lines will have a 1.09% reduction in Edmonton's traffic.
    Between 1994 and 2005, the daily trips by car grew 14%. That averages about 1.10% a year. Therefore, as I posted before, you have only reduced car traffic by one years growth. At the same time you have had to build those two LRT lines within one year at a cost of $2,000,000,000.00!!!

    If you calculate the cost to get one car off the street it will cost you $93,335.82

    Now how are you going to find $2B to build two LRT lines every year that will only stall, not reduce traffic growth?

    Now I will say it again. Let's get realistic and look at ways of making our current system more efficient and user friendy to increase ridership. One way is to eliminate fares. That only costs $68M/year and will have a greater effect than building LRT. I created the www.edmontonprt.com website to get people to start thinking out of the box. Much on the site is about the current mess we are in. Right now we can increase ETS ridership dramatically for very little cost. We can get funding by parking taxes or by raising the mill rate on surface parking lots, not only the ones you pay for, but commercial businesses like South Edmonton Common and malls could pay a $10/month/space tax. There are about 2 million commercial parking spaces in Edmonton, thats would pay for all the fares on transit and leave money to buy more buses.

    Think outside of the box.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    To add to Myles' argument that those ridership numbers are B.S.:
    How many people live near the LRT line?
    What's the population of Belvedere and Clareview, where the two residential LRT stations currently reside?
    Most of our city's population live in the west and south ends, does anyone seriously expect them to use the LRT every day?
    There are more stations on the current LRT line than just two and buses collect people from all over the Northeast to put them on LRT. Of the 42,000 peak, 30,000 average ridership some also come from the southside stations and travel to downtown.
    Health Science is the southernmost LRT station right now. You mean to tell me that commuters from the south drive to the U of A, park their cars in an area where parking is very restrictive and just as expensive as downtown, and then pay to take the train to downtown to work? I CALL BS.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Building two LRT lines will have a 1.09% reduction in Edmonton's traffic.
    Between 1994 and 2005, the daily trips by car grew 14%. That averages about 1.10% a year. Therefore, as I posted before, you have only reduced car traffic by one years growth. At the same time you have had to build those two LRT lines within one year at a cost of $2,000,000,000.00!!!

    If you calculate the cost to get one car off the street it will cost you $93,335.82
    Eric, I don't want to get into a chicken and egg argument here. I agree that it costs a lot and your numbers are certainly within an order of magnitude, if not closer. I think a lot of it is due to having essentially one leg of an LRT station, once you have two (or three, or four) then there are a lot more places to go on that system. Growth won't just be linear.

    Anyway, the chicken and the egg part is whether or not the city can support the system. You argue that we need to change the system to fit the city, where I believe we need to change the city to fit the system. LRT is not heavy rail, we're not talking Manhattan density here, just pockets of density around stations.

    This Century Park article in the paper is a perfect example; neighbours won't accept the swap of a museum for five floors (I take it and laugh all the way to the bank) because of "the congestion it would cause." First of all, it's only about 10% of the total of Century Park, and the growth in neighbouring areas would be much greater and has already started; plus, most of that area is through traffic anyway. There's also a quick fix: unbundle the parking, scale down all the road areas. We talk about how Century Park will only be 5% transit riders, but that's more a function of who you're selling to. If they're expensive condos with bundled parking can you really blame people for driving?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    We can get funding by parking taxes or by raising the mill rate on surface parking lots, not only the ones you pay for, but commercial businesses like South Edmonton Common and malls could pay a $10/month/space tax. There are about 2 million commercial parking spaces in Edmonton, thats would pay for all the fares on transit and leave money to buy more buses.

    Think outside of the box.
    Currently, the city requires new businesses to construct a certain
    amount of parking spaces. Your proposal wouldn't work without
    city council and Edmontonians having a major attitude shift.
    You can't tell a prospective business owner that he/she must
    build 'x' number of parking spots, but wait, we're going to
    charge you an annual levy for them too.
    And you can't just leave it up to the business owner, saying
    he/she could do an analysis of potential customers, knowing
    how many would drive, and how many would use transit.
    Because then you'd get neighboring residents upset by
    business customers parking in front of their homes.
    I'm not sure of the solution, but I know the solution isn't
    a parking spot levy.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by microbus
    Currently, the city requires new businesses to construct a certain amount of parking spaces. Your proposal wouldn't work without city council and Edmontonians having a major attitude shift.
    You can't tell a prospective business owner that he/she must build 'x' number of parking spots, but wait, we're going to charge you an annual levy for them too.
    And you can't just leave it up to the business owner, saying he/she could do an analysis of potential customers, knowing how many would drive, and how many would use transit.
    Because then you'd get neighboring residents upset by business customers parking in front of their homes.
    I'm not sure of the solution, but I know the solution isn't a parking spot levy.
    I don't understand. Isn't that what we're already doing with property tax? Wouldn't it be as simple as including that fee in the assessment in the same way as transferring the business tax to the property owner?

    The problem is that higher fees and taxes tend to drive business out of town.

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Health Science is the southernmost LRT station right now. You mean to tell me that commuters from the south drive to the U of A, park their cars in an area where parking is very restrictive and just as expensive as downtown, and then pay to take the train to downtown to work? I CALL BS.
    I never said park-n-ride.

    They use a thing called a bus.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  11. #111
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    Nice try, but most southside transit users can take direct bus trips to downtown without transferring to another bus, let alone LRT.


    Date of Travel: 2007 Jul 20, Friday
    Arrive By: 08:30
    Starting From: Southgate Shopping Centre (111 Street 51 Avenue NW)
    Going To: Edmonton City Centre East (101 Street 102 Avenue NW)
    Trip Plan #: 2976857

    Options Routes Leaving at Arriving at Trip Time
    1 Route 40 08:12 08:28 18 minute(s)
    2 Route 50 08:07 08:23 18 minute(s)
    3 Route 17 08:00 08:16 18 minute(s)
    4 Route 45 08:00 08:16 18 minute(s)
    5 Route 41 07:58 08:14 18 minute(s)
    6 Routes 17 -> 133 08:00 08:18 18 minute(s)

  12. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Nice try, but most southside transit users can take direct bus trips to downtown without transferring to another bus, let alone LRT.


    Date of Travel: 2007 Jul 20, Friday
    Arrive By: 08:30
    Starting From: Southgate Shopping Centre (111 Street 51 Avenue NW)
    Going To: Edmonton City Centre East (101 Street 102 Avenue NW)
    Trip Plan #: 2976857

    Options Routes Leaving at Arriving at Trip Time
    1 Route 40 08:12 08:28 18 minute(s)
    2 Route 50 08:07 08:23 18 minute(s)
    3 Route 17 08:00 08:16 18 minute(s)
    4 Route 45 08:00 08:16 18 minute(s)
    5 Route 41 07:58 08:14 18 minute(s)
    6 Routes 17 -> 133 08:00 08:18 18 minute(s)
    imagine how many buses will be able to focus on other duties once the LRT arrives at southgate

  13. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Nice try, but most southside transit users can take direct bus trips to downtown without transferring to another bus, let alone LRT.
    Did I say Southgate? You consistantly try to put in issues I never posted.

    There are some that use LRT from areas surrounding the existing LRT stations on the Southside who either walk there or take a local bus to the station and take the LRT to downtown.

    You do add another point that; buses may get you there in the same time as LRT and you can take one or two buses from your home to your destination. Unless LRT is in walking distance from your home and work, you may need to take one bus to Southgate, transfer, wait, take the LRT, transfer and wait again and take a bus to your final destination. The NET travel time is very important. For some users, LRT will take longer than the existing buses.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  14. #114
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    You can hardly make an argument on the future LRT system based upon existing stations in the "South Side." University and Health Sciences are hardly in a position to have a huge draw from south end communities given that there are direct downtown bus routes from the major transit centres.

    However, the idea that said buses take the same amount of time as an LRT would is preposterous. I've taken many of those lines many times and they are much longer than an LRT would take due to stopping every block and fighting with road traffic.

    Finally, people are already taking buses to a transfer point for cross town travel. Unless a major route is in walking distance from your home and work, you may need to take one bus to a node, transfer, and wait again and take a bus to your final destination.

    However, even if you *do* live near one of the major routes, they may be quite a bit longer than a potential transfer onto an LRT line. I used to live right by the 9 in Allendale and it had a stupidly high number of stops - one less than every block on average.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Nice try, but most southside transit users can take direct bus trips to downtown without transferring to another bus, let alone LRT.

    Date of Travel: 2007 Jul 20, Friday
    Arrive By: 08:30
    Starting From: Southgate Shopping Centre (111 Street 51 Avenue NW)
    Going To: Edmonton City Centre East (101 Street 102 Avenue NW)
    Trip Plan #: 2976857
    I thought the discussion was about people transferring to the LRT on the southside. There are only two stations, neither of them at Southgate, but there are many routes that end at these university LRT stations or pass there without going downtown.

  16. #116
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    When I go downtown I take the 41 bus from Blue Quill and transfer at Southgate. I have two choices at this point: Transfer to a bus to the downtown area or take a bus to Health Sciences where I transfer to the LRT.
    The choice I make depends on my final destination.
    Fly Edmonton first. Support EIA

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    I thought the discussion was about people transferring to the LRT on the southside. There are only two stations, neither of them at Southgate, but there are many routes that end at these university LRT stations or pass there without going downtown.
    The main discussion is why 42,000 LRT users at peak time is deemed "underutilized" when it only services a small portion of the city.

  18. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Death Monkey
    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    I thought the discussion was about people transferring to the LRT on the southside. There are only two stations, neither of them at Southgate, but there are many routes that end at these university LRT stations or pass there without going downtown.
    The main discussion is why 42,000 LRT users at peak time is deemed "underutilized" when it only services a small portion of the city.
    42,000 Ridership for the $1B Toronto's Sheppard line is dismal
    42,000 Ridership is ok for our existing line
    42,000 Ridership for spending $1B on expanding our LRT system is just foolish when we could do far more by making our transit system better.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  19. #119
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    How exactly are you getting a correlation between 42k and $1 Billion?

    The only one billion figure I can think of is the one WLRT expansion that would see a new bridge and burrowing under Laurier Heights. That price tag is why I think that going west via said height would be completely idiotic.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  20. #120
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    Yeah, 42,000 Ridership from 122,000 Ward 3 residents.

    http://censusdocs.edmonton.ca/C05013...D/WARD%203.pdf

  21. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    How exactly are you getting a correlation between 42k and $1 Billion?

    The only one billion figure I can think of is the one WLRT expansion that would see a new bridge and burrowing under Laurier Heights. That price tag is why I think that going west via said height would be completely idiotic.
    Why don't you read the Stantec report yourself? http://www.edmontonprt.com/Stantec%20HST%20Report.pdf

    excerpt "These costs represent implementing all components of each mode throughout the full length of corridors in each sector. For example, it can be seen that implementing BRT Exclusive in all four sectors would cost in the order of $1.5 B, or implementing LRT in all four sectors would cost in the order of $3.1 B (beyond the estimated $0.5 B cost of SLRT extension to Heritage Station)."

    Note, this is based upon 2004 dollars and with Edmonton's rapidly rising construction costs, energy, concrete and the cost to expropriate land & buildings, just wait till the final costs come in...
    Or see the Office of the City Auditors report;



    Not only does it detail the costs but it predicts that by 2020 under the current plan, the cost of providing a ride shall be $9.37 in todays dollars. Since the tax levy on transit supports 55% the riders will be expected to provide the balance of 45% or $4.22/ride, thats 3 times today's fare price.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  22. #122
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    Well, whether those numbers from Stantec are to be believed is another matter all together. There has already been *significant* debate on these forums about some of the proposed costs.

    Furthermore, using the current inflation as an excuse really is a moot point since costs will be raised for any kind of public transit construction whether it be LRT, BRT, PRT, or whatever other kind we want to pull out of the air.

    There is so much predictive numbers there that I really don't know what to say. However, given the transit department's somewhat dubious numbers over the past few years, I honestly can't put much faith in them.

    The only thing we can know for sure is that the SLRT expansion is costing ~ half a billion. Beyond that, well....
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  23. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    However, given the transit department's somewhat dubious numbers over the past few years, I honestly can't put much faith in them.
    MylesC, you have arrived. Welcome back to reality.

    So many in this city have been brainwashed to think that the administration's plans are going to save us all. They don't have the answers and refuse to listen to the people who use (or would want to use) transit every day.

    May the truth finally be known that; "We should not let experts define the problem or let the general public design the solution." quote by Ian Ford of the ATRA.

    Furthermore I would add that the politicians should facilitate the process and not try to control the the public nor the experts.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    MylesC, you have arrived. Welcome back to reality.
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but myself along with many people on this forum have held a certain mistrust of the numbers coming from the bureaucracy for quite some time.

    That is the biggest reason of why we don't support BRT yet fully support LRT...we've gone out and done our own digging and research.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  25. #125

    Default Scrap BRT, make service improvements

    Saturday » August 4 » 2007

    Scrap BRT, and timing points, too

    The Edmonton Journal, Saturday, August 04, 2007

    The city should forget its bus rapid transit idea and instead consider abolishing timing points on all major routes with 15-minute service or less.

    I used to commute 100 blocks. It took 75 minutes using Edmonton Transit, 45 minutes by bicycle and 20 minutes by car.

    Why did it take so long by bus? Because the buses wasted 30 minutes because of timing points. They would deliberately go slowly to ensure they didn't get to the timing points too quickly.

    I suggest we have the buses go from one end of a route to the other, taking time only to drop off and pick up riders, with no pauses for connections.

    This way, customers would have faster rides because the buses would only stop to pick up or drop off people. Bus drivers could have guaranteed breaks at each end of their runs for a given amount of time, say 10 minutes. Currently, they often can't take breaks during peak hours.

    THE CITY WOULD SAVE MONEY BECAUSE:

    - People would be more productive if they were less tired from long commutes;

    - ETS could use inspectors to work on security and other issues instead of timing point compliance.

    Timing points double the time it takes to make bus trips. Instead, ETS should make speed a priority. This is what the people want.

    Claude de Blois, Edmonton

    © The Edmonton Journal 2007
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  26. #126

    Default Scrap BRT, and timing points, too

    Scrap BRT, and timing points, too

    The Edmonton Journal
    Published: August 04, 2007 2:51 am


    The city should forget its bus rapid transit idea and instead consider abolishing timing points on all major routes with 15-minute service or less.

    I used to commute 100 blocks. It took 75 minutes using Edmonton Transit, 45 minutes by bicycle and 20 minutes by car.

    Why did it take so long by bus? Because the buses wasted 30 minutes because of timing points. They would deliberately go slowly to ensure they didn't get to the timing points too quickly.

    I suggest we have the buses go from one end of a route to the other, taking time only to drop off and pick up riders, with no pauses for connections.

    This way, customers would have faster rides because the buses would only stop to pick up or drop off people. Bus drivers could have guaranteed breaks at each end of their runs for a given amount of time, say 10 minutes. Currently, they often can't take breaks during peak hours.

    THE CITY WOULD SAVE MONEY BECAUSE:

    - People would be more productive if they were less tired from long commutes;

    - ETS could use inspectors to work on security and other issues instead of timing point compliance.

    Timing points double the time it takes to make bus trips. Instead, ETS should make speed a priority. This is what the people want.

    Claude de Blois, Edmonton

    © The Edmonton Journal 2007

    -30-

  27. #127

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    ^ You beat me by seconds to this post!

  28. #128

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    I think another very simiple thing that could massivley improve the experience for passangers, is adding LCD / LED readouts at bus stops that tell when the next bus is. This techology (perhaps GPS based) is very cheap relative to other improvements, and is used in other cities. Such systems can also be used for avertising, bringing more money into the city, and have been shown to directly increase ridership.

    Something that really put me off using the busses here, was standing outside in the cold in winter, not knowing if there was a bus coming, or if I had missed my bus by being too late. These read outs would benefit every bus user in the city, not just those on BRT routes. Maybe we should try this first, before investing heavily in BRT?

    Just browsing the web, here are some examples:

    Example: (from Italy)



    Exampes: (from UK)




  29. #129
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    As a short-term solution, could we use the proposed BRT bus routes as express routes? I would also add the following, which would link with the LRT:

    (1) North-South: Non-stop from downtown (109 Street/97 Street) to Northgate, and possibly Namao/167 Avenue. The South Leg would run along 109 Street/111 Street Corridor with stops at the Legislature and Garneau (three blocks from U of A, Strathcona Access through the streetcar), and another stop at Southgate. The bus could continue south to South Edmonton Common, and possibly to the Edmonton International Airport.

    (2) NW-SE: Non-stop along Groat Road to Westmount, and possibly to 137 Avenue and St. Albert. The south leg could turn off on 87 Avenue and continue to the University, and connect at the U of A Station. This bus could continue SE, along 112 Street/Whyte Avenue with stops in Strathcona (104 Street), and south along Calgary Trail/Gateway Boulevard, with a possible stop along 51 Avenue, turning east along 51 Avenue to 91 Street, and East along 23 Avenue, terminating at Mill Woods town centre.

    (3) West: West from South Campus Station, non-stop to West Edmonton Mall, and another stop at Lewis Estates.

    (4) SE from downtown: Along Connors Road to Bonnie Doon Mall, East along Whyte Avenue, turning south at 50 Street and continuing to Mill Woods Town Centre.

    Other possible lines could include 23 Avenue, 66 Street/75 Street/Wayne Gretzky Drive Corridor, 137 Avenue, and 170 Street.

    Like the LRT, these express buses could run every five minutes during peak hours, or every 15 minutes on non-peak hours. Also, any special events buses could run from one of these hubs. This would reduce or eliminate many of the timing points.

    Of course, regular lines could still connect with these hubs.

  30. #130
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    Or scrap the whole thing and expand the LRT so it reaches the west end before 2020.
    Edmonton, Capital of Alberta

  31. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveB
    Or scrap the whole thing and expand the LRT so it reaches the west end before 2020.
    We are proposing here to improve the existing bus system, instead of BRT. The LRT is not going to ever replace all busses in the city. Our bus service needs to improve as our population ages, and driving becomes more difficult for many.

    Personally, I think cheap LCD/LED bus timetable signs on bus stops (other cities easily afford this) would be a good start. The route suggestions in this thread also might make sense, and could be built into this.

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    I prefer the idea of more express and semi-express routes then
    having buses run from one end of the line to the other without
    any timing points inbetween. People like being able to predict
    when their bus will come. Granted, most people want a bus
    within a minute of their getting to their bus stop, but they still
    know when the bus is supposed to show up.
    No timing points on express routes would be okay though.

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    AAAAAAAAMen, brother.

    Forget the BRT or at the very most put it into its proper place as a 2nd tier of service for areas where an LRT would be hard to build.

    Let's get the LRT spine of our system done and go from there.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    Forget the BRT or at the very most put it into its proper place as a 2nd tier of service for areas where an LRT would be hard to build.

    Let's get the LRT spine of our system done and go from there.
    I've argued for the LRT and against the BRT, but I'm no longer certain that the LRT is the best way to go right now if we're talking about transit between regions within the city, such as WEM or Northgate.

    Convince me again why the LRT is such a good solution for transit problems.

  35. #135

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    Going from WEM to Century Park, BRT makes sense. If you're going into the downtown core, it should be LRT, and underground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m0nkyman
    Going from WEM to Century Park, BRT makes sense. If you're going into the downtown core, it should be LRT, and underground.
    Yes, I know the mantra.

    I may have been too terse before. I should have said: "Convince me again why building the LRT now is such a good solution for transit problems.

    It seems to me that the current system is stuck in the paradox of 'too many routes and not enough buses' serving downtown. But just because it may be justifiable to extend the LRT to CP, does not infer that the same holds true for WEM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m0nkyman
    Going from WEM to Century Park, BRT makes sense. If you're going into the downtown core, it should be LRT, and underground.
    That's something else.... if the City is really proactive about
    public transit, why didn't they get a dedicated bus lane on
    Anthony Henday Drive for future use?
    Having BRT from Century Park to West Edmonton Mall via
    Anthony Henday Drive would be a great idea
    Heck, another BRT from West Edmonton Mall out to the airport
    would make sense then too.

  38. #138

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    Because with the addition of WEM to the LRT system, all of the major employment nodes are connected to it. WLRT isn't just about getting people from downtown from the west end. It's about getting people from elsewhere in the city to WEM, and let's face it, there are a lot of people working at WEM who take public transit...

  39. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by microbus
    I prefer the idea of more express and semi-express routes then
    having buses run from one end of the line to the other without
    any timing points inbetween. People like being able to predict
    when their bus will come. Granted, most people want a bus
    within a minute of their getting to their bus stop, but they still
    know when the bus is supposed to show up.
    No timing points on express routes would be okay though.
    The only reason people like being able to predict when their bus will come is because the busses come too infrequently to be useful. No one in London tries to predict when the next train will come on the tube because they come every couple of minutes. It would probably take longer to consult the schedule than to just stare at the wall whilst the train pulls in.

    Can you imagine if people liked being able to predict when exactly their cars would show up in their garages? Of course not; tis crazy. And the car, always there, is what Transit is competing against. Or rather, the car is what transit should be competing against. At the moment it is competitive only when compared to hitch-hiking on a potted plant.
    City Centre Airport is to the sky as False Creek is to the ocean.

  40. #140

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    I've argued for the LRT and against the BRT, but I'm no longer certain that the LRT is the best way to go right now if we're talking about transit between regions within the city, such as WEM or Northgate.

    Convince me again why the LRT is such a good solution for transit problems.
    Dwells, you are right to question LRT and BRT.

    In real estate, the key mantra is location, location, location

    In mass transit the mantra is densit, density, density
    The usual minimum density is 3,300 people/km2 (10,000 people/sq.mile)

    Evaluating Edmonton for LRT and BRT plans:

    Strike 1. Edmonton has one of the lowest densities of any city in North America. Even lower than Saskatoon, SK

    Strike 2. Edmonton's downtown core is a very weak employment node compared to other major cities like Calgary or Ottawa.

    Strike 3. Edmonton does not have major high density residential nodes that make mass transit effective.

    We don't have the density to qualify for LRT or even BRT service.

    Lets look at making our express bus service (like #100 route) better and go to a grid service rather than hub & spoke.

    Did you know that Nextbus service is used by San Fancisco on all their trolley buses?

    From Wikipedia

    NextBus is a vehicle tracking system provided by NextBus, Inc., for buses, trams, light rail operations and other public transportation vehicles.
    Each vehicle is fitted with a GPS receiver, which transmits speed and location data for projected arrival/departure times. These times are broadcast to electronic signs at bus stops and tram stops. They are also delivered to cell phones, PDAs and other wireless devices via the Internet. NextBus Inc. states that this increases user satisfaction by increasing the amount of information that reaches them. NextBus Inc. also provides management tools for transit agencies.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

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    That NextBus should be easy to implement too. The Eddie Buses
    have GPS announcers now, that announce landmarks and
    points of interest.

  42. #142

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    Density is nonsense. LRT works in Calgary and we have comparable densities. They move more people at a lower cost than by any other means. I think Edmonton has been proven to be dense enough over the years thank you very much!

    LRT:
    Win 1: We're dense enough compared to other cities where it works.
    Win 2: We have well defined employment and activity nodes; for instance, downtown, U of A, WEM, Whyte
    Win 3: Park and Ride really truly works in the burbs to collect people from their detached houses into an LRT system that competes effectively against cars.

    We have everything we need for LRT or BRT. The trouble is, BRT as it is being proposed is just a tarted-up express bus that will only happen 10 years from now at a cost of hundreds of millions better spent on LRT.

    BRT could be 100 km/h on its own self-steering guideway. This city brags about planning for an average speed of only 35 km/h with BRT. Someone needs to tell Edmonton Transit that those two snails from the Shaw Internet commercial are only animations. Real people don't want to move that slowly.

    The BRT as it is proposed is a waste of money. The LRT can't happen fast enough. Happily, once it hits Southgate, the rest of Edmonton will agree and demand will jump beyond Edmonton Transit's imagination. It will take on a life of its own, and then finally we will start getting somewhere...
    City Centre Airport is to the sky as False Creek is to the ocean.

  43. #143

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    It's funny, what they are touting as BRT in Edmonton is simply the bus here in Paris. Exclusive bus lanes, service priority, led displays, and timing indicators at bus stops is the standard here. I must say, the few times that I have taken the bus here this summer, it has been very pleasurable. Why they are trying to sell this idea of BRT at XX dollars, rather than just improving bus system is beyond me.

  44. #144

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    Quote Originally Posted by mick
    It's funny, what they are touting as BRT in Edmonton is simply the bus here in Paris. Exclusive bus lanes, service priority, led displays, and timing indicators at bus stops is the standard here. I must say, the few times that I have taken the bus here this summer, it has been very pleasurable. Why they are trying to sell this idea of BRT at XX dollars, rather than just improving bus system is beyond me.
    mick, the trouble is, Edmonton Transit isn't even planning on giving us LED displays or timing info at bus stops. Even worse, the BRT will only run a few times per hour, making it the useless weak link when transferring from LRT.

    As it is, you get off the LRT and watch as several other trains pull up and dump out their passengers before any chance of catching a bus. To even have a hope at being worthwhile, the BRT would need to depart at the same frequency as the LRT's schedule.

    But ultimately what we're talking about is still a bus. It baffles me how it would take 10 years and 500 million dollars to achieve so little. What they need to do immediately (or rather 5 months ago when I first brought this up) is match the LRT's frequency on a few key bus routes. All it takes is more busses, now, and the system becomes exponentially more effective. The other so-called "BRT" improvements can be phased in over time as conditions warrant, and if conditions warrant.

    BRT stands for Big Ridiculous Timewaster.
    City Centre Airport is to the sky as False Creek is to the ocean.

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    Indeed.

    If anything is needed with the bus system, it's a COMPLETE overhaul. This will particularly be needed with a proper LRT system.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by lux
    What they need to do immediately (or rather 5 months ago when I first brought this up) is match the LRT's frequency on a few key bus routes. All it takes is more busses, now, and the system becomes exponentially more effective. The other so-called "BRT" improvements can be phased in over time as conditions warrant, and if conditions warrant.
    That is exactly what prompted my question. Just because we feel that the transit service at WEM is inadequate is not enough reason to spend a billion on the assumption that an immovable LRT line with limited access will be a cure-all.

    Compare transit at WEM with the number of routes and the frequency of service that provide service between Southgate and downtown. There is an apparent difference in demand that denies that a wLRT service is an immediate necessity.

    I have reached the opinion that is would be wiser, and here I agree with the excerpted quote, to increase the level of transit service to marginally exceed the demand and when the number of routes and the bus frequency approaches saturation will be the time to demand LRT. This may be in five years or it may be in fifty years, in the meantime technology will have made today's toys either commonplace or funny anachronisms.

    At the same time I think that the BRT proposal is as much overkill as the demand for the wLRT. I think the full extent of our commitment to transit between WEM and downtown over the next decade should be limited to adding buses and drivers.

  47. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by lux
    Density is nonsense. LRT works in Calgary and we have comparable densities. They move more people at a lower cost than by any other means. I think Edmonton has been proven to be dense enough over the years thank you very much!
    Lux, obviously you have a complete misunderstanding of the requirements for LRT. 40,000 riders after 30 years of LRT demonstrates that LRT is far less in use than Calgary's system. THe NE LRT line made sense because of a low cost right-of-way and two major sports attractions along the route.

    Quote Originally Posted by lux
    LRT:
    Win 1: We're dense enough compared to other cities where it works.
    Give me two examples of cities with LRT that are successful and have the same density. Don't use Calgary as it is 30% more dense (pardon the dual meaning)

    Quote Originally Posted by lux
    Win 2: We have well defined employment and activity nodes; for instance, downtown, U of A, WEM, Whyte
    Sorry, very wrong. Downtown hasn't seen a major office building built in more than 20 years. Calgary has had dozens of new oil company head offices and downtown towers built in the same time. The UofA is only seaonal with demand falling to a trickle from April to August. WEM and Whyte may have activity but where is the huge demand and from what defined direction do they take to get there? If people are coming to WEM and Whyte from every direction then how is a single line from downtown going to help? WEM in particular has many coming via Whitemud Drive, 170st and 178st which are not routes that LRT or BRT would parralel.

    Quote Originally Posted by lux
    Win 3: Park and Ride really truly works in the burbs to collect people from their detached houses into an LRT system that competes effectively against cars.
    Then why is there not one P&R been planned for the South LRT even though it has been known for 25 years that the route was going past Southgate and to Century Place (Heritage Mall)?

    Quote Originally Posted by lux
    The BRT as it is proposed is a waste of money. The LRT can't happen fast enough. Happily, once it hits Southgate, the rest of Edmonton will agree and demand will jump beyond Edmonton Transit's imagination. It will take on a life of its own, and then finally we will start getting somewhere...
    The South LRT is not going to make a significant change in this city. We can do more without spending billions of dollars.

    As witnessed by all at July 10th’s TPW Committee meeting, the Transportation Planning Branch avoided all mention of costs for this important project. The TPB also admitted that the BRT is estimated to only save 3 minutes but public submissions indicated that there was much confusion where the comparisons of BRT and Route #100 start and stop, and that BRT may take up to 75% longer, based upon ETS literature. Furthermore, the Stakeholders were not even asked the simple question: Do you think BRT is a good transit solution for Edmonton? Wouldn’t Council like to find out what they think after 1,000 hours of volunteered time?

    If we are to learn from Ottawa’s BRT program, the price for the transitway system was estimated at $97.5 million but cost $440 million. “The main reasons for the increases were underestimation of original costs, exclusion of inflation, incomplete details in plans and changes in the standards of transitway stations” excerpt, The real transitway `success' story, The Ottawa Citizen, December 10, 1997 City Editorial Page, By Harry W. Gow, President of Transport 2000 Canada

    We do not have information on the estimated costs nor do we have any cost-benefit analysis, plan details or data on current transit usage in West Edmonton. We get no data or unfiltered information from the EdmontonBRT website, just maps and canned infomercials. What Council needs is full disclosure of the plans, reports, data and links to supporting information that should be available on the www.EdmontonBRT.ca website for public oversight to properly evaluate and check their plans.

    BRT and LRT proponents emphasize faster service and one way they make it possible is to reduce stations to a minimum and force people to take multiple modes just to get somewhere. Instead of taking one or two buses to a destination, users either have to take a bus or car to a station, transfer and often take another bus to their final destination. The net travel time can be significantly greater than the replaced system. I have in my hand a Route 100 express bus schedule that clearly states it only takes 17 minutes from West Edmonton Mall to Downtown (109th & Jasper Ave, closest location to the BRT terminis at Grant MacEwan Campus), not 30 minutes as stated in the BRT plan, and it only takes one transfer to GMC for a total of 23 minutes. The West LRT Plans also state that it would take 26 minutes to downtown. Why would we build LRT if our current Super Express bus service is clearly faster? Is it not easier to get rid of timing points, better routes and provide more frequent service than to waste money on LRT and BRT?

    It is far cheaper and faster to increase the #100 service from 40 foot buses to articulated buses and/or increase the service frequency from 15 minutes to 7.5 minutes, than to expropriate homes or build thousands of park’n’ride spaces as you propose. If another Super Express Route was put into service from WEM directly to GMC and it and the route #100 were both fully utilised then lets talk about BRT or LRT.

    There is an impression that there is a plan to hobble the system and eliminate competitive services like express buses, electric trolleys and distort facts in order to promote expensive capital projects. There is no examples of cost/benefit analysis nor due diligence to ensure the best possible system to meet Edmonton’s needs.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Lux, obviously you have a complete misunderstanding of the requirements for LRT. 40,000 riders after 30 years of LRT demonstrates that LRT is far less in use than Calgary's system.
    That does in no way prove that LRT is faulty in Edmonton. It proves that our past municipal governments were unable or unwilling to push the LRT construction at the same rate as other cities. Calgary built their system out and now has the numbers. We would, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Don't use Calgary as it is 30% more dense
    Density ratings for this city are way off given the large stretch of empty land in the NE that was annexed when the province allowed nothing else to be gotten.

    If you want a comparison, then look at the density of built up areas in Edmonton that the LRT would be servicing.

    How about Denver? It's surburban areas that they're building the LRT to aren't very dense at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Sorry, very wrong. Downtown hasn't seen a major office building built in more than 20 years....The UofA is only seaonal with demand falling to a trickle from April to August. WEM and Whyte may have activity but where is the huge demand and from what defined direction do they take to get there? If people are coming to WEM and Whyte from every direction then how is a single line from downtown going to help? WEM in particular has many coming via Whitemud Drive, 170st and 178st which are not routes that LRT or BRT would parralel.
    1. You clearly have *no* sense of the amount of activity that goes on at the University campus year round. Just because the student numbers are down slightly doesn't mean the tens of thousands employees aren't at work. Besides, intercession is only 4 months out of the year.

    2. Calgary's LRT served downtown 30 years ago when there were far less towers. Just b/c we have less office space than them doesn't mean downtown isn't a strong employment node.

    3. People taking the bus and what not are already forced largely through transit centres, the most prominent one being the downtown area. Quite a few people go to WEM through downtown anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Then why is there not one P&R been planned for the South LRT even though it has been known for 25 years that the route was going past Southgate and to Century Place (Heritage Mall)?
    Could it have to do with the large mall parking lot there already?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    The South LRT is not going to make a significant change in this city. We can do more without spending billions of dollars.
    I doubt that. Just watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by EdmontonPRT
    Do you think BRT is a good transit solution for Edmonton? Wouldn’t Council like to find out what they think after 1,000 hours of volunteered time?
    So...you're basically always saying no upper end Mass Transit at all. You come into these threads and put LRT down, but then do the same thing with BRT when the whole point of most of the posts here are the problems with BRT. What exactly is your solution? This magically PRT system?

    Yes, tweaking of the bus system is needed, as you said. A lot of improvements in bus service could come through making expresses *true* expresses and not having EVERY route stop EVERY block.

    Regardless, LRT still has a place and use as shown by dozens of major cities with wide array of rail projects.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    Regardless, LRT still has a place and use as shown by dozens of major cities with wide array of rail projects.
    This argument is totally fatuous and unfounded. You could just as easily say that LRT still has no place and and is useless as shown by thousands of major cities without any rail projects.

    LRT should eventually be expanded to WEM and beyond, but I don't see the numbers to justify it at this time. Let's see if we can build transit usage first. Right now we don't have enough information to take such a gamble.

  50. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwells
    This argument is totally fatuous and unfounded. You could just as easily say that LRT still has no place and and is useless as shown by thousands of major cities without any rail projects.

    LRT should eventually be expanded to WEM and beyond, but I don't see the numbers to justify it at this time. Let's see if we can build transit usage first. Right now we don't have enough information to take such a gamble.
    If I may add to dwells comment, even the BRT numbers are dismal at best. They only expect total ridership for the WBRT to be 8,450 trips (4,225 round trips) FIVE YEARS after implimentation.

    If there is such demand for LRT and BRT then why is the Route #100 only a day route, only on a 15 minute interval at peak periods and only a 40 ft bus? Why should Edmontonians shell out millions of dollars for a massive project when the Route #100 isn't even close to capacity?

    Have you noticed that no one from ETS steps in front of Council to endorse what the Transportation Planning Branch proposes? They cannot or will not give Council an answer to direct questions about costs for their BRT proposal. The onus must be on Transportation to prove that the passengers are there by promoting the Route #100, add another express route from WEM to GMC and add a third from WEM to UofA. Once they fill those buses at 7-1/2 minute intervals then I will be the first in line to promote BRT or LRT.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  51. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    So...you're basically always saying no upper end Mass Transit at all. You come into these threads and put LRT down, but then do the same thing with BRT when the whole point of most of the posts here are the problems with BRT. What exactly is your solution? ...
    ...Regardless, LRT still has a place and use as shown by dozens of major cities with wide array of rail projects.
    O.K. then tell us how many people will use the $1,000,000,000 West LRT with only three stations at Lewis Estates, WEM and Meadowlark Mall? The route will take 26 minutes, partly because of timing points plus most users will still need to take a regular bus to get to the LRT station which adds to the net travel time.

    Your Denver example is poor as Denver has 30% greater density than Edmonton. Denver's LRT line will have 13 stations and ridership is only expected to be 38,000 (19,000 round trips), and they are building 7,500 parking spaces; at a total cost of $880M US. Denver's LRT was built mostly on existing railroad right-of-ways which made building far less costly and did not rip up neighbourhoods or interfere with traffic. It was built along the same rational as Edmonton's original line including serving a major stadium. Where is the comparison to WLRT? In west Edmonton there is not one rail line plus we have narrow traffic corridors and if the WLRT route is to be direct to the UofA then we have a very expensive bridge to build.

    Let’s get back on the topic of this thread which is improving the existing service. The Office of the City Auditor rates ETS as underutilized and inefficient. What can be done in 12 months that will benefit the users and improve system speed?
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  52. #152

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    MylesC, you've quoted me as saying a bunch of stuff that I never said. Is it possible for you to edit that?
    City Centre Airport is to the sky as False Creek is to the ocean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    O.K. then tell us how many people will use the $1,000,000,000 West LRT with only three stations at Lewis Estates, WEM and Meadowlark Mall?
    You're assuming I support that route, which I don't. I think it's idiotic to put it that way and waste that much money for that amount of track.

    I've never been talking about one single route here. I refer to the need to expand the system as a whole. There are other threads about the WLRT proposals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Your Denver example is poor as Denver has 30% greater density than Edmonton.
    As I mentioned, there are issues with straightforward density comparisons...See my post above.


    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Denver's LRT line will have 13 stations and ridership is only expected to be 38,000 (19,000 round trips), and they are building 7,500 parking spaces;
    Eh? They have 35 stations right now. Actually, Edmonton seems to be ahead with service. RTD had in Jan '06 around 35k daily boarding on their LRT. ref

    Regardless, so according to your above statements it seems we can't use Calgary as an example b/c it's more dense and we can't use examples of less dense cities where it's working....alrighty...

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Denver's LRT was built mostly on existing railroad right-of-ways which made building far less costly and did not rip up neighbourhoods or interfere with traffic.
    It depends on what section you're talking about. From this page you can see facts about each of the construction phases.

    Interestingly, by doing so, you'll see how the RTD has maintained that each step is a part of the overall system. They haven't gone, oh, boo-hoo, the SW line only adds 10k riders. It's just one piece of the pie.

    Most of the SE spine and the beginnings of the eastern spur were built in conjunction with the work done in I-25 and I-225 which was a 2 billion dollar project.

    Futhermore, in 2004 a $7 Billion plan to expand the system to 113 miles was approved via plebiscite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    In west Edmonton there is not one rail line plus we have narrow traffic corridors and if the WLRT route is to be direct to the UofA then we have a very expensive bridge to build.
    There are certain RoWs that have been partially protected and available since the original plans were drawn up in the 70s based on rail lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Let’s get back on the topic of this thread which is improving the existing service.
    Um, given the opening post, it seems that the thread is about scrapping BRT. I believe LRT would help and am posting in that regard.

    At the same time, improvements to basic service are indeed needed as I have posted numerous times. There is something wrong when expresses stop every block, and all the routes down the same st/ave all stop once per block at every stop. A great deal of our bus routes need to be completely redesigned without the baggage of past political decisions weighing the system down.

    To Dwells: I hear you and yes, with our current system in this city it is a gamble to base expansion on current numbers. The SLRT expansion will tell a lot as it will be the first time the system it put to a point where it begins serving the whole community. I predict ridership will skyrocket and that will be telling in itself.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lux
    MylesC, you've quoted me as saying a bunch of stuff that I never said. Is it possible for you to edit that?
    AAHH!! I forgot to change those. Drats....I'll do it right now!! I was working with quotes within quotes and it slipped my mind
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  55. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    Quote Originally Posted by lux
    MylesC, you've quoted me as saying a bunch of stuff that I never said. Is it possible for you to edit that?
    AAHH!! I forgot to change those. Drats....I'll do it right now!! I was working with quotes within quotes and it slipped my mind
    Thanks!
    City Centre Airport is to the sky as False Creek is to the ocean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MylesC
    with our current system in this city it is a gamble to base expansion on current numbers. The SLRT expansion will tell a lot as it will be the first time the system it put to a point where it begins serving the whole community. I predict ridership will skyrocket and that will be telling in itself.
    I think it's an unabashed exaggeration to say that the LRT will be serving the whole community. At best it will be serving a very small portion of the community - and that is the problem as I see it. We WANT to believe that the LRT will solve all the problems that beset our entire transit system. In the meantime, we want to build a bus based system that works on a principle that seems to contradict the structure required for the terminal/hub/express system that would easily let itself be upgraded to an LRT backbone.

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    Default BRT routes on high speed roads?

    There aren't that many free flow roadways in Edmonton but why not take advantage of these roads when considering the BRT system.

    For example. If someone from Millwoods wants to go to West Edmonton Mall, they either have to go downtown and then transfer to another bus to the west end. Or if someone needs to get to get to Capilano area from Clareview they have to take the train and a bus or any number of buses.

    When considering BRT can we not have lines using some of our major roadways like AHD, Whitemud, Terwilligar Dr., Fox Dr., Yellowhead (Ok I admit this one not that quick), Sherwood Park Freeway, St.Albert Trail, Gateway Blvd. Also aren't there enough right of ways where they could build dedicated bus roads.

    Using my first example, could you not have a BRT route that would leave millwoods town center terminal and one possible route would be, north to Whitemud, then travel west on Whitemud with a small number of stops, 1 at Millgate, 2 at Southgate, 3 at Fox Dr/Fort Edm Park, 5 at 159st. 6 and final at WEM. A route like that would definitly be a rapid transit.

    Can routes like that be made around the city where we can take advantage of free flowing road, or at least as free flowing as we can get.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  58. #158

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    In some aspects we already have BRT in this city. Look at the regional commuter routes such as the 401/404 in sherwood park that go directly downtown from the terminal in sherwood park in about 20 - 25 minutes. Similar in St Albert. These routes have limited stops. Even Spruce Grove is setting up this type of transit. It seems to work well.

    Crosstown routes in this city such as the 1-13 (and a few other routes) should be the same way. Limited stops in key areas. These routes also shouldn't be held to timing points, and should run from 5am-10 pm in a 5-10 frequency.

    Why we need to make this huge leap and spend all sorts of cash baffles me.

    edit: (I realize we already have a few express routes in this city such as the 100... but that doesn't cut it. we need more)

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    These types of routes are a good idea, but they shouldn't replace the existing crosstown routes, as they also have their place.
    The new "BRT" routes should connect major transit centers that don't have good LRT connections between them - like the Millwoods TC - Millgate - Southgate - WEM route that Edmcowboy11 suggested. Another possibility would be Stadium - Kingsway - Westmount - Stony plain/170 St - WEM running along 111 St / Mayfield Rd / 170 St. Clairview - Londonderry - Northgate - ~142 St - Westmount via 137 Av and St Albert Tr. might also work.

    As for the #100, I was very dissapointed when I discovered it is only an express after it spends 20 minutes stopping at every stop on Jasper Av. Not cool when you get on at 101 St!

  60. #160
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    Best SWBRT Route?
    (Note: the SWBRT is only suitable for 40' or 60' diesel buses)

    just finished it tonight



    Please feel free to tell me what you think.

  61. #161

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RicoLance21
    Best SWBRT Route?
    (Note: the SWBRT is only suitable for 40' or 60' diesel buses)

    just finished it tonight



    Please feel free to tell me what you think.
    why not just run it down 23ave and connect with SLRT?

  62. #162

    Default Re: BRT routes on high speed roads?

    [quote="Edmcowboy11"]There aren't that many free flow roadways in Edmonton but why not take advantage of these roads when considering the BRT system./quote]

    Boston's BRT (silver) line does...
    [email protected][email protected]: the 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse

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    While I do agree with the Whitemud route, the same logic does not apply to other roads unfortunately.

    When you're planning a road, you just need to pick a general direction and find some empty land. Transit routes need to pick a set of destinations in roughly the same direction and string them together. Sometimes the goals coincide, and we find enough destinations next to the road.

    Whitemud is decent, with the possibility of tying Millwoods, Southgate, sLRT, WEM, and a few other transit routes together, but it's still really sparse on the destinations.

    What good is a route on the Yellowhead, Gretzky, Gateway, or Sherwood Park freeway? Don't get me wrong, we still need transit there, but those routes would be entirely dependent on transfers on either end and wouldn't actually go anywhere. It's not the same as driving.

  64. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by feepa

    why not just run it down 23ave and connect with SLRT?
    I believe the route I made (If WLRT is built via University Ave/87 Ave) can attract the most riders, because the line connects all of SW Edmonton south of North Saskatchewan River.

  65. #165
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    Default Bus rapid transit plan dies

    Bus rapid transit plan dies

    Gordon Kent, edmontonjournal.com
    Published: 7:15 pm

    EDMONTON - After more than three years of study, Edmonton's transportation department is dropping plans to lure commuters out of their cars by introducing a bus rapid transit system.

    A 2004 report talked about running a new generation of jumbo buses along exclusive lanes or with the right-of-way over other traffic between heated, well-lit stations up to 1.6 kilometres apart.

    Councillors gave preliminary approval last July to a BRT route from Lewis Estates in the west end to downtown, which could have involved demolishing up to 15 houses and seven businesses on Stony Plain Road between 142nd and 149th streets.

    But transportation general manager Bob Boutilier said in a Nov. 29 letter to civic officials and politicians that he has decided to remove city material that mentions "bus rapid transit," including the website devoted to the topic.

    The phrase is causing "significant confusion" among councillors and members of the public, affecting the department's work and reviews of development proposals, particularly in mature neighbourhoods, his letter said.

    In an interview today, Boutilier called the term "jargon" that made many people think only of an expensive, dedicated high-tech system in its own lane.

    Instead, he wants to focus on increasing the LRT system, which he said is more efficient and moves passengers faster. A report on a future growth plan is due early next year.


    continued:

    http://www.canada.com/edmontonjourna...971139&k=35734

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    woot

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    The vibe I got is that this doesn't mean we won't see express buses and bus lanes on some of the proposed routes, but they will thankfully be backing away from the gold-plated options and hype advertising.

    With any luck this means faster results.

    Edit: Never mind, read the rest of the article and that's basically what it says.

  68. #168
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    The death of WBRT? It's like an early christmas present.

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    No kidding.
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

  70. #170
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    Bob Boutilier was hired from outside Edmonton just like the previous guy, right? That would explain why he has so much common sense!
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  71. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS
    No kidding.
    I think the BRT would not have been much faster than the average bus. With the transit lanes and signals, buses have a slignt advantage. I think that the acquisition of land would have been a nightmare.

    I think, though, that there has to be some dedicated non-stop bus routes that can connect with the LRT, or to key hubs.

  72. #172

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    Which is what he seems to be saying. Sounds like he was mostly interested in getting rid of: 1) the confusion caused by a marketing term, which could be used to cover everything from express buses to Ottawa style BRT; and 2) the idea that it was somehow more logical to build fully dedicated and potentially grade separated busways as a pre-cursor to LRT. Seems to me that logic has won out here. Yes, we'll improve bus service as much as we can with things like signal priority and bus only lanes where possible but if we're going to make large capital investments to expropriate property and build grade separated ROWs, we might as well do LRT now and save a costly and logistically fraught (i.e. what do we do with the users while converting) conversion later. Brilliant news.

    Oh, and as aside. If we are truly serious about improving bus service at a minimum cost please see Paris. Around 2000 a new mayor was elected. Rather than expropriating property etc for new bus lanes, he simply instructed city crews to dedicate bus lanes on main arteries and had them put small curbs as a physical separation. Add in signal priority and voila, brand spanking new bus/taxi and bike lanes, faster service, and all likely done for less than what our WBRT would have cost. Oh, and the added bonus of hundreds of new KMs of bike lanes running all over the city with no investment in new infrastructure and laying the ground work for the ultra successful Velib program...honestly, I never thought commuting to work on a bike in a major city like Paris would be so easy and enjoyable.

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    Well that is great news.
    I wasn't so much against the BRT concepts as I was against spending all of that money to give Lewis Estates an express bus downtown when they don't have the ridership to justify a 15min frequency bus.

    I only hope when they are considering wLRT they plan a route they can justify with ridership numbers with stops that make sense.

  74. #174

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryguy
    Well that is great news.
    I wasn't so much against the BRT concepts as I was against spending all of that money to give Lewis Estates an express bus downtown when they don't have the ridership to justify a 15min frequency bus.

    I only hope when they are considering wLRT they plan a route they can justify with ridership numbers with stops that make sense.
    My issue was that in my mind, 15 minute service is already skeleton service. If they can't make a go of it even at the ridiculously spaced-out 15 minute interval, they need to just admit that you can't get from here to there via ETS, and it is time to call a cab.

    My other issue was that it involved spending millions of dollars and the only essential part of the plan (frequency) would only get phased in a decade from now. Wasn't good enough.

    I'm glad to see it go, and I'm glad Leibovici didn't get her way on this one.
    City Centre Airport is to the sky as False Creek is to the ocean.

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    First an office tower, then Edmonton's high ranking in the 'most attractive cities' list, and now this... it's becoming a great Christmas already!

  76. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by travis
    woot

    I second that.

    ...and it's w00t, not "woot"...hehe

    http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2007...00t/index.html

  77. #177
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    thank god!


    The west-end needs LRT....not BRT...and while BRT or express "B-lines" should still be apart of our plan....it shouldnt be to the west end.

    BRT through articulated b-lines should be going to millwoods and the west end right now...but not with dedicated lanes or stations, but rather with only 3-4 stops along the way to improve time.
    www.decl.org

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  78. #178
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    I am generally opposed to any shut-down of a transit priority project, but this doesn't surprise me in the least.

    The planners have engaged in wishy-washy "we could do this, or we could do that, and maybe we'll put this stop here" rhetoric which has resulted in stakeholders being nothing but confused as to the purpose and shape of the BRT project. They have completely failed to rally Edmontonians around BRT, and have never shucked the image of BRT being a poor-mans excuse for LRT (which is not the case). The whole project should have been built around a concrete plan: a dedicated right-of-way, off-board fare collection, bendy-buses, whatever...

    Residents along the corridors started thinking that they'd have buses rocketing through their living rooms at warp speed, and the city did pathetic and ineffective p.r. bits to try to alleviate the NIMBY-ism.

    Planners also refused to take lanes away from traffic, insisting on widening roads to accommodate bus lanes. With adding an auto incentive as well as a transit incentive, you end up back at square one, with the same amount of, or if not, more people, in their cars.

    Now, the concern is that the "transit priority" rhetoric Boutilier has started, could be interpreted in a million different ways (just like BRT), and is in danger of being watered-down into nothing.

    Edmonton has missed another boat...

  79. #179

    Default

    BRT should be used where LRT isn't pratical, to connect to LRT lines or downtown

    If the 87 ave line ever goes through, lets see 170st used as a BRT line with limited stops all the way up in to St Albert.

    Stuff like that to connect to the LRT lines makes sense. It doesn't need to be grade separated but lane separate and/or signal priority makes sense...

    I'll glad they are not looking to use BRT where LRT should be used anymore though...such as NLRT, WLRT, SELRT...

    I'm also anxious to see how bus patterns change in the south after the completion of SLRT in late 2009 or 2010

  80. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by madsad
    I am generally opposed to any shut-down of a transit priority project, but this doesn't surprise me in the least.

    The planners have engaged in wishy-washy "we could do this, or we could do that, and maybe we'll put this stop here" rhetoric which has resulted in stakeholders being nothing but confused as to the purpose and shape of the BRT project. They have completely failed to rally Edmontonians around BRT, and have never shucked the image of BRT being a poor-mans excuse for LRT (which is not the case). The whole project should have been built around a concrete plan: a dedicated right-of-way, off-board fare collection, bendy-buses, whatever...

    Residents along the corridors started thinking that they'd have buses rocketing through their living rooms at warp speed, and the city did pathetic and ineffective p.r. bits to try to alleviate the NIMBY-ism.

    Planners also refused to take lanes away from traffic, insisting on widening roads to accommodate bus lanes. With adding an auto incentive as well as a transit incentive, you end up back at square one, with the same amount of, or if not, more people, in their cars.

    Now, the concern is that the "transit priority" rhetoric Boutilier has started, could be interpreted in a million different ways (just like BRT), and is in danger of being watered-down into nothing.

    Edmonton has missed another boat...

    we havent missed another boat...ours just came in
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  81. #181
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    Then we NEED to plan NOW where those LRT routes will go, because a good route for BRT is not necessarily a good (or economical) route for LRT.

    Even if it is 15-20 years down the road (I don't really care, as long as we keep building) we nee to design routes thinking about the tods that work with LRT but not with BRT, think about grade separation, ROW preservation, park&ride and transit centre locations.

    We shouldn't be building the NLRT without knowing if, how, and possibly even when the extention, and NWLRT, will go. There is no excuse for building a temporary station that might last less than 10 years.

    We should have a comprehensive plan for all 6 legs (NE, N, NW-STA, S, W, SE) within 2 years. Please Please Please.

    example of where long range planning would be good:
    The existing NLRT route has sacrificed ~107ave and ~101St stations for a closer-to-MacEwan Station. IF NW lrt will go to MacEwan Anyway, then maybe those stations should be reconsidered.

  82. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanO
    Quote Originally Posted by madsad
    Edmonton has missed another boat...

    we havent missed another boat...ours just came in
    No, we definitely have missed another boat. But it was a plague infested boat filled with flesh-eating zombies. And it was on fire. And it was too expensive. And too slow.

    I'm glad that we made the choice to take the zombie-free boat instead.

  83. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled
    Quote Originally Posted by IanO
    Quote Originally Posted by madsad
    Edmonton has missed another boat...

    we havent missed another boat...ours just came in
    No, we definitely have missed another boat. But it was a plague infested boat filled with flesh-eating zombies. And it was on fire. And it was too expensive. And too slow.

    I'm glad that we made the choice to take the zombie-free boat instead.
    ^this guy is right. I take the bus on a regular basis. I feel you man...

  84. #184
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    I don't exactly see this as Edmonton missing another boat, per se. See, if the city had gone ahead with BRT, it just would've made things worse by driving up costs and also possibly a worse PR nightmare than it already has. Not to mention being forced to delay or even scrap further LRT expansion.

    The best the city can do, IMO, until it get further LRT expansion, is have a system of super express bus routes similar to the B-Line system in Vancouver. ETS should really get more articulated buses than it has now. The city should've ordered a lot more than the 13 it has now.

  85. #185
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    I don’t think the expropriation of homes for BRT argument has any merit. LRT requires a significantly larger amount of expropriation for track, stations, road realignments, transfer stations etc.

  86. #186

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    I'm not saying its a reason against BRT. Simply, if you're going to invest in those sorts of capital costs to build an ROW, then just do LRT now and save the future conversion costs. Additionally, I thought LRT ROWs are traditionally narrower than those required for buses.

  87. #187
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    City taxes the hot topic in upcoming budget debate
    Gordon Kent , edmontonjournal.com
    Published: 2:31 pm
    EDMONTON - Mayor Stephen Mandel called for spending cuts, higher fees and a special levy for LRT expansion today in a move that would heavily chop the city's proposed 10.9-per-cent tax increase.

    ...

    ...But he also wants taxes to go up one per cent each year for the next five years to collect a total of $105 million which, along with extra provincial money, could produce $2 billion for LRT construction over the next decade.

    With questioning of city officials now complete, debate on the budget starts this afternoon.
    This is why we need to plan, and why temporary infrastructure is unwise.

    $2B is about equal to NLRT + WLRT, so now SE+NW are only 10 years away from starting. Also, in about 10 years SLRT should be paid off, and that $50m/yr will need to build something.

  88. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by mick
    I'm not saying its a reason against BRT. Simply, if you're going to invest in those sorts of capital costs to build an ROW, then just do LRT now and save the future conversion costs. Additionally, I thought LRT ROWs are traditionally narrower than those required for buses.
    Narrower, yes. But generally straighter, and divorced from the road - BRT would have run curb-lane and I'm assuming that's not what they'd do for LRT.

  89. #189

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    I am starting to think that coherent ideas from citizens actually do get through to our decision-makers...
    City Centre Airport is to the sky as False Creek is to the ocean.

  90. #190

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander
    ...But he also wants taxes to go up one per cent each year for the next five years to collect a total of $105 million which, along with extra provincial money, could produce $2 billion for LRT construction over the next decade.
    This is why we need to plan, and why temporary infrastructure is unwise.

    $2B is about equal to NLRT + WLRT, so now SE+NW are only 10 years away from starting. Also, in about 10 years SLRT should be paid off, and that $50m/yr will need to build something.
    NLRT and WLRT to start building? Probably it would take 5 to 10 years to finish. Great, I will be retired by then and wouldn't need the LRT to commute to work. Then I will be one of those seniers complaining about the taxes going up so much. By the time they have saved $2B the costs will be $5B! Remember the 23rd Ave interchange?

    Why not fix what we already have??

    Improve the routes to a grid system
    Increase the number of express and super express routes throughout the city.
    New express routes along the inner ring road as a priority. (Whitemud, 170th street (or 178th street), Yellowhead and 75th street) This would follow the busiest traffic routes and could have priority lanes on certain sections with good enforcement.
    Improve downtown with new trolley bus routes and new trolley buses.
    Concentrate on improved service in the mature neighbourhoods rather that distant suburbs like Lewis Estates. (people who choose to live so far out have far lower desire to use transit)
    Encourage builders to redevelop brownfield sites like they did in Railtown with transit oriented developments like the one being built on Fort Road.
    Actively promote the benefits of car free or greener living by living closer to downtown and using transit.

    Make transit more accountable to the users.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  91. #191
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    I highly doubt that construction inflation will continue as it has. At worst we'll see things level off in the nest couple years, and at best (from an infrastructure cost perspective) We could see negative const. inflation bring us back down to 'only' 50% more than the old, c.2004 levels.

    PRT, I like your ideas, and other than new trolleys, busses and bus lanes, they would be essentially free, at least from a capital perspective.

    But before you dismiss LRT as too expensive, consider that a well designed rail route can break even,like ours does, or even turn a significant profit, like toronto's subways. A busy bus route carrying the same # of passengers will alway operate at a loss, usually 50% fare recovery or less.

  92. #192

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander

    But before you dismiss LRT as too expensive, consider that a well designed rail route can break even,like ours does, or even turn a significant profit, like toronto's subways. A busy bus route carrying the same # of passengers will alway operate at a loss, usually 50% fare recovery or less.
    Would you have any proof that our LRT breaks even? I have never seen any studies that are able to demonstrate this claim.

    Firstly, capital costs are never recovered.
    Secondly, buses are a necessary part of feeding LRT and cannot be easily removed from the equation. Because of the use of passes and transfers, it is difficult to determine what portion of the revenue is attributed to the LRT and/or bus portion. Maintenance costs are high for the track, stock and energy consumption. Don't forget the hidden costs pointed out in the City Auditors report that suggested 25% of ETS's costs are hidden like shared services from other departments and depreciation of fleet and other assets.

    Please provide any proof that you may have.
    Advocating a better Edmonton through effective, efficient and economical transit.

  93. #193
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    About darn time the transportation dept stopped hyping BRT as some magical solution.

    It definitely has it's use, but not to places where we need to build an LRT first and foremost and just GET IT DONE.
    LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

  94. #194

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton Journal
    Coun. Kim Krushell said it should be cheaper to build and operate a single LRT line to the west end than the downtown BRT and a second possible route over the Quesnell Bridge to the south side.
    "The cash involved with the BRT is so prohibitivly high that I think it makes far more sense to place that cash into LRT extension and don't have BRTs.
    Credit where credit is due. This is a far better target for KK than trolleys were. The biggest problem with her previous target being that there was no evidence that money savings are possible by forgoing trolley reinvestment.

    Kudos also to the Transportation Department and Bob Boutillier. Now lets move this city forward and focus on electric transportation wherever possible.

  95. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT

    NLRT and WLRT to start building? Probably it would take 5 to 10 years to finish. Great, I will be retired by then and wouldn't need the LRT to commute to work. Then I will be one of those seniers complaining about the taxes going up so much. By the time they have saved $2B the costs will be $5B! Remember the 23rd Ave interchange?

    Why not fix what we already have??

    Improve the routes to a grid system
    Increase the number of express and super express routes throughout the city.
    New express routes along the inner ring road as a priority. (Whitemud, 170th street (or 178th street), Yellowhead and 75th street) This would follow the busiest traffic routes and could have priority lanes on certain sections with good enforcement.
    Improve downtown with new trolley bus routes and new trolley buses.
    Concentrate on improved service in the mature neighbourhoods rather that distant suburbs like Lewis Estates. (people who choose to live so far out have far lower desire to use transit)
    Encourage builders to redevelop brownfield sites like they did in Railtown with transit oriented developments like the one being built on Fort Road.
    Actively promote the benefits of car free or greener living by living closer to downtown and using transit.

    Make transit more accountable to the users.

    Great ideas in the latter part. Here's a plan, why not do both?

    LRT is needed to the west end. It does not take any more studying other than 22 million visitors to some commercial shine to let me know that wLRT is not even up for discussion - just do it.

    Add the incredible lack of quick access that west enders "enjoy" to the downtown core, or pretty much anything else outside the mall and now the airport/SEC with the Henday, and you have a great recipe not only for Ward 1 to be placated, but to encourage further downtown living by placing this tourist attraction on the quick, comfortable, ROW prioritized transit system.

    Express busses will never ever ever ever do this.
    Not to this locale anyway.

    As for being retired and grumpy, so? LRT is not for you anyway, it is for everyone, and the future generations who will look at Grandpa and wonder how the hell that he ever got around this city without this gift. You can sit with a smile and say "I remember when *insert 60 feet of snow uphill both ways*"
    Since calm logic doesn't work, I guess it is time to employ sarcasm. ...and before you call me an a-hole...remember, I am a Dick.

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    Everyone keeps talking about WLRT. I'm curious where the park'n ride locations will be? You know that WEM will never allow parking in their lot. Remember that whole Southgate fiasco.

    I have been told by insiders that SLRT ridership will never compare to the current NLRT line because there are is no current plans for park'n ride at Century Place. This is the last i heard. Does anyone have an update on this? This is why i think WLRT is far away. The next leg will go to NAIT and perhaps the next portion will be another station north of Clareview.

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    Parking lots are not transit. If you're basing an LRT line around where there's enough land nobody wants that you can park a thousand cars, you've done something seriously, seriously wrong (unless of course you're leading growth with the train, in which case go ahead, put in temporary surface lots).

    Oh, and there's absolutely zero park and ride planned for the NAIT line.

  98. #198

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    Quote Originally Posted by LO 044
    Everyone keeps talking about WLRT. I'm curious where the park'n ride locations will be? You know that WEM will never allow parking in their lot. Remember that whole Southgate fiasco.
    WEM I'm sure would be a different story. Or at least I hope so. Theres also the future Lewis Estates station/transit centre which is right on the west side Henday/ northside of 87ave .

    Park n Ride shouldn't make/break a LRT line. Its an added bonus. The lines are being built to support existing ridership.

    The more I think about it, I'm not so concerned over the loss of pnr at century park... as that would just add more pressure to 23ave. a PNR at Henday on the SLRT further south makes tons more sense... (pnr southgate still makes sense because its right on the whitemud)

    Eventually, the NELRT gets pushed further out to where the henday will be, lets put another huge PNR there.

  99. #199

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    Quote Originally Posted by madsad
    I am generally opposed to any shut-down of a transit priority project, but this doesn't surprise me in the least.

    The planners have engaged in wishy-washy "we could do this, or we could do that, and maybe we'll put this stop here" rhetoric which has resulted in stakeholders being nothing but confused as to the purpose and shape of the BRT project. They have completely failed to rally Edmontonians around BRT, and have never shucked the image of BRT being a poor-mans excuse for LRT (which is not the case). The whole project should have been built around a concrete plan: a dedicated right-of-way, off-board fare collection, bendy-buses, whatever...

    Residents along the corridors started thinking that they'd have buses rocketing through their living rooms at warp speed, and the city did pathetic and ineffective p.r. bits to try to alleviate the NIMBY-ism.

    Planners also refused to take lanes away from traffic, insisting on widening roads to accommodate bus lanes. With adding an auto incentive as well as a transit incentive, you end up back at square one, with the same amount of, or if not, more people, in their cars.

    Now, the concern is that the "transit priority" rhetoric Boutilier has started, could be interpreted in a million different ways (just like BRT), and is in danger of being watered-down into nothing.

    Edmonton has missed another boat...
    Excellent points - particularly based on my lengthy personal experience with VanCity B-lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by BDavidson
    I don’t think the expropriation of homes for BRT argument has any merit. LRT requires a significantly larger amount of expropriation for track, stations, road realignments, transfer stations etc.
    Absolutely! But wait... I hear MacKinnon Ravine calling! Dare to dream, Arnold... dare to dream!

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    My understanding of the situation is that the current "BRT" or "Super-Express" or whatever it is that is being built out to the west end from South Campus via Fox Drive will continue.

    What has been axed are the proposals to do the same north, north west, and south east in favour of LRT instead.

    Three Cheers!

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