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maege

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  1. If you actually read it and didn't attempt to only take select parts of a phrase, you would see that I said it is often the most cost efficient when capacity expansion is needed beyond that of buses. Trains can have a drastically higher capacity than buses. At-grade systems are usually the cheapest to build. As for being "promotional" I definitely promote more and better transit. As for hypocrisy, you would have to point out where I was being hypocritical. Regarding Surrey LRT, "better" is a highly subjective term. If you are referring specifically to travel time, then the planned LRT would not be much better than BRT. As for capacity, and using it as a "city-building" piece of infrastructure, LRT would perform "better" on those accounts. I do understand many people are opposed to the Surrey LRT for many reasons, some founded in reality, some not. Sadly, that debate seems to driven many people to become anti-LRT or pro-BRT at the cost of all else, and the technology is now more important than the improvement of transit. Loving or hating transit for some route just because it is a particular technology is not rational and does not lend itself to rational discussion. As I mentioned in my post you quoted, we need bus lanes and transit priority of all types much more widespread than we have currently. This is the "low-hanging fruit" to improve transit quickly and relatively cheaply (it may actually save money due to faster, more reliable travel times, so less buses are needed for the same service) and we need more of it.
  2. I like expanding transit because it is the most space efficient method of helping people move, aside from walking. Expanding transit capacity with more frequency, dedicated lanes, rail, or grade separation is extremely beneficial to achieve this, so I support it. LRT is often the most cost efficient method of increasing capacity beyond that of buses, which can enable a wider spread of expansion vs more costly options. Transportation contributes ~40-50% of our emissions in Metro Vancouver, and to do our part in tackling the crisis, we need to displace private cars with transit, walking, cycling, and other forms of active transportation. As a part of this, we need to electrify our transit system, and moving to electric rail lines can be part of that. The B-line will be sufficient near-term, but 41st Ave has the highest ridership after Broadway. If we are not planning for higher capacity services there, there is a significant problem with our transportation planning. We should not end up at a point where we have buses at 3 min headways and still can't keep up with demand (99). LRT is often the cheapest and most cost-effective option to increase capacity over buses. It can be at-grade, elevated, or tunneled as needed, providing flexibility of options along a route. Technically, LRT can operate fine at any level of ridership, but I would agree that, yes, we should have the B-line in place for 3-10 years to further build ridership before the increase of capacity from a train would be worth the investment. LRT can run just fine at many road widths that are narrower than 41st. 41st has 5 lanes in that section: 3 travel, 2 parking. Remove parking lanes, and you have room for LRT. Super easy. Note that if bus lanes are built, simply replacing the bus lanes with LRT would work perfectly, only changing the type of transit it is used for. Transit planning is NOT about any particular technology. Technology should be one of the very last decisions for a route, not something pre-determined at the beginning. Bus lanes, signal priority, queue jumpers, and other transit priority are features of building a high-quality transit system. It is sad that it took so long to get them implemented on many routes (and there will still be many others that should have various forms of transit priority), but it hasn't been very long that transit has been widely accepted as a public good and priority. And not just that, but 41st Ave is already by far the second busiest bus corridor in Metro Vancouver after Broadway with almost 11 million ridership.
  3. maege

    2018 SkyTrain Procurement

    Saw a truck with one of these new cars on it while I was on the Expo line this evening!!! It was coming up Southridge Dr to the Edmonds OMC. Sadly no pictures
  4. I agree that we need rapid transit along Hastings and Willingdon, but neither corridor, nor a combined corridor really acts as a reliever of the Expo line as they have vastly different catchment areas. There would be a very specific subset of people that such a line would attract off the Expo line earlier than they presently do (people going to the Hastings corridor that currently catch a bus from a Vancouver stn currently), but that would be such a small overall subset that it would have negligible impact on the Expo line. A much closer comparison to the Relief line (distance-wise and purpose-wise) would be connection the Millennium Line and Canada Line, or a Hastings-Commercial route to Commercial-Broadway. Arbutus and the Marine rail line should both have rail, but again, they serve a completely different area and purpose than the Expo line. The up/downside of the Expo line is that it is just about the most direct line between main locations from Surrey to Vancouver, and almost all other routes will be longer. Kingsway is about as direct and a regional rail could be faster, making up time for the extra distance covered, but there are few good other options I have found for direct reliever lines. Kingsway LRT, runs ~17.5km from New West to Main St Stn. Downtown , it would have similar times to the Expo line due to have less access time and the similar spacing of stop distances downtown. Using the average operational speed of the Surrey LRT as a good comparator, time would be ~40-46mins end to end. The Expo line is 23 mins for this same route. Obviously it doesn't compete end-to-end, but for people going half the distance or less that would otherwise have a 5-10min walk towards Kingsway, or any bus transfer, it could be a similar or faster overall trip time. There would need to be more in-depth studies of the level of ridership that originates from 500m on Kingsway, but anecdotally, using the TSPR data mapping, there does seem to be a very high number of boardings and alightings that occur at Kingsway on routes to/from the Expo line. People that travel ~8-10km or less on the Expo line and are closer to Kingsway would be the target market for the reliever portion of a Kingsway LRT. Yes, CN will continue to use their existing infrastructure, new rail would need to be built along the same ROW. The majority of the route is wide enough for another double-track, although portions through the Grandview cut may need to be stacked/elevated. This would not be much different than the Millenium line. Ending at Pacific Central would mean that we need a downtown tram/LRT network built sooner rather than later. Such a network (Robson, Davie, Water, maybe Pacific/Beach) would be very beneficial to anyone traveling to/from or around downtown. As for cost, excluding the new rail bridge/tunnel, the regional line could be built to Langley for ~$3-5 Billion or less, especially since existing infrastructure east of Scott Rd could just be upgraded, instead of building completely new. Rail for the Valley have studies from a couple years back for the cost all the way to Chilliwack for sub $2 billion, but I would include double track at least to Langley, so that would add a good bit to the cost. The most compelling alternative is to not cripple our transit backbone while we try to extend stations, but instead build a complete and comprehensive network across our region.
  5. Because then your spending billions of dollars for zero mobility improvement except allowing more people along the same specific route. We need wide-spread high quality transit, and twinning the Expo line doesn't move us toward that, especially when there are options that can serve a similar overall purpose (relieving some capacity from the Expo line) while also providing better transit service along a different route.
  6. maege

    Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    Except "rail rapid transit" is what was mentioned.. And optically guided buses do exist in service in a few places. They have been mostly underwhelming, especially for the additional cost and infrastructure needed. And obstacle detection is always needed, soooooo. Lastly, the main reasons for more guided/autonomous buses are: 1. Safety due to having a guideway - this is exactly what trains have already though. They are called tracks. 2. Not needing drivers, although you will still likely need an on-board attendant if it is not completely separated/protected from other traffic. Even if on-board attendants weren't needed, there would still be people at stations, and the cost for people does not decrease significantly. 3. If all the money and effort is going to be invested into guided buses, you can increase capacity, achieve lower labour costs, and increase safety by going with a rail line.
  7. Actually, it will reach that by 2041 or before. In that document on page 20, it shows growth trends. Although I haven't seen peak specific numbers, the last few years Expo line ridership has been significantly higher than the 1.5% "High growth" estimate, so I would presume that we are trending around that 1.5% increase for peak, if not above that. This is why there is a very high urgency to get a plan in place for a reliever. We would need to have 5-car Mark II/III trains to do that, but it may happen. I expect it will be before 2040, but I don't have a guess to more exact timing than that. We need to at least be in construction on a reliever line when we do hit that maximum, otherwise everything will begin to suffer and we may start to see a reversal of transit ridership growth due to the over-crowding.
  8. maege

    Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    Double Decker buses, as has been discussed elsewhere, are sub-optimal for urban routes due to the longer dwell times needed, especially when compared to a similar capacity articulated bus. Bi-articulated is technically an option, although they are not terribly widespread in usage currently. With BRT, one key thing to remember is that you need space to turn-around at each end of the route. Serious question: where would they easily be able to turnaround, especially at Guildford, without being forced into mixed traffic and what would the cost be? Inter-lining for BRT has it's own set of benefits and problems. As I'm sure you are aware of the potential benefits, let me bring up some of the issues: Making the route less reliable due to mixed traffic on the inter-lined section If having local routes use the transitway, there is issues with BRT buses needing to pass, and they can't due to only being one lane each direction. The transitway could be widened, but this would bring up other problems. If inter-lining with multiple routes, this increases the risk of a distorted frequency and decreases overall reliability. Extending the BRT beyond the busway, precludes the use of bi-articulated buses, and even articulated would limit the number of options for routes due to the size and extra capacity/cost of articulated over 40ft. So trying to be a train, while spending double on operational costs (double the drivers/number of vehicles for same capacity)? Again, with going into mixed traffic, you can significantly decrease reliability. Platooning can be used to increase capacity on existing lines, if absolutely necessary, but it would be terrible planning practice to consider this as a centerpiece of a new BRT system (it means you're already under-building if it needs consideration for a new system). Lastly, platooning would increase capital cost (long platforms) and operational cost (doubling the number of drivers, vehicles, km traveled). If a higher capacity solution is needed over standard BRT, shouldn't we be looking at solutions that will easily scale beyond the current projections instead of trying to force a particular technology? Also, making roads wider and elevating roads/busways is detrimental to the pubic realm and go completely against one of the objectives of this project: place-making. It means that BRT would be underbuilt. That effect is the same regardless of technology. The benefit to LRT in this case is capacity, and the ability to double capacity by moving to a 60m train without adjusting the headway. You are unable to do the same with BRT. Attempting BRT platooning, as you mentioned previously, then greatly increases operational expenses, and also means that a higher capacity solution is immediately needed and, in this case, would have been under-built in the first place. It is never recommended to plan on completely full capacity, so that the vehicle is able to take on additional passengers when a situation does arise instead of already being completely full (and uncomfortable). Additionally, they use the same calculation for the LRT and Skytrain capacity, per page 26 of "Strategic Options": Also, while I realize you are trying to combine all potentials and negatives for LRT, you must realize that bi-articulated buses would essentially exclude interlining with other routes and using them in any sort of mixed traffic as you suggest to do in other points. ^^This point doesn't consider the negative effects of delaying transit priority so that we elevate cars even higher on their untouchable podium... If you want to talk about transportation seriously, you must stop focusing on putting cars above all else, including transit as you do in this case. Fully autonomous trains already exists.......... Nothing is really "upcoming" here. They still need attendants for safety, security, and passenger convenience on the system.
  9. maege

    Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    A couple quick points - the SNG LRT is not a streetcar in the North American context. That said Jarrett Walker's post definitely still applies. As he pointed out in this post, capacity is the main factor for going with a train over a bus. The other reason that he has pointed out in other posts is if there is a specific compelling reason/purpose for a train line. In Portland, the streetcar was paid for by developers as part of an agreement to re-invent the downtown, which fit's that criteria. A bus, for good or bad, is not as attractive to many people, and does not draw as much ridership, or uplift in land values to the extent of a rail line. In Surrey, they are using future capacity needs (and long-term cost savings) as one element of their argument for LRT over BRT. Additionally, they are using talking about "place-making" ability of LRT vs BRT to help push the densification of the corridor. While much a that push could occur without LRT, there does seem to be anecdotal evidence from other cities that a rail line does push that development more than it would be with BRT or other buses.
  10. A B-line/2-lane BRT would not not have enough capacity to serve as a reliever for the Expo line. The two main options I identified previously are a regional rail from downtown Vancouver (Pacific Central or Waterfront) to Surrey/Langley (maybe beyond) via Braid, Scott Rd Stn, Newton, and Cloverdale along existing rail ROW. This would be significantly cheaper on a per km basis than any modern rail project as it would be almost completely at grade and follows existing ROW, and would likely make use of some of the existing SRY tracks SoF. The main catch for this option is that it requires the replacement of the Wesminster rail bridge with a new 4 track bridge/tunnel. This bridge has long been slated for expansion/replacement but no money or political will has come forward to make it happen yet. This could force the issue. This option would serve to take significant expo line ridership from SoF and the Production Way branch, due to a faster travel time to Vancouver. The second option would be a Kingsway LRT from that could serve 5000+pphpd, running from Scott Rd stn (if there is a new rail bridge/tunnel) or New Westminster Stn to Vancouver. Scott Rd Stn would be better as it could draw significantly more SoF ridership. This would need high levels of priority at intersections and 60m+ long trainsets. This route would provide a viable alternative for those that would be closer to Kingsway than the Expo line and currently walk the longer distance or catch a bus to the Expo line. If anyone has other ideas/options that would be able to relieve Expo line capacity by at least 2000pphpd (that is capacity beyond existing ridership on bus routes that would be replaced and natural ridership growth from having better transit service), please add them to this discussion. Edit: Ideally I would like to see both options built, it's not necessarily one or the other.
  11. Just a heads up that if there is not an Expo line reliever by 2050, much less 2060, the Expo line will be basically unusable between New Wesminster and Vancouver in peak hours. You should probably add something to address that.
  12. For the 100, I partly expect one of the options that will be looked at for the new East Fraser Lands service is turning at least the Vancouver part of the 100 into an express service. That could be similar to the former 135 becoming the 95. Kingsway from New West or Scott Rd to Vancouver should have LRT for an Expo line reliever within 20-30 years. It would be quite difficult for the 106, 123, or 130 to run artics due to the hills on their route. Edmonds-SFU should be part of the Burnaby Mountain Gondola. Greatly improve N-S connections in Burnaby, and it would be much faster and direct than a bus. Even a bit faster than taking the Skytrain from Edmonds to Production Way. A second gondola from Edmonds to around Burnaby City Hall, Sperling Stn, then up to Hastings and Deep Cove would address much of the access while being faster than a car due to natural geographic challenges on the route. 43, 95, 701, 239 B-lines are Phase 1 of the 10 year vision, 430 and 319 are Phase 2, 130, 20, 240, 595, and 321 are scheduled for a B-line in Phase 3.
  13. maege

    Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    Why is there so much care and concern given to the most inefficient form of transportation? Should it be considered? Yes, but we need to start prioritizing the movement of people and not cars if we actually want a safe, healthy, and reliable transit system throughout the region. ---End of my posts for now since this has moved away from the designated topic--
  14. maege

    Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    Barcelona's tram system is very similar design to what is proposed for Surrey with a dedicated (mainly median) tramway and signal priority. Zagreb, has a mix with much of it in a separated from cares in median or side tramway, and some sections mixed traffic, and some completely separated sections. The sections/lines I looked at specifically with the sub 3 minute headways were in a median tramway, and their central station is completely separated from other vehicle traffic, similar to City Pkwy. I called them trams as that is what they are referred to in Europe. LRT isn't really a term that is used. The term "trams" encompasses everything from streetcars to fully separated LRT. I would argue that any system can have two of those three attributes 😉
  15. maege

    Surrey Rapid Transit / Surrey Light rail

    Thanks. I am curious about the difference between that table and previous 3 min estimated 2041 headways in previous documents. Yes, there aren't many systems that run 90 second frequency, but there are trams in Barcelona that run 4 min headway much of the day, Vienna and Zagreb (and I'm sure some other cities) run 1-3 min combined headways for their trams along streets close to downtown, so some systems do exist and it is possible. That said, riderhsip will likely take significant time to come close to the need for that level of frequency. Reading it directly "run with other vehicles on the road" sounds like mixed-traffic running to me. Sorry if something else was meant by that. That's fair. I can envision that they could be practical in the 30-50 year time-frame, but likely not sooner. I was taking into account bringing headways down to 75-100 seconds, and even with that, the Expo line will have maxed out design capacity within 30 years or less. My core point with LRT and Skytrain on Fraser Hwy, is that we should use the extra Billion dollars that Skytrian would need to build a regional rail route from Vancouver to Scott Rd, Newton, Cloverdale, and Langley. This will be a faster travel time to Vancouver than Skytrain, and will draw significant numbers of current Expo line riders to Vancouver from SoF. That provides redundancy for the Expo line and SoF as well, since there would be a second rapid transit option for crossing the Fraser River. Direct relievers for the Expo line would be high-capacity LRT along Kingsway (capable of 10,000-15,000 pphpd with 80-100m trains), and a regional/express rail route from Vancouver (Pacific Central or Waterfront) to Scott Rd, Newton, Cloverdale, Langley, and possibly beyond via the SRY ROW. A more indirect reliever would be following existing rail ROW from Scott Rd or New West Stn along the Fraser to Marpole. All 3 could be built for significantly less than the cost of a subway along Kingsway, while providing more overall capacity due to having multiple routes and options. No, Expo line does not have to be and should not be the only connection between Surrey/Langley and Vancouver. Running via SRY, Scott Rd Stn, and Grandview Cut would still be a faster, more direct route, serving more people because Surrey, and act muc more directly as an Expo line reliever. The Colebrook/Hwy 99 route should serve as a main trunk line, with trains from Langley, White Rock, Scott Rd, and Tsawwassen feeding into it before crossing the Fraser to Richmond (ideally in a new transit/cycling/pedestrian tunnel) and onto Vancouver. This won't be an Expo line reliever so much as a giant enhancement to regional transportation and connectivity, pushing a significant mode shift away from cars to transit.
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