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Transit Fan

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  1. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    I've noticed these signs the last couple of days as well. What would be the use of having these kind of distance markers along the route?
  2. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    Looks like an extra bus will be added to MAX Purple effective January 28th on both weekdays and weekends. Rush hour roundtrip increased from 72 to 84 minutes. Weekday midday roundtrip increased from 66 to 80 minutes. Frequency bumped from 22 to 20 minutes. Weekday evening roundtrip increased from 60 to 75 minutes. Frequency bumped from 30 to 25 minutes. All day on weekends is same as weekday evenings. https://transit55.ca/calgary/block_explorer?id=307&date=2019-01-28 https://transit55.ca/calgary/block_explorer?id=307&date=2019-02-02 Good to see an actual fix similar to what happened to the Route 1 last week (which seemed to have helped greatly). The extra time allows for some lengthier layovers at both ends at all times of day. The bump in frequency is another bonus.
  3. Transit Fan

    Calgary Transit

    Back in December, I got a callback from a 311 request I made regarding the signals. From what I understand (and someone correct me if i'm wrong), signal timing is out of the hands of transit and is ultimately, down to the traffic signals team to modify. I'm sure transit has been collaborating with them but at the end of the day, there's only so much that transit can do since the signal timing affects all forms of traffic (cars, pedestrians and the buses on the transitway). Padding out the schedule with extra time is probably the best they can do until it's fixed. For what it's worth, I tried the 1 this morning and it actually arrived downtown 5 minutes early (7:22 vs 7:27). We arrived at 26th St when 26th St traffic's green phase was just ending. Then at 19th street, an EB Max Purple had already triggered the sensor and the transit light was already green by the time we got to the intersection so there wasn't even a wait at all. Interesting to note that the time we arrived at today would've been the scheduled arrival time last week. Had we gotten an unfavourable timing at those two intersections, those 5 minutes would've easily been eaten up.
  4. Transit Fan

    Calgary Transit

    Route 1 seemed to be in good shape today. As per schedule, the Max Purple I was waiting for arrived at 1 St SW and pretty much needed to leave right away after everyone boarded at about 4:30. However, just because buses are running "on-time", i'm hoping that doesn't mean they can ignore the very obvious signal issues. Spent 2-3 minutes at 26th St this morning and then over 3 minutes at 19th St in the afternoon.
  5. Transit Fan

    Calgary Transit

    Route 1 and Max Purple schedule tweaks start today. Extra bus added to the 1 which should help with schedule adherence. No such luxury for the Max Purple though. Speaking of which, saw around 7-8 people waiting at East Hills yesterday afternoon which was nice to see. That stop behind the Walmart could use some benches or a shelter. People were standing around with their shopping bags. A few were using shopping carts as seats. Unfortunately, weekend schedule adherence is just downright bad. If Transit55 was accurate, it would appear that one of the MP's became so late on Saturday afternoon that it eventually got itself on time again after being behind by 60 minutes (one round trip). Then proceeded to be late again until end of service that night.
  6. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    Makes sense for them to want to optimize the SW bus network as well to coincide with the new MAX route. The recent changes didn't really affect much of the routes in the deep SW. Yes, there were changes to the 9 and 20 but that was more or less due to the Circle Route getting split into multiple parts. I'd expect to see a lot of changes in 2019 to the feeder routes and express buses in the area. For example, the 18 likely won't exist in its current form since it will duplicate half of the new MAX route.
  7. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    I've noticed the "real-time" displays are very hit or miss. I've been on plenty of non-floater Max Purple's that weren't super late but didn't display "Due" when the bus was at the station. Which is odd considering the real-time info in the app is relatively accurate. I would've thought the displays would be pulling info from the same source. The signals are definitely an issue still and kind of spoil what is otherwise a really great project. The stations turned out really nice and the overall improvements to the avenue are a big plus for the area.
  8. Transit Fan

    Calgary Transit

    Transit55 is an unbelievably useful tool. I honestly wish the CT website and/or app had some of its features. A lot of it is probably too much info for the average person but there's definitely parts of it that I think people would find useful. The route overview is super handy for getting a sense of how many buses are currently on my route, how on-time they are, what kind of buses are being used and the map view shows roughly where they all are at a given time (taking the 1-2 minute delay into account). The citywide live map easily tracks multiple buses which is handy if you've got to make transfers or have the option to take multiple buses. Having a visual representation on a map is often more intuitive than just relying on the estimated arrival times. Imagine if they had something like this on a display at LRT stations and major bus terminals. Block explorer probably falls into the "too much info" category but I love using it for seeing how the schedule is laid out over the entire day, how much scheduled slack time there is at end points and if there is any interlining going on.
  9. Transit Fan

    General Route Discussion and History

    I'm not sure it makes sense to extend the Max Purple all the way to Chestermere, at least not in the current state. In the long-term, extending the Max Purple to Chestermere will probably make sense when: 17th Ave is twinned east of 84 St all the way to Chestermere. Preferably with the transitway already constructed as part of that work. The Calgary community of Belvedere is built out considerably such that there's not a huge empty gap between 84th St and Chestermere. Enough feeder bus routes in that area to provide coverage to East Hills. In the short/medium term, I do think they could consider doing the following: Implementing some kind of intercity shuttle service between East Hills and Chestermere. Putting in a Park and Ride either at East Hills or even somewhere closer to Elliston Park. There's that huge chunk of land at the SE corner of 17th Ave and 68 St which isn't being used for much currently. There used to be over a dozen cars parked along 14th Ave when the 305 was around so there's some demand for a park and ride. I know a few of them were from nearby communities like Applewood but I wouldn't be surprised if some of them were Chestermere residents as well.
  10. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    Every time i've seen the Max Purple serviced by one of those older buses, they've always displayed 307. Possibly a limitation of those older signs?
  11. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    I suspect not bumping up round-trip times for the Max Purple is still going to cause issues. Even though actual travel times are more realistic now, the lack of any significant layover time will be a problem. It's particularly noticeable on weekends where 60 minute round-trips simply isn't enough unless it's late in the evening or early in the morning.. A bathroom break or any kind of delay and you essentially have no chance of getting back on schedule if it's the middle of the day. There's been floaters out every weekend during the day to help out. You'd almost be better off just adding that third bus to the schedule to allow for a slightly more relaxed schedule and a slightly higher frequency. Also worth noting that the Max Purple actually has 0 minutes of scheduled layover downtown during the weekday afternoon peak now. Unless it arrives a few minutes early, it's basically drop-off, pick-up and go. So basically what it's been doing for the past month anyway! 😛
  12. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    According to transit55's block explorer, some relief is on the way for Max Purple (and Route 1) effective Jan 7th 2019. The number of buses and frequency isn't changing but it looks like they're reducing the layover times so that the scheduled time on the road more accurately reflects the actual travel times. I've put together a comparison between the current scheduled times and the new ones for the Max Purple. They've basically cut down some of the layover time (at both ends) and padded the schedule by 3-6 minutes. Weekend midday is pretty rough with no scheduled layovers whatsoever to fit into the 60 minute roundtrip. Edit: Looks like Route 1 needed a bump in round-trip time (~15 minutes added) which means 1 extra bus is needed.
  13. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    From the North Crosstown project page: No such update for the Max Teal however. It also looks like they're getting ready to install the traffic lights at 9th Ave and 16 St SE where the transitway connects to 9th Ave. Still not much has changed with the timing at existing lights. If anything, they've seemed to have made the timing at 19th St worse in the past week or so. In hindsight, having grade separation at 19th and 26th St similar to the 90th Ave underpass for the SW Transitway would've been ideal for the long-term. However, the huge cost increase associated with that probably would've meant we wouldn't have seen the second phase of the transitway done for quite some time. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the SW Max route having similar issues trying to cross Heritage Drive next year.
  14. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    The floaters have been a big help in terms of having buses that arrive within a reasonable time span. Signals continue to be a big disappointment as of the end of week 3. The median section of the transitway works well enough for the most part. It can be mildly frustrating having to wait for left-turning traffic when there isn't even anyone needing to turn. However, that pales in comparison to the two intersections where the transitway runs parallel to the main road as well as the transition at 28th St. From my observations at 19th, 26th and 28th, buses will only get a small portion of green time and only if they have been waiting at the intersection long enough to trigger the sensor. Here's a rough sample of the different light phases at 26th St: Green for NB 26 St and SB 26 St Green for WB 17 Ave and WB left-turn onto SB 26 St Green for both EB and WB 17 Ave straight traffic. EB right-turn from 17 Ave to SB 26 St right-turn is restricted. Green for both EB and WB 17 Ave straight traffic and EB right-turn to SB 26 St not restricted. The transitway is only given a green during phase 3. Now, l could be mistaken but phase 3 doesn't seem to take effect in every cycle unless a bus is waiting to cross. If a bus pulls up at tail end of phase 2 (and there isn't another bus in the opposite direction waiting which would have triggered the sensor), it actually seems to skip to phase 4. In that case, EB right-turn traffic gets to proceed at the same time as EB straight through traffic while the transitway doesn't get any green. If you thinking about it, that makes sense. Right-turning traffic shouldn't have to wait if there isn't a bus needing to cross. On the other hand, when I was referring to "missing the timing", it means that if the bus fails to arrive in time to trigger phase 3, it needs to wait the entirety of phase 4, 1 and 2. Phase 4 is the longest since priority is given to traffic on 17th Ave. 19 St is nearly the exact same way and has an even longer phase 4 (up to 3 minutes during rush hour). Assuming this is correct (or somewhat close to how the signals actually work), there's only so much you can tweak without giving full signal preemption. One idea would be to switch back to phase 3 during the last 15-20 seconds of phase 4 if a bus has been waiting there. That would enable buses to skip the wait for phases 1 and 2. It effectively gives buses two chances to cross rather than the current one.
  15. Transit Fan

    General BRT discussion

    The schedules seemed to be written on the assumption that the buses would have full priority. 1 minute between the stations on 17th Ave is completely unreasonable in the current state unless you hit every green and have no one getting on or off. 4 minutes between 9 Ave and 26 St is not happening given that you can wait 3-4 minutes at 19 St alone if you miss the timing.
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