Greater Golden Horseshoe Transit

Waterloo Region Rapid Transit

167 posts in this topic

Not official until the final round of consultations takes place later this month and next on the "preliminary preferred option", and Council votes on an updated preferred option in June.

Yeah you're right, though most of the councillors (not surprisingly) continue to support it.

Wonder where Doug Craig went?

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http://www.therecord.com/news/local/articl...ay-better-buses

Jeff, what is a "better bus" exactly?

High cost of trains will delay better buses

WATERLOO REGION — Planners have revised plans to delay most of the bus upgrades meant to feed suburban passengers into a proposed rapid transit system in the centre of local cities.

A financial analysis has concluded that installing trains while expanding local and express buses is “clearly not affordable” as it could hike regional taxes by up to 15 per cent by 2017.

The revised financial plan aims to install trains by 2017 and delay the bulk of supportive transit upgrades. This would hike taxes by up to 10.5 per cent by 2018.

“It is not everything that we wanted to do,” regional transportation commissioner Thomas Schmidt said. “But we also have to be reasonable on affordability and have a plan that makes sense.”

The revision effectively delays an uncertain number of up to eight crosstown express routes planned to integrate with rail transit. This is expected to result in more road congestion, poorer integration with trains when they launch, and possibly lower ridership, according to a regional report.

But Schmidt argues that limiting bus upgrades until 2017 will still be adequate.

Ruth Haworth, of Taxpayers for Sensible Transit, complains the revision highlights a “mania” for trains. She argues better buses should be the higher priority.

“They’re even willing to compromise transit in general just to push through this rapid transit plan,” she said. “It’s depressing to hear.”

A group of rail advocates is not concerned. “It’s not the best but it isn’t a cancellation of the project,” said Tim Mollison, of the Tri-Cities Transport Action Group. “We don’t believe that this spells any sort of serious crisis.”

The revision represents the first attempt to combine all estimated costs for rapid transit, bus upgrades and road improvements. It proposes to:

• Delay up to 60 per cent of planned Grand River Transit upgrades until after rail transit launches. The first phase of bus upgrades launches this year with a Fischer-Hallman express route and more frequent central express buses.

• Increase regional taxes by up to 10.5 per cent by 2018. This launches rail transit, pays for 40 per cent of planned bus upgrades, and provides $10 million for better transit strategies in Cambridge.

• After 2018, escalate regional taxes by up to 1.5 per cent a year until 2034, to continue improving transit and roads. That’s three years longer than first planned.

Planners say tax increases could be trimmed if the province lets council hike development fees to pay more transit costs, or if council finds other sources of cash.

Phasing in the proposed tax increase would cost an average household (valued at $225,000) a total of $522 over six years, between 2012 and 2017. The annual cost would reach $174 in 2018.

Council intends to finalize rapid transit in June. It’s a contested redevelopment scheme to persuade investors to build homes and offices in central neighbourhoods.

Although cheaper rapid buses remain an option, planners want electric trains from Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to the Fairview Park mall in Kitchener, with fast buses in mixed traffic in Cambridge. The launch cost is $818 million, with senior governments paying up to $565 million.

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For those who want to follow the LRT debates today and tomorrow on Twitter, the hashtag is #LRTmtg.

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(Sorry for multiple posting...)

Referendum motion falls 7-3.

We now await for June 15th's deciding vote.

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WATERLOO REGION — Heading into a historic vote, politicians are still sparring over proposals to reconsider the route and financing of rail transit.

Regional council meets 7 p.m. June 15 to vote on the $818-million proposal, the largest public works project ever in this region.

The transit proposal calls for street-level electric trains between the Conestoga Mall in Waterloo and the Fairview Park mall in Kitchener. Buses driving in mixed traffic, with features to bypass congestion, would link to Ainslie Street in Cambridge.

Proponents say trains will help redevelop central neighbourhoods, draw residents from their cars, ease road spending and restrain suburban growth. Critics fear trains will be too costly, disruptive and underused in a community they see as better served by better buses.

Today is voting day for rail transit: http://www.therecord.com/news/local/articl...or-rail-transit

Discuss.

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Today is voting day for rail transit: http://www.therecord.com/news/local/articl...or-rail-transit

Discuss.

IMO it will definitely pass. I emailed the councillors that were on the fence, and most of them said they will most probably vote for LRT, but they just wanted to know more information in terms of cost and impact.

For those who can't make it to the meeting, CTV will broadcast a live feed on their website.

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For those who can't make it to the meeting, CTV will broadcast a live feed on their website.

RogersTV Waterloo Region will have a live broadcast starting at 7. 570News will do the same on radio.

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It's a "Go" for LRT ........................... Let the debates begin (continue?)

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LRT phasing motion approved 9-2, with Millar and Halloran voting against.

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What about doing a bus rapid transit train kinda articulated like but 2 trailing sections instead of just one that curantly is the articulate norm...it would have a person in the tail section in a second cab controlling the doors and steering issues in the trailing section(section 3) ...This way theyd have a mass capacity bus train that might come in cheaper then trains and unlike rail trains would not have problems when a train breaks down or is stuck by an accident , building fire ect.

They could do legitimate stations with ticket machines/benches/bike lockers, and heat in the winter with capacity in the station buildings for a dozen or more people seated and the ticket machine could be mounted in one of the brick walls for security....

Just some thoughts...

2 drawings below and found pic will show the station ideas and how street running of the BRT/LRT might look and what a BUS TRAIN MIGHT LOOK LIKE OR BE

BRT2.jpg

articulated-bus.jpg THIS IS A BUS TRAIN

BRTTERMINAL.jpg

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articulated-bus.jpg THIS IS A BUS TRAIN

That length is not allowed as per Highway Traffic Act standards.

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That length is not allowed as per Highway Traffic Act standards.

IIRC if it is under 24 (or maybe 26) metres it is a legal vehicle, this debate was on the last page already.

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There has been essentially zero support for Bus Rapid Transit for the central corridor. The people opposed to LRT tend to also be opposed to dedicated space for buses.

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IIRC if it is under 24 (or maybe 26) metres it is a legal vehicle, this debate was on the last page already.

Checked the last page, it was 25 metres.

I'll retract my argument then.

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What about doing a bus rapid transit train kinda articulated like but 2 trailing sections instead of just one that curantly is the articulate norm...it would have a person in the tail section in a second cab controlling the doors and steering issues in the trailing section(section 3) ...This way theyd have a mass capacity bus train that might come in cheaper then trains and unlike rail trains would not have problems when a train breaks down or is stuck by an accident , building fire ect.

They could do legitimate stations with ticket machines/benches/bike lockers, and heat in the winter with capacity in the station buildings for a dozen or more people seated and the ticket machine could be mounted in one of the brick walls for security....

Just some thoughts...

2 drawings below and found pic will show the station ideas and how street running of the BRT/LRT might look and what a BUS TRAIN MIGHT LOOK LIKE OR BE

{option}

{option}

Some articulated or bi-articulated buses are available with doors on both sides like a tram, so they wouldn't need to cross over into oncoming traffic. Eugene, Oregon and Cleveland, Ohio have examples of a BRT systems with 60-foot buses with doors on both sides.

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http://www.therecord.com/news/local/articl...il-transit-plan

Firms circling to bid on rail transit plan

WATERLOO REGION — Leading firms are keen to supply us with trains, equipment, expertise, maintenance and even financing, to help launch a rail transit system costing $818 million.

Global competitors Bombardier and Siemens anticipate making pitches, now that regional council has approved street-level trains in Kitchener and Waterloo.

“We can do everything, we can do the whole scope of a project,” said Marc Laforge, communications director for Bombardier Transportation Canada.

“We know where people are discussing projects and are always ready to pitch in when the time comes, when there’s a real opportunity on the table.”

He added: “We’ll be interested in seeing what happens next, looking forward to any requests for proposals.”

Siemens said it can supply trains, electrical infrastructure, signals, communications, maintenance and even partial financing.

“We are definitely interested in delivering more than the vehicles only,” said Marco Jungbeker, vice-president of the mobility division, Siemens Canada.

Siemens is already talking to consultants, construction firms and regional advisers about the rail transit project, Jungbeker said

Regional council voted 9-2 Wednesday to launch trains in Kitchener and Waterloo and enhanced buses in Cambridge.

The urban redevelopment plan, meant to draw homes and workplaces to central neighbourhoods, includes $100 million to buy about 13 light rail vehicles and six buses, including standard and articulated models.

Politicians must now decide how deeply to involve the private sector in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of rapid transit. Council expects to debate a procurement strategy in December.

Bombardier supplies trains to GO Transit and the Toronto Transit Commission and is refurbishing trains in Edmonton. Siemens supplies light rail vehicles to Calgary and Edmonton.

Ontario will require 25 per cent Canadian content for vehicles as a condition of its partial funding for rail transit. This is not a hurdle for Bombardier, which assembles trains in Thunder Bay, but it is a hurdle for Siemens, which builds its trains in California.

“I just can’t ramp up a facility, build 13 vehicles, ramp it down,” Jungbeker said.

Council is considering partnering with a provincial agency, Infrastructure Ontario, to get rail transit built on time and on budget.

Coun. Jim Wideman of Kitchener expects the agency can help manage risk. He anticipates regional government will finance rapid transit on its own because it can borrow cheaply with its top credit rating,

“I’m leaning toward public operation,” Wideman said. “It is after all somewhat of a public service.”

He suggested seeking private donors to name stations.

The grassroots Tri-Cities Transport Action Group opposes private ownership of rapid transit but expects companies to help build the system.

“No good ever comes from the private sector operating a transit system,” spokesperson Tim Mollison said. “We have to be careful of whose money we take and on what terms.”

Rail critic Ruth Haworth, of the grassroots group Taxpayers for Sensible Transit, is keeping an open mind on private-sector involvement.

“Giving over ownership completely would be a big mistake,” she said. “But if they’re just going to have some more limited private involvement, maybe it would be fine, maybe it would be good.”

She’s uncertain if the anti-rail group will monitor the implementation of rail transit, after it failed to persuade politicians to adopt rapid buses or hold a referendum.

“I think we’re going to have to take a couple of weeks and regroup,” she said.

I know Bombardier supplies light rail vehicles to Ottawa's O-Train, but are there any other examples in North America, and how efficiently do they operate compared to Siemens trains (particularly Calgary and Edmonton)?

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now that weve debated that a bi artic might be legal (HTA )we can use it as the fast bus for Cambridge /Fairview service to apeese residents and councilors in Cambridge...and make the buses less crowded and when they make the proposed move outa Cambridge Centre to the intersection of Hespler and Dunbar(proposed new terminal) will make the bi articulate easier to menuver on the IXpress fast bus service...

they could also be used on line routes like 7 the new 12 realingnment (going to Westount from Fischer Hallman in fall 2011),51 Hespeler road(it would not interligne with 65 or 66) and Fisher Hallman Ixpress

we can hope a new south service garage will come to acomidate the fast buses and the projected bus fleet increse and the expansion to strausburg can come early to make the purchase of regular articulates come sooner then the 2017 date weve been hearing ..An say early start could be 2014 /15if all fell in place quicker ...This would make buses going to the universitys and malls less crowded or at least have more standees room and have less left standing behind at stops...

Jeff

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now that weve debated that a bi artic might be legal (HTA )we can use it as the fast bus for Cambridge /Fairview service to apeese residents and councilors in Cambridge...and make the buses less crowded and when they make the proposed move outa Cambridge Centre to the intersection of Hespler and Dunbar(proposed new terminal) will make the bi articulate easier to menuver on the IXpress fast bus service...

There's not really any chance of a bus like that getting on and off Highway 8 and 401, as it would have to for the aBRT to Cambridge. It's also going to take a while yet before a regular bus every 7.5 minutes (the planned LRT service frequency) isn't enough for the Cambridge section.

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I don't have an issue with ion. It does have a connotation of motion. I also think that ion is a good complement to ixpress.

trio: three modes of transportation? LRT is only one of the three modes.

arc: who cares what shape the route is?

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