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London Rapid Transit (In-Design)

ARG1

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Ok, put BRT in and watch it fail... And then wonder why it failed.

Toronto vs LA... So, uhm, You really need to watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit. What does Toronto still have that is long gone from LA?
I don't doubt the possibility of it failing, my point is that even if it does fail, its extremely unlikely that an LRT would've performed any better.
 

micheal_can

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LA's B and D line is about 30 km long. Their ridership is ~130,000 daily.

Line 1's ridership is about 600% higher, on a line that's about 25% longer.

It must be good connecting bus services.

~

Toronto also has people like you who repeatedly use events from most of a century ago, to excuse mediocre transit today.

There is no way around this: it's a stupid position to take, especially in Toronto, where the TTC is proof that good bus service attracts riders.

Let's do some more LA and Toronto comparison, in case you couldn't handle the first example.

Finch West bus = 13.32 km and 45,000 daily ridership. C Line LRT (LA) ridership = 35,000 daily ridership on 32.2 km. What does the Finch West bus have that the C Line LRT doesn't?

Good service and good routing choices.

Toronto's streetcar network is busier than most bus routes in NA. Toronto's streetcar network is what feeds traffic to/from the subways. For Toronto, it has become easier to leave the car at home and take transit. Parking is a challenge. Traffic is a challenge. But, transit is frequent, and in the city, it is not seen as something just for the poor. The middle class use it to commute if they have jobs that work to do so.

London has a horrible bus system. It hasn't gotten much better. So, saying to them that they are going to add more bus services will not be enough to draw enough people out of their cars. A family member who lives in London, works a 9-5 job in downtown London.Currently they are working from home.Once their company returns to in office working, they will be commuting again. They have taken the bus and have decided a second vehicle is better. Now, if an LRT was put in, then, they might change their mind. It is people like them that you need to attract and no BRT will work for them.

Cause York VIVA and the Ottawa Transitway were such failures?

BRT is damn easy in London. And has the benefit of providing more transferless rides while increasing local service frequency. See what Ottawa did with its Transitways. BRT has worked fantastically well in cities of London's size (population and geography). And given that LTC is moving to electrify its fleet, the comfort level onboard won't be all that different to actual riders.

Also who cares what the folks who will never ride transit say? Give them LRT and they'll claim the bus ride to the LRT and the lack of a fast subway stopping near their front door, prevents them riding transit. They will always have excuses (aka moving goalposts). And you will find them everywhere. They aren't unique to London.

VIVA is still a failure as it isn't much more frequent than a normal bus. Where is the 5 minute frequency or better?

The Transitway is being replaced due to the fact that it was underbuilt for the demand. That would be like saying the UBC B Line in Vancouver is great.It is horrible. If the Transitway and B Line are so great, why are they being replaced? Want a good way to scare off ridership? Have years long disruptions due to retrofitting to LRT or better.

Define fail. Define success.
My view of success is growth in ridership from people who would not normally take transit. Failure is if this does not happen.
 

kEiThZ

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VIVA is still a failure as it isn't much more frequent than a normal bus. Where is the 5 minute frequency or better?

1) Define failure. The ridership per km is substantially high. The handful of VIVA routes carry a third of YRT/VIVA combined ridership. An incredible accomplishment for half a dozen routes and less than 50 km of exclusive fully segregated ROW.

2) On any trunk portion of the VIVA, combined frequencies are quite high. Sub-10 min at least. This is fantastic for a suburban service. Probably the reason those half dozen routes account for a third of York's ridership.


There's no evidence that an LRT would do better. If the number of riders wasn't substantially higher, frequencies would drop substantially with higher capacity LRVs. Just see the ridiculous 15 min frequencies of Ion in Waterloo for how this would work. If people have a preference rail, it's certainly not enough to keep up LRT frequencies with higher capacity trams.
 
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micheal_can

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1) Define failure. The ridership per km is substantially high.

2) On any trunk portion of the VIVA, combined frequencies are quite high. Sub-10 min at least.

There's no evidence that an LRT would do better. If the number of riders wasn't substantially higher, frequencies would drop substantially with higher capacity LRVs. Just see the ridiculous 15 min frequencies of Ion in Waterloo for how this would work. If people have a preference rail, it's certainly not enough to keep up LRT frequencies with higher capacity trams.
I feel that peak ridership on VIVA has been reached at least till the Subway goes north. I'd like to see the numbers that were pre and post subway extension north for the VIVA Orange line. That would prove or disprove my point.

The other thing is the density where London's LRT was going to go is much higher than the VIVA routes pass through. There really is no downtown core of York Region.
 

kEiThZ

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I feel that peak ridership on VIVA has been reached at least till the Subway goes north. I'd like to see the numbers that were pre and post subway extension north for the VIVA Orange line. That would prove or disprove my point.

You're going to judge an entire RT system on one route?

The other thing is the density where London's LRT was going to go is much higher than the VIVA routes pass through. There really is no downtown core of York Region.

Ugggh. Why do people act like building this stuff hasn't been done before anywhere? London won't be the first city in the world to run BRT through an urban core. This is easily solvable. Either build in a transit mall or put in a tunnel through the core. Ultimately, there's opportunity costs. Would London be better served by a BRT that covered the whole city in 10 years or an LRT that might cover half the city in 20 years? That's the question.
 
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DirectionNorth

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Toronto's streetcar network is busier than most bus routes in NA. Toronto's streetcar network is what feeds traffic to/from the subways. For Toronto, it has become easier to leave the car at home and take transit. Parking is a challenge. Traffic is a challenge. But, transit is frequent, and in the city, it is not seen as something just for the poor. The middle class use it to commute if they have jobs that work to do so.
You're comparing Toronto streetcars to North American (including American systems which are really shitty) bus networks.

False comparison. You should be comparing the streetcars to the bus network in Toronto.

Additionally, you make the claim that streetcars feed the subway. That's not really true to a huge extent, no more than it's true that buses feed the subway; the downtown stations have higher ridership because they're downtown, not because there are streetcars.
London has a horrible bus system. It hasn't gotten much better. So, saying to them that they are going to add more bus services will not be enough to draw enough people out of their cars.
"Something is bad, and improving it won't help."

Elaborate?
A family member who lives in London, works a 9-5 job in downtown London. Currently they are working from home. Once their company returns to in office working, they will be commuting again. They have taken the bus and have decided a second vehicle is better. Now, if an LRT was put in, then, they might change their mind. It is people like them that you need to attract and no BRT will work for them.
You've basically stated a random and hypothetical anecdote. Useless statement.
VIVA is still a failure as it isn't much more frequent than a normal bus. Where is the 5 minute frequency or better?
The solution would be to put in 5 minute frequencies. Seems quite simple, compared with building an LRT line.
The Transitway is being replaced due to the fact that it was underbuilt for the demand. That would be like saying the UBC B Line in Vancouver is great. It is horrible. If the Transitway and B Line are so great, why are they being replaced? Want a good way to scare off ridership? Have years long disruptions due to retrofitting to LRT or better.
You're looking at this from the perspective of "we want a choo-choo", not "we want a good transit system".

They're being replaced because they are linear corridors where bus service is no longer adequate. They're linear corridors in much larger cities.

Ottawa's Transitway is the sole E-W corridor in a E-W oriented city. Vancouver is a much larger city than London will be, barring a near-miracle.
My view of success is growth in ridership from people who would not normally take transit. Failure is if this does not happen.
You haven't actually made any case for LRT, just posted random unbacked statements.
I feel that peak ridership on VIVA has been reached at least till the Subway goes north. I'd like to see the numbers that were pre and post subway extension north for the VIVA Orange line. That would prove or disprove my point.
You "feel" that rerouting a bus line to a more crosstown route (creating connections) would increase ridership? Wow, you need to submit an application at Metrolinx right away. A better comparison would be pre 2017 Pink and Orange VIVA and the current Orange VIVA.
The other thing is the density where London's LRT was going to go is much higher than the VIVA routes pass through. There really is no downtown core of York Region.
Other cities have built downtown BRTs.
Guangzhou-BRT-China.png
IMG_20191019_173354986%2B-%2Bcopia.jpg
 

kEiThZ

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You're looking at this from the perspective of "we want a choo-choo", not "we want a good transit system".

They're being replaced because they are linear corridors where bus service is no longer adequate. They're linear corridors in much larger cities.

Ottawa's Transitway is the sole E-W corridor in a E-W oriented city.

Yep. What a bizarre takeaway on the Ottawa Transitway.

The Transitway is being replaced because ridership actually reached LRT levels. That's a sign of success. Not failure. Ottawa has incredible transit ridership for a city of its size. If only other cities could "fail" like Ottawa.

canadianridership.jpg


Ottawa actually offers up a decent model of development for small and midsized metros to follow. They built the Transitway quite cheaply and were able to reach the suburbs. This let them offer one-seat rides to the core for lots of suburban commuters. They were able to build up ridership (not in the least because the largest employer in town heavily discourages driving to work). And then when it came time to convert to rail, they didn't require much land acquisition. Consider that Ottawa is going from 8 km to 65 km of fully segregated and grade separated rail in about a decade and a half, for ~$7 billion. There is no way Ottawa's LRT network would be this big if they had to buy the ROWs today.
 
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tsm1072

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London has a horrible bus system. It hasn't gotten much better. So, saying to them that they are going to add more bus services will not be enough to draw enough people out of their cars. A family member who lives in London, works a 9-5 job in downtown London.Currently they are working from home.Once their company returns to in office working, they will be commuting again. They have taken the bus and have decided a second vehicle is better. Now, if an LRT was put in, then, they might change their mind. It is people like them that you need to attract and no BRT will work for them.
Kingston had a horrible bus system, so they changed it and made it better. They are now used as a good study for what can happen when you improve bus service by adding express routes and buying some nicer buses, they didn't even build any dedicated BRT. Increased service and a new paint job can go a long way to moving people towards using transit.
 

kEiThZ

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Non-transit users: "I can't use transit unless they build a subway to my front door."

Actual transit users: "I just want the buses to run frequently enough that I don't have to check a schedule. Bus shelters would be nice too."

LTC can do a lot to improve before they build any rail. Starting with improved payment systems (open payments or Presto), better bus stops (with real time info displays in more places), electric buses, full 24/7 express network, and more bus infrastructure in general (from bus bays to bus lanes). There's a lot of low-hanging fruit. And if they don't tackle that, LRT really ain't gonna help all that much.
 

ARG1

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Toronto's streetcar network is busier than most bus routes in NA. Toronto's streetcar network is what feeds traffic to/from the subways. For Toronto, it has become easier to leave the car at home and take transit. Parking is a challenge. Traffic is a challenge. But, transit is frequent, and in the city, it is not seen as something just for the poor. The middle class use it to commute if they have jobs that work to do so.
The Toronto Streetcar is also in an extremely dense urban core, and not in a vast low density sprawling suburb - ye of course the ridership will be higher. It has nothing to do with the mode. If you would replace the 504 with a bus - you would actually probably lose ridership because the busses would be so full nobody would want to ride it, but this is where LRTs actually have advantage over the bus, capacity.

London does not have a capacity problem, it has a problem attracting new riders, and LRT would do nothing to address this.
London has a horrible bus system. It hasn't gotten much better. So, saying to them that they are going to add more bus services will not be enough to draw enough people out of their cars. A family member who lives in London, works a 9-5 job in downtown London.Currently they are working from home.Once their company returns to in office working, they will be commuting again. They have taken the bus and have decided a second vehicle is better. Now, if an LRT was put in, then, they might change their mind. It is people like them that you need to attract and no BRT will work for them.
Why would an LRT make them change their mind? They would ride it, realize that its no faster or more frequent than the bus they rode last time (because it won't be), and go back to using their car.
VIVA is still a failure as it isn't much more frequent than a normal bus. Where is the 5 minute frequency or better?
VIVA is its own can of worms because YRT as a whole is run by people with brains the size of an acorn. However, Viva Blue does exist, and during weekdays it runs every 7.5 minutes with most of the day south of Bernard, and pre-covid it was supplemented by a rush hour service called Viva Blue 'A' that was the same route but avoided Richmond Hill Centre Terminal. As a bonus, there was also another Rush Hour route called Viva Pink which operated 2 or 3 busses per hour which paralleled Viva Purple all the way to Unionville, then paralleled Viva Blue down to finch, making that corridor ~2-3 minutes. Even if we ignore all of that, and focus on just Viva Blue, it had almost 18k daily weekday riders in 2017, and remember this is York Region, this is a large car oriented suburban wasteland. By providing frequent service, Viva Blue has managed to amass an extremely respectable ridership count despite being, as previously mentioned, solely operated within a car oriented wasteland. Mind you, this is without any enhanced lanes or stations. Viva Blue's first rapidway section only opened in early 2020, with the core chunk through Richmond Hill only opening in December 2020. 18k daily ridership on a bus that didn't even have dedicated lanes.

Compare this to Viva Purple which has existed for about as long, but only provided 15 minute service for most of that time, with the occasional frequency bump given by Viva Pink. This route had the blessing of the first Rapidway Sections, being opened between 2013-2014, and despite this only had 5705 daily weekday ridership. Now why is that? Despite having dedicated lanes that should make service faster and more reliable, it has less than 1/3rd of the ridership that Viva Blue has. The answer is frequency, Viva Blue operates every 5-7.5 minutes in the southern half of the route, which means its a service where people can show up without needing a timetable and use the service. Whether its rail or a bus makes very little difference to most (yes people have a PREFERENCE for rail, but in practice the ridership gained from a service being rail is minuscule).
The Transitway is being replaced due to the fact that it was underbuilt for the demand. That would be like saying the UBC B Line in Vancouver is great.It is horrible. If the Transitway and B Line are so great, why are they being replaced? Want a good way to scare off ridership? Have years long disruptions due to retrofitting to LRT or better.
Let's turn this on its head: Despite being a busway in what was at the time an extremely car oriented city, it got enough ridership to the point where it was so busy that they had to upgrade it to LRT. Yet according to you people living in car dependant suburbs will refuse to use the bus? So which one is it?

In fact, because of the failures of the LRT, many in the city want to return back to the busway format - which granted is impossible at this point, but it goes to show how good bus service could be, and how people are willing to use it if you make it good.
My view of success is growth in ridership from people who would not normally take transit. Failure is if this does not happen.
And again, there is no proof that LRT is better than doing this than BRT. People are attracted to good service, people want something that is as efficient and reliable as their car, or at the very least approaching that amount. The closer you can replicate the convenience of a car, the higher your ridership will be as people learn of this service, and more people begin to use it to save money. LRT only has one benefit over BRT - capacity. It is less flexible, and usually has worse acceleration which can result in travel times that are slower than that of your average bus. As such the only situation where you might see an LRT significantly improve ridership, is if you have an overcapacity corridor where the busses are just way too full, and you replace it with an LRT - thus creating an induced demand situation. That's the only situation.

If you want to continue arguing your point, show actual evidence with numbers that prove some form of significant difference between BRT and LRT when used in similar circumstances - none of this comparing a downtown service with a suburban arterial service.
 

micheal_can

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You're going to judge an entire RT system on one route?

Not at all. However, it would show whether the BRT plan was a good idea or whether there was a real demand for higher level RT. For example, if that section of the line, ridership doubled the former VIVA route, then we can see not only the success of the upgrade to a subway, but that there is a good chance there was new riders.

Ugggh. Why do people act like building this stuff hasn't been done before anywhere? London won't be the first city in the world to run BRT through an urban core. This is easily solvable. Either build in a transit mall or put in a tunnel through the core. Ultimately, there's opportunity costs. Would London be better served by a BRT that covered the whole city in 10 years or an LRT that might cover half the city in 20 years? That's the question.

That is a good question. Actually, that is a very good question. VIVA has been around since 2005, so in 15 years, it covers most of the region. There is currently a Silver Line that will be added in the next year. There is no talk of upgrading except for existing subway extensions. The Transitways in Ottawa were upgraded after about 30 years. However, the pain of the Ottawa upgrade has been less than desirable. If London released a full build out that extended from the 401 to Fanshawe Park Rd, from Airport Rd to beyond Hyde Park Rd within 10-15 years, I would go for the BRT. However, unless someone can find a source, I have not seen that. K/W did not have a BRT along their route prior to the iON. They did/do have express routes, but not a BRT.
 

micheal_can

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You're comparing Toronto streetcars to North American (including American systems which are really shitty) bus networks.

False comparison. You should be comparing the streetcars to the bus network in Toronto.

Additionally, you make the claim that streetcars feed the subway. That's not really true to a huge extent, no more than it's true that buses feed the subway; the downtown stations have higher ridership because they're downtown, not because there are streetcars.

Streetcars to bus.... Ok... Show me a bus route in Toronto that is busier than the busiest streetcar route.

"Something is bad, and improving it won't help."

Elaborate?

What is the improvement that will work to draw more people to VIVA? Short answer, not much.

You've basically stated a random and hypothetical anecdote. Useless statement.

The solution would be to put in 5 minute frequencies. Seems quite simple, compared with building an LRT line.

If there isn't a demand for5 minute frequency due to ridership, that would be a waste.

You're looking at this from the perspective of "we want a choo-choo", not "we want a good transit system".

They're being replaced because they are linear corridors where bus service is no longer adequate. They're linear corridors in much larger cities.

Ottawa's Transitway is the sole E-W corridor in a E-W oriented city. Vancouver is a much larger city than London will be, barring a near-miracle.

Define good transit. Do you really think London Transit or London city council can create a better bus system? What has stopped them up till now? It would be better if it is done right the first time. K/Wdid that. Ottawa and York Region didn't.

You haven't actually made any case for LRT, just posted random unbacked statements.

You "feel" that rerouting a bus line to a more crosstown route (creating connections) would increase ridership? Wow, you need to submit an application at Metrolinx right away. A better comparison would be pre 2017 Pink and Orange VIVA and the current Orange VIVA.

There is no "crosstown" route that would work. I can think about 6 different points that it would need to hit. None of them would be on the same route. That would mean you would need to build out 6 different directions to BRT. Then you need to upgrade them all eventually to LRT. To see the Ottawa stations torn down issuch a waste, when if they had built them better, or had they just did the LRT from the get go, it would not be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Other cities have built downtown BRTs.
Guangzhou-BRT-China.png
IMG_20191019_173354986%2B-%2Bcopia.jpg
I haven't said nowhere else has done BRTs. I will say that it does not seem that most systems remember the (R)apid part. Ottawa forgot that downtown.
 

kEiThZ

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However, the pain of the Ottawa upgrade has been less than desirable.

You seem to focus on only one side: the disruption from conversion. There's the other side: cost. Ottawa is going from one 8-km infrequent train line to 65 km of high frequency, fully grade separated rail in about a decade and a half from plan approval to entry-into-service. This is being done for about $7B. About $110M/km give or take. There is literally nowhere on this continent building this much high quality rail transit, this fast, for this cheap. And this is only possible because Ottawa had the Right-of-Way for more than half the LRT from the Transitway or highway medians.

This is effectively a Just-in-time (JIT) upgrade of transit capacity, being delivered to match increased demand (sans COVID). They didn't overspend on transit earlier. And the land acquisition made for the Transitways saved them hundreds of millions (possibly billions if more tunneling would have been required).

Also, as seen in the graph above, Ottawa achieved ridership modal share on par with Toronto and Montreal using just the Transitways. That alone should tell you how successful BRT can be.

Given that London has technologies and funding that was not available to Ottawa when they built most of the Transitway network, and given that London is probably at least three decades away from breaking a million, they have a long way to go before needing the capacity that rail offers. They could build a very high quality bus and BRT system using all electric buses. Including tunnels in the core (lower ventilation requirements with electric buses).

Lastly, when their city council considers BRT too expensive, LRT seems like a red herring that will lead to no RT getting built.
 

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