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London Rapid Transit (In-Design)

Darwinkgo

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I am for spending taxpayer money once.
It is a waste to rebuilt an area for express bus just to rebuild it for BRT.
It is a waste to rebuild an area for BRT just to shut it down and rebuild it for LRT.
So, this is a huge debate in transit circles, but it really shouldn't be.

It is the same as whether the Canada Line should have been built with provisions for 80m trains, or the entire Canada Line + Legacy Lines built with provisions for 120m trains.

But it is pretty easy to show it is wrong much of the time, if you think about the time value of money, or about how you can build more, earlier, and maximize social welfare while still saving money.

In London's case, as was true in Waterloo, the optimal investment is pretty minimal. Ion shouldn't be held as a triumph - it isn't faster than the bus that did the route before, it isn't more frequent than the bus that did the route before. It is solely a quality of life and real estate focusing play. Which is fine. We just shouldn't act like it is a hugely consequential transit thing, even though it is a hugely consequential city building thing.

Until London has a lot more money to invest it will not be able to move the ball forward on a consequential transit project. It will just be investments around the edges, like the queue jumps contemplated in their official plan.
 
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ARG1

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It's easy to be passionate about being right, more than caring about transit, when you don't have to live in the place that you are discussing.

My wife has a few family members in different parts of London. My FIL owns a prominent small business in the core. So I've gotten to experience LTC from a bit of a local perspective. Whatever they build needs to cover the city. LRT that goes out in just 1-2 directions from the core and still needs a transfer (or two) from the bus, really isn't going to motivate people to ditch their cars. They really need bus lanes. This video comes to mind:

That's fair, but the point I was trying to make is that if you're going to call BRT a "waste of money", then you might as well not build anything at all.
 

Haljackey

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Until London has a lot more money to invest it will not be able to move the ball forward on a consequential transit project. It will just be investments around the edges, like the queue jumps contemplated in their official plan.

Dude we can't even spend the money upper levels of government are literally giving away to us for transit projects. There will never be another opportunity here unless the province or something shoves it down our throats. Even the 2 queue jump bus lanes we have are not working well here- cars use these bus lanes to skip traffic and will just shrug it off as if they 'didn't know it was bus only!' if questioned.

The bus service sucks. The roads suck. There's 'not enough' parking downtown so it's choking away. Any change is met with stiff opposition. Even routine road construction is a huge hindrance due to the lack of alternatives routes.

This half-assed BRT is the best we can do. I am still suprised we actually approved 2 legs.

I'm just glad I've been able to WFH since the start of the pandemic.
 

ARG1

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Time for a massive reply dump.

You're comparing bus routes in suburbia to a downtown route. Stop with the bad faith arguments.

You said it yourself, higher frequencies. Seems easy to do.

Agreed. If there isn't demand for 5 minute frequency on a bus route, an LRT is a waste.

? You're trying to say something?

If London Transit can't do a good bus system, what makes you think they'll be competent at an LRT?

Outside of Alberta, which had so much money they didn't know what to do with it, no city of 500,000 could afford an LRT in the 1970s.

The stations are just large bus shelters. They could have been reused, had the city chose to do so, but they wanted level boarding. Source: living in Ottawa for a few years.

Ottawa's downtown segment was too successful and too high ridership. If that's failure, I want more!

Your argument was that we can't have BRT in urban areas.

Edinburgh and Seoul are also large cities. If they can do it, so can London.

No, because they would have had to build a tunneled ROW to get the capacity which they have now. That would have costed as much as the rest of the Transitway put together.

You can either have an overcapacity BRT or a useless BRT. Pick one, then stick to it.

The issues stem from poor maintenance, which a smaller system can easily have. If OCTranspo is that bad, imagine LTC doing it.

LRT would have the same problem. But right, it's a choo-choo, and @micheal_can can't live without those!

I thought you said it was going to have low ridership because it's a bus which is for poor people?

Again, if they're bad at operating bus service, what makes you think that they'll operate good LRT service?

Operations > construction. If you can change the operations to get a similar result for less, then that's the way to go.

Isn't that ideal for a fixed-route LRT?

So? Is this a dick measuring contest? If not, then "they have it so we have to have it too" doesn't count as an argument.

And? What are you trying to say?

What are you trying to say?

You think LRT will be a success? I think you're just operating on bad-faith arguments.

LOL.

Really? Doesn't seem like it.

Is London going to rebuild the BRT for LRT? Or is this another fantasy scenario that you've farted up?

Is this more useless arguments with zero proof?

Please, if you're going to argue anything, provide some sort of evidence.

Unless your precious LRT is getting those too, don't try to argue with that.

Why waste even more taxpayer money for an LRT that's going to have the same operational deficiencies?

It's clear that you think that LRT would run like Ottawa's while BRT would be like the Eglinton East lanes, while in reality, the LRT would run on the same lanes as the BRT.
It's clear that you've made contradictory statements about ridership.
It's clear that you think an agency which can't run buses well would run a train well.
It's clear that you haven't got any actual evidence for what you're saying, just a bunch of cobbled together anecdotes.
I find it funny that the further down you read this post, the more bitter and angrier your writing becomes. Its poetic really.
 

Darwinkgo

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To follow on, I present my London Ontario LRT real estate focusing line, because London doesn't have the density to support a polycentric network, so the best is to try to create a linear one. While hopefully making downtown a useful place to build density, to feed the polycentric destinations.

Other London plans try to be too much, thinking they can connect many of the destinations, instead of just choosing the best linear corridor. But London doesn't have density in logical places to connect up really. And the systems keep getting designed to with the thought that Fanshawe (16,000 staff and students at their main campus) needs to be connected just as Western (45,000 staff and students + the hospital) needs to be, in the first phase. As well, the systems keep getting watered down to serve the hospital (especially at Western) more poorly.

So the solution, do less, but better. The below is pretty much one of the lines that appears in most of the plans, there are key differences beyond going down to 1 corridor.

1) use project money to fix the University Drive Bridge, and secure a commitment of the university not limiting frequency to 6 trains per hour per direction. (this helped make an earlier project which used the bridge fail).
2) since it uses the University Drive Bridge, the project now is central on Western's campus, which will help drive ridership. It will also more directly serve the hospital on campus, and connect the 3 hospitals in London.
3) Now that you have much better connections to the university, the system connects those students who are much less likely to have a car, to places they want to go, the enclosed malls (teal), downtown, and the more cool high street.
4) Now that you have connections to the 3 hospitals (red), staff that float between don't need cars. Like medical residents, which London gets 100+ new ones each year, who have access to money.
5) Deal with railway crossings - using money saved from removing the one line. Also the one line has far fewer crossings.

Basically this line is a gentrification machine. Explicitly. The goal is to funnel students, medical workers, and people relocating to work at the university to downtown, and convince some of them they don't need a car.

1642535315840.png
 

Haljackey

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To follow on, I present my London Ontario LRT real estate focusing line, because London doesn't have the density to support a polycentric network, so the best is to try to create a linear one. While hopefully making downtown a useful place to build density, to feed the polycentric destinations.

Other London plans try to be too much, thinking they can connect many of the destinations, instead of just choosing the best linear corridor. But London doesn't have density in logical places to connect up really. And the systems keep getting designed to with the thought that Fanshawe (16,000 staff and students at their main campus) needs to be connected just as Western (45,000 staff and students + the hospital) needs to be, in the first phase. As well, the systems keep getting watered down to serve the hospital (especially at Western) more poorly.

So the solution, do less, but better. The below is pretty much one of the lines that appears in most of the plans, there are key differences beyond going down to 1 corridor.

1) use project money to fix the University Drive Bridge, and secure a commitment of the university not limiting frequency to 6 trains per hour per direction. (this helped make an earlier project which used the bridge fail).
2) since it uses the University Drive Bridge, the project now is central on Western's campus, which will help drive ridership. It will also more directly serve the hospital on campus, and connect the 3 hospitals in London.
3) Now that you have much better connections to the university, the system connects those students who are much less likely to have a car, to places they want to go, the enclosed malls (teal), downtown, and the more cool high street.
4) Now that you have connections to the 3 hospitals (red), staff that float between don't need cars. Like medical residents, which London gets 100+ new ones each year, who have access to money.
5) Deal with railway crossings - using money saved from removing the one line. Also the one line has far fewer crossings.

Basically this line is a gentrification machine. Explicitly. The goal is to funnel students, medical workers, and people relocating to work at the university to downtown, and convince some of them they don't need a car.

View attachment 375391

This is spot on and 100% the best routing. The E-W legs could be added afterwards so money and political will could have been focused to build this core leg.

Too bad it didn't materialize. At least the south part will be built as BRT but the north part will be choked due to 4 major issues. The CP Rail over/underpass, taking a lane off Richmond for transit, building expensive infrastructure for poor university students (no matter how you sell it this will be the argument from NIMBYs) and Western admin being 'pussies' about having too many trains run through campus.
 

Bureaucromancer

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For that matter, I'd be open to cutting it back even further, building ONLY the northern leg but doing essentially whatever is needed to make Western and Richmond Row happy.

On the other hand, I do think that a southern leg with this emphasis ought to bite the bullet and cross the 401, even if it's little more than an improved park and ride on opening.
 

Haljackey

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For that matter, I'd be open to cutting it back even further, building ONLY the northern leg but doing essentially whatever is needed to make Western and Richmond Row happy.

On the other hand, I do think that a southern leg with this emphasis ought to bite the bullet and cross the 401, even if it's little more than an improved park and ride on opening.
The only thing that will make Richmond Row happy is do nothing, They don't want a lane taken out for 'poor students'. They don't want years of construction. They want that for on-street parking at minimum and for people to access their businesses. Losing a car lane means more traffic to them and thus their customers will avoid the area.

There isn't much south of the 401 in London. The BRT plan has a proposed connection to a park and ride facility near the Wellington Road interchange. If extended, you'd get a BRT/LRT line to Costco. There isn't much they sell that's small enough to take on transit. Imagine lugging a 36 case of coke or 48 paper towels on the train. I've seen people do that and to be honest I have respect for them- unless the bus is busy and they're taking up extra seat(s) with cargo.
 

Darwinkgo

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The only thing that will make Richmond Row happy is do nothing, They don't want a lane taken out for 'poor students'. They don't want years of construction. They want that for on-street parking at minimum and for people to access their businesses. Losing a car lane means more traffic to them and thus their customers will avoid the area.

There isn't much south of the 401 in London. The BRT plan has a proposed connection to a park and ride facility near the Wellington Road interchange. If extended, you'd get a BRT/LRT line to Costco. There isn't much they sell that's small enough to take on transit. Imagine lugging a 36 case of coke or 48 paper towels on the train. I've seen people do that and to be honest I have respect for them- unless the bus is busy and they're taking up extra seat(s) with cargo.
It is sad that there is so much off street parking on the Richmond corridor, but as always local businesses will think that if someone can't park right in front, that they'll suffer greatly. The off-street is fragmented, poorly allocated, and hard to navigate—but it isn't lacking.
 

kEiThZ

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You see this in cities everywhere. Businesses always complain about losing parking. After transit is built, they discover that all the foot traffic is better for business than they ever imagined.

If Richmond Row doesn't want rapid transit that is fine. Build it elsewhere and drain them of foot traffic.
 

ARG1

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Again. Just a reminder that we have actual evidence of what works for a midsize city. There's a lot of cities that built LRT. But Ottawa built the Transitway with dedicated ROWs, and a very bare bones shelter at each stop and achieved modal share comparable to cities that were much larger:

canadianridership.jpg


London can learn from the experience of Ottawa or make its own very expensive mistakes (like many of the American cities above).

As for the argument about wasted spending, there really isn't much too them. The stations were just concrete slabs with bus shelters on them. This, for example, is Strandherd "Station" when it opened:

1280px-Strandherd_Transitway_Station_1A.jpg


Most of the downtown Transitway stations in Ottawa looked like larger versions of the above. So really, after getting a few decades out of them, there's no real loss tearing them down to build proper rail stations. With the exception of a few that needed elevators, most of the Transitway "stations" probably cost less than a million dollars and the OC Transpo got 30-40 years out of them. The LRT stations that replaced these are $30-50M cathedrals built to service the city for a century. There is no way Ottawa could have afforded them when it had 600k people. Look at the LRT systems in Calgary and Edmonton. No downtown tunnel in Calgary, and stations that are comparable to the Ottawa Transitway. Edmonton's system is really small. These are all consequences of building LRT well before they needed it and having the cost of maintaining those systems hurt expansion. Ottawa shows cities how to scale transit capacity as a city grows and set aside corridors that can be developed for rail later. Not just London. Larger cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, could learn from Ottawa too.
Random side note about that graph, does it include the greater metropolitan area or just what's within the city boundaries?

If the latter, then while its definitely impressive could be a bit misleading. For instance, while Ottawa's system is impressive, Gatineau right across the river probably would tank the rating if it was included especially when you compare it to Australian Cities where in general their city limits include the entire metropolitan area.

Granted when comparing to US cities this doesn't really matter much, but its something to consider at the very least.
 

kEiThZ

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Random side note about that graph, does it include the greater metropolitan area or just what's within the city boundaries?

If the latter, then while its definitely impressive could be a bit misleading. For instance, while Ottawa's system is impressive, Gatineau right across the river probably would tank the rating if it was included especially when you compare it to Australian Cities where in general their city limits include the entire metropolitan area.

It's using StatsCan journey-to-work data, which is for the entire CMA. In this case, that would be Ottawa-Gatineau. You can read Jarrett Walker's (of Human Transit) commentary on that here:

 

ARG1

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It's using StatsCan journey-to-work data, which is for the entire CMA. In this case, that would be Ottawa-Gatineau. You can read Jarrett Walker's (of Human Transit) commentary on that here:

Ok I just found this on my own, but thanks for the confirmation!
 

micheal_can

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So, this is a huge debate in transit circles, but it really shouldn't be.

It is the same as whether the Canada Line should have been built with provisions for 80m trains, or the entire Canada Line + Legacy Lines built with provisions for 120m trains.

But it is pretty easy to show it is wrong much of the time, if you think about the time value of money, or about how you can build more, earlier, and maximize social welfare while still saving money.

In London's case, as was true in Waterloo, the optimal investment is pretty minimal. Ion shouldn't be held as a triumph - it isn't faster than the bus that did the route before, it isn't more frequent than the bus that did the route before. It is solely a quality of life and real estate focusing play. Which is fine. We just shouldn't act like it is a hugely consequential transit thing, even though it is a hugely consequential city building thing.

Until London has a lot more money to invest it will not be able to move the ball forward on a consequential transit project. It will just be investments around the edges, like the queue jumps contemplated in their official plan.

I think you get what I am trying to say.

Dude we can't even spend the money upper levels of government are literally giving away to us for transit projects. There will never be another opportunity here unless the province or something shoves it down our throats. Even the 2 queue jump bus lanes we have are not working well here- cars use these bus lanes to skip traffic and will just shrug it off as if they 'didn't know it was bus only!' if questioned.

The bus service sucks. The roads suck. There's 'not enough' parking downtown so it's choking away. Any change is met with stiff opposition. Even routine road construction is a huge hindrance due to the lack of alternatives routes.

This half-assed BRT is the best we can do. I am still suprised we actually approved 2 legs.

I'm just glad I've been able to WFH since the start of the pandemic.

I can't wait tills someone parks in one of the BRT lanes....You know it will happen.

To follow on, I present my London Ontario LRT real estate focusing line, because London doesn't have the density to support a polycentric network, so the best is to try to create a linear one. While hopefully making downtown a useful place to build density, to feed the polycentric destinations.

Other London plans try to be too much, thinking they can connect many of the destinations, instead of just choosing the best linear corridor. But London doesn't have density in logical places to connect up really. And the systems keep getting designed to with the thought that Fanshawe (16,000 staff and students at their main campus) needs to be connected just as Western (45,000 staff and students + the hospital) needs to be, in the first phase. As well, the systems keep getting watered down to serve the hospital (especially at Western) more poorly.

So the solution, do less, but better. The below is pretty much one of the lines that appears in most of the plans, there are key differences beyond going down to 1 corridor.

1) use project money to fix the University Drive Bridge, and secure a commitment of the university not limiting frequency to 6 trains per hour per direction. (this helped make an earlier project which used the bridge fail).
2) since it uses the University Drive Bridge, the project now is central on Western's campus, which will help drive ridership. It will also more directly serve the hospital on campus, and connect the 3 hospitals in London.
3) Now that you have much better connections to the university, the system connects those students who are much less likely to have a car, to places they want to go, the enclosed malls (teal), downtown, and the more cool high street.
4) Now that you have connections to the 3 hospitals (red), staff that float between don't need cars. Like medical residents, which London gets 100+ new ones each year, who have access to money.
5) Deal with railway crossings - using money saved from removing the one line. Also the one line has far fewer crossings.

Basically this line is a gentrification machine. Explicitly. The goal is to funnel students, medical workers, and people relocating to work at the university to downtown, and convince some of them they don't need a car.

View attachment 375391

No city has built out all their needed lines at once. This plan would connect 2 of the 6 areas needed. This route would be the first of the lines to build.

When replying to 5 - 10 posts, I get tired of arguing the same thing ... it's my problem, really, not Micheal's.

Feelings are mutual. I don't take offense when you, or others don't agree with me..I do learn from the back and forth. I hope you learn from it too.

You see this in cities everywhere. Businesses always complain about losing parking. After transit is built, they discover that all the foot traffic is better for business than they ever imagined.

If Richmond Row doesn't want rapid transit that is fine. Build it elsewhere and drain them of foot traffic.

Maybe put it to Wharncliff instead.
 

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