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The Silly Argument Over BRT and Rail

Nice map, jaycola. I always supported BRTs in the Hydro Corridors. Inevitably, some Toronto Debbie downer will pipe up and complain that "it's too far to walk from the Finch corridor to Finch" or something like that. First of all, it isn't. Second of all, BRT corridors should not be conceived solely in terms of having one bus line with people walking on or off it like a subway line. They're mobility corridors: buses from all over the region can use the busways like a highway to get to distant destinations very quickly. Instead of having a GO bus sit in traffic on the 401 on its way to Brampton, it can zip down the Finch hydro corridor. The whole reason to build busways is to introduce the kind of route flexibility that cars enjoy into public transit.

The other thing people say is that "oh, if you build BRT in the hydro corridor, Finch avenue west will never become a walkable urban neighborhood". As if it ever had a chance of becoming one, anyway. These people also tend to forget that while supporting urban-style real estate development is all fine and good, it isn't the sole raison d'etre of a transportation system. I mean, isn't the role of transportation primarily to move people around to where they want to go?
 
Thanks Hipster Duck.
Here is the link to the map. Anyone can feel free to add/alter it. I have the image saved on flickr.
Link to Map

York University Busway
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
York University Busway

The Hydro Corridor Busway.
Overview
Type Bus Rapid Transit
System TTC Bus System
Locale Toronto, Ontario
Termini Downsview Station
York University
Stations 4
Services 196 York University Rocket,

Viva Orange
Operation
Opened 2009
Operator(s) Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
Technical
Line length 6.5km
Operating speed 60km/h
The York University Busway is the collective name for a series of bus lanes and bus only roadways leading from Downsview station to York University, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is used by the Toronto Transit Commission's 196 York University Rocket and York Region Transit's Viva Orange bus rapid transit routes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The busway was constructed to address over-crowding and reliability issues on the route 196 York U Rocket.

The busway increased the average speed of route 196 by 41% from 23.3km/h to 32.8km/h,[1] making it the third fastest TTC route at rush hour, after the Scarborough RT and route 192 Airport Rocket. It is now faster than any of the subway lines.[2] Due to the savings in time from using the busway, service frequency on route 196 was increased from every 2 minutes 15 seconds to every 2 minutes while reducing the number of buses operating on the route from 20 to 16.[1]

The final cost of the busway was $37.8 million...

Seeing as this is faster than any Subay lines, this should be an option looked at seriously.
 
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Thanks Hipster Duck.
Here is the link to the map. Anyone can feel free to add/alter it. I have the image saved on flickr.
Link to Map



Seeing as this is faster than any Subay lines, this should be an option looked at seriously.

I cannot understand why BRT's weren't built years ago. It seems like such a no-brainer. Buses travelling along dedicated right-of-ways could travel at near highway speeds. With infrequent stops - only at major intersections - they would be unmatched for speed. Even with the Subway it takes an hour to travel from downtown to the Scarborough town centre. With high-speed BRT's you could cut this time in half. Another advantage of the BRT's is they would take some of the pressure off of the overcrowded subway lines - in essence become "the downtown relief line" that has been talked about.
 
Took the Transitway home from downtown today (I was down there for a conference). Left at 5pm, waited a whole 30 seconds for my bus, was home 30 minutes later (including a 5 minute wait for a transfer bus once I reached Baseline station). Pretty hard to argue with that. Oh, and I got a seat on the bus fyi.

And today, I took the Streetcar home from Yonge to Bathurst St. Waited 1 minute, took me 8 minutes to get to Bathurst, and a 2 minute walk home. Pretty hard to argue with that, and I too, got a seat.

GO STREETCAR!
 
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I cannot understand why BRT's weren't built years ago. It seems like such a no-brainer. Buses travelling along dedicated right-of-ways could travel at near highway speeds. With infrequent stops - only at major intersections - they would be unmatched for speed. Even with the Subway it takes an hour to travel from downtown to the Scarborough town centre. With high-speed BRT's you could cut this time in half. Another advantage of the BRT's is they would take some of the pressure off of the overcrowded subway lines - in essence become "the downtown relief line" that has been talked about.

LRT travelling along dedicated ROWs with infrequent stops can travel at highway speeds too. The problem with your flawed assumption is the speed limit on most roads is under 80km. and many corridors have local demand that cannot be served with few stops.. It's amazing that people still only consider the fastest speed, and totally ignore accessibilty, and convenience. The DRL will NEVER be BRT. BRT can never handle the expected loads of the DRL. It must be subway, or at the least fully segregated LRT.

This is just another silly BRT assumption, and this is why BRT can never be taken seriously. It's like BRT will solve all transit problems.
 
And today, I took the Streetcar home from Yonge to Bathurst St. Waited 1 minute, took me 8 minutes to get to Bathurst, and a 2 minute walk home. Pretty hard to argue with that, and I too, got a seat.

GO STREETCAR!

Likewise, if it was a BRT (or any form of rapid transit), you could be at Bathurst in as little as 2-5 minutes, depending on the number of stops. You could also save yourself $3 and take your bike, which would only be about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile someone who isn't fortunate to have their life revolve around a 2km stretch could get from Yonge St. to their destination in a reasonable amount of time as well.

Or you could save yourself the $3 and used your bike and gotten there in 10 minutes.
 
Likewise, if it was a BRT (or any form of rapid transit), you could be at Bathurst in as little as 2-5 minutes, depending on the number of stops.

This statement is about as believable as your claim that our subway trains reach a maximum of 100km on the stretches north of Eglinton Station! Because like, you know having stations every 2-3km means high speed!

Meanwhile someone who isn't fortunate to have their life revolve around a 2km stretch could get from Yonge St. to their destination in a reasonable amount of time as well.

Or you could save yourself the $3 and used your bike and gotten there in 10 minutes.

Or we can stop with the silly argument between LRT and BRT, but one can only dream..
 
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I have a better idea. Lets just pave a strip through the whole thing. Wherever possible, pave a section wide enough for bikes, ebikes and gas motorised vehicles under say...100 cc.

5963fde_19.jpeg

This Scooter is 50cc and will do 48KMH.
It's $2 grand. Milton to North York is 55 km. Ajax is just 39KM.
If you could keep the road surface clean, properly outfitted, you could use in 90%-95% of the year.

A peugeout 100 can do over 100KM which is just too fast.

Imagine what you could do with half a $billion.
Build 150 km of track for $150 million.
You could offer financing up to $2000 per vehicle/bike.
You could provide money for maybe 250,000 users.
Use is free...
 
As suggested BRT is better suited as a backbone of a system in cities that have up to 1 million people. In larger cities like NYC that's implementing them it is regarded as a supplementary service.
 
Once again, a crosstown link that bypasses the Sheppard subway and shows it was and is a complete waste of time and money.

Busway on the hydro corridor for long trips + lrts on the arterials for local ones. There is a role for both technologies. We need to step outside the subway bubble and stop spending billions on technology that tries to serve both local and regional commuters, but doesn't do a good job of either.
 
We need to step outside the subway bubble and stop spending billions on technology that tries to serve both local and regional commuters, but doesn't do a good job of either.

Doesn't do a good job at either? How do you figure?
 
This statement is about as believable as your claim that our subway trains reach a maximum of 100km on the stretches north of Eglinton Station! Because like, you know having stations every 2-3km means high speed!

Play with Google Maps or the TTC trip planner and see for yourself:

2km stretch with no stops in between: 2-3 minutes (2km average interstation)
2km stretch with 1 stop in between: 3-4 minutes (1km average interstation)
2km stretch with 2 stops in between: 4-5 minutes (667m average interstation)
2km stretch with 3 stops in between: 5-6 minutes (500m average interstation)
 
Doesn't do a good job at either? How do you figure?

Too short to be much use regionally, too expensive to make long enough to be useful regionally, and there is no question that local trips are not well served by a line with cavernous stations 2km apart.

A specialized regional bus line and a specialized local LRT would do everything the subway purports to, but would serve both needs better, plus would cost half as much to build both.

The idea of having both LRT and busway puts the best transportation mode in its ideal place.
 
LRT travelling along dedicated ROWs with infrequent stops can travel at highway speeds too. The problem with your flawed assumption is the speed limit on most roads is under 80km. and many corridors have local demand that cannot be served with few stops.. It's amazing that people still only consider the fastest speed, and totally ignore accessibilty, and convenience. The DRL will NEVER be BRT. BRT can never handle the expected loads of the DRL. It must be subway, or at the least fully segregated LRT.

This is just another silly BRT assumption, and this is why BRT can never be taken seriously. It's like BRT will solve all transit problems.

What speed do the buses (IE. 192 Airport Rocket) go at going to the airport do when they're on the 427?

192map.gif
 
Once again, a crosstown link that bypasses the Sheppard subway and shows it was and is a complete waste of time and money.

Busway on the hydro corridor for long trips + lrts on the arterials for local ones. There is a role for both technologies. We need to step outside the subway bubble and stop spending billions on technology that tries to serve both local and regional commuters, but doesn't do a good job of either.

+1. Very well said.

I would add to that that some of those corridors along avenues that should eventually be LRT should be built as BRT first, in order to reduce the capital cost, and get better transit to more people more quickly. A bit of a weird analogy, but think of it like Monopoly. You only have enough money to build 12 houses, so do you put 4 houses on 3 properties, 3 houses on 4 properties, 2 houses on 6 properties, or 1 house on 12 properties? The more you spend in one spot, the less you can spend in another.

The strategy that I think would be most effective for Toronto in the short term is to build 2 houses on 6 properties (ie spend enough money on a bunch of corridors to see some benefits, but not too much that there are some important corridors that get nothing). Do BRT for half the capital cost, allowing you to build twice as much of it. When the money comes around again, whichever one of the 4 corridors that you built needs the LRT upgrade the most, the money goes there. But at least this way the corridor that wasn't #1 on that list still has rapid transit, as opposed to just a local bus in mixed traffic.

Many of the corridors that were in Transit City could work with either LRT or BRT, at least in the short to medium term. Their ridership projections for 0-10 years were in that overlap area between LRT and BRT. If one of the corridors doesn't do so well, and all it needs for the long term is BRT, at least you saved half the capital cost of building it. If the ridership takes off, you know where the next round of funding is going.
 

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