BRT Buffoonery and a word about Susan Heyes

Some interesting costs associated with BRT. If the following is to be believed, then BRT is more expensive to build and operate than light rail. Maybe that’s why TransLink wants to build BRT in the Fraser Valley. With TransLink, if it costs more to build and operate than light rail, they build it!

Pittsburg BRT, costs more to build and operate than light rail.

From the LRPPro blog.
Ripping out railroad tracks to build a BRT is a total waste of money
we are very short on. Pittsburgh did that on their terribly inefficient
West BusWay in about 2000AD. The BusWay was to run from
Golden Triangle (downtown) to Carnegie, PA., about 8 miles
but they called it the Airport BusWay to get support for it. It was
not to go anywhere near the airport but the AIrport buses would
use part of it even though they already had an interstate highway
279 to run on. It was to cost $ 325 million to build = $ 40 million
per mile over ten years ago. A crooked Senator got Congress to
waive the law and the agreement that required Allegheny County
to ante up the $ 200 million shortfall when the bids came in at
$ 525 million, $ 65 million per mile, far more than Light Rail but
the rotten government let the Port Authority allege that the Bus
Way was only one-third the cost of Light Rail. They supported
that lie by using the cost of the Buffalo full subway when they
should have used the cost of Salt Lake City which was built on
RR tracks.
I was so mad I wrote the FTA about it and I got a lying letter
back explaining that if they built half of the BusWay fofr $ 285
million it would be a better deal than building it all for $ 525
million. NOT TRUE AT ALL. They now attract only 9,000 of
the promised 50,000 weekday passengers.
Or abstractly, Light rail now costs $ 240 average per car hour for 125 passengers in the rush hour = $ 1.92 per passenger.
Buses now cost $ 120 per hour for 57 peak passengers
= $ 2.11 per passenger PLUS 12 % for BusWay and station
maintenance, ploughing and 6 % for proof of payment fare
collection which cost is included in Light Rail basic data.
Sure, a Bus Way would probably use articulated buses with
87 peak capacity but Operations Research study of actual
articulated bus operation in Los Angeles found they cost more
per passenger than 40-foot buses because of complexity and
slower movement.
The TRB has that data. The BusWay bus cost will be $ 2.50 per
The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear th appeal of Susan Heyes lawsuit against TransLink, which the original judgment was overturned by the BC Court of Appeals. I leave it up to Charles Dickens to sum up my feelings of this rather bizarre turn of events.
“If the law supposes that,’ said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass–a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience–by experience.”–business-owner-loses-canada-line-legal-battle


One Response to “BRT Buffoonery and a word about Susan Heyes”
  1. Carlo Merriweather says:

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