The BRT Myth Exposed!

The following is from the Urbansit from Seattle and is quite interesting.

First of all, for those who care to know, Seattle’s LRT is indeed a light-metro, which ultimate capacity is over 32,000 pphpd (today, itai??i??s 16,000″on the existing line before ventilation and emergency escape upgrades are made.”) True light rail operates mainly at-grade and doesn’t need ventilation and emergency escape upgrades.

Secondly, real Bus Rapid Transit costs more than LRT, something that TransLink and regional politicians are blind to. Of course, TransLink speak for “BRT” is just a tarted up B-Line express bus and not real BRT.

In Europe, real BRT or guided bus has fared poorly when compared to light rail and except for some niche applications and forced political decisions, it is not built because in the end it costs almost the same as LRT, but without any advantages of LRT.

A bus, is a bus, is a bus, no matter what it is called.

Again, transportation planning honesty just does not exist at TransLink or with the province and the taxpayer and transit customer are greatly ill served.

Bus rapid transit is common in third world countries because of cheap labour costs

but in Canada the costsAi?? for the larger land take needed for BRT and realistic labour costs

make light rail the cheaper option to move large numbers of customers.

BRT Is Not Cheaper Than Light Rail


A common criticism of the upcoming ST3 ballot measure is that light rail is too expensive and weai??i??d be better off with bus rapid transit (BRT), especially in the suburbs. This article looks at the economics behind such statements to see if ST3 is worth it or not.


Just an average morning on the regional highways. (Washington State Department of Transportation)

Just an average morning on the regional highways. (Washington State Department of Transportation)





First, we start with the rush-hour congestion map on the left (from October 4th at 8am). We can see that congested stretches of I-5 exist all the way from Everett to Tacoma and the same is true for local Seattle roads from Ballard and West Seattle. What this means is that more people are trying to travel on the freeway than its available capacity.

So how do we accommodate the extra people?

Why not widen freeways?

Before we do so itai??i??s important to understand the concept of induced demand. This is really latent demand that only materializes once extra freeway capacity comes online. When congestion improves, people who were previously dissuaded from making certain trips now start making them. Moreover, as commutes shorten, new real estate development in areas previously deemed too far becomes possible, which in turn also creates new demand. So the new ai???emptyai??? road space is quickly filled and consumed with traffic.

Now to be as fair as possible, travel demand is not infinite and it is possible to satisfy it with more lanes. The metric we are looking for is lane-miles per capita. Based on this, Kansas City, MO is #1 in the United States with 1.241 lane-miles per 1,000 people (1999 data) and experiences some of the lowest traffic delays for a major metropolitan area. Peak-time trips experience about a 20% increase in travel time (e.g., a 30-minute trip taking 36 minutes).

Seattle, however, only has half the number of lane-miles per capita at 0.652 per 1,000 people. If we want to have only a 20% delay in peak-hour trips weai??i??d have to literally double all of our freeways and major arterials. Can you imagine a 22-lane I-405, a 20-lane I-5, and a 16-lane I-90 bridge? Even if you didnai??i??t care about the impact on surrounding neighborhoods, building this across the region would cost hundreds of billions just for property acquisition. The cost would be at least one order of magnitude higher than what Sound Transit is proposing.

For the full story, please click………….

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