LRT and Subway Construction Costs

From the Toronto LRT Information Blog

Discussions on Toronto and GTHA LRT Possibilities

Much of this site is devoted to promoting LRT as a viable alternative to Subway for rapid transit expansion within the GTA where capacity needs exceed or will exceed that of bus operation, but do not warrant a Subway level of capacity. While Subway construction requires a minimum peak requirement of 10,000 people per hour per direction to be justified, LRT operation can easily support up to 12,000 in a roadway median, and even greater than 20,000 in a fully separated right of way.

The major advantage of LRT is that its capacity is high enough for most every outer corridor within the GTA for today and for well beyond the foreseeable future. Furthermore, the capacity of one Subway line can be exceeded with two parallel LRT lines with numerous advantages:

  • a single rapid transit line requires funnelling all users to the single line; while feeder bus routes would be ideal, the reality is that many new users will drive to this single line and will require parking; stations must be built with giant parking facilities
  • when a service disruption occurs, the entire corridor served by a single line is affected, with little or no alternatives
  • single lines involve single point-to-point operation; few, if any, opportunities exist for route interlining that can provide service that provides more convenient travel options for users with a reduced need to transfer in order to reach one's destination

 An Engineer is someone who can do for fifty cents what any damn fool can do for a dollar


One Response to “LRT and Subway Construction Costs”
  1. zweisystem says:

    Quote: “LRT operation can easily support up to 12,000 in a roadway median, and even greater than 20,000 in a fully separated right of way”

    This is based on Toronto’s non-articulated PCC streetcars mixed with first generation UTDC articulated cars; modern LRT operating modern articulated vehicles, can carry in excess of 20,000 pphpd.

    Reported in Modern Tramway & Urban Transit, the city of Karlsruhe, with the success of its TramTrains, was building a tram subway under its mainstreet to increase the capacity of the tramway which operates on one of the busiest streets in the city. (A tramway is a streetcar in Europe) Presently, during peak hours the route sees 45 second headways with coupled units of 8-axle 38m long TramTrains and city trams, with a capacity of about 240 per vehicle, which amounts to an hourly capacity of over 43,000 pphpd.

    45 second headways = 90 trips per hour x 480 persons per twin coupled set = 43,200.

    This puts a lie to TransLink’s claim that LRT operating on an exclusive rights-of-way can carry only 10,000 pphpd and a streetcar even has much less capacity!

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