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Brisbane Metro

Postby jonwil » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:45 pm

The latest version of the Metro seems to solve all the problems.
The plans involve one line between 8 Mile Plains and Roma Street and a second line between UQ Lakes and RBWH using bi-artic "banana" buses.
There is a plan to build a new underground station at Cultural Centre and to turn the Victoria Bridge into a bus-only bridge.

Heck, if they wanted to do something about the problem right now with only a relatively minor amount of investment, they could make the Victoria Bridge into a bus-only bridge, make Melbourne Street between the bridge and Grey Street bus-only and build an extra pair of platforms at Cultural Centre. That would double the bus capacity of both Cultural Centre and the Victoria Bridge and reduce the problems significantly.

Even doing the above bus-only bridge and road changes but without the extra platforms at Cultural Centre and having buses that go down surface streets use stops on Melbourne Street, Merivale Street etc would be a big improvement.

Ultimately I suspect there will be some political fighting over any plan to make the Victoria Bridge bus-only (the Labor council opposition have already said they dont support the idea)
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:11 am

jonwil wrote:The latest version of the Metro seems to solve all the problems.


If it's this you're referring to it won't solve a thing:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensl ... .html?btis

I don't know the political structure of bus operation in Brisbane, but this sort of network planning and the selection of the appropriate mode should rest with the centralised authority of the state department of transport. Brisbane City Council don't seem to have a clue but they certainly give every appearance of being Australia's last enclave of rabid bus-boosters ("buses can do everything").

So it's called a metro (which conventionally means a rapid transit train) and yet the vehicles are described as "buses" by the Lord Mayor and they are "flexible" which presumably means you can miss the "vehicle" because it decided to go down another street on that day instead of past your usual stop. Sounds wonderful. You have such people responsible for your transit?

Gold Coast light rail is running at about 1/3 of its capacity at present according to the level of demand. It still has about 200% more capacity. The Brisbane busways claim of 18,000 people per hour has, in the meantime, been proven to be a furphy because it only refers to a section where several route come together with no stops. Any mode can achieve that with those parameters.

Will bi-articulated buses be allowed in Australia? On indications so far, no and in any case they don't provide any more capacity than a B or C1 class Melbourne tram, well short of what a 30 or 45 metre tram can carry. That leaves single-articulateds which in Australia can carry about 110. That would be good on the busway but I imagine overkill when the buses branch out to their various destinations. It would seem logical to adopt a Gold Coast or CSELR (Sydney) solution in which the higher capacity articulateds are confined to the busway along which there are interchanges to feeder routes using smaller buses. The unsustainable notion of a single journey for everybody is what creates that conga-line congestion we see in Brisbane. The operating costs of running so many little buses must also be horrendous.

I also read something about them expecting them to do 90 second headways. To do that they'd have to have multiple doors and all-door loading in the buses because you can can't exchange big crowds in buses like that just using the front door, especially in articulateds.

It all seems very amateurish and poorly thought-out, with a particular mode fixation rather than identifying the most suitable mode for the job.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby simonl » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:36 am

It's good news that the stupid idea that they took to the council election has been scrubbed. I don't expect anything much to come from this idea. For a start no stops in KGSBS or QSBS are suitable for bi-artics. Think that this idea is analagous to the NW Metro in Sydney. Both were never going to be built.

Regarding the headways, all door boarding isn't the only parameter. There is also multiple buses loading and/or unloading at the same time.

The amazing thing was that Anna Bligh refused council's offer to take over the buses when Campbell Newman was mayor. Wanted their money it seems.

Interchange with Moggill Rd? That isn't anywhere near the line on the map shown.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby jonwil » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:50 am

tonyp wrote:So it's called a metro (which conventionally means a rapid transit train) and yet the vehicles are described as "buses" by the Lord Mayor and they are "flexible" which presumably means you can miss the "vehicle" because it decided to go down another street on that day instead of past your usual stop. Sounds wonderful. You have such people responsible for your transit?

I suspect "flexible" in this case means that it bends (as opposed to being rigid) rather than "flexible" in its route.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:12 pm

jonwil wrote:I suspect "flexible" in this case means that it bends (as opposed to being rigid) rather than "flexible" in its route.

Could be, a lot is rather ambiguous in the quirky (so to speak) press release! I do suspect though that he is referring to route because it's coupled to a remark about "not limited to set tracks" - as if to say that when things "grind to a halt" on the busway, the bus can abandon ship and do some rat-running through the back streets.

This is overshadowed though by the epic one-liner: "the Lord Mayor described the vehicles as buses"! Unreal. So a "metro" using "vehicles" that "can be described as buses". Who does he think he's fooling? The bloke should be hosting a comedy show, not running a city.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby 1of55 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:57 pm

The Brisbane Busway system works very well, has a good safety record and the last thing Brisbane needs is the return of street railways (Trams) cluttering up the streets and the massive upheaval and disruption of years of construction like we had on the Gold Coast. A minor traffic incident and the whole system comes to a halt. The recent Adele concert at the Gabba proved the flexibility of Buses over trains and fixed route trams.

The points where the Busway comes unstuck are where it meets ordinary traffic, as in Melbourne Street and the City end of the Victoria Bridge.

The poor design of the Cultural Centre bus station is also a problem, a passenger waiting for a bus is never sure which of the 4 loading bays they will be boarding at, which often necessitates a sprint to the opposite end of the platform to board your bus before it departs. Hopefully the new proposed Cultural Centre bus interchange will address this.

The Queen Street bus station is another example of poor planning, where access to the 3 different platforms is scattered and hard to find if you are not familiar with the strange layout of the Meyer Centre. It all comes down to passenger flow, where the people going in one direction do not get in the way of the passenger flow in the opposite direction. Separate entrance and exits should be provided for passengers arriving and leaving the platforms.

The board at the front alight by the back door rule should be more rigorously enforced and only prepaid journeys accepted on the Busway. The bus is delayed by passengers putting $5 on their Go card and the issue of paper tickets. (While the driver explains that returns are no longer available.) This would speed up passenger loading and reduce bus time stationary at bus way platforms.

We also need better signage. A passenger who knows where they are going is quicker than a passenger lost and is a more satisfied traveller who will return to public transport.

Let’s hope we get it sorted before the Commonwealth Games!
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:02 pm

1of55 wrote:The Brisbane Busway system works very well, has a good safety record and the last thing Brisbane needs is the return of street railways (Trams) cluttering up the streets and the massive upheaval and disruption of years of construction like we had on the Gold Coast. A minor traffic incident and the whole system comes to a halt. The recent Adele concert at the Gabba proved the flexibility of Buses over trains and fixed route trams.

Aren't buses on fixed routes too, otherwise nobody would know where to catch them? The busways are certainly fixed routes.

Out of interest, how many people were shifted by the buses at the end of the Adele concert and within what time period?

I wasn't suggesting replacing the busways with trams, merely that these decisions are best left with state transport agencies and that it might be better to run the busways as stand-alones operated with articulated buses, with interchange to feeder services run by rigid buses rather than having buses run through to their ultimate destinations. The problem is that Quirk was being disingenuous suggesting that it was some sort of "metro" and the proposition for double-articulated buses is probably not feasible in Australia and doesn't deliver that much more capacity in any case.

The biggest problem with the busways is that you have so many small buses on them that it leads to congestion. It's not relevant whether the congestion is in ordinary traffic or on the busway - the former spills over onto the latter because the latter delivers too many buses into the traffic. The other problem is the sheer cost of the busways, both capital and operating. The infrastructure is akin to that for heavy rail (indeed more expensive than most recent rail projects) but doesn't deliver the capacity of heavy rail. On top of this, then operating the busways with scores of small buses (with very many drivers) produces large operating costs. The 5 equivalent rigid buses that together match one Gold Coast tram in capacity require 4 more drivers than the tram and of course 4 more vehicles incurring WOL operating costs. No small matter to consider unless BCC is flush with money.

As for passenger flow (in at the front, out at the centre) it's generally proven that it doesn't work and in any case isn't possible in Australia as the ramp for mobility-restricted is generally at the front door. The only system that processes passengers quickly and distributes them more evenly through the vehicle is all-door loading like a train or tram.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby 1of55 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:49 pm

Bus routes are flexible because they don't run on rails set in concrete. Bus routes had to be rerouted many times while the Gold Coast lightrail was being constructed. The advantage of the Brisbane bus ways is that the suburbs are served by local buses and travel speedily along the busway ( upto 90klm) avoiding the queues of cars on the expressway until they get to South Brisbane that is, where they meet cars traveling into the City, looking for somewhere to park. Logan City Bus service route 555 is a good example of a route which makes full use of the Busway and serves Logan City without the high cost of laying expensive tram tracks.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby 1of55 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:03 pm

Passenger flow works fine on Transport for London with passengers entering the front door and exiting through the rear door, except at the terminus. Admittedly they have only one touch on point next to the driver and yes the disability loading ramp is in the middle (electrically operated). Prams and disability scooters would have to exit through the front door on Brisbane buses as they do now, but most passengers walk on and most of the time with no paper tickets and go card top ups, and waiting for passengers to get off at the front, loading would be much quicker.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:54 pm

1of55 wrote:Bus routes are flexible because they don't run on rails set in concrete. Bus routes had to be rerouted many times while the Gold Coast lightrail was being constructed. The advantage of the Brisbane bus ways is that the suburbs are served by local buses and travel speedily along the busway ( upto 90klm) avoiding the queues of cars on the expressway until they get to South Brisbane that is, where they meet cars traveling into the City, looking for somewhere to park. Logan City Bus service route 555 is a good example of a route which makes full use of the Busway and serves Logan City without the high cost of laying expensive tram tracks.

It'd be debatable which was more expensive to lay per km, tramway or many sections of the busways. An infrastructure Australia list I saw some years ago rated two of the Brisbane busways as the first and third most expensive public transport infrastructure projects in Australia, more than any railway except the Epping-Chatswood line in Sydney which came in second place (at least that one carries high-capacity trains), and certainly more expensive than any tramway to that time.

"Flexibility" is a two-edge sword. It really inconveniences and alienates your customers when you change the route on them. It's something you'd do as little as possible. Tram systems typically also have plenty of flexibility (either route diversions or switching tracks), it's just that Gold Coast is still a very basic single-route line with an operator lacking much operational sophistication as yet. It's a lazy solution just to call in the buses when something stops a tram but this isn't the way it's done across much of the world.

London Transport is not an operational exemplar in the bus world, in fact it would be one of the poorer ones. The most successful and productive bus systems in Europe use all-door loading and now it's catching on in USA:

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/bus-ri ... r-boarding

So what I'm suggesting is a variant of Quirk's proposition - that the busways be generally self-contained core routes (like GCLR) using normal articulated buses with 3 double-leaf doors, preferably fully low floor to encourage even distribution of passengers, and with all-door loading, interchanging to rigid buses to suburban destinations further out. This way you should get a substantial capacity increase on the busways while reducing congestion.

By the way, my question again: how many people were shifted at the end of the Adele concert and in what time period? Anybody know?
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby 1of55 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:03 pm

So where is it proven that separate entrance and exit doors don’t work? Transport for London is well ahead on passengers carried over other transport systems. Hong Kong and Singapore also board at the front and very fast. Multiple entrances on buses would provide a situation like the trains where people have open access to platforms and fare evasion is rife.

60,000 people went to each Adele concert and according to ABC radio this morning those interviewed were satisfied with travel times.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:53 pm

1of55 wrote:So where is it proven that separate entrance and exit doors don’t work? Transport for London is well ahead on passengers carried over other transport systems. Hong Kong and Singapore also board at the front and very fast. Multiple entrances on buses would provide a situation like the trains where people have open access to platforms and fare evasion is rife.

60,000 people went to each Adele concert and according to ABC radio this morning those interviewed were satisfied with travel times.

Strict passenger flow does work, yes, but all-door passenger exchange is faster and distributes passengers through the bus far better, thus enabling full loading of the vehicle. It's all been researched and timed and is thus widely used in Europe. The article from USA covers all the issues and the Americans wouldn't be going for it if it wasn't proven by years of practice. They even used it in London on the artics but lost out to an internal ideological battle within TfL. They hang on to those double decker buses and their old ways pretty stubbornly there, but those who have the freedom to say it say the all-door loading worked much better while it lasted.

Thanks for the information on the Adele concert but I'm looking for detail, specifically how many of those went and left by public transport and how long it took to clear the crowd at the end.

Somebody on another forum has clarified for me that the proposal Quirk is talking about is pretty exactly what I've suggested - artics running the trunk route interchanging with feeder buses further out, same principle as GCLR. This is fine then (except for the environmental credentials!).

Edit: it's turning into comedy -

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensl ... .html?btis

If those two council clowns are so reluctant to use the word "bus" (and tell a complete untruth about the capacity of GCLR to boost their case for buses), doesn't it suggest that there's actually a problem with public perception of buses and their performance vis a vis trams and trains? If they were actually confident about what they're doing they would simply call it a bus and nobody would be concerned about it. Buses do have a lot going for them if they're designed and run properly but the local bus industry/lobby has an amazing proclivity for shooting itself in the foot time and again.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby simonl » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:33 am

Re: Adele, the 60k were moved in 90 minutes. So room for improvement.

Doubtless they persisted with the stupid idea that the Carindale services used the outbound platform at the busway station and single door boarding.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby tonyp » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:38 am

simonl wrote:Re: Adele, the 60k were moved in 90 minutes. So room for improvement.

Doubtless they persisted with the stupid idea that the Carindale services used the outbound platform at the busway station and single door boarding.

Thank you. So was that the full 60,000 exclusively by PT or did some come and go by car?
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby simonl » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:47 am

The bulk would have used PT but some would have come by car.
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Re: Cross River Rail Link

Postby tonyp » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:45 pm

simonl wrote:The bulk would have used PT but some would have come by car.

Yes I looked up the Gabba and it says it's basically a PT venue with quite a wide area of parking restrictions. 1.5 hours is a bit long and provides the clue that it is buses that are handling it and that it doesn't live up to the claims of their advocates. However, they still could do somewhat better than this with buses.
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