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$2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

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$2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:28 pm

Perthnow wrote:THE Barnett Government’s $2.5 billion light rail election promise would be dumped and replaced with a rapid bus transit system, under a plan set to go before Cabinet next year.

PerthNow can reveal that Transport Minister Dean Nalder is now considering using buses – rather than trains – to ease congestion along a 22km route through the Perth metropolitan area.

Mr Nalder said a preliminary investigation, commissioned by the Department of Transport and undertaken by an “external party” last year, had shown the light rail route could be mirrored by using air-conditioned, bullet-like buses that could carry several hundred people at a time.

Mr Nalder said initial costings showed that the rapid bus transit service could be done for about $1.25 billion – half the cost of the government’s stalled light rail project, which was first promised in 2012 and a major component of the 2013 re-election strategy.

The light rail route included a 13km northern corridor extension from Wellington Street to Mirrabooka and a further 9km split to Victoria Park and the QEII.

Mr Nalder said he believed the Government could stage the bus rapid transit system – building a dedicated bus lane down the middle of Fitzgerald Street through to the CBD in the first stage.

Eventually, the system could be extended through to Curtin University and the University of WA, he said.

Mr Nalder said Premier Colin Barnett and Treasurer Mike Nahan had last week given him approval to further investigate the plan, with a view of putting together a business case and taking a firm proposal to Cabinet in 2016.

PREVIOUSLY DISMISSED
Using a bus rapid transit system had been investigated prior to the 2012 announcement, but had been dismissed by former Transport Minister Troy Buswell.

“I started to question whether or not we could provide the same experience for customers on a bus, as we can on light rail,” Mr Nalder said.

“I wasn’t confident that we had fully analysed it properly (a bus rapid transit system).

“I wanted to make sure that I was 100 per cent confident that given the costs of a light rail solution that there wasn’t alternatives that would deliver the same outcome.

“We know that we are in a period of tighter financial conditions, given the lower iron ore prices.

“(But) there is pressure on us to deliver more in public transport and for me it’s about getting the best possible value for the community that we could get.

“Preliminary analysis commissioned by the Department of Transport suggests a dedicated bus solution can be delivered at about half the cost of light rail.

“If we can give passengers the same sort of experience on buses as we can on light rail then we have to explore this.

“I believe rigorous analysis will confirm we can.”

Transport Minister Dean Nalder’s express bus plan

● Use same planned 22 kilometre route as $2.5 billion light rail project – start at Balga Campus, run along Alexander Drive and Fitzgerald Street into the city before branching off to Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre and east to the Causeway.

● The $1.2 billion rapid bus transit plan will use dedicated express bus lanes. Each bus capable of carrying 200 passengers.

● Buses would be quiet, sleek and air conditioned and run in a direct lane. Passengers could jump on and off frequent services that beat the traffic.

● Unlike light rail no rail tracks and trackside infrastructure is needed. No electrical poles and wires system are needed.

● An express bus service is already used in cities like Las Vegas.

The MAX Light Rail plan
The Barnett Government announced in 2012 that it would build a MAX light rail system to connect the northern suburbs with the CBD and out to QEII and Victoria Park “with commuters able to use the new rail by 2018” at a cost of $1.2 billion.

Mr Nalder said that cost has now escalated to $2.5 billion.

With state debt now spiralling towards $30 billion, Mr Barnett now says the light rail project will be deferred to at least 2017, although he insists the project is still on the government agenda.

Mr Nalder said he believed a bus rapid transit system could cope with the increasing needs of Perth until at least 2031 – after which the buses could be replaced by light rail, if needed.

“The preliminary analysis looked at journey times, the utilisation of land and the operational costs of running buses versus light rail,” he said.

“The system would have dedicated lanes, the same sort of running through lights, same sort of capacity issues to make sure we can cover the number of people.

“I believe we can have buses that look like light rail, a system that acts like light rail and does every function that light rail performs.

“The preliminary analysis suggests that it is possible to do that and I now really need to validate that and build a proper business case before taking something to Cabinet.”

Mr Nalder said he was considering travelling overseas to see how similar rapid transit systems worked, as part of further investigations.

In 2011, Las Vegas’ bus rapid transit lines were recognised as one of the best in the nation.


I never understood why a BRT plan was dismissed so early before. It could definitely be a more sensible and short-medium term solution that can be converted to light rail in the future if need be. If they can have buses which mimick trams in most possible ways like they have done in other cities, but without the associated tracks, wires etc then why not? Something needs to happen and the sooner the better.

Running such a service based on what has been given will mean the operation of articulated and bi-articulated buses that have the sleek modern appeal to what trams have, the same type of station infrastructure, just with the use of high capacity buses that can load/unload and carry just as many people. Bi-articulated buses were talked about a few years back and I believe the provision to operate them has been incorporated into the underground Perth Busport design.

Now kind of unrelated, but here are some examples of the more common and potentially adaptable BRT buses that operate around the world, courtesy of the internet... South America has a significant amount of BRT infrastructure and vehicles, however the design standards would not meet the needs of Perth.
Van Hool Exquicity 24 (24 metres - Capacity for ~150 passengers)
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Van Hool Exquicity 18 (shortened version of the 24, 18 metres long)
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MAN Lion's City GL (18.75 metres - Capacity for 142 passengers) - Bus of the Year 2015 in Europe
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Mercedes-Benz Capacity L (21 metres - Capacity for 191 passengers)
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Wrightbus StreetCar RTV (18.7 metres - Capacity for 104 passengers)
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Irisbus Cristalis (
Image
Image
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby 102 at 1625 » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:50 pm

Thanks, Mr OC Benz, some interesting possibilities.

I think the Bus Rapid Transit option is much better than light rail. BRT requires less infrastructure, so is cheaper to set up and and can be implemented more quickly, and there are opportunities for further cost saving by not having dedicated lanes on uncongested sections of the route. BRT gives a similar ride speed and quality, and has better reliability: BRT is impacted less by obstructions to its route, such as car crashes, as it can just change lanes or take a detour to move around the obstacle. If a light rail line is blocked, services cannot run, resulting in major delays for commuters.

However, there are issues that need to be addressed should BRT be implemented. Whether to have dedicated buses, is one important question. If we do, ultra-high capacity buses or a special branding and livery for the BRT (similar to the CATs) can be investigated. However, if higher-capacity buses are used, there may be overcrowding if, due to scheduling constraints, a standard operates a BRT trip. There may also be confusion amongst passengers expecting a BRT bus, although this does not seem to be a problem on the CATs. Using standard buses on the BRT route, or even quarantining the route to articulated buses only (when we have enough) makes BRT even easier to implement, gives the PTA greater scheduling freedom, but our current fleet may not cope with the patronage the BRT would attract without having to run buses at ridiculously tiny intervals that even with BRT infrastructure would lead to widespread bunching.

A related question is that of fare collection. Should we have a train-style system where you must buy a ticket or tag on while you wait for the next BRT service, or onboard fare collection? Having off-vehicle fare collection would speed up the buses, but it would require infrastructure at each stop. Also, having fare collection at bus stops would also cause confusion when passengers tried to catch regular services from bus stops shared by the BRT. They might think that they have to tag on at the bus stop, when in fact only BRT passengers should.

BRT presents lots of choices and has it's downsides, but a saving running into the billions of dollars for our cash-strapped government, I think it's our best choice.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby User 11872 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:15 am

Bring on the BRT.....quicker to implement and they look very appealing, more so to me than any light-rail XXX i've seen thus far. Just dive in and frankly knowing there's no difference to LR - DO IT!
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby busdriver12 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:03 am

In a similar vein, something like the T80 in Sydney or the O-Bahn in Adelaide would go a long way to improving bus capacity and reliability.

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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby jonwil » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:11 am

I would have thought that something like the Inner Northern Busway or South-East Busway here in Brisbane would be a good model for how to do "Bus Rapid Transit" in Perth (Even without spending a cent on new vehicles, if you had dedicated bus-only roadways where buses didn't have to stop at traffic lights or otherwise interact with normal traffic, you could get some great improvements)

EDIT:
Looking at that video of the Sydney one, it looks like what they have there is much like what they have in Brisbane...
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:05 pm

102 at 1625 wrote:However, there are issues that need to be addressed should BRT be implemented. Whether to have dedicated buses, is one important question. If we do, ultra-high capacity buses or a special branding and livery for the BRT (similar to the CATs) can be investigated. However, if higher-capacity buses are used, there may be overcrowding if, due to scheduling constraints, a standard operates a BRT trip. There may also be confusion amongst passengers expecting a BRT bus, although this does not seem to be a problem on the CATs. Using standard buses on the BRT route, or even quarantining the route to articulated buses only (when we have enough) makes BRT even easier to implement, gives the PTA greater scheduling freedom, but our current fleet may not cope with the patronage the BRT would attract without having to run buses at ridiculously tiny intervals that even with BRT infrastructure would lead to widespread bunching.

A related question is that of fare collection. Should we have a train-style system where you must buy a ticket or tag on while you wait for the next BRT service, or onboard fare collection? Having off-vehicle fare collection would speed up the buses, but it would require infrastructure at each stop. Also, having fare collection at bus stops would also cause confusion when passengers tried to catch regular services from bus stops shared by the BRT. They might think that they have to tag on at the bus stop, when in fact only BRT passengers should.

Remember that the intention of this would be to have a bus service which can mimic and do everything that a light rail system can do. We are trying to attract passengers onto the network by providing a high quality transit link. It's proven that rail is more popular, particularly in Perth, but if people could jump on transit which looks like, has the feel and does the same thing as a light rail network for half the cost, then why not? So in that case, it would need to be treated as a separate network, just like if there were going to be trams. So a specific BRT fleet, branding and infrastructure just as a tram would have. Which means that there wouldn't be compatibility to operate normal buses on the route and vice-versa, they would almost be considered two different transport modes. This limits the scheduling efficiencies and flexibility opportunities, but if it is to be a superior and separate system that is "different" to normal buses, then that's what needs to be done. You will attract far more people onto buses which are designed of high quality to operate like a tram than just ordinary buses down ordinary bus lanes. In saying this, it also allows the opportunity for regular buses to use the stations that the BRT would use which would significantly increase the connectivity of the network with transfer from main-line BRT to standard buses.

Many cities have adopted proper BRT systems of a high standard which use specifically designed buses (not the typical Australian ordinary bus running on some separate bus lanes with a little bit of branding. Think T-way and O-Bahn etc.). You look at the infrastructure, vehicles, signage etc and you think you're boarding a tram/train. That's the impression that they would need to be going for, not something that flexes too much with an existing system because then you are basically advertising it still as a bus service, but people will still associate the negatives, i.e. delays, discomfort, overcrowding etc with the transport mode.

Again with BRT, the only way to have a successfully branded system separate to normal buses is to treat it like you would with a light or heavy rail network. So this definitely means "proof-of-payment" which is already used on trains. It is pretty much a given that each stop would have the facilities that a tram stop would have including ticketing, information, security etc. Since the network can be integrated, people at these BRT stops would also have the opportunity to purchase tickets or top up their Smartrider even for an ordinary bus and validation of fares onboard BRT can still work in the same way as normal buses, except have Smartcard readers at all door entry points inside the vehicle. Similar to tram/BRT systems in parts of Europe and Melbourne even.

While the Busways in Brisbane, O-Bahn in Adelaide and the T-ways in Sydney, these are not really recognised as proper BRT systems by world standards. I believe from memory the closest ranking one was in Brisbane, but there are still several things that are done which fall short of the category. I.e. It is just bus infrastructure for ordinary buses which can branch on and off (which is great in itself), but apart from the fact that buses can travel faster along them, they don't do much else to appeal to people like a train or a tram would do. This is what would need to be achieved for a BRT in Perth, much in the same way as it has done in Europe, parts of Asia, South America and even Las Vegas as mentioned in the article.

Here's an example of a recently implemented system in Strasbourg.
Strasbourg using 10x Mercedes-Benz Citaro G articulated buses
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby jonwil » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:25 pm

To me you need 3 different components for bus rapid transit. You need roadways for the buses that are 100% separate from normal traffic (including cross streets) with as few traffic lights and stopping points as possible (And as high a speed limit as possible) so buses (whatever they are) can go fast. Second you need stops/stations/etc at the right locations but not so many of them that buses have to slow down every 500m for another stop. And third you need high capacity high speed buses to run the routes.

The Brisbane busway system has the first 2, they just dont use dedicated high-capacity buses for the route.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby 102 at 1625 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:53 pm

Compared to the T-Way of O-Bahn, there would be lower speeds, more bus stops and more traffic lights (which would not give the same level of signal priority as the T-Way in the video) on a BRT route that replaces the MAX. It's prohibitively expensive to build a 100% separate busway with a high speed limit - it would not be much cheaper than building a train line.

Mr OC Benz, I think the main problem with designing the BRT to have the same capacity, reliability, look and feel as the MAX is that it adds to the construction cost. Our government is facing a deficit running into the tens of billions of dollars. Can we really afford to spend money on aesthetics? On the other hand, some investments, like proof-of-payment ticketing system would be worthwhile, as they would improve efficiency and reliability.

Also, people's perception of regular buses can be changed, especially when they travel on BRT infrastructure. All it takes is a little bit of money (more than what would be saved by operating the BRT like another bus route in bus lanes) to advertise the BRT as fast, reliable, spacious and safe. Perhaps this will mean that once the BRT opens, patronage will take some time to reach targets and forecasts. But I think that this will deliver much better value.

On another matter, a number of university academics have raised the point that light rail does more than just move people. For example, Curtin University transport and sustainability expert Jemma Green told the Sunday Times, "It’s not just about bang for buck as a people-moving exercise. Light rail, critically and distinctly, catalyses development around it – density and urban village centres. Buses can never do that."

Whilst I have no qualifications in transport, planning or sustainability, I find it hard to believe that, if high-capacity, specially branded buses with off-vehicle ticketing are used instead of light rail, higher density centering around BRT stops cannot be achieved. Surely the difference between public transport that simply moves people and public transport that also changes the dynamic of the areas it passes through is not simply whether there are rails in the ground and electricity wires in the air, but these are the only two differences between high-end BRT and light rail. But she has a point, and is probably right if the BRT turns out to be just high-frequency buses routes travelling along bus lanes.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:28 pm

102 at 1625 wrote:Compared to the T-Way of O-Bahn, there would be lower speeds, more bus stops and more traffic lights (which would not give the same level of signal priority as the T-Way in the video) on a BRT route that replaces the MAX. It's prohibitively expensive to build a 100% separate busway with a high speed limit - it would not be much cheaper than building a train line.

The stop spacing on the O-Bahn and T-way are similar to what the stop spacing would be proposed along the MAX (BRT or Light rail) route. The BRT route can easily have the same priority as MAX. There is always the threat that even with the price slash to cater for BRT, there is however the risk it'll get watered down even more and be nothing more than some bus lanes down the road.

102 at 1625 wrote:Mr OC Benz, I think the main problem with designing the BRT to have the same capacity, reliability, look and feel as the MAX is that it adds to the construction cost. Our government is facing a deficit running into the tens of billions of dollars. Can we really afford to spend money on aesthetics? On the other hand, some investments, like proof-of-payment ticketing system would be worthwhile, as they would improve efficiency and reliability.

Well while the actual functionality of the system is important, branding and easy accessibility to use the network is what will attract people onto the system. If you can fool people to think a bus is a tram, then why not? $1.25b is better than $2.5b while providing a much similar level of service to Light rail rather than just some bus lanes laid out along the road.

102 at 1625 wrote:Also, people's perception of regular buses can be changed, especially when they travel on BRT infrastructure. All it takes is a little bit of money (more than what would be saved by operating the BRT like another bus route in bus lanes) to advertise the BRT as fast, reliable, spacious and safe. Perhaps this will mean that once the BRT opens, patronage will take some time to reach targets and forecasts. But I think that this will deliver much better value.

We all know how brandings have "successfully" worked in Perth... no not really. Look at the 900series scheme, the shuttles, 950 SuperBus, even just advertising of free late night trains and high frequency services lacks the appropriate advertising severely that you would see in other cities around Australia. By enabling it to be separate and treated as a separate mode, it'll have a greater impact on the city. Of course not as much as light rail could do, but definitely more than what an ordinary bus with some stickers slapped on could do.

102 at 1625 wrote:On another matter, a number of university academics have raised the point that light rail does more than just move people. For example, Curtin University transport and sustainability expert Jemma Green told the Sunday Times, "It’s not just about bang for buck as a people-moving exercise. Light rail, critically and distinctly, catalyses development around it – density and urban village centres. Buses can never do that."

They've definitely raised good points about it. Of course Light rail would be the more ideal choice, but like many of the decisions made in major cities worldwide, cost and value for money is a big factor. While not as of significant impact as implementing a light rail system, a specially branded BRT system has the potential to also impact on the density and creation of urban village centres. The difference between BRT and Light rail can in many cases just be the fact there's no tracks or overhead wires (which in itself could be a more attractive option not having the physical infrastructure impede on the surrounding streetscape).

The impact potential is not as great, but remember the cost of implementing the BRT is less to the Light rail and in some cases corresponds with that. But look at corridors like Beaufort St, Charles St, Fitzgerald St where high frequency bus services has encouraged higher density development and in some cases, finally being able to focus less on providing car spaces, and more on end-of-trip facilities for cyclists and if situated in an ideal location, an emphasis on pedestrian activity and easy access to public transport. Also greenfield developments this decade which now for a change, actually coincide with the bus services that would operate through the area rather than building these estates, then worrying about public transport afterwards (Think Banksia Grove, Atlantis Beach, Honeywood Estate etc which will have, or already have direct, easy and in most cases, frequent access to shopping centres, employment, education and/or research facilities and transport nodes). In existing areas, the impact of providing a higher quality transport network to what is currently provided still has the potential to encourage better development around these stations. After all, if it is designed and built in a way that can allow easy conversion to Light rail once justified, then those costs will be significantly lower too and there would already be encouraging developments of urban villages at the key stops along the route where the light rail could then support and further impact on what is already a maturing area.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby 900 series » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:15 pm

Must say Im amazed by the $2.5billion for light rail, when the 2011 plan allocated only $1.2 - 1.3 billion (2010 dollars) for the entire planned light rail network over twenty years including Vic Park to Curtin and Oats Street plus UWA to Subi/Glendalough/Stirling. Of course Escalation would account for some of it, but it still seems like quite a bit of a cost blowout

I'll wait and see what happens before passing judgement, on face value it looks reasonable. IMO the main concern would be the temptation to cut costs to the extent of eroding even more of the benefits

Will be interesting to see what they do in the CBD - rapid buses through Hay Street Mall? (CoP would love that! :twisted: :lol:)
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:31 pm

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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby jonwil » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:56 pm

Unless you are going to have dedicated infrastructure that separates vehicles from as much normal traffic (both through traffic and cross-streets) as possible there is little point building anything beyond the existing bus routes through that area IMO.

Also, it would be good to see where the government is getting that $2.5b figure from, given that the Gold Coast Light Rail only cost $1.6b including bridges over a number of rivers (something MAX wouldn't have to do at least for the northern section)
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:01 pm

The G:link Light Rail is 13 kilometres. The proposed MAX Light Rail is 22 kilometres in length.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby tonyp » Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:36 pm

The bottom line is that it's all about capacity. A bus system of any sort doesn't deliver as much capacity as trams, just as trams don't deliver as much capacity as trains. Horses for courses. Throwing heaps of money at something that doesn't deliver more capacity is just waste. Better to improve the existing bus system with all-door loading, 100% low floor buses (as in Europe), bus priority and lanes where necessary and thereby increase productivity.

Moreover, buses (even dressed up as "BRT") don't contribute to city-building like trams do:

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western ... 7253132278

http://www.ara.net.au/UserFiles/file/Li ... 281%29.pdf

The survey in Henscher's paper in fact reveals that more people prefer rail modes, as does the response to the survey in the original Perth Now article above.

"Cheap"? I recall a press release by Infrastructure Australia a couple of years ago that showed that the 1st and 3rd most expensive public transport projects in Australia were the Brisbane busways. They were more expensive than any tram project and any rail project bar one (ECRL which was 2nd).

BRT is lipstick on a pig. Many of us in other states have always admired Perth's progressive place in Australian public transport and I can't believe this could have emanated from the PTA. Somebody please tell me this has been snuck directly in the Minister's door sideways by some bus lobbyists! :?

Hopefully this will all go away soon like a bad dream.

Mr OC Benz, time for one of your photos of a Prague SOR NB18 to show the sort of bus you need to lift capacity!
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby Mr OC Benz » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:30 pm

tonyp wrote:The bottom line is that it's all about capacity. A bus system of any sort doesn't deliver as much capacity as trams, just as trams don't deliver as much capacity as trains. Horses for courses. Throwing heaps of money at something that doesn't deliver more capacity is just waste. Better to improve the existing bus system with all-door loading, 100% low floor buses (as in Europe), bus priority and lanes where necessary and thereby increase productivity.

Moreover, buses (even dressed up as "BRT") don't contribute to city-building like trams do:

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western ... 7253132278

http://www.ara.net.au/UserFiles/file/Li ... 281%29.pdf

The survey in Henscher's paper in fact reveals that more people prefer rail modes, as does the response to the survey in the original Perth Now article above.

"Cheap"? I recall a press release by Infrastructure Australia a couple of years ago that showed that the 1st and 3rd most expensive public transport projects in Australia were the Brisbane busways. They were more expensive than any tram project and any rail project bar one (ECRL which was 2nd).

BRT is lipstick on a pig. Many of us in other states have always admired Perth's progressive place in Australian public transport and I can't believe this could have emanated from the PTA. Somebody please tell me this has been snuck directly in the Minister's door sideways by some bus lobbyists! :?

Hopefully this will all go away soon like a bad dream.

Mr OC Benz, time for one of your photos of a Prague SOR NB18 to show the sort of bus you need to lift capacity!


Basically your definition of BRT being lipstick on a pig, that is pretty much what they're trying to do? If they are to just improve the existing bus system with all-door loading, 100% low floor buses etc, then they are pretty much having to buy a new fleet of buses. So with the BRT they'd be doing that anyway. Bus priority/lanes can still be implemented regardless of whether it's just a bit of make up, or an overhaul to a MAX BRT system.

The expense of the busway projects in Brisbane would also correspond to the fact that there is a considerable amount of tunnels, underground stations, above ground busways/stations, sunken intersections etc. Something which will basically not be necessary at all for Perth as the existing road network can be used pretty much for the entire route to achieve a proper BRT (or Light rail) system.

I think the point here is if they can implement an alternative almost as good, cheaper and in a shorter timeframe, it definitely needs to be considered. There is still a lot that can be done to improve on capacity on this corridor anyway. Frequencies, longer buses, bus lanes etc.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby User 11872 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:40 pm

I'm 100% with benz on this.....and from what i've seen of these "dedicated" buses I can't see why you'd bother with trams with all the visual and ugly infrastructure that goes with them, not to mention the cost.
As for Sydney, it couldn't even "sustain' it's overhead light rail.

Forget the blinkered "enthusiast' pov and bring on some ultra-modern and fast buses.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:39 am

VL6MT wrote:I'm 100% with benz on this.....and from what i've seen of these "dedicated" buses I can't see why you'd bother with trams with all the visual and ugly infrastructure that goes with them, not to mention the cost.
As for Sydney, it couldn't even "sustain' it's overhead light rail.

Forget the blinkered "enthusiast' pov and bring on some ultra-modern and fast buses.

Not sure that you're getting the point that it's all about capacity. An operation of 150-passenger buses will simply not move as many people per hour as an operation of 250-plus passenger trams. Buses cannot be longer than 18 (or 25 if double-articulated) metres. Trams start at 30 metres and can be much longer. It's about increasing capacity.

What I'm saying is that you can increase capacity in the interim with your existing operation by making your buses more productive without dressing them up in fancy costume. You can move to articulated buses like this:

http://www.sor.cz/site/city-bus-sor-nb-18-city
http://www.sor.cz/site/download/nb18-44 ... 828967.jpg

that are 100% low floor with mutiple doors with very short dwell time like a tram. These will move more passengers, more quickly than your existing artics and, if augmented with sufficient bus-priority measures (like bus lanes through pinch-points and traffic light priority), will turn around more quickly and thus be more productive and will significantly increase people per hour moved along a corridor. Eventually when you need even more capacity you move to trams.

Perth has already shown itself to be the most progressive bus operation in Australia, with its all-door loading on CATs and proper double-leaf doors with part low-floor. Innovate more and move to the next stage. But buses of any sort (including "BRT") can't move as many people along a corridor as trams, just as trams can't move as many as trains. It's horses for courses, not this stupid dreary mode-silo argument of "my mode can do anything yours can". You can't stick trams and trains up every suburban street and you don't try to do the job of trains and trams with buses. Each mode has its own optimum function.

Who's being the "mode-enthusiast" then? :lol:
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:29 am

Mr OC Benz wrote:MAN Lion's City GL (18.75 metres - Capacity for 142 passengers) - Bus of the Year 2015 in Europe

I find it extraordinary that this bus has won European bus of the year over the SOR NB18 which it clearly tries to imitate - except that it's not 100% low floor (has steps in the rear door) and has a capacity of about 140 compared to the SOR's 160. Environmental credentials? The SOR also has those engine options plus hybrid and trolleybus versions. It must be like those tram awards where there's a cosy little cartel of manufacturers who get together and put themselves upfront with lots of glossy publicity as the "industry leaders". I guess that's SOR's fault for not pushing themselves obnoxiously!
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby simonl » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:31 am

tonyp, do you have a reference for that comment from IA? I highly doubt it refers to the original project to Eight Mile Plains, the "Boggo Rd busway" or even the Roma St-Herston bit. Later bits are more dubious.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:36 am

simonl wrote:tonyp, do you have a reference for that comment from IA? I highly doubt it refers to the original project to Eight Mile Plains, the "Boggo Rd busway" or even the Roma St-Herston bit. Later bits are more dubious.

Gosh I'd really have to trawl back to find that, sorry. I saw it in a list about 3 or 4 years ago. It might be in their publications. I'll try to have a good look to see if I can find it.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby Mr OC Benz » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:42 am

tonyp wrote:
Mr OC Benz wrote:MAN Lion's City GL (18.75 metres - Capacity for 142 passengers) - Bus of the Year 2015 in Europe

I find it extraordinary that this bus has won European bus of the year over the SOR NB18 which it clearly tries to imitate - except that it's not 100% low floor (has steps in the rear door) and has a capacity of about 140 compared to the SOR's 160.

The MAN Lion's City GL is actually low floor right to the rear door. It has a different engine set up with it placed horizontally. There are steps up to the seats at the very rear, but the actual floor is still low right up to the last door. Much like the Mercedes-Benz Capacity. The engine placement like this obviously increases the seat count at the rear as you don't have a vertical cabinet removing a couple of seats.

A couple of explanations for the lower capacity. Firstly the model that won the Bus of the Year is CNG powered, so the additional weight reduces the overall capacity. Secondly they may be using more conservative figures. It has a fairly similar set up inside to the SOR NB18, obviously with the different engine placement.

The Alexander Drive corridor still has lots of room to improve before it reaches some sort of capacity crisis. So it is not critical that the maximum possible capacity is supplied at first with trams. Bi-artics have long been on the agenda for this corridor, BRT or not for the past decade or so and so even as you say, they can increase the capacity of the existing operation by methods like that. Although I still believe that like the Beaufort St corridor, in the future the corridor may be better suited to underground rail because it covers the only other significant catchment of the population in Perth that isn't within reasonable distance to an urban rail line.

Note also that the planning of the project, like with MAX Light rail normally comes under the responsibility of the Department of Transport (DoT) with input from the PTA and Main Roads.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:49 am

Mr OC Benz wrote:The MAN Lion's City GL is actually low floor right to the rear door.

Thanks for the clarification. Their video at the 0:43 second mark is deceptive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y19ZhML1kuw#t=46
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:33 pm

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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby User 11872 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:49 pm

ooops, I should edit my statement to reflect the tone of the thread, something like: "Spec Wars" ideology lololol. But I admit to my ignorance and lack of knowledge in this area.
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Re: $2.5b Light rail vs $1.25b BRT for Northern Corridor

Postby tonyp » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:51 pm

VL6MT wrote:ooops, I should edit my statement to reflect the tone of the thread, something like: "Spec Wars" ideology lololol. But I admit to my ignorance and lack of knowledge in this area.

That's OK :wink: Getting a bit confused over here in the east. First an article saying they're dumping light rail and going for BRT, then an article saying the Premier is still committed to light rail and the RAC supporting it. What goes? is it a left hand and right hand thing?
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