Comment 116694

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted March 01, 2016 at 14:01:14 in reply to Comment 116685

The real issue is how successful these systems get and what that means for the city its in. One of the problems of using the examples of Latin America or China with BRT is that their driver and operational cost structures are quite different than ours. Its true their systems move a lot of people, there is no denying that. The problem with BRT when it really does start moving a lot of people in an operating environment like a the First World (N. America, Western and Central Europe, Japan, Australia...) is that operating costs start going through the roof. In Ottawa and Brisbane for example, levels of 185-200 buses/hour/direction (10700 passengers/h/d) in Ottawa and 210-240 buses/h/d (13000-14000 passengers/h/d) in Brisbane, are quite common at peak. This has the effect of driving up operating costs to the point especially in Ottawa, were now a $725 Million, 2.5 km LRT tunnel becomes good deal because it will help massively reduce operating costs (a minimum of $60 Million a year) for OC Transpo over the long term and incredibly simplify transit operations. Not to mention when the systems start moving these levels of crowds the stations out of need become very large and are not very pretty anymore. Many downtown businesses do not want to be located near them. Even Curitiba Brazil, grand daddy of all modern BRT systems is building a rail transit line in the core of the city partly due to the operating cost of the BRT system.

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