Comment 47071

By demosthenes (registered) | Posted September 02, 2010 at 17:57:13

One of the things I was hoping to avoid with this article was a devolution into rampant technical speculation about LRT vs BRT vs subways vs sky buses etc. I'm not a transit engineer and don't pretend to be, just a guy who has done a lot of reading in his spare time. If we're already talking about BRT vs LRT vs some kind of Schwebebahn (look it up, its a fascinating but impractical system in Wuppertal, Germany) we're already begging the question of installing a mass transit system. Let's step back and ask ourselves if a monumental investment like this is even called for, or if simply increasing the frequency of HSR routes (most of which run at worse than 20 minute headways and even less in off-peak hours) would do more? Why isn't there a bus from McMaster to Ancaster on weekends (Westdale/Dundas residents and Mac students wanting to climb the Ancaster hill have to travel far out of their way and make two transfers)? If we reserved one lane in each direction for buses only on Main and King (a bargain-basement solution but very effective that works in many cities), how much would we improve transit times? How about focusing on (comparatively much cheaper) cycling infrastructure to encourage bike commuting and local trips (recent Spec article about Bixie coming to Hamilton makes this even more intriguing)?

If anyone would like a really, really great education on a lot of contemporary transit issues and concepts, I highly recommend Jared Walker's blog Human Transit ... it influenced many of my points in this article and has really opened my eyes. If you're really keen on the LRT vs BRT debate Jared has covered it in great detail; he has an entire page devoted to Trams (in every sense of the word) at http://www.humantransit.org/streetcars-t...

Comment edited by demosthenes on 2010-09-02 17:08:57

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