PASSENGERS TRANSPORT * USA: RAPID BUSES vs. LIGHT RAIL
* Oregon - Why rapid-buses are preferable to rail transit
(Photo: Richmond Hill Centre Terminal is a York Region Transit and Viva terminal)
Oak Grove,ORE,USA -Transportation Policy Center, by jlongo -August 12, 2014: -- Transit agencies from Baltimore to San Diego and from Seattle to St. Petersburg are planning new light-rail lines. Yet light-rail is not only vastly more expensive than buses, it is slower, less comfortable, less convenient and has lower capacities than a well-designed rapid-bus system... Being expensive to build, light-rail can only reach parts of a region and thus most people have to drive to a park-and-ride station or transfer from a bus to train and back, thus lengthening the time of their trip. By comparison, for less money, rapid buses, which often rely on dedicated bus lanes to bypass traffic, can reach every corner of an urban area... And while it would appear that light rail can transport more people per day, the opposite is true... A single light-rail car can hold about 150 people, and in most cities three can be strung together in a train holding 450. By comparison, the biggest buses hold only a few more than 100 people. For safety reasons, however, most light-rail lines can support only about 20 trains an hour in each direction, while city streets can serve more than 160 buses per hour, giving the buses a huge capacity advantage. Where an expensive light-rail line can move about 9,000 people per hour, an inexpensive bus route can move nearly twice that many on city streets and many times more on a freeway lane... Transit agencies that want to build-light rail are wasting their taxpayers’ money. Cities that haven’t yet built light-rail should plan rapid-buses instead. Cities that have light rail should expand their systems with rapid buses and plan to replace the rail lines when they wear out with more efficient buses...
* Montana - Missoula buses will be 'zero fare' beginning Jan. 5
(Photo: Mountain Line riders check the route map at the downtown transfer center in August 2013)
Missoula,MONT,USA -The Missoulian, by Kim Briggeman -August 12, 2014: -- The Mountain Line bus system will operate on a zero-fare basis starting Jan. 5. The arrangement is made possible with support from the city of Missoula, the University of Montana and a variety of public and private entities... The goal is to increase ridership by 45 percent – 400,000 annual riderships, said Eric Hines, who chairs the MUTD board. That works out to nearly 1,100 more rides a day, all of them free... The partners will pony up $460,000 a year in order to eliminate the fares. UM and the city have the lion’s share of the financial commitments – roughly $205,000 and $100,000, respectively... Missoula becomes one of only about 40 cities and metropolitan areas to offer free public transportation...