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BRT vs. LRT Continued

Okay, this took 3 minutes on google:

A Review of Bus Rapid Transit Calgary, 2002 (pdf file)

Capital and operating cost data indicate that Bus Rapid Transit applications are significantly less expensive to construct than LRT i.e. as little as $0.1 million (Cdn) per kilometre. Due to lower passenger capacities and shorter life expectancy of buses, total vehicle costs would be similar to LRT. However, the operating costs of BRT are considerably higher than LRT on a per passenger basis. Overall, BRT applications on urban arterial streets can be more economical as an interim measure or where demand is not expected to justify LRT service capacities.

That whole paragraph sums up my argument. (The emphasis in the quote was mine.)

  1. 35W is a heavily traveled corridor, for which a high capacity solution is needed.
  2. We should be planning for 30 years from now, when there will be one million new residents of the MSP area.
  3. We want the most cost effective solution for the long run.

If I am wrong on any of these three points, please let me know..

The conclusion of the Calgary BRT study:

In Calgary, potential BRT applications are corridors where LRT will not be constructed for many years or where demand is not forecast to be sufficient to justify LRT construction.

I will argue that in Minneapolis’ case, on this corridor, demand for rapid transit more than justifies the initial capital costs of an LRT solution, and in the long run will be the more sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective solution.

Categories: Trains, Transportation.