Monday, May 17, 2010

Rail-ready BRT

The Transport Politic follows up today on news of Ottawa, Canada's plan to convert it's bus-only Transitway to light rail. It's worth reading because the Geary BRT project here in SF is using exactly the same "rail-ready" model that Yonah Freemark attributes to Ottawa, a model that may not realize the kind of cost savings its proponents frequently cite.


BBnet3000 said...

If the third street light rail is what we have to look forward to on Geary in the distant future, it fills me with dread. Why is Cut and Cover off the table? It could save tons of money on the Central Subway and that money could be put towards and Cut and Cover subway on Geary. Id love to live near the Ocean, but not if my choice to go downtown are so poor.

Pedestrianist said...

The TA decided against a subway option for Geary because of cost-per-mile estimates (which were likely inflated). Financial concerns are the only reason they give for why Geary should continue to be served only by buses, despite acknowledging that rail would serve the ridership better.

The Geary BRT project is using the exact same strategy as Ottawa, without learning any of its lessons (Geary BRT will end just West of Van Ness, offering no change along the most delay-prone segment of the route). Is that a strategy worth emulating? I'd say no.