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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-26-11 09:23 AM
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The Silly Argument Over BRT and Rail
from the Transport Politic blog:

The Silly Argument Over BRT and Rail

As if operating in parallel, Torontos Globe and Mail and The Wall Street Journal each published articles last week describing the merits of bus rapid transit, which each newspaper described as the future of urban transportation.

Both noted that BRT was cheaper to construct than rail lines. Each suggested that in an age of government pull backs and general skepticism over the value of public investment, BRT could offer substantial benefits to a transit system at a reasonable price. And each article concluded with a warning by rail proponents that buses wouldnt be able to attract people out of their cars.

This is a sensationalized opposition between two modes of transportation that should be thought of as complementary. There are advantages to improved bus service in some corridors, reasons to support rail in others.

What is clear is that for the majority of American cities excluding only a few in the Northeast buses will remain the predominant mode of public transit for most riders, even after major expansions in train networks planned for cities from Charlotte to Phoenix. So even cities that choose to invest in rail projects must also spend on the improvement of their bus lines. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: /

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Vogon_Glory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 09:21 AM
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1. But Light Rail Lasts Longer
What anti-rail theorists and ideologues fail to notice is that light rail lasts longer. Sure, light rail costs more to build, and light rail vehicles cost two to three times as much as a bus. But busses only tend to last ten, fifteen years at most, while light rail vehicles are good for twenty-five, thirty, forty years. Moreover, look at those bus paths. Those puppies are going to need some serious maintenance in a few years. Light-rail, unlike monorail and unlike bus-ways, are a proven, RELIABLE technology that lasts a lot longer and I daresay probably cost a lot less in the long term.
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 03:46 PM
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2. Unfortunately, short-termism rules with some city councils
Our city council here in Bristol, England is so seduced by the exaggerated reports of BRT's cost advantage that they are planning to rip up a perfectly good disused rail line to nearby Portishead and replace it with a guided busway. Which is just nuts.
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