Northside-Southside Metrolink

All the ways we move people and things: trains, planes, automobiles, biking, walking, etc.
First unread post1387 posts
It's true that BRT could do much of the same thing. The aesthetic, though, is not polished, or visibly progressive in my opinion. And the perception of buses vs LR I think would impact ridership, regardless of how consistently on time and quickly it ran. LR is a visual marker of urban success/progress in my opinion, at least here in America.

I'd imagine a smoother ride as well. Small potatoes again, but adds to the experience.
https://cmt-stl.org/app/uploads/2018/09 ... 018-v3.pdf

Updated presentation..Construction 2025 to 2029, so i guess 2030 opening? (page 20)
By the consultants own estimates this would score medium low to medium for the Federal funding (page 21)

can we please end this madness now and start building BRT and getting better bus frequency
DB you don't know what you're talking about. BRT would fail in North City. LRT would be a game changer aimed at rebuilding the City. BRT doesn't rebuild cities.
TransportMe wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:05 pm
DB you don't know what you're talking about. BRT would fail in North City. LRT would be a game changer aimed at rebuilding the City. BRT doesn't rebuild cities.
North City cant wait til 2030 or 2032 when this is open.
TransportMe wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:05 pm
DB you don't know what you're talking about. BRT would fail in North City. LRT would be a game changer aimed at rebuilding the City. BRT doesn't rebuild cities.
Easy to say, hard to prove. There very little inherent difference between the two if BRT is done right. I can poi t to plenty of u der performing LRT systems and plenty of highly utilized BRT systems. Our irrational bias to steel tracks sunk in the ground is really befuddling.

Sense of permanence...? Really an entirely dedicated lane of traffic doesnt scream permanence to you...? Tell me how you feel the next ti e a car breaks down across the tracks... Is there any other inherent quality of LRT that makes it superior to BRT?
I'd say, just like I said above, that it's not a bus. Bus screams archaic sprawl serving mass transit to me, no matter how modern the bus is. Plus, they're loud and slow. LRT makes a place feel more urban and built, with confidence and support behind it. It might just be all perception, but that's why I'd rather another LR line be installed. There is noise associated with it, of course, though just the same.

Anyways, why wouldn't there be a short lane divider if this was running along the street to keep cars from entering the lane? I'm assuming a BRT lane would be treated the same.
Personally I like LRT for its urbanity, but a quick search seems to suggest that the economic and development benefits of BRT are much better documented than those of LRT. Even though it is not my field of expertise, I have seen plenty of economists presenting results on the benefits of BRT albeit typically in the context of cities in developing countries (it could be argued that St Lous has more socio-economic characteristics in common with cities in South America than with cities in Europe however).
STLEnginerd wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:47 pm
Sense of permanence...? Really an entirely dedicated lane of traffic doesnt scream permanence to you...? Tell me how you feel the next ti e a car breaks down across the tracks... Is there any other inherent quality of LRT that makes it superior to BRT?
No, a dedicated lane of traffic doesn't scream permanence to me. You can create a dedicated lane of traffic with paint and signs. Now, if you want to build what amounts to a dedicated street within a street (which is not an uncommon option) that's more permanent. But it also suffers from the same problems when a car breaks down and blocks it. You're BRT vehicle, reliant on platforms (and possibly catenary) cannot go around a breakdown much if any more easily than a train.

There are several things that make light rail better: the rolling resistance of steel wheels on a steel surface is much lower, allowing much greater efficiency. Higher speeds with less power and hence less noise. The maintenance is lower. It's just plain more reliable. Steel wheels last longer. Heavy axles last longer. You can use larger, heavier, more comfortable cars since the road surface will take more weight per axle. Positive directional control gives more predictability, and helps make larger vehicles more efficient. There are fewer accidents. There's much less chance a vehicle will sideswipe a platform or curb blowing a tire or breaking an axle. It also gives some unexpected flexibility, as it's easier to slap a couple extra cars on a train using a single operator than a bus.

All of these things are even more true with electrification, as large electric motors are enormously more reliable and efficient than small diesel motors. Electric transmission eliminates moving parts.

There are, of course, advantages to BRT as well, but . . . it's note remotely one sided. You really do get something for that higher initial investment. The benefits are every bit as real as the cost. It's just a matter of measuring both accurately. (Which I will not claim to have done.) And again, I am personally unaware of how much land value appreciation you see with either of the two, though you should take that into account as well. (Along with capacity and predicted ridership.)
I don't know a lot about these things but is there a way to do BRT where you have:
1. Two dedicated lanes, one each direction, offset from traffic by a divider.
2. Electric buses powered by overhead cables (or OLEVs) while they are in these dedicated lanes.
3. Buses that can also run outside of those lanes off battery power for short distances to serve stops in an area slightly off the main route.
4. In the future, the dedicated lanes can be converted to light rail if ridership levels make that viable.

Just wondering because a lot of the objection to BRT seems to be that buses generate exhaust, are loud and are hard to maintain. Electric buses lessen all of those concerns and the initial build out would seem to have a more reasonable price tag than light rail.
Metro has electric buses now and is getting more, no need for overhead cables
It's absolutely possible to power busses of catenary or batteries or both. You can add dedicated lanes blocked off by kerbs, islands, railings . . .

The less it looks like an ordinary bus service expansion and the more it looks like light rail the more it will cost and the slower it will be to build. You'll lose some degree of flexibility in exchange for some of the light rail benefits. It's surely a sliding scale.

There's really no reason beyond money you couldn't expand service immediately with ordinary city busses as construction is ongoing, perhaps even removing non-bus traffic from selected construction impacted routes for the duration of the project. (That might be best whichever way you go.)

On the other hand, I prefer the idea of high platform LRT compatible with the current system, which isn't even being considered, so far as I am aware.
IIRC, the Silver Line in Boston run on electricity and diesel, sometimes on its own ROW, some portions not