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					How BRT to LRT Conversions Are Addressed
 in the Transit Corridor Planning Process

            Bill Lambert
     Stantec Consulting, Principal,
        Manager, Transportation
            Solutions Team
     Vancouver, British Columbia
Presentation Overview
• Merits of LRT versus BRT

• Barriers for Planning and Designing -
  BRT to LRT Conversion

• Experience and Lessons Learned with
  Plans and Implementation in BRT to LRT

• City of Calgary Alternative Analysis
  Work - SE SETWAY Corridor

• Conclusions
    Relative Merits of LRT versus BRT
•    Higher ridership LRT capacity - up to 30% or more
•    Rail attracts greater ridership especially among “captive” riders
•    More appeal to developers for transit-oriented development
•    Greater flexibility for energy sources
•    Lower operating cost per passenger-mile if capacity used
•    Greater reliability

                    CALGARY LRT                             BRISBANE BRT
Relative Merits of BRT versus LRT
•   Lower capital costs: stations, signalization, maintenance facility, no
    tracks and crossovers, power system and overhead catenary etc.
•   More flexibility in routing and can avoid transfers
•   Can use steeper grades
•   Can more easily add to incrementally
•   Lower cost for structures

         Metro Vancouver ALRT                             York Region BRT
Barriers in Planning and Designing For BRT to
LRT Conversion
•   Higher initial capital costs in constructing BRT with LRT conversion:
     – Right-of-way, drainage costs, structures, station capacity, utility
       relocation, electrical ducts, at-grade intersections, location for rail
       maintenance facility

•   Want to avoid transit customer disruption in BRT service while
    conversion is underway

•   Uncertainty whether there will ever be enough ridership growth to
    warrant higher capacity mode

•   Structure of federal funding programs

•   Investment losses in some BRT infrastructure –want to obtain as much
    use and value as possible from BRT investment which has economic
    lives ranging between 30 and 50 years.
            Convertibility Scan of Jurisdictions
Jurisdiction With           Status of            Approach to Convertibility
   SETWAY Methodology
Busway                      Conversion
Los Angeles County          Considered           Operates like LRT
Brisbane (Australia)        Considered           Accommodates spatial needs of LRT; pre-built
                                                 troughs for rail installation in 1st leg; rejected for
                                                 future legs
Curitiba (Brazil)           Planned              Accommodates most needs of future LRT

York Region                 Planned              Accommodates most needs of future LRT

Ottawa                      Planned              Accommodates many needs of LRT
Winnipeg                    Considered           Accommodates spatial needs of LRT
Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)   Considered           Accommodates spatial needs of LRT

Seattle (Washington)        Constructed          Attempted to accommodate spatial needs of LRT, but
                                                 busway surface had to be lowered; pre-installed
                                                 tracks, but these had to be replaced

Vancouver                   Planned for Small    Generated ridership for LRT; busway completely
                            Portion              removed
Miami-Dade County           Rejected             Busway will be transitioned to Busway+HOT lanes
                  Conversion Experience
Metro Vancouver
- Developed and operated in 1998-2006 #98 BRT service between
suburban City of Richmond and downtown City of Vancouver- 16 km in
- Implementing BRT purchased right-of-way for dedicated 2.5 km busway
and 5 stations- cost of $24 million and could use for ALRT later
- Built corridor ridership from 20,000 to 35,000 daily passengers and
followed TransLink’s practice to use BRT to build ridership/market for
future rapid transit service
               Conversion Experience

-With 2010 Winter Olympic Games and public and private P3 sector
funding were able to convert to SkyTrain ALRT and use part of BRT
corridor in Richmond in 2006-2010

-Rerouted BRT service for 3-4 years due to mostly cut and cover
construction for SkyTrain with some disruption to BRT customers-travel
time and reliability and lost ridership

-Gave up capital investments made on Richmond BRT busway-more than
made up with SkyTrain
                  Conversion Experience
City of Ottawa

•Proposing P3 project-12.5 kilometres of new electrified LRT, between Tunney's Pasture and
Blair Stations, primarily on the existing BRT Transitway corridor

•Thirteen LRT stations with four underground stations serving downtown and the University
of Ottawa Station in a 3.2-kilometre long tunnel.

•East and west of the downtown tunnel the existing Transitway will be converted from BRT
to LRT technology- approximately 9kms of the alignment, outside of the tunnel portion of the
•May operate partially in Transitway or outside during LRT construction on widened and
parallel 417 highway(advanced work) and other corridors

•Had always planned BRT for LRT conversion when build in 1970 and 1980’s -
accommodate turns, geometrics, clearances weight and grades, structures, did not know
ultimate LRT technology
               Conversion Experience
•Will try to use BRT station facilities where possible and make modifications

•May have some availability of land in Transitway corridor to build new LRT
facilities while still operating BRT service-proponents of P3 bids are exploring

•Will decommission some BRT facilities/infrastructure and use land for bus
exchanges and TOD development areas

•When LRT is built in Transitway bus routes will be truncated into Transitway
and produce initial surplus of 150 buses

•Extra transfer time will be compensated by time savings-15 minutes and
improved reliability in downtown tunnel

•Will increase peak hour/ peak direction ridership from 10,000 to 14,000
                     Conversion Experience
    York Region
•   Located north of City of Toronto, has successful VIVA BRT system operating in dedicated
    curb bus lanes with TSP

•   Have planned to covert 50% of BRT network to median Rapidways on major arterial
•   Median stations at intersections with active TSP-VIVA BRT, emergency vehicles and
    some regional GO transit bus services will use these transitways
•   Are designing and built rapidways with LRT in mind and supported extras costs for
    future conversion:
     –   signalization
     –   ducts for electrical
     –   movement of utilities
     –   larger and stronger structures
     –   greater right of way, even to the extent of buying more land or moving historical buildings
     –   design and length of station and size of canopy
     –   vertical and horizontal clearances
     –   drainage
     –   lower grades for LRT
          Conversion Experience

VIVA Rapidway Map               Rapidway with transit priority
                                measures to enable speedy and
                                reliable service

Warden Station- York Region's
first rapid transit station
opened March, 2011
- City of Markham on
Enterprise Boulevard and
Warden Avenue
                            Conversion Experience

City of Winnipeg                                             Initial Segment
Building BRT route network for following reasons:
    – Flexible and eliminate transfers.
    –Affordable to build – costing significantly less than
    LRT .
    –Much easier to stage and match funding.
    –Can be built and immediately put into service.
    –Provides flexibility to transition to higher capacity
    systems if demand increases significantly
    –Significant investment in BRT has generated TOD
                    Conversion Experience
Winnipeg BRT Network Plan
         Convertibility: Lessons Learned
• Need to carefully plan the logistics and details of conversion

• Conversion works best when BRT can operate in same or
  parallel corridor while LRT is being constructed to minimize
  customer disruption

• Need to plan initial busway for LRT track geometrics, grades,
  loads, drainage, electrical ducts etc., to avoid extensive
  conversion disruption and extra costs

• Difficult to avoid all disruption and costs to operate
  transitional bus service while LRT is under construction
City of Calgary SETWAY Corridor
       Background - Calgary SE SETWAY Corridor

•The SE transit corridor is 26 km plus long –part of northern half owned by CP/CNR
and southern half is city owned and dedicated

•Downtown Calgary through older industrial areas & new suburban, relatively low
density areas to proposed new community–Seton

•Light BRT bus service-#302, now services two thirds of the length of the corridor
with a 3500 daily ridership

•Travel times are between 45-55 minutes and service can be unreliable due to
congestion and limited transit priority measures

•Forecast growth in transit trips from South Section of corridor to/from Downtown
(24-hr forecasts)
       –   2019: 21,000
       –   2029: 35,000 (+67%)
       –   Long Range: 93,000 (+343%)
    Background on Calgary SE SETWAY Corridor
•   Corridor has great prospects for significant population & employment growth
    and TOD development opportunities in southern half
•   Few existing other time-competitive transit service options for potential
    customers in SE corridor e.g. have to travel westward to Calgary’s South LRT
•   City does not have enough funding to complete LRT service option for whole
    corridor - $2.0 billion plus
•   Northern portion in downtown area may require expensive tunneling to penetrate
    downtown area and connect to potential North-Central LRT line across Bow
 SETWAY Corridor Evaluation Process Service
 Alternatives – Lifecycle Analysis and
 Comprehensive Evaluation
• Examined long list of technological options and settled on four for
  future analysis over three time periods:

    • BRT-in street, BRT-busway, LRT, ARRT (automatic rail rapid
      transit) for 3 time periods-2019, 2029 and 2039

• Conducted lifecycle cost analysis and evaluation based on other
  factors of nine combination of service strategies comparing alternative
  staging options

• Ranged from $3.5 B to $3.8 B for LRT options, and $4.2 B to $5.2 B
  for ARRT options-lifecycle analysis
Analysis of Calgary SE SETWAY Corridor

• Long-term population and employment forecasts and
  ridership estimates indicate a need for the SE Transitway
  to have rail rapid transit using a dedicated alignment.
• In the short term, a dedicated alignment for transit is both
  warranted and necessary to attract ridership through
  improved travel time and reliability.
• Initial transit investment in the SE corridor should start
  with purchasing ROW in the northern section of the
  corridor with the intent of having a dedicated ROW as far
  south as resources permit.

• Service travel time and reliability should be improved first in
  the northern section of the corridor with a dedicated busway.

• While a full or partial busway alternative could serve the short
  term (2019) needs, ultimately, a rail transit alternative will
  be required by 2039.

• Future work should concentrate on developing a staging
  plan for the corridor for the busway and LRT alternatives.
           Phasing Plan Developed
Stage 1- Northern Busway with in street feeder
Stage 2 - Replace Northern Busway
             with LRT
Stage 3 - Construct Southern LRT for Full
                LRT line
  Operating Principles for Transition
• Minimize time and extent of passenger disruption
• Design busway running ways, stations, and structures to
  accommodate future LRT and conversion
• Design roadway crossings to accommodate future LRT needs
• Transition should occur to serve passenger demand, maximize
  development of TOD at stations and be coordinated with other
  transportation investments
• Develop a TDM and monitoring program during transition
 Conclusions for Other BRT to LRT Conversions
• Local circumstances will dictate whether conversion should be
    –   future likely ridership demand
    –   financing available
    –   length of time until conversion
    –   available corridor size

• Should try to minimize the time period and the extent of disruption to
  transit service for existing customers

• Maximize the use of BRT investments in stations and other
  infrastructure utilized in the conversion to LRT.

• The main reason driving the investment required to convert from BRT
  to LRT should be the extra passenger carrying capacity

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