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  #1061  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2015, 2:37 AM
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Here's a proposal for a ~$1B LRT system for London, Ontario: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.ne...PDF?1446664366

The municipality is already in talks with the province and the federal government seems likely to kick in money too. The municipal contribution is only in the $100-200M range.

London and Halifax are about the same size but Halifax traffic seems worse, probably because it's an older city with more challenging geography.

Kitchener-Waterloo already has an LRT system under construction. I think Hamilton might be getting LRT too.
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  #1062  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2015, 2:41 AM
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Hamilton is as well. So are Mississauga-Brampton (actually Brampton turned down a bunch of provincial funding because the city wanted to re-align part of the route, but I think part of it is still being built as proposed). I think York Region also implemented a large-scale BRT system recently.
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  #1063  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2015, 3:44 PM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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The only problem you can see with the proposal is cost versus benefit, though that didn't stop Waterloo from going forward with even worse results. Looking at the numbers, I think they end up with BRT.
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  #1064  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2015, 6:11 PM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
Here's a proposal for a ~$1B LRT system for London, Ontario: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.ne...PDF?1446664366

The municipality is already in talks with the province and the federal government seems likely to kick in money too. The municipal contribution is only in the $100-200M range.

London and Halifax are about the same size but Halifax traffic seems worse, probably because it's an older city with more challenging geography.

Kitchener-Waterloo already has an LRT system under construction. I think Hamilton might be getting LRT too.
Seriously, if London gets an LRT system and we don't, I think that speaks volumes about our civic culture.

Every little secondary/tertiary Ontario city is at least looking at higher-order transit, but Haligonians keep keep hearing that we're not big enough (or rich enough) to get anything better than a scanty bus system. If anything this should be reversed. Halifax has a greater need for rapid urban transit than London, IMO.
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  #1065  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2015, 6:52 PM
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Seriously, if London gets an LRT system and we don't, I think that speaks volumes about our civic culture.

Every little secondary/tertiary Ontario city is at least looking at higher-order transit, but Haligonians keep keep hearing that we're not big enough (or rich enough) to get anything better than a scanty bus system. If anything this should be reversed. Halifax has a greater need for rapid urban transit than London, IMO.
Personally I think in our case, having ROWs is just as important as what's travelling on them. Having dedicated transit/HOV lanes allowing buses to glide past choke points such as the Mac Donald bridge and its approaches and the Bayers rd and Herring Cove rd corridors would go a long way toward improving things. Certainly farther than having a rail vehicle if it gets stuck in the same choke points as buses. If transit actually acted as a shortcut to get people places quicker, hen it would become a lot more popular, and frequency could be improved due to increased demand, and as a result, traffic on the regular lanes would also be lessened.
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  #1066  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2015, 7:18 PM
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Personally I think in our case, having ROWs is just as important as what's travelling on them. Having dedicated transit/HOV lanes allowing buses to glide past choke points such as the Mac Donald bridge and its approaches and the Bayers rd and Herring Cove rd corridors would go a long way toward improving things. Certainly farther than having a rail vehicle if it gets stuck in the same choke points as buses. If transit actually acted as a shortcut to get people places quicker, hen it would become a lot more popular, and frequency could be improved due to increased demand, and as a result, traffic on the regular lanes would also be lessened.
I agree, but I also think that no matter how much sense it makes, and no matter how much public education there is, some people will just not make buses part of their daily lives, but will use rail. The only cities I've lived in where transit doesn't have a bit of a "loser cruiser" reputation are those with some form of rail transport.
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  #1067  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2015, 9:22 PM
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^ Obviously that is true. The only question is, if transit were a significant time savings instead of just being cheaper, would the group of hold outs be large enough to justify the extra tends of millions of $$ that LRT would cost.

Although if I had it my way we'd electrify the key bus corridors either way, so the cost difference wouldn't be quite as huge as between LRT and regular buses. So something to think about.
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  #1068  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2015, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
I agree, but I also think that no matter how much sense it makes, and no matter how much public education there is, some people will just not make buses part of their daily lives, but will use rail. The only cities I've lived in where transit doesn't have a bit of a "loser cruiser" reputation are those with some form of rail transport.
I think part of the disconnect here is that most studies focus on easily-measured benefits and tend to leave out the other stuff. Actually they even leave out some easily-measured stuff like variance in travel times and adherence to schedules.

There are a bunch of real things that transit riders care about that studies don't tend to pay much attention to:
- Are the vehicles clean, safe, and comfortable?
- How much work do I need to do to plan my trip? How reliable will my plans be?
- Is the transit service good enough for me to give up my car? If it's only good to use during commuting hours I'll still need to have a car for all the other stuff, so why bother paying for a transit pass as well? Also, what happens if I get rid of my vehicle and then service levels change?

I think the "loser cruiser" reputation is the effect, not the cause, of a lack of desirability, and the lack of desirability exists for real, practical reasons. It's not just some cultural quirk.
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  #1069  
Old Posted Nov 6, 2015, 12:49 AM
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I think having transit focused on commuting as a start isn't such a bad thing. It can help the downtown develop without the need for too much parking and really take the steam out of traffic during peak periods which in a place like Hfx tends to be the biggest concern anyway. People living out in lower density places like Cole Harbour, Spryfield, Sackville etc. aren't going to give up their cars as long as they're living there, period. Their grocery stores, malls, schools, parks, community centres, really everything is fronted by large parking areas and things are dispersed in a manner that makes frequent transit service infeasible. But if transit gets you into town much faster and more predictably than driving, and is much cheaper, then it's still good.

I have a former colleague that lives way out in Tantallon and works downtown who takes the 330 Metro X because the cost of downtown parking alone, not counting gas or car maintenance, is cheaper than his transit fare.
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  #1070  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2017, 5:03 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Commuter rail 'very feasible' possibility in Halifax, Via Rail president says
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He told reporters Via and the municipality need to finalize an operating plan that looks at capacity, traffic schedules and pricing, then bring it to CN, the railway owner, for approval. Desjardins-Siciliano said the work is headed in the right direction and he expected the owner would be open to the idea as long as there are no conflicts.
Source

Sounds promising. Let's hope everybody can get on the same page and make it work.
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  #1071  
Old Posted Apr 21, 2017, 11:25 AM
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New HRM transit plan shows commuter trains on both sides of harbour

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...ifax-1.4078475
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  #1072  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 2:55 AM
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New group promoting light rail in Halifax

http://www.lightrailalliance.com/





Potential future extensions:



Concept station designs:






Last edited by alps; Jul 22, 2017 at 3:06 AM.
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  #1073  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 3:17 AM
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Looks interesting, although it's not clear what the proposed solution downtown would be. It would be nice to have a tunnel connecting the rail lines through downtown but that would be prohibitively expensive and shouldn't be bundled with plans to improve transit.

That being said, a better transit hub at Cogswell on the other hand is a great idea, and the time to do that is now because of the interchange work. It is disappointing that the Metro Transit and the city don't seem to be pushing to do much about transit there.

A bigger issue I see with this is that it's an "all things to all people" type plan. It is overly complicated by proposals to run routes out to Clayton Park or maybe tunnel to Dartmouth. The proposed route is also quite long and the loop arrangement makes it less convenient. It would be better to focus on one simpler route that serves the main parts of Halifax, has some room for transit-oriented development, and could enable a better bus network. That would have a vastly higher ROI.

Another thing I wonder is why there is so much of an obsession with reusing the existing rail tracks. Yes, they are already there, but they carry heavy freight traffic so they make cheaper, faster light rail vehicles impossible. They are also not in the ideal locations for serving the population. It would be far better to create some corridors along major streets. There is tons of space to do that; you just get rid of mixed traffic lanes. The routes could start with buses, diesel or electric, then perhaps transition to rail in the future. Or maybe there would be little advantage to rail given self-driving cars and electric vehicles.
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  #1074  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 12:36 PM
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The thing was done by a couple of planning students.

That probably tells you all you need to know.
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  #1075  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 2:14 PM
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The thing was done by a couple of planning students.

That probably tells you all you need to know.
Yes, but it remains a truism that rail has the best potential for improving transit options around metro Halifax. The rail corridor along Bedford basin through the rail cut to the downtown VIA station passes through a large swath of the built up areas of the city. The existing road network is congested and i am unconvinced that BRT would make much difference. A rail based alternative however is an entirely new option that would provide instant relief for the road network.

A rail based transit system should be electrified, especially if the plan would be to extend it via a tunnel directly into (and through) the core, and then further along past the shipyards, the narrows and the Fairview Cove terminal. This would be very expensive, but ultimately politicians will come to realize that this is the best choice for a long term solution to Halifax's transit woes.......

If I had to choose between this and a third harbour crossing, I would choose rail.
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  #1076  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 2:49 PM
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The thing was done by a couple of planning students.

That probably tells you all you need to know.
Lol. At least they're planning to serve the masses commuting daily to the Atlantic School of Theology!
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  #1077  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 5:05 PM
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Students or nah, at least they are making a comprehensive proposal.

I just skimmed over their website and everything and a significant effort and forward-thinking proposal was definitely a thought-provoking read. Now keep in mind that I just skimmed through the proposal so if I'm wrong with some of my feedback, please be gentle . However I think that there were a few short-sights that were failed to be mentioned:

1. It fails to make clear how much of the track is grade separated or grade-integrated. This is very important as it makes the difference between whether the system would function like a glorified streetcar or an actual rapid transit solution.

2. Now I get that there is a larger student population percentage than most of cities, however this proposal is very forward about serving the students and residents, and I personally don't think that it should be exclusively used for those demographics. And this is the only issue that I have with the proposed design in the peninsula; I would like to see the line dip into the core of downtown more to serve the people working, living, and wanting to travel into the core of downtown.

3. The railyard, IMO, is in a pretty strategic place. However thinking that residential TOD is going to develop around a railyard is a little uninformed. Railyards are pretty noisy and a lot of people will choose not live beside the railard because of the noise.

4. It's very interesting that this proposal compares itself to all of the LRT's in Canada EXCEPT for Ottawa's Confederation Line LRT. Most of that LRT is actually grade-separated so I'm quite curious about why this proposal would choose to compare itself to Edmonton's LRT (which a lot of people consider a failure) and not mention anything about the Confederation line (which is defined as LRT). This is just an interesting observation.

Last edited by scryer; Jul 23, 2017 at 9:28 PM.
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  #1078  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 6:17 PM
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If I had to choose between this and a third harbour crossing, I would choose rail.

Not a choice one would need to make. They are several orders of magnitude different in terms of cost. And one would be self-supporting financially.
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  #1079  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 6:42 PM
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Students or nah, at least they are making a comprehensive proposal.

{snip}

3. The railyard, IMO, is in a pretty strategic place. However thinking that TOD is going to develop around a railyard is a little uninformed. Railyards are pretty noisy and a lot of people will choose not live beside the railard because of the noise.
Err, uhm..... Toronto. Their waterfront is penned in by a massive rail yard. The growth next to said rail yard is huge, only eclipsed by Vancouver's entire development.

Some people may actually want to live there.
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  #1080  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2017, 9:28 PM
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Err, uhm..... Toronto. Their waterfront is penned in by a massive rail yard. The growth next to said rail yard is huge, only eclipsed by Vancouver's entire development.

Some people may actually want to live there.
Most of those lines are owned by the feds. Most of those lines are used to transport imports and exports, and therefore move the economy. This railyard is something that is used to transport people, and what I'm saying is that residential TOD is less likely to happen as living by railyards is actually something that usually negatively affects the value and livability of the area. Living by a station, on the otherhand, is a different story.
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