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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2014, 5:58 PM
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Rapid Transit in Saskatoon

The City is pushing more and more for a BRT system to connect Blairmore to Downtown to the University to University Heights.

The City's future transit plans are detailed in here. Look at page 28.

An image of potential BRT routes



Are these the best choices? Is BRT the way to go? If so, do times lights? Separate bus lane? Grade-separated bus lane? Mixture?

RT in Saskatoon comes up every few months in the news. It seems more and more likely that the City and the province are at least in discussion about potential funding options. We could be seeing BRT in Saskatoon within 15 years.
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Old Posted Oct 1, 2014, 8:25 PM
Arts Arts is offline
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Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
The City is pushing more and more for a BRT system to connect Blairmore to Downtown to the University to University Heights.

The City's future transit plans are detailed in here. Look at page 28.

An image of potential BRT routes



Are these the best choices? Is BRT the way to go? If so, do times lights? Separate bus lane? Grade-separated bus lane? Mixture?

RT in Saskatoon comes up every few months in the news. It seems more and more likely that the City and the province are at least in discussion about potential funding options. We could be seeing BRT in Saskatoon within 15 years.
I think the document is quite thorough, biggest problem I see is convincing people it is reliable (given the kinds of labor tactics we see firsthand today) and effective (shouldn't take an hour and a half to get from a residential area to another on the other side of town).

They want to get ridership up from 4% of the total population to 8%, and peak ridership from 10% to 25%, don't see how that can ever happen until its more convenient than driving, so until the surface parking lots are converted to actual desinations that won't happen - and I don't think that necessary lines up with the 30 year timeline. I also don't think the solution should ever be to penalize drivers.

I am convinced BRT is the only way to go, unless the city happens to acquire any of the existing railway corridors, don't think CN is planning on the expense of vacating anytime soon? BRT is the only way I see the transition of current route planning (large loops that all terminate downtown) to the future proposed one you showed (smaller loops that terminate on the RT backbone). The way they utilize the "DART" buses now is akin to a mini RT system, but until the ridership and capacity is up, it just isn't that feasible to upgrade these existing major transit corridors.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2014, 5:06 AM
saskatoonborn saskatoonborn is offline
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Originally Posted by Arts View Post
I think the document is quite thorough, biggest problem I see is convincing people it is reliable (given the kinds of labor tactics we see firsthand today) and effective (shouldn't take an hour and a half to get from a residential area to another on the other side of town).

They want to get ridership up from 4% of the total population to 8%, and peak ridership from 10% to 25%, don't see how that can ever happen until its more convenient than driving, so until the surface parking lots are converted to actual desinations that won't happen - and I don't think that necessary lines up with the 30 year timeline. I also don't think the solution should ever be to penalize drivers.

I am convinced BRT is the only way to go, unless the city happens to acquire any of the existing railway corridors, don't think CN is planning on the expense of vacating anytime soon? BRT is the only way I see the transition of current route planning (large loops that all terminate downtown) to the future proposed one you showed (smaller loops that terminate on the RT backbone). The way they utilize the "DART" buses now is akin to a mini RT system, but until the ridership and capacity is up, it just isn't that feasible to upgrade these existing major transit corridors.
I really have to agree. What they should do even before that is have dedicated. Bus services to major terminals only too and from down to cut down on times. Run them every 15 minutes all day. Confed to Dt, Lawson to Dt, collage to Dt, center mall to dt to name a few routes

It would take me over an hour and 20 minutes to get to school at the best of times, I lived in pacific heights at the time. Home was a different story I wish I could say 2 hours but more often then not it was three. In my first 2 years I took the bus and almost every other day i was stranded at school waiting for a "dart" bus to to take me home or worse strand me down town becuase it was the drivers last run of the day and they didnt bother to send another bus until 6:30. I drove. I had more important things to do than wait around for crappy bus service. I could get to school park on 14th and walk to class in 25 minutes and then get home in the same time.

Sorry for the rant. I hate the city buses.
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2014, 7:27 AM
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Winnipeg, take note. This proposal actually makes sense.

If Saskatoon seriously gets a better BRT system than Winnipeg, I will laugh my ass off. Anyways, good on ya; I hope the RT talks will land you guys a Rapid Transit system that has finesse .
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2014, 2:17 PM
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Originally Posted by scryer View Post
Winnipeg, take note. This proposal actually makes sense.

If Saskatoon seriously gets a better BRT system than Winnipeg, I will laugh my ass off. Anyways, good on ya; I hope the RT talks will land you guys a Rapid Transit system that has finesse .
Good one. Rapid transit from U of M through downtown to east Winnipeg is garbage, right. RT from downtown to the airport is crap, mmm hmm. Using old rail corridors to get from the north perimter to south perimeter through multiple suburbs is just no good. Corssing the other legs of RT at hub stations. Just terrible. Looking at the Parker dog leg. Sure, not the most direct route. But the fastest. Looking at the whole system, Winnipeg is spot on.

Good on Saskatoon for looking at this. At some point it will be a reality.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2014, 2:54 PM
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Originally Posted by saskatoonborn View Post
I really have to agree. What they should do even before that is have dedicated. Bus services to major terminals only too and from down to cut down on times. Run them every 15 minutes all day. Confed to Dt, Lawson to Dt, collage to Dt, center mall to dt to name a few routes

It would take me over an hour and 20 minutes to get to school at the best of times, I lived in pacific heights at the time. Home was a different story I wish I could say 2 hours but more often then not it was three. In my first 2 years I took the bus and almost every other day i was stranded at school waiting for a "dart" bus to to take me home or worse strand me down town becuase it was the drivers last run of the day and they didnt bother to send another bus until 6:30. I drove. I had more important things to do than wait around for crappy bus service. I could get to school park on 14th and walk to class in 25 minutes and then get home in the same time.

Sorry for the rant. I hate the city buses.
It is also horrible when you are waiting for a bus in the dark, which is either 25 minutes late or else just not coming, downtown on a cold January night, completely speculating as to what to do, and no way to reach anyone at the customer service line since they are closed at 6pm. It is also disturbing as heck when the posted schedule (if you are lucky to have one at your stop) doesn't match the actual bus schedule.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 8:04 PM
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Some cool new images on Rapid Transit in Saskatoon





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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 8:13 PM
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Good. Do it now and let your city grow around a good transit skeleton. Calgary is living proof of the value of building a rapid transit system early in a city's development.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 9:22 PM
North_Regina_Boy North_Regina_Boy is offline
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I think they need to incorporate a third line off the hop. From PrairieLand Park to The Airport along Lorne and Up Idylwyld. Also Have a loop in the downtown where you can "Ride for Free" like in Calgary and the LRT.

I suggest the loop be 4th on the east 25th on the north 1st on the west and 19th in the south. And buses enter and exit their routes accordingly.

I drew a map a while ago, posted it here somewhere.

Airport to PrairieLand Route (Northbound)

- Leave Praireland Transit Centre (Park and Ride)
- Right on Ruth
- Left on Lorne,
- Ramp across Idylwyld Bridge
- Right on 20th
- Left on 4th
- Left on 25th
- Right on Idylwyld
- Left on 39th
- Right on Ave C
- Left on 45th
- Right on Airport Dr
- Arrive at Terminal

Airport to PrairieLand Route (Southbound)

- Leave Terminal
- Left on 45th
- Right on Ave C
- Left on 39th
- Right on Idylwyld
- Left on 25th
- Right on 1st
- Ramp onto Idylwyld
- Ramp onto Lorn
- Right on Ruth
- Left into Praireland Transit Centre (Park and Ride)

Last edited by North_Regina_Boy; Feb 25, 2015 at 9:41 PM.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 10:33 PM
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I'm curious as to how the center lane bus only system would work. It seems easier for the buses but how are the people supposed to get to the bus stops. Considering these are major corridors you'd think that having crosswalks would be a major hazard. Having pedestrian bridges to the center of the street is an option but would promote a lot of jaywalking for people not wanting to take the extra few steps up and over I would guess. Maybe there is a good solution I just can't think of what it would be. Also the pedestrian bridges would limit any sort of heightened load from driving on these major arteries.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 25, 2015, 10:43 PM
North_Regina_Boy North_Regina_Boy is offline
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Originally Posted by scotty c View Post
I'm curious as to how the center lane bus only system would work. It seems easier for the buses but how are the people supposed to get to the bus stops. Considering these are major corridors you'd think that having crosswalks would be a major hazard. Having pedestrian bridges to the center of the street is an option but would promote a lot of jaywalking for people not wanting to take the extra few steps up and over I would guess. Maybe there is a good solution I just can't think of what it would be. Also the pedestrian bridges would limit any sort of heightened load from driving on these major arteries.
It would be a challange that is for sure, especially 22nd as people tend not to listen to the rules (or six lanes of traffic) now anyway.

However there are lots of precedents so they can look at those.
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2015, 8:06 PM
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Some updates of BRT plans





There's some issues I have with it. There are too many stations (25 stations over 22 km). Traffic engineers suggest distances further apart to increase speed.

BRT will rely on true separation from normal traffic. If that can be achieved and you can ensure true rapid transit across the city this will be monumental in changing Saskatoon and pushing it into the future.

The City is also being very aggressive with their infill plans. 50% of all growth is planned to be infill. That could be another 50,000 people living within Circle Drive by 2030. If that is to be the case BRT must work.
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2015, 6:38 AM
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Originally Posted by biguc View Post
Good. Do it now and let your city grow around a good transit skeleton. Calgary is living proof of the value of building a rapid transit system early in a city's development.
They had smarter govt's back then, lucky for them!
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2015, 5:53 PM
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It will be interesting to learn how this turns out. The combination of sharing existing roadways with the high number of stops and possible lack of traffic priority signalling will be an interesting case study on the implementation of BRT.
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2015, 9:16 AM
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Going one step up from BART a street car (tram) would be a good addition back into Saskatoon. I think the dynamics and perception of the service changes as soon as it is on rails. There are cards that are narrow enough to operate on city streets mixed with cars (e.g. Flexity Outlook cars).



Source: Wikipedia (Vancouver Temporary Olympic Line) See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexity_Outlook
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2015, 2:33 PM
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Originally Posted by casper View Post
Going one step up from BART a street car (tram) would be a good addition back into Saskatoon. I think the dynamics and perception of the service changes as soon as it is on rails. There are cards that are narrow enough to operate on city streets mixed with cars (e.g. Flexity Outlook cars).



Source: Wikipedia (Vancouver Temporary Olympic Line) See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexity_Outlook
I did not know there was a temporary tram line in Vacnouver. It's all been removed now? Pretty lavish, I guess that's what the Olympics is.
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  #17  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2015, 2:53 PM
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They had smarter govt's back then, lucky for them!
Maybe they didn't have an equivalent to the Sun-reading, CJOB-listening, down-with-everything brigade that has been opposing rapid transit in Winnipeg since the 70s... must be nice.
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2015, 3:29 PM
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Originally Posted by casper View Post
Going one step up from BART a street car (tram) would be a good addition back into Saskatoon. I think the dynamics and perception of the service changes as soon as it is on rails.
End of the day total travel time is going to matter far more for public transit that if it is on rails or not.
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  #19  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2015, 2:46 AM
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I did not know there was a temporary tram line in Vacnouver. It's all been removed now? Pretty lavish, I guess that's what the Olympics is.
From about 1900 to 1950s Vancouver had an interurban street car network. It was eventually replaced by trolley buses. The Skytrain Expo line actually follows one of these old abandoned routes.

The temporary modern tram operated on a one of these old lines. The cars were also on loan from Bombardier. It is a shame they did not keep it. Tracks are still there. There was a historic railway group that use to operate a old 1900-1950 street car on the tracks. It ran from the entrance to Evansville Island up to Main St. The city is still pushing for it to be put into regular service. Translink thinks differently.

That said, it would be cool if Saskatoon did a street car.
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  #20  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2016, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
Some updates of BRT plans



There's some issues I have with it. There are too many stations (25 stations over 22 km). Traffic engineers suggest distances further apart to increase speed.

BRT will rely on true separation from normal traffic. If that can be achieved and you can ensure true rapid transit across the city this will be monumental in changing Saskatoon and pushing it into the future.

The City is also being very aggressive with their infill plans. 50% of all growth is planned to be infill. That could be another 50,000 people living within Circle Drive by 2030. If that is to be the case BRT must work.
Driving along 22nd Street recently and the number of demolished or soon to be demolished buildings is on the rise (also assuming large land assembly activity). Ugly as a vacant lot may be, I think that is a good thing. The sooner the derelict properties are cleared out, the sooner higher value commercial and residential proposals can test the waters. Perhaps the spread between 22nd Street and 8th Street commercial lease rates may narrow with the introduction of BRT. That is the theory, right?

BRT might be the best thing 22nd Street has going for it in the near term. However, I am tempering my optimism. The relative poverty and crime rates of adjacent neighborhoods may prove a challenge to develop a profitable land development scheme via BRT corridor. But, profit is not the sole reason for expanding public transit service.
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