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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 20, 2017, 3:07 PM
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Saskatoon city hall proposes $3M contract to plan bus rapid transit

Phil Tank, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Published on: July 20, 2017 | Last Updated: July 20, 2017 6:00 AM CST

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Despite a drop in bus ridership in 2016, city hall appears set to move ahead with its $280-million plan for a bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Saskatoon.

The city administration recommends council approve a $3-million contract with an American engineering firm to plan and design the BRT system that forms the major plank of the city’s growth plan.

If council approves the $3.05-million contract with Omaha, Neb.-based HDR Corporation next week, the plan and design for the BRT system is slated to be complete by April 2018.

“It’s extremely exciting,” said Randy Grauer, the city’s general manager of community services. “The vision of this overall (growth) plan is a wonderful thing and it really solidifies our future.”

Planners and politicians at city hall have been discussing bus rapid transit for more than 12 years, but the current push aligned perfectly with federal infrastructure funding for such initiatives, Grauer said.

The money to pay for the contract comes from the federal government’s Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund, which stipulates initiatives like Saskatoon’s BRT plan be completed by April 18, 2018.

Despite the tight deadline, Grauer said the administration sought and received approval from council in May on the parameters for bids on the planning and design work.

Outside expertise is needed for project, Grauer said. In addition to the BRT system design, the engineering firm will also plan how to redesign the rest of the bus system around the BRT corridors, and design the transit stations. The firm will also study the feasibility of park-and-ride locations.

The BRT system would focus on increased service along corridors such as 22nd Street in the west and Eighth Street in the east that connect areas of future residential growth with commercial centres like downtown. BRT would feature dedicated lanes for frequent bus service along these corridors.

Saskatoon Transit has already started experimenting with increased frequency along Eighth Street and 22nd Street, although transit officials see these changes as at least partly to blame for lower ridership in 2016.

Bus ridership declined to 8.51 million rides in 2016 from 8.57 million in 2015.

Grauer said the current ridership “speaks for itself” and BRT offers a model designed to be competitive with other modes of transportation.

“This is a different type of service that will be a magnet both for ridership and for development along those corridors,” he said.

ptank@postmedia.com

twitter.com/thinktankSK
I have to say that it's rather great timing that there's currently a Federal government that is interested in shoveling over cash for this type of infrastructure, and a Mayor and Council that are quite interested in building this type of thing. Rather than previous governments that were more interested in building freeways and bridges.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2017, 9:32 PM
hunter12 hunter12 is offline
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Brt

I previously posted this article in the construction thread several months ago. I think it contains some very interesting points to consider when investing in rapid transit.

http://www.newgeography.com/content/...blic-that-s-us

My concern is the city investing millions and millions of dollars in rapid transit and not achieving the desired increase in ridership.

Last edited by hunter12; Jul 21, 2017 at 9:41 PM. Reason: broken link
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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 4:41 AM
saskatoonborn saskatoonborn is offline
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Anyone know if they are doing center lane brt or outside lane?

Also hunter I definately see your point. However the bus service has not been the best or the most dependable in Saskatoon I think that it may be necessary to invest in a better service before people will take notice.

The big thing about this is what they have done so far (and what they talk about in the article) is they have just increased how frequently buses are at stops however they are still at the mercy of traffic, trains lights etc. So the service is the same I just dont have to wait around quite as long for the same poor service.

Last edited by saskatoonborn; Jul 22, 2017 at 4:51 AM.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 8:02 AM
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Center lane or curb lane is part of this study. I believe the proposal requested preliminary design of stations as well.

How does everyone feel about the initial layout of the "Red Line"? I am curious what others think of the layout and what changes you would make to this initial plan. One change that I would like to see incorporated, even though it would be a 20 year thing, is an Airport stop included in one of the routes.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2017, 9:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bomberjet View Post
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.
There is no rapid transit from the UofM to east Winnipeg so I don't know what you're talking about. Otherwise you must be talking about some other city because there aren't any other corridors built currently.
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  #26  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 3:15 PM
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  #27  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2017, 2:45 PM
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Another contract for more BRT station designs, must be getting serious about this, could provide retail and condo opportunities where ever they are placed.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskat...ract-1.4245236
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  #28  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 3:48 PM
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BRT terminals

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Originally Posted by The Bess View Post
Another contract for more BRT station designs, must be getting serious about this, could provide retail and condo opportunities where ever they are placed.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskat...ract-1.4245236
Put BRT terminals at Circle Mall, Market Mall, Confed Mall, Lawson Mall, Univeristy Heights square and Place Riel. Retail already exists along with access to grocery stores. City of Saskatoon I would like $3,400 (1% of the contract) for this consulting.
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  #29  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 4:48 PM
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Originally Posted by hunter12 View Post
Put BRT terminals at Circle Mall, Market Mall, Confed Mall, Lawson Mall, Univeristy Heights square and Place Riel. Retail already exists along with access to grocery stores. City of Saskatoon I would like $3,400 (1% of the contract) for this consulting.
I mean 99% of the work is the actual logistics of fitting it into the location.

Any idiot can say put them at the mall. The money is for the actual design.
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  #30  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 4:57 PM
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I'm really glad that this is being considered seriously for a city barely under 300k!

I hope to see that most of it will be grade-separated when the designs are proposed. And from the looks of it, it will be. And hopefully the construction of this process will not be a drawn out and done in the most painful way possible, as they did it in Winnipeg.
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  #31  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 6:25 PM
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Originally Posted by scryer View Post
I'm really glad that this is being considered seriously for a city barely under 300k!

I hope to see that most of it will be grade-separated when the designs are proposed. And from the looks of it, it will be. And hopefully the construction of this process will not be a drawn out and done in the most painful way possible, as they did it in Winnipeg.
I agree that it is great that it is getting the consideration it needs now, better to start a good rapid transit system sooner when it can shape the way the transit system will work in the future, rather than later when it is past being desperately needed and every element is an expensive compromise.

As for grade separation of the transitway, that is a whole other realm of construction. I wouldn't expect much of it to be grade separated at all to begin with (that's kind of the point of using buses to start instead of rails), but would like to see it planned for with reserves set aside for the eventual construction of grade separation (whether it's tunnels or flyovers).
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  #32  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2017, 8:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Arts View Post

As for grade separation of the transitway, that is a whole other realm of construction. I wouldn't expect much of it to be grade separated at all to begin with (that's kind of the point of using buses to start instead of rails), but would like to see it planned for with reserves set aside for the eventual construction of grade separation (whether it's tunnels or flyovers).
I agree. The lane separations that I'm seeing the concept photos can easily be converted to pillars for elevated rail; or they could easily be excavated (cut-and-cover method) without being too disturbing.
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  #33  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 2:26 PM
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Good opinion article on Saskatoon transit

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskat...ange-1.4285652
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  #34  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 2:42 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bess View Post
Good opinion article on Saskatoon transit

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskat...ange-1.4285652
I appreciate very much the perspective of Mr. Wallace and I am also glad to see he seems "freed" to offer his true vision and opinion now that he is not the City Planner. It seems that there may be factors that we are not aware of that somewhat inhibited Mr. Wallace when he was with the city to truly implement a sustainable built environment for Saskatoon.

He is a very knowledgeable voice that I hope many pay attention to!
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  #35  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by prairieguy View Post
I appreciate very much the perspective of Mr. Wallace and I am also glad to see he seems "freed" to offer his true vision and opinion now that he is not the City Planner. It seems that there may be factors that we are not aware of that somewhat inhibited Mr. Wallace when he was with the city to truly implement a sustainable built environment for Saskatoon.

He is a very knowledgeable voice that I hope many pay attention to!
I wish he had voiced these opinions louder when he was in an office that could have made a difference. The biggest recent disappointment I have with the city was their choice to reopen the Traffic Bridge to private vehicles. As a recent convert to bike commuting (which I plan to maintain over the winter) I'm learning more and more how cycling can fix so many of the problems that go along with urban transportation (as well as so many other public issues like obesity, health and general well-being), and I believe in time we will come to seriously regret not dedication the traffic bridge replacement to pedestrians and cyclists.
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  #36  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2017, 7:02 PM
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Unfortunately the way that leadership is structured at City Hall means that the head planner doesn't have a very strong or independent voice. Unless things have changed, the head of planning answers to a GM above them and then the City Manager above the GM. They do not get their own seat among top officials in the Council chamber and they're seen as little more than the manager of a department of staff that carries out the wishes of Council. Sure, they're looked upon to give recommendations or provide advice -- but no head planner that wants to keep their job would go to the media to tell them that Council is making a huge mistake about something (say, the Traffic Bridge). To add to that, the transportation planning and land use/development planning arms of the City reside in different departments, so I'm sure they come out at odds over things that we don't see publicly.

Larger cities have more of a defined Chief Planner role that has the autonomy to take strong positions on issues that may be at odds with Council or perhaps the rest of City Hall. Jennifer Keesmaat in Toronto is the perennial example of late, who took a vocal position against Mayor Tory and Council regarding the reconstruction of a section of the Gardiner Expressway. Her tenure, about to end after 5 years, was not without controversy, and one wonders how long someone can last in a role like that if you're antagonistic to the powers that be.

I like Mr. Wallace, and I'm glad he's sharing his views on the development of Saskatoon. I'd love to see him with a weekly civic affairs column.
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  #37  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2017, 1:32 PM
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Whats been approved so far from federal government for funds

http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/pt-s...ts-sk-eng.html
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  #38  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2017, 4:50 AM
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Originally Posted by scryer View Post
I'm really glad that this is being considered seriously for a city barely under 300k!

I hope to see that most of it will be grade-separated when the designs are proposed. And from the looks of it, it will be. And hopefully the construction of this process will not be a drawn out and done in the most painful way possible, as they did it in Winnipeg.
Imagine what the $2 billion being foolishly spent on the south Regina bypass to save trucks 5 minutes could have done for public transit in both Regina and Saskatoon! $1 billion each could have given both cities legacy projects in public transportation!
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  #39  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2017, 2:48 PM
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Each city could have had a grade separated LRT be constructed.
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  #40  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2017, 9:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rrskylar View Post
Imagine what the $2 billion being foolishly spent on the south Regina bypass to save trucks 5 minutes could have done for public transit in both Regina and Saskatoon! $1 billion each could have given both cities legacy projects in public transportation!
Many people can't seem to comprehend scale that welll. A billion is a thousand millions (. It's crazy how ridiculous our priorities are when it comes to spending on road infrastructure). Saskatoon Transit costs about $25M/y to operate, which is 1/40th of one billion dollars.

You are very right, $1B per city towards a transit system could have made the two combined the envy of every other city in North America, and could potentially solve so many issues and improve the quality of life for citizens in so many ways.
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