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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 5:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Halifax, Quebec City, Hamilton, London, Niagara Falls, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Victoria should have LRT.

Charlottetown, Moncton, Trois-Rivieres, Sherbrooke, Kingston, Peterborough, Guelph, Regina, Lethbridge, Kelowna, and Nanaimo should have streetcars.

Toronto should have a DRL/Queen subway, College subway, and I could even see a case for Eglinton being subway. LRT is fine for it, though I wonder about it's usefulness 50 years down the road.

Kitchener and Ottawa should've had LRT decades ago. Edmonton should've had lines to NAIT, Mill Woods, and the West End decades ago. Calgary's C-Train should've never been built above ground and Edmonton's future lines shouldn't be above ground downtown. It's cheap and causes issues down the road. The Metro to Laval should extend to Carrefour Laval and area.

Only Vancouver, Calgary (ish), and Montreal really have decent transit coverage. I guess a case could be argued for Ottawa as well, with its robust BRT.
I would think that Niagara Falls, Saskatoon, Victoria, Windsor and Halifax are still not quite large enough to justify LRT. It seems like once a metro reaches 500,000, it becomes more feasible to have it.

It's a shame that London is going with just BRT now, as opposed to the original LRT/BRT combo. It's big enough, and traffic is horrible to justify at least partial LRT.
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 5:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Beedok View Post
Buses are good enough. Basically anything short of a metro can be covered by a bus.
This keeps being said but is not true. I'm not a huge fan of LRT but realise it is the only sensible thing to build in some cities - like Calgary. There is no chance buses could adequately do the job of either LRT line, and building a full metro would have given marginal extra benefit for much greater cost (though we do need the downtown tunnel now).
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 5:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
Halifax, Quebec City, Hamilton, London, Niagara Falls, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Victoria should have LRT.
One problem in Halifax is that there isn't a clear prime transportation corridor to spend lots of money on. The city has an old, convoluted road network and complicated geography. On the plus side, I guess, as far as transit goes, traffic there is much worse than you would expect given the size of the city. Halifax is well past the point where transit problems can be solved merely by adding more buses.

Right now Halifax has two BRT routes called MetroLink. They have some dedicated lanes and priority signalling, but are partly in mixed traffic as well. Over time there will probably be more dedicated bus lanes, and they have started an electric bus pilot project.

There are also the two ferry routes, and there might be more ferry routes in the future.

VIA is collaborating with the city on a commuter rail project. There is a nice rail corridor running through the South End and along the Bedford Basin that does not have any at-grade crossings. Unfortunately, it also carries a lot of freight traffic, and that freight traffic will take priority. I still think this project has a good chance of succeeding though, and it would be useful to a lot of people if it existed. There used to be commuter rail along that route from about 1900 up until probably the 80's or so.

Halifax could also use a downtown intermodal transit hub with some short underground tunnels for buses. The Cogswell interchange is being torn down starting this year and offers up a great opportunity for that but I am not sure the idea has gotten much attention.
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 6:24 PM
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Originally Posted by niwell View Post
As of the end of 2016 the 504 King had an average ridership of 64k per day: http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/co...0071d60f89RCRD
Hm.. I wonder how much ridership will #514 take away from that...
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 6:48 PM
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Hm.. I wonder how much ridership will #514 take away from that...
I'm sure it will take a fairly large chunk of those riders maybe about 25% of the 504 seeing as it's doing a loop in the core. I'm just glad there will now be a 24hr streetcar on King Street.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 7:03 PM
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Originally Posted by north 42 View Post
I would think that Niagara Falls, Saskatoon, Victoria, Windsor and Halifax are still not quite large enough to justify LRT. It seems like once a metro reaches 500,000, it becomes more feasible to have it.

It's a shame that London is going with just BRT now, as opposed to the original LRT/BRT combo. It's big enough, and traffic is horrible to justify at least partial LRT.
For Niagara Falls, by itself, it's definitely way too small for LRT or streetcars, but I figured the tourism volumes would fix that.

I agree that for now, Saskatoon perhaps is a bit small for LRT, but it is also growing very fast. While this growth will likely not continue unprecedented, based on how the economy is set up, it'd be easier to build while times are good. It'd admittedly be quite bullish, but it's already being tossed around for the future.

Victoria and Halifax seem like the perfect cities for small LRT systems or perhaps a streetcar. They're both decently sized, older, compact, walkable, and fairly youthful, all of which are ingredients conducive to more transit usage. I could see a loop that went from Downtown Victoria, up to Uptown, down McKenzie to UVic, back down to Oak Bay, before meeting back up Downtown. A second line could spur west from Uptown to Langford along the TCH or through Vic West and Esquimalt to Langford. A third line could follow Downtown to Uptown, but then continue north through Saanich and meet with the ferry in Sidney.
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 7:18 PM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
One problem in Halifax is that there isn't a clear prime transportation corridor to spend lots of money on. The city has an old, convoluted road network and complicated geography. On the plus side, I guess, as far as transit goes, traffic there is much worse than you would expect given the size of the city. Halifax is well past the point where transit problems can be solved merely by adding more buses.

Right now Halifax has two BRT routes called MetroLink. They have some dedicated lanes and priority signalling, but are partly in mixed traffic as well. Over time there will probably be more dedicated bus lanes, and they have started an electric bus pilot project.

There are also the two ferry routes, and there might be more ferry routes in the future.

VIA is collaborating with the city on a commuter rail project. There is a nice rail corridor running through the South End and along the Bedford Basin that does not have any at-grade crossings. Unfortunately, it also carries a lot of freight traffic, and that freight traffic will take priority. I still think this project has a good chance of succeeding though, and it would be useful to a lot of people if it existed. There used to be commuter rail along that route from about 1900 up until probably the 80's or so.

Halifax could also use a downtown intermodal transit hub with some short underground tunnels for buses. The Cogswell interchange is being torn down starting this year and offers up a great opportunity for that but I am not sure the idea has gotten much attention.
That's a good point. The lack of a bridge across the Northwest Arm, around the South End and William Lake, always struck me as odd for connectivity. It'd be tough to do now, though. I know you explained before that it had to do with the geology, but it is really strange how urban development just ends at Williams Lake, aside from along the coast, despite how close it is to Downtown. Meanwhile Dartmouth follows a more logical sprawl pattern.

I could see the freight rail being reused as a commuter rail. It'd hook up Downtown with the North End, Mt St Vincent, and Bedford. I think, unless a more direct, expensive bridge was built, it'd be hard to compete with the ferry for Downtown-Downtown transit on both sides of the harbour.

But on the Dartmouth side, it seems like a logical line would be to go from Downtown Dartmouth to the Sportsplex to Mic Mac Mall to Dartmouth Crossing. Could see an argument for going north to Highfield Park, with all the multifamily, then hitting the business parks and Dartmouth Crossing. Would miss Mic Mac, though.

On the Halifax side, a downtown loop that went down Barrington, then Spring Garden to Dal, then up Oxford to Quinpool then back to Barrington via Cogswell, I think would make sense. It just misses St Mary's University. A line could then extend from Quinpool up to HSC then over to Bayer's Lake and Clayton Park. From there, it could follow Hwy 102 up to Bedford and Lower Sackville, though I think anywhere past Birch Cove (give or take) would be better served by commuter rail. The Barrington part of the downtown loop could be extended to a third line, where it juts over to Gottingen or Robie/Mass to bring connectivity to the North End. Going south, it could continue down Spring Garden till South Park or Robie and hook up to St Mary's.
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 7:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ue View Post
For Niagara Falls, by itself, it's definitely way too small for LRT or streetcars, but I figured the tourism volumes would fix that.

I agree that for now, Saskatoon perhaps is a bit small for LRT, but it is also growing very fast. While this growth will likely not continue unprecedented, based on how the economy is set up, it'd be easier to build while times are good. It'd admittedly be quite bullish, but it's already being tossed around for the future.

Victoria and Halifax seem like the perfect cities for small LRT systems or perhaps a streetcar. They're both decently sized, older, compact, walkable, and fairly youthful, all of which are ingredients conducive to more transit usage. I could see a loop that went from Downtown Victoria, up to Uptown, down McKenzie to UVic, back down to Oak Bay, before meeting back up Downtown. A second line could spur west from Uptown to Langford along the TCH or through Vic West and Esquimalt to Langford. A third line could follow Downtown to Uptown, but then continue north through Saanich and meet with the ferry in Sidney.
I guess with Saskatoon's recent strong growth rate it makes sense to start studying LRT now rather than later, and good for them for doing so.

Unfortunately for Windsor, there are no plans being discussed. Not surprising since the city is so car oriented, has an intercity expressway and busses are looked upon as only being for the poor, elderly and students.
I'm really hoping that our current boom continues and with the increase in population, LRT discussions will at least get started here!
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 8:10 PM
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NFNY used to run one right along the river along the gorge. that would have been awesome to ride.


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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2017, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
This keeps being said but is not true. I'm not a huge fan of LRT but realise it is the only sensible thing to build in some cities - like Calgary. There is no chance buses could adequately do the job of either LRT line, and building a full metro would have given marginal extra benefit for much greater cost (though we do need the downtown tunnel now).
Doesn't disprove anything. Calgary shows there are other options, but not that they're the best options.

Bogata is functional as a city of 8 million with buses only, it's straining as it's well past the size where it needs a metro and is in a developping nation where funding is lower and transit usage is higher, but it hasn't completely broken down. A well designed BRT system for Calgary would probably serve the city at least as well or switching to a more robust over all bus network.

Plus the C-Train is basically a light commuter rail outside the core, as the city was built and designed around it (effectively the ideal scenario for rail transit). You can't plop that into an existing urban framework as would be needed for Hamilton, London, etc. Instead all they can really get is a glorified streetcar, which provides marginal capacity benefits while burning up political capital amongst suburban councillors and voters. Bus lanes allow for a way cheaper improvement while being far less alienating to non-transit users (the majority of voters and therefore who councillors have to appease).
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 4:47 AM
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I believe the Niagara Falls tramway ran on both sides of the Niagara Gorge (there was a river crossing somewhere), something that could not happen in the post 9/11 world. But the bigger problem was the right of way was too unstable and subject to erosion and landslides including rock falls. I believe that is why it was shutdown. I read a story of a tram losing control going down the hill at Queenston Heights and flying into the gorge. It was very scenic but was not 100% safe.
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  #52  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 4:50 AM
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Where's Winnipeg at in terms of potentially looking into future LRT?

If we're talking about it for Saskatoon...surely Winnipeg should be doing something.
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  #53  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 1:35 PM
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Just a follow-up to my comment about the Niagara Gorge tramway. It ran inside the gorge on the New York side from Niagara Falls to Lewiston and was part of the Niagara Gorge Beltline that crossed into Canada at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and crossed back into New York at the Honeymoon Bridge. On the Canadian side, it ran above the gorge. Service ran from 1895 until a rock slide permanently closed it on September 17, 1935. The Honeymoon Bridge collapsed in 1938 and was replaced by today's Rainbow Bridge.
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  #54  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 1:40 PM
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Doesn't disprove anything. Calgary shows there are other options, but not that they're the best options.

Bogata is functional as a city of 8 million with buses only, it's straining as it's well past the size where it needs a metro and is in a developping nation where funding is lower and transit usage is higher, but it hasn't completely broken down. A well designed BRT system for Calgary would probably serve the city at least as well or switching to a more robust over all bus network.

Plus the C-Train is basically a light commuter rail outside the core, as the city was built and designed around it (effectively the ideal scenario for rail transit). You can't plop that into an existing urban framework as would be needed for Hamilton, London, etc. Instead all they can really get is a glorified streetcar, which provides marginal capacity benefits while burning up political capital amongst suburban councillors and voters. Bus lanes allow for a way cheaper improvement while being far less alienating to non-transit users (the majority of voters and therefore who councillors have to appease).
Firstly I agree that building streetcars doesn't offer enough of a benefit over buses for the cost to justify building, generally. But you can't make a blanket statement that it can only ever be a choice between buses and a full metro.

LRT rarely means streetcars, it means usually C-Train, Edmonton's LRT or Eglinton LRT - these are proper mass transit systems that provide far higher service quality than buses, look at how Ottawa's system strains with its capacity limitations. I strongly disagree that our current LRTs could be serviced equally well by bus lines, and the only way this would approach being true you would have to spend similar amounts on infrastructure. How do you suggest Calgary builds a bus line with equal service quality to our future Green Line? Bus tunnels?

The advantage LRT has is it can provide most of the benefit of a full metro while being flexible enough to make compromises in less important areas that can bring down the cost significantly. I would prefer we didn't have financial limitations and didn't have to make these compromises, but they do exist.
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  #55  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 2:08 PM
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Originally Posted by BretttheRiderFan View Post
Where's Winnipeg at in terms of potentially looking into future LRT?

If we're talking about it for Saskatoon...surely Winnipeg should be doing something.
Lol, obviously. It was actually discussed at the municipal level but they decided to build BRT instead. idiots.
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  #56  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 2:44 PM
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Firstly I agree that building streetcars doesn't offer enough of a benefit over buses for the cost to justify building, generally. But you can't make a blanket statement that it can only ever be a choice between buses and a full metro.
It's not only those two choices, but those are the two best choices.
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LRT rarely means streetcars, it means usually C-Train, Edmonton's LRT or Eglinton LRT - these are proper mass transit systems that provide far higher service quality than buses, look at how Ottawa's system strains with its capacity limitations. I strongly disagree that our current LRTs could be serviced equally well by bus lines, and the only way this would approach being true you would have to spend similar amounts on infrastructure. How do you suggest Calgary builds a bus line with equal service quality to our future Green Line? Bus tunnels?
The C-Train, as covered, is the ideal situation and basically a commuter rail (also apart from the downtown, where the issues all are and the tunnel is needed, effectively turning it into a metro).
Edmonton had a metro (a light one, but totally separated, with a good tunnel system and everything, basically akin to the Canada Line), and has messed everything up by suddenly mixing traffic on the new line.
Eglinton LRT honestly should have been a proper subway, those above ground mixed traffic parts are going to be a headache... I do believe the line as a whole already handles higher traffic levels than the Sheppard line too with buses (and higher traffic than all but 2-3 of the streetcar lines, which are only marginally busier and struggling).
Ottawa's only struggling because of rather poor decisions downtown. If, like the C-Train, the buses had been given their own streets in the downtown (in place of running in mixed traffic) they'd probably have the capacity for years to come (and note they're now being replaced with a full metro).
Also Ottawa+Gatineau's system handles more people than Calgary's (~120 million annual riders vs. ~110 million), and that's with STO being a pretty confused mess a lot of the time.
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The advantage LRT has is it can provide most of the benefit of a full metro while being flexible enough to make compromises in less important areas that can bring down the cost significantly. I would prefer we didn't have financial limitations and didn't have to make these compromises, but they do exist.
LRT is a way to combine the worst of buses (mixed traffic issues, lower capacity) with the worst of a Metro (inflexibility in case of maintenance needs, high construction cost requiring higher densities to run, difficulties to upgrade). I would prefer we didn't have financial and political limitations allowing fancy and cool LRT and other intermediate options everywhere, but these limits exist, so we should stick to functional (if unsexy) buses which can handle the traffic loads up to the point that a Metro starts to make sense.
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  #57  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 3:20 PM
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Eglinton LRT honestly should have been a proper subway, those above ground mixed traffic parts are going to be a headache... I do believe the line as a whole already handles higher traffic levels than the Sheppard line too with buses (and higher traffic than all but 2-3 of the streetcar lines, which are only marginally busier and struggling).

If it becomes a true headache, they can turn Science Centre into a Terminal or Interchange Station. Between the Underground LRT/ and the above ground LRT. Let's see what happens. That's what happened with interlining, they tried it out it failed and it was over. Maybe the same thing is in store for the Scarborough section of the Eglinton LRT.
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  #58  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 3:51 PM
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..Ottawa's only struggling because of rather poor decisions downtown. If, like the C-Train, the buses had been given their own streets in the downtown (in place of running in mixed traffic) they'd probably have the capacity for years to come (and note they're now being replaced with a full metro).
Also Ottawa+Gatineau's system handles more people than Calgary's (~120 million annual riders vs. ~110 million), and that's with STO being a pretty confused mess a lot of the time...
Ottawa's system does have its own streets downtown, it's basically exactly like the C-train. The problem is intersections which is why a tunnel is needed (same as in Calgary). The main difference is that in Ottawa the problem is aggravated by the lower capacity of buses and the higher transit ridership and so there is a high volume of vehicles on those streets. Sure the problem could be temporarily remedied by using at-grate LRT (like Calgary) but building a tunnel is a longer-lasting solution. Of course we could also build a bus tunnel but those are actually more expensive to build since they require better ventilation. LRT was the ONLY solution moving forward.
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  #59  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2017, 11:37 PM
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It's not only those two choices, but those are the two best choices.

The C-Train, as covered, is the ideal situation and basically a commuter rail (also apart from the downtown, where the issues all are and the tunnel is needed, effectively turning it into a metro).
Edmonton had a metro (a light one, but totally separated, with a good tunnel system and everything, basically akin to the Canada Line), and has messed everything up by suddenly mixing traffic on the new line.
Eglinton LRT honestly should have been a proper subway, those above ground mixed traffic parts are going to be a headache... I do believe the line as a whole already handles higher traffic levels than the Sheppard line too with buses (and higher traffic than all but 2-3 of the streetcar lines, which are only marginally busier and struggling).
Ottawa's only struggling because of rather poor decisions downtown. If, like the C-Train, the buses had been given their own streets in the downtown (in place of running in mixed traffic) they'd probably have the capacity for years to come (and note they're now being replaced with a full metro).
Also Ottawa+Gatineau's system handles more people than Calgary's (~120 million annual riders vs. ~110 million), and that's with STO being a pretty confused mess a lot of the time.

LRT is a way to combine the worst of buses (mixed traffic issues, lower capacity) with the worst of a Metro (inflexibility in case of maintenance needs, high construction cost requiring higher densities to run, difficulties to upgrade). I would prefer we didn't have financial and political limitations allowing fancy and cool LRT and other intermediate options everywhere, but these limits exist, so we should stick to functional (if unsexy) buses which can handle the traffic loads up to the point that a Metro starts to make sense.
You're changing the definitions to suit your argument. The rail transit systems in Calgary and Edmonton are both clearly LRT, with or without a downtown tunnel - they both have at grade crossings and use LRVs. If the tunnel in downtown Calgary is ever built, it will just be on the Red Line and won't change the line into a full metro, nor does that matter. This only goes to show the effectiveness of the flexibility of LRT - we got a line built cheaply decades ago and now can upgrade it if we choose. With Eglinton, maybe a full subway would be better, but it also might have been too expensive and never built. Toronto is being pragmatic with their transit, using a mix of modes - build LRT where it makes sense, tunneled if neccesary, and subways where they too make sense, like the DRL.

FFX-ME has given more accurate information on Ottawa's system and proves again how Calgary made a good decision. Once their line is built, they will have 12.5km of rail decades after Calgary built its first, now with 60km. It's true that this could be effectively be called a metro as it is functionally the same, but what if they choose to not grade seperate future sections? Does it then become a waste of money and no better than a bus? This bus or full metro only false dichotomy is arbitrary.
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  #60  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2017, 1:49 AM
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Ottawa's system does have its own streets downtown, it's basically exactly like the C-train. The problem is intersections which is why a tunnel is needed (same as in Calgary). The main difference is that in Ottawa the problem is aggravated by the lower capacity of buses and the higher transit ridership and so there is a high volume of vehicles on those streets. Sure the problem could be temporarily remedied by using at-grate LRT (like Calgary) but building a tunnel is a longer-lasting solution. Of course we could also build a bus tunnel but those are actually more expensive to build since they require better ventilation. LRT was the ONLY solution moving forward.
I really don't think it is a bus capacity versus train capacity issue in Ottawa. Buses can actually be spaced more tightly than trains. It is throughput of transit vehicles that is the problem. The present on street system is held up by traffic signals at every intersection. There is also the passenger boarding issue as well that will be simplified with trains. This will also speed up service.

Last edited by lrt's friend; Mar 16, 2017 at 3:38 AM.
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