Monday, May 01, 2006

Bus vs LRT - The winner is the bus!

The WWW has more than its share of information polution from the light-rail lobby. One doesn't have to look far to see LRT advocates' Pavlovian slobbering over the latest LRT news. LRT will move the world and is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

These sites and posts often include pictures - and otfen a good dollup of anti-bus/BRT propaganda as well.

I've put together a quick comparison of real-world bus and LRT performance. This compares the performance of the top performing transit agency in North America - Montreal's STM - and prominent LRT and streetcar systems. This compares the boardings per route/KM for different services for weekday service.

The comparison reveals that Montreal's busiest bus routes are outperforming LRT and streetcars. Only Calgary's C-Train system is comparable in attracting passengers - and that system is on the cusp between being an LRT in terms of a street-railway - and a mini-subway.

Transit effectiveness comparison Posted by Picasa

The route lengths for the STM and TTC streetcar routes were estimated from route maps. (Note - the TTC's streetcar track network is actually about 150 km - but much of that is not directly used in revenue service - but for moving cars to active routes and short turning cars. All US statistics are from the APTA website.

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