Sunday, March 18, 2007

LRT notes

It's a step forward to be seeing a plan - of sorts. It seems that this wash rsuhed to the presses somewhat. Some odd and sundry comments.

1. LRT on Jane?

I can't see this being effective LT (at the south end) without a fairly long tunnel - with a big dig at the southern terminus. Without this, there is no room for stations. Was this thrown in to balance out the map politically?

2. 240 vehicles?

Applying the benchmark from Calgary C-train (122 riders per service hour) , using 240 vehicles for 175 million passengers a year would require vehicles to be in service an average of 16 hours/day. This doesn't seem realistic.

I would expect LRT ridership/service hours on the proposed routes to be lower than the Calgary benchmark. Whey

a. Other than the Eglinton line's central segment, one of the lines will be serving a dense employment district.
b. The speed of service will not match that in Calgary. The C-train lines are cut under most intersections of any size. There are at grade crossing - but most are in industrial/warhouse areas. (Check out Google Earth as a good way of investigating this.)
c. I'd expect station spacing (if there are actually stations) to end up being about 400 metres. (Longer than this and residents will demanding local bus service.) This will slow the service - reducing passengers/service hour.
d. Calgary's LRT runs in large part on completely segregated ROW (i.e. no vehicles and no pedestrians. This allows trains to run at high speed between stations. This won't be possible with the proposed lines here - other than sections in tunnels - due to pedestrian safety requirements.

More realistic would be 100 boardings / hour - necessitating about 386 vehicles (I'm using the Calgary benchmark of about 12.3 hours in service/day).

With extra yard/maintenance space, the difference adds about $1 billion to the price tag.

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