Building a Better Metro: Possibilities for BRTPresentation Transcript
Overview of BRT Options Peer Examples Opportunities for BRT in St. Louis How could BRT create a more livable St. Louis region?
Can offer significant travel time savings Provides better service & attracts ridership Promotes economic development Capital cost is more affordable than fixed- guideway transit › Facilitates more even distribution of transit resources › Shorter implementation time Facilitates integration of modes and utilizes existing infrastructure
Many different levels of application of BRT features Sensitive to context, available budget, political support Time savings features are critical › Signal prioritization › Dedicated running way › Dedicated lanes, ramps, etc.
Most projects operate in mixed traffic for 50% or more of project › Primarily arterial streets › Dedicated running ways in corridors with very heavy congestion (example: Cleveland Euclid Corridor, New York M15 corridor) › Significant travel time savings achieved without dedicated running ways with relatively light congestion (example: Kansas City Troost corridor) Source: GAO
Help shape identity of BRT, portray premium service Amenities include (in descending order of popularity) › Route maps & schedules › Seating › Weather protection › Level boarding › Safety improvements › Greater curb width/raised curb › Next bus displays › Public art/landscaping › Bicycle parking › Physically separated passing lane › Station located in median › Park-ride
Important choice for project › Impacts ridership capacity, environmental friendliness, passenger comfort, overall image All low-floor vehicles Almost always lower emission; most common propulsion source is hybrid diesel electric Doors often on both sides or three-door boarding Easy wheelchair boarding capabilities to reduce loading time Docking/narrow lane guidance systems › Mechanical, magnetic or optical Source: GAO
Most projects allow onboard fare validation (same as typical bus service) (ex: Seattle, Kansas City, New York) Some projects offer off-board fare payment and proof-of-payment (ex: Salt Lake City, Cleveland, Eugene (OR), Reno) › May contribute to customers’ perception as high-quality service › Can generate travel time savings Source: GAO
Technology used to achieve travel time savings and increase ridership through superior passenger information › Also improves operational efficiency, quality of service and safety Most common features: › Traffic signal priority Extended greens Queue jumping › Vehicle tracking systems (monitor spacing and ensure connections)
All BRT systems include some branding & marketing to promote service › Strong branding important to shaping the identity of the line or system and attracting riders › Uniquely branded vehicles and stations › Many systems emphasize speed: “Max”; “Velociraptor”; “SWIFT”; “RAPID” › GCRTA sold naming rights for Health Line Source: GAO & UTA
Source: Parsons Brinkerhoff
Community Transit (Everett, WA) SWIFT SR 99 – Everett Station to Aurora Village Transit Center 16.7 miles 5 jurisdictions 28 stations 14 northbound 14 southbound
Swift Project Initial project cost – approximately $31.3 million for 16.7 miles • Approx cost per mile = $1.87 million • Almost half the cost is for the new vehicles • Project was $3.4 million under budget Project was fully funded by Federal & State grants; partnerships; and local revenues Also obtained multiple Grants and partnership funds for the 1st 3 years of Operating funds
Swift Timeline Only 4 years from Board Resolution to implementation!
Bus and paratransit system › 7.7 million boardings in FY11 › $32M operating budget › Introduced BRT as a business strategy Improve service Increase productivity Reduce operating cost (supplement with CMAQ) › BRT intended to make RTC more sustainable Provide a “greener” travel option to more people Promote economic development
Develop express and short haul feeder serviceOperate a higher level of service10-minute headways between 5:30 AM and 8:00 PM.New 30-minute local service, CONNECTFeed RAPID expressProvide 24-hour serviceSave $5.0M annually in local sales tax funds to offset remaining
City of Reno Master PlanElements Transit OrientedDevelopments / Regional Centers UNR Regional Center Plan South Virginia Street TOD Downtown Reno Regional Center Plan Convention Center/Meadowood Regional Center Plan Reno City Limits Virginia Street
Operational challenges overcome Productivity and ridership increased Stations reinforce supportive land uses and compliment TOD efforts of the City of Reno Cost cutting measures have helped but revenue is still going down CMAQ funding helped bridge the deepest part of the Great Recession; yet funding challenges still exist
Why highway corridors? › Location and trip patterns of people and jobs › Existing service not competitive › Inter-agency and inter-modal collaboration opportunities Highway corridor constraints › Economic development is limited along entire corridor; node-based focus › Long routes make dedicated right of way cost prohibitive › Connections to bus and bike/ped modes difficult › Connectivity to local transit is key, may require transfer
Alternatives Analysis study initiated September 2012 › Metro; EWGWCOG; MoDOT; St. Louis County; City of St. Louis 12-month study will identify two most competitive corridors Complete AA for two corridors, focusing on cost-effective modes Conclude with locally preferred alternative for two projects
Grand Avenue is a densely developed corridor and supports Metro’s busiest bus route Service problems include low travel speed and too little capacity Existing land use, ongoing development and recent investments › Enhanced transit service would leverage those investments
Short-term solution to capacity issues will likely be larger vehicles Pursuing feasibility study that would define a BRT project on Grand › Technology, service plan, running way, stations, etc. Strong leadership, regional consensus and federal funding are a must
Regional consensus about project priorities Transit-supportive land use Public buy-in Cost-effective projects Federal funding Leadership › Projects must have champions to succeed!
Plan for implementing a system of enhanced service Regional consensus & public support Detailed project definition › Will include Downtown St. Louis component Transit-supportive zoning & land use Federal funding An effective, sustainable multi-modal transportation system