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Building a Better Metro: Possibilities for BRT

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Building a Better Metro: Possibilities for BRT

  1. 1.  Overview of BRT Options Peer Examples Opportunities for BRT in St. Louis How could BRT create a more livable St. Louis region?
  2. 2.  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
  3. 3.  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.
  4. 4. Source: GAO
  5. 5.  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
  6. 6.  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
  7. 7.  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
  8. 8.  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
  9. 9.  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)
  10. 10.  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
  11. 11. Source: Parsons Brinkerhoff
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. Swift Timeline Only 4 years from Board Resolution to implementation!
  15. 15.  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
  16. 16. Develop express and short haul feeder serviceOperate a higher level of service10-minute headways between 5:30 AM and 8:00 PM.New 30-minute local service, CONNECTFeed RAPID expressProvide 24-hour serviceSave $5.0M annually in local sales tax funds to offset remaining
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18.  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
  19. 19.  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
  20. 20.  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
  21. 21.  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
  22. 22.  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
  23. 23.  Regional consensus about project priorities Transit-supportive land use Public buy-in Cost-effective projects Federal funding Leadership › Projects must have champions to succeed!
  24. 24.  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

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