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  • West LRT | Downtown to Lewis Estates | Discussion about other possible routes

    Please use this thread to discuss alternatives to the approved route for WLRT
    this is the old thread: http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...read.php?t=105

    To discussion conceptual ideas behind the approved wLRT route, please use this thread

    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...d.php?p=303289
    A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

  • #2
    An advantage often claimed for the SPR route is that the larger number of stations (up to 12 when the downtown connector is included) makes the system more accessible than the 4 stations needed for the 87 Avenue route. What this overlooks is that there are in fact 11 stations on the 87 Avenue route. It's just that 7 of them (Health Sciences to Churchill) are already built and paid for.

    Moreover, as the South LRT (with just 4 stations south of Health Sciences) will undoubtedly show when ridership numbers become available later this year, it's not the number of stations that determines ridership but convenient bus connections, availability of park and ride especially at the end of lines, service frequency, and fast travel times.

    Comment


    • #3
      ^ not the I'm fond of the approved route, but wouldn't more stations provide even more people with access to it? The approved route covers a lot of area that isn't covered by the previous recommended routing of 87th avenue?

      I like both routes... I think 87th avenue should be built as high floor, and the SPR route should terminate at Jasper Place, or continue west/northwest from there, and not go to WEM...
      A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

      Comment


      • #4
        A loop heading north to 107 ave/Westmout/111 ave to 124 st abd back downtown via 104 ave wuld work well for a low floor route.

        Comment


        • #5
          Medwards, there are trade-offs between the number of stations and travel times. For high speed transit the number of stations should not unduly compromise travel times otherwise ridership will drop. One of the aspects of the Stantec/ISL report I really liked is the great analysis of the different types of public transit (e.g. local buses, express buses, bus rapid transit, and LRT) and the different functions served by each. Figure 2.4 sums up the differences. Here's a link:
          http://webdocs.edmonton.ca/occtopusd...chment%205.pdf

          Highlander has made a similar point. Instead of a clear-headed analysis of what types of transit would best serve different parts of the West End (e.g. Oliver, Glenora, Jasper Place, or the far West End), the SPR route tries to achieve all of them but risks achieving none of them well.

          Comment


          • #6
            ^LRT though is fundamentally designed as a system that thrives on multiple stops. The vehicles are capable of quick acceleration and deceleration, so that stops do not meaningful impact on commute times. Not using that capability defeats the point in spending so much on the system. If you want a point to point system, then an express bus is the way to go.

            Comment


            • #7
              Something that seems to get left out of discussions of the WLRT route is that the 87 Ave and Stony Plain Road routes turned out to be pretty much even on most counts -- about the same number of passengers (35-36 thousand the first day), about the same cost (around $1.1 Billion each), and about the same travel time (around 22 minutes from Lewis Estates to downtown). There are tradeoffs in each case. On passengers, 87 Ave benefits from more west end students heading to the University, but collects fewer people east of 156 Street or north of 95 Ave. 87 Ave might use the "built and paid for" line from Health Sciences to Churchill, but the money it saves doing that it spends on a new river crossing.
              And as for using the downtown tunnel for the West LRT line, part of the problem, I think, is that the South LRT is projected to have twice as many riders as the West LRT (90-100 thousand a day vs. 45-50 thousand). So out of the 24 trains an hour that can fit through the tunnel, the South would need 16, and the West would get 8, leaving a maximum frequency for all time on the West Line of one train every 7.5 minutes in rush hour.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think that if the LRT is built from WEM to University (which could be a big route in 15-20 years), perhaps issues like land acquisition could be dealt with if a premium bus route is built from South Campus to WEM is introduced.
                "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ajb View Post
                  And as for using the downtown tunnel for the West LRT line, part of the problem, I think, is that the South LRT is projected to have twice as many riders as the West LRT (90-100 thousand a day vs. 45-50 thousand). So out of the 24 trains an hour that can fit through the tunnel, the South would need 16, and the West would get 8, leaving a maximum frequency for all time on the West Line of one train every 7.5 minutes in rush hour.
                  Where did you get those numbers? Maybe from an old plan that had millwoods funneled into SLRT? I recall a rough ridership map that had the south line with more passengers than any other, but it was a small difference, SLRT and the bit of NE up to Coliseum were the 'over 70,000' colour and WEM was in the 50,000-70,000 range. Maybe from an old plan that had millwoods funneled into SLRT?
                  In any case, there is capacity for more than 24 trains per hour in the tunneled section of the route. subways regularly run at 30TPH, to as high as 40TPH with computer control.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by moahunter View Post
                    ^LRT though is fundamentally designed as a system that thrives on multiple stops. The vehicles are capable of quick acceleration and deceleration, so that stops do not meaningful impact on commute times. Not using that capability defeats the point in spending so much on the system. If you want a point to point system, then an express bus is the way to go.
                    Quick acceleration/deceleration is only one of the advantages of LRT. LRT's other advantages over bus include low operating costs (big vehicles) and capacity that a bus can't match.

                    Stops are less of an issue with faster acceleration, but you have to acknowledge that there is a point where what you say is no longer true. You've said before that you don't like the 200m stop spacing that many ETS bus routes 'enjoy',and at least in dry conditions a 40' diesel bus can brake fast enough to be uncomfortable and accelerate fast enough that if you're standing you really need to be holding on. The

                    The thing is that a single additional stop makes only a small difference, but a 10 extra stops will amount to at least 5 minutes, which is enough to make a big difference to a lot of people.

                    That doesn't mean that the number of stations on the Proposed WLRT is too many. But how many stops if too many depends heavily on the length of the line and the length of the typical trip. It's pretty clear to me that with the number of stops on the proposed WLRT suggestions of extending the line to Spruce Grove are ridiculous. It's also pretty clear that the route will serve just fine for riders in jasper place, and even meadowlark if they're going downtown. But it's not clear at all that with the proposed stop spacing WLRT will be an attractive alternative for those who would like to use it for a crosstown trip, or who will have to bus to get to it at WEM or beyond. It makes a joke of the whole 'focus on downtown' thing if we can't get riders to and through downtown fast enough, so they end up avoiding the downtown route and using peripheral alternatives instead.

                    For anyone interested in this issue, I suggest visiting www.humantransit.org. There are several other great posts on his blog about stop spacing challenges.
                    Last edited by highlander; 23-07-2010, 07:54 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ajb View Post
                      Something that seems to get left out of discussions of the WLRT route is that the 87 Ave and Stony Plain Road routes turned out to be pretty much even on most counts -- about the same number of passengers (35-36 thousand the first day), about the same cost (around $1.1 Billion each), and about the same travel time (around 22 minutes from Lewis Estates to downtown). There are tradeoffs in each case. On passengers, 87 Ave benefits from more west end students heading to the University, but collects fewer people east of 156 Street or north of 95 Ave. 87 Ave might use the "built and paid for" line from Health Sciences to Churchill, but the money it saves doing that it spends on a new river crossing.
                      And as for using the downtown tunnel for the West LRT line, part of the problem, I think, is that the South LRT is projected to have twice as many riders as the West LRT (90-100 thousand a day vs. 45-50 thousand). So out of the 24 trains an hour that can fit through the tunnel, the South would need 16, and the West would get 8, leaving a maximum frequency for all time on the West Line of one train every 7.5 minutes in rush hour.
                      The Calgary South LRT line carries 86,100 riders a day right now. And that's with 3 cars trains.
                      http://www.calgarytransit.com/html/t...formation.html

                      Based on 5 car trains, the South LRT could easily carry 100,000-120,000 riders per day on a 5 minute peak period frequency. And I think you're underestimating the potential ridership for West LRT if the 87 Avenue route is used. The network should be an X. Lewis Estates to Clareview and Century Park to St. Albert both with a 5 minute peak period frequency. This would mean a 2.5 minute peak period frequency in the interlined section from Health Sciences to Churchill.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        @East McCauley: The ridership estimates for 87 Ave vs. Stony Plain Road come from the final public hearing before the route was chosen:

                        http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...ec15_final.pdf

                        @Highlander: we're getting our statistics from the same map, found on page 15 here, where it also comes with numbers:
                        http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...esentation.pdf

                        If you look closely, the projection is for 70 000 to 120 000/day all the way down to Southgate, and for 30-70 thousand for the South line beyond Southgate and for the entire West line. So there's a benefit to having extra trains on the south line, turning back before the end of the line, to handle that extra demand and better balance loads.
                        The WLRT and SELRT are projected to have similar ridership, which makes them a natural pairing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another way to balance loads would be to run shorter trains on the 87 Avenue West LRT, for example 3 car trains compared to 5 car trains on the South LRT.

                          And one of the reasons for the load imbalances on the South line is because riders from the West End headed to the University (or in some cases Downtown) are required to take the bus to South Campus and then transfer, rather than being able to take the train directly to the University and Downtown.

                          I find it interesting that the City's UK-based consultants found that ridership on SPR and 87 Avenue would be about equal when a few years earlier, the City's Edmonton-based consultants (Stantec) found that ridership would be 30% higher using 87 Avenue compared to the more northerly routes.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, the NE and NW lines are projected to have very similar ridership, so if you have 3-car trains on the WLRT, and 5-car trains on the SLRT, you'll need to have a more complicated system, where alternate trains on both the NE and NW lines head south and west. Certainly not impossible, but it does add a further complication.
                            Certainly, the argument does rest on ridership projections. If the city's current projections are wrong (and the earlier ones you cite are right), then their plan is a lot less sensible. But if their current numbers are right, then there's very little reason to consider the 87 Ave line. These are long-term projections based on a metro population of over 3 million, so I'm guessing they're taking into account the possibility of redevelopment along the SPR line, which the earlier study may not have done.
                            If you live west of 156 St, and you're heading downtown, it doesn't matter which line gets built -- they both have stations in the same places, and they'll both take about the same time to get there.
                            If you live west of 156, and are going to the University, 87 Ave would be better, except that the SPR proposal includes premium bus service from the West End to the University. The bus service can run a variety of different routes in the West, before heading down Whitemud to the University, so in some ways it could be more convenient than LRT.
                            If you live east of 156, or north of 95 Ave, the 87 Ave line is no use to you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ^an advantage of the downtown connector once it is completed is it will be very easy to balance loads and have different train sizes. I expect for example, some of the Millwoods trains to just run downtown to the legislature on peak hours. It is hard to tell though, I think Jasper Place has a lot of potential (156 street, and Jasper place are already quite dense). With the SPR route, the line will still benefit from ridership increases as sprawl growth continues, but will also reap the benefits of infill projects like Molson/Jasper Gates, VFC, and others I am sure will go ahead now. More track at a much lower cost per kilometer gives us more redevelopment potential, and putting it through communities maximizes that even more compared to through a river valley or on a rail ROW (i.e. NE LRT).

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