Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekend Articles

Route 76 bus at an El Cerrito del Norte BART station bus bay with bike mountedImage via WikipediaA few articles of note from todays media including articles about the BRT line on 3500 South, an historical article about rail transit in Utah County and a land owner that is not happy with the offer he is getting for his land.

'Bus Rapid Transit' coming soon to 3500 South

First the article about the so-called bus rapid transit line along 3500 South. There has already been delays to the start up of the service due to problems from the manufacturer Van Hool. Van Hool buses are already being used in Oakland by AC Transit and VIVA an agency outside of Toronto. Hopefully UTA will have better luck than those agencies have had in maintaining a bus that is largely going to be an orphan of the fleet.

UTA is claiming a 15-minute savings over the regular route 35, however probably a third of more of that can be directly contributed to not making the UTA Headquarters jog that the current 35 makes.

It seems that most of the BRT propaganda includes the byline that BRT is just like light rail but only cheaper. However, it should be noted that the cost of BRT is only cheaper if you are not comparing equal systems. However, if you attempt to build a BRT line with the same carrying capacity of Light Rail, your true capital cost would be higher, and you would have to add additional operating cost since Light Rail can carry more people at a lesser cost per passenger.

Ridership numbers will be interesting to watch. Their current estimates of 1500 is about 50% more than the old 37, now 35 did going back many years. However, the best that BRT has seemed to do is attract about 13% new riders to transit and that was create new dynamics such as the case of Los Angele's route 720 that combined the Wilshire Line and the Whittier Blvd line into one market thus giving a one seat ride that didn't currently exist.

Mass transit an old idea in Utah County

This is a really nice article showing the early history of rail transit from Utah County to Salt Lake City.

Land Owner says UTA didn't Offer him Fair Deal

Finally there is this article from FOX 13. This is one of those situations that you can see both sides of issue and want to see a fair ending. My guess is the real answer is probably somewhere in the middle. After all most people think what they own is worth more than it actually is. How many people go into car lots to get rid of their car and think it is worth so much more than it actually is? I guess we come attached to something and it takes on more value than reality.

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