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July 06, 2006

Attacking bus rapid transit won’t get light rail built

As momentum builds for the Metro Transit Now! proposal, pro-transit, as well as traditional foes are attacking bus rapid transit (BRT), as a poor investment and as inferior to light rail. 

I’m a huge fan of rail, and I strongly support building new light rail lines rail from downtown Seattle to the Eastside and to Northgate with the 2007 Sound Transit Phase 2.  But my support for new rail is in no way in place of my support for BRT.

Critics attack the Transit Now! proposal as not “real” rapid transit, and criticize Metro for not having a good plan.  Metro’s new RapidRide routes will work when the cities partner with Metro to create bus only lanes, traffic light priority and pre-paid platforms to allow for quick boarding.  The extra long buses have up to five doors that can be fully utilized when the pre-paid bus stops are used.

The key issue here is the importance of creating transit corridors in this region.  New rail lines take time, and a major capital investment.  RapidRide routes can be implemented quickly and will improve mobility for major areas of King County.  Metro, and King County Executive Ron Sims are smart to include the RapidRide routes as part of a critical investment in new transit service.

Cross Posted on Urban Transit

Posted by EzraBasom on July 6, 2006 at 05:58 PM in Policy | Permalink

Comments

I'm with you. The more public transit, the better. Let's get what we can in the near-term while planning for the future. Thanks.

Posted by: Lynn | Jul 6, 2006 10:45:24 PM

I live in S Florida and we voted on a referandum
6 years ago to get mass transit from miami to
orlando. It passed, but was never funded.
No train left behind...

I hope you guys can figure a great way to
ensure funding - and then tell other states.
Florida is a very tough state for grass roots -
esp outside of Miami...
good luck and lets hope that change is in the air!

Posted by: np | Oct 31, 2006 7:56:53 PM

Light Rail is a Disaster !

Boston does best of All the light rail systems , recovering 58% of Costs.

Moving one Passenger One mile costs 6 cents via freeway and 2.75 via Light Rail.

Posted by: pat | Feb 1, 2007 12:39:00 PM

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