Author Topic: "Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin  (Read 501 times)

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Offline Colin Butler

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"Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin
« on: July 07, 2015, 08:21:20 PM »
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Excuse my naivete, as I presume the following idea has been discussed and shelved - I would appreciate knowing its main flaws.

The idea is this: to avoid or at least postpone expensive light rail between Civic and Gunghalin: build a single bus lane along the Northbourne media strip - between the trees - use a "tidal" system - and keep that new lane only for express buses that don't have many stops .. and run say 8 a day in each direction (8 in the morning, 8 in the evening) .. other buses can keep where they already are  .. AND give those 16 buses the power to control most or all traffic lights .. so, you end up with 8 express services between Gunghalin and Civic each way .. if it proved so successful those buses were full then have double carriaged buses .. and if still full you increase the service to 10-20 over two hours morning and night (or 12-20 over 3 hours) .. all that would cost is the extra lane along the Northbourne media strip and the tricky problem around Flemington Rd, which I don't know well (except to comment, that if that really is a problem with the roads being too narrow there then why didn't the planners think this through 10-20 years ago?)

You could also do a trial of this for several months before deciding to build the extra lane - just run 8 or 10 or 12 express buses - but it wouldn't be as fast because even if you had a dedicated bus lane along Northbourne the fast buses would have to dodge the slow buses, and would sometimes have to go to the middle lane to overtake..

I suppose this would upset a lot of motorists on cross streets (lights unexpectedly turning red every 10 minutes as an express bus goes past) but maybe the lights could be programmed to stay green afterwards a bit longer, to compensate?

This would appear far cheaper to build than light rail and could be done very quickly - the trial with the express buses, the dedicated lane (part way) and the control of traffic lights could start this year, I would have thought.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 08:24:49 PM by Colin Butler »

Offline Bus 503

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Re: "Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2015, 09:13:22 PM »
This is a good idea, having less traffic congestion, speeding up travel time from point A: Gunghalin to point B:Civic
Coaches from Canberra to Sydney could also use this bus lane.





I suppose this would upset a lot of motorists on cross streets (lights unexpectedly turning red every 10 minutes as an express bus goes past) but maybe the lights could be programmed to stay green afterwards a bit longer, to compensate?


Motorists already have to put up with train crossings and tram crossings in other cities but in Canberra, you don't have any intersection that involves a train and a road - at least not any BUSY intersection. In other cities, trains and trams are going by just about every 15 minutes and when they get to a railway crossing, the train gets preference. 1 reason for this is typically because a train can simply topple a car which is not always a fun sight. Let's not go into that now.
If other motorists in other states have to stop at frequently at running railway crossings, then Canberra should be able to manage this too.

Also consider that a bus can only go about 95 in speed. If you want an express bus, it could be hard to get a bus to do 95 on a small lane. If light rail were to do the same task, it would probably be able to complete it faster, (about 140 km) and people living in the proposed new apartments on Northbourne Ave would not have to live with an annoying loud bus sound in peak hour.

Also, I wouldn't recomend bus stops in the middle of Northbourne. People want to get to Gungahlin to City FAST and not have to put up with stopping at: the motor registry, the visitor centre, fenner hall, Avenue hotel. An express gets to a destination fast, not slow.

And by the way, why does this bus way have to be from Gunghalin to Civic? Most people in Gungalin probably have cars and anyway, do people really want to catch a bus instead of drive their own lovely car?
I seem to think Belco to City and Tugg to City via Woden at high speed requires more attention. I'm not sure if the blue rapid route is going so well to plan. Cohen street, Westfield, Belconnen community, Eastern valley way, college street, Radford... Too many stops!
Why should money be spent from Gunners to Civic, not Belconnen to Civic with a high speed rail?

Anyway, let the discussion begin...
« Last Edit: July 07, 2015, 09:16:41 PM by Bus 503 »

Offline King of Buses

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Re: "Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2015, 09:53:58 PM »

Why should money be spent from Gunners to Civic, not Belconnen to Civic with a high speed rail?


I agree with the first part of this sentence.  The latter half...just no...
Spend the silly figure on improving the buses CANBERRA WIDE rather than just Gungahlin to Civic/Russell. Light Rail is a good idea, but not too well suited to the planned route and a bus priority system on Northbourne would be better. Bring the Red Rapid back to proper limited stops like when it was Redex and if you have to, have a supplementary all stops run every half hour or so.

One prominent reason people oppose light rail here is cause they don't live on the Gungahlin to City route. CITY wide benefits would make people happier...hence why bus improvements everywhere would be good...


By the way, I think this topic is posted in the wrong subsection. ..

Offline Bus 400

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Re: "Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2015, 10:31:08 PM »
A few years back, one of these was in the ACT Budget. But plans changed for a light rail network.

Unless you have a team starting from each town centre & building a light rail system towards the City. Which would cost millions upfront & upset everyone in Canberra with roadworks. You are going to have to start somewhere.

There are hundreds of shoeboxes for people to "live" in going up along Flemington Road every month. This will start to move down Northbourne Avenue in coming years. Since the road infrastructure on the north side is appauling. These people have to go places somehow. At the moment they sit on Gungahlin Drive or Flemington Road or Horse Park Drive for ages of a morning.

The Southside was lucky in only having one or two bottlenecks (depending on where the Civic workers have to Facebook seeing a car on the side of the road on the Tuggeranong  Parkway). While northsiders have to suffer in multiple locations per a suburb. So let them have the light rail first, in fact extending light rail to Kingston would be the perfect finish to the Kingston Foreshore project.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 01:20:30 PM by Barry Drive »

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: "Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2015, 10:20:31 AM »
Light Rail is a good idea, but not too well suited to the planned route ...
I disagree. Light Rail is ideally suited to the planned route. The best usage of Light Rail is a frequent stopping pattern along a fairly straight route with evenly balanced demand along the route.

What Light Rail is not suitable for is longer distances with limited stopping (e.g City to Belconnen, City to Woden, City to Tuggeranong) - these are more suited to heavy rail or express buses.

But I digress. The original question was "what are the flaws in a tidal bus lane in the median of Northbourne Avenue".

Number 1: the National Capital Authority would never approve it. It is likely that they wouldn't approve of any modifications to the median be it bus lane, O-Bahn, monorail, elevated mag-lev rail or super pods, except for Light Rail. Why? Because the Northbourne Ave median was specifically designed to include Light Rail - and thus maintain the grass and trees.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 11:10:50 AM by Barry Drive »

Offline The Love Guru

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Re: "Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2015, 11:43:40 AM »

What Light Rail is not suitable for is longer distances with limited stopping (e.g City to Belconnen, City to Woden, City to Tuggeranong) - these are more suited to heavy rail or express buses.


Just like the City to Gungahlin Route, great if you live along the route, near f###ing useless as a transport option for those who need to travel further. They should stop pretending that the tram is an acceptable replacement for express bus services to the City for Gungahlin residents (those not within walking distance of the tram), and focus on the multi stop, medium/high denisty housing along the route. Though as is usual of the ACT Government, rather than coming up with the best solution for everyone, come up with a half assed solution that will lead to increases in congestion and car dependency.

Offline Bus 503

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Re: "Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2015, 11:46:43 AM »
And why build a road that would only be used during peak hour? Waste of space during daylight time....

When people look down NB ave, they see tress and nice grass in the middle. In most people's eyes, I don't think they want to see a road with pink splattered all over it which reads: BUS LANE ONLY. And people won't get to see the very nice wrong sort of trees planted along the median strip.

Also, I wonder who this project would be funded... Not units on NB ave please!

I disagree. Light Rail is ideally suited to the planned route. The best usage of Light Rail is a frequent stopping pattern along a fairly straight route with evenly balanced demand along the route.

Why frequent stopping? Light rail would be USELESS if it stopped all the time at the proposed 13 stops. It would take just as long by car as it would by light rail. Will people give up their comfortable warm car and take a crowded slow tram instead? I don't think so. And the name "light rail?" I hardly think that it is that anymore. I think people call it "The tram" these days as a tram stops every hundred meters - capital metro? More like Yarra trams.

And, why is light rail not suitable for long runs? If it was heavy rail, I hardly think it would get the patronage it needed and would be heaps more expensive than Lightrail. Wasn't Canberra supposed to be connected via town centres? Belco, City, Woden Tuggy and maybe Gunners? The best way to connect the town centres is to have a high speed light rail network that travels at 150ks and gets people to their destination FAST so they don't have to take a car reducing congestion and also reducing the amount of roads that need to be built.

One more thing, if you have a bus only lane on NB ave, with buses doing 80 km in peak hour, ever thought of the cost of maintaining the road to make sure it continues to be smooth and nice? If you have a poor government who spends all their money on roads like exdending Gunners drive and building more roads, you'll most likely get cheap bumpy and noisy resurfacing of the bus lane - Nice!

« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 12:16:20 PM by Barry Drive »

Offline Barry Drive

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Re: "Tidal" express buses from Civic to Gungalin
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 12:40:12 PM »
Under the current terminology, "Light Rail" refers to systems which operate exclusively (or predominantly) on its own right-of-way; "trams" or "street cars" refers to systems which run on a shared track in a road.

Melbourne, therefore, is mostly trams with some light rail operations (such as 96). Adelaide which uses the term "Glenelg Tram" for historical reasons is mostly a light rail system.

Since the proposed Capital Metro will operate along the median, it qualifies as Light Rail. (Although not as a "Metro", but that's another story.)

Why frequent stopping? In order to run light rail over longer distances without stopping, you need to have the passenger demand to make it worthwhile. Frequent stopping increases the potential passenger demand.

And, why is light rail not suitable for long runs?
Have you ever ridden on a tram/light rail vehicle for long distances? They are deliberately designed for quick trips - limited and (usually) uncomfortable seating with maximised standing area. In my opinion (one which certain light rail proponents may not share), they are good for maybe 20 minute journeys at most.

The best way to connect the town centres is to have a high speed light rail network that travels at 150ks and gets people to their destination FAST
No such thing as a high speed light rail. Certainly not one that travels at 150 km/h. Even the heavy rail from Perth to Mandurah only gets up to 120 km/h. Mag-lev might handle those speeds, but as well as being way too expensive, see above: NCA wouldn't approve it.

Offline Bus 503

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Under the current terminology, "Light Rail" refers to systems which operate exclusively (or predominantly) on its own right-of-way; "trams" or "street cars" refers to systems which run on a shared track in a road.

Melbourne, therefore, is mostly trams with some light rail operations (such as 96.)


Why frequent stopping? In order to run light rail over longer distances without stopping, you need to have the passenger demand to make it worthwhile. Frequent stopping increases the potential passenger demand.
Have you ever ridden on a tram/light rail vehicle for long distances? They are deliberately designed for quick trips - limited and (usually) uncomfortable seating with maximised standing area. In my opinion (one which certain light rail proponents may not share), they are good for maybe 20 minute journeys at most.
No such thing as a high speed light rail. Certainly not one that travels at 150 km/h. Even the heavy rail from Perth to Mandurah only gets up to 120 km/h. Mag-lev might handle those speeds, but as well as being way too expensive, see above: NCA wouldn't approve it.
Okay then, I admit it, Lightrail can only go to up to a maximum speed of 100km WITH A GOOD QUALITY VEHICLE.

But why have so many stops for Lightrail if you want to get to your destination fast. As people have so much time pressure these days, people want to get from point A to point B as fast as possible and the only way they are going to do that is minimising stops, having none at all or having a light rail vehicle that can travel 100km.

If people could get from City to Belco in 10/15 minutes, people would be happy to take light rail at a cheap cost of $2.50 per ride and if worked in civic, could quickly catch the light rail to Belco, eat at the food court for lunch and be back in 45 mins. City to Woden would also work if you could get a Lightrail vehicle to go down Yarra Glen where there is plenty of space and get to Woden in 10 minutes - it's not impossible!
As I said earlier, why Lightrail Gunners to City when they have Caswell/Tuggers parkway and Majura parkway? More transport for people who already have cars and don't need more? What a waste!
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 06:07:46 PM by Bus 503 »