Thursday, January 24, 2008

More on the Busway

Today there are some open houses here in town about the busway. I will be going to the one at the Sandman on Douglas this afternoon.

I have had some comments about what I have had to say about transit in this region so I will respond to some of the issues raised.

Many people out there are still sold on rail transit versus buses. In all the looking I have done over the past few weeks, I can not find a business case that supports the concept of rail transit for this region. There is nothing out there. How does one pay for the hundreds of millions it will cost to built the most basic single short rail transit line? Where will the money come from? How will we pay for the operation of the line? Where does the money come from?????

We do have examples of successful express bus systems. I have been very impressed with what Ottawa put into place. The system works very well and cost a lot less to build than a rail system and has more flexible. The B Lines in Vancouver are also examples of good bus options for transit.

Buses have so much a higher degree of flexibility. If traffic demands it, you can easily add more buses or use higher capacity buses. If traffic is low, you use small buses. If a route needs to shift a bit, there is the ability to do so as the demand changes.

Here in Victoria the major bus routes have been stopping at the same locations for decades. Their routing has not changed but their frequency has. The routes are well known and consistent.

Putting the busway along Blanshard makes no sense given the logistics of getting the buses to their intended destinations.

More later, I have to go into town now.
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