Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The impact of the LRT on users of routes #30 and #31

Currently if you use the #30 or #31 to get downtown, the trip takes about 30 to 38 minutes to get from Royal Oak Exchange to Douglas at Fort.  The morning commute being close to 31 minutes and the afternoon one being around 37 minutes.

With the LRT, the #30 and #31 will end at Uptown and people will have to transfer to the LRT.    The time to get from the bus to the LRT and vice versa will take about 2 minutes.   There will be waiting time to board the bus or the LRT.   Using the five minute peak hour headway of the LRT and 8 minute headway of the buses and that on average you will wait for half of that time, going into town you will add 2.5 minutes to your trip and going home it will be 4 minutes.

I have looked through everything on offer and every thing indicates that the time for the LRT to get between downtown and Uptown will have roughly the same as buses currently take.  

I personally think the LRT may end up taking longer because it is more than three times as long as current buses.  They are 40 metres long and the blocks south of Bay are almost all only 77 metres long.   You can not have two LRTs on the same block.  The LRTs can not pass each other meaning a delay for any LRT will mean all of them are delayed.   I will write a lot more on this later, but there are some huge logistical issues in the downtown core no one is thinking about with respect to the LRT.

With the LRT, the Royal Oak to Fort and Douglas trip will take about 35 to 36 minutes.   Going northbound in the afternoon this will be 43 minutes.  If the separate lanes work, there might be a 6 minute afternoon savings.  

  • Total travel time now there and back in peak hours:   68 minutes
  • Total travel time with the LRT there and back in peak hours:  72 to 79 minutes
  • Increase in travel time is 5.9% to 16.2%

This is 38 extra minutes in travel time a week or over 28 hours in a year.

The people coming into town in the mornings on the #30 and #31 will be dealing with standing room only on the LRT as the LRT should in theory already be full when it arrives at Uptown.  Not only is your reading of a book or paper interrupted with a transfer, going into town you are unlikely to be able to continue reading.

The extra 28 hours of travel time applies to anyone that currently uses the #30 or #31 for their daily commute, the transfer is the cause of all of it.   As an example, for people that currently use the #30 or #31 to get from somewhere like Glanford and Vanalman to Mayfair mall, the current trip time of 15 to 17 minutes will change to 20 to 23 minutes.

For transit users from Royal Oak area, the LRT is going to have no benefits and only cause an increase in frustration.
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