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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:00 pm 
Godzilla
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
Bike paths would also make me happy. I would like to be able to get from Clintonville to Downtown on a path where I wouldn't have to see cars...

I'm not the most confidant bike rider...


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:09 pm 
Godzilla

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:37 pm
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I heard an interview with someone from a think tank recently (how do you get a job at a think tank? what do you do all day?), perhaps Cato Institute.

While governments tout the success of their streetcar system, the streetcar system doesn't bring development. It might be one piece that brings business to the area, but what brings the development is tax abatements and other subsidies from gov't.

I think this is a boondoggle idea and an unreal waste of $$. It will cost $100+ million dollars for 2.8 miles and if they do expand it, it will cost hundreds of millions more. Meanwhile people will keep streaming out of Columbus to get out of a shitty school district, away from higher crime, and neighborhoods full of trashed, foreclosed homes.

The Short North/Arena District is a nicely developed area that I spend a lot of time in. When I go there, I can park close enough that I don't mind walking however many blocks/miles to get to my destination. If I choose to go to the Gateway, I drive and park near there too. I can't see any need for me to use a streetcar except for the novelty of it.

Columbus is the chain restaurant capital of the nation (or so appears) and I doubt that they can do any development along High Street that doesn't already exist that will bring suburbanites flocking downtown. Especially when they have to pay higher parking fees and what amounts to a streetcar tax on event tickets.

If Coleman is insistent on pushing the street cars then charge a fee to ride the streetcars that covers the cost. If it happens to be $4 per ride, then so be it. Charging concert-goers and others who come to the "benefit" area is lame. It is easy to increase the parking fee since it will more greatly impact suburbanites who aren't in Coleman's voting constituency.

I agree, push more bike paths, and other forms of pedestrian friendly transportation. Get people walking and moving.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:20 pm 
Godzilla
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bnb614 wrote:
If it happens to be $4 per ride, then so be it.


...and that would still be cheaper than a cab ride through that stretch, unless you're splitting the cab 2-3 ways.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:26 pm 
Jet Jaguar

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:38 pm
Posts: 166
mcgob wrote:
Does Kenosha stink like paper mills? That's a bracing Wisconsin smell that I grew to love (i.e., hate) when I lived there. Maybe Columbus could be the next Menasha, Wisconsin. They may not have streetcars, but they reek of paper making. Tourists love that.


What's funny is that it's not even Menasha that stinks, it's Kaukauna but the stink travels far enough to make the surrounding communities smell too. (edit: nevermind, Menasha stinks on it's own too, just nowhere near close to as bad as Kaukauna.) Still, I'll take the smell of Kaukauna over the smell of the far west side of Green Bay over by where 29 and 41 connect during the summer where they render animal parts that don't make it into our food.


Last edited by sqr on Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:31 pm 
Jet Jaguar

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:38 pm
Posts: 166
bnb614 wrote:
Columbus is the chain restaurant capital of the nation (or so appears)


Seriously. Columbus is HORRIBLE for food. Possibly the worst city I've ever been in food-wise. Even simple thing like pizza, never would have thought of Green Bay as a great pizza town, but that place has a fraction of the population of Columbus and I can name three pizza places in the area I lived in there that are significantly better than all the places everyone around here says are the best.

What is there for cheap food here too? We have so much cheap authentic Mexican food in Green Bay. Mom and pop taquerias where you can get a day's worth of food for under five bucks. Haven't even found a decent burrito here yet.

The only place people really recommend to me regularly is the Dube and I have to think it's because of the waitresses and the fact that it's nearby, because it definitely is not cheap and the food ain't that good.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:23 pm 
Godzilla

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:37 pm
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Location: The Gettin' Place
sqr wrote:
bnb614 wrote:
Columbus is the chain restaurant capital of the nation (or so appears)


Seriously. Columbus is HORRIBLE for food.


There was an article in the Dispatch Sunday about chain restaurants that have success here and are opening more and more restaurants. There are good independently owned places (Tip Top, Surly Girl, Club 185, Brown Bag Deli, etc) that I frequent, but overall the independent (non-chain) restaurant market here isn't that great.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:24 pm 
Godzilla

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:37 pm
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Location: The Gettin' Place
Jawbreaker wrote:
bnb614 wrote:
If it happens to be $4 per ride, then so be it.


...and that would still be cheaper than a cab ride through that stretch, unless you're splitting the cab 2-3 ways.


I agree, but it won't cost $103,000,000 to get cabs in the City and I won't have to subsidize a portion of someone's cab fare.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:32 pm 
King Ghidorah
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corggirl wrote:
Bike paths would also make me happy. I would like to be able to get from Clintonville to Downtown on a path where I wouldn't have to see cars...

I'm not the most confidant bike rider...


There is a bike path from Clintonville to Downtown, the Olentangy Multi-use Trail.

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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:56 pm 
Godzilla
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
How do I access said trail?


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:03 pm 
Godzilla
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I think you can get on at the Park of Roses or on Broadway depending on where you live in Clintonville. The trail used to get pretty hairy by tuttle park.

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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:40 pm 
Godzilla
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sqr wrote:

The only place people really recommend to me regularly is the Dube


anyone, and i do mean anyone who recommends the dube to you is fucking with you and should be smacked in the face with a shovel.

seriously.

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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:50 pm 
Godzilla
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corggirl wrote:
How do I access said trail?


the closest access point to yer house is probably in olentangy village...lemme know if you need specifics.

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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:51 am 
Godzilla
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girl.e wrote:
corggirl wrote:
How do I access said trail?


the closest access point to yer house is probably in olentangy village...lemme know if you need specifics.


You can also catch it at Como Park (is that what it's called?) down where Pacemont/California dead end at the river.

Look out for perverts!


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:57 am 
King Ghidorah

Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:53 pm
Posts: 547
bnb614 wrote:
While governments tout the success of their streetcar system, the streetcar system doesn't bring development. It might be one piece that brings business to the area, but what brings the development is tax abatements and other subsidies from gov't.


Sorry, but I've read about 30 different studies that say otherwise...I'll keep that ahead of "some guy you heard on some radio show from some think tank"

Quote:
Meanwhile people will keep streaming out of Columbus to get out of a shitty school district, away from higher crime, and neighborhoods full of trashed, foreclosed homes.


Only they're not...the population in Columbus and the surrounding areas continues to expand while the rest of the state falls. As does the GDP.

Quote:
The Short North/Arena District is a nicely developed area that I spend a lot of time in. When I go there, I can park close enough that I don't mind walking however many blocks/miles to get to my destination. If I choose to go to the Gateway, I drive and park near there too.


1. You're not a tourist or visitor, particularly a conventioner.
2. That parking and driving mentality is exactly the reason for better public transportation.

Quote:
Columbus is the chain restaurant capital of the nation (or so appears) and I doubt that they can do any development along High Street that doesn't already exist that will bring suburbanites flocking downtown. Especially when they have to pay higher parking fees and what amounts to a streetcar tax on event tickets.


Suburbanites flocked there for City Center for years. Regardless, it isn't necessarily about pulling in suburbanites, it's also about pulling in corporate interests who put their offices and headquarters along the line in the 36 underdeveloped acres because they see a real commitment to modern public transit.

Quote:
If Coleman is insistent on pushing the street cars then charge a fee to ride the streetcars that covers the cost. If it happens to be $4 per ride, then so be it. Charging concert-goers and others who come to the "benefit" area is lame. It is easy to increase the parking fee since it will more greatly impact suburbanites who aren't in Coleman's voting constituency.


Between the 500,000 that OSU is contributing, fares (at the price currently forecast), the naming/advertising revenue, the operation is set to about break even...unlike roads, busing, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:23 am 
Godzilla
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Quote:
Sorry, but I've read about 30 different studies that say otherwise...I'll keep that ahead of "some guy you heard on some radio show from some think tank.


I think your going to have to do better than linking to 800 page document by a special-interest lobby (http://www.apta.com/).


Quote:
Only they're not...the population in Columbus and the surrounding areas continues to expand while the rest of the state falls. As does the GDP.


I think the data clearly shows that the growth is outside of Columbus. Can you provide the source for the GDP number?

Quote:
1. You're not a tourist or visitor, particularly a conventioner.


For someone claiming to be a cultural advocate, it's a little strange to see such an affinity for tourism.

Quote:
2. That parking and driving mentality is exactly the reason for better public transportation.


This is chicken/egg problem that New Urbanism has failed to solve (but that's a greater/separate thread)

Quote:
corporate interests who put their offices and headquarters along the line in the 36 underdeveloped acres because they see a real commitment to modern public transit.


I fail to see how transportation from Campus to Downtown is going to get suburban companies to locate downtown, especially when all their workers live not only outside Downtown, but outside of Columbus.


Quote:
Between the 500,000 that OSU is contributing, fares (at the price currently forecast), the naming/advertising revenue, the operation is set to about break even...unlike roads, busing, etc.


A overwhelming majority of the costs will be paid for in hidden fees/taxes. Why not put an explicit tax up for a vote? The answer is obvious. Obfuscating the costs is the first step in "Government Boondoggle"

RE: Busses, isn't COTA always claiming some sort of financial distress? What makes you think the Government is any more competent to run a rail system which, if fully implemented, will be much more complex?

For the record, I'm not really against the idea as such--just the government engaging in another boondoggle...and the view of this as some sort of panacea, reeks of desperation.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:36 am 
King Ghidorah

Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:53 pm
Posts: 547
1. Studies: There are more than 20 cities who have done a streetcar, starterline conept in the last X number of years. Each one has a feasibility study available from before it was done and a report card available after. I've read probably 15 of those. While yes, you can't determine absolute causality for streetcar=development, I can say that when all those pre-build studies forecast X amount of development...and all those post build report cards show that much or more...it tends to provide as strong a link as you're going to find, IMO.

2. 2.5% GDP growth in 2007
http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/sto ... 8&ana=e_du
And no, Franklin County saw a population increase in 2007, as well as surrounding counties. In fact, Franklin County's was the most significant in number.

3. The reason I'm touting tourism, is that part of the Danter study this project is based on forecasts 90,000 additional visitors to the city per year, resulting in the need for 300 additional hotel rooms, and generation of 3000 jobs. Even if you simply consider the streetcar one additional amenity for convention business, I think it's a large enough amenity to generate a 3% increase easily...which is 90,000 visitors.

4. Again, this is a starter line. Just like the starter lines in all the other cities that have seen exactly that kind of corporate commitment follow their building of their lines. I don't claim to be an executive determining where to place a large headquarters, I simply know that in every other case...when they built the line, the corporate development followed.

5. COTA is actually getting a huge cash influx this month that will enable them to almost double their operational hours among other things. I don't see COTA as horribly mismanaged, personally, I just see the bus in Columbus as somewhat stigmatized and believe part of that is inherent fear in learning schedules, transfers, etc. You don't seem to have that with a rail system, at least this is what other cities have seen. As far as the costs being obfuscated in other fees, I think it's actually the smart way to go. A 4% increase in admissions over 10.00 isn't going to stop anyone from attending anything, IMO, and a marginal increase in parking meters won't either. Again, those are opinions, but I find it very hard to believe that someone is going to pass on attending a 50.00 concert because the tickets cost 2.00 more and parking an extra 75 cents or a dollar.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:37 am 
Godzilla

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:37 pm
Posts: 2487
Location: The Gettin' Place
PinheadFestival wrote:
bnb614 wrote:
While governments tout the success of their streetcar system, the streetcar system doesn't bring development. It might be one piece that brings business to the area, but what brings the development is tax abatements and other subsidies from gov't.

Sorry, but I've read about 30 different studies that say otherwise...I'll keep that ahead of "some guy you heard on some radio show from some think tank"

So you automatically discount Think tank studies that don't agree with your point? 30 different studies, really? I mean, clearly you have Mayor Coleman's talking points memorized, but 30 studies? Seriously, you have read 30 studies and you are not somehow tied to or involved in Coleman's desire to bring streetcars to Columbus?

PinheadFestival wrote:
bnb614 wrote:
Meanwhile people will keep streaming out of Columbus to get out of a shitty school district, away from higher crime, and neighborhoods full of trashed, foreclosed homes.

Only they're not...the population in Columbus and the surrounding areas continues to expand while the rest of the state falls. As does the GDP.

OK I should have elaborated that point. The population will stay stable or slightly increase, while 25-40 year old white collar professionals who want to start families continue to stream out of Columbus for suburbs with better schools, taking their property taxes with them.

PinheadFestival wrote:
bnb614 wrote:
The Short North/Arena District is a nicely developed area that I spend a lot of time in. When I go there, I can park close enough that I don't mind walking however many blocks/miles to get to my destination. If I choose to go to the Gateway, I drive and park near there too.

1. You're not a tourist or visitor, particularly a conventioner.
2. That parking and driving mentality is exactly the reason for better public transportation.

So we are spending $100,000,000+ so people staying at the Columbus Convention Center can ride a streetcar to the Campus Gateway? Then let the fee to ride the streetcar pay for the development. Columbus has a good convention business but it isn't that great that spending this much money is worth it. The mayor should take the interests of taxpayers over a conventioneer who will be in Columbus 3 days his/her entire life.

The parking and driving mentality isn't something you can just eliminate. People need to get downtown and then home afterward. A 3 mile street car line isn't going to eliminate that. A suburban mom and her kids aren't going to drive to Campus Gateway and park when they want to go to the Arena District, just to ride the streetcar back and forth. They will drive to the Arena District and park.
After the initial investment doesn't get people downtown, we will be told how we need to spend another $200,000,000 to increase the lines. Columbus' version of Boston's big dig, a money sinkhole that never pays off.
PinheadFestival wrote:
Suburbanites flocked there for City Center for years. Regardless, it isn't necessarily about pulling in suburbanites, it's also about pulling in corporate interests who put their offices and headquarters along the line in the 36 underdeveloped acres because they see a real commitment to modern public transit.

Suburbanites flocked to City Center because they didn't have Tuttle Crossing, Polaris, or Easton. Corporate interests downtown? Have you not noticed the pattern of the last 10+ years of suburban headquarters? Companies headquarter in suburbs to eliminate traffic issues, and have their employees able to live nearby.

PinheadFestival wrote:
Between the 500,000 that OSU is contributing, fares (at the price currently forecast), the naming/advertising revenue, the operation is set to about break even...unlike roads, busing, etc.

Then why are parking fees and concert tickets surcharges being used? Because it isn't going to break even.

You are implying the best case scenario for everything, and rehashing some of Coleman's talking points that I think are exaggerated. And no one has still explained why the current COTA bus system can't work to get people down High Street.

To me it all comes down to the benefit not being worth the cost especially when there are dozens of other problems in Columbus this money could be better allocated to deal with.

Also Central Ohioans are uncultured, poor, and overweight. They need to be out walking more.

IMPROVE THE SCHOOLS, AND THEY WILL COME!


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:51 am 
King Ghidorah

Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:53 pm
Posts: 547
bnb614 wrote:
So you automatically discount Think tank studies that don't agree with your point?
Quote:
No, I discount a think tank study you may or may not have heard on the radio from a think tank who may or may not be the Cato Institute.

bnb614 wrote:
OK I should have elaborated that point. The population will stay stable or slightly increase, while 25-40 year old white collar professionals who want to start families continue to stream out of Columbus for suburbs with better schools, taking their property taxes with them.


Can you source this?

bnb614 wrote:
So we are spending $100,000,000+ so people staying at the Columbus Convention Center can ride a streetcar to the Campus Gateway? Then let the fee to ride the streetcar pay for the development. Columbus has a good convention business but it isn't that great that spending this much money is worth it. The mayor should take the interests of taxpayers over a conventioneer who will be in Columbus 3 days his/her entire life.


No, we're spending 100+ million dollars to put in a starter line, in an area that is most likely to prove successful, so that we can begin achieving the goal of a light rail system serving the greater metro area. In the meantime, that starter area is being placed where it can generate the most development and revenue. Convention business is one of those streams of revenue, and expecting visitors to "hop on the number 2" or "walk, regardless of weather" to spend their money isn't the best case scenario. I'm not sure what taxpayers have to do with it, taxes are busy rehabbing a 200 yard stretch of Henderson Road for 4 million bucks right now...


Quote:
After the initial investment doesn't get people downtown, we will be told how we need to spend another $200,000,000 to increase the lines. Columbus' version of Boston's big dig, a money sinkhole that never pays off.


Of course, this is in complete defiance to every result in every other city I've looked at who has done a starter line streetcar...but if you say so.


Quote:
Then why are parking fees and concert tickets surcharges being used? Because it isn't going to break even.


Even coming CLOSE to breaking even would be a giant difference from busing and roads...and neither of them have the track record of creating the development and economic benefit of the streetcar to coincide.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:02 am 
Donewaiting.com Staff
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Jawbreaker vs Pinheadfesival in the ultimate civic debate. Let the sourcing war begin!

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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:12 am 
Godzilla
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http://www.hks.harvard.edu/taubmancente ... ystems.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:16 am 
Godzilla

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:37 pm
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Location: The Gettin' Place
Can we just rename the 2.8 mile stretch of High Street as "Michael Coleman Memorial Highway" then he can feed his ego without sticking us with a $100,000,000 starter line.

Pinhead - do you work for Mayor Michael Coleman or in any way with the streetcar plan? Your posting history would seem to indicate that it is a possibility.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:20 am 
Jet Jaguar

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:38 pm
Posts: 166
PinheadFestival wrote:
neither of them have the track record of creating the development and economic benefit of the streetcar to coincide.


Excuse me? Are you trying to say that streetcars are proven to bring more economic development to cities than ROADS?


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:22 am 
King Ghidorah
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the only way I'm gettin on this is if it's called the INDIE-RAIL.

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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:43 am 
King Ghidorah

Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:53 pm
Posts: 547
sqr wrote:
PinheadFestival wrote:
neither of them have the track record of creating the development and economic benefit of the streetcar to coincide.


Excuse me? Are you trying to say that streetcars are proven to bring more economic development to cities than ROADS?


Per dollar spent? Yep.

p.s. Should clarify, improvements/expansions/etc. of roads...no, certainly not actually having roads at all LOL

p.s.s. And no, I don't work in any way for city government.


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 Post subject: Re: Streetcars
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:46 am 
Godzilla
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http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01984.pdf

Quote:
A number of transit options are available to communities to help address
growing traffic congestion. One such option is Bus Rapid Transit. Bus
Rapid Transit is an emerging approach to using buses as an improved highspeed
transit system. By employing innovative technologies such as signal
prioritization, better stations or shelters, fewer stops, and faster service on
more attractive vehicles, Bus Rapid Transit shows promise in meeting a
variety of transit needs. In addition, in many communities Bus Rapid
Transit systems can have lower capital costs than Light Rail systems yet
can often provide similar performance. Further, Bus Rapid Transit’s
flexibility may be a potentially valuable feature for many communities with
sprawling patterns of development, where public transportation needs can
be more complex and difficult to address than focusing on a single central
business district.


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