Valley Line LRT | ?m | ?s | City of Edmonton

Tommy2342

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A few things i found very interesting about the article you linked to:

1. As you noted, that cost of BRT vs. LRT is very surprising. Calgary was originally planning their 46 km Green Line to be a BRT first at a cost of $1.5 billion versus $5B for just a section of LRT they are doing now. And our line is 14km and it was going to cost $1.7Billion vs $2.2B for LRT? That's a mighty expensive BRT line our city planners we're estimating and more than 3x the cost of the Calgary project per km.

2. I hope we meet out projected ridership of 40,100 trips per day on day one of the line opening (that's 14.6 million trips per year), but I'm kinda thinking that number is bogus - especially given the fact that instead of adding 2.5 million trips per year when the $665M line to NAIT opened, we actually lost 3 million trips per year system wide (a swing of 5.5 millon to the negative). That's a significant misprojection - and that was pre pandemic. And that must have hurt revenues to some degree and currently we have a bus network with new deficiencies compared to previously.

3. At the end of that article, it was surprising to read one of council's pro lrt voices, Andrew Knack, was actually open to the idea of 'slowing down' the west LRT project given some council members were concerned about the price tag.
From the article you posted:

"If cost is the issue, Knack said he’d rather slow down and see what emerging technologies like trackless trains can offer. Slowing down is fine.

“The wrong approach is to do a half measure,” he said.

I strongly suspect that the West LRT will be slowed down to the point of stopping work on it for now to re-evaluate. As you said, even Andrew Knack is now hesitating. I think Covid changed everything.
 

westcoastjos

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I strongly suspect that the West LRT will be slowed down to the point of stopping work on it for now to re-evaluate. As you said, even Andrew Knack is now hesitating. I think Covid changed everything.
I think it depends on the outcome of the election AND what the cost would be to stop work on it. Judging by schedule 27, it wouldn't be cheap to cancel or stop work on.
 

thommyjo

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@thommyjo

You explained why ridership did not increase with the NAIT line and that makes good sense. But why then did the city expect it would increase by 2.5 million trips - did they not expect the same thing that you just explained. These projects are being pitched and decided upon based in part on ridership but the city did not seem to take into account what you explained as to why we shouldn't have expected ridership to go up.

Any thoughts on my other question regarding the BRT cost from the city for west valley line? Or any insights from anyone on that?

Why was the cost of BRT going to be so much higher in Edmonton versus other municipalities that have built BRTs?

I mean $1.7B for 14km of BRT? I looked at costs of several other cities including Calgary and none come close to what our administration reported it would cost here.
Yeah. No idea on their estimates. I'm assuming the signal issues and other problems compounded the failure. It was a bad extension. Hopefully can be salvaged by elevating the current mess areas and extending to NW.

I remain hopefully on the new lines. So thankful we have dense university institutions in our core.

Also no idea on BRT costs sorry. I'm assuming buying new busses, similar station designs to the current, etc make up most of the cost. Not clear on the difference vs other cities though.

For me, even if BRT was 300mil, it's still not the right transit option for this area. Rail is needed
 

cliffapotamus

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Yeah. No idea on their estimates. I'm assuming the signal issues and other problems compounded the failure. It was a bad extension. Hopefully can be salvaged by elevating the current mess areas and extending to NW.

I remain hopefully on the new lines. So thankful we have dense university institutions in our core.

Also no idea on BRT costs sorry. I'm assuming buying new busses, similar station designs to the current, etc make up most of the cost. Not clear on the difference vs other cities though.

For me, even if BRT was 300mil, it's still not the right transit option for this area. Rail is needed
The one thing i remember from the BRT vs LRT cost comparison was the need to build a dedicated ROW. BRT needs to be separate from heavy traffic (ie the whole of the west leg, basically) so, even if they were to use busses instead of trains, infrastructure akin to a street-level line would have to be built. dedicated, protected lanes, special signals, stations, and possibly even grade separation at points. they'd need one lane each direction, the same footprint as the train. I'm going off memories of articles written at the time, sorry i can't be more specific. but i do strongly remember that the issue was with this particular route, BRT would need almost all of the same infrastructure the train would need, and given other issues (capacity, operating costs) the train was considered a better plan.

As an aside, i really like the idea of BRT, and think it would be a great idea for some of our more outer suburbs like Terwillegar, Ellerslie Road, etc. places where the roads have enough space lanes can be added or reallocated easily, and the busses would be sufficient for the amount of traffic. I see ideas like the MAX setup in Calgary, which, having ridden it a few times, is just some big bus shelters along lanes made out of old urban freeway shoulders, with the odd connector road here and there, and i think we could easily do that here. I think BRT in Edmonton gets misunderstood as 'Busses being trains' when it can mean something less intensive and easier to implement as well. We just need to look for different places to apply the idea.
 

Edmcowboy11

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Taken this morning
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There were around 3 or 4 trains parked or moving in and out of the station this morning.
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yeggator

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