Tuesday, June 21, 2005

high-speed bus system between Eugene and Springfield, why?

June 20,2005
story by Matt Cooper

Work on a bus rapid-transit link between Eugene and Springfield is speeding up.

Construction on the next part of the high-speed bus route starts early this week along 11th Avenue, as Lane Transit District pushes toward a planned opening of the $18 million system in fall 2006.

Officials hope the system will be fast enough to reduce reliance on cars and ease traffic congestion. The concept, popular around the country, involves state-of-the-art buses in dedicated lanes, similar to light rail.

The district is five years behind schedule with the first leg of Eugene-Springfield's system - called "EmX" and pronounced "M-X" - but LTD said everything's a go to open the inaugural four-mile route next year between downtown Eugene and downtown Springfield.

The district hopes to boost ridership on the route by 10 percent initially.

First of all it should be noted that they are five years behind schedule.

Secondly, I still fail to understand why we need such a service.

Thirdly, LTD's own statistics shows a decrease in ridership.

so what they're going to do is buy several brand new hybrid buses to run back and forth between the 4 mile stretch of Eugene and Springfield to start with.

They are going to tear up the roads during the stretch, get rid of the grassy center mediums to create a dedicated bus lane with traffic lights designed to give the buses the right away. This will in turn, cause traffic to back up along this route.

Now in the meantime, a lot at the roads in the downtown area are so bad that you almost need a four-wheel-drive vehicle just to drive them.

LTD has built numerous bus stations throughout Eugene and Springfield, in their fleet of buses are three different sizes, a small shuttle bus called the Breeze, a regular 44 passenger bus, and the large accordion bus.

It would seem to me to make more sense to take the smaller Breeze buses, equipping them so they can have better priority over the traffic lights (and cheaper) and have them shuttle between Eugene in Springfield and surrounding areas.

I will at least give kudos to the LTD planners that these new buses that they are thinking about using will run on rubber tires and are not restricted to a rail system like the Max system in Portland.


Blogger Daniel said...

If they want to decrease congestion then why would they build new lanes but not let cars use them? Is that too simple a solution?

Nice blog Robin.

5:19 PM  
Blogger The Rambling Taoist said...

If they want to decrease congestion then why would they build new lanes but not let cars use them?

What a moronic comment! Oh yes, let's keep building more and more lanes for more and more cars. Who needs grass, trees, even sidewalks. Let's just pave the whole damn valley.

5:23 PM  
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