Friday, January 13, 2006

Total dollars spent: $757,000.00 on EmX High Speed [choke] bus so far....


EmX (pronounced M-X) is the name chosen for our community’s bus rapid transit system.[Manufactured by New Flyer]
Pretty cool huh?
LTD is projecting that their service will begin in late 2006 on their $23 million 14 mile high speed [choke] bus project between Eugene and Springfield and plans to expand the corridor at a later time.
The argument in favor of purchasing a special hybrid bus system is that it's dedicated bus lanes and priority control over the traffic lights will decrease commuting time over the current bus system because of traffic congestion.
I still question the need for the expanse versus using smaller buses with traffic light priority capabilities which are already in place for emergency vehicles.
Although LTD has not had much luck with hybrid electric vehicles, to give credit where credit is due; New Flyer has been around since 1930 and has a history of manufacturing BRT style buses.
2001 LTD purchased six hybrid vehicles with 83% per federal participation. The vehicles suffered catastrophic failures and the manufacture went bankrupt. The January 2005 estimate on the six vehicles was $1.02 billion.[LTD]

A new traffic light around town

The lanes are designed for transit use only and will have a signal head different from signals used for autos. (The signal heads for EmX resemble the illustration and are similar to the ones used in a light-rail system.)

More detailed information about the construction is available at LTD web site.
"EmX is a fun name to say and hopefully will prove memorable both in name and experience."

Okay here's your test... you'll need a paper, pencil and calculator for this one.
Projected costs for the Franklin corridor according to Registerguard was $18 million[Source] to an estimated $23 million[ Source] for a 14 mile bus ride between Eugene and Springfield.
So take the latest estimate that I could find, $23 million, divide that by 14 [miles] to figure out the cost per mile for the system.

Add to that
the possible increased to the LTD payroll tax otherwise known as the employer or self-employment tax.

Evaluate and implement a payroll tax increase of .0002 to be effective January 2006
[ source April 28, 2004 Lane transit District budget committee]

Also the loss of business storefront real estate for the development of the special lanes.

Do the math.

do you think that it is worth it?


Anonymous ajb said...

$1.02 million.
Slight difference.


10:47 PM  
Anonymous Bob H. said...

With the resignation of Director Hamm, I hope that priorities can be realigned. He seemed to have lost most of the respect of his employees. I think most of the riders and employees see more value in increasing routes and lowering prices rather than expensive stations and state of the art buses that don't work.
I see no value in a system that runs between Eugene and Springfield on the same roads we have, no benefit at all.
I hope we can get back to the basics, more routes, more frequency, lower fares. Better service to the ones that need it.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The estimate is that it will shave 4 minutes off of the commute. 4 minutes for 1 million dollars - WHAT A DEAL!

7:46 PM  
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