Author Topic: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine  (Read 4968 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« on: June 20, 2013, 03:16:25 AM »
A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine



As the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) looks into investing our hard earned tax dollars into Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Metro Jacksonville takes a look at what many have called the most successful recent BRT rollout to date: Cleveland's HealthLine.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2013-jun-a-look-at-brt-clevelands-healthline

dougskiles

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2013, 05:48:52 AM »
While everyone points to Cleveland as a BRT success (although apparently questionable), how many systems have been implemented that ended up doing nothing more than what a regular express bus route would have done (i.e. fewer stops, faster headway)?

vicupstate

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2013, 07:15:01 AM »
Quote
Across the country, many bus systems have failed to stimulate TOD at similar rates to fixed transit because of their routing flexibility.

Apparently one thing that is pretty certain is that PERMANENCY  of the route is a requirement for TOD development to occur under any scenario.  That trait is inherent with rail.  With BRT, it can be achieved, but often times isn't. 
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dougskiles

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2013, 09:01:01 AM »
I wish JTA would stop wasting time with BRT and focus their energy and grant efforts on:

1) commuter rail on existing rail corridors
2) streetcar connecting riverside to DT and eventually stadium
3) connect the Skyway to both of the above (and a little further to the south to Atlantic Blvd)

As they have been shown numerous times by members of this forum, what they are trying to accomplish with BRT can be accomplished with significantly less cost by simply adjusting their bus schedules and routes.

I am not against having good bus service in Jacksonville.  I am against way overspending for it, and then not doing other more effective projects because they feel they have it covered with BRT.

thelakelander

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2013, 09:13:35 AM »
Quote
With BRT, it can be achieved, but often times isn't.

The HealthLine is definitely permanent between downtown Cleveland and University Circle.  However, it cost $25-$27 million/mile to construct.  That figure is easily in modern streetcar cost territory.

Something that also was visually evident was the wear and tear on the street. It's only been around five years or so and now they are repairing portions of the concrete roadway, so it would be interesting to see what annual O&M is.

With that said, even with the permanent bus lanes, nearly everything being called TOD along that corridor is in the form of college expansions, medical center and museum expansions in University Circle.  For example, $500 million worth of work at Cleveland State University would be classified as TOD because a bus line was added to a street the campus has been located on since the 1960s.

Quote
The Student Center

CSU Student Center
- Centerpiece of CSU’s $500 million campus makeover; Euclid Avenue between East 21st and 22nd streets
- One of the final design projects by the late Charles Gwathmey, award-winning New York architect
- Three-story building; predominately glass exterior; multi-level atrium; central public forum
- Scrolling LED message boards; wireless interconnectivity; Internet access; digital displays; cable flat screen televisions
- Home to all student organizations and activities
- 6,000-square-foot ballroom – largest single assembly space on campus
- CSU bookstore
- Food court; convenience store; pub; coffee shop
- Game room; cyber/computer lounge; two indoor fireplaces; multiple patios
- Designed to achieve LEED certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
http://www.csuohio.edu/studentlife/studentcenter/

For me, I find it hard to claim that Cleveland State University's new student center should be included as TOD.  That's an example of a project that would have been built regardless of transit. Same goes for extra hospital beds at Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital, and dorm rooms at Case Reserve Western University.

It's sort of like JTA adding BRT down University Boulevard and then calling JU's College of Health Sciences building project, $8 million worth of TOD. Totally disingenuous, IMHO. Speaking of Jacksonville, our BRT won't have dedicated lanes and will cost somewhere around $3.5 million/mile to construct.  We're essentially getting a "branded" regular bus. At $27 million/mile, Cleveland ended up with a pretty nice "Complete Street" where transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure was also improved.
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thelakelander

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2013, 09:26:05 AM »
I wish JTA would stop wasting time with BRT and focus their energy and grant efforts on:

1) commuter rail on existing rail corridors
2) streetcar connecting riverside to DT and eventually stadium
3) connect the Skyway to both of the above (and a little further to the south to Atlantic Blvd)

As they have been shown numerous times by members of this forum, what they are trying to accomplish with BRT can be accomplished with significantly less cost by simply adjusting their bus schedules and routes.

I am not against having good bus service in Jacksonville.  I am against way overspending for it, and then not doing other more effective projects because they feel they have it covered with BRT.

I can't imagine JTA giving up federal funds already secured for local BRT but I believe a great starting point for upgrading our transit system would be a complete revamp of the existing bus system.  You should be able to hop on a Lem Turner bus and know that it goes up and down Lem Turner instead of trying to figure out what a L9 or L8 is and when it's going to turn off that corridor. 

In recent years, I've had the opportunity to use Cleveland's HealthLine and LA's Silver Line.  The Silver Line doesn't have any TOD on it either but the routing structure of both BRT systems is easy to understand and service is frequent enough to be considered reliable.  They also aren't mutually exclusive systems.  Instead, they complement existing rail and local bus routes in those communities.  This situation creates an environment that attracts choice riders. I'd really love for JTA to take at least one proposed BRT corridor and implement it by restructuring bus routes as opposed to waiting for New Starts/Small Starts funding. Charlotte, LA and Tampa have done it.  We should be able too.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 09:40:24 AM by thelakelander »
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tufsu1

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2013, 10:27:45 AM »
I wish JTA would stop wasting time with BRT

that isn't going to happen....transit systems all over the country, both big and small, are looking at BRT....here in Florida I can think of at least 7 not including JTA that are planning/implementing BRT routes

tufsu1

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2013, 10:29:16 AM »
I can't imagine JTA giving up federal funds already secured for local BRT but I believe a great starting point for upgrading our transit system would be a complete revamp of the existing bus system. 

and that is effort is about to get underway...I believe JTA has branded itr "Blueprint for Transportation Excellence"

edjax

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 11:02:29 AM »
There is a report on Cleveland.com today on 21 North American Transit Corridors by ITDP.  It is 161 pages long and I Am sure would be an interesting read for many on here.  I would include a link here if I were not so technology challenged. 

Ocklawaha

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 11:11:50 PM »
SHOCKER! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BRT!!

BRT done right must be at the so-called silver or gold standard and as Ennis has pointed out, anything else is simply trying to rebrand express or frequent buses as BRT. Even BRT on the ridiculous bus guideways in Australia have the advantage of running on 'tracks' while out of town and on exclusive right-of-way (known as private right-of-way)  then approaching downtown pulling into the regular street grid and traffic. Rail cannot do this, however rail can do private right-of-way better, greener, faster and much longer lived.

You could have BRT running down Lem Turner north of Norwood on exclusive lanes, a limited or shared lanes down Pearl or Boulevard, Jefferson and Broad. I actually like the Lem Turner route, it has the potential to meet rapid streetcar at Gateway running to the stadium and downtown.

Had they used the money for the second route for the Arlington Expressway out to Southside Blvd. I would be fully aboard this bus, sorry folks, JTA fumbles again.

Just quit the stupid 'Just like Rail only Cheaper...' In the long run, over the life of the project the Health Line and the Los Angeles Orange Line are going to cost more then rapid-streetcar.

Interesting observations from Lake, about the Health Line. The lack of ability for BRT to stimulate TOD is the exact reason why the community insisted on the Orange Line NOT BEING RAIL. The Los Angeles RTD studies showed Rail generates real TOD and BRT just doesn't. 

Quote

So running times fell short of projections or the rail system.



So we are getting ALL BRANDING - LITTLE CHANGE.



This is about 2,000 passengers per direction-per hour less then our Skyway. So much for Randall O'Tooles '2,000 passengers per minute boast.'



Bus bunching on private-right-of-way doesn't bode well for frequent service in mixed traffic.



So I guess they should have built rail in the first place... but what about those 2,000 passengers per minute? REALLY?

You can read this whole FTA/BRT sales pitch here: http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/FTA_Research_Report_0004_FINAL_2.pdf
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 08:22:13 AM by Ocklawaha »

thelakelander

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Re: A Look at BRT: Cleveland's HealthLine
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2013, 11:50:32 PM »
There is a report on Cleveland.com today on 21 North American Transit Corridors by ITDP.  It is 161 pages long and I Am sure would be an interesting read for many on here.  I would include a link here if I were not so technology challenged. 

Here's the link: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/09/clevelands_healthline_gives_mo.html

It says what I expected it to say.  However, you can look at the images I took of much of this "development" and decide for yourself if it would have happened with or without bus rapid transit.  Maybe it's just me but I have a hard time believing a claim that all downtown development in Cleveland and expansion projects like college dorms (on two existing college campuses) or the addition of hospital rooms at (a century old hospital) classifies as TOD.  These are things that would have happened regardless of transit mode selection.....or without transit at all.

Overall, I like Cleveland's Health Line.  It's an ideal BRT corridor because it takes advantage of a plethora of existing pedestrian scale activity centers that are fairly adjacent to one another on a single corridor.  It's easy to understand, clean, reliable and runs 24/7.  I have no problem with a Health Line being built in Jax.

The problem I have is the BRT propaganda talk regarding TOD going on.  People today act like sheep, eating this stuff up without doing an ounce of real research into the validity of these "statistics." and "claims". In the end, you wind up giving BRT and mass transit in general, a bad eye when communities are sold a bill of goods and their projects fail to deliver the promises because the urban context is completely different.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 11:52:57 PM by thelakelander »
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