Author Topic: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse  (Read 983 times)

thelakelander

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Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« on: November 02, 2023, 08:32:08 AM »
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Photographs of a popular bus rapid transit system that was developed for $65 million. Featuring dedicated lanes, the GRTC Pulse serves as a good example of how to improve public transit at the local level.

Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/cheaper-than-the-u2c-richmonds-grtc-pulse/
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2023, 11:23:52 AM »
Wow! That looks fantastic. Good on Richmond and VA for being willing to reallocate lanes to improve overall throughput instead of just focusing on vehicle throughput. The shade added by the trees really improves the atmosphere on Broad Street.

For BRT reference, Pulse cost about 2.75 times more per mile than the First Coast Flyer Green Line ($65 million for 6.8 miles vs $33 million for 9.4 miles). I think that really shows in things like the station design (with level boarding!) and of course the continuous existence of dedicated lanes. Interesting that at the end of the day they both use the same buses.

On a related note, FDOT is currently planning to replace the bridge that carries Lem Turner Road (and the Green Line) over the Trout River, and it's notable that for the $66 million this bridge would cost (yes, more than all of Pulse), there doesn't appear to be any interest in perhaps including dedicated lanes for the Flyer. There would be unprotected bike lanes and then a protected sidewalk, though.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2023, 12:43:25 PM »
If JTA were trying to work to secure dedicated ROW for a First Coast Flyer corridor that would be similar to the GRTC Pulse, I'd be a 100% supporter of that. That would be a transit solution that would get riders and neighborhoods in town more bang for the buck than the U2C thing. It was very noticeable that people were using the system, as there tended to be riders waiting for buses at most of the stations.

Main Street (FDOT) is our version of their Broad Street (VDOT).  So a challenge would getting JTA, COJ and FDOT to work cohesively together from a multimodal and supporting land use and zoning perspective.

With Lem Turner, that corridor is pretty constrained just north of I-95, so a road diet/dedicated transit lanes may not be feasible there. That's a corridor that may call for roadway widening and the cost associated with that, is another ballgame.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2023, 12:49:06 PM by thelakelander »
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2023, 02:57:07 PM »
What are the comparative widths of Jacksonville's Main Street and Richmond's Broad Street?

thelakelander

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Re: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2023, 03:29:18 PM »
Broad was a 6-lane road that went down to 4-lanes. With Main, you'd have to be willing to go from 4 to 2. However, FDOT has not been willing in the past. You would have the same issues with most of the FCF routes, as they all use FDOT facilities. The planner in me says, this is the type of stuff you work to figure out prior to selecting routes and spending millions on these projects. But I'm just a peckerwood from the Deep South!
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

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Re: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2023, 03:42:35 PM »
^Nevertheless, whenever I hear U2C/Skyway talk from the average person, its always mentioned from the perspective of it being comparable to LRT or rail systems in other cities, where the desire is high frequency public transit that connects different areas of the city together. Preaching to the choir on this forum, but upgrading a BRT-lite First Coast Flyer or actually doing a rail project that best serves those markets, are more practical comparables. The U2C/Skyway is just a different micromobility animal altogether.
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iMarvin

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Re: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2023, 04:01:48 PM »
Very nice to see the bus lanes in the median. I've always thought they made more sense than having to deal with cars invading the lanes to turn right.

As for the Lem Turner bridge replacement, it looks like it'd be possible to squeeze in bus lanes if they get rid of one of the "shared-use paths" and make the median/shoulders a bit smaller... not sure if that meets FDOT standards though.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2023, 04:21:22 PM »
The New York Times has highlighted the Pulse as part of an article about improving bus services.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

thelakelander

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Re: Cheaper than the U2C: Richmond's GRTC Pulse
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2023, 08:24:27 AM »
Its a great service they put together. I really wish JTA could follow their lead. FCF is pretty bad in comparison.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali