Chart of the day – Capital costs, BRT and LRT

SmallStartsCost

Today’s chart complements yesterday’s chart on forecasted ridership. It compares total build-out costs for metro LRT lines and planned “small starts” projects (mostly arterial BRT lines).  It comes from a presentation given to the March 24, 2014 meeting of the Met Council’s Transportation Committee.

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8 Responses to Chart of the day – Capital costs, BRT and LRT

  1. Matt Steele April 11, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    So we can build 8 aBRT lines for the cost of one shallow tunnel in a park? Great.

    • Froggie April 11, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      If the money is directly transferrable over. The Federal portion of LRT funding (FTA New Starts) is different from that which could be used for aBRT (which, if possible at all, would come from FTA Small Starts).

      Then there’s the CTIB funding, which is basically restricted to dedicated-right-of-way corridors. aBRT, unless it’s utilizing dedicated lanes, would likely not qualify.

      So, in reality, there’s only a small percentage of LRT funding that could directly be diverted to aBRT…that effectively being the direct state contribution (since CTIB is, for most intents, considered the “local match”).

      • Brendon Slotterback
        Brendon April 12, 2014 at 8:06 am #

        Froggie – I’ve been told by Metro Transit folks that CTIB could fund aBRT, although I don’t know that for a fact. They did fund the Red Line, which is not (all) dedicated ROW. http://www.mnrides.org/transit-projects/transit-news/metro-red-line-launch-june-22

        • Matt Steele April 12, 2014 at 9:45 am #

          A dollar is fungible, unless a politician says it is not. If that’s the case, the best course of action is to create a different political reality.

        • Froggie April 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

          Brendon, I reread the enabling legislation, and it appears I was in error. The legislation specifies that the CTIB funding must be spent on transitways (though it leaves the specific definition of such open to interpretation), and the Met Council deems the project to be consistent with the transit portion of the Transportation Policy Plan.

        • Froggie April 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

          Brendon, I reread the enabling legislation, and it appears I was in error. The legislation specifies that the CTIB funding must be spent on transitways (though it leaves the specific definition of such open to interpretation), and the Met Council deems the project to be consistent with the transit portion of the Transportation Policy Plan. Based on that, yes it’s theoretically possible that the CTIB funding could be used for Arterial BRT.

  2. Cameron Conway
    Cameron Conway April 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    Any idea to what degree transit oriented development ridership is included in these ridership numbers? I don’t like seeing the Orange line and the Midtown rail line portrayed so equally…

  3. Brian T April 12, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    This is an excellent chart that demonstrates the need to re-prioritize transit projects so we can be most effective with our public dollars. The sad fact is we are averaging one new light rail line every decade. This is WAY to slow to support a growing population of urban dwellers.

    Arterial, or Rapid Bus, Lines have a huge potential to revolutionize bus service by increasing frequency and travel speed. Think of Rapid Bus design like a light rail route without the tracks: consistent & predictable routes with better boarding platforms where you pay in advance for your ride.

    The future light rail plans, as they stand, will serve suburban communities that already have excellent express bus service to downtown. Rapid Bus corridors can be prioritized to serve high density areas and transit dependent communities first. This is where Metro Transit should be focused now.

    The chart is clear, why are we wasting huge amounts of money (and time) on one rail line when so many bus lines could be enhanced to increase ridership in areas that need it the most?

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