Light Rail

Transit Analyst: Metrolinx Rapid Transit Analysis 'Low-Balled' BRT Cost

By RTH Staff
Published April 13, 2010

In an essay written for the January-February 2010 edition [PDF link] of the Ontario Report, the newsletter for Transport Action Ontario, editor Anton Turrittin notes that the Metrolinx Benefits Case Analysis comparing rapid transit options for the east-west B-Line in Hamilton "low-balled" the cost of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) option.

The article reports that Hamilton has chosen Light Rail Transit (LRT) as its preferred rapid transit form and goes into some detail on the Benefits Case Analysis and related issues. Turrittin writes:

It appears that the Metrolinx BCA low-balled the cost of BRT (half the cost on a per kilometer basis of VIVA's conversion of its 37 km express bus routes to dedicated "rapidway"!).

While stopping short of making any formal recommendations or committing any funds (that decision will have to come from Queen's Park), the Metrolinx BCA clearly favours LRT over BRT as the superior option in terms of transit quality, economic development potential, ridership gains and environmental improvement.

With a higher actual price for BRT, the advantage for LRT becomes even stronger.

Turrittin later explained his analysis in an email:

I simply looked up the current VIVA program, its length and the announced price and compared the cost per kilometre with the project in Hamilton. As I understand it, the VIVA project involves a great deal of road rebuilding. They are making allowance for a future conversion to LRT. They are creating dedicated bus lanes.

Turrittin is a retired sociology professor at York University and now volunteers as the editor of the Ontario Report.

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By woody10 (registered) | Posted April 14, 2010 at 19:09:59

Build LRT please!! I tend to beg a lot on RTH, lol. Build the stadium, build LRT, extend the rail trail, etc. etc.

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