assessing which technology (BRT, LRT or metro) to use going from point A to point B, that LRT was dealt an uneven hand.
The fact that the study takes place in Vancouver is of little relevance. I'm looking for feedback on my argument that the passengers per hour estimate is much higher than the 7200 pphpd and instead could be increased for this light rail at grade to 36000. I'm looking for feedback on the technical argument. The argument is a little deeper as it takes some operational characteristics of the environment the light rail is running in and goes through the Transit Capacity and Quality Service Operating Manuals light rail capacity at grade formula for calculating minimum achievable headways.
It's a long read and it goes through a lot of theory and practice and it's written by me: An inexperienced transit enthusiast.
I'm looking for any comments/feedback/suggestions you have as there are no other forums to illicit this type of feedback (and I don't work in transportation).
I suggest you read the link at the bottom first before the Jan 2019 to see the argument as the Jan 2019 report that I'm attacking, is long and contains many details that are not relevant.
Redefining maximum capacity of LRT at grade for Arbutus to UBC corridor: 36000 pphpd
Redefining maximum capacity of LRT at grade for Arbutus to UBC corridor: From 7200 to 36000 pphpd (and leaving LRT as a contender to skytrain): “Jan 2019 Rail Rapid Transit Study to UBC” (aka Slam the Tram).
The benefits of light rail run deep. Safety, Reliability, Comfort, Cost and Capacity.
“LRT is demand-responsive in that the length of trains and the service frequency can be easily adjusted when required”
In the Jan 2019 Rail Rapid Transit Study to UBC (aka “Slam the Tram”), McElhanney Consulting essentially knee-capped the LRT by denying the major pillar of “demand responsiveness” , by effectively limiting the LRT train to a theoretical maximum operating capacity at 7200 pphpd by limiting headways to 4 minutes and vehicle lengths to 2 train consists @ 80m total length with carrying capacity of 240 for each train unit for a max carrying capacity of 480 persons.
"Rail to UBC Rapid Transit Study"
The rest of the report eliminated the LRT at grade from consideration for Arbutus to UBC, all because of this max capacity limit of 7200 pphpd.
Using data from Vancouver’s operational environment, an argument is laid out that the actual maximum capacity that should have been used in the report is 36000 due to two factors: Vehicle Carrying Capacity should be adjusted to 1200 from 480 and minimum headway should be adjusted from 4 minutes to 2 minutes. The argument for this is laid out in three separate documents (backgrounders).
The backgrounders will illuminate certain concepts while using conservative estimates to arrive at results and most importantly how the operational capacity risk of implementing LRT at grade is LOW and sufficient for 2050 time horizons:
- How and when to trust the minimum headway formula
- How the minimum headway formula does not account for traffic signal priority
- How the minimum headway formula assumes that traffic congestion/saturation is at a reasonable level
- How the minimum headway formula incorporates the level of bunching you are designing for
- How, in a well run operating environment like Vancouver, the dwell time of the train and it's variation is the main element to achieve low minimum headway
- How runtime data from Vancouver streets shows that traffic in Vancouver is at a low level of saturation
- How traffic signal priority at low saturation levels of traffic can be applied in a preemptive way with no effects on cross traffic (Low Risk of implementation)
- How 98% of the westside has 160m block lengths and the two locations where it is not (120m at Macdonald and Westbrook) should trade off pedestrian access for block length
- How by changing the train vehicles, one can achieve a higher capacity for 160m block lengths