• Ongoing coronavirus / COVID-19 discussion: how is the pandemic affecting your community, workplace, and wellness? 🦠

    Working from home? So are we. Come join us! Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, planning adjacent topics, and whatever else comes to mind. No ads, no spam, no social distancing.

Do Rail and BRT reduce congestion?

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Can any provide a concrete statistic demonstrating reduced traffic congestion related to light rail, heavy rail, and/or bus rapid transit?

- for example, here in the Washington, DC area I could point out how a single Metro Rail line carries as much capacity as x number of lanes of expressway, and thus without Metro Rail traffic congestion will increase. Traffic here has worsened considerably over the years for a whole variety of reasons, so while Metro Rail has not actually caused congestion to lessen, it has most certainly retarded its growth...
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
ChevyChaseDC said:
Can any provide a concrete statistic demonstrating reduced traffic congestion related to light rail, heavy rail, and/or bus rapid transit?

- for example, here in the Washington, DC area I could point out how a single Metro Rail line carries as much capacity as x number of lanes of expressway, and thus without Metro Rail traffic congestion will increase. Traffic here has worsened considerably over the years for a whole variety of reasons, so while Metro Rail has not actually caused congestion to lessen, it has most certainly retarded its growth...

I'm as pro-transit as anyone (i don't own a car) but i'll be the first to say that i don't think transit has any long-term effect on traffic.The short of it:

Transit and highway are different parts of the same system. When you add a lane or add a light rail line you are just adding capacity to the system. Eventually it gets used up and you have to build another one. Smart cities choose to add capacity by adding transit but as long there are highways people will drive on them until they are bursting at the seams, regardless of how well traveled the transit system is. I think freeways are necessary to a certain extent but at some point you have to say enough is enough.
 

FueledByRamen

Cyburbian
Messages
449
Points
13
Yeah, it doesnt reduce traffic...it just provides a way for the new comers to travel. People who have always drive will continue to drive unless the transit system takes them exactly where they want to go and in a faster and more comfortable way.

My vote? Toll the highways and make transit dirt cheap :)
 

teshadoh

Cyburbian
Messages
437
Points
13
Unfortunately I'm not sure if there is a concrete answer that: transit eases traffic congestion & is more efficient than automobile usage. Perhaps the efficiency part, but as for reducing traffic, I agree with most.

Oddly enough, the answer in Atlanta that seems to satisfy most is - people support transit for the sake of providing an alternative to driving. There are enough people - including the suburbs - that will support transit for the convinience factor (driving in traffic & parking). Too many rail proponents are losing the battle by going head to head with the automobile. 75% will always drive, but the 25% will either take transit because it's more convinient, have no other choice, or are die-hard transit users.

Transit usage in Atlanta is extremely low - but there is a stable enough percentage that uses it on a regular basis, in addition to special events in downtown & airport traffic.

Sorry if I went off topic.
 
Top