18.4.17

IN PLACE OF A RAILROAD NETWORK.

Cleaning out the archives.  Perhaps fixed-guideway transit is too restrictive, but the rail networks have analogues involving buses of various kinds.
[E]xpress buses would run on networks of managed lanes and [bus rapid transit] would run on networks of managed arterials. Taken together, these offer the quick, reliable performance of commuter, heavy and light rail, along with much lower costs (which allow a more comprehensive, connected transit network to be established) and benefits for motorists (which obviates much of the political controversy surrounding transit investment). The glue that holds this transit system together is local bus service, running on local roads and minor arterials with stops typically placed less than every quarter-mile, and connecting residential areas, transit hubs and employment centers. All major metropolitan areas have existing local bus service. (Some areas would supplement local bus service with limited-stop bus service.)
"Managed lanes" refers to the road equivalent of a fixed guideway, although it can be as simple as lanes that might be segregated for bus usage during peak times and released for general use at other times.  (Or perhaps unused capacity at night could be sold to trucking companies, perhaps this being enforced by heavy fines for trucks in lanes designated for automobiles?)  "Managed arterials" refers to the buses having the ability to override traffic signals and keep moving, if the stops are spaced more than a quarter mile apart.  But the model envisions a lot of transferring between the local busses and the expresses.  Even generous transfers discourage ridership.  That's one reason for the massive parking lots at Metra's suburban stations.

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