We don’t get paid for our services, but the GUARDIAN is able to provide thinking people of Treasure Valley with transportation alternatives much more logical than those being promoted by Team Dave and the CCDC.
For the cost of the proposed downtown “Trolley Folly” we think a Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT)– similar to previous GUARDIAN proposals ignored by all levels of local government–could work in our area.
For Starters we could establish these express buses on a major route from Meridian to Boise along either Fairview, Franklin, or Overland. Grand Rapids, Michigan has a nine mile route currently in place. Take a look at how they run a BRT.
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Mar 30, 2009, 7:04 pm
In Praise of the Lowly Bus
Clark Williams-Derry, Sightline Daily
Sustainable transportation geeks give trains lots of love, but tend to overlook buses. That’s a mistake: buses are surprisingly green. This report, for example, finds that buses are pretty much the most fuel efficient way to travel between cities — better, on average, than rail, cars, or airplanes.
Of course, you can’t just trust one report — especially one that was funded by the American Bus Association. But plenty of other people have found the exact same thing. Our research on greenhouse gas emissions per mile of travel found that inter-city buses have the lowest climate impact of any form of travel. Rhe authors of the Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices — which is a bit out of date now, but still excellent — found the same thing. So did the Environmental Defense Fund. I could go on; but the bottom line is that people who care about sustainable transportation find that intercity buses are a pretty good deal for the climate.
There are two key reasons why intercity buses are so fuel efficient. First, the average intercity bus in the US carries about 21 passengers at a time (calculated form tables 1-32 and 1-37 of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics National Transportation Statistics report.) Second, they get between 6 and 7 miles per gallon (figure of ~6mpg from table VM-1 of the Federal Highway Administration’s Highway Statistics Series, and 6.7 mpg from WRI’s GHG protocol.) Put those two numbers together, and you find that a bus gets well over 120 passenger-miles per gallon of fuel. Not bad — that’s nearly as good as a Prius carrying a driver and 2 passengers!
(24 March 2009)
Mar 30, 2009, 8:42 pm
SHUUSH, Guardian! You know pefectly well that VRT, CCDC, and City hall have shown repeatedly that they can’t handle logic or common sense! Now there is no telling what they will do in response. Why, they might even have delusional visions of a trolley that just ran 30 blocks downtown, and cost 55-60 MILLION dollars!
Mar 30, 2009, 9:24 pm
Guardian: Here is another system that claims to spur reinvestment in Cleveland without burying rails in the pavement.
EDITOR NOTE: We have opposed steel rails in our streets, but Team Dave will not listen to reason from GUARDIAN readers and insist on some sort of trolley.
Mar 30, 2009, 11:26 pm
We learned from Dagny Taggart that reason cannot triumph over unreason until the unreasonable give up. And I don’t see Team Dave folding up the tent anytime soon.
Mar 31, 2009, 9:40 am
Buses and trains lose money. Big buses and tourist trains lose big money. Tourist trains also get tourists…Run a line from center city to the mall and from there to Nampa and see what happens. If the thing does not stop every block, it could work.
Apr 7, 2009, 12:30 pm
I am the external relations manager for The Rapid, the transit system in Grand Rapids MI and want to make a clarification. Our BRT project, the Silver Line, is not yet operational as you indicate. Our project has been approved by the Federal Transit Administration to enter project development. We anticipate opening in 2012.
Apr 29, 2009, 11:26 am
As Jennifer Kalczuk stated, the BRT has NOT been established in Grand Rapids. Nor has the millage been voted on. The vote is May 5. The BRT Project would be a huge waste of money with little no benefit to the community. There already is a transit line on this route. THe only thing BRT would do is cost money and clog up traffic. Hopefully, the voters of Grand Rapids will NOT approve this project.
EDITOR NOTE–Here in Boise the mayor is working to build an expensive system with iron rails and his plan won’t even go to the voters. We were aiming for something less drastic and hit on the BRT plan.