November 16, 2011
C-TRAN also considers BRT
TriMet is not the only local transit agency considering Bus Rapid Transit. C-TRAN is also in the early analysis and planning stages of a possible BRT line. They are calling this effort the Fourth Plain Transit Improvement Project. It appears that the proposed line, while still in early stages, would roughly follow the route of the number 4 bus from Vancouver Mall to downtown Vancouver along Fourth Plain Blvd, and could possibly continue south to the Expo Center Yellow Line MAX station just across the Columbia River. This portion of the line would depend greatly on whether the Yellow Line is extended to downtown Vancouver, which in turn is tied up in the continuing battle over the Columbia River Crossing. In any case, C-TRAN is clearly interested in BRT as a way to improve a busy transit corridor that currently suffers from low speeds and poor access. They are holding a workshop on Saturday, Nov. 19th, 9:30am-12:30pm, at the C-TRAN headquarters at 2425 NE 65th Ave in Vancouver.
November 17, 2011 7:08 AM
Chris I Says:
I think it would be ideal if we end up just building a MAX extension/local access bridge to Hayden Island, to have the 4th Plain BRT extend to Hayden to meet the trains.
November 17, 2011 9:02 AM
Jim Lee Says:
Far too reasonable!
November 17, 2011 9:15 AM
In either case--whether MAX or BRT crosses the Columbia, it would be tremendously beneficial if there were exclusive travel lanes for the transit vehicles to use. My preference would be for "mixed" lanes, like on the MLR bridge, so that both busses and LRT can cross. If BRT has to use general-purpose lanes, it loses a whole lot of its effectiveness.
Billions of dollars are being spent to improve the crossing experience of automobiles and freight. To anyone who suggests that adding a MAX line or a busway on the bridge is too expensive; I can think of numerous car-related design elements which cost just as much or more, and are of questionable utility.
A few other points:
* By having MAX cross into Vancouver, it intersects with the bulk of C-TRAN's services, many of which are through-routed through downtown Vancouver and aren't about to come across the river.
* C-TRAN is apparently intending to run busses on the MAX lanes in downtown Vancouver. Assuming that they are appropriately designed for this (i.e. there should be pullouts or other arrangements so busses don't stopp on the tracks), this strikes me as a perfectly reasonable idea. While MAX traffic ought not mix with cars, mixing with busses in an urban grid is fine.
* I'm not sure there's room on Hayden Island for a transit center. Put the end of the MAX line there and you will need places for both the trains and the busses to lay over between runs, a breakroom for operators, etc; it's a function that is better done either on the Washington or Oregon side.
Portland Transport examined this issue last June, including the possibility of building a BRT route from the CRC to downtown, which the C-TRAN 4, and other C-TRAN services (and possibly TriMet routes as well) could use.
November 17, 2011 10:44 AM
I don't think it will happen, but I like the idea of LRT extending to Hayden Island and not crossing the river. That way downtown Vanc won't be screwed up with LRT on the street.
November 17, 2011 11:33 AM
Chris I Says:
Seems to be enough room here:
November 17, 2011 1:03 PM
Are you referring to the ODOT welcome center, or the Jantzen Beach parking lot? :)
November 18, 2011 4:06 PM
Lenny Anderson Says:
C-Tran already runs the 44 Limited down Fourth Plain from Orchards to the MAX Yellow Line. Upgrading that to so called "BRT Light" wouldn't take much with their wide LA-style arterials.
What they need to do is run the 105 to MAX, instead of downtown Portland; it could make twice as many trips with 15 minute frequency providing a good tranfer to the Yellow Line, much like the 65 does to the Red Line, as both have 15 minute frequency. Most commute trips from Clark county are not to downtown Portland; those folks are not served.