The region has been gradually building out our high capacity transit (HCT) system based on a plan that is now about a quarter century old, and much of that vision has been fulfilled. So what happens now?
Metro and TriMet have undertaken a new High Capacity Transit system plan effort, and I’ve been involved peripherally on one of the advisory panels. I wanted to highlight a couple of interesting documents that are now available on Metro’s web site:
- Preliminary Screening Memo (PDF, 13M) – The first report on a wide range of quantitative factors that will go into corridor selection. If provides interesting insights on a variety of levels.
- “World Class” Consultant’s Presentation (PDF, 3.7M) – one of the more interesting discussions in the advisory panel, this PowerPoint looks at what makes HCT successful across the world. My big take-away was the importance of integration with land use. Here in our region, LRT has generally been built where right-of-way could be acquired most inexpensively (both in dollars and political costs). We then try to develop land uses along the line at station areas.
The lesson from other cities seems to be that HCT is most successful when it serves existing land uses – and this often requires converting auto right-of-way to dedicated transit lanes (i.e., less light the Blue line and more like Interstate).
Food for thought… (and thanks to project staff for putting these documents online).