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Why Some People lack the terms "Light Rail" & "BRT"?


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what I wanna know is (of the people that know what they are).... why do they use the terms interchangably....

 

They're not the same thing.

 

I can help you here.

 

They use the terms interchangeably because to them there is no difference.

 

On the other hand, you do know the difference.

 

The only problem I see, is that you expect other people to know what you know B)

 

Another reason could be laziness. For example, I have a friend who knows the difference between a wheel and a tire. But he calls his wheel a tire constantly. He's just a lazy arse!

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The only problem I see, is that you expect other people to know what you know

 

spot on.

always had a bad habit of doing that.

 

Arrogance was never one of my traits... I don't like to think of myself as any better, or knowing more than anyone else... so I assume people know as much, or more than I know....

 

circle gets the square !

wait, no squares... lol... There's always the thanks button though :tup:

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I was wondering why some people does not know what is Lightrail or Bus Rapid Transit?

Just curious.

 

Most modern TAs don't call it that... IE NJT for example... Instead of BRT they say GOBUS, or SEPTA instead of light rail lines they say Surface Trolley/Subway Surface Trolley. And normal people don't really care about BRT and Light Rail Unless it is thrown in their face. People don't see GOBUS as BRT because where they live, there's no such thing as BRT. In Philly where they ride trolley lines there's no such thing as light rail.

 

Normal passengers don't normally do research to see what the name of their service is. They just see it as a way to get from point (A) to point (:(

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Both pretty much fulfill similar roles though. Cheaper alternatives to buillding a subway line and a lot of times do not have their own set of roads and must share it with other vehicles.

 

I've never heard someone refer to the Hudson-Bergen Lightrail as a BRT. I've never heard someone refer to the Bx12 SBS as a lightrail.

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Firstly, the terms LRT and BRT are fairly recent and are also very vague.

The idea of having a city bus line with a limited amount of stops was not recent, but off-board fare collection, designated stations and a fixed lane are "new" in the sense that 20 years ago nobody would have thought of it. Curitiba set the basis for today's BRT design. BRT is also vague in the sense that it could be implemented in a variety of ways: the Silver Line in Boston has a tunnel, while the SBS here deviates slightly from mainstream limited bus service. Some run along a median, and some have specific guideways. But most importantly, many BRT systems have specific brandings that differ them from regular bus service, such as TransMilenio, HealthLine, Orange Line etc... Some BRT systems do have a BRT attached to them, such as the GZBRT servicing Guangzhou, China.

 

LRT is also vague because it constitutes an array of services and technologies. Certain trams with at grade-crossings and medium capacity automated metros fit this description. It basically falls under the category of an urban (or sometimes interurban, as with the RiverLine) transport system that has a fixed guideway that has some to no at-grade crossings and has a dedicated right-of-way for most of its length, it also carries a certain amount of passengers per hour. Light rail vehicles for the most part resemble trams, while some of them resemble actual subways like the SkyTrain. Thus it becomes rather difficult for an ordinary Joe to define "Light Rail". Ordinary people usually call it a train for its dedicated guideway (as with the SkyTrain and the DLR). Some people can refer to certain LRT systems a tram for its largely street running network. Many networks use specific branding or names for its light rail lines, although in many areas the name Light Rail or LRT is retained within the name (MTR's Light Rail in Yuen Long, HK).

 

There is also the issue that the terms are "too technical". For the most part these terms, LRT and BRT, are promptly substituted by less-technical terms or even slang by the common people or regular commuters. Only urban planners, government officials, the operating networks and of course transit buffs prefer to use the more technical terms.

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They seem to operate like any rapid transit in the world to me and I think all rapid transits are considered heavy rail. Despite the name SkyTrain does run underground. I dont understand why its more like AirTrain rather than a subway system. Sounds like a subway system to me.

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I think SkyTrain is heavy rail, not light rail.

 

It's in the same category as the JFK Airtrain. It's not quite a light rail, but it's not quite heavy rail

The technical name for the system and, in turn, the technology that is operated by both SkyTrain and JFK AirTrain is called Advanced Rapid Transit. There is NO standard definition for "light rail", as a result there are debates whether or not ART is deemed a proper light rail system because it has a segregated right-of-way for its entire running and a third rail. In Asia, ART systems are treated as light rail. In much of North America and Europe, they are deemed heavy rail. Most people these days associate light rail with tram-like services. And I do agree that SkyTrain is NOT a tram-like service, as it uses a third rail and has a dedicated right of way. But ayou also have to weigh in other determinants such as technology and the nature of the line. It is NOT a full heavy rail line because of its capacity. Its capacity per hour falls short to be deemed heavy rail, despite its appearances and even, technology. On the other hand, it exceeds the typical capacity for standard light rail, because of the larger dimensions of the cars. ART really falls in the middle, to be honest. The most proper category for ART should be "light metro" or light rail rapid transit. In other words, it is basically a mix between traditional light rail trying to substitute for a conventional heavy rail rapid transit line. Which means though, it is usually cheaper to build because the trains are not that long and the cars are usually lighter than traditional metro cars.

 

They seem to operate like any rapid transit in the world to me and I think all rapid transits are considered heavy rail. Despite the name SkyTrain does run underground. I dont understand why its more like AirTrain rather than a subway system. Sounds like a subway system to me.

The SkyTrain is legitimately a rapid transit system, but it does not use conventional rapid transit equipment and technology. It is similar to AirTrain because of the technology used. They use the same thing: SkyTrain and other ART systems run on linear induction motors, rather than conventional motors. So they do not necessarily operate like any other rapid transit vehicles. Traditionally, rapid transit is usually associated with subways and that sense can be ambiguous because any mode that transports passengers in a city and its inner suburbs at a certain capacity per hour within a certain timeframe can be deemed rapid transit. To avert this ambiguity, we created the terms BRT for buses that have a higher capacity and RRT, which usually refers to rail rapid transit.

 

Both the SkyTrain and AirTrain use the same technology but for different purposes. In other words, the trains AirTrain uses can, inherently, be run on SkyTrain tracks with minimal technicality issues. ART, itself, is a type of technology that encompasses different uses: A) Rail rapid transit, B) People mover

-The SkyTrain system is a light rail rapid transit network that uses ART technology and trains, because of the cost and other factors.

-AirTrain is meant to be an airport people-mover.

 

I just have to point this fact out: Now just because something runs underground does not necessarily guarantee it is a subway (in the common sense). The els of New York and Chicago clearly display this. The San Diego Trolley makes a stop underground. Less than 100 miles south of Vancouver, the Link Light Rail has certain portions that are underground. The HBLR makes a stop underground. Line 51 (which is a light rail line, or a sneltram) of the Amsterdam Metro runs underground. You have to weigh in the nature of the line in order to judge whether such is such.

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Unconventional as in automated car and car technology? Sure, that makes SkyTrain certainly different from other traditional subway services, but I still dont see why it should be differentiated from other rapid transit (not bus, bus is definitely different) services. SkyTrain has frequent services. It still runs on track, and 3rd rail. Still has frequent services and has its own tracks.

 

 

 

True, a lot of ight rails do have underground stops. But alot of them mingles with the traffics, and great deal of them are still above ground, at grade. Not elevated or underground. SkyTrain, most stops are elevated or underground.

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Unconventional as in automated car and car technology? Sure, that makes SkyTrain certainly different from other traditional subway services, but I still dont see why it should be differentiated from other rapid transit (not bus, bus is definitely different) services. SkyTrain has frequent services. It still runs on track, and 3rd rail. Still has frequent services and has its own tracks.

 

True, a lot of ight rails do have underground stops. But alot of them mingles with the traffics, and great deal of them are still above ground, at grade. Not elevated or underground. SkyTrain, most stops are elevated or underground.

Automation is not unconventional, because automation is now being used on regular rapid transit vehicles that use conventional technology. ART is different because from conventional systems because of the linear induction motors. Yes, that is the physical difference that sets apart SkyTrain from the other systems. I told you, SkyTrain IS a rapid transit system. What don't you get out of this?

 

Now you see, you are looking at the other definition of light rail. Light rail comes into two types. The traditional light rail definition is simply a tram set to modern specifications with at-grade running and, sometimes, running on its own segregated right-of-way. The broader definition of light rail allows for phenomena such as light metros, wherein the system is inherently a rapid transit system, but it uses light rail vehicles/technology, or a derivative of such. It also allows for tram-trains, where light rail vehicles can run on existing mainline rail infrastructure. Light rail does NOT necessarily mean it HAS to run at grade, non-segregated from traffic. There are instances of light rail where it is segregated from traffic.

 

What the SkyTrain is, is a light metro. Basically the infrastructure itself (such as the stations, the guideways and the tunnels) resemble standard metro infrastructure. But the carrying capacity and the specifications of the equipment do not allow it to be considered heavy rail. Look, where have you seen a R160 running as a people mover in some airport?

 

SkyTrain is completely segregated from other traffic, be it automobile or other rail. It has its own right of way. Its stations are fixed. But the capacity of the cars, the type of cars, the nature of the line and the original intent all play out in defining whether a line is considered to be such and such.

 

The Everline Rapid Transit System in your native Korea, just to bring up an example/analogy, will pretty much use the same technology as SkyTrain because it will be using Bombardier Advanced Rapid Transit cars. I even went here: http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EC%9A%A9%EC%9D%B8%EA%B2%BD%EC%A0%84%EC%B2%A0 and it is described as a "gyeongjeoncheol". I could clearly understand the hanja over there and it tells me it means light rail. Looking at what it is classified under, it is stated to be a "gyeongjeoncheol" (once again, light rail). Which means, that the ERTS is using light rail technology. Now if the ERTS is using light rail technology and the same cars as SkyTrain, then by logic, wouldn't the SkyTrain fall under the light rail label, under your country's definition. Now since SkyTrain does use the infrastructure of a heavy metro but at the same time adopts the technology and equipment of light rail, then regardless of it being aboveground, elevated or underground, or how it has a third rail, it is using light rail cars, and thus should be classified as a light metro. If you still have doubts, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_metro

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Both pretty much fulfill similar roles though. Cheaper alternatives to buillding a subway line and a lot of times do not have their own set of roads and must share it with other vehicles.
I feel BRT is cheaper than LRT because:

- if they already have a bus, it just needs a dedicated lane fenced off or partitioned off from the rest of traffic.

- it doesn't need rails and doesn't have to be a dedicated fleet the way the LRT is [especially if it is just one line out of many].*

- it is still subject to similar traffic issues as an LRT would need to deal with

 

*For LRTs to work, you'd need to have a 'network' of them set up otherwise it would be wasted for just one line. imo.

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Ah I see. Thanks.

 

But as the demand to use the trains increase the city of Vancouver can simply begin using heavy rail cars right?

No it cannot. For it to convert back into a real metro, it must upgrade (I should say, downgrade) the technology, the signalling and communications. But right now though, Translink is extending the MarkII trains and ordered additional ones to increase the capacity to metro capacity. But regardless it will remain a light metro until the day it becomes a full metro.

I feel BRT is cheaper than LRT because:

- if they already have a bus, it just needs a dedicated lane fenced off or partitioned off from the rest of traffic.

- it doesn't need rails and doesn't have to be a dedicated fleet the way the LRT is [especially if it is just one line out of many].*

- it is still subject to similar traffic issues as an LRT would need to deal with

 

*For LRTs to work, you'd need to have a 'network' of them set up otherwise it would be wasted for just one line. imo.

Don't forget though, LRT does have more capacity per hour.

Light Rail or (Rail Rapid Trainsit) is simply like a BRT on rails and Bus Rapid Transit is simply like RRT on Regular Roads. So basically, I agree with MTR's statement.

No not really, it really depends on the system. Curitaba's buses and our SBS are deemed proper BRT routes, but look at how they are operated.

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I feel BRT is cheaper than LRT because:

- if they already have a bus, it just needs a dedicated lane fenced off or partitioned off from the rest of traffic.

- it doesn't need rails and doesn't have to be a dedicated fleet the way the LRT is [especially if it is just one line out of many].*

- it is still subject to similar traffic issues as an LRT would need to deal with

 

*For LRTs to work, you'd need to have a 'network' of them set up otherwise it would be wasted for just one line. imo.

 

BRT is a glorified limited stop bus.

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Yes, but at least you can run any bus on there compared to an LRT where you need a dedicated fleet, tracks and facility for it.

As I said in my post, unless you are setting up a network of* lines, it is pointless to have just one line.

It is fine for NJ because they don't have any other options and are not as large as NYC's ridership demands.

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