July's Birmingham Transport Solution

The Birmingham Mail has reported on the latest solution to Birmingham's continuing transport problems with the Broad Street Business Improvement District (BID) pushing rapid transport vehicles to take people around the city centre.

“The route from Broad Street to New Street and Bath Row will give visitors using the ICC and people going to BrindleyPlace a way of getting around the city quickly.“It will have the level of frequency of the tube system in London and we hope it will be a high-quality service for people coming into the city as well.“With its own lane and route, it should not get caught up in the congestion and traffic that’s normally in the city.”http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2009/07/20/rapid-transit-vehicles-plan-for-birmingham-city-centre-97319-24195974/

The proposal is for three vehicles each able to carry 120 passengers running at 6-8 minute frequency around the city centre. The carriages which would look like trains would rubber-wheel based and would use up to 40 per cent less fuel compared to traditional vehicles. The proposed circular route would serve New Street Station, Centenary Square, Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Bath Row completing a circuit in 12 minutes. Priority traffic lights and changes to the road layout on Broad Street would give the new vehicles priority.

Similar vehicles are being developed in Las Vegas developing on an earlier Bus Rapid Transport system established in 2004. The Broad Street BID is attempting to get support from Birmingham City Council and Centro, the Passenger Transport Authority, to get financial backing for the scheme which is part of the BID's renewal pledge for the district. The route to Five Ways from New Street Station covers the route of the proposed City Centre Metro extension which has been delayed for years and which looks likely to stop at New Street Station. The vehicles offer an opportunity to emulate the Metro and give the appearance of the Metro at a reduced cost as the Las Vegas June 2009 Newsletter notes, "ACE rapid transit will have the look and feel of a light rail system, but have the flexibility of running on regular streets", http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/mpo/downtownconnector/ACENewsletterJune09_6.15.pdf

The Las Vegas scheme is currently under construction and will serve a 7.5 mile route with 23 stops. Work has commenced in 2009 with the route due to be open in 2011. The route develops and replaces an earlier Bus Rapid Transport system from 2004 with new vehicles and expanded routes. Further details can be found at: http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/mpo/downtownconnector/

Image of a vehicle from the Las Vegas scheme is reproduced from: http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/transit/ace.cfm

A report on the Las Vegas project is available from the National BRT Institute: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Demonstration Project Las Vegas


Popular Posts