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Northern Busway Extension (Kedron to Bracken Ridge)

Started by #Metro, March 22, 2023, 10:46:29 AM

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Which option do you prefer for the Northern Busway Extension to Chermside?

Deviate to PCH then continue to Chermside
7 (63.6%)
Straight to Chermside
4 (36.4%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: March 28, 2023, 19:18:21 PM

#Metro

Completing the Northern Busway Extension

The BCC NWTC proposal is to place a Priority B busway into the median of Gympie Road, and also so spend about $1.3 billion doing this and adding in Brisbane Metro BRT to the mix. Based on a Brisbane Metro bus every 2 minutes, this would give a peak capacity of about 4500 pphd.

The remaining distance from Kedron to Chermside is about 3 km. If that $1.3 billion were just used to extend the busway as Priority A to Chermside, that gives about $433 million/km to work with. Although this is a high per-km cost, it seems a reasonable ballpark for similar busway projects.

Once you would have the busway, the capacity would be closer to 10,000 pphd and services would also be faster than on the road. The speed limit on Gympie Road is ~ 60 km/hr, busway could be set much higher, say 80 km/hr. Although this might be a small time difference initially, it would become more important as stages beyond Chermside are built out.

The Northside doesn't yet have a freeway coming off the Bruce Highway and then following Gympie Road like say the Southside does with the SE Freeway. There isn't a line-haul freeway, and the Gateway is an orbital bypass. So there is probably more scope to gain more passengers as the busway will have an absolute advantage over going via road.

And because the Gympie Road issue is solved using a busway, which will have lots of additional expansion capacity, you can cancel the NW Motorway idea that BCC is fixated on. That would just leave determining the form of the new rail line.

You could also repurpose space on Gympie Road to give Priority B extra width cycle lanes on both sides of Gympie Road into the CBD. Wouldn't that be nice?

The (King) Prince Charles Hospital Deviation
This aspect has been contentious. I think that a reasonable compromise would be to insert a portal into the busway on a Gympie Road alignment rather than deviate the entire busway and all bus services contained within it. 

This approach would allow most services to go directly to Chermside. A selected bus route (possibly a BUZ route) would use the portal to access surface roads to deviate via PCH before terminating at Chermside Bus Interchange.

PCH could get a bigger and better bus stop as well.

In summary, the concept would look like this:

- Extend Northern Busway to Chermside, reconstruct Chermside Bus Interchange
- Introduce Brisbane Metro on the Busway
- No NW Motorway idea
- Separated cycle lanes on Gympie Road all the way to Chermside

Northern Busway archived documents - https://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=14786.0
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verbatim9

#1
Yes please, at least to Chermside.

With a busway extension to UQ to Indooroopilly as well you could essentially move people around without buses and metro vehicles going on roads. This can improve on time running and cross city trip times tremendously, as well as safety.

#Metro

Jonno, what are your thoughts? And would you have any artistic skills in drawing a road cross-section with a bike path on both sides of Gympie Road?
Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

timh

Always been a big proponent of finishing the Northern Busway to Bracken Ridge. There's already been a fair bit of planning done. See: https://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=14786.msg261505#msg261505

Absolutely should have a Brisbane Metro style service. A big piece of infrastructure like this is also a good excuse for TransLink/BCC to review the duplicitous routes on Gympie Road (about 26 bph as recently highlighted!).

They shouldn't NEED a big shiny piece of infrastructure to trigger a review, but as seen with Brisbane Metro stage 1, it gets them moving!

HappyTrainGuy

Gympie road is 70kph north of Chermside.

Busway to Bracken ridge is not needed. Chermside at the very most. The catchment along Gympie is also very limited along with a lack of trip generators.

Cycle lanes are pointless. BCC finished its bikeway/shared pathway along the eastern side a while ago.

Andrew

I would be in favour of the busway being done as far as Chermside (Murphy Rd/Gympie Rds). This would have to include the "missing link" between Federation St and Truro St. Re the PCH I think it would be better to have an underground station for the busway at Chermside with a spur to a station at the PCH (kinda like the Gabba). A Northern Metro (M3?) could run to PCH thus giving it an excellent service without lengthening journeys north of Chermside. My estimation is that a completed separated busway would give an express travel time to Chermside of around 12 - 13 mins. With a direct link to Murphy Rd as well, you could be looking at savings of around 10 minutes based on actual travel times on the 330 in peak hour.  North of Chermside, I think there still could be advantages of putting it in but I think it is a lower priority at the moment.

The Northern Transitway is better than nothing but the limited operating hours will limit its advantage to weekday peak. The other major issue for buses at the current moment is losing the advantage of a busway with all this time spent getting on and off it at traffic lights. If you just miss the light at Gympie/Stafford Rds inbound in PM peak, you could be waiting up to 2.5 mins (not an exaggeration). If you end up waiting again exiting at Truro St (another 2 mins), that's almost 5 mins spent just waiting. Advantage is lost. Even filling in the missing link would assist. When the lights from Ernies Roundabout up to RBWH were out of action after the major flooding in the last year or two, 330 inbounds went via Lutwyche Rd. In the off peak, I only lost 1-2 mins not going via Airport Link Tunnel. The reason? Not having to wait at Butterfield St lights.

The northside in general needs one thing for public transport: INFRASTRUCTURE
Schr├Âdinger's Bus:
Early, On-time and Late simultaneously, until you see it...

HappyTrainGuy

When the busway first opened 330 continued to operate via surface roads than run via the busway...

Jonno

Definitely needs to be completed and eventually made into a true Metro.  I would build to Aspley!!

Gazza

Couple of possible options. Both are designed to extend to interchange with the NWTC in the future.
northbus.jpg

The via PCH option is a bit similar how the Boggo Rd busway works, where the alignment loops a bit to pick up all the destinations.
boggo.jpg

the Aspely option is more conventional.

RowBro

I think the Aspley alignment would make more sense purely because there's more trip generators along the route. PCH doesnt really need the capacity of a dedicate busway stopping at it. A 15 min frequency route from Chermside would probably be enough for it.

The Aspley allignment would also function better for a feeder service model.

HappyTrainGuy

Quote from: RowBro on March 24, 2023, 14:01:56 PMI think the Aspley alignment would make more sense purely because there's more trip generators along the route. PCH doesnt really need the capacity of a dedicate busway stopping at it. A 15 min frequency route from Chermside would probably be enough for it.

The Aspley allignment would also function better for a feeder service model.

More people work there than Chermside Westfield and there's substantial expansion planned.

RowBro

Quote from: HappyTrainGuy on March 24, 2023, 15:11:41 PM
Quote from: RowBro on March 24, 2023, 14:01:56 PMI think the Aspley alignment would make more sense purely because there's more trip generators along the route. PCH doesnt really need the capacity of a dedicate busway stopping at it. A 15 min frequency route from Chermside would probably be enough for it.

The Aspley allignment would also function better for a feeder service model.

More people work there than Chermside Westfield and there's substantial expansion planned.

If it's really that important, a spur (like UQ Lakes) would work fine IMHO. You don't really want the main alignment to be doubling back on itself, our going too far out of its way. There's nothing past PCH that requires a dedicated busway (at least in the east-west direction) since most of the severe traffic bottlenecks which slow down the busses are roads going in/out of the city. The purpose of the busway should be to bypass the traffic mostly along Gympie Road and connect the Northen suburbs with a high-quality frequent bus connection towards the city first and foremost.

#Metro

A bus portal at Rode Road would do the trick. I didn't see a need for tunnel to PCH if the bus can just exit to the surface.
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RowBro

Also, on top of that. More people may work at PCH, but I am fairly certain more shoppers go to Chermside, than patients go to PCH, especially if you take out the number of patients who physically are unable to catch PT to the hospital. Overall, I am fairly certain Chermside would be a larger trip generator when you aren't just counting workers. Add on the high-density apartments littered around Chermside and your comparison falls flat.

#Metro

^ Good points RowBro.

A spur or tunnel is a separable thing. It's not essential to the project.

TMR can always come back at some point in the future and build in an underground spur if demand requires it.

It sounds like there is general consensus around sending any future Northern Busway straight along Gympie road to Chermside without deviation.

 :-c
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Gazza

Where the split happens matters.
When you build a spur, you divide the frequency:

https://humantransit.org/2011/02/basics-branching-or-how-transit-is-like-a-river.html

If you split before Chermside, that means Kedron is getting better frequency than Chermside, which doesn't make sense.

I also imagine there is a logic behind having a direct link between PCH and Chermside (Eg Chermside will have all the terminating routes right and would be a key interchange point)

If we do a branch for the hospital, it has to be one of these.

Who needs the single seat journey more? PCH to CBD or PCH to Chermside/points north?

CHERMSIDEISSUE.jpg

RowBro

Quote from: Gazza on March 24, 2023, 16:34:12 PMWhere the split happens matters.
When you build a spur, you divide the frequency:

https://humantransit.org/2011/02/basics-branching-or-how-transit-is-like-a-river.html

If you split before Chermside, that means Kedron is getting better frequency than Chermside, which doesn't make sense.

I also imagine there is a logic behind having a direct link between PCH and Chermside (Eg Chermside will have all the terminating routes right and would be a key interchange point)

If we do a branch for the hospital, it has to be one of these.

Who needs the single seat journey more? PCH to CBD or PCH to Chermside/points north?

CHERMSIDEISSUE.jpg


I think the best option is a route from Chermside via Kedron and PCH. Most people will have to transfer at either Kedron or Chermside either way.

HappyTrainGuy

#17
The time penalty isn't massive should the busway go via PCH. As it is now the first bus stop on the buz routes is roughly where the deviation is. The bulk of Gympie road is car dealerships. PCH is actually quite difficult to access via public transport.

So what is everyone's objections to via PCH. Time? What happens if the interchange is moved to be underneath Gympie road? How does that influence your opinion on a PCH alignment? What busway are you realistically expecting on Gympie road between Kedron and Chermside? If you convert it to metro or light rail how does that influence the idea? Metro buses can't use the Chermside interchange in its current state so a new interchange is required. There is quite extensive redevelopment planned - how costly would it be to do it later rather than sooner?

#Metro

Hello Members,

A poll has been added to the top of this thread - via PCH or straight through to Chermside.

Results visible after voting, members may change their vote up until poll close.

 :is-  :bu  :bu
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#Metro

I've thought about this more and I think a deviation could be workable.

1. Stop Spacing

The busway has stops spaced far apart. So deviating it via PCH isn't going to cause a great loss to anyone in the 800m tract between Rode Road and Hamilton Road (Chermside SC). A busway stop would not appear in that section even if it were straight.

2. Service Coverage
In a properly reformed bus network (touch wood), that section would be covered by a reformed cross-town bus and another bus turning right into Gympie Road and going to Chermside. So its covered.

3. Speed Loss can be Mitigated

The busway design could potentially be altered so that buses could travel at a much higher speed on the deviation, which would offset the time lost compared to a straight through option. If the time differences between two options are small, then the speed adjustment required is probably small also, so it could be possible to make it 'time neutral'.

The hospital is likely to have a wide catchment of staff who live both north and south of the hospital. It would be a pain to have to wait for a bus and transfer for such a short distance.

If time-neutrality can be achieved then extra time isn't an obstacle, which just leaves a decision based on added cost.
Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

HappyTrainGuy

#20
Quote from: RowBro on March 24, 2023, 15:33:37 PMAlso, on top of that. More people may work at PCH, but I am fairly certain more shoppers go to Chermside, than patients go to PCH, especially if you take out the number of patients who physically are unable to catch PT to the hospital. Overall, I am fairly certain Chermside would be a larger trip generator when you aren't just counting workers. Add on the high-density apartments littered around Chermside and your comparison falls flat.
I'm not disputing that Westfield is a bigger trip generator. Yes more people go to a shopping centre. But the PCH is still a large employment hub for the surrounding area and trip generator that is still expanding in the surrounding area. Approx 5000 people currently work at the PHC complex and is the largest cardiothoracic hospital in Australia. RBWH transfers patients to the PCH. Patients from NSW are even outpatients there. New apartments are also going up around the PCH aswell along with substantial complex redevelopment.



If you have to drop a few hundred million with property resumptions for a busway why not tap into a major key hub. The Chermside interchange has problems anyway so a new interchange will be required. A busway won't guarantee faster transit times via Gympie road anyway as you still have to deal with intersections such as Kitchener road, rode road and Hamilton road. And what happens when you get to Rode road? Just mix it with general traffic? Or are you going to steam roll a huge amount of property resumptions. Cost is always going to play a role.

Oh and the new apartments aren't on or near gympie road. If it was we would have a rode road stop so that buzes wouldn't run express hamilton road-Kitchener road.

AJ Transport

Can I ask where you got that image and or related information HTG?
Developing that area makes sense.

HappyTrainGuy

#22
There was some sign/booth or something there a while back promoting the complex. IIRC St Vincent's had about 1000 employees, PCH had 3200 and 800 admin/facilities/other service providers.

Photo was from the masterplan. And there have been renders elsewhere at the PCH and other pamphlets that metro north use.  https://www.maaparchitects.com/the-prince-charles-hospital

https://metronorth.health.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/tpch-framework-for-renewal.pdf
 

Jonno

#23
I think it is always important to look at these discussions in the fuller context not just the single corridor. Just my approach not saying no one isn't. Whilst diverting to the hospital makes sense and is logical, when you view a potential future BRT anchored fast & frequent bus network, I see the hospital being connected via other routes to the Gympie Rd transport spine.  These routes enable cross city movements/connections plus coverage of areas outside the Gympie Rd spine catchment and thus provide I believe ample connection to the hospital.  Just my thinking.

PCH Discussion

#Metro

Friendly reminder this poll closes tomorrow. Thanks!!  :bu
Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

HappyTrainGuy

Webster road is not suitable for stop location. Neither is hamilton road.

Gazza

Come to think of it, deviating to PCH is still probably faster than present, purely because you get to avoid the slow traffic lights in and out of the current interchange.


Heres the original plans for what its worth.
buscorridor.jpg

Jonno

#27
As long as there is a station near the Kitchener Rd/Gympie Rd Intersection (these will always be nodes for development) then the deviation works too. Rode Rd intersection is only 800m to Chermside. Very walkable and cyclable.  As Jarret Walker says..."Be on the way".  Any station needs to be linked to other cross-city BRT )or BUZ) routes.

HappyTrainGuy

Still no one is really addressing the fundamental core issues of the existing network in this area. Kitchener road, Rode road and hamilton road intersections. Properties existing along Gympie road. The issues of the interchange. Rollingstock be it a standard bus, a bendy bus, a super long bendy bus or a light rail vehicle. The network. The future redevelopment of the PCH complex and the cost of everything to implement.

Metro buses can't use the current interchange let alone a light rail vehicle. There are already big issues for the current network using the interchange. TMR has flagged multiple different sites for new interchanges (kittyhawke drive at the Murphy road end and Hamilton road to Bouchard street on the western side of Gympie road both underground and above ground stations). Light phases. Existing interchange congestion issues.

Gazza

What are your preferred solutions for each of those points?

Jonno


HappyTrainGuy

#31
Quote from: Gazza on March 27, 2023, 14:27:47 PMWhat are your preferred solutions for each of those points?

All depends on budget. So bugger all really :P

Just spit balling. Gympie road busway is unrealistic given the resumption cost and lack of benefits for the expenditure. Cut/cover/tunnel as much as possible via PCH. This eliminates the issues of Kitchener road-Hamilton road intersections while also providing a link to a major trip generator at the PCH that is only increasing. A station in the middle of PCH - consult with qld metro health for their master plan etc. it's under developed at the moment which should make construction easier/cheaper than doing it once it's developed. Tunnel under hamilton road. New Chermside interchange under Gympie road. This removes the issue of the current Chermside interchange and rollingstock issues such as bendy buses and possible light rail - yeah like that'll ever happen. Resume the properties north west of Gympie road/hamilton road. Realign Gympie road to the west while the inbound station is dug out/services moved. Repeat and reverse for outbound. Add a turnaround similar to king George square for east-west routes and super long bendy buses. Add a portal in the middle of Gympie road northside facing citybound at the hamilton road intersection for east/west/370 services. Platforms could be westbound/northbound/outbound and eastbound/southbound/inbound. The portals will still allow for buses to share the interchange with light rail should that be available in 2099. Reconfigure hamilton road/Gympie road intersection for bus jumps/portal entry/exit and extra traffic lanes ie left/right turn or even shared lanes eg straight through lane only lane can also be used by buses as their left/right turn lane. The Westfield/Bouchard street entrance will go to make way for the portals and road configuration.

You can have a busway along Gympie road but there are a lot of expensive hurdles that may not even deliver a faster trip time especially if it ends up being the same transit time due to intersections.

Gazza

Yes, I don't see the benefit of a median busway compared to the current transitway we are getting.

Doesn't matter if you are in the kerbside lane or the middle lane if you still have to stop at traffic lights.

RowBro

Quote from: Gazza on March 27, 2023, 22:05:41 PMYes, I don't see the benefit of a median busway compared to the current transitway we are getting.

Doesn't matter if you are in the kerbside lane or the middle lane if you still have to stop at traffic lights.

Absolutely. The only way we are getting a busway along Gympie Road (at least for the large majority of it) is through tunnelling. There are some old factories and car yards like the Tip Top factory which could definitely be acquired to allow for some above ground running, but they are few and far between.

RowBro

I've quickly mapped out where I think would be viable for above ground running in red, and tunnels in black. The reality is above ground running even through the portions I have coloured red would present other issues such as changing local street access, so realistically it's likely the majority of it will be tunneled regardless.

Kitchener Rd - Chermside (Small).png
Stadlier St - Kitchner Rd.png 

HappyTrainGuy

I'd start turning to the left well before rode road. Possibly even starting before Kitchener road to maintain the speed.

timh

Original plans from 2011 look basically exactly the same as what you've come up with RowBro. Yes changes to local street access were planned. See this thread https://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=14786.msg261505#msg261505




RowBro

Quote from: timh on March 28, 2023, 07:01:51 AMOriginal plans from 2011 look basically exactly the same as what you've come up with RowBro. Yes changes to local street access were planned. See this thread https://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=14786.msg261505#msg261505





Yea. And there have been some more developments since then, so there's no way you'd get any more above ground running than that.

Jonno

#38
It seems that building it with the Airport Tunnel is unlikely (as outlined above) so needs to go its own way and be driven tunnel all the way to Chermside. The days of wiping out developments for busways stations and ramps are over.  Tunnel it.  The need for Open Air station because of diesel buses should also be abandoned.  Fully electric buses or a true Metro (as is really needed) should be doable by the time you build the Northern Busway.

If this is the case Windsor Station would be on western side of Gympie Rd with direct connection to rail station (see Woolli Creek in Sydney - yes it is two train lines but the concept is right), then connect to existing Truro St Station, Lutwyche, Kedron then new station at Cremorne Street (car yards) then Tip Top site (Govt owned already??) then PCH (please please please not on the opposite side of a car park to the entrance) then back to Chermside on the shopping centre side or under Gympie Rd. 

Seems silly to stop tunnelling at Chermside (I mean we build 10-12 lanes of freeway with out even questioning the cost) and tunnel all the way to Aspley.  After that who knows....maybe nothing. Maybe just to Carseldine Station to connect to rail.  Maybe 1 or 2 stops more.

All above assume densification around the stations.

timh

Quote from: Jonno on March 28, 2023, 12:56:34 PMIt seems that building it with the Airport Tunnel is unlikely (as outlined above) so needs to go its own way and be driven tunnel all the way to Chermside.

Jonno, again your wishes are lofty and to be commended, but totally unrealistic. Driven tunnel all the way to Chermside is totally not necessary and is way too expensive.

QuoteThe days of wiping out developments for busways stations and ramps are over.  Tunnel it. 

There is a good kilometre or two at least where surface running is applicable, by resuming the caryards. I reject your notion that "The days of wiping out developments for busways stations and ramps are over". Commercial properties like this are much easier to resume than residential, and it's done all the time for public transport projects. They are literally resuming a whole shopping centre for a busway on the extension to the Hyperdome.


New Chatswood Road Busway Station


Google maps showing the current shopping centre at that location

QuoteThe need for Open Air station because of diesel buses should also be abandoned. 
Are you not aware that King George Square station is a thing? Also plans for the Eastern Busway call for an underground station under Coorparoo Square, so I don't know where you're getting these ideas from.

QuoteFully electric buses or a true Metro (as is really needed) should be doable by the time you build the Northern Busway.

Already a thing. I suspect in 5 years time the fleet will be largely electric anyway.

QuoteIf this is the case Windsor Station would be on western side of Gympie Rd with direct connection to rail station
2011 plans call for a station connected to Windsor, but it would be an open-cut station on the Eastern side of Lutwyche road, with a direct pedestrian overpass connection. Not sure why it's not on the Western side.

QuoteSeems silly to stop tunnelling at Chermside (I mean we build 10-12 lanes of freeway with out even questioning the cost) and tunnel all the way to Aspley.

No, it's not silly. It's cost effective. Tunnelling is, almost always, FAR more expensive than building a surface road/highway. Tunneling past Chermside is outrageous, absolutely not required. Absolutely ridiculous cost for the amount of patronage you would serve past there. There is good reason that the 2011 busway plans called for median running along the route beyond Chermside.

QuoteAll above assume densification around the stations.

Yeah, this is not a catch all that magically solved your problems. Sure, IF Aspley was built up with 8 storey apartments all the way along Gympie road then maybe yeah you could look at tunneling. But again, I must stress, it's unrealistic. That's not happening any time soon. Your forum posts are constantly "We need more BRT lines!!! We need better interchanges!! Walkable cities!!! Exclamation marks!!!!" but your head seems to be in the clouds in some magical land where political parties are all urbanists, NIMBYs can be silenced immediately, we can divert huge swathes of money away from maintaining/upgrading roads, etc. etc. All lofty goals, but you never offer any serious, rational, sensible solutions that are actually achievable in the current political and economic climate.

The 2011 Northern Busway plans are difficult and expensive to build enough as it is. Even I can see that the "Missing Link" section which I would DEARLY love to see built, would be extremely difficult to get over the line, due to the high cost per kilometre, limited time savings it would offer (10 mins at best), and the geotechnical challenges working around the AirportLink tunnel.

I think advocating for the construction of the busway as per the original documents is what we need to be doing, and I think much like the current Brisbane Metro project, BCC is a good option for someone to foot a majority of the bill. The state government is showing no interest in the Northern Busway. I'm very glad to see them continuing to expand the South East Busway, and the new plans for the joint study to build the Eastern Busway with BCC. Schrinner seems dead keen on getting Brisbane Metro to Chermside. Well, if he wants to do it, and the state isn't moving, then he should pay for it.

We could do a lot more productive things like lobby BCC to start looking at constructing the missing link, further northern busway expansions, etc., than talk about building Busway tunnels to Aspley.

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