Home Letters To The Editor What can light rail do that buses cannot do?

Editor:

What can buses do that light rail cannot do?

  1. Cheaper to build, purchase and operate
  2. Operate on existing right-of-way or railroad track area converted to pavement and on the road commuter lanes
  3. Can go ANYWHERE, including festivals, etc.
  4. Ensures ALL riders pay
  5. Carries bikes externally
  6. Does not have to worry about other buses coming head on or from behind on tracks
  7. No over/under passes needed - will not interrupt intersections unless on the Norfolk Southern right-of-way
  8. Easier to expand and contract
  9. Comes in various sizes with different propulsion systems
  10. More efficient to operate
  11. Can be used for emergency evacuations
  12. Will not take more land off the tax rolls
  13. Can be equipped with devices to change red lights anywhere it goes

Please let me know if you can think of any additions to either.

Thanks
Ben Krause - Virginia Beach

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Dave |68.10.120.123 |06-26-2012 17:05:30
I read your article and disagree. I put my response below each of your points.

What can buses do that light rail cannot do?
1. Cheaper to build, purchase and operate
Light rail does cost more to build, but a rail car can last up to 60 years; a bus can last maybe a quarter of that. Every bus needs one driver, while one driver can pilot a train several cars long. That means a lower payroll. And electricity is cheaper than gas.
2. Operate on existing right-of-way or railroad track area converted to pavement and on the road commuter lanes
Here in Va Beach, it depends on how far you use that ROW. The bride going over the river will need to be replaced. If your using a road, either you are at the mercy of traffic, reduce capacity so the bus has its own lane, or adding a lane which means buying land to expand the road.
3. Can go ANYWHERE, including festivals, etc.
True, but they will be on the same roads as all the cars, thereby not efficient.
4. Ensures ALL riders pay
If ...
Wally Erb  - Rebuttal |68.10.230.99 |06-27-2012 07:57:57
@Dave.
1. With a omnibus replacement at a more frequent level, there and state-of-art advantages of synergistic technology. In thirty years, a light rail unit is ancient.
2. Omnibus not being a fixed system, it has flexibility to divert the route as necessary from the ROW to meet the demands of special events.
3. Using electricity, especially from coal burning sources, is more expensive than hybrid and NGV powered vehicles.
4. Light rail maintenance and repair has a single source supplier .
Anonymous |74.98.182.135 |06-28-2012 00:32:20
This is not related to the Light Rail, but you stated it would take property off the tax rolls. Why has the GOP continued to that with the Midtown tunnel project? See this article about the Marine terminal. So why is one project different than another?

http://www.dailypress.com/news/politics/dp-nws-port-deal-commission-se n-membership-20120627,0,2959443.story
John P. Kuchta, Jr.  - Truth Detective |74.98.180.231 |07-06-2012 20:29:22
Man, oh, man!

Just think how smart all of us would be if we just had the results of that $6 million study I'm helping to fund BEFORE being asked to vote on light rail?

I heard today that Towne Bank kicked-in about $30,000.00 to a fund called "Move Forward" that will buy airtime before the November election. Dave Parker said they plan to raise or have raised $300,000.00. Now that's what made America great! We should decide every issue based on marketing techniques in a TV ad campaign rather than on the results of a $6 million study.

My God this place is starting to suck.