network design for high ridership, a dense city example

How do transit network designers go about their task? Surprisingly little has been written about this.  You can pick up books that appear to cover the “network planning” process and find examples of good and bad networks but rarely a description of how to do the design thinking itself.  EMBARQ’s recent manual for network planners in India, for example, provides great detail about how to analyze demand and evaluate results, but show no awareness of the really challenging task of network design, which sits in between those tasks. Continue Reading →

reims: the “strong lines” of the “bus-tram network”

The opening of a new tram (streetcar) line is usually the occasion for lots of hype and celebration about trams.  But Reims, France is using the opening day of a new tram to pitch a newly integrated network, the "Réseau Bus-Tram."  The term clearly invites us to stop thinking of buses and trams as separate things, and forming attachments to one or the other.

Reims lignes Their description of it in their timetables [PDF] shows a focus on promoting a network of main lines (Lignes fortes), which consist of two tram lines and five bus lines, all very frequent and designed to complement each other.  The name lignes fortes suggests not just main lines but also (more literally) strong lines, strong enough to be the structure that supports all the other transit lines in the city.

(Just home from Halifax.  More on that soon, though come to think of it, this post is about Halifax too, and about a lot of other cities …)