Evaluation Criteria and Mode Progression for RouteAhead Rapid Transit Projects

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1 Evaluation Criteria and Mode Progression for RouteAhead Rapid Transit Projects C ATTACHMENT 2 The RouteAhead draft 30-year rapid transit plan was developed in coordination with the Investing in Mobility project team to ensure strategic alignment between the two projects. RouteAhead used input from Council, Administration and the public to create the plan. The capital projects in the plan include new customer service oriented rapid transit capital projects. Programs (such as bus purchases), back-of-house facilities (such as storage and maintenance facilities), or lifecycle maintenance, are captured in the Investing in Mobility project. The final RouteAhead strategic plan will present all forecasted capital costs for Calgary Transit over the 30-year timeline of the plan. The prioritization of projects for RouteAhead and the 10-year Investing in Mobility Plan will be based on the evaluation criteria described below. Supporting the Calgary Transportation Plan (CTP) These capital projects will move Calgary towards the transportation goals outlined in the CTP, such as aligning transportation planning and infrastructure investment (transportation goal #1), providing affordable mobility (transportation goal #3) and enabling public transit, walking and cycling as the preferred transportation choices for more people (transportation goal #4). The RouteAhead 30-year capital plan is based on the population, transportation and land use assumptions of the CTP, a 60-year plan to accommodate an additional 1.3 million people in Calgary as outlined by the Municipal Development Plan (MDP). Redevelopment and intensification is to be directed to activity centres (areas with a high concentration of jobs and population) and corridors to make efficient use of land and existing and future infrastructure, including transit. Intensification of existing activity centres and corridors is beneficial to transit, and conversely transit enables this kind of development as land use and transportation are linked in a feedback cycle. Alignment with Investing in Mobility Investing in Mobility, formerly called the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Plan (TIIP), is a ten-year plan for major transportation capital projects. Investing in Mobility will identify approximately $4.5 billion worth of capital infrastructure requirements to progress towards the goals of the CTP. RouteAhead has been embedded with the team crafting the ten-year capital plan to ensure strategic alignment between the two projects. Using transparent prioritization criteria, the Investing in Mobility team ranked the activity centres and corridors, in terms of population and employment, identified in the MDP. This provided RouteAhead with clarity on where to focus investments geographically to improve mobility and co-ordinate investments with city-wide goals. C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 1 of 9

2 The Investing in Mobility funding allocation strategy was approved at the 2012 July 30 Regular Meeting of Council, and included funding allocation ranges, depending on funding eligibility, for Mobility Hubs and Transit Corridors (40%-50%), Goods Movement and Traffic Growth (25%-30%), Transportation Network Optimization (5%-10%) and Lifecycle and Asset Management (20%-25%). This is the first update to TIIP/Investing in Mobility since the CTP was approved by Council in September 2009 and the first opportunity to align transportation capital investments with CTP and MDP policies, Council s Fiscal Plan for Calgary, the 2020 Sustainability Direction and the RouteAhead strategic plan. Project Identification Capital projects are identified for rapid transit projects only. The Primary Transit Network includes many other corridors in Calgary. These other corridors have unique characteristics that make them suited to a style of public transit that might best be described as frequent transit rather than rapid transit. Many of the same service characteristics associated with Primary Transit Network service will apply to these other corridors, and they will still have focused investments in transit priority to improve the speed and reliability of the corridor (e.g. traffic signal priority and queue jumps at intersections). An estimate of the capital cost of these improvements will be included in the RouteAhead 30-year plan. Rapid transit corridors are distinguished by the heavy investment in capital infrastructure to provide limited stop service and a high level of transit priority. Projects included in this analysis were identified through the following: Outstanding items from previous capital plans, such as TIIP and the Calgary Transit 30-year Capital Plan Council direction Public engagement, including input from key stakeholders, residents, Calgary Transit customers and employees Capital Projects The exhibit below illustrates the location of the rapid transit capital projects in the draft 30-year RouteAhead plan. The term Transitway is introduced to describe bus rapid transit (BRT) projects that include more extensive bus-only infrastructure (transit-only lanes) than traditional BRT projects in Calgary. All BRT projects will include transit priority measures (e.g. traffic signal priority and queue jumps at bottlenecks). C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 2 of 9

3 C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 3 of 9

4 Mode Progression in Rapid Transit Corridors The intensity of service and choice of vehicle technology/capacity in a rapid transit corridor should evolve over time to meet the changing demand, land use characteristics and expectations of customers and residents. Planning is required to forecast the future population/land use/transit demand, identify and reserve rights-of-way, locate transit facilities (including stations, park and ride lots and maintenance facilities) and identify means of access to stations, buses and terminals. This capital list identifies mode progression to higher capacity transit technology over the next 30 years. Technology that is less permanent and less capital intensive, such as local buses and bus rapid transit (BRT), can be implemented to develop travel patterns, offer transportation choice and build a solid foundation for progression to higher capacity transit technologies. In Calgary there have been several successful examples of mode progression in rapid transit corridors. The Blue Arrow express bus service began serving residents in the Macleod Trail corridor in 1972, prior to the opening of the south LRT in In-street BRT was introduced on Route 301 in 2004 in the Centre Street (north) and Bow Trail/17 Avenue (west) corridors prior to opening West LRT in This approach, along with other factors, has helped Calgary s LRT become one of the highest ridership light rail systems in North America. Mode progression in a corridor is not a linear activity that should be defined solely by ridership or technology availability. There are many factors that influence mode progression, including but not limited to: land use intensity; urban form and adjacent development context; availability of capital funding; operating and maintenance costs; long term plans for transit and the city; environmental/emissions targets; system capacity; desired travel time; travel reliability; and readiness, both in terms of project delivery and impact to adjacent residents and businesses. The exhibit below illustrates the mode succession in several significant corridors. C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 4 of 9

5 C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 5 of 9

6 Project Prioritization Criteria The prioritization criteria used in RouteAhead is based on three categories: land use; customer experience; and project characteristics. Each category contains a number of sub-categories that were given a value based on the relative merits of the project. Land Use Supports Activity Centres and Corridors Primary Transit Network Connectivity and Alignment Population and Jobs Intensity Customer Experience Increases Travel Time Advantage Overcomes Issues of Reliability and Delay Increases Passenger Capacity Project Characteristics Serves High Ridership Corridor Contributes to Lifecycle Maintenance and Asset Management Capital Cost Improves Overall Mobility of the Transportation Network Other Considerations in Project Prioritization The rating of projects using these criteria is one tool to assist Administration and Council in determining which projects to construct and when. Many other factors should be considered when determining a detailed construction timeline, including the availability of capital and operating funds, Calgary Transit operational requirements and coordination with other business units and City departments. Other capital programs, such as bus purchases and building maintenance, are required to keep the system running. These will be captured as part of the Investing in Mobility Plan and will be identified in the final RouteAhead 30-year strategic plan. C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 6 of 9

7 Description of Evaluation Criteria Evaluation criteria used in the ranking of projects are discussed in detail below. Land Use Supports Activity Centres and Corridors Primary Transit Network Connectivity and Alignment Population and Jobs Intensity Customer Experience Increases Travel Time Advantage Overcomes Issues of Reliability and Delay Increases Passenger Capacity Project Characteristics Serves High Ridership Corridor Contributes to Lifecycle Maintenance and Asset Management Capital Cost Improves Overall Mobility of the Transportation Network Supports Activity Centres and Corridors Each project is evaluated on the merits of how the project supports the land use goals of the Calgary Transportation Plan. The project receives a higher score if it supports a greater number of activity centres (centre city, major activity centre, community activity centre, industrial-employee intensive) and corridors (urban corridor, neighbourhood corridor). Primary Transit Network (PTN) Connectivity and Alignment Projects receive higher scores for intersecting with, and travelling along, existing and future primary transit network corridors. The PTN is a key feature of the CTP and will provide customers with frequent, reliable service for most of the day, seven days a week. When complete, the PTN will provide a grid of frequent transit services. Implementing and supporting the PTN is a high priority to shape the land use and travel patterns to reach the goals of the MDP and CTP. Population and Jobs Intensity The forecast data from 2029 is used to determine the future population and jobs intensity. Geographic information systems (GIS) are used to analyze the forecasted population and jobs data in the service area of each of the projects. The sum of the jobs and population per hectare are calculated and compared with CTP targets. The 2029 time horizon was chosen because it is approximately in the middle of the 30-year timeframe of the RouteAhead project. C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 7 of 9

8 Land Use Supports Activity Centres and Corridors Primary Transit Network Connectivity Population and Jobs Intensity Customer Experience Increases Travel Time Advantage Overcomes Issues of Reliability and Delay Increases Passenger Capacity Project Characteristics Serves High Ridership Corridor Contributes to Lifecycle Maintenance and Asset Management Capital Cost Improves Overall Mobility of the Transportation Network Increases Travel Time Advantage Projects that are expected to increase the travel time advantage for transit customers receive a higher score in this category. Projects with dedicated rights-of-way, such as LRT and transitways score the highest, while projects that run mainly in mixed traffic with private vehicles, such as BRT running on street, score lower, apart from locations where on-street delays are minimal. Overcome Issues of Reliability and Delay Transportation Planning provided the data to determine the scoring for these criteria. Projects that provide for a dedicated transit right-of-way or transit priority around areas of congestion are given higher scores. A volume/capacity ratio map, identifying congestion on the network, is used to determine the location of congestion in the 2029 time horizon. Increases Passenger Capacity Projects that will increase passenger capacity over the existing state are scored based on the expected increase provided by the project. C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 8 of 9

9 Land Use Supports Activity Centres and Corridors Primary Transit Network Connectivity and Alignment Population and Jobs Intensity Customer Experience Increases Travel Time Advantage Overcomes Issues of Reliability and Delay Increases Passenger Capacity Serves High Ridership Corridor Project Characteristics Serves High Ridership Corridor Contributes to Lifecycle Maintenance and Asset Management Capital Cost Improves Overall Mobility of the Transportation Network Calgary Transit ridership data is used to determine the scoring for this criterion. Existing high ridership corridors score higher because improvements to transit service would serve existing customers, support existing travel patterns and help alleviate capacity/overcrowding issues. It should be noted there is merit to improving transit service in lower ridership corridors to build future ridership and offer Calgarians more transportation choices; that benefit is captured in the customer experience criteria. Contributes to Lifecycle Maintenance and Asset Management To analyze this criterion the assets of the Transportation Department are considered and not just the assets of Calgary Transit. Therefore, projects that include reconstructing existing road segments (e.g. 17 Avenue SE, Centre Street transitway) score higher under this criterion than projects that are primarily new construction (such as the South LRT extension). Capital Cost Projects with lower capital costs receive higher scores under this criterion. Based on the forecasted capital budget for the next decade it is important to rate the fit of projects with the available 10-year budget. This approach is not being applied to the 30-year vision in the RouteAhead plan as alternative funding sources are being explored. Improves Overall Mobility of the Transportation Network Projects that improve mobility for all modes on the overall transportation network receive higher scores under this criterion. C RouteAhead Core Principles and Capital Evaluation Criteria_Att 2 Page 9 of 9

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