Advertisement
If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Cork Area Transit System (CATS)

  • 17-06-2010 12:07am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 17,014 ✭✭✭✭ namloc1980


    Didn't see this elsewhere but the Cork City Council employed MVA Consultancy to conduct an extensive review/study of the Cork metro area transport requirements for the next 20-30 years. The study also doubled up as Cork's feasibility study into the construction of a Luas type light rail system. They reported back to the Council last year and the study was open to public consultation earlier this year. Here's the report

    Basically it outlined the following:
    - the current transport network in Cork city and suburbs is pretty much a joke and only 7% of commuters into the city use public transport on a daily basis.
    - the public transport experience in Cork is pretty dismal. Buses are unreliable and do not connect up effectively, bus stops generally comprise a red pole on the street with no timetables at many of them and the fare system discourages multi trip journeys.
    - the crap planning undertaken by the Cork County and City Councils over the past 10-15 years led to the construction of highly dispersed residential developments in small villages throughout the county, in effect making it difficult to link these places to an effective public transport network. Instead increased density should have been put into places like the city centre, and the large suburban towns of Midleton, Ballincollig and Carrigaline etc.

    Feasibility of a Luas type system: The study found that a Luas light rail system would not be feasible given the relatively low urban population however it did find that a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) corridor would be feasible running from Ballincollig-Bishopstown-CIT-CUH-UCC-City centre-Bus Station-Kent-Docklands-Páirc Uí Chaoimh-Mahon. A BRT system like the Busway in Nantes in France (pic below) could be built at 30% the cost of a light rail solution. It would be grade segregated as much as possible with proper luas-like stops and realtime info and with a high frequency (especially morning and evening).

    busway_beaulieu_560.jpgbuswaydef.jpg

    Other recommendations:
    - the entire city and suburban bus system should be totally redesigned and rebranded to Cork Area Transit System (CATS) or something similar. This would give the system an identity seperate to 'Bus Eireann'. Many of the bus routes in Cork city are unchanged for the last 60 years. Full integration with the BRT, Kent station and Bus station with realtime info at bus stops in the city centre and proper bus stops with shelters etc and not just a red pole. Priority bus lanes to be put in place on the critical routes (Airport, Carrigaline etc) and not the joke of the so called 'Green routes' we have now.
    - integrated ticketing: this is a must. It's 2010 FFS, we have to have integrated multi-journey ticketing.
    - discourage people from bringing their cars into the core of the city by pedestrianising much of the city centre and hence encourage use of transport options.

    So what do people think??

    (PS I realise the 99% of the stuff in the study will never see the light of day because CIE, Bus Eireann, Irish Rail and politicians have no will whatsoever in sorting out the city's transport problems and this report will just gather dust like so many other reports in City Hall.)


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,265 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    Interesting report, thanks for posting it. Obviously the BRT is the only realistic proposal at €714million cheaper than LRT. If a grade separated BRT corridor was to be build it would be wise to build the corridor to allow for upgrade to a higher capacity light rail corridor in the future if there is the demand. Im sure the cost of this would not be too much more expensive as would only mean have the corridor wide enough to accommodate trams, provide utilities along the corridor and have stops long enough, or be able to be extended, to allow trams to stop.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,021 Sulmac


    As well as the proposed BRT line, another going north/south from the city centre to the airport could be considered.

    Overall, a good proposal - and much more feasible than the Green Party's idea of Luas systems for Cork and Galway. That said, I agree with Pete_Cavan that any such system should be built in such a way that it could be easily upgraded to LRT.

    Impossible to disagree about the integrated ticketing and branding arguments!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,265 ✭✭✭ Pete_Cavan


    The report did consider another BRT line running from Ballyvolane to the Airport via the City Centre but concluded there would not be the passenger numbers for this to be feasible. Instead it recommends a "significantly improved conventional bus services, operating on enhanced bus priority infrastructure, represent the most appropriate solution to the transport needs of areas along the north-south corridor from Ballyvolane to the Airport, via the City Centre." In other words, "do nothing".


  • Registered Users Posts: 577 Typewriter


    Pete_Cavan wrote: »
    Interesting report, thanks for posting it. Obviously the BRT is the only realistic proposal at €714million cheaper than LRT. If a grade separated BRT corridor was to be build it would be wise to build the corridor to allow for upgrade to a higher capacity light rail corridor in the future if there is the demand. Im sure the cost of this would not be too much more expensive as would only mean have the corridor wide enough to accommodate trams, provide utilities along the corridor and have stops long enough, or be able to be extended, to allow trams to stop.

    If your going to go through all that trouble of grade separating how much extra would it cost to also lay tram tracks at the same time?

    So instead of buying those Wright buses we could invest in some diesel trams.

    http://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/a-%E2%80%98must%E2%80%99-read-for-rail-for-the-valley-%E2%80%93-diesel-trams-a-new-way-forward-part-2-2/

    http://www.acorp.uk.com/Assets/mr_march_64_66_lo-res.pdf

    Also found this very odd amateur site...

    http://alacroart.com/alvin.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,014 ✭✭✭✭ namloc1980


    If your going to go through all that trouble of grade separating how much extra would it cost to also lay tram tracks at the same time?

    So instead of buying those Wright buses we could invest in some diesel trams.

    http://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/a-%E2%80%98must%E2%80%99-read-for-rail-for-the-valley-%E2%80%93-diesel-trams-a-new-way-forward-part-2-2/

    http://www.acorp.uk.com/Assets/mr_march_64_66_lo-res.pdf

    Also found this very odd amateur site...

    http://alacroart.com/alvin.html

    According to the feasibility study a BRT corridor would cost €300m versus light rail which would cost €1bn.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 326 ✭✭ marathont


    If your going to go through all that trouble of grade separating how much extra would it cost to also lay tram tracks at the same time?

    So instead of buying those Wright buses we could invest in some diesel trams.

    http://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/a-%E2%80%98must%E2%80%99-read-for-rail-for-the-valley-%E2%80%93-diesel-trams-a-new-way-forward-part-2-2/

    http://www.acorp.uk.com/Assets/mr_march_64_66_lo-res.pdf

    Also found this very odd amateur site...

    http://alacroart.com/alvin.html

    A proper separated bus system seems to be cheaper and more flexible to me. Trams and light rail are cool, but have they got any real advantages ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    only in huge busy Cities.Cork is too small.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,014 ✭✭✭✭ namloc1980


    corktina wrote: »
    only in huge busy Cities.Cork is too small.

    Not really. There are plenty of cities in Europe that are smaller than Cork that have extensive light rail networks. In fact, Angers and Reims in France are currently building new light rail systems and both those cities have smaller populations than Cork, both in terms of the city population and the surrounding metro area population. So that argument doesn't stand up really.


  • Registered Users Posts: 577 Typewriter


    namloc1980 wrote: »
    According to the feasibility study a BRT corridor would cost €300m versus light rail which would cost €1bn.

    Why?

    Would the 20km of tracks cost €700m? or would the electrical infrastructure cost €700m?

    If this BRT (aka bus) will have a grade separated alinement with all underground services moved into newly installed ducts and pipes at the side of the road or under the footpath and would be stopping at stations/stops with platforms then I don't see why we dont just lay some tracks in the tarmac and buy some diesel trams instead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,014 ✭✭✭✭ namloc1980


    Why?

    Would the 20km of tracks cost €700m? or would the electrical infrastructure cost €700m?

    If this BRT (aka bus) will have a grade separated alinement with all underground services moved into newly installed ducts and pipes at the side of the road or under the footpath and would be stopping at stations/stops with platforms then I don't see why we dont just lay some tracks in the tarmac and buy some diesel trams instead.

    I agree that the €1bn figure seems excessive. The red and green Luas lines were built for €770m. And the tram systems being built in Angers and Reims are budgeted at between €300m - €400m each.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 4,036 ✭✭✭ AugustusMinimus


    Just wondering but in the 4+ years since this report has been issued, has any move towards developing a BRT system in the city been moved forward.

    IMO, while Cork City may have a low population compared to say Dublin, the announcement of such projects like the Brewery Quarter yesterday makes the likes of BRT or Light Rail more feasible.

    My view is such. A single line running from Ballincollig to Mahon is the most feasible at this time. The reason is simply because of the large developments which it would pass by.

    Ballincollig - Curraheen Greyhound Track - Cork Science and Innovation Park - CIT - CUH / Wilton Shopping Centre - UCC - Brewery Quarter / Entertainment District - City Centre (Shopping District) - City Centre (Business District) - Atlantic Quarter - Pairc Ui Chaoimh - Mahon Point

    This is a lot of big developments which could be linked together by a single BRT / Light Rail line. In addition, depending of the route taken, Kent Station would be less than a 5 minute walk from a station on the line. To bring the line right past Kent Station would involve crossing the Lee twice which could cause a lot of trouble.

    A 2nd North - South line would be less feasible IMO. But considering the traffic issues in the Douglas area, it might become necessary. In addition, connectivity to Cork Airport would also become an issue. In my mind, the following developments would be linked via this line

    Blackpool Shopping Centre - Blackpool - Opera House - City Centre (Shopping District) - City Centre (Business District) - Tramore Valley Park - Douglas - Carrigaline.

    In addition, a spur off this line somewhere around Tramore Valley Park would take to Cork Airport.



    The other big discussion obviously will be the choice of BRT vs Light Rail. As people have said on here, either system will have to be grade separate as much as possible. More possible outside the city centre than in the city centre obviously. And indeed, if BRT is eventually chosen, it should be built so that it can easily be converted to Light Rail if required in future.

    IMO, if Cork City Council wants to make this a reality, doing more large scale developments along proposed BRT/Light Rail lines is a must. If Ballincollig and Carrigaline are being propsed to be linked by these systems, building up both of their populations past 20,000 would also help in justifying such transport systems.

    Anyone like to guess a good route for either system and where grade separation would be possible ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    Cork Area Rapid Transit - CART

    Traditional Dublin joke :)

    Seriously though, Cork is the perfect scale city for a tram system. Not that they'll get one.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,092 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    Along with the Finglas version.:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,171 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Cork should get light rail. Dublin's luas and Dart are horrifically overcrowded. Similar sized European Cities have comprehensive underground systems supported by tram and bus.

    Building half assed brt in Cork is another Irish style sop to the motor industry. Build it properly the first time and solve the problem long term.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Cork should get light rail. Dublin's luas and Dart are horrifically overcrowded. Similar sized European Cities have comprehensive underground systems supported by tram and bus.
    Considering the city centre is built just below the high tide mark, and going by the hassle the main drainage had installing much narrower pipes, underground in Cork is a non-runner, unless you're going under, and bypassing the northside, like has been done already...


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,171 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    Considering the city centre is built just below the high tide mark, and going by the hassle the main drainage had installing much narrower pipes, underground in Cork is a non-runner, unless you're going under, and bypassing the northside, like has been done already...

    I never suggested such a thing but Corks geography is no barrier to underground rail. Amsterdam is under sea level at all tides


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha


    Considering the city centre is built just below the high tide mark, and going by the hassle the main drainage had installing much narrower pipes, underground in Cork is a non-runner, unless you're going under, and bypassing the northside, like has been done already...

    They were able to build underground in Amsterdam, these things can be done, whether they are economic is another question.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,036 ✭✭✭ AugustusMinimus


    I don't think anyone here is suggesting Cork should have an underground system. Light rail / trams such as LUAS would be most welcome though.

    What sets Cork apart from other Irish cities though is its typography. Cork is much hillier than just about any other Irish city. Much of the north side simply wouldn't be suited to light rail save going underground which wouldn't be economically viable.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,180 ✭✭✭ hfallada


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Cork should get light rail. Dublin's luas and Dart are horrifically overcrowded. Similar sized European Cities have comprehensive underground systems supported by tram and bus.

    Building half assed brt in Cork is another Irish style sop to the motor industry. Build it properly the first time and solve the problem long term.

    But Dublin has a metro area of 1.8 Million people which is huge compared to Cork. Dublin has a majority of universities, tourism, shopping, people and commerce of Ireland in it. But its transport systems have been underfunded for the last 10 years. But you believe that we should give Cork a luas? Dublin needs a DART underground and a few luas extensions. Maybe the Metro North before Cork should be even considered for a Luas.

    Trams work in European cities of a similar size due to density. Most German towns the size of Cork would have people living in apartments in 4/5 storey buildings. That density can be found in most of Dublin.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,121 ✭✭✭ ClovenHoof


    CIE Unions in Cork are like Hizbolla or something. All families, related to one another. Who recalls when the 'family' that run Kent station shut down the rail network because one of the CIE sons, nephews, brother-in-laws was caught fiddling the cash in the ticket office? Sonny Boy got his job back.

    Forget about this. CIE Unions will abort the plan before tomorrow.

    Blood is Thicker than Public Transport down there. It's horrible.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 822 zetalambda



    My view is such. A single line running from Ballincollig to Mahon is the most feasible at this time. The reason is simply because of the large developments which it would pass by.

    Ballincollig - Curraheen Greyhound Track - Cork Science and Innovation Park - CIT - CUH / Wilton Shopping Centre - UCC - Brewery Quarter / Entertainment District - City Centre (Shopping District) - City Centre (Business District) - Atlantic Quarter - Pairc Ui Chaoimh - Mahon Point

    This is a lot of big developments which could be linked together by a single BRT / Light Rail line. In addition, depending of the route taken, Kent Station would be less than a 5 minute walk from a station on the line. To bring the line right past Kent Station would involve crossing the Lee twice which could cause a lot of trouble.

    I think once development starts in the docklands and the science and innovation park is established, a light rail line on the above route would be a runaway success. Not sure about a north/south line, not for a few decades anyway.

    D.L.R. wrote: »
    Cork Area Rapid Transit - CART

    Traditional Dublin joke :)

    Seriously though, Cork is the perfect scale city for a tram system. Not that they'll get one.

    I've been living in Dublin for 11 years and I've never heard that one. Admit it, you just made this up didn't you. ;) Do you want to hear a real joke?
    Dublin has no metro. Bilbao in Spain with half the population of Dublin has 3 metro lines. I had a few friends over from Bilbao last year and they thought the Dart was like a third world transport system. They said it was like a cereal box on wheels. And wouldn't you know it, the one we were on broke down. They were asking me if we'd have to get out and start pushing!

    hfallada wrote: »
    But Dublin has a metro area of 1.8 Million people which is huge compared to Cork. Dublin has a majority of universities, tourism, shopping, people and commerce of Ireland in it. But its transport systems have been underfunded for the last 10 years. But you believe that we should give Cork a luas? Dublin needs a DART underground and a few luas extensions. Maybe the Metro North before Cork should be even considered for a Luas.

    Dublin has a metro area of 1.27 million at the last census. You can't include the surrounding counties of Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow just because several hundred from each county commute into Dublin in the morning (to put it in perspective, several hundred thousand don't). If you're going to say that, you need to take like with like. I worked in offices in Cork where people commuted from Waterford, Limerick and Kerry every morning. However, I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that "metro" Cork has a population of 1.1 million.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,171 ✭✭✭ cgcsb


    hfallada wrote: »
    But Dublin has a metro area of 1.8 Million people which is huge compared to Cork. Dublin has a majority of universities, tourism, shopping, people and commerce of Ireland in it. But its transport systems have been underfunded for the last 10 years. But you believe that we should give Cork a luas? Dublin needs a DART underground and a few luas extensions. Maybe the Metro North before Cork should be even considered for a Luas.

    Trams work in European cities of a similar size due to density. Most German towns the size of Cork would have people living in apartments in 4/5 storey buildings. That density can be found in most of Dublin.

    Its a chicken and egg scenario. As we've seen on the thread on the events centre we cant have Nic things in the city centre because theres no parking and public transport is poor. And on this thread we cant have better public transport because of density.

    Which comes first, higher density living it the infrastructure to support it. Obviously the latter. Cork's population density is more than sufficient to justify an east west light rail service.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,024 ✭✭✭ thomil


    cgcsb wrote: »
    Its a chicken and egg scenario. As we've seen on the thread on the events centre we cant have Nic things in the city centre because theres no parking and public transport is poor. And on this thread we cant have better public transport because of density.

    Which comes first, higher density living it the infrastructure to support it. Obviously the latter. Cork's population density is more than sufficient to justify an east west light rail service.

    I have to disagree. While there are plenty of similarly sized cities in Germany or other countries that sports sometimes extensive light rail networks, that on its own would do nothing. Take a look at Salzburg, for example. One of THE major cities in Austria, has completely phased out its tram network. I'm willing to go out on a limb and state here that Cork does NOT need a light rail system.
    What Cork needs is a CONCEPT! A plan that takes the current 18 city bus lines and binds them together into something useful, just as the study stated, with common marketing, paint schemes, and stop designs that makes the Cork bus system instantly recognisable and understandable, both for locals and for tourists.
    I'd rather have 3-5 BRT lines running through the city and immediate surroundings with schedules that make sense and good interchange possibilities, and complemented by another 8-10 lines serving the "off-axis" routes, than 1-2 LUAS type lines that just end up feeding into the existing quagmire.
    Oh, and the city centre should be pedestrianised. Unless Cork gets a visit by RAF Bomber Command and the Eight US Air Force for an "extreme urban makeover" (See Hamburg, Dresden Cologne, Frankfurt, Mannheim, etc.), the city centre will never EVER be able to handle larger amounts of cars.

    Good luck trying to figure me out. I haven't managed that myself yet!



  • Registered Users Posts: 43 ✭✭✭ Theasal1234


    The extension of the city boundary lines, encompassing a further 30,000+ to the population of Cork is ambition in the making ;) Although Cork does not have the density of average European cities, it is possible manipulate routes & patterns and create a temporary density. Also, Cork's scale does not render an ambitious traffic management plan impossible. Ever heard of a little place called Trondheim? A lovely city found in Norway with a simiular scale to Cork, that introduced a congestion charging scheme back in 1991 as a means to fund current & future transport projects. The biggest element involved in being able to introduce such a scheme as seen in Trondheim and London - A ring road system, which Cork has the foundations of.


  • Registered Users Posts: 610 ✭✭✭ Pablo Escobar


    The boundary extension would increase the population by 175,000.

    You're not seriously suggesting a congestion charge, or is it a toll on the N40 that you mean? You could probably toll a future Northern section of the N40, but tolling the Southern end would create havoc at least at this moment in time.


Advertisement