Biofuel bus-train-road

The Guided Busway

Essentially, this is like a railway for buses- a narrow concrete "road" open only to modified buses, following the path of an old railway to link commuter destinations together. Supporters say it's more practical than a rail link (as buses can drive straight off the end into town roads), opponents say the concept is flawed and that building a traditional railway would be cheaper. The buses are apparently "100% biofuel powered", though I'm having a hard time finding out exactly where those biofuels come from.

The future of transportation, or greenwashed white elephant?

Update 30-03-2010:

I thought I should update this in light of bassman's comments, and because of something I wrote last October:

"the busway is due to open in a few weeks (so by our bureaucracy time, make that spring 2010)"

Well, it's spring 2010 and this morning on the train to work I finally saw a bus on the busway.  It was marked "not in service" and was populated by half a dozen men in high-vis jackets, so I assume it was a test run of some sort, but at least there is life on it.  Maybe I'll be able to post more about it before 2011?

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Have you ever noticed how on every road and highway ever, there's a huge black area in between where you would expect the tires to be? That's oil. Millions of litres of oil that drip-drip-drips one drop at a time from the vehicles passing overhead.

And they expect that grass to live. That's funny.
PKM (author)  Positron_Flux8 years ago
I'm not sure that's true- that's the bit of the road I ride my bike on and I'm sure I'd notice if it was constantly oily.  Even so, that's for a normal road with constant traffic, whereas this road is going to have maybe one bus every twenty minutes.

Grass is pretty hardy, I'm sure the occasional drip of oil won't be so bad.
It doesn't feel oily, you're right. The oil soaks into the asphalt because it's porous.

But, I agree that for a light use road, you'd get way less lost lubricant. Deep down, I think I just wanted to point out how gross chemical-fueled vehicles are.
vehicles that are properly maintained and serviced don't leak oil of any kind...anywhere....ever

the mass of "stuff" that you're talking about may or may not be may be other fluids from the vehicle or unburned fuel from the exhaust....the part of whatever this "stuff" is that is actually oil comes from improperly maintained that they use new, well maintained busses on these lines...then there should be no oil leackage at all....and since most busses that i've seen that run on biofuels (for some reason) have their exhaust up on top of the bus itself i don't thnk you'd get a mass deposition of unburned fuel in one place either
i drive a buss for a living and they all leak and burn oil no matter how well maintained
this is still a cool idea, similar to BRT (Bus rapid transit)
PKM (author)  bassman76jazz7 years ago
I hadn't heard of BRT before- I agree, it looks similar but the intended areas are quite different.  BRT appears to be an alternative to light rail or trams/subways in dense cities, whereas I think this system is meant to do the job of a train: serve high volumes of traffic between a few towns separated by a few miles, more quickly than regular buses but more cheaply than building a new rail line.
BRT's are being used in a lot of different ways right now around the country, the one in salt lake city (hardly a dense city)runs down the center of the road and boards passengers just like a lite rail Trane would.
I work on at the Utah Transit Authority, which is the private organization that runs SLC's mass transit system.

We only offer two services that feature a dedicated line of track and neither involve buses.
Trax, which runs through Salt Lake City, is a full blown light rail service. Trax runs on electricity, and pulls 3-5 cars at a time.
FrontRunner, the other dedicated rail service, is a full blown commuter train. The passenger cars are mostly double decker passenger cars that were specifically built for the purpose of moving people up and down the Wasatch Front, but there are a few single story passenger cars which have been salvaged from the Union pacific railway. I'm not sure if the Diesel electric locomotives are salvaged or not, but they're full blown locomotives of the type typically used by the big freightyards.
OK dude, what about the dedicated lane for the Max bus BRT 35M?
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