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Cleveland’s Healthline Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Part 3

November 9, 2015 Featured, Public Transit, Travel 2 Comments

In Part 1 I introduced you the best Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in America — Cleveland’s Heathline BRT, in Part 2 I looked at where it missed points in international rankings, scoring 76/100. Today I want to look at areas where it should’ve scored lower: pedestrian streetscape, & wheelchair access.

Many intersections along Euclid Ave pedestrians must press a button to get a walk signal. This was not requited elsewhere. This is an unnatural extra step that most pedestrians ignore. Decidedly less pedestrian-friendly!
Many intersections along Euclid Ave pedestrians must press a button to get a walk signal. This was not requited elsewhere. This is an unnatural extra step that most pedestrians ignore. Decidedly less pedestrian-friendly!
The streetscape is only 7 years old but many of the curb ramps & detectable warnings were in disrepair. On the plus side they didn't hold water like so many in St. Louis.
The streetscape is only 7 years old but many of the curb ramps & detectable warnings were in disrepair. On the plus side they didn’t hold water like so many in St. Louis.
In some spots the new sidewalks were too narrow, we passed through here often meeting people trying to walk side-by-side. When meeting others only wide enough for single-file.
In some spots the new sidewalks were too narrow, we passed through here often meeting people trying to walk side-by-side. When meeting others only wide enough for single-file.
At some stations I entered via the front door via a typical low-floor bus fold out ramp
At some stations I entered via the front door via a typical low-floor bus fold out ramp
But it often didn't work so the operator had to lift it manually.
But it often didn’t work so the operator had to lift it manually.
Manual ramp operation is a benefit of low-floor vs high-floor buses. There's no manual mode for a high-floor lift that doesn't work.
Manual ramp operation is a benefit of low-floor vs high-floor buses. There’s no manual mode for a high-floor lift that doesn’t work.
Other stations meant I had to enter/exit on the driver's side so I had to use the first left-side door. The gap is too wide, the built-in power ramp only worked once.
Other stations meant I had to enter/exit on the driver’s side so I had to use the first left-side door. The gap is too wide, the built-in power ramp only worked once.
Most of the time the driver had to grab the portable ramp for me to enter/exit.
Most of the time the driver had to grab the portable ramp for me to enter/exit.
Another time before the ramp was in place
Another time before the ramp was in place
Ramp ready now
Ramp ready now
Exiting
Exiting

Bus Rapid Transit is supposed to deliver a light rail-like user experience. Maybe in other BRT systems around the world they’ve figured out accessibility but for me this was a standard bus experience. Maybe that’s a fair trade-off — most get a better experience.

I can still use donations to help cover the costs to visit Cleveland — click here to donate $5+ dollars.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

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