Cheap Airport O-Bahn

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1NEEDS2POST
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Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#1 Post by 1NEEDS2POST » Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:48 am

Adelaide doesn't have a dedicated public transport corridor from the airport to the city. Fortunately, there is a corridor used for a drain that goes between the airport and Mile End. This drain can fit a cheap O-Bahn that takes buses from the city to the airport, bypassing all of the traffic.

Keswick Creek drain is 5 m wide between the airport and James Congdon Drive. This is plenty of room to fit a single O-Bahn track. Even if the drain needs to be lowered, it's still much cheaper than buying up neighbouring properties or building a tunnel. Because it sits in the drain, the O-Bahn is grade-separated, so it doesn't need to stop for anything. The proposed O-Bahn track is the blue line in this picture.
keswick-creek-drain.png
Buses come from the city on the red line, then enter the O-Bahn in the median on James Congdon Drive. The intersection with Sir Donald Bradman Drive would need to be modified to allow buses to turn onto James Congdon Drive.

If there are no buses on the track, buses can go straight onto the O-Bahn. Otherwise they will have to wait at traffic lights at the entrance to the track.

The drain is only 2.5 km long. Let's say the bus can average 50 km/h in the drain. It will probably be faster than that in reality because it's not stopping. That means it will take 3 minutes to travel the length of the drain. That's fast enough that we don't need passing loops, just have traffic lights at each end. Running these express buses at a ten minute frequency will be easy.

Having a single track bus lane is not a new idea. Here is an example from the USA where they have one bus lane in the median, used for buses travelling in both directions, and it's controlled by traffic lights.



Since it's in a drain, you might be thinking it will flood. That's why this needs to be an O-Bahn and not a normal road. An O-Bahn track can be raised off the bottom of the drain, so that water can flow beneath the track.

In recent years, there has been a lot of work to divert water from this drain to Brown Hill Creek, so it rarely fills up: https://bhkcstormwater.com.au/keswick-c ... iversions/ If it does fill up, so what? Just send the buses along Sir Donald Bradman Drive. That's what's great about the O-Bahn, it can use alternate routes. It's just a bunch of concrete beams, it's not going to hurt if it goes underwater every now and then.

This is so much cheaper than other public transport to the airport ideas and it's fast.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#2 Post by ml69 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:31 am

1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:48 am
Adelaide doesn't have a dedicated public transport corridor from the airport to the city. Fortunately, there is a corridor used for a drain that goes between the airport and Mile End. This drain can fit a cheap O-Bahn that takes buses from the city to the airport, bypassing all of the traffic.

Keswick Creek drain is 5 m wide between the airport and James Congdon Drive. This is plenty of room to fit a single O-Bahn track. Even if the drain needs to be lowered, it's still much cheaper than buying up neighbouring properties or building a tunnel. Because it sits in the drain, the O-Bahn is grade-separated, so it doesn't need to stop for anything. The proposed O-Bahn track is the blue line in this picture.

keswick-creek-drain.png

Buses come from the city on the red line, then enter the O-Bahn in the median on James Congdon Drive. The intersection with Sir Donald Bradman Drive would need to be modified to allow buses to turn onto James Congdon Drive.

If there are no buses on the track, buses can go straight onto the O-Bahn. Otherwise they will have to wait at traffic lights at the entrance to the track.

The drain is only 2.5 km long. Let's say the bus can average 50 km/h in the drain. It will probably be faster than that in reality because it's not stopping. That means it will take 3 minutes to travel the length of the drain. That's fast enough that we don't need passing loops, just have traffic lights at each end. Running these express buses at a ten minute frequency will be easy.

Having a single track bus lane is not a new idea. Here is an example from the USA where they have one bus lane in the median, used for buses travelling in both directions, and it's controlled by traffic lights.



Since it's in a drain, you might be thinking it will flood. That's why this needs to be an O-Bahn and not a normal road. An O-Bahn track can be raised off the bottom of the drain, so that water can flow beneath the track.

In recent years, there has been a lot of work to divert water from this drain to Brown Hill Creek, so it rarely fills up: https://bhkcstormwater.com.au/keswick-c ... iversions/ If it does fill up, so what? Just send the buses along Sir Donald Bradman Drive. That's what's great about the O-Bahn, it can use alternate routes. It's just a bunch of concrete beams, it's not going to hurt if it goes underwater every now and then.

This is so much cheaper than other public transport to the airport ideas and it's fast.
I think this idea has great potential. A BRT/Obahn-like system makes a lot more sense than a tram or rail from the western suburbs. And much cheaper.

I have always thought that a multi-storey park n ride and Obahn bus interchange at the corner of SDB Drive and May Tce could work as effectively and be as popular as the Paradise Interchange. This would serve suburbs such as West Beach, Lockleys, Henley Beach, Findon, Fulham Gardens etc.

From this ‘Airport’ interchange, you would also have a bus stop near the new hotel to pickup airport passengers, and then express into the city along 1NEEDS2POST‘s Obahn route.

Some buses will terminate at this interchange, while others will continue to West Beach, Henley Beach or wherever.

It would be a short 10-12 min bus trip in the peak to get to Grote St.

Makes sense (to me) and it won’t cost a fortune. But it’ll never happen because this government has no vision.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#3 Post by Ho Really » Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:41 pm

1NEEDS2POST not sure if you received a private message sent to you back on November 22, 2020. Did some quick concept drawings (cross sections) of light rail to the airport using the Keswick Creek drain, which I've been advocating for many years. This would fit into a wider metro plan of rail upgrades. If you didn't receive them I can send them again. Anyhow an O-Bahn option is never out of the question but since you'd need to lay down a concrete guide track why not make it light rail?

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#4 Post by PeFe » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:20 pm

I regularly catch the bus to Adelaide Airport if I am flying interstate and each time I make a mental note of the passenger load.

I never have seen any numbers justifying an O-Bahn or even a tram......no wonder the J1X express bus was cancelled. The J1 and J2 are really just local buses that traverse the airport and this works just fine.

Given the Covid situation I don't see any real passenger increase for at least 10 years in order to justify an upgrade of airport public transport

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#5 Post by HiTouch » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:45 pm

Sorry not sorry but this is the worst idea ever. Making a drainpipe into a busway is a stupid idea. Also why make a busway at all? Make an underground metro or light rail at least. This vision is dumb.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#6 Post by Nort » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:55 am

PeFe wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:20 pm
I regularly catch the bus to Adelaide Airport if I am flying interstate and each time I make a mental note of the passenger load.

I never have seen any numbers justifying an O-Bahn or even a tram......no wonder the J1X express bus was cancelled. The J1 and J2 are really just local buses that traverse the airport and this works just fine.

Given the Covid situation I don't see any real passenger increase for at least 10 years in order to justify an upgrade of airport public transport
The J1X was cancelled because of 2020, I imagine it will return in the next couple of years when international travel returns.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#7 Post by PeFe » Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:31 pm

Nort wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:55 am
The J1X was cancelled because of 2020, I imagine it will return in the next couple of years when international travel returns.
Doubt it, the patronage was poor. First of all it went a different route to all the other airport buses and then being express to the airport there were never enough passengers. The previous attempt at the Adelaide Metro bus network makeover was a better solution. Lots of O-Bahn buses ended up at the airport using 1-6 numbering system. Very easy to understand all leaving from the same city bus stop. I am convinced that this would have generated more airport passengers than than current confusing bus numbering system. Every time I am at the airport bus stop every passenger always asks the driver "Does this go into the city?" because the numbering system is so illogical and silly.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#8 Post by Nort » Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:34 pm

PeFe wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 1:31 pm
Nort wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:55 am
The J1X was cancelled because of 2020, I imagine it will return in the next couple of years when international travel returns.
Doubt it, the patronage was poor. First of all it went a different route to all the other airport buses and then being express to the airport there were never enough passengers. The previous attempt at the Adelaide Metro bus network makeover was a better solution. Lots of O-Bahn buses ended up at the airport using 1-6 numbering system. Very easy to understand all leaving from the same city bus stop. I am convinced that this would have generated more airport passengers than than current confusing bus numbering system. Every time I am at the airport bus stop every passenger always asks the driver "Does this go into the city?" because the numbering system is so illogical and silly.
What time did you catch it? I used to catch the J1X almost daily, and it was often quite busy.

A consistent numbering scheme would be good, but I don't think it would help that confusion as much as you say when there's a timetable right there at the stop. Anyone who doesn't fly and catch the bus much wouldn't know the pattern anyway, and anyone who does would already know which buses they could take.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#9 Post by mdawnf » Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:16 pm

PeFe wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:20 pm
I regularly catch the bus to Adelaide Airport if I am flying interstate and each time I make a mental note of the passenger load.

I never have seen any numbers justifying an O-Bahn or even a tram......no wonder the J1X express bus was cancelled. The J1 and J2 are really just local buses that traverse the airport and this works just fine.

Given the Covid situation I don't see any real passenger increase for at least 10 years in order to justify an upgrade of airport public transport
The old chicken or the egg debate really...if an efficient rail or dedicated airport bus was in place between the airport and the city, surely it would see more patronage. You can't not build something that is a good idea because people don't currently use the crappy alternative.
I had literally never taken the airport bus, did it have extra space to allow for luggage etc? The airport busses in Melbourne are now mostly double decker, with most of the first floor being luggage space. I'm not going to get on some dinky regular public transport bus in a city I don't know with my suitcases and hope for the best.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#10 Post by Nort » Tue May 04, 2021 9:57 am

mdawnf wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:16 pm
PeFe wrote:
Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:20 pm
I regularly catch the bus to Adelaide Airport if I am flying interstate and each time I make a mental note of the passenger load.

I never have seen any numbers justifying an O-Bahn or even a tram......no wonder the J1X express bus was cancelled. The J1 and J2 are really just local buses that traverse the airport and this works just fine.

Given the Covid situation I don't see any real passenger increase for at least 10 years in order to justify an upgrade of airport public transport
The old chicken or the egg debate really...if an efficient rail or dedicated airport bus was in place between the airport and the city, surely it would see more patronage. You can't not build something that is a good idea because people don't currently use the crappy alternative.
I had literally never taken the airport bus, did it have extra space to allow for luggage etc? The airport busses in Melbourne are now mostly double decker, with most of the first floor being luggage space. I'm not going to get on some dinky regular public transport bus in a city I don't know with my suitcases and hope for the best.
Sometimes it's a regular bus, sometimes it would be a double deck bus with space for luggage storage.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#11 Post by 1NEEDS2POST » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:59 pm

Ho Really wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:41 pm
1NEEDS2POST not sure if you received a private message sent to you back on November 22, 2020. Did some quick concept drawings (cross sections) of light rail to the airport using the Keswick Creek drain, which I've been advocating for many years.
I took a long break, I've been meaning to come back to the forum. Yes, I got your message, it's quite interesting. I think your drawing with the O-Bahn/light rail on top of the drain is better. This is for the same reason the Torrens Rail Junction went with a trench instead of a tunnel. There are fewer safety and regulatory problems with building a trench than a tunnel.
Ho Really wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:41 pm
Anyhow an O-Bahn option is never out of the question but since you'd need to lay down a concrete guide track why not make it light rail?
1. O-Bahn buses could continue from the airport into the city and to the O-Bahn in the North-east. There's no light rail in the east for the airport service to continue on.
2. It's built in a drain, so if the drain floods the track, buses can drive on the road to the airport.

Unlike other cities that have built expensive airport links, we have this already existing path from the city to the airport. The most important thing is that something gets built on this path, I prefer O-Bahn because it's cheap (and therefore more likely to get built).

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#12 Post by brizzlar » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:25 am

1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:48 am
Adelaide doesn't have a dedicated public transport corridor from the airport to the city. Fortunately, there is a corridor used for a drain that goes between the airport and Mile End. This drain can fit a cheap O-Bahn that takes buses from the city to the airport, bypassing all of the traffic.

Keswick Creek drain is 5 m wide between the airport and James Congdon Drive. This is plenty of room to fit a single O-Bahn track. Even if the drain needs to be lowered, it's still much cheaper than buying up neighbouring properties or building a tunnel. Because it sits in the drain, the O-Bahn is grade-separated, so it doesn't need to stop for anything. The proposed O-Bahn track is the blue line in this picture.

keswick-creek-drain.png

Buses come from the city on the red line, then enter the O-Bahn in the median on James Congdon Drive. The intersection with Sir Donald Bradman Drive would need to be modified to allow buses to turn onto James Congdon Drive.

If there are no buses on the track, buses can go straight onto the O-Bahn. Otherwise they will have to wait at traffic lights at the entrance to the track.

The drain is only 2.5 km long. Let's say the bus can average 50 km/h in the drain. It will probably be faster than that in reality because it's not stopping. That means it will take 3 minutes to travel the length of the drain. That's fast enough that we don't need passing loops, just have traffic lights at each end. Running these express buses at a ten minute frequency will be easy.

Having a single track bus lane is not a new idea. Here is an example from the USA where they have one bus lane in the median, used for buses travelling in both directions, and it's controlled by traffic lights.



Since it's in a drain, you might be thinking it will flood. That's why this needs to be an O-Bahn and not a normal road. An O-Bahn track can be raised off the bottom of the drain, so that water can flow beneath the track.

In recent years, there has been a lot of work to divert water from this drain to Brown Hill Creek, so it rarely fills up: https://bhkcstormwater.com.au/keswick-c ... iversions/ If it does fill up, so what? Just send the buses along Sir Donald Bradman Drive. That's what's great about the O-Bahn, it can use alternate routes. It's just a bunch of concrete beams, it's not going to hurt if it goes underwater every now and then.

This is so much cheaper than other public transport to the airport ideas and it's fast.
I like this idea too. Instead of a conventional bus though, I'd advocate for a trackless tram service.

There appears to be evidence stating that for whatever reason, people are more likely to use a tram service than a bus service.

Lots of cities, including Perth, The Sunshine Coast and Geelong are either implementing or considering implementing this technology.

In Adelaide's case, I'd also advocate replacing the OBahn buses with trackless trams.

I'd also advocate an inner city service of trackless trams - especially in the eastern suburbs and the Adelaide Hills, where trains are non existent.

I'm keen to hear what people think, as well as any pitfalls in what I've said above.

Cheers.

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#13 Post by Norman » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:52 pm

When it comes to the question of trackless trams, my answer is the same as to a "drain O-Bahn".

No.
Lots of cities, including Perth, The Sunshine Coast and Geelong are either implementing or considering implementing this technology.
I have not heard of this happening in any of those cities. Can you point me to any sources? The closest thing to a "trackless tram" is the Brisbane "Metro".

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#14 Post by PeFe » Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:35 pm

"Trackless tram"........a bus dressed up as a tram with expensive proprietary technology and total costs that make conventional BRT look cheap!

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Re: Cheap Airport O-Bahn

#15 Post by Nort » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:44 am

With the early South Road plans it looks like an O-Bahn through Keswick Creek wouldn't be as cheap as suggested in this thread (I'd also suggest that dealing with the roads Keswick Creek crosses and how close housing is to the drain would have already made it quite a difficult option).

Instead what about a Sir Donald Bradman Drive monorail? :D

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