Monday, January 23, 2017

Two buses, one extra loop

There are 2 buses that go from Tsawwassen Ferry to Bridgeport. They both leave Tsawwassen Ferry at an interval of 3 - 5 minutes.

Both of them make a loop of 700 m / 5 min. Very few passengers get off or get on at the bus loop stop (two or three, sometimes no-one).

Usually this is the type of bus, a New Flyer.

I could not find the fuel consumption on and they don't have a contact email address. However, I found this graph so I'll use the consumption for a 'Transit Bus'.

Let's approximate to 4 miles per gallon; in the good metric system - that the U.S. should use it also - this is 6.44 km / 3.78 l which means around 59 l/100 km, no wonder I could not find this information on the New Flyer website. The fuel consumption is high but after all it is a bus, and I am sure the consumption is much higher for an articulated bus, so let's go for a round conservative figure of 60 l / 100 km.

The bus would consume 0.42 l for 700 m, and for the argument's sake let's consider it is 0.5 l.

Last time I saw the gas price at $1.21 per litre, but I assume the transit operator has some discount so they could pay $1 per litre.

10 buses per day that make this extra loop means 5 l of extra gas per day that is 1,825 l per year.
At the current price and with some rounding up to come with a nice number this would be $2,000, and again I think the consumption is higher than what I used as summer/winter more often than not buses use the air conditioning/heating.

Money and time are wasted not to mention the additional pollution and the solution is so simple, only one bus should do the loop.

Translink's answer:

Thank you for your recent feedback regarding making one of the 620 routes as an express bus and omitting Ladner Exchange. We will register you concerns about that route with the Planning & Scheduling Department.
Thank you, again, for your suggestion.

This was some 8 months ago and nothing has changed.

Excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs Biography:

One day Jobs came into the cubicle of Larry Kenyon, an engineer who was working on the Macintosh operating system, and complained that it was taking too long to boot up. Kenyon started to explain, but Jobs cut him off. “If it could save a person’s life, would you find a way to shave ten seconds off the boot time?” he asked. Kenyon allowed that he probably could. Jobs went to a whiteboard and showed that if there were five million people using the Mac, and it took ten seconds extra to turn it on every day, that added up to three hundred million or so hours per year that people would save, which was the equivalent of at least one hundred lifetimes saved per year. “Larry was suitably impressed, and a few weeks later he came back and it booted up twenty-eight seconds faster,” Atkinson recalled. “Steve had a way of motivating by looking at the bigger picture.”

In fact it is 489 lifetimes and something if considering the average life expectancy of 70 years.

The time people would save if one bus omitted a loop would be much less than the equivalent of a lifetime saved per year, but still.

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