While both sides of the Debate (NCE 18 October) provide some arguments which justify bus based public transport - 'opportunities (for light rapid transit - LRT) are rare in inner cities' and 'there is no reason . . . buses could not provide an equal quality of service to light rail' - the case is understated.
Any public transport mode can deliver quality services if operations are protected from congestion. The flexibility and economy of buses are particular strengths.
Buses are not constrained by costly fixed track or overhead power supplies. Dedicated busways, bus lanes, traffic metering and junction priority can provide operating conditions equal to LRT but, unlike LRT, arrangements can be varied throughout a route and tailored to meet unique road and frontage constraints.
Compared to LRT, bus-based systems provide better levels of service at lower cost. They benefit more travellers and can meet changing demands more rapidly as finance becomes available.
Although trolleybuses can sometimes be used, there are disadvantages of relatively high costs, visual intrusion from overhead power supplies and forests of cable supports.
Public transport based on modern buses, including busways where feasible, has much to offer. Your Debate does this system less than justice.
Please also note that the author of the 'No to LRT' case has no connection whatsoever with TTC.
John Cracknell, TTC (Traffic & Transport Consultant) john. cracknell@virgin. net