Alternatives for Transportation Improvement
Several alternative systems for improving transportation in the Greater Madison Metropolitan Area are being developed and refined by the technical study team and the project Implementation Task Force. The locally preferred alternative from the first phase of Transport 2020 (PDF) – and several variations of it – are included; the alternatives will undergo technical analyses during the study, and will continue to be reviewed by the public.
Alternatives undergoing detailed analysis (September 2006)
The No-build alternative reflects the region’s transportation system as it currently exists, including improvements that are already planned and for which a funding source has been identified.
The Baseline alternative includes providing enhanced transit features such as traffic signal prioritization, exclusive bus lanes on arterial streets, express bus service along existing routes, adding amenities to bus stops and providing real time passenger information. The Baseline alternative includes implementation of improvements that don’t require large capital expenditures, to make transit service more efficient.
Alternative 2a: Railroad Right-of-Way
Alternative 2a is similar to the LPA from the first phase of study. Utilizing standard commuter rail cars or selfpropelled cars (called Self Propelled Rail Cars or SPRCs), the transit system is designed to serve many of metro Madison’s major employment, entertainment and shopping destinations from a dozen stations on the existing rail corridor that travels through the Isthmus. Bus transfer points would be available at many stations and commuter trains would share tracks with freight trains, but would be scheduled to minimize conflicts.
Alternative 3: Airport via Railroad Right-of-Way
Alternative 3 is identical to Alternative 2a in the area west of the Isthmus while turning north along the railroad right of way to Dane County Airport. This alternative offers access to many of Dane County’s main employment centers, along with improved access among the University, downtown Madison, and the airport and nearby neighborhoods. It also provides a connection to Metro buses at the North Transfer Point. Alternative 3 could contribute to redevelopment of the north side rail yards as well. As with Alternative 2a, the rail cars would share tracks with freight rail operations in central Dane County, but would be scheduled to minimize neighborhood disruption and operational conflicts.
Alternative 5: Mineral Point Road/Railroad Right-of-Way and Street-Running
Alternative 5 utilizes different vehicle technology and alignment, running along both existing railroad right of way, in downtown streets and on the city’s west side. This alternative uses electric or diesel-electric hybrid vehicles typically somewhat narrower than standard rail passenger cars and with a smaller turning radius. Alternative 5 provides transit in rail right of way in some of the region’s most congested areas, but transitioning to street running service in the area near Capitol Square and on the west side to bring passengers close to destinations.
Build Alternatives from Scoping Process (April 2006)
Alternative 1 - Bus Rapid Transit (PDF)
Alternative 2a - LPA, Railroad Right-of-way (PDF)
Alternative 2b - LPA / Isthmus, Railroad Right-of-Way, Street Running (PDF)
Alternative 3 - LPA / Airport, Railroad Right-of-Way (PDF)
Alternative 4 - LRT Study, Street Running / Railroad Right-of-Way (PDF)
Alternative 5 - LPA / Isthmus / Mineral Point, Rail Right-of-Way, Street Running (PDF)
Additional details regarding alternatives will be posted on this page as the study progresses.