Project Orpheus: Delivering Best Value for Money for Tyne and Wear?s Public Transport System

Project Orpheus: Delivering Best Value for Money for Tyne and Wear?s Public Transport System


P Gross, J Davidson, Nexus, UK; S Luke, Mott MacDonald, UK; N Long, Ove Arup, UK; M Kilpatrick, L Miller, Steer Davies Gleave, UK


A reinvigoration strategy for the Tyne and Wear Metro:

-benchmarking and worldwide best practice to promote LRT ridership.

-a Business Case based on passenger focussed initiatives to improve system integration and safety and security


The Tyne and Wear Metro is the oldest of the UK?s ?new generation? light rapid transport systems which was opened in stages from 1980 to 1984.

The system is now beginning to show its age and this paper will describe the development of ?Project Orpheus? a visionary plan deliver best value for money to tackle traffic congestion and re-invigorate the Metro over the next 20 years.

Project Orpheus is a strategy aimed at ensuring that (A) Metro continues to deliver the highest quality of public transport to support modal shift and economic regeneration objectives and; (B) that key transport corridors to achieve similar levels of public transport quality by a range of solutions.

It is intended that Orpheus is delivered in a two phase approach with the first phase focusing on Metro reinvigoration and significant bus based enhancements with the second phase focusing on completing the Metro reinvigoration programme (including new Metro trains) and introducing trams on some of the key traffic corridors in Tyne and Wear.

This paper will focus on the development of a package of initiatives to reinvigorate the existing Metro System.

The paper will first review benchmarking of the existing Metro system against other LRT systems across the world to assess system performance and identify opportunities for improvements including:

? System characteristics (e.g. stop spacing, population density in the corridor etc)
? Capital Cost
? Operating Cost and Revenue
? Performance Characteristics (e.g. annual passengers per train, average journey length etc)

The paper then summarizes research into worldwide best practice initiatives to promote LRT ridership including examples to highlight:

? good publicity and information on services and fares;
? well signed stations with distinctive identifiers
? easy access to stations;
? safety and security to/from stations and at stations
? good waiting environment;
? reliable services;
? more frequent services
? competitive journey times;
? inter-modal ticketing;
? feeder bus services;
? secure park and ride car parks;
? opportunities for Meet and Greet
? good interchange facilities;
? transit orientated development

Finally the paper will describe the development of an Outline Business Case (OBC) for Metro reinvigoration to deliver best value for money drawing on the benchmarking research and interviews and focus groups with non users of the Metro ? which identified the reasons why people do not use the existing system. It examines the factors that a publicly funded metro has to consider when faced with an ageing fleet, infrastructure and inherited track. The paper will detail the main components of the OBC which are passenger focussed (e.g. station improvements) with particular emphasis on initiatives to improve system integration and passenger safety and security.


Association for European Transport