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Old November 8th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #161
BlueSock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
In 2030. Whoop de freakin' do. Couple billion to save a couple minutes. Color me excited.
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Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Geez, y'all're spendthrifts, happily flinging around a couple billion for a transport mode only slight improved since the 19th century. Your wives and girlfriends must love your freespending ways.
How about some quantitative analysis instead of sarcasm and insults?

That "couple minutes" you mention is actually a gain of 7 minutes, on a segment hand-picked by you to reflect poorly on the red line. As you mentioned, once the train is underground it's a lot better. Over the entire route, the train is estimated to be about twice as fast as a bus.

But let's just consider your hand-picked scenario. Imagine a commuter on this route working 8 hours a day, 250 days per year. The red line would reduce this commute by 14 minutes a day, or 58 hours and 20 minutes per year. The time saved by the red line would be equivalent to getting about a 3% raise. For someone making $40,000 a year, it would be worth an extra $1,167 annually.

But of course that's just for one commuter for one particular commute. What about all of the other users of the red line? I'll just quote myself here:

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Originally Posted by BlueSock View Post
We can do a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation to estimate the benefits of just the time saved by the red line. The original option 4C, with the lower ridership numbers, was estimated to save users about 3 million hours per year. If we assume the value of an hour to a typical user is about $20, this means the value of the time saved is about $60 million per year. Given that the yield on 30-year TIPS is about 1.74%, the present value of the time saved over the next 30 years is about $1.4 billion. Over the next 60 years, it's about $2.2 billion. And upwards from there. Of course if ridership increases, the benefit will be higher.

There are other benefits as well, such as reduced congestion, better air quality, and higher property values.
Since I wrote that, the real yield on the 30-year TIPS has fallen to about 0.72%, making the present values even higher.

Jaime, I know this isn't going to change your mind. It didn't the last time I posted it. But I'm re-posting it to make sure the others on this forum know that there are a lot of people crunching numbers on this project to see if it makes sense, many of those numbers are publicly available, and if you want to evaluate the red line in a serious way then you are free to crunch your own.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by BlueSock View Post
How about some quantitative analysis instead of sarcasm and insults? ...
Been there, done that. Many posts ago. The "let's drop billions on this folly" crowd is impervious to analysis. They want what they want, crappy and disruptive as it will be.

Meanwhile, the MTA seems to be dropping inconvenient data down the memory hole.

Now, I'm a freelancer and write for my supper. And have just moved back to Baltimore from New England, the process of which is a colossal time-suck.

Nonetheless, I know two people who've done the analysis and it's simple: the Red Line is a boondoggle; a half-a$$ed answer to a real issue.

Their and my sense is that the Red Line will die after Martin O'Malley drops a few more million on engineers and consultants, to see them through this crappy economy.

Nonetheless, we'll wait until this issue heats up in the legislature to go on the offensive. Then, you'll have all the analysis your heart could desire.

Last edited by jamie_hunt; November 9th, 2011 at 10:08 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 04:50 AM   #163
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I don't know if this has been posted yet...

Federal project site for the Red Line: http://permits.performance.gov/proje...imore-red-line

looks like the first permit was obtained a couple months before the targeted date
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Old December 4th, 2011, 06:25 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by Itus View Post
I don't know if this has been posted yet...

Federal project site for the Red Line: http://permits.performance.gov/proje...imore-red-line

looks like the first permit was obtained a couple months before the targeted date
Dead link?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 06:35 AM   #165
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hmm it works for me...started a bit slow though
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Old December 6th, 2011, 05:59 AM   #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itus View Post
I don't know if this has been posted yet...

Federal project site for the Red Line: http://permits.performance.gov/proje...imore-red-line

looks like the first permit was obtained a couple months before the targeted date
You really have to wonder..one of the hurdles is not harming endangered species. Endangered species? In Baltimore city? Should it take more than 10 minutes to answer the question of whether the Red Line will impact endangered species?
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Old December 6th, 2011, 06:45 PM   #167
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... Endangered species? In Baltimore city? ...
Middle class taxpayers. Used to be dozens on every block. Now there are ... dozens.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #168
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Quote:
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Middle class taxpayers. Used to be dozens on every block. Now there are ... dozens.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 10:10 PM   #169
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The $2B isn't just to shave off a couple of minutes, it's to create a guaranteed line of E/W transit in Baltimore. The reward of that is immeasurable. The bus may take a little longer to do the same trip, but tourists and many locals don't ever consider buses when thinking about transit. Now they will.
The Red Line would be fantastic for tourists. It would open them up to neighborhoods they probably would never explore like Fed Hill, Canton, Fells and even Harbor East.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #170
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The Red Line would be fantastic for tourists. It would open them up to neighborhoods they probably would never explore like Fed Hill, Canton, Fells and even Harbor East.
While I agree that the RL would be good for tourists, it wouldn't go to Federal Hill, which is just a short walk from the harbor, and Fells Point is already pretty popular among tourists who do a little bit of research before arriving.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 06:23 AM   #171
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While I agree that the RL would be good for tourists, it wouldn't go to Federal Hill, which is just a short walk from the harbor, and Fells Point is already pretty popular among tourists who do a little bit of research before arriving.
The Circulator goes to Fed Hill and will cross the Red Line.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 03:08 PM   #172
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Every time I see the Circulator running, there's no one on it. I actually think the Circulator is a terrible waste of money. It was a good thought, but I don't see it being used enough to be worth the money being spent on it.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 05:14 PM   #173
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Every time I see the Circulator running, there's no one on it. I actually think the Circulator is a terrible waste of money. It was a good thought, but I don't see it being used enough to be worth the money being spent on it.
I ride it every day...and there are always people on it. Good luck finding a seat from 4-5:30PM during the week. There aren't a ton of people on the weekends until the afternoon, but I'd say they're plenty busy overall.

Here are the rider stats for last month (4261 people per day on the purple route):

http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/n...idership-stats

And here is October (even higher):
http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/n...idership-stats
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Old December 11th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #174
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I ride it every day...and there are always people on it. Good luck finding a seat from 4-5:30PM during the week. There aren't a ton of people on the weekends until the afternoon, but I'd say they're plenty busy overall.

Here are the rider stats for last month (4261 people per day on the purple route):

http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/n...idership-stats

And here is October (even higher):
http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/n...idership-stats
I don't use it every day, but often when I try, it's real crowded, both with sketchy locals and tourists.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #175
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I was at an event and was looking at the Red Line Booth while standing next to an elderly lady from Edmonson Village. When I asked her about the Red Line she said she didnt want it.. not because of traffic but because all those criminals and thugs from East Baltimore would use it to terrorize her neighborhood...When I mention that it ran through Canton.. she said "they got thugs too". I also asked her about the notion that folks in "East Baltimore/Canton" have said the same thing about the train bringing in folks from the Westside... She stated "eastside westside.. we all have our hoodlums.. but on the westside atleast I know our hoodlums." .... What worse the hoodlum you know or the hoodlum you dont know....
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Old December 13th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #176
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She stated "eastside westside.. we all have our hoodlums.. but on the westside atleast I know our hoodlums." .... What worse the hoodlum you know or the hoodlum you dont know....
She knows the hoodlums on the westside. Does she do anything about them? You know, does she parent them? Teach them right from wrong? Turn them in ("snitch") when they engage in crime? Maybe she does do those things, but there also seem to be too many grannies (the natural parents are absent) turning a blind eye to their grandkids' thuggery. IMO some residents seem to languish in victimology or even legitimize thuggery with convoluted rationalizations.

The merits and shortcomings of the Red Line aside, I think there'd be a lot more support for integrated, interconnected transit in B'more if the thuggish behavior present in many parts of the city was simply squashed under good parenting. More people would feel comfortable taking the bus if anarchical, feral schoolkids didn't occasionally attack the people on the bus. More people would feel comfortable with a light rail line next to them if they felt it wouldn't bring hoody people in. As long as uncertainty over potential crime remains, the resistance to improved or expanded transit will remain.

Last edited by marcszar; December 14th, 2011 at 03:09 AM.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 04:55 AM   #177
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... The merits and shortcomings of the Red Line aside, I think there'd be a lot more support for integrated, interconnected transit in B'more if the thuggish behavior present in many parts of the city was simply squashed under good parenting. ...
Too few fathers on the scene. The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan predicted 50 years ago what we're experiencing today. He was mocked. He was right.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 06:39 PM   #178
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She knows the hoodlums on the westside. Does she do anything about them? You know, does she parent them? Teach them right from wrong? Turn them in ("snitch") when they engage in crime? Maybe she does do those things, but there also seem to be too many grannies (the natural parents are absent) turning a blind eye to their grandkids' thuggery. IMO some residents seem to languish in victimology or even legitimize thuggery with convoluted rationalizations.

The merits and shortcomings of the Red Line aside, I think there'd be a lot more support for integrated, interconnected transit in B'more if the thuggish behavior present in many parts of the city was simply squashed under good parenting. More people would feel comfortable taking the bus if anarchical, feral schoolkids didn't occasionally attack the people on the bus. More people would feel comfortable with a light rail line next to them if they felt it wouldn't bring hoody people in. As long as uncertainty over potential crime remains, the resistance to improved or expanded transit will remain.

Alas.. very valid points.... I think that many of the elderly residents simply batten down the hatches and try to ride all the crime out and spend their time either going to church and praying it goes away or atleast hoping that it doesnt get any worse...which is an unfortunate way to have to live out ones golden years.. Edmonson Village was also the scene of rampant "blockbusting" and went from being 100% white to 100% African American over night. I read a book about it that was written by a Baltimore author and the effects of that have not been forgotten by many African Americans (now likely the age of this woman) who felt the City abandoned them when the white residents fled..Now there is resentment and distrust of anything the City may be proposing by some.. Not saying its justified or not.. but unfortunately many in Baltimore have deep resentment of the City and Politicos and they are of both races.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 01:42 AM   #179
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According to http://permits.performance.gov/proje...imore-red-line , Record of Decision and NEPA Record of Decision are now complete.

Quote:
GOVERNOR O’MALLEY ANNOUNCES BALTIMORE RED LINE RECEIVES FEDERAL ENVIROMENTAL APPROVAL
MARCH 5, 2013
Record of Decision Makes Red Line Eligible for Future Federal Funds; Governor Emphasizes Need for Passage of New Transportation Proposal to Keep Project Moving

BALTIMORE, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that the Baltimore Red Line received an important federal environmental sign-off, a step that makes the first major expansion of the Baltimore region’s transit network since the early 1990’s eligible for future federal approvals and funding.

The Record of Decision, issued by the Federal Transit Administration, marks the end of a rigorous and extensive process to identify and then avoid, minimize or mitigate possible impacts to communities, historic buildings and natural resources such as parks, wetlands and trees. The Record of Decision is based on information presented in a FinalEnvironmental Impact Statement that was completed in December, 2012.

“This is a big day for the Red Line and the future of transit in Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “Now we must move to our next challenge which is providing the state funds necessary to keep this project moving. Without an increase in transportation funding, work on the Red Line will come to a halt later this year as the state dollars simply aren’t there to continue. We can avoid this by passing the transportation package I introduced this week along with Senate President Miller and Speaker Busch. Under our proposal we can continue to move these projects forward, demonstrate our commitment to the project and remain in a position to compete for federal construction funds. The bill also requires the study of regional transportation authorities that, along with public private partnerships, could be part of a final funding plan for construction of the project.”

Yesterday, Governor O’Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. and House Speaker Michael E. Busch proposed legislation (HB 1515) to increase transportation investment. The initiative would raise $3.4 billion over five years support up to 44,000 jobs.

The 14.1 mile light rail line will have 19 stations between Woodlawn, Downtown Baltimore, and Johns Hopkins Bayview. Riders will be able to connect to existing Metro Subway, Light Rail and MARC Train lines. Expected ridership by 2035 is more than 50,000 passengers per day, and construction of the Red Line is estimated to create 9,800 direct construction and related jobs during the six-year construction period.

“The Record of Decision is the product of many years of work by citizens, community organizations, and local and State agencies,” said Ralign G. Wells, Administrator of the Maryland Transit Administration. “Public and agency feedback helped us identify concrete steps we can take to make the Red Line a good neighbor while improving mobility. Receiving the Record of Decision means we understand the project’s impacts and have a plan to manage them.”

More information about the Red Line, including images of possible station designs, is available at www.baltimoreredline.com . For information on MTA schedules and fares, visit the MTA website at www.mta.maryland.gov. MTA customers can also call the Transit Information Center at 410-539-5000 (TTY 410-539-3497) Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. To sign-up for email about service modifications and delays, go to www.mta.maryland.gov/enotifications. Visit MTA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mtamaryland or Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/mtamaryland for more sources of updated information.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Terry Owens
Office: 410-767-3936
Cell: 443-804-8522

Joe Sviatko
Office: 410-767-3935
Cell: 443-418-5732

# # #
http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/News/Re...5_Red_Line_ROD

Other stories:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...394_story.html

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bre...,2169620.story
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Old April 10th, 2013, 11:16 PM   #180
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The Maryland General Assembly gave final approval Friday to Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposed gas tax increase, raising costs for motorists while providing an infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars a year for new roads and mass transit projects.

The Senate voted 27-20 to approve the bill, sending it to O'Malley for his expected signature.

The legislation will raise taxes on gasoline in stages over four years — with a roughly 4-cent increase coming July 1.

By mid-2016,unless Congress allows states to tax Internet sales, motorists in Maryland are likely to be paying an estimated 20 cents a gallon more in taxes than the current 23.5-cents rate that has been in effect since 1992.

After the vote, the governor released a statement praising Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and other lawmakers for their support on the politically sensitive issue.
"With the passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act today, we will support more than 57,000 jobs, ease traffic congestion, and build a 21st century transportation network," O'Malley said in the statement.

Senate Republicans and other critics saw the issue differently. Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin said the bill would raise gas taxes on motorists 86 percent to continue subsidizing mass transit systems used by 8 percent of the state's residents.

"This is an extreme bill. It is on the edge," said Pipkin, an Eastern Shore Republican. All 12 Senate Republicans, joined by eight Democrats, voted no.

When the phased-in increases are fully implemented, motorists in Maryland will pay $600 million more in gas taxes a year than they do now. The increases will continue beyond then, because the state's per-gallon excise tax will now rise with inflation. Another part of the package imposes a phased-in sales tax on gasoline, which will yield increased revenue when gas prices rise.

Baltimore-area bus, subway and light rail fares will also go up, starting with a 10-cent increase in July 2014. The current fare is $1.60.

The legislation is the result of an agreement reached by O'Malley, Miller and Busch to address the depletion of the state's Transportation Trust Fund. Their action follows the Virginia Legislature's approval last month of an $880 million-a-year transportation revenue package.

Supporters of Maryland's increase said the state needed to act, pointing out that traffic congestion is a consideration when major employers decide whether to locate in Maryland or Northern Virginia.

Without a revenue increase, the Maryland Department of Transportation said it would run out of money for anything except routine maintenance projects.

The measure received final approval after a sharp but mostly one-sided debate during which Republicans raised multiple objections. They complained that the gas tax is a regressive tax that hurts the working poor, that too much of the money will go to mass transit instead of roads and that the increased taxes will hurt businesses and kill jobs.

Pipkin expressed particular scorn for the part of the bill that allows the gas tax to increase automatically with inflation. "We shouldn't be putting taxes on cruise control," he said.

Motorists could be spared about 7 cents of the possible 20-cent increase if Congress acts by December 2015 to allow states to apply sales taxes to such Internet retailers as Amazon.com. In a provision similar to Virginia's new law, the legislation would dedicate part of any such revenue to transportation in place of the gas sales tax. So far, Congress has shown little inclination to pass that bill.

Because of other changes, including a $3.50 increase in the vehicle registration fee and the higher Maryland Transit Administration fares, the total package is expected to yield $734 million a year for transportation when fully phased in.

In addition to passing the gas tax bill, senators voted 45-2 for a proposed constitutional amendment to require a three-fifths vote of each chamber of the General Assembly to divert funds from the trust fund to non-transportation purposes. The so-called "lockbox" amendment goes now to the House of Delegates, where Busch said legislators would consider the idea. Constitutional amendments also require approval of Maryland voters in a general election.

The Senate acted in response to complaints that the legislature had allowed O'Malley and previous governors to "raid" the trust fund in times of budget shortfalls.

After passing the two measures along with a major bill on Baltimore school construction, Miller declared that it had been a "very productive day."
"Good Friday. Maybe there was some divine intervention," he said.
michael.dresser@baltsun.com

Details of the bill
•State's 23.5-cents-a-gallon tax likely to rise 20 cents by July 2016.
•First increase effective July 1, when cost goes up about 4 cents a gallon.
•Baltimore transitfares to increase 10 cents in July 2014.
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