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Old April 10th, 2005, 04:06 AM   #1
greg_christine
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Seattle Monorail Project inches forward

The Seattle Monorail Project has announced that it has received a refined proposal from the Cascadia Monorail consortium, which includes Hitachi as the vendor for the trains. The proposal was accompanied by a $25 million performance bond. The proposal is being reviewed to verify that it conforms to all contract requirements. A final contract is expected within 60 to 90 days. During that period, the terms of the contract that are being negotiated are to remain confidential. Following approval of the contract, there will be a period for public review. Also, the city council must review and validate the financial plan for the system.

The Seattle Monorail Project has provided the following computer generated image of a Hitachi Standard Type monorail train crossing Seattle Center:



The Seattle Monorail Project's website also features the following interior shots of similar trains in service in Naha, Okinawa, Japan:



The Seattle Monorail Project is required to build the full 14-mile system that was approved by the voters. This task is complicated by the fact that revenue from the motor vehicle excise tax that was approved to fund the project has been well below expectations due to a fundamental miscalculation of the value of the motor vehicle tax base during the initial planning stage. The following is the route for the new monorail including its controversial path through Seattle Center:




The following is an abbreviated timeline for the system:

November 1997: Voters approve the creation of a monorail authority with a budget to study a proposed 40-mile city-wide monorail system.

November 2000: Voters approve a budget to develop a specific plan for the financing and construction of monorail line.

November 2002: Voters approve a 1.4% motor vehicle excise tax to pay for the construction of the 14-mile Green Line Monorail from West Seattle to Ballard.

August 2004: Cascadia Monorail is the sole consortium to meet the requirements for submitting a proposal.

November 2004: A ballot measure to recall the monorail is soundly defeated at the polls by vote of 63% to 37%.

??? 2009: A partial opening of the monorail was originally scheduled for 2007 with an opening fo the full system in late 2009. This was later changed to a full opening of the system in early 2009. There has been no recent conformation that a 2009 opening date is still viable. Construction was originally expected to begin in late 2004 but is now unlikely to start before late 2005.

The Seattle Monorail Project has been tasked to also develop plans for future expansion of the monorail system. At this time, the most favored option for expanding the system is an extension at the northern end known as the Pink Corridor. The second most favored option is an east-west line from Ballard to the University District known as the Purple Corridor. The final option that is still under consideration is a line from downtown to the University District. This final option would be politically problematic because it would compete with both a proposed South Lake Union Streetcar and a proposed northern extension of the Central Link light rail system:



In the meantime, another consortium that had hoped to bid on the monorail but was unable to meet the bonding and liability requirements has offered to submit a proposal should the negotiations with Cascadia Monorail not conclude with a contract. The Team Monorail consortium includes Bombardier as the train vendor. The Team Monorail Bombardier trains would be lighter and would have a smaller profile than the Cascadia Monorail Hitatchi trains; however, some of the interior space would be consumed by large wheel wells that project above the floor level:



Also in the meantime, the Seattle Center/1962 World's Fair Monorail is back in service between Seattle Center and the Westlake Mall following a fire onboard one of the trains during the Summer of 2004. The World's Fair trains and their guideway are not expected to be compatible with the trains chosen for the new monorail. The existing guideway will be removed and at least one of the trains will be retired to a museum:



Also in the meantime, construction is underway on Sound Transit's Central Link light rail line from downtown to the airport, which is to be equipped with light rail vehicles from Kinkisharyo:




More information can be found at the Seattle Monorail Project's website:

http://www.elevated.org/

Also, see the Cascadia Monorail and Team Monorail websites:

http://www.cascadiamonorail.com/
http://www.teammonorail.com/

Also, see the Sound Transit and South Lake Union Streetcar websites:

http://www.soundtransit.org/
http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/transpor...ustreetcar.htm

Also, see the website for the existing Seattle Center/1962 World's Fair Monorail:

http://www.seattlemonorail.com/index.htm

Finally, see the Kinkisharyo webpage for the light rail vehicles being produced for Seattle:

http://www.kinkisharyo.com/st_seattle.html
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Old June 4th, 2005, 08:05 PM   #2
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The Seattle Monorail Project has announced that negotiations have been completed with the Cascadia Monorail consortium for a Design, Build, Operate, and Maintain (DBOM) contract. Full details will be published on June 20 following legal review. Features of the contract include the following:

- The contract will be for a fixed-price of $1.6 billion.
- There will be a $200 million contingency and reserve fund.
- There will be a $500 million construction performance bond.
- There will be a $50 million operations performance bond.
- The contract will include operation of the system for the first 5 years. There will be options for extending the operating contract for two additional 5-year periods.
- The entire 14-mile line will be built and will follow the route approved by the voters in 2002.
- The system will open by December 1, 2010. This represents a delay relative to the original plan, which featured a partial opening in 2007 and a full opening in 2009.
- The trains will be the Hitachi Standard Type walk-through design and will be fully automated.
- The trains will operate at 8-minute intervals initially. Eventually, the trains will run at 3-minute intervals downtown and 6-minute intervals at the outer ends of the system.
- Fares will be paid via a "Smart Card" system, which will be used jointly by transit services throughout the Seattle metropolitan area.
- The system will open with 16 stations with provision for the construction of three additional stations.
- The station at 2nd & Madison is included in the contract and will be built when the Federal Reserve Bank vacates the site.
- Stations at 35th & Avalon and Elliott & Mercer will be built following the opening of the system if funds are available from the contingency and reserve fund.
- The station designs have been changed to reduce costs. The stations will not be completely closed to the weather though they will have roofs and protection from the wind.
- The contract does not cover the cost of relocating utilities.

The next steps are for the contract to be approved by the Board of the Seattle Monorail Project. The plan is then to be reviewed in a series of public meetings and approved by the City Council. The City Council must also approve an independent financial review of the project. Finally, there must be a successful bond issue to fund the construction of the system.

For more information, see the websites of the Seattle Monorail Project and Cascadia Monorail:

http://www.elevated.org/
http://www.cascadiamonorail.com/
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Old June 4th, 2005, 08:30 PM   #3
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Other news items that impact the monorail include the following:

The front runners for future expansion of the monorail are the Pink North Corridor (A.K.A. Green Line Extension) and the Purple Corridor. The Rainbow Corridor between downtown and the University District is no longer under serious consideration:


Plans are proceeding for the South Lake Union Streetcar, which would run from the southeast shore of lake union to near the monorail station on the north side of Westlake Mall. A financing scheme for the project has not yet been finalized. No vendor for the streetcars has yet been chosen; however, publicity materials show the same Skoda streetcars as used in Tacoma and Portland:



The future looks increasingly bleak for the George Benson Streetcar along Seattle's waterfront. The existing maintenance barn is to be demolished to make way for a sculpture garden. The port authority offered an alternative site for the maintenance barn; however, the line would have to be closed in a few years anyway due to a major road construction project. A solution is desired that would preserve the George Benson Streetcar and connect it to the South Lake Union Streetcar; however, there is no way to readily accomplish this:



For more information, see the following websites:

Seattle Monorail Project:
http://www.elevated.org/

South Lake Union Streetcar:
http://www.buildthestreetcar.org/
http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/transpor...ustreetcar.htm

George Benson Waterfront Streetcar:
http://transit.metrokc.gov/tops/bus/...streetcar.html
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Old June 4th, 2005, 11:46 PM   #4
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Thanks for the updates.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 12:29 AM   #5
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Sounds good!
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Old June 5th, 2005, 02:18 AM   #6
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Nice to know Seattle if FINALLY proceeding with its rapid transit lines. That said, I still think 41.5 bil is outrageous for a 14 mile LRT line.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 03:53 AM   #7
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Well, that is what you get for tunneling. At least for the city of Seattle, the tunneling did not result from their creme de la creme lobbying.
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Old June 5th, 2005, 06:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2
Nice to know Seattle if FINALLY proceeding with its rapid transit lines. That said, I still think 41.5 bil is outrageous for a 14 mile LRT line.

US$41.5 billion?!!! you mean $4.15 billion right?
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Old June 5th, 2005, 07:07 AM   #9
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eh? it says it's currently $2 billion for the 14 mile light rail, who said it's $4.15 billion?
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Old June 5th, 2005, 07:25 AM   #10
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Great news!
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Old June 5th, 2005, 05:08 PM   #11
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Regarding the cost of the first 14 miles of Seattle's Central Link light rail line, I've seen numbers ranging from $2.1 billion to $2.4 billion. For the 1.7 mile extension to the airport, Sound Transit's portion of the bill is expected to be $225 million. There are an additional $75 million in road improvements required that would be paid for by agencies other than Sound Transit.

For the first 14 miles of Central Link, there is one major new tunnel required through Beacon Hill. That tunnel is about one mile long. There are also changes required to the existing downtown bus tunnel including a stub tunnel extension that will be used to reverse the direction of the trains.

The proposed northern extension of Central Link to the University District and Northgate will be mostly in a tunnel. The projected cost for the civil works for the 8 mile extension is in excess of $2 billion. This does not include the cost of administration, engineering, trains, financing, etc...
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Old June 5th, 2005, 11:25 PM   #12
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http://www.metrokc.gov/exec/news/200...ilPurchase.htm
May 31, 2005

King County takes first step to purchase rail corridor
King County Executive Ron Sims, King County Council Chair Larry Phillips, Budget and Fiscal Management Committee Chair Larry Gossett and Natural Resources and Utilities Committee Chair Carolyn Edmonds today took action to secure earnest money for purchasing the 47 mile Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) eastside rail corridor. The County has signed an exclusive agreement with BNSF to negotiate for four months acquisition of the rail corridor.

Sims recently announced his intention to purchase the corridor and said his "priority is to use the corridor for a trail, though there is room for mixed uses along the corridor. I will spend the next several months meeting with city representatives and hearing from the public about how they would like to see the corridor used. The most important thing now is to get the corridor into public ownership. That's the only way to preserve public choice."

The earnest money would go toward the cost of acquisition if an agreement on a fair price can be reached. If an agreement cannot be reached, nearly all of the money would be returned to the county. Sims is seeking $3.8 million, a $3.5 million deposit toward the costs of land and property interests and the remainder for directly related acquisition costs such as appraisals, title documents, staff costs for negotiations and legal and administrative costs.

"The corridor has tremendous possibilities for a number of public uses," said Phillips. "We need to keep the community involved in deciding what to do with the corridor. Purchasing it now is the only way to keep all possibilities open for future use."

"This project will receive fair and critical review by the Budget Committee," said Councilmember Gossett. "No decisions about the use of the line will be made without a full and thorough regional discussion that involves all affected cities and parties."

"This acquisition has the potential to transform our regional trail network into one of the finest systems in the nation," said Edmonds. "Regional trails offer tremendous health and recreation benefits, and can be an important means of alternative transportation."

Last week, the Puget Sound Regional Council approved $380,000 for a consultant experienced in the legalities and public engagement around railway acquisitions and to assist the county with rail corridor preservation requirements.

The BNSF railroad right of way is a contiguous property approximately 100 feet wide that stretches from the north end of Renton into the City of Snohomish. The regional trail system now offers over 100 miles of paved and nearly 70 miles of unpaved trails. This link would help create a seamless regional trail system.

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Old June 6th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #13
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Hopefully this will eliminate some of you cars, I notice that Seattle has way to many cars and way to much traffic for a city of its size.

Im glad Seattle is finally getting rapid transit, although like iv said befor im not a big fan of the monorail system, it seems unproven outside of theme parks.

Whats the expected date of operation?
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Old June 6th, 2005, 06:05 PM   #14
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It's about time (i say)

I am totally excited for this. As I am moving there very soon.

I am glad they are at least trying to deal with the whole overpopulation thing.

Even if its going to cost billions :-\
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Old June 8th, 2005, 01:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyjoeda
Hopefully this will eliminate some of you cars, I notice that Seattle has way to many cars and way to much traffic for a city of its size.

Im glad Seattle is finally getting rapid transit, although like iv said befor im not a big fan of the monorail system, it seems unproven outside of theme parks.

Whats the expected date of operation?
The current monorail expected completion date would be Dec 2010, if it all goes well they could start construction late 2005.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 05:39 AM   #16
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Yes, 2bil.
This is what I get for not proof reading my entry..............................D'OH!
Meanwhile back at the conversation.
That 2bil is way to much for 14mile LRT, that $150mil/mile. That is WAY above the LRT average. Most come in between $50 to $100mil. I have never even heard of an LRT for that price. For that price you could nearly get a subway. Small wonder there has been so much opposition over the years.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 05:43 AM   #17
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^ Well at least they got to vote on it. The people of Greater Vancouver didn't really have much choice on RAV since it was South of the Fraser politicians calling the shots. If Seattle voters want to spend $2 billion on an LRT with tracks made out of Klondike gold, then its their choice. I wish the residents of the GVRD had the same rights as the residents of Seattle when it comes to approving these mega projects so they won't have to get screwed with the RAV boondoggle.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 05:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2
Yes, 2bil.
This is what I get for not proof reading my entry..............................D'OH!
Meanwhile back at the conversation.
That 2bil is way to much for 14mile LRT, that $150mil/mile. That is WAY above the LRT average. Most come in between $50 to $100mil. I have never even heard of an LRT for that price. For that price you could nearly get a subway. Small wonder there has been so much opposition over the years.
Yes, it is a bit pricey, but oh so needed at the moment (imo)

Not to dwell on the past, but would it have been cheaper to do this 10-20 years ago (when it first started to get attention and they couldve had time to plan and think and debate, rather than now, when its kind of spur of the moment "oh! they voted on it! quick! think of something!" )?
I dont know, i dont hear alot about the politics/financial stuff surrounding it (you see, orlando local news doesnt give us much insight :P )

...
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 01:19 AM   #19
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Cascadia Monorail Design, Build, Operate, and Maintain Contract

On June 20, the Seattle Monorail Project made public details of the contract that has been negotiated with the Cascadia Monorail consortium.





The contract still must be approved by the Board of the Seattle Monorail Project and then the funding plan for the project must pass a financial review coordinated by the Seattle City Council.

The line is approximately 14 miles long. It will feature single track segments at its ends plus there will be a single track segment over the West Seattle Bridge. Providing double track over the bridge would result in substantial additional cost due to the need to reinforce the bridge:



The system will utilize 2-car Hitachi Standard Type monorail trains. There are presently 13 trains in the contract, which is enough to provide service at 8-minute intervals. There is an option to purchase 4 additional trains at $8 million dollars each. This would allow the service interval to be reduced to 6 minutes. The option must be executed within one year of signing the contract. The ultimate desire is to provide service at 6-minute intervals at the ends of the line and 3-minutes intervals downtown. There are further options to purchase trains at $11 million each:









The guideway will feature several different column types. Much of the guideway will follow the conventional side-by-side configuration. Sections of the guideway will utilize an "Iris" arrangement with one guideway beam higher than the other to allow a station off to one side of the street to service trains on both beams. The columns will be generally at one side of the street. In some areas, the cross-head supporting the guideway beams will be offset to provide greater clearance between the trains and the buildings:


Seattle Center

Second Avenue

Pioneer Square

West Seattle


The stations will be open to the air but will feature roofs and wind protection:




The following figures illustrate some of the typical station configurations:





The plan is for the system to open on December 1, 2010 provided that Cascadia can be given instructions to proceed by August 15 of this year:



For more information, see the Cascadia Monorail and Seattle Monorail Project websites:

http://www.cascadiamonorail.com/
http://www.elevated.org/

For an overview of the Cascadia contract, see the following links:
http://www.cascadiamonorail.com/cont...c_sum_0605.pdf
http://www.elevated.org/_downloads/p...iewBooklet.pdf


Last edited by greg_christine; June 22nd, 2005 at 05:23 AM.
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Old June 22nd, 2005, 06:04 AM   #20
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Yes, of course it will help Seattle. For a city that has always prided itself on its progressive views Seattle has been kicking and screaming into RT.
Still $2bilUS for 14 miles?!?! Vancouver's Millenium Line SkyTrain just completed 2 years ago cost $1.1bilCDN for 21km {14miles} and its elevated.
I think Seattlites are getting screwed big time.
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