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Old April 27th, 2016, 01:42 AM   #461
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Streetcar extension to Bishop Arts District is now scheduled to open in August 2016.

https://www.dart.org/rideralerts/fullra.asp?id=2908
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Old May 12th, 2016, 05:30 AM   #462
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I'm sorry, but a streetcar departing ever 30min in a central area is just a joyride, not a very useful provision for public transportation.
I had the opportunity to ride the streetcar today. It is very much intended to be legitimate public transit. The southernmost existing station is closed due to the construction of the southern extension, so there are only three stations open. According to my GPS speedometer, the streetcar traveled 1.28 miles for a one-way trip between the three stations, which includes a crossing of the Trinity River, and completed this one-way trip in roughly four minutes. This indicates an average speed of 19.2 mph, including stops. The streetcar reached a max speed of 38.12 mph while crossing the river. The average speed is higher than what is typical of a bus, so it is effective public transit for those who need to travel the route. While this number is higher partially due to a long uninterrupted river crossing, it is also influenced by sections where the tracks are separated from auto traffic, both on the the bridge and elsewhere.

The car was pretty new and a modern streetcar, and it was very clean. It also accelerates quickly. Stops are highly visible and all have shelters. It was comfortable and easy to use

The current extent of the line is very limited. Once the extension at both ends is completed, the line should serve more people effectively. The frequencies are not good, but the fact that it is free may increase ridership enough to influence DART to increase frequencies. Overall, it seems to be intended as a start to DART's streetcar system, which will be gradually expanded.

If you want a streetcar joyride in Dallas that does not serve as effective public transport, the McKinney Avenue Streetcar is your answer. It is operated by an independent non-profit, and is useful really only as a tourist attraction, which is a shame because the route could be very useful if the cars would operate at a reasonable speed.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 07:40 PM   #463
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Who would have thought that I would one day agree with Suburbanist on something. Yes, a central tram with a headway of 30 min is little more than a toy, unless it is a direct connector to some commuter rail (and the timetable also synchronized with the trains to offer direct connections to every train) in which case it is simply a prolongation of a commuter rail line.

All the speed is of no avail if you don't get a tram most of the time.

If the tram line is free, ie being subsidized anyway, why don't they invest in at least a 15 min headway, at which point it would become usuable without knowing the timetable? It couldn't be possibly so incredibly more expensive and it would be much more usable and therefore attract more riders.
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Old May 14th, 2016, 10:55 PM   #464
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
It is wrong to compare buses with trains and suppose good buses are substitutes for trains. Buses are inferior by definition, and will always be.
Completely false. As public transportation, buses have many benefits over rail and depending on the circumstances may be favorable. Take the Dallas streetcar for example. Bus service would be equally fast, would have had much less capital costs, would be cheaper to operate, and currently much cheaper to maintain. Add that minor things tend to completely shut down streetcars (fender benders that don't even involve the train, police activity, etc) while buses just drive around the mess.

There are certainly benefits to building streetcars but even many of those (mostly economic) benefits exist because car centric folk are opposed to riding buses.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 05:37 AM   #465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Easy View Post
Completely false. As public transportation, buses have many benefits over rail and depending on the circumstances may be favorable. Take the Dallas streetcar for example. Bus service would be equally fast, would have had much less capital costs, would be cheaper to operate, and currently much cheaper to maintain. Add that minor things tend to completely shut down streetcars (fender benders that don't even involve the train, police activity, etc) while buses just drive around the mess.

There are certainly benefits to building streetcars but even many of those (mostly economic) benefits exist because car centric folk are opposed to riding buses.
There is also an air quality benefit to not spewing diesel exhaust and rubber dust into the neighborhood. The streetcar has a higher capacity than any bus I've ridden on. It also has sections of dedicated RoW. The ride is smoother than a bus. Streetcars do not travel erratically like some bus drivers, and are therefore safer to cyclists and pedestrians, as the rails show exactly where it will go. Traffic signal priority seems to work better with rail than bus (though this may be merely how it is programmed).

I think the real reason Dallas is building a streetcar network is to get people who view public transit as inconvenient and uncomfortable to try it on a vehicle that is comfortable and easy to ride, and hopefully expand ridership throughout the DART system by connecting these new riders. This line was also built to provide service to a hospital, and the smoother ride that rail provides could be of legitimate benefit to anyone using it for that purpose.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 10:38 PM   #466
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Articulated busses in Vienna seem to be similarely prone to street blockades as trams. They do have the chance to circumvent certain things, if there is plenty of space but on the other side the risk of someone block the road is also higher because people are aware that blocking a tram track is not only silly but can also be very costly while they think busses can just drive around. But busses aren't as small as cars and especially higher capacity articulated busses needed enough space to drive around an obsacle or a corner. With trams it is very clear where which space they need exactly.

I am not a die hard rail supporter or bus hater though. I think a good network will employ different modes of transport. A purely bus only system however is usually a very complicated and suboptimal system (Dubli nowadays has some light rail, but thats the closest thing I have experienced personally).

Many cost calculations of busses are ignoring the track construction and maintenance costs, even though a bus takes a much bigger toll on roads than a car.
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Old June 15th, 2016, 01:49 AM   #467
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Birthday wishes

Happy 20th birthday to the Dallas light-rail system





http://www.dart.org/news/news.asp?ID=1246
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Old June 20th, 2016, 06:16 PM   #468
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Birthday wishes

Happy 5th birthday to the A-Train (commuter rail between Denton and Trinity Mills DART in Carrollton).

A-Train opened for service 2011.06.20.

http://hoponboardblog.com/2016/06/ha...thday-a-train/

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Old July 10th, 2016, 04:20 AM   #469
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1st Quarter 2016 Ridership numbers for Dallas

Light Rail
Dallas / DART LRT - 93,500 (2016) : 3.02% +

Bus Ridership
Dallas / DART Bus - 112,200 (2016) : -1.18%
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Old July 21st, 2016, 03:38 PM   #470
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From Rail Journal:

Quote:
http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...ml?channel=535

FirstGroup wins first US commuter rail contract
Thursday, July 21, 2016



FIRSTGROUP is set to enter the North American commuter rail market after being selected by Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) to operate and maintain the 34km A-train line, which runs from Denton, Texas, to an interchange with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit light rail Green Line at Trinity Mills in Carrollton

The nine-year contract, which has been awarded to FirstGroup’s US subsidiary First Transit, begins on October 1 and is expected to generate annual revenues of around $US 9m

...
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Old July 23rd, 2016, 12:52 AM   #471
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Top Stories: Light Rail Test Run, Spotlight On Petra Kelly

The top stories this afternoon from KERA news: A new light rail extension takes its maiden voyage[...]


Source: http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net.../train_pic.jpg
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Old July 24th, 2016, 07:56 AM   #472
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Here is my video of the trains in and around Dallas!
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Old July 31st, 2016, 03:10 AM   #473
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The extension of the Dallas Streetcar to Bishop Arts will occur on Saturday, August 27. Here is an article from a neighborhood weekly magazine.

http://oakcliff.advocatemag.com/2016...-opens-aug-27/
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Old July 31st, 2016, 01:22 PM   #474
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstrknb View Post
Here is my video of the trains in and around Dallas!
I really enjoyed your video, although Dallas looks like a ghosttown in it... and I'm surprised they opted for such short vehicles on the new streetcar line.
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Old July 31st, 2016, 06:08 PM   #475
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It's because Dallas is one of most auto-centric cities on the planet. It has a tiny urban core surrounded by endless suburban sprawl and mass transit is very limited.
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Old August 1st, 2016, 09:41 AM   #476
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Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Los Angeles are probably the four most notoriously autocentric cities on planet Earth.
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Old August 1st, 2016, 07:24 PM   #477
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Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Los Angeles are probably the four most notoriously autocentric cities on planet Earth.
They are also the 4 biggest cities that grew up in the era of the automobile in the US. It took 50 years to build them into the auto-centric hell holes they are now. It'll take another 50 years of investment and construction to dig them out of it. Having an extensive transit system will be part of that.
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Old August 1st, 2016, 10:17 PM   #478
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I'm afraid it's not possible any more to change that... due to the city structure - there is just suburbs. In such environment it is impossible to build a good transportation. Unless you start to destroy the houses and build there condos... lets say for a good start - along few axis - together with a high capacity transit lines otherwise it's not doable.
The philosophy of american urbanisation was wrong from the beginning - now ppl have to pay for that sitting for hours in their cars.
You can't live without a car in States and Canada (maybe partly in very few cities you could - but how many are there? 3? 4? Not many more). In some other countries - you can, easily.
I dont believe cities like Dallas or LA will ever be citizens-without-a-car-friendly.
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Old August 1st, 2016, 11:50 PM   #479
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It's because Dallas is one of most auto-centric cities on the planet. It has a tiny urban core surrounded by endless suburban sprawl and mass transit is very limited.
Eh, I wouldn't say "tiny" and mass transit is actually very well built compared to most other Sunbelt cities... especially here in Texas.
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Old August 2nd, 2016, 01:09 AM   #480
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No use beating ourselves up about how our most dynamic cities grew up around the automobile. I recommend tempering expectations and also cultivating an appreciation for other aspects that make cities great.

On a sidenote: Dallas was one of those cities I was prepared NOT to like, principally due to the bias against the sprawling template. But I found that I REALLY liked it!
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