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Old March 29th, 2010, 04:35 AM   #21
FM 2258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
This is an Embarrassment of a line compared to DART's or Houston's first line. It doesn't seem to go anywhere.
At least for me it doesn't go anywhere so I hope people living around it find it useful. Personally I think that was the first and last time for me to ride it. The ride was nice and smooth yet where I live and work is no where close to the rail line.

I also hope there won't be any train/car accidents. There are numerous railroad crossings along the line.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 07:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
This is an Embarrassment of a line compared to DART's or Houston's first line. It doesn't seem to go anywhere.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobdreamz View Post
^ how long is Houston's? Don't they just have a 7-8 mile rail system only? Anyways this is 32 miles long which isn't bad for a starter system. Anyways I like the look of the trains & congrats to Austin!
I agree with Bobdreamz. I lived in Houston and used the light rail a couple times for a car show, but that was it. For most people it is useless for commuting and it runs down the middle of the street. Several people crashed when it first opened. At least in Austin, there's a chance of people actually using it to commute.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #23
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Looks great, I wish that more cities in the USA would build this type of Tram/Train system. Mind you, it is a hybrid of a typical commuter rail and LR, but in the USA we do not have a classification (like S-Bahn or tram/train) so it must fall into the commuter rail category.

Hopefully it is successful. I know if I were to move to Austin I would only consider moving near enough to the Metrorail to use it often - and hence the draw of rail transit.

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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:02 PM   #24
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Great photos, but the Austin MetroRail is certainly not a rapid transit project the US wants to use as a model. Trains arrive only every half an hour at peak, and that's all the service hours. It only runs during the morning and evening rushes. Heck, the buses are probably more convenient than this.

If you treat this as a commuter rail, then it's great, but if you are treating this as rapid transit, you are going to be disappointed. Really though, if you are going to call it "Metro," you should be providing "metro-like" frequencies.

Last edited by deasine; March 31st, 2010 at 08:33 PM.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:52 PM   #25
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The same type of vehicles (Stadler GTWs) will be used by DCTA's A-Train in 2012 (the line opens in December with the TRE's Budd RDCs).

Austin has 6 Stadler GTWs on their line; DCTA has 11 on order. The vehicles look nice.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 12:36 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfwcre8tive View Post
The same type of vehicles (Stadler GTWs) will be used by DCTA's A-Train in 2012 (the line opens in December with the TRE's Budd RDCs).

Austin has 6 Stadler GTWs on their line; DCTA has 11 on order. The vehicles look nice.
The Vehicles look nice and are very comfortable yet still I wish that the line was electric. I'm not sure how much more it would cost but I bet there would be more frequencies with electric vs. diesel. I wonder how easily these trains can be converted to electric since trains use diesel electric motors.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 02:18 PM   #27
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The new line in Austin operates more like a commuter rail line than a transit line. Service is extremely limited. Minimum headways are thirty-five minutes and there is no service for much of the day. The following are the times for arrivals and departures from downtown.

Downtown Arrivals
6:27 AM
7:02
7:37
8:12
8:35
8:56
3:30 PM
5:15
5:50
6:25

Downtown Departures
6:41 AM
7:17
9:05
3:45 PM
4:20
4:55
5:30
6:05
6:40

The full schedule can be viewed at the Capital Metro website
< http://www.capmetro.org/MetroRail/schedules.asp >.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 06:04 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
Great photos, but the Austin MetroRail is certainly not a rapid transit project the US wants to use as a model. Trains arrive only every half an hour at peak, and that's all the service hours. It only runs during the morning and evening rushes. Heck, the buses are probably more convenient than this.

If you treat this as a commuter rail, then it's great, but if you are treating this as rapid transit, you are going to be disappointed. Really though, if you are going to call it "Metro," you should be providing "metro-like" frequencies.
I agree, perhaps I was not clear enough. What I meant is that more cities should have tram/train operations similar to this, not the frequencies. Clearly they are OK for commuters, but not for any sort of rapid transit. With that said though, it could certainly expand in the future, similar to the Music City Star in Nashville as they have expanded service hours over time. But with the station distances they will never have "rapid" type service, although infill stations could eventually open.

Having this on a main line also hampers its frequency and the electrification of the line. I would assume (though I do not know) that freight runs on the line in the middle of the day and evenings.

As for the name, it is just a continuation of the naming they use; for example, the bus service is Metrobus.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 08:18 PM   #29
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Austin has been pining for this for a long time. Several years back a Regiosprinter demo was run and was wildly successful. I think this is Capital Metro's way of getting their feet wet. Light rail was voted down several times, but if they can get this to fly, then voter approval of a light rail system will be much easier.

Also, Capital Metro is also planning a streetcar system to integrate with the Metrorail. So long headways is just their way of being cautious and publicly hiding their optimism so they can get things going the way they want. JMHO!
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 05:31 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
The new line in Austin operates more like a commuter rail line than a transit line. Service is extremely limited. Minimum headways are thirty-five minutes and there is no service for much of the day. The following are the times for arrivals and departures from downtown.

Downtown Arrivals
6:27 AM
7:02
7:37
8:12
8:35
8:56
3:30 PM
5:15
5:50
6:25

Downtown Departures
6:41 AM
7:17
9:05
3:45 PM
4:20
4:55
5:30
6:05
6:40

The full schedule can be viewed at the Capital Metro website
< http://www.capmetro.org/MetroRail/schedules.asp >.
Those are terrible frequencies. They should be aiming for at least every 10 or 15 minutes. Are there any plans to decrease waiting times as new train sets arrive?
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 08:04 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by city_thing View Post
Those are terrible frequencies. They should be aiming for at least every 10 or 15 minutes. Are there any plans to decrease waiting times as new train sets arrive?
Since it's a brand new system, I wouldn't expect it to be on par with London or New York frequencies. Even Chicago has more than 15 minutes between times on its commuter rail. At least they have a reverse train in rush hour. Some new systems don't even have that. If ridership is high, then they could increase frequency or times. I would choose more times as opposed to frequency if it had to be one or the other.
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Old April 3rd, 2010, 05:15 PM   #32
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True, 30min (or so) frequencies for a commuter system is not too bad at all. If they decided to increase capacity I would be on more times running earlier and later in the day. Doing this would not really require more trains or employees, which could mean a lot to a new system.

Does anyone know if freight runs in the daytime as well on this line since it is also a mainline rail? That could impact expanding the times, but in theory it would not impact reducing the headways.

Steve
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Old April 6th, 2010, 06:24 AM   #33
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Glad to finally see Austin's MetroRail up and running. How many false starts were there before it finally opened?

I like the rail cars, but I hope in the future the line will run more frequently and outside of rush hours. It should run more frequently. I also hope Capital Metro can get its planned streetcar system up and running in the near future.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 08:20 PM   #34
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Thanks for the pictures! Been waiting awhile for this...

So whats next? Is there any plans to expand or is there ANYTHING rail related in the works(aka actually gonna get built)?
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Old April 7th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
Great photos, but the Austin MetroRail is certainly not a rapid transit project the US wants to use as a model. Trains arrive only every half an hour at peak, and that's all the service hours. It only runs during the morning and evening rushes. Heck, the buses are probably more convenient than this.

If you treat this as a commuter rail, then it's great, but if you are treating this as rapid transit, you are going to be disappointed. Really though, if you are going to call it "Metro," you should be providing "metro-like" frequencies.
This is more light rail to me. Austin is a mid size American city where the majority of its residents drive so a heavy rail metro isn't necessary.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 08:40 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANCH View Post
This is more light rail to me. Austin is a mid size American city where the majority of its residents drive so a heavy rail metro isn't necessary.
I see this as a LRT project as well and not a commuter rail one, but the frequencies and service hours are just too low to be considered LRT. On the bright side, it's great that at least the project got completed, despite the negativity of the ballooning budget. On the other hand, I'm afraid this project will not be successful and that future projects won't go ahead because of the results of the first one.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 09:53 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
I see this as a LRT project as well and not a commuter rail one, but the frequencies and service hours are just too low to be considered LRT. On the bright side, it's great that at least the project got completed, despite the negativity of the ballooning budget. On the other hand, I'm afraid this project will not be successful and that future projects won't go ahead because of the results of the first one.
Lets see how it turns up.

Anyway, what is the percent of public transportation users in Austin compared to car owners?
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Old April 7th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANCH View Post
Lets see how it turns up.

Anyway, what is the percent of public transportation users in Austin compared to car owners?
Its very low , unlike other cities. Texas is a car addicted society and its sad. But Dallas is different , i think its the only Texas city where its kinda balanced.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WANCH View Post
Lets see how it turns up.

Anyway, what is the percent of public transportation users in Austin compared to car owners?
As of 4th quarter 2009 the average daily ridership of their other services was 123,900. For a metro population of about 1.7 million that is not too bad. For comparison, Charlotte has a metro pop of about the same number and had a total of 99,000 average daily trips (including LR). Granted there are more things at play here rather than just population such as funding, mean income, etc.

references:
APTA (ridership): http://www.apta.com/resources/statis...rship_APTA.pdf
Population:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_o...tistical_Areas

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Old April 8th, 2010, 02:50 AM   #40
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Quote:
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Its very low , unlike other cities. Texas is a car addicted society and its sad. But Dallas is different , i think its the only Texas city where its kinda balanced.
True. As for Dallas, it depends how we look at it. Dallas may be more rail-oriented today but it's also a much, much bigger metropolitan area. In fact, when Dallas first line was inaugurated, both Dallas and Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex were much bigger than both Austin and Greater Austin. So in that sense, Austin is ahead of Dallas. And in that sense, Austin is ahead of Houston too.
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