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Old April 8th, 2010, 03:02 AM   #41
edubejar
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BTW, I do see it more as commuter rail rather than Light Rail. The distance between stations suggest that it's designed to move people between long distances, which I associate with commuter rail or suburban trains.

Light Rail usually have shorter stops like what we often think of a metro or subway system. In fact, Light Rail usually provides more localized service than the metro itself (usually!) Plus, it does go all the way to Cedar Park and beyond to Leander. I may be wrong, but I don't think there exists many Light Rail systems that cover that kind of distance.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 04:33 AM   #42
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thats pretty nice looking rail.. although is kind of small and seems awfully crowed.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #43
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thats pretty nice looking rail.. although is kind of small and seems awfully crowed.
It's small, but to be fair, it's the right size relative to the population of Austin. These photos were taken on opening day anyway. Besides, the benefits of having surface rail, usually, is that expansion to the system (i.e. longer platforms to accommodate longer trains) is not hard.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 05:23 AM   #44
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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.
How about San Antonio. When I was there, I saw alot of pedestrian activity in the city centre.
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Old April 8th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #45
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The US is generally a car society, but in recent years, there has been a major push for light rail in a number of cities.

Here's a thread I started on the topic a while back for more info : US Cities Embrace Light Rail to Revitalize Neighborhoods ‎
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=337448
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Old April 8th, 2010, 05:12 PM   #46
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Regardless of if we as users and fans classify it as LR or commuter rail, the US government classifies it as Commuter rail due to the distance traveled, frequency of service and space of stations. True though that some systems use this (or very similar) vehicle in a LR type system, especially Ottawa and the River Rail line in NJ come to mind.

I really hope it is successful though, it could spur a rail renaissance in the city!

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Old April 10th, 2010, 01:02 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampasteve View Post
Regardless of if we as users and fans classify it as LR or commuter rail, the US government classifies it as Commuter rail due to the distance traveled, frequency of service and space of stations. True though that some systems use this (or very similar) vehicle in a LR type system, especially Ottawa and the River Rail line in NJ come to mind.

I really hope it is successful though, it could spur a rail renaissance in the city!

Steve
True, there is something about the design and size that can make us think of Light Rail but indeed the total length of the line and especially the distance between stations say Commuter Rail. The frequency is also more like Commuter Rail as well. Then again I can think of some urban areas in Europe with somewhat similar trains and distances which serve long-dstance suburban areas and they call it tram for short (the longer nomenclature appears as tram-train but people call it just tram).

For now the train is short. I imagine the train and platforms can be extended if ridership increases in the future.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edubejar View Post
True, there is something about the design and size that can make us think of Light Rail but indeed the total length of the line and especially the distance between stations say Commuter Rail. The frequency is also more like Commuter Rail as well. Then again I can think of some urban areas in Europe with somewhat similar trains and distances which serve long-dstance suburban areas and they call it tram for short (the longer nomenclature appears as tram-train but people call it just tram).

For now the train is short. I imagine the train and platforms can be extended if ridership increases in the future.
It's not light rail - light rail generally runs on electricity, not diesel; generally leaves old freight right-of-way to enter urban areas rather than relying on shuttlebuses; etc.

And it's awful.

I've been writing almost exclusively about this POS for 6 years now. Try the blog at http://mdahmus.monkeysystems.com/blog/. So far, it's turning out precisely as I predicted - underwhelming ridership followed by attempts to do what Tri-Rail did for years; patch the wrong line instead of admitting it's the wrong line and moving on.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 10:35 PM   #49
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Correcting other misconceptions in this thread:

Houston's light rail is actually a stunning success - something like the 2nd highest ridership per mile of any light rail system in this country. 36,000 per day in the last APTA report. (Compare to sub-1,000 figures now for Austin; and 30-40,000 predicted for the 2000 light rail plan that was far superior, but can now never be built thanks to the Red Line).

Austin's light rail proposal was voted down in 2000 - after being forced to the polls early by Mike Krusee - and that's the ONLY election that ever failed. (Many people like to repeat the baseless claim that they voted down rail 'many times'; if anything, the score is 2-1 in favor of rail since the original vote to incorporate Capital Metro included discussions about rail transit being part of their mission).

More at the blog: http://mdahmus.monkeysystems.com/blog/
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 06:32 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The US is generally a car society, but in recent years, there has been a major push for light rail in a number of cities.

Here's a thread I started on the topic a while back for more info : US Cities Embrace Light Rail to Revitalize Neighborhoods ‎
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=337448
Good information. It's like all the old streetcar systems that ran our cities are coming back as light rail.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 10:25 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1EK View Post
Correcting other misconceptions in this thread:
Austin's light rail proposal was voted down in 2000 - after being forced to the polls early by Mike Krusee - and that's the ONLY election that ever failed. (Many people like to repeat the baseless claim that they voted down rail 'many times'; if anything, the score is 2-1 in favor of rail since the original vote to incorporate Capital Metro included discussions about rail transit being part of their mission).

More at the blog: http://mdahmus.monkeysystems.com/blog/
M1EK, What's the likelihood of light rail being resurrected in Austin? It's sometimes hard to believe that Houston and Dallas have a light rail network and Austin does not.

Do you have any maps or other plans of the 2000 proposal?
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 10:43 PM   #52
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Here are a couple of cool pics from some other people:

Train in the early morning:
(from:"electricron" at http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...26tbs%3Disch:1



From the Capmetro website:


Steve
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:22 AM   #53
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Wow , just wow. This Article is disgusting , "one-quarter of the bridges on Capital Metro’s newly opened light rail route are “unsafe” and that some need to be replaced."

http://www.examiner.com/x-21784-Aust...afety-concerns

Honestly , the feds should seize control of Cap Metro form what most of my friends are telling me...
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Old April 29th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan78 View Post
M1EK, What's the likelihood of light rail being resurrected in Austin? It's sometimes hard to believe that Houston and Dallas have a light rail network and Austin does not.

Do you have any maps or other plans of the 2000 proposal?
1. Unlikely; Capital Metro won't do it and they spent all the money while poisoning the well for rail here.

2. Two maps from a recent post of mine:





This is what any city that has SUCCEEDED with rail lately has done - no bullshit transfers to shuttlebuses required.

The trains are now empty enough that CM is advertising to cyclists to come back, please, we really do have plenty of space for you...
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Old May 8th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #55
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Ouch...will N.A. burbs continue to outdo themselves LRT-wise at appearing any more Mary-Jean? I bet one (1) crummy
that it'll take no more than 18 months for the exhaust fumes to start seeping into the....errrr....cabin. One exit per car for
some train bearing a headboard labelled Downtown is short-sighted.

What's exceptional about its level crossings is merely all that I might wish to learn...
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 03:49 AM   #56
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I would like to point out that whenever a new road or freeway is constructed in Texas, there is no after-action report on usage. The road is built, and if it's on time and within budget, it's deemed a success by the government and media. For example, SH45 has been expanded big time southeast of Austin in what is basically open grassland. There is a huge spaghetti bowl of concrete towers and overpasses in the middle of no where, probably 10 miles from any substantial development.

The argument for building it was to take some of the pressure off I-35, the Mexico to Canada freeway that runs through downtown Austin and which is hugely overloaded at nearly all hours of the day with NAFTA traffic, and to accommodate expected developed in East Austin, waaay East Austin.

Parts of it are a toll road, other parts are not. I do not see many vehicles getting on the toll road, nor in all my commuting on I-35 do I notice a difference in traffic. But I also do not see any handringing over the poor transportation planning and wastes of money that I see with MetroRail.

Transportation infrastructure is a long term investment designed to shape development patterns for a long time. Austin, like the rest of Texas, has an ingrained car culture somewhat colored by decent public transit inside the city limits, and some politically active bikers. To get the commuters to use public transit more will require investments in rail transport whose benefits won't be apparent for years. But if done right, they will be there.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 08:24 PM   #57
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You are exactly correct. The same goes for the amount of money pumped into Airports and their support. No one complains about that cost to build and support or looks for a return, or for them to even operate without major incentives from local, state, and federal sources. For some reason public transit (specifically fixed guide way) seems to always have to prove why and how while these other forms of transportation get a pass. I am not saying that it should get a pass too, just that they should all be judged on a fair footing, or at least more fair than now.

Steve
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Old June 5th, 2010, 02:57 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1EK View Post
Correcting other misconceptions in this thread:

Houston's light rail is actually a stunning success - something like the 2nd highest ridership per mile of any light rail system in this country. 36,000 per day in the last APTA report. (Compare to sub-1,000 figures now for Austin; and 30-40,000 predicted for the 2000 light rail plan that was far superior, but can now never be built thanks to the Red Line).
Interesting. Looks like a Texas rivalry! .I lived in San Diego for 26 years(1977-2004) and they have a very successful light rail system unfortunatley named the San Diego Troley. Far from a quaint old trolley it is actually light rail.

The SDT moves 118,000 passengers a day making it the sixth most ridden light rail system in the US..I started a thread on the SDT

SAN DIEGO CA l San Diego Light Rail System

Just looking for comments!
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Old June 5th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #59
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Way to go Austin! Albuquerque has a 30 mile system on the boards but our last mayor insisted that the first segment go where light rail wasn't needed so it was shot down. Maybe our new mayor will find a way to get going with a realistic plan. This system looks great and appears to go exactly where it's needed. Austin rocks!
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Old June 7th, 2010, 05:11 PM   #60
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April ridership declined below 900/day at the end of the month, by the way. Exactly as I predicted.

viva el crackplog
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