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Old September 7th, 2007, 10:31 PM   #301
ssiguy2
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Ther are two problems with US Metro/LRT ext and new lines:

First, they don't come frequently enough. Many of the LRT lines come only every 12-15 minutes during the day. That makes the lines still mass transit but not rapid transit.

Second, most American cities don't have a downtown worth going to. Most still have the "donut" effect where there is few people downtown and little to do. They get decent ridership during rush hour to downtown but other than that there ridership is very poor. This is why the most heavily used systems in the world are the ones with with vibrant 24/7 downtowns.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 12:49 AM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
LRT lines come only every 12-15 minutes during the day
This is frequent, even for the more-developed (than the US) parts of the world, mon ami.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 05:41 AM   #303
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Also Dallas is almost doubling in size and going to the airports, and dense areas. The ridership should get to the 100,000s once its completely done in 2103 thought lots will open before that. They are making expansions and 2 new lines. Here is a video on the expansions...

http://www.dart.org/video/flashvideo...ejune2007.html

Dallas is doing great on transit and thought only 60000ish are riding in a city of 1.2 million and an area of over 6 million, its coming along quickly and is doing better than most
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Old September 8th, 2007, 07:24 AM   #304
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainrover View Post
This is frequent, even for the more-developed (than the US) parts of the world, mon ami.
I wouldn't call this frequent at all. In Chicago the EL (supposedly) comes every 2-7 minutes. If a car is available, people aren't going to wait 15 minutes for a train or [worse] bus
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Old September 9th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #305
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Originally Posted by northsider1983 View Post
We'll see, I am not convinced though. Just because they build it doesn't mean people will use it. Denver and Dallas come to mind with success stories of their light rail projects. 60,400 and 58,200 weekday riders respectively for each. How many people does the Dallas region have? 1.5 million? That means under 4% of weekday work trips are made by their light rail. This is hardly the direction Europe is taking, or Asian cities. Sure light rail is coming back, but how successful can they be when cities have already sprawled out beyond the means of effective transit?

You referred to the DALLAS REGION...so either you were way off with your population estimate or you stated it incorrectly. Either way, you were wrong...yet you have to come back with a nasty response. How very mature of you.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 12:38 AM   #306
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Re Atlanta, further expansion of MARTA's heavy rail system is dead. The last extension that was opened, in 2000, forced a fare increase that drove away more riders than the new stations attracted. New lines are being discussed, but they won't happen because the operations funding isn't there.
Where did you get the information that MARTA expansion is dead? The two counties that rejected MARTA in the past have now expressed a desire to have MARTA exapand into those areas. There are several corridor studies that have recently been completed...plus other projects that will connect with MARTA as well, including the Peachtree Streetcar and the Beltline.

http://www.itsmarta.com/newsroom/planstudy.htm
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Old September 9th, 2007, 05:56 AM   #307
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Living in the north-central New Jersey myself, heavily-used mass transport is a way of life for me. If I ever go into the city, I never drive, I always use NJ Transit from Summit and just take a 45 minute ride into New York Penn, that's much faster than the 1.5 hour car ride that it can take from my house into the city. I guess it's that the reversal happened where I live: the train made the town. Considering my line is from 1838, its effect as a vacationer's travel aid made the towns get built around the station and commuting just became a way of life. Summit gets over almost a million trips annually, extremely busy for the US, not to mention that there's always a train there (literally). I couldn't live in any other part of the country.

Having lived in London and being conditioned to a country where rail is the dominant form of transport, I actually feel angry at America for being so stubborn. For example, the Docklands Light Railway, a light rail system built in East London to re-generate a relatively neglected area back in the 1980s now receives over 200,000 daily passengers, an annual total of 60,000,000 trips a year. This is in a place with about as many people as Dallas. And that's only a light rail system, then add on the tube and you've got over a billion trips per annum.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 06:12 AM   #308
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12-15 minutes during the day is very INFREQUENT by any world standard.

As for Dallas, yes its great they are extending DART but its ridership considering it encompasses 5 million is very small.
Calgary's light rail CTrain carries 250,000/day on only 42km of track in a city of just one million. The trains come atleast every 6 minutes during the day and more frequently during rush hour and run til 1:30am
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Old September 9th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #309
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Quote:
You referred to the DALLAS REGION...so either you were way off with your population estimate or you stated it incorrectly. Either way, you were wrong...yet you have to come back with a nasty response. How very mature of you.
You nut, read what I posted after that:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...0&postcount=20

I originally said "Dallas region" when I was referring to the region in which the DART services...which is not the entire Dallas region...my mistake.
Quote:
yet you have to come back with a nasty response. How very mature of you.
Whatever...deal with it... I don't like when people just come up and claim I have no idea what I am talking about (there's way too much of that crap on this forum). I put the facts there with sources...


Quote:
12-15 minutes during the day is very INFREQUENT by any world standard.
That really is...15 minutes is long when you have to be somewhere, or when it's below freezing, or if you are older...

Last edited by Northsider; September 9th, 2007 at 07:53 AM.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
12-15 minutes during the day is very INFREQUENT by any world standard.
Out of rush hour,12-15 is good,except for metro.
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Old September 9th, 2007, 04:25 PM   #311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprtsluvr8 View Post
Where did you get the information that MARTA expansion is dead? The two counties that rejected MARTA in the past have now expressed a desire to have MARTA exapand into those areas. There are several corridor studies that have recently been completed...plus other projects that will connect with MARTA as well, including the Peachtree Streetcar and the Beltline.

http://www.itsmarta.com/newsroom/planstudy.htm
Try http://www.atlantaregional.com/cps/r...bility2030.xls. It's a list of projects for the 2030 plan. There's a smattering of commuter rail, beltline and BRT funding, but it's generally insufficient to do the job, in the outyears of the plan (2021-2030), or both. No heavy rail extensions at all, though there's quite a bit of renovation work. Meanwhile, there's political pressure to reallocate the part of the 1% MARTA sales tax that's dedicated to construction to operations subsidies as bonds are paid off. IIRC, this has already started to happen.

I'll admit that I'm not as up to speed on this stuff as I should be-- I served on the semi-official Roads-HOV Task Force at ARC for a few years before leaving as result of burnout and disgust. But while I was there all the heavy rail extensions that had been in the RTP for years were taken out, and commuter rail never went anywhere.

Not that I'm happy about it-- I'm not. But studies aren't plans.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:50 AM   #312
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U.S. Subways in Dire Need of Repair

U.S. Subways in Dire Need of Repair
20 November 2007



CHICAGO (AP) - As a civil engineer, Om Goel had faith that Chicago's world-famous El, however old, rickety and perennially cash-strapped, was maintained well enough that the trains would at least stay on the tracks.

That was before the subway car the 63-year-old was riding in during a rush-hour commute lurched off the rails, igniting a smoky fire and sending him and 1,000 other passengers scrambling through a dark tunnel.

"My confidence is now absolutely shaken," said Goel, one of more than 150 people injured, six seriously, in that July 2006 accident. "Every time I get on the subway now, I'm thinking, `Oh my God, I hope it doesn't happen again.'"

Industry watchers share his sense of dread.

They say the nation's oldest subways are in dire need of repairs and upgrades to fix everything from decades-old track in Chicago to serious overcrowding in New York, but don't have enough money to keep up.

The National Transportation Safety Board in September blasted Chicago's inspection and maintenance procedures, concluding that the immediate cause of last year's accident was rotted wooden ties and corroded bolt-like fixtures that failed to hold the rails in place.

Investigators said the accident should be a warning to other cities.

"This accident is about the failure to understand and invest in a system of this age that carries thousands and thousands and thousands of people every day," NTSB board member Kitty Higgins said.

Federal, state and local spending on mass transit is around $40 billion a year, and that should be increased by $25 billion to properly repair and upgrade U.S. networks, the research firm Cambridge Systematics has concluded. Others have suggested doubling or tripling what is spent now.

"It's like financial life-support," said Chris Kozub, of the New Jersey-based National Transit Institute. "We keep them alive, but we never give enough to cure what ails them."

Transit officials say problems abound:

--New York City's subway system, the nation's largest, is chronically overcrowded even though the city has spent more than $50 billion since 1982 to rescue its mass-transit network.

"Most riders think the subway's run by an angry, indifferent god," said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign, a transit advocacy group. "On some lines, I can't believe how many people are crammed in. It's like a Picasso painting -- arms here, legs and shoes there."

For those who recall how bad things used to be in New York, today's system looks good, Russianoff said. For example, the transit agency says a train now breaks down about once every 150,000 miles versus once every 7,000 miles in 1982.

But interest owed on money it borrowed to upgrade the system could saddle the agency with $2 billion in debt by 2010. That means it could be difficult to find money for further improvements, including wholesale repairs needed at about 250 of the city's 468 subway stations, Russianoff said.

--In Boston, about one-third of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's operating budget goes toward paying interest on a $5 billion debt, the largest of any U.S. transit agency. The agency can afford only to maintain things, not to upgrade them, MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas said.

--In Washington, booming ridership has outstripped piecemeal improvements of the Metro subway, which has struggled to find money to buy enough new trains to ease overcrowding.

As bad as things may be elsewhere, it is hard to imagine they could be worse than in Chicago.

Nearly 25 percent of the Chicago Transit Authority's 242 miles of track -- some of it elevated, some of it underground -- is so shoddy that in some stretches, trains designed to travel more than 50 mph must plod along at 5 mph -- about the pace of a horse at trot. The average rail car is 23 years old, and nearly one-third exceed the 25-year maximum recommended by federal authorities.

In the past two years, there have been at least nine accidents on the El, including fires and minor derailments that led to evacuations.

Now the more than century-old system -- a landmark that has served as an instantly recognizable backdrop in such movies as "The Fugitive" and "The Blues Brothers" -- threatens to become a liability as the city bids for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Two competing cities, Madrid and Tokyo, have modern rail networks.

Since last year's accident, the CTA says, it has replaced the worst stretches of track and improved inspections but says it still needs more than $4 billion to fix or replace track, bridges, signals and stations, as well as to buy new trains.

City and state lawmakers are discussing a possible regional sales tax or casino gambling to pay for improvements.

Commuters say something must be done.

"Cities can die if the infrastructure does not grow according to the demands of the people. They'll leave," Brittany Berndtson, 23, said recently while waiting at a subway stop.

Robert Dunphy, a researcher at the Washington-based Urban Land Institute, agreed that delays in dealing with the problem could be costly.

"If you don't pay constant attention to them, it doesn't take very long before things go downhill fast," Dunphy said. "And you find yourself in a very bad place."
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Old January 29th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #313
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New FTA Bus Rapid Transit Field visit report

From the FTA and Transportation Research Board:

Looks at the outcomes & systems in small & medium cities that have implemented the Bogota model. Insightful photos on the first page.

http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=8623
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Old January 31st, 2008, 05:54 AM   #314
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BRT is a joke. It's the FRA's way of making transport cheap but it's completely inefficient. Heavy rail is the most preferrable mode in my opinion, because if it's used well enough, it can carry more people in a shorter amount of time. Do you honestly think that BRT could work in a city like New York City? It would completely fail. Light rail is OK for short distances, and hopefully BRT would eventually be converted to light rail if profitable enough. The FTA forgot one important thing: image. Americans will not give up their cars to take buses; they suffer from image problems.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 08:43 AM   #315
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Ok, lets forget bigger cities for the moment. I wasn't thinking of the New Yorks of North America (there is only one anyhow). Big cities already have density and somewhat decent transportation budgets. What about the smaller cities? The spread-out ones of 500,000K, 200,000K or fewer that dont have a hope in hell of being able to afford heavy rail or even light rail - or at least convince voters to pay for one.

A well-built BRT system can be phase 1 one of an LRT plan. It sets aside the correct ROW requirements, and the stations can be built to be used for both modes.

As you say it is about getting people to use the system and I definitely would agree that a simple busway and bus-stop isn't going to do the trick.

The other problem, is that North America doesn't have any good BRT systems to begin with. People speak from personal experience, and not-surprisingly have been totally underwhelmed by what our beaurocrats call BRT. Unfortunately there are many BRT systems all over that miss the mark (in my opinion, all in North America fall into this category), they lack many of the features and all of the gloss of successfull systems. The systems that do work well (which happen to be abroad) are remarkable and well worth learning from.

Something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA4IR7PvO6I is a step in the right direction, and even more worthwhile if it can go to LRT in the future.

Some may say "it's different elsewhere, not worth comparing us to elsewhere", but that difference is the point. It's expensive to drive in many other places, and that expense is something that Americans will eventually start seeing. As congestion, fuel prices, parking prices increase more Americans will start considering alternatives that are faster and cheaper than driving.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geoking66 View Post
BRT is a joke. It's the FRA's way of making transport cheap but it's completely inefficient. Heavy rail is the most preferrable mode in my opinion, because if it's used well enough, it can carry more people in a shorter amount of time. Do you honestly think that BRT could work in a city like New York City? It would completely fail. Light rail is OK for short distances, and hopefully BRT would eventually be converted to light rail if profitable enough. The FTA forgot one important thing: image. Americans will not give up their cars to take buses; they suffer from image problems.

Last edited by adrimm; January 31st, 2008 at 09:06 AM.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 08:53 AM   #316
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http://www.streetsblog.org/2008/01/2...brt-in-bogota/
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Old January 31st, 2008, 02:57 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by adrimm View Post
The other problem, is that North America doesn't have any good BRT systems to begin with. People speak from personal experience, and not-surprisingly have been totally underwhelmed by what our bureaucrats call BRT. Unfortunately there are many BRT systems all over that miss the mark (in my opinion, all in North America fall into this category), they lack many of the features and all of the gloss of successful systems. The systems that do work well (which happen to be abroad) are remarkable and well worth learning from.
I would place the LA Orange line in the correct model of BRT as well as the South Miami-Dade Busway. The Miami Busway is not quite to LRT standards, but it is a great dedicated busway compared to most "BRT" systems in the US.

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Old January 31st, 2008, 04:48 PM   #318
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There are several true BRT systems in the US:
-Pittsbergh (MLK, South, and West Busways)
-Los Angeles (Orange Line, El Monte, Harbor)
-Miami (South Miami-Dade Busway)
-Eugene, OR (EmX)
-Seattle (Metro Busway and Tunnel)
-Boston (Silver Line)
-Minneapolis/Saint Paul (University of Minnesota Transitway-It is used to connect two campuses together)

In Canada there is a system in Ottawa.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 07:20 PM   #319
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That's just it - in my mind open air curbside stops don't qualify as "stations".

You tell a member of the public "station" and they want a *station*, not a glorified bus shelter with ticket dispenser and a sign on it that says "station".

Last edited by adrimm; January 31st, 2008 at 07:25 PM.
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Old January 31st, 2008, 11:50 PM   #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrimm View Post
That's just it - in my mind open air curbside stops don't qualify as "stations".

You tell a member of the public "station" and they want a *station*, not a glorified bus shelter with ticket dispenser and a sign on it that says "station".
But many LRT stations in the US are open air too. I have been on the Charlotte Blue line (perhaps the newest open system) LRT line and stations are all open air, with the exception of one (I believe). Most of their stops might have a roof (at least over the waiting area), but that is the same for good BRT systems. Most of the BRT lines listed above have nice stops that would be very comparable to most LRT stops, the main difference is the curb rather than the rail.

Newark LRT station:

Houston:

Don't get me wrong, I am almost always in favor for LRT over BRT, but the stations on a good BRT route can be comparable to a regular (non-subway) LRT station. Of course though, most BRT lines in the US are really glorified regular bus routes, the kind that almost all bus routes should be, IE, nice buses, regular and reliable times, decent stops/stations, and count down clocks to the next bus.

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