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Old April 19th, 2013, 03:16 AM   #21
weava
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KC is shopping for downtown streetcars
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Kansas City will eventually be ordering four cars — three that would be in daily service and one as a spare for special events and when the other cars are in for maintenance.

Kansas City’s minimum requirement is for cars that hold at least 115 passengers each. Both Salt Lake City and Cincinnati are ordering cars that hold 140 to 150.

Both would also run on regular gauge railroad tracks like the Kansas City system. Kansas City is designing its system to accommodate modern streetcars and light rail vehicles, Councilman Russ Johnson said.

But as the system expands beyond downtown, even the streetcars could operate like light rail service at speeds up to 55 mph and with fewer stops.

“We will see in the future a blurring of the terms streetcar and light rail,” he said.

This first phase of system, which is being funded by a downtown taxing district, will operate along Main Street between the River Market and Union Station beginning in 2015.
http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/11...treetcars.html

KC and NKC councils approve study on expanding streetcar line north of the Missouri River
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The study follows Kansas City’s decision to build a downtown streetcar system along a two-mile route from River Market to near Union Station.

The new study, to be done in partnership with the Mid-America Regional Council, will look at whether running streetcars over the river is feasible, how much it would cost, where it would be located, how many riders might use the system and the economic development impact.

The city also is studying other possible extensions south of the river, including from Union Station south to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Kansas City Councilman Jim Glover said Thursday’s vote sets the stage for a historic project, just as development of the Hannibal Bridge over the river in the 1860s helped establish Kansas City as a major city and rail center.

“It can’t be a citywide system unless we go north of the river,” Glover said of the planned streetcar extensions.
http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/18...to-extend.html
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Old April 25th, 2013, 03:23 AM   #22
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I still don't get what is this short stretch of streetcar for. It is definitely not really a serious transport solution for the metropolitan KC.

I have a feeling that it is some sort of shiny expensive toy for some in the city government. Something along the lines:
"hey, every cool and trendy city has light rail or streetcar so we need one too!!"
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Old April 25th, 2013, 06:06 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
I still don't get what is this short stretch of streetcar for. It is definitely not really a serious transport solution for the metropolitan KC.

I have a feeling that it is some sort of shiny expensive toy for some in the city government. Something along the lines:
"hey, every cool and trendy city has light rail or streetcar so we need one too!!"
It is called a "starter line" in the USA. It is very common for governments here to build a small line to start with to prove the technology in their city. Once a small line is built and managed successfully it is easier to compete for state and federal funds to build a larger network.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 03:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
I still don't get what is this short stretch of streetcar for. It is definitely not really a serious transport solution for the metropolitan KC.

I have a feeling that it is some sort of shiny expensive toy for some in the city government. Something along the lines:
"hey, every cool and trendy city has light rail or streetcar so we need one too!!"
It is a starter line of an eventual larger system. They are currently studying how they will expand it with a $1.9 million study
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascit...streetcar.html
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Old April 26th, 2013, 08:26 AM   #25
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I understand the idea of a starter system but I think streetcars/LRT have become flavour of the month and are more for ribbon cutting ceremonies that true transit.

The problem isn't the streetcars themselves but rather if the system offers value for the dollar. These lines are expensive and most low density cities like KC would be far, far better served by an advanced BRT system. Not only would BRT cover many more areas but hundreds of thousands of more people.

BRT can definately create TOD as Cleveland's Healthline very much proves. BRTs are not only much cheaper but can equal of higher speeds, be more reliable, much more easily extended, can get rid of the dreaded "last mile" problem, and very importantly don't rob the system of precious funds.

Often these streetcar/LRT systems require such high operational subsidies that they rob the buses of needed funds................they rob Peter to pay Paul, and it is always the poor and transit dependent who pay the price with poorer bus service.

BRT often isn't as "sexy" as streetcars/LRT which is why politicians go for the later despite the fact that they wouldn't be caught dead taking it after the photo-ops are all done.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 04:04 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
I understand the idea of a starter system but I think streetcars/LRT have become flavour of the month and are more for ribbon cutting ceremonies that true transit.

The problem isn't the streetcars themselves but rather if the system offers value for the dollar. These lines are expensive and most low density cities like KC would be far, far better served by an advanced BRT system. Not only would BRT cover many more areas but hundreds of thousands of more people.

BRT can definately create TOD as Cleveland's Healthline very much proves. BRTs are not only much cheaper but can equal of higher speeds, be more reliable, much more easily extended, can get rid of the dreaded "last mile" problem, and very importantly don't rob the system of precious funds.

Often these streetcar/LRT systems require such high operational subsidies that they rob the buses of needed funds................they rob Peter to pay Paul, and it is always the poor and transit dependent who pay the price with poorer bus service.

BRT often isn't as "sexy" as streetcars/LRT which is why politicians go for the later despite the fact that they wouldn't be caught dead taking it after the photo-ops are all done.

You make some valid points, but BRT vs LRT is not really the point of this thread.

Just for a quick response though. I agree that low density smaller cities like KC, Tampa, etc. could likely be better served by a medium-advanced BRT. In an advanced system that BRT advocates like to propose the only real difference is that there is no track. And because of this difference the cost is frequently only a little less than a LRT system. Also, an advanced BRT system is really not much easier to extend or deploy than LRT given that, again, the main difference is lack of track. All the same studies for environmental impact, alternatives, etc. have to be done, just like LRT. With new methods for laying track in shallow beds the deployment time is minimal (and cheaper) compared to the deeper beds that used to be used.

As for TOD, LRT almost certainly attracts more TOD investment than BRT on a national and global scale. However, the real argument is where is that investment coming from? Would that investment have happened elsewhere in the same metro just in a different form even without LRT? Often the answer is "yes". The inherent problem of proving development due to transit investment is this issue. BRT done on a advanced scale can attract TOD development too, but there are too many psychological factors that limit it, as you mention as well. BRT is still a bus, albeit a nice one, and choice riders that choose to live in TOD like to ride fixed guideway, not buses. So, what is the cost/benefit ratio for TOD? If a BRT line attracts $2B in development but a LRT line would attract $3B in development, which one is better? Is the city looking to have a TOD renaissance in a given area or move more people over a potentially larger area?

Further, BRT advocates like to lump all types of BRT, from cheap typical bus line with advance ticketing masquerading as BRT to the real dedicated ROW with real station BRT into a single category that lowers the average deployment cost and makes BRT seem cheaper than it is.

All that said though, BRT absolutely has its place in a transit deployment. Medium and low density medium sized cites could and should look at it as a viable alternative to LRT. But they should look at it for its value as a mode of transit, not just because it is a little cheaper on the front end. The right mode for the right desire.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #27
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I think the corridor the streetcar is planned for has great density currently and the possibility for even more density. I live just south of the plaza where it's planned to terminate currently. I think I would definitely ride my bike on the trolly trail to that station to take it to midtown and downtown. Getting me on a bus will never happen in this town. EVER. I've lived here 2 years and tried to take a bus to downtown from midtown (where i lived when i first got here) when I was working at UMB and it was like a 45 minute ordeal when via car it was 5 minutes. I could care less if I sit next to a bum, ***** or crackhead on a bus, that has never bothered me nor deterred me from riding public transport and I grew up in the country where we have none of those. I think for me the attraction to light rail/streetcar is priority in traffic over buses that have to wait at every signal and sit in traffic and have to wait on turning vehicles etc.
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Old April 26th, 2013, 06:10 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weava View Post
We have already opened 2 BRT lines and more are planned in the metro, this streetcar line will complement them. With KC having the most freeway miles per capita of any major city in the world it will always be a challenge to get suburban ridership but this line isn't for the suburbanites, its to encourage urban renewal and economic growth, it will connect hotels, shopping, offices, various bus routes, the convention center and sprint center together with having a station at union station which is the planned hub for a future commuter rail network. The streetcar line is the key piece of the puzzle to create a much larger and better public transportation system.
Where are those 2 BRT lines? I haven't heard anything about them. I'm curious where they are and go to. Or wait..... arethey the MAX lines?? If so I don't know why KCATA calls them BRT. They have no ROW of their own and have to wait in traffic like everyone else. That kinda of makes them express buses it seems. I guess when I hear BRT I think of Pittsburgh's BRT system.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 06:34 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by ScraperDude View Post
Where are those 2 BRT lines? I haven't heard anything about them. I'm curious where they are and go to. Or wait..... arethey the MAX lines?? If so I don't know why KCATA calls them BRT. They have no ROW of their own and have to wait in traffic like everyone else. That kinda of makes them express buses it seems. I guess when I hear BRT I think of Pittsburgh's BRT system.
Main St has dedicated bus lanes and the stoplights are supposed to be timed for the buses.
bus lane
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Old April 27th, 2013, 01:07 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScraperDude View Post
I think the corridor the streetcar is planned for has great density currently and the possibility for even more density. I live just south of the plaza where it's planned to terminate currently. I think I would definitely ride my bike on the trolly trail to that station to take it to midtown and downtown. Getting me on a bus will never happen in this town. EVER. I've lived here 2 years and tried to take a bus to downtown from midtown (where i lived when i first got here) when I was working at UMB and it was like a 45 minute ordeal when via car it was 5 minutes. I could care less if I sit next to a bum, ***** or crackhead on a bus, that has never bothered me nor deterred me from riding public transport and I grew up in the country where we have none of those. I think for me the attraction to light rail/streetcar is priority in traffic over buses that have to wait at every signal and sit in traffic and have to wait on turning vehicles etc.


There are exceptions to this rule, but in majority of places around the world buses are seen as a transportation option for people who can't afford anything else. Rail and street car doesn't have this stigma (also with exceptions) plus it is seen as more permanent solution thus better for encouraging development along its route.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 08:40 PM   #31
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Main St has dedicated bus lanes and the stoplights are supposed to be timed for the buses.
bus lane
Oh yea! The ones that are restricted from 6 to 9am northbound.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:14 PM   #32
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LRT and BRT have the same speed if BRT is given the same stop spacing , advanced green lights, ROW etc, POP, all door entry, and frequency. If they don't have those things they can often be slower than buses especially where frequency is very high. The massive Toronto streetcar system is proof of that as it is currently a painfully slow system.

Not only can BRT be just as fast but are more reliable as if there is an accident anywhere along the route then the streetcar comes to a dead stop which is not the case for the buses. The extra amount spent on the streetcars could create 2 or 3 times as much BRT serving many more people and destinations. A starter line usually gets low ridership due to poor connectivity. A larger system always gets better ridership as often these streetcar lines only provide service to those along the route. No one takes an infrequent bus to get onto a streetcar line. The larger the system the ridership grows exponentialy.

Also BRT can be more easily expanded and gets rid of the dreaded last mile or in KC's sprawling urban enviornment, last 10 miles.
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Old April 28th, 2013, 07:21 PM   #33
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And how would you convince a guy who has a car to use a bus instead?
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Old April 28th, 2013, 11:02 PM   #34
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And how would you convince a guy who has a car to use a bus instead?
Charge a lot for parking.

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Old May 1st, 2013, 11:55 PM   #35
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And how would you convince a guy who has a car to use a bus instead?
And how would you convince him to use a streetcar. Especially the one proposed for KC, which will cover less than 1% population of the metro area.

Let's be honest it is just a publicity gimmick. Either you plan the proper network or you can just give up as it is a total waste of money.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 12:33 AM   #36
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Streetcars do not need to cover that much of the total population. Their lines have to make sense (eg, double tracks or single tracks that are very close to each) and they have to be well integrated with the other effectively run means of public transportation. That is enough.

Streetcars can be a very valuable serious contribution to public transportation. But it is true that many of the tram lines in the US are not designed to be much more than a gimmick, unlike the LRT lines.

From what I can see from the planned route, without vast knowledge of Kansas City, it looks like they planned a decent starter line.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 01:40 AM   #37
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Quote:
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And how would you convince him to use a streetcar. Especially the one proposed for KC, which will cover less than 1% population of the metro area.

Let's be honest it is just a publicity gimmick. Either you plan the proper network or you can just give up as it is a total waste of money.
its not a waste, its a great starter line. It will branch out and grow and will be connected to a large bus system. The current line will be used a lot by people who work downtown going who want to go each lunch at the crown center or river market areas and will connect 1000s of hotel rooms at the crown center with the convention center and sprint center, and will eventually connect to the plaza which is a 2nd city center. Over 10% of the metros jobs are downtown and will be served by the line, and I would guess over 20% of the metros workforce will be within 1/2 mile of the line once it extends to the plaza. Not to mention once it extends to the plaza it will connect all the plaza hotels(1000s of rooms) with the convention center and sprint center which will be good for their business as well.
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Old August 13th, 2013, 02:13 AM   #38
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Station designs have been chosen for the streetcar starter route http://www.kcstreetcar.org/kc-street...ss-updates.htm



Station platforms will be equipped with a station identifier/marker and seat wall. Stops will be reviewed to determine if shelters are needed in addition to the other stop features. The station marker will display arrival times for both the Streetcar and MAX lines. The shelter will take on two different sizes; a square shaped frame for the River Market District to help fit the intimate scale of that district, and a rectangular frame in the Central Business and crossroads Districts. Although color selection for the shelter and marker will be decided at a later date,the renderings suggest the station to be a bright and
cheerful zone of activity, helping to redefine Kansas City’s streetscape. In addition,the use of a seat wall helps to define the platform’s edge while providing seating for waiting passengers on the platform and pedestrians off the platform.



Corridors being studied for future routes


http://nextrailkc.com/your-7-corridors/

http://www.kctv5.com/story/23087732/...in-kansas-city
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Old August 13th, 2013, 02:18 AM   #39
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Do some of those corridors extend into an adjoining US state?
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Old August 13th, 2013, 02:43 AM   #40
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Do some of those corridors extend into an adjoining US state?
Those routes are the lowest priority. The main st or independence ave routes are most likely the first routes to get built. The 12th st route would connect downtown to the west bottoms and could be extended to downtown Kansas City, KS and the Southwest blvd route could be extended to overland park, ks(which is the cities largest suburb). The city being right on the state line will most likely mean the system will only end up serving half the metro as Kansas is a very red state and they most likely won't approve taxes to extend the system into their state. I think KCK(wyanodotte co) would be the more likely of the 2 routes to get extended into KS as their county is the one that lured the NASCAR track and the MLS stadium to go there so they are more progressive than Johnson Co where the majority of the KS side suburbs are.

Kansas City, KS is working on this upgraded bus route so the 12th st route could end up connecting to this if it extends into KS
http://www.kcata.org/light_rail_max/state_ave/
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