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Old May 20th, 2016, 06:21 PM   #2121
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More precise numbers are talking about 47-48 min. To be honest, I am not shocked by that time, given the distance. But a proper subway would could have been faster of course. But its of no avail to discuss at this point anymore. What makes sense however is to discuss trafic light control along the Expo line. I heard there is still some potential left untouched. My question would be, what would be the possible impact of the best case scenario? By how many minutes could the ride be shortened from Santa Monica to Downtown?


I have also read number of costs of around more than 150 m $ per km construction costs. I am not an expert but isn't that what one would expect from a heavy rail solution?

Still, a great day for LA. This is such an important step for PT in LA, closing one of the most obvious major gaps in the system.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 06:51 PM   #2122
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Here's an article about the whole issue and why LA should have gone with heavy rail instead: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/l...nap-story.html
Which, as well as ignoring the planned purple line extension (and surely Expo line now is better than than Purple line in a decade?), and that the Expo line runs at about the same speed when segregated (most of the distance), but stops more frequently, which adds time while serving areas better.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 07:06 PM   #2123
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Thanks for the answer, though what I don't understand is the difference between a fully grade-seperated light-rail line and a regular heavy-metro. Is it only the rolling stock, electrification and maybe signalling?
The main difference between a grade-separated light-rail line and heavy rail Metro would heavy rail's capacity to handle a higher volume of passenger traffic due to larger cars, faster top speeds, etc. The rolling stock is different. I'm not sure about signaling. I think the LA Green Line uses the same equipment and signaling system as the Gold, Expo, and future Crenshaw Lines so in theory they would be totally interoperable.

So we kind of have a continuum here: Heavy Rail Metro > Light Rail Metro > Light Rail > Streetcar (Tram). This is more of a set of "ideal types" than absolutes though.

To my knowledge, the LA Green line is one of the few examples of a fully segregated light rail in the U.S., though I think Europe has some light rail systems that have fully-segregated lines. Most other light rail in the U.S. runs to some extent on roads mixed with auto traffic (Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Houston, Norfolk, etc, etc.).

Maybe that's why Schwandl chose to highlight the LA Green Line as he did.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 07:10 PM   #2124
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Old May 20th, 2016, 07:19 PM   #2125
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Those new vehicles are looking really decent btw. They stay true to the general look and feel from the side but the front looks proper and contemporary not like most of the other trains across the US which just feel so terribly anachronistic to the eye of a European.

@Dan78
I find it interesting in this regard that Schwandl classifies the Viennese U6 line as full metro. It is fully grade separated like all U-Bahn lines in Vienna but it operates light rail vehicles and according rail technology. By using tripple units however the capacity is comparable to the other lines. Not only that but its acutally one of the busiest lines in Vienna.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 08:01 PM   #2126
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YES! Today's the day. I'm excited to gather some friends after work (Bundy/Expo) and do an Expo Line bar crawl until they shut down at 2am. (Although I was saddened to hear from a friend at Metro that the Colorado Esplanade pictured above will not actually be open to pedestrians until June 5th.)

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The main difference between a grade-separated light-rail line and heavy rail Metro would heavy rail's capacity to handle a higher volume of passenger traffic due to larger cars, faster top speeds, etc. The rolling stock is different. I'm not sure about signaling. I think the LA Green Line uses the same equipment and signaling system as the Gold, Expo, and future Crenshaw Lines so in theory they would be totally interoperable.
They are definitely interoperable -- in fact they're nearly done building the flyover bridge between the Green Line's Aviation station and the LAX segment of the Crenshaw Line. This will allow for an LAX spur of the Green Line (envisioned below as the "L" line, and for the Crenshaw/"K" Line to continue into the South Bay along the western alignment of the Green.



Rather than being a permanent spur line, I anticipate that the "L" will eventually link to either the proposed Sepulveda/405 Tunnel Line, since indications are that it will be grade separated LRT, just like the Green. Such a line from Sylmar to Norwalk would make for an excellent circulator, connecting to every other LRT/BRT line in the system, as well as the Metrolink.

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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
Which, as well as ignoring the planned purple line extension (and surely Expo line now is better than than Purple line in a decade?), and that the Expo line runs at about the same speed when segregated (most of the distance), but stops more frequently, which adds time while serving areas better.
Yeah, a subway along this route would have been ridiculous. The swath between Western and La Brea is super low density, plus the county already owned an at-grade ROW -- an ultra-rare commodity -- so there were no land acquisition issues or obstacles that needed to be tunneled under. Yes they could have added one or two more bridges, but in my experience this thing flies between Culver and Exposition Park -- it's really just the stretch between USC and downtown that suffers from lack of signal priority.

The biggest real question is capacity. I anticipate these trains will be packed at times. But Metro's planning on running 3-car sets, for rush hour in the immediate future and expanded hours once they get more of the new trains from Kinkisaryo. That should should be ample room for all but the most hectic times (such as the celebratory surge they anticipate for this weekend.)

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Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
More precise numbers are talking about 47-48 min. To be honest, I am not shocked by that time, given the distance. But a proper subway would could have been faster of course. But its of no avail to discuss at this point anymore. What makes sense however is to discuss traffic light control along the Expo line. I heard there is still some potential left untouched. My question would be, what would be the possible impact of the best case scenario? By how many minutes could the ride be shortened from Santa Monica to Downtown?
I'm unsure exactly how much time it would save, but especially in the segment between USC and Pico, there's some serious work to be done -- you're often chugging along right with street traffic.

There's a Change.org petition circulating to push LADOT to adopt signal preemption. Not sure how much good it would actually do, but it's close to the 1500 signature goal, so couldn't hurt to add your name.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 08:06 PM   #2127
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you're often chugging along right with street traffic
In Santa Monica the maximum speed limit is the same as for the roadway. For no other reason than to not induce speeding among motorist I'm assuming. Such bs.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 08:10 PM   #2128
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Santa Monica already gives the Expo signal priority (signal decisions rest with each city's transportation departments), so the LADOT petition is aimed at the segment around downtown.

Not much that can likely be done for the street running speed limit though.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 08:32 PM   #2129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
Those new vehicles are looking really decent btw. They stay true to the general look and feel from the side but the front looks proper and contemporary not like most of the other trains across the US which just feel so terribly anachronistic to the eye of a European.

@Dan78
I find it interesting in this regard that Schwandl classifies the Viennese U6 line as full metro. It is fully grade separated like all U-Bahn lines in Vienna but it operates light rail vehicles and according rail technology. By using tripple units however the capacity is comparable to the other lines. Not only that but its acutally one of the busiest lines in Vienna.
Not to get totally off-topic here (on this Los Angeles thread), but here's what he says about Vienna's U6: "Like the U4, the central part of line U6 was also part of the old Stadtbahn system. But whereas line U4 was converted to full U-Bahn standard, the Gürtel line (G) has continued being operated with light rail vehicles, but with 110 m long trains and the line being fully segregated it can be classified as a full metro line. Though by-passing the city centre, it is one of the busiest lines on the Vienna U-Bahn system."

In regard to US light rail vehicles, one of the reasons they look so heavy is due to FTA (Federal Transit Administration) regulations which basically require them to be "tanks" in the event that they get hit by a car, truck, or another train. Call it a "robust" design strategy instead of a "gracile" one.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 08:40 PM   #2130
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Santa Monica already gives the Expo signal priority (signal decisions rest with each city's transportation departments), so the LADOT petition is aimed at the segment around downtown.

Not much that can likely be done for the street running speed limit though.
I realize this would take time and money, but perhaps a serious look needs to be given to "undergrounding" the section between Expo Park/USC and the current tunnel portal between Pico and 7th Street/Metro Center (and maybe a portion of the Washington Blvd section of the Blue Line)?
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Old May 20th, 2016, 09:09 PM   #2131
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I realize this would take time and money, but perhaps a serious look needs to be given to "undergrounding" the section between Expo Park/USC and the current tunnel portal between Pico and 7th Street/Metro Center (and maybe a portion of the Washington Blvd section of the Blue Line)?
I've definitely heard some Metro folks discussing rebuilding Pico Station underground, and I wouldn't be surprised if doing so for the whole section was being considered. Metro's still taking feedback on its Measure R2 proposal, so maybe some of us can voice our interest/concerns in the coming months.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 09:20 PM   #2132
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In regard to US light rail vehicles, one of the reasons they look so heavy is due to FTA (Federal Transit Administration) regulations which basically require them to be "tanks" in the event that they get hit by a car, truck, or another train. Call it a "robust" design strategy instead of a "gracile" one.
I know this argument and I think these regulations are totally misguided but that would lead off topic as well.

The new trains however seem to show that you can build contemporary looking trains also for service in the US.

Quote:
There's a Change.org petition circulating to push LADOT to adopt signal preemption. Not sure how much good it would actually do, but it's close to the 1500 signature goal, so couldn't hurt to add your name.
Putting my name under a local petition on the other side of the world seems somehow wrong to me, even if it is allowed. I don't know. My own experience with Metro is pretty much limited to having vitnessed a scence from the movie HER being shot in the station Hollywood/Western. ... that was strange indeed.
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Old May 20th, 2016, 09:22 PM   #2133
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#ExpoLine is actually trending on Twitter right now
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Old May 20th, 2016, 09:55 PM   #2134
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VENGEANCE!!
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Old May 20th, 2016, 11:03 PM   #2135
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Originally Posted by TM_Germany View Post
Thanks for the answer, though what I don't understand is the difference between a fully grade-seperated light-rail line and a regular heavy-metro. Is it only the rolling stock, electrification and maybe signalling?
The main difference between a grade-separated light-rail line and heavy rail Metro would heavy rail's capacity to handle a higher volume of passenger traffic due to larger cars, faster top speeds, etc. The rolling stock is different. I'm not sure about signaling. I think the LA Green Line uses the same equipment and signaling system as the Gold, Expo, and future Crenshaw Lines so in theory they would be totally interoperable.

So we kind of have a continuum here: Heavy Rail Metro > Light Rail Metro > Light Rail > Streetcar (Tram). This is more of a set of "ideal types" than absolutes though.

To my knowledge, the LA Green line is one of the few examples of a fully segregated light rail in the U.S., though I think Europe has some light rail systems that have fully-segregated lines. Most other light rail in the U.S. runs to some extent on roads mixed with auto traffic (Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Houston, Norfolk, etc, etc.).
...
If you aim to a practical and useful classification, the most important thing to account is which role a line/system plays into the whole urban mobility framework: according to this point of view (the same followed by transportation engineering), the most important features are firstly capacity and then commercial speed.
Both things are a lot to do with segregation¹: a metro (heavy or light) is fully segregated, aka it doesn't have to deal with other traffic players, therefore it can have higher capacity and commercial speed. These achievements depend on signaling, more properly on the way signaling is used; under this respect, a metro/rapid transit works just like a railway line: the train driver (when present) just strictly follows instructions the regulator gives him. Conversely, a LRT works more or less like a tram: having to deal with other traffic component at least to a certain extent, the driver leads the vehicle/train under is own responsibility - choosing speed, acceleration, braking, and interacting with other vehicles² - and the signaling, when present, serves only as an aid.
This is true whatever kind of rolling stock is used on the line, so a fully grade-separated LRT is somewhat a contradiction of terms: or it's operated as a light metro³ achieving the related performances about capacity and commercial speed, and the fact that it uses LRT-ish rolling stock is irrelevant; or it's operated as a standard LRT (fairly increasing only commercial speed, at most), and the complete segregation is rather irrelevant. The latter case appears to be a sort of waste, since the provided service doesn't take full advantage of the infrastructural potentialities, unless the line could be regarded as a portion of a whole LRT/tramway interconnected network: under these circumstances, operational uniformity can lead to bigger benefits (i.e. the LA Green Line case).


¹ in thigh-headway urban lines this word is substantially a synonym of grade separation, although it isn't always the case: in commuter and main railway lines, level crossing gates fulfill the same function;
² within the limits of roadway circulation rules;
³ in Europe, aside from Wien U6, there are some other metro lines that uses coupled tramcars as rolling stock (e.g. Genova);
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Old May 21st, 2016, 12:54 AM   #2136
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Ah! Yes!!! Today is the day!

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Old May 21st, 2016, 02:34 AM   #2137
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The first Expo Line train rolls into the Downtown Santa Monica Station.

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Old May 21st, 2016, 03:03 AM   #2138
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They found some guy who rode the last streetcar before service was removed in 1964
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Old May 21st, 2016, 03:11 AM   #2139
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That is SO cool.


Here's another of today's festivities.

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Old May 21st, 2016, 09:19 PM   #2140
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Preview: Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica

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