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Old February 22nd, 2014, 07:08 PM   #1201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Los Angeles is vastly bigger and richer than any of those midsize cities. St Petersburg (or even Moscow) would be a more proper counterpart for LA in Russia. On would think that a heavy metro (5-7 lines minimum) would be a more suitable solution for your city.
Yes... And no.
Moscow have like 80% modal share of pub. transit, unlike LA, which have much more saturated highway network (Moscow have none, except ring road) and are way less denser (3 000/km2 -vs- 10 000/km2).
So when a small line of subway is built in Moscow, it has lots of people working and living around it, and because there are pre-existing lines of rapid transit, ridership aren't limited to people living along the line, passengers from integrated lines will also come, which is called "network effect". But this is not the case for LA, where pre-existing services back in the late 90s and early 00s were rather limited and covered only small part of population.
So comparing LA to those cities makes sense - not directly through, in case of LA its competition -vs- private cars, in medium-sized USSR cities - it was -vs- surface transit (which is isolated from subway due to last being owned by State Railway, thus having totally separate fare system), but the mechanics the same - people en masse don't ride isolated lines, they use network.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 08:00 PM   #1202
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I understand the arguments in favour of building more light rail than less but faster and high capacity subway. The question is, why LA isn't building light rail much faster. The network is still very incomplete.

The city should also have expansion scenarios in mind. That means, building the light rail network in a way that lines could either be upgraded to higher speeds and/or capacity, or that future subway lines would make sense as parallel lines.

That said, LA is doing what few would have expected at a speed that even less had considered possible. Compared to what eg Chinese cities are capable of however ...
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 08:18 PM   #1203
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I understand the arguments in favour of building more light rail than less but faster and high capacity subway. The question is, why LA isn't building light rail much faster. The network is still very incomplete.
Well the city still have enormous highway network (and no, I'm not arguing if it good or bad), which need to be maintained, (AFAIK, there were several really impressive overhauls of highway segments during last 5 years), and also city have other needs, except transportation...

Quote:
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That said, LA is doing what few would have expected at a speed that even less had considered possible. Compared to what eg Chinese cities are capable of however ...
[sarcasm] But that mean increasing authority spending and participating in economy, and that's communism, and everyone knows that communism is eviiiiiil!!11111[/sarcasm]
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 08:30 PM   #1204
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Well the city still have enormous highway network (and no, I'm not arguing if it good or bad), which need to be maintained, (AFAIK, there were several really impressive overhauls of highway segments during last 5 years), and also city have other needs, except transportation...
Maitenance for most highways in Greater Los Angeles area is paid for by a different pot of money than local transit investment. Caltrans (a state agency that is partially funded by gas tax) take care of most highway maintenance and improvements whereas MTA relies on local sales taxes.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 08:54 PM   #1205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
I understand the arguments in favour of building more light rail than less but faster and high capacity subway. The question is, why LA isn't building light rail much faster. The network is still very incomplete.

The city should also have expansion scenarios in mind. That means, building the light rail network in a way that lines could either be upgraded to higher speeds and/or capacity, or that future subway lines would make sense as parallel lines.

That said, LA is doing what few would have expected at a speed that even less had considered possible. Compared to what eg Chinese cities are capable of however ...
I'm guessing high construction costs, NIMBYism, lack of dedicated funding until few years ago, politics, earthquake requirements etc.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 09:24 PM   #1206
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Maitenance for most highways in Greater Los Angeles area is paid for by a different pot of money than local transit investment. Caltrans (a state agency that is partially funded by gas tax) take care of most highway maintenance and improvements whereas MTA relies on local sales taxes.
Do they also pay for highway maintenance within LA administrative boundaries?
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 09:37 PM   #1207
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Do they also pay for highway maintenance within LA administrative boundaries?
caltrans? yes.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 09:44 PM   #1208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfas View Post
I understand the arguments in favour of building more light rail than less but faster and high capacity subway. The question is, why LA isn't building light rail much faster. The network is still very incomplete.

The city should also have expansion scenarios in mind. That means, building the light rail network in a way that lines could either be upgraded to higher speeds and/or capacity, or that future subway lines would make sense as parallel lines.

That said, LA is doing what few would have expected at a speed that even less had considered possible. Compared to what eg Chinese cities are capable of however ...
Well, LA Metro is a large transportation agency that relies, not just on local sales tax dollars for funding, but also state and federal funds and grants that allow such construction projects to go through. Yes, the construction of several light rail lines is indeed good news, but, funding for such projects remain reliant on the larger grants from Sacramento and Washington DC... and it also manages the region's vast freeway and toll road network too (at least within Los Angeles County and surroundings), as well as funding Metrolink (the commuter rail service), FasTrak (for the High Occupancy Toll lanes), and multiple smaller transit agencies. It's all a matter of priorities on which projects and agencies get funded more or less...

And by the way, The Source, LA Metro's blog, posted last week that the Feds approved nearly $830,000,000 in grant and loan for the Regional Connector light rail project. The total budget for the project is slated at $1.37 billion, in which around 2/3 of it comes from the Federal Transit Agency (FTA) and Washington DC, and it means that the 1.9-mile tunneling through Downtown LA will push through, with an estimated completion year of 2020. With it, the Gold, Blue, and Expo Lines will share tracks between 7th St/Metro Center and Little Tokyo stations, allowing passengers to travel through Downtown without changing to another line.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 09:48 PM   #1209
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ISn't LA Metro just a contractor for Caltrans regarding highway projects like I-405 widening?
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 09:48 PM   #1210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post

I'm guessing high construction costs, NIMBYism, lack of dedicated funding until few years ago, politics, earthquake requirements etc.
That's about right, but also consider the amount of time needed to tear up existing roads, detouring bus lines, environmental impacts, and how much business may be temporarily inconvenienced by the projects too. I mean, I like the light rail concept a lot, but I believe it should be coordinated with frequent bus service (e.g. Metro has quite a lot of Rapid bus services) that allow riders to use transit all the way through.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 10:37 PM   #1211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
That's about right, but also consider the amount of time needed to tear up existing roads, detouring bus lines, environmental impacts, and how much business may be temporarily inconvenienced by the projects too. I mean, I like the light rail concept a lot, but I believe it should be coordinated with frequent bus service (e.g. Metro has quite a lot of Rapid bus services) that allow riders to use transit all the way through.
These considerations didn't stop the rapid freeway construction though. LA can do it if it really wants to.

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Old February 22nd, 2014, 10:49 PM   #1212
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These considerations didn't stop the rapid freeway construction though. LA can do it if it really wants to.

Derek
Well, freeway construction and development may be part of the discussion, but I treat that separately since it is mostly car-centric than mass transit. LA can do it, sure, but remember the funding issues the county, state, and federal governments face... it is something that needs to be looked at and balanced upon by the LACMTA.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 10:54 PM   #1213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
Well, freeway construction and development may be part of the discussion, but I treat that separately since it is mostly car-centric than mass transit. LA can do it, sure, but remember the funding issues the county, state, and federal governments face... it is something that needs to be looked at and balanced upon by the LACMTA.
But freeways are a major infrastructure development and presumably are authorised by the same local authority that plans mass transit? Or is there a different set of criteria for them? Why is the process for freeway construction seemingly far less inhibited than that for light rail?

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Old February 22nd, 2014, 11:03 PM   #1214
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But freeways are a major infrastructure development and presumably are authorised by the same local authority that plans mass transit? Or is there a different set of criteria for them? Why is the process for freeway construction seemingly far less inhibited than that for light rail?

Derek
Correct. But, freeways around LA are mostly under the jurisdiction of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in which it is then managed partly by the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), especially the Interstates (5, 10, 15, US-101, 110, 210, 215, 710, 405, etc). There is a different set of criteria to be met in terms of managing and expanding freeways, in which those go through Caltrans, FHA, and USDOT, and that it seems that for several decades, the government has been in favor of building more highways than investing in mass transit.

And by the way, funding for mass transit projects from the federal and state governments have been slashed significantly for various reasons...
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 11:19 PM   #1215
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Originally Posted by fieldsofdreams View Post
There is a different set of criteria to be met in terms of managing and expanding freeways, in which those go through Caltrans, FHA, and USDOT, and that it seems that for several decades, the government has been in favor of building more highways than investing in mass transit.

And by the way, funding for mass transit projects from the federal and state governments have been slashed significantly for various reasons...
Yeah, thought so. That's your problem.

Why is there a different set of criteria out of interest?

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Old February 23rd, 2014, 12:03 AM   #1216
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Yeah, thought so. That's your problem.

Why is there a different set of criteria out of interest?

Derek
It has been a historical issue. You need to consider what the original intent of the highway system: moving military goods quickly and efficiently throughout the country. It has then evolved to carry millions of tons of economic goods and products across state lines, and, in the State of California, the highway system is crucial in linking the state with Mexico and the rest of North America. Los Angeles, for all due respect, has prioritized building an extensive highway network because the city and county governments sought immense opportunities to build itself up as a freeway city, especially that it is connected to the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, and driving around gives an impression that American lifestyles can become better if each family owned an automobile, which is part of the reason why multi-laned highways exist in Greater Los Angeles. There was a Freeway Revolt, though, in the 1970s that stopped further expansion of its freeway network, but, it seemed that for a large city, freeways were needed to move people around quickly and efficiently. Over time, the county of Los Angeles contributed in maintaining the freeway system, but, it also had the opportunity to redevelop its mass transit network... if only mass transit was developed along with the freeways, it would've had a better transit network than where it is today.
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 12:34 AM   #1217
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Do I understand correctly, that back in 1989 there was 0 km of urban/suburban rail transit in LA?
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 12:42 AM   #1218
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^you got it.

metro rail, metrolink started in the early 90s.

then there was the mythical caltrain in the early-mid 80s.
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 12:47 AM   #1219
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then there was the mythical caltrain in the early-mid 80s.
Isn't that something created in the Bay Area between Gilroy and San Francisco?
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Old February 23rd, 2014, 12:50 AM   #1220
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CalTrain

California fiscal conservatives and property rights fundamentalists were happy circa 1983.

Way before my time, but it provided some good essay material later on. Undercapitalized and subject to financial demands of the SP railroad.
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