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Old August 14th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #961
kub86
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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...raffic14m.html

Good news for Sounder!

The 5:45am Sounder train to Seattle had 2,183 passengers!! Compared to last week's average of 1000. The article also mentioned that altogether, the 5 sounder trains brought 5,877 morning commuters, about 60% higher than normal.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #962
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Yes, closing half the lanes of Interstate 5 for road work is a great way to increase the usage of transit.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 08:05 PM   #963
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So if you both build it and destroy (not quite literally in this case) it, they will come.

I'm curious to know if people's experience on Sounder through this construction mess will influence them to continue taking Sounder afterwards. It'll be interesting to look at the ridership numbers after construction.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:38 PM   #964
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxom92 View Post
So if you both build it and destroy (not quite literally in this case) it, they will come.

I'm curious to know if people's experience on Sounder through this construction mess will influence them to continue taking Sounder afterwards. It'll be interesting to look at the ridership numbers after construction.
Miami Tri-Rail was originally proposed as a temporary measure while I-95 was being rebuilt!
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #965
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Yeah, when I was on way to work in Everett yesterday, I-5 was free flowing and there was no bad traffic. I went all the way to work going Northbound and got to work pretty early! That event is rare and most of the time there's rush hour traffic.

You can see how bad traffic affects people to use mass transit. Let's destroy I-5 and watch transit ridership grow on Sounder with 20 car trains.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #966
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Truth Abot Traffic

It's always good to hear what the other side has to say from time to time, just to shake up your assumptions a bit (an idea thats been lost on this country for a while now), so I just wanted to share with you these guys:

http://www.truthabouttraffic.org/index.html

I will say, they make some very goofy and misleading claims:

Claim #1:
The light rail project is 10 years behind schedule, and 3x over budget (was supposed to cost $2.3 Billion, but has run to $6.7 billion)

Now I know the behind schedule thing is a load of crap because they simply started late after all the re-votes. As far as I know, we're right on schedule since construction actually started.

Now the budget and cost overruns I don't really know too much about. Anyone care to comment on the finances of the project? I know people like Greg_Christine have mentioned that we are paying prices normally associated with Heavy rail, but getting a light rail system. Also, I understand there has been a steep spike in construction costs recently, which is pushing prices of Everything up. Otherwise, I haven't heard much commentary on the project's spending.

Claim #2:
Light Rail will only handle 214,000 trips by 2030, while the number of passenger trips in the greater puget sound area will increase to 16.4 million. Light rail will carry less than 1% of passengers.

Okay... 214,000 sounds reasonable, but 16.4 Million trips???? so every man, woman, and child in the greater puget sound region will make a trip 4 TIMES every day....? Someone please explain to me where they're getting that number from.

Claim #3:
Instead of the $10.8 Billion in capital costs, the cost of ST2 will run up to $37.9 Billion when you include opperating costs and bonded debt obligations

Again, not too familiar with the financials of the project. Please feel free to comment on that estimate.


Claim #4:
Will actually cost the average household $353/year instead of the "lowball" sound transit figure of $125 per year

Just thinking on how much it costs to fill up my civic once a week (about $1800 a year), even with their estimate, that seems a pretty good incentive to drop the car and take the train. Any news on how much a commuter card would cost?

Claim #5:
More than 2/3 of light rail riders will simply be former bus riders.

Website didn't even have info on these numbers, so no idea where they got them from. Even still, 30% increase in transit use is nothing to sneeze at.


Claim #6:
Taxes for operating costs of the light rail system will remain in perpetuity

And taxes for roads dont...? Oh, thats right we don't pay a cent for WSDOT to maintain I-5 or 99, and they're both in such great shape right now.


What can we actually learn from these guys? Light rail IS expensive, and it doesn't solve 100% of traffic woes. Careful monitoring of the cost of things is required for all huge projects like this, otherwise we get Boston's Big Dig. And we can't throw all our eggs in one basket. Multiple modes (cars, busses, ferries, trains, bikes, feet, etc.) of getting around all need our attention if we are to keep people moving.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #967
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Well what I think is that as population density increases, so will the effectiveness of public transit. Right now, we are simply too spread out to have an efficient rail system. Let's look at some fake numbers here.

A track 50 miles long in a low-density area with an average of 2000 riders divided by 15 stops.

VS.

Part of a track that is 10 miles long in a high-density area like New York, with 1000 riders divided by only 3 stops.

See right now our population density is so low, that it is uneconomical to increase the frequency of the trains because if you have trains running every four minutes, it's pratically going to be empty. Now BECAUSE our population density is so low, we will not have the ridership to provide us with the funds to build more stations at more locations, because there are just some places that most people won't travel to unless it's a workday.

Low Density: Lower ridership per stop, less stops because of low ridership, less funds for new stops, increased walking distance for some because of the limited stop locations. There is probably still a mile of walking to your office.

High Density: Higher ridership per stop, more stops because of high density+high ridership, more funds for new stops, more convenient because of stops at more locations. Maybe a stop right outside your office.

Take a look at the post I made above with the Tokyo lines. Tokyo is one of the most densely populated cities on earth, but traffic is minimal, less than Seattle on city roads at ANY given time because of a high density population that allows for an effective transit system. My guess is that ST is not rushed to complete the light rail system because we simply don't have the ridership yet. Give 20 years for it to be extended to the eastside, and by then we will have many more people living here.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #968
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I don't like the less than 1% of trips figure because it's so unfair and misleading. 214,000 riders doesn't sound like a lot compared to 16 million...but in the 2 corridors it does serve (I-5 and I-90), that's like adding an extra freeway!

That's like saying I-5 is unimportant because it carries less than 300,000 cars (out of the 16million trips) in the region!!

It'd be more fair if they compared ST ridership to I-5 and I-90 numbers...where ST will probably have a third of the corridor traffic share.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #969
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Light rail is not a replacement of a freeway, even though it might seem like one. It's just simply another method of getting around. The freeway will still be congested.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 01:37 PM   #970
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If you destroy freeways or take away some of the lanes and many more people will take the mass transit system for sure.

Look at I-5 construction affected traffic and lots of people decided to take Sounder and over 2,200 people rode the train in ONE trip.

Who would want to drive on the streets for 20 miles?
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Old August 18th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #971
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoias View Post
If you destroy freeways or take away some of the lanes and many more people will take the mass transit system for sure.

...
Or, the people and businesses might choose to move someplace else where transportation is less of a problem.

The goal should not be to make the roads less appealing than transit. The goal should be to build higher quality transit that is more appealing than the roads.
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Old August 18th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #972
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderGrad View Post
...
Claim #1:
The light rail project is 10 years behind schedule, and 3x over budget (was supposed to cost $2.3 Billion, but has run to $6.7 billion)

Now I know the behind schedule thing is a load of crap because they simply started late after all the re-votes. As far as I know, we're right on schedule since construction actually started.
...
What revote are you referring to? Sound Transit was voted into existence in 1996 as part of a 10-year plan to build a light rail line from the university to the airport in addition to several other transit projects. There was never any revote of the plan by the electorate. Once the true cost to build the line became known, Sound Transit made the decision to delay construction while continuing to collect taxes to build a down-payment and to build the line in phases. The first phase is scheduled to open in 2009. The line won't reach the university until around 2017.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #973
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Geeez that's a long time to build a line.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #974
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Is Seattle considering a 24-hour LRT system? We are in Minneapolis, but we don't have enough funding. I like the ST bus network, it's way better than taking some bus routes. Does Metro plan to turn the 150, 194, or 255 over to Sound Transit, I don't know if that will really help transit in Seattle, though.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #975
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I have not yet seen any schedules that give the hours of service for the Central Link light rail line presently under construction. Twenty-four hour service is extremely rare in the United States. New York and Chicago might be the only cities that operate trains twenty-four hours.

The hours of service for the Tacoma Link streetcar are as follows:

Monday-Friday: 5:20 am - 8:10 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 10:10 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am - 8:10 pm

The hours of service for the Waterfront Strretcar (now bus) are:
Monday-Friday: 6:25 am - 11:19 pm
Saturday: 10:20 am - 11:19 pm
Sunday: 10:20 am - 11:19 pm
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Old August 19th, 2007, 08:05 PM   #976
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcmetro View Post
Is Seattle considering a 24-hour LRT system? We are in Minneapolis, but we don't have enough funding. ...
Minneapolis recently opened a light rail line and is struggling to find funding to extend the system to St. Paul. The light rail line in Minneapolis is a relative bargain compared to what is being built in Seattle:

Minneapolis - Hiawatha Line (Completed 2003.)
$675.4 million / 11.6 miles = $58 million/mile

Seattle - Central Link Initial Segment - Low Version
$2.1 billion / 14 miles = $150 million/mile
Seattle - Central Link Initial Segment - High Version
$2.44 billion / 13.9 miles = $176 million/mile
Seattle - Central Link SeaTac Airport Extension (All elevated.)
($225 million light rail construction + $75 million road realignment) / 1.7 miles = $176 million/mile
Central Link University of Washington Extension (All in tunnels.)
$1.7 billion / 3.15 miles = $540 million/mile
ST2 Central Link Extensions - High Estimate
$10.26 billion / 49.4 miles = $208 million/mile
ST2 Central Link Extensions - Low Estimate
$8.97 billion / 49.4 miles = $182 million/mile
ST2 Central Link Extensions - Mid-Range Estimate
$9.62 billion / 49.4 miles = $195 million/mile

The following are some cost numbers for several light rail lines in other cities that are presently in engineering, under construction, or recently finished:

Charlotte
$462.7 million / 9.6 miles = $48 million/mile
Phoenix
$1.3 billion / 20.3 miles = $64 million/mile
Los Angeles - Gold Line Initial Segment (Completed 2003.)
$859 million / 13.7 miles = $63 million/mile
Los Angeles - Gold Line East Los Angeles Extension (Includes 1.7 mile tunnel.)
$898 million / 6 miles = $150 million/mile
Los Angeles - Expo/Aqua Line Initial Segment
$640 million / 8.6 miles = $74 million/mile
San Diego - Green Line Extension (Completed 2005.)
$506 million / 5.8 miles = $87 million/mile
San Francisco - MUNI Third Street Extension (Completed 2007.)
$667 million / 5.6 miles = $119 million/mile
Portland - Interstate MAX Yellow Line
$350 million / 5.8 miles = $60 million/mile
Dallas - Green Line
$1.67 billion / 27.7 miles = $60 million/mile
Sacramento - Folsom Line Extension to Sunrise (Single-track. Completed 2005.)
$89 million / 2.8 miles = $32 million/mile
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Old August 19th, 2007, 09:05 PM   #977
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Yeah I know there is a LRT in Minneapolis, some people want it to run 24 hours, and another LRT line is being considered too, check it out at www.southwesttransitway.org
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Old August 19th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #978
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcmetro View Post
Yeah I know there is a LRT in Minneapolis, some people want it to run 24 hours, and another LRT line is being considered too, check it out at www.southwesttransitway.org
Thank you! I had previously heard of plans for the Central Corridor < http://www.metrocouncil.org/transpor...alcorridor.htm >, which would run east across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul. I had not realized that studies are also underway for the Southwest Transitway, which is described in the link provided your previous post.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
I have not yet seen any schedules that give the hours of service for the Central Link light rail line presently under construction. Twenty-four hour service is extremely rare in the United States. New York and Chicago might be the only cities that operate trains twenty-four hours.

The hours of service for the Tacoma Link streetcar are as follows:

Monday-Friday: 5:20 am - 8:10 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 10:10 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am - 8:10 pm

The hours of service for the Waterfront Strretcar (now bus) are:
Monday-Friday: 6:25 am - 11:19 pm
Saturday: 10:20 am - 11:19 pm
Sunday: 10:20 am - 11:19 pm
Sound Transit said they will provide up to 20 hours of service on central link light rail as ridership grows. That's like around 4 AM opening then close at 12 AM.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 10:05 AM   #980
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I'd love to have 24hrs public transit system in Seattle. It possibly will not happen until Seattle is big enough to support 24hrs system.
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