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Old October 22nd, 2007, 02:59 AM   #1381
Tri-ring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Our main setback: Low population? Or low support? Or low common sense among the people?
Hate to say it but try, short sightness in terms of investment where expectancy to break even within 5 years for operating cost and 20 year in overall investment is just not going to happen.
The stubborness to embrace change is another setback, with "If it is not broken, don't fix it" type attitude, it will be a major challenge to change the mind set to embrace mass transit as the main means of transportation.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 03:31 AM   #1382
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The public seems to support the idea of more Amtrak service to Portland and Vancouver. That's why the State funds service. And that's why new service tends to bring new customers.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 04:09 AM   #1383
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The public seems to support the idea of more Amtrak service to Portland and Vancouver. That's why the State funds service. And that's why new service tends to bring new customers.
The ridership on the small service we have now has been growing pretty consistently, too. (That said, it's probably down a little now; they had to switch trainsets owing to some maintenance issue, and the replacement trainsets somehow slow down the trip to 4 hours. I don't claim to understand the technical issues -- maybe someone else here knows why.)

That said, aside from the Point Defiance Bypass UrbanBen mentioned, none of the big pieces that the long-range plan cites as key to speeding up the trip (mostly additional tracks along the mainline) are currently funded. This is unfortunate, and probably related in some part to the fact that the state constitution requires gas tax proceeds (the primary source of funds for the state DOT) to go to road projects only.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 07:55 AM   #1384
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So for rail they're going to have to tax us on something else. I heard Seattle has one of the lowest tax rates compared to other major cities...
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 08:06 AM   #1385
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Originally Posted by Tcmetro View Post
There should be hourly trains to Portland, then Seattle and Portland could become like Sacremento and the Bay Area. One of the things that should have been included in ST2, is a light rail branch to Renton. I used to always take the bus (340) to Renton when I lived in Seattle.
I'm telling you, read the long range plan I linked to - with somewhere in the ballpark of $5 billion of investment, that could be the case.

ST2 should *not* have included light rail to Renton. Renton, while a major employment center, does not compete with Bellevue and Tacoma by a long shot, and we really need not to overextend the tax on the ballot.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 08:25 AM   #1386
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Our main setback: Low population? Or low support? Or low common sense among the people?
Our population is fine, but being spread out makes us provincial (note all these comments about "ST2 should have served x"). Connecting things will change that - we'll start to see ourselves as a region rather than as tiny fiefdoms.

Fundamentally, votes tend to be very close on any issue about which there's a lot of information available and many arguments for and against. People are overwhelmed and base their decision more on emotions than on facts. This happens everywhere - except when there's a single issue no-brainer to really pull people together, you see most votes come very close to being even. Hell, part of the Republican strategy from 2000-2004 was to create *so many* things to argue about that there wasn't a single issue for opposition to rally around. See how close the 2004 vote was?

Back in 1968, we had a 60% vote requirement for bonding. Forward Thrust got 50.8% of the vote. Simple as pie, we had a broken system.

Since then, we've spread out, with no core rail system to keep development channeled and a lot of highway money shoveled into letting us puddle out all over Puget Sound. That emotional reaction to rail is "no" when there isn't dense development to support it. People just don't grok, at a fundamental level, that voting for highways is what keeps that density low, and that the only way to combat that is rail. So they've voted no.

You can test this theory by looking at cities where highways have been built, and those where they haven't. There are other factors, too - Portland is a very similar city, but the hill to the west kept Portland's downtown much more constrained than Seattle's, and until I-405 was opened in 1969, there was no highway directly through the core (as far as I know). Basically, rings of expansion take time, and Seattle could expand both north and south (and east) while Portland could only really expand north and east, especially after the strong urban growth boundary was created.

Uh, I'm rambling. What this comes down to is that we made one bad call that really screwed us, and getting 5 through downtown really screwed us as well. We had too much money for our own good due to Boeing and we spent it during the highway revolution. Now that Central Link is about to open, it's just a matter of time (and LOBBYING on our part!).
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 08:31 AM   #1387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
I'm telling you, read the long range plan I linked to - with somewhere in the ballpark of $5 billion of investment, that could be the case.

ST2 should *not* have included light rail to Renton. Renton, while a major employment center, does not compete with Bellevue and Tacoma by a long shot, and we really need not to overextend the tax on the ballot.
Don't forget Everett.
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 09:00 AM   #1388
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Don't forget Everett.
If you wanted Everett, you'd have had to increase spending in the other four subareas as well - increasing the sales tax hit to .9%, more than likely. Remember, all five subareas have to get and spend money for their own projects, but proportionally.

Something else about that - Everett isn't growing very fast. Bellevue is. Everett will definitely be reached by phase 3 - but only if phase 2 passes. If phase 2 fails, we'll probably only get to Alderwood next time around.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 12:28 AM   #1389
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
Hate to say it but try, short sightness in terms of investment where expectancy to break even within 5 years for operating cost and 20 year in overall investment is just not going to happen.
The stubborness to embrace change is another setback, with "If it is not broken, don't fix it" type attitude, it will be a major challenge to change the mind set to embrace mass transit as the main means of transportation.
Yeah, we have a systemic problem with short-term thinking. By the way, thank you so much for the energy use links! I have to figure out a lot of the kanji, but I remember my kana so I'm understanding a fair amount of the charts at the end.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 02:02 AM   #1390
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Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
So for rail they're going to have to tax us on something else. I heard Seattle has one of the lowest tax rates compared to other major cities...
We wouldn't need new taxes if we weren't blowing all this money on making exurban highways six lanes. Equivalent highways (by distance from the urban cores) in France are often two lanes. I've been on national highways there that were a single wide lane.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 02:18 AM   #1391
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Yeah, we have a systemic problem with short-term thinking. By the way, thank you so much for the energy use links! I have to figure out a lot of the kanji, but I remember my kana so I'm understanding a fair amount of the charts at the end.
Don't mention it, I use alot of statistics as base line for my line of work so I know where they are.
I hope you make good use of them since I think it will be an eye opener to many people like town meetings and/or letters to government officials on why rail should be promoted.

Oh, one more thing, Denenchofu is that plush uptown neighborhood located between Shibuya and Yokohama on the Tokyu Toyoko line.
The "Tokyo-Yokohama Electric Railway" is now the Tokyu Mekama line.
Here is a link concerning Viscount Shibusawa AKA "father of Japanese capitalism"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibusawa_Eiichi
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 02:38 AM   #1392
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Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
If you wanted Everett, you'd have had to increase spending in the other four subareas as well - increasing the sales tax hit to .9%, more than likely. Remember, all five subareas have to get and spend money for their own projects, but proportionally.

Something else about that - Everett isn't growing very fast. Bellevue is. Everett will definitely be reached by phase 3 - but only if phase 2 passes. If phase 2 fails, we'll probably only get to Alderwood next time around.
Maybe you should look at what I have posted in the Everett/Snohomish County Development News thread.

Oh well, i'll stick to driving.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 03:38 AM   #1393
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Okay, I think we're talking too much about Proposition 1. Sure it's an important ballot, but what has been going on with the Central Link under construction?

Therefore I am posting information from Sound Transit's website of what you can expect in 2009 when Central Link opens (to refresh our memories):

Construction is well under way on a new 15.6-mile Link light rail line that is a critical piece in this region's transportation future. The line is opening in 2009 in two stages. The 13.9-mile line from Westlake Station to Tukwila International Boulevard Station will open in summer 2009, with a 1.7 mile extension to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport opening by the end of that year.

To support the light rail line, Sound Transit has retrofitted the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and its existing stations for joint use by both light rail trains and buses. The tunnel reopens for use by buses on Monday, September 24.

SeaTac/Airport Station
Highlights
- Includes a pedestrain overpass over International Boulevard to connect the station to future City Center development in the City of SeaTac.
- Will provide a direct pedestrian connection to the airport terminal--about 1,000 feet or a four-minute walk away.
- Four artists will develop proposals for public art in the station, to help contribute to a positive experience for light rail passengers and airport travelers.


Tukwila International Blvd. Station
Highlights
- Elevated station with side platforms located at the intersection of International Boulevard and Southcenter Boulevard/South 154th Street.
- A park-and-ride lot with 600 spaces will be built at this station.
- Until the light rail connection to the airport opens at the end of 2009, every train will be met by a free shuttle to the airport (similar to the park-and-fly shuttles).

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 31 minutes
To Columbia City Station - 16 minutes
To Sea-Tac International Airport by shuttle - Seven minutes

Projected Ridership
The station is scheduled to open in 2009 with 2,600 daily boardings projected by 2020 (assuming the system runs from Northgate to S. 200th St.)


Boeing Access Road Station (Deferred)
Highlights
This station has been deferred.
- Elevated station located on the south side of Boeing Access Road overpass between Interstate 5 and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks.
Patrons will enter the station from a lower level plaza with bus and passenger drop-off area.
- Patrons will be able to transfer to and from Sounder commuter rail on another level to the west of the light rail entrances.
- A future park-and-ride lot with 350 spaces is proposed in conjunction with this station.


Rainier Beach Station
Highlights
- Street-level station with center platform in the middle of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South just south of South Henderson Street.
- Patrons will access the station from South Henderson Street by crosswalk.
- Pedestrian street improvements along South Henderson Street will link with the Rainier Beach neighborhood.
- Plaza at southeast corner of Henderson and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South with amenities such as landscaping, public art, seating, bicycle parking, and lighting.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 24 minutes
To International District/Chinatown Station - 18 minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 9 minutes

Projected Ridership
2,000 daily boardings in 2020


Othello Station
Highlights
- Othello Station is a street-level station with side platforms in the center of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South between South Myrtle and South Othello streets.
- With plazas at the Northeast corners of Othello and Myrtle streets, the station's amenities include landscaping, public art, seating, bicycle parking, and lighting.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 21 minutes
To International District/Chinatown Station - 15 minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 12 minutes

Projected Ridership
1,400 daily boardings in 2020


Columbia City Station
Highlights
- Street-level station with side platforms in the center of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South between South Alaska and South Edmunds streets.
- Patrons will access the station from South Alaska or South Edmunds streets by crosswalk.
- Pedestrian street improvements along South Edmunds Street will enhance the connection to Columbia City.
- Plaza at northeast corner of Edmunds and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South with amenities such as landscaping, public art, seating, bicycle parking and lighting.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 18 minutes
To International District/Chinatown Station - 12 minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 16 minutes

Projected Ridership
2,900 daily boardings in 2020


Mount Baker Station
Highlights
- Elevated station with side platforms located west of the intersection of Rainier and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, south of South McClellan Street.
- Escalators, stairs and elevators will allow passengers to travel easily between the street and elevated station platform.
- A bus transit facility is planned on the east side of Rainier Avenue South, south of South McClellan Street.
- Sidewalk and landscaping improvements to Cheasty Boulevard, consistent with the Olmsted legacy, will enhance connections to the light rail station.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 14 minutes
To Columbia City Station - Four minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station- 19 minutes

Projected Ridership
3,500 daily boardings in 2020


Beacon Hill Station
Highlights
- This tunnel station will be about 160 feet under South Lander Street, with an entrance located at the southeast corner of Beacon Avenue South and South Lander Street.
- High-speed elevators will provide easy and safe access between the surface and station platform, taking about 20 seconds one way.
- A second set of emergency stairs will be located to the east of the station entrance.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 12 minutes
To Columbia City Station - six minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 21 minutes

Projected Ridership
3,000 daily boardings in 2020


SODO Station
Highlights
- A street-level station with side platforms located on east side of the King County Metro Transit Busway about 160 feet north of Lander Street.
- Patrons will access the station from the new bike/pedestrian trail parallel to the light rail route and from Lander Street south of the station.
- A new bike/pedestrian trail will be built alongside the light rail route and Metro Busway that will connect with the Mountains to Sound Greenway trail.

Public Art
Artwork by Michael Davis highlights SODO's industrial heritage with a gateway sculpture and benches in the station plaza.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - nine minutes
To Columbia City Station - eight minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 22 minutes

Projected Ridership
1,700 daily boardings in 2020



Stadium Station
Highlights
In January 2005, the Sound Transit Board of Directors approved building the Stadium Station near Safeco Field and Qwest Field in the north SODO area. This station, formerly known as the Royal Brougham Station, was deferred on the original initial segment route. However, because bids on several major Link construction and systems contracts came in less than originally budgeted, the Stadium Station was completed without increasing the project budget. The now-completed station, along with the other Link initial segment stations, will increase transit use by baseball, football, and soccer fans and those visiting the Qwest Field Event Center.
- Street-level center platform station located 130 feet south of Royal Brougham Way, adjacent to the King County Metro Transit busway and Metro bus base.
- Patrons access from the north via the south sidewalk on Royal Brougham.
- The station platform has been sized to handle event crowds.
- A new bike/pedestrian path will be built alongside the light rail route that will connect with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - Eight minutes
To Columbia City Station - Nine minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 26 minutes

Projected Ridership
Between 170,000 and 250,000 annual boardings in 2020 (depends on the number and size of events at the stadiums and exhibition center).


International District/Chinatown Station
Highlights
- Existing station located at South Jackson Street and Fifth Avenue South, with entrances at Jackson and on Fifth at King Street.
- Unlike the other downtown stations, the International District/Chinatown Station is open to the air.
- The station reflects the flavor of the nearby International District with brightly painted steel shelters. Symbols of the Chinese calendar are built into the station plaza floor with cut and colored brick, and large steel panels embellished with origami designs line a platform wall.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 6 minutes
To Columbia City Station - 12 minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 27 minutes

Projected Ridership
3,300 daily boardings in 2020


Pioneer Square Station
Highlights
- Station contains colored granite, and has a vaulted ceiling and ornate case-iron grates that capture the spirit of the city's historic district. A pergola similar to the landmark Pioneer Square shelter covers the Prefontaine Place Park entrance.
- Existing tunnel station under Third Avenue between Jefferson Street and Yesler Way.
- Entrances are located in the former Public Safety and Lyon buildings and next to Prefontaine Place.
- The station entrance adjacent to the former Public Safety Building will be modified as part of the Civic Center plaza project.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 4 minutes
To Columbia City Station- 14 minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 29 minutes

Projected Ridership
3,300 daily boardings in 2020


University Street Station
Highlights
- Existing tunnel station under Third Avenue between Union and Seneca streets.
- Entrances are in the Cobb Building parking garage, the Washington Mutual Tower and Benaroya Hall.
- Features computer-generated designs of granite, glass and stainless steel.
- Animated light-works flash intriguing symbols and messages across mezzanine walls.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Westlake Station - 2 minutes
To Columbia City Station - 16 minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 31 minutes

Projected Ridership
7,900 daily boardings in 2020


Westlake Station
Highlights
- Existing tunnel station located below Pine Street between Third and Sixth avenues.
- Entrances are on the north side of Pine at Nordstrom, Westlake Center and Macy's, and on the south side of Pine at Coldwater Creek and between The Gap and McDonalds.
- The station platform will be widened five feet to accommodate the expected patronage, which will be the highest ridership in the system.
- Future plans call for a new entrance on the south side of Pine Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Anticipated Travel Times
To Columbia City Station- 18 minutes
To Tukwila International Blvd. Station - 33 minutes

Projected Ridership
8,700 daily boardings in 2020
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 06:46 AM   #1394
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Note that those boarding numbers do not count ridership from University Link or any other expansion.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 10:29 PM   #1395
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New King County Metro Pacific Highway South RapidRide (BRT) Line website: http://transit.metrokc.gov/up/archiv...s-rr-1007.html
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 10:54 PM   #1396
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New King County Metro Pacific Highway South RapidRide (BRT) Line website: http://transit.metrokc.gov/up/archiv...s-rr-1007.html
What's hilarious is that they're shooting themselves in the foot. Because they're adding buses and calling it "bus rapid transit", when ridership doesn't go up (and the FTA doesn't think it will appreciably), they won't be able to get funding for more - and they'll blame light rail, of course.
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Old October 23rd, 2007, 11:09 PM   #1397
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They got a Very Small Starts grant from the FTA. Stupid FTA giving train money to bus projects...
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Old October 25th, 2007, 01:48 AM   #1398
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The term Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) should be reserved for systems that have the following features to help speed service:

- Off-vehicle fare payment.
- Traffic signal priority.
- Exclusive or restrictive use (car pool or right turn only) transit lanes.
- Headways of fifteen minutes or less.

According the King County Metro website < http://transit.metrokc.gov/up/archiv...s-rr-1007.html >, the Pacific Highway South RapidRide BRT line will have some of these features:

- Riders with special passes will be able to avoid paying onboard the buses.
- The buses will have equipment to adjust traffic signal cycles.
- The buses will operate in HOV lanes for parts of the route.
- Service will be at 10 minutes intervals during the busiest morning and evening travel hours.

Still, I would be hesitant to consider this a full-fledged BRT line. King County Metro is doing a better job with the new line than some other communities where bus rapid transit has amounted to little more than nicer bus shelters and fancy graphics on the buses.

The concept of BRT has had a big boost from the success of the Orange Line in Los Angeles, which has all the features that BRT should have. A lot has been written about the relative cost and performance of the bus rapid transit Orange Line compared to the nearby light rail Gold Line. The following are some of the numbers from LACMTA's website < http://www.metro.net/news_info/facts.htm >:

Opening Date
Orange Line BRT: October 29, 2005
Gold Line LRT: July 26, 2003

Route Length
Orange Line BRT: 14 miles
Gold Line LRT: 13.7 miles

Stations
Orange Line BRT: 13
Gold Line LRT: 13

Average Weekday Ridership
Orange Line BRT: 25,618
Gold Line LRT: 19,579

Cost of System
Orange Line BRT: $330 million
Gold Line LRT: $859 million

FY 2008 Operations Budget
Orange Line BRT: $21 million
Gold Line LRT: $42 million

Another measure of the success of the Orange Line is the amount of vituperative that the organization Light Rail Now has directed against it < http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_brt_2006-10a.htm >. The Light Rail Now pictorial raises some legitimate issues but I personally don't believe the claim that the Orange Line is underperforming in terms of ridership.

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Old October 25th, 2007, 04:28 AM   #1399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
The term Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) should be reserved for systems that have the following features to help speed service:

- Off-vehicle fare payment.
- Traffic signal priority.
- Exclusive or restrictive use (car pool or right turn only) transit lanes.
- Headways of fifteen minutes or less.

According the King County Metro website < http://transit.metrokc.gov/up/archiv...s-rr-1007.html >, the Pacific Highway South RapidRide BRT line will have some of these features:

- Riders with special passes will be able to avoid paying onboard the buses.
- The buses will have equipment to adjust traffic signal cycles.
- The buses will operate in HOV lanes for parts of the route.
- Service will be at 10 minutes intervals during the busiest morning and evening travel hours.

Still, I would be hesitant to consider this a full-fledged BRT line. King County Metro is doing a better job with the new line than some other communities where bus rapid transit has amounted to little more than nicer bus shelters and fancy graphics on the buses.

The concept of BRT has had a big boost from the success of the Orange Line in Los Angeles, which has all the features that BRT should have. A lot has been written about the relative cost and performance of the bus rapid transit Orange Line compared to the nearby light rail Gold Line. The following are some of the numbers from LACMTA's website < http://www.metro.net/news_info/facts.htm >:

Opening Date
Orange Line BRT: October 29, 2005
Gold Line LRT: July 26, 2003

Route Length
Orange Line BRT: 14 miles
Gold Line LRT: 13.7 miles

Stations
Orange Line BRT: 13
Gold Line LRT: 13

Average Weekday Ridership
Orange Line BRT: 25,618
Gold Line LRT: 19,579

Cost of System
Orange Line BRT: $330 million
Gold Line LRT: $859 million

FY 2008 Operations Budget
Orange Line BRT: $21 million
Gold Line LRT: $42 million

Another measure of the success of the Orange Line is the amount of vituperative that the organization Light Rail Now has directed against it < http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_brt_2006-10a.htm >. The Light Rail Now pictorial raises some legitimate issues but I personally don't believe the claim that the Orange Line is underperforming in terms of ridership.

The only *difference* between our existing bus lines and "RapidRide" is the slight increase in service - mostly on routes that already have 8 minute peak headways - and transit signal priority, which will likely have a marginal effect because it will only be in place out where there are already transit lanes - not in the city core, where things get really congested. There will be no HOV lanes added to 99 in the city, for instance, where most of the congestion on the existing route 358 occurs.

I know you have a love affair with BRT, but for passenger miles served, Gold Line will be more cost effective as the lines mature.

Also *cough* note that Orange Line's maintenance excludes the roadway surface, but Gold Line's includes rail maintenance.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #1400
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1. While it is true that I don’t have much enthusiasm for Central Link, this does not constitute having a love affair with BRT. When I visit a new city, I will frequently spend an afternoon riding the rail transit lines. I have never gone out of my way to ride a bus line.

2. The Orange Line was built on the right of way of an abandoned rail line. Except for the turn around areas at Warner Center and the North Hollywood metro station plus crossings of intersecting streets, the Orange Line has an exclusive roadway that was built by LACMTA and is maintained by LACMTA. The operating cost for the Orange Line does include the cost of maintaining the roadway. It is true that most other BRT lines use existing roads for which the transit agencies are not responsible for providing maintenance. This is one of the major economic issues that led transit agencies to convert from streetcars to buses fifty years ago.
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