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Old February 7th, 2008, 02:18 AM   #1781
greg_christine
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http://www.soundtransit.org/x4825.xml



Guided Tour of Light Rail Construction

Ride the Lunch Bus

Sound Transit Link light rail would like to invite you to tour the entire initial segment construction. The Community Outreach Division will be hosting the Lunch Bus tour twice this month, on Saturday, February 23rd and Friday, February 29th. The tour is part of Link light rail’s on-going effort to mitigate construction impacts on local businesses. This is a guided bus tour that will take you to and along the current construction sites. At any time during the tour, please feel free to ask questions. The tour is then followed by lunch at a local eating establishment. You are responsible for buying your own lunch.



Tours depart and return at the southwest corner of 5th Avenue & South King Street in the International District. A Sound Transit bus marked “SPECIAL” will be waiting. Tours depart at 11:30 a.m. and return by 3 p.m.

Cost of lunch is $10 (cash only) which includes a meal, drink, and tax.

We are sorry, but due to restrictions in our insurance policies, children under 18 are not permitted on the lunch bus tour.

RSVP

To RSVP or for more information please contact Wilbert Santos at 206-398-5300 or via e-mail: [email protected] . In your e-mail, please include your name, organization, telephone number, and any request for accomodations.



Tour Details for February, 2008

SODO, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Tukwila and Airport

Saturday, February 23, 2008
RSVP by February 22

Lunch location:
Thai Recipe

Cost of lunch is $10 (cash only) which includes a meal, drink, and tax.

SODO, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Tukwila and Airport

Friday, February 29, 2008
RSVP by February 28

Lunch location:
Jones BBQ

Cost of lunch is $10 (cash only) which includes a meal, drink, and tax.

View the newly completed SODO and Stadium light rail stations and the Operations and Maintenance facility – you may even see the first light rail vehicle! Catch a glimpse of the Beacon Hill Station area where miners are excavating the underground station. See the elevated Mount Baker Station and guideway. Come see Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. get a facelift with new light rail, street improvements, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping. In Tukwila, see the huge overhead gantry that is being used to build nearly five miles of elevated trackway. Finally at Sea-Tac Airport take a look at the 1.7 miles of elevated and surface trackway that will connect the Tukwila International Blvd Station to the airport.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 02:23 AM   #1782
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post

We are sorry, but due to restrictions in our insurance policies, children under 18 are not permitted on the lunch bus tour.
Oh those dirt bags...
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Old February 7th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #1783
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoias View Post
I don't get it that European highways have less lanes and don't get much congestion like here in the US. What you described doesn't make sense to me.

How can cars going at high speed have less congestion, if lot of cars pour in during rush hours on a 6 lane freeway. You would need to find the AADT numbers of a 6 lane freeway in Europe during rush hour in a major metro area and compare it to a 6 lane freeway in a major metro area in the US to see if it makes any difference. If it has similar numbers and doesn't get congested in Europe and it gets congested here, would that be strange? Yes, it would. I noticed on I-405 going north which is 5-6 lanes then narrows to 3 lanes at the junction of SR 522 and it gets congested. It doesn't happen everyday, though. Congestion can happen all the way from Bellevue to Bothell area.
Obviously, there is much better public transportation, and that allows for funds to maintain their existing infrastructure instead of expanding it. Then also, traffic laws/infrastructure that reduces merging and passing (yes passing law again, and to my knowledge, little or no exits on the left side of the road.)
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Old February 7th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #1784
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Do not forget this, European countries has more than double gas prices than we have right now. Not everyone in Europe can afford expensive gas so they have another choices... Public Transportation. Here in USA, we don't have much choices but continue drive no matter how expensive gas is.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #1785
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That sounds like they never get congestion due the numbers for a 12 lane highway (6 lane each way). That's similar number of lanes to Seattle's I-5 which gets almost 300,000 per day on the ship canal bridge.

So more cars use the highways here in the US than in Europe. That explains why it almost never get congested.

We seriously need to look more into transit and focus less on highways. Less cars use the highways will equal less wear on the infrastructure and spend more on the highway improvements.
Hear, hear. Load balancing!
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Old February 7th, 2008, 05:47 AM   #1786
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyAboutCities View Post
Do not forget this, European countries has more than double gas prices than we have right now. Not everyone in Europe can afford expensive gas so they have another choices... Public Transportation. Here in USA, we don't have much choices but continue drive no matter how expensive gas is.
The public transport came before the gas prices - you need that public transport before you can make it so expensive to drive. It requires investment.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #1787
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
The public transport came before the gas prices - you need that public transport before you can make it so expensive to drive. It requires investment.
That's it! I guess we just had our priorities screwed up, and they're still screwed up...
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Old February 8th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #1788
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Quote:
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The public transport came before the gas prices - you need that public transport before you can make it so expensive to drive. It requires investment.
I know that. In the beginning when automobile were invented, millions of Americans thought it was the best thing even invented. It turned out as the biggest mistake even Americans made! Now we have to fix the mistakes by invest in public transit system.

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That's it! I guess we just had our priorities screwed up, and they're still screwed up...
That is true.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #1789
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyAboutCities View Post
I know that. In the beginning when automobile were invented, millions of Americans thought it was the best thing even invented. It turned out as the biggest mistake even Americans made! Now we have to fix the mistakes by invest in public transit system.



That is true.
Aren't there things like citizen request forms that you can send to the government? I think our transportation network and regulations/laws should be managed more by the federal government and state DOTs should just be responsible for the workforce/funding and maintenance. The 520 bridge will probably be a lot higher on the priority list if things were managed by the Federal Government, and we'd probably get more funding too from the Federal Government. Then the DOT/ST can focus more about LR and leave the highways to the Federal Gvmt.

Last edited by HAWC1506; February 9th, 2008 at 08:47 AM.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #1790
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Sound Transit Photo of the Week for February 8 through 14, 2008



Welcome to Stadium Station

For the first time ever, a four-car Link light rail train this week ran under its own power from the Link light rail Operations & Maintenance Facility to Stadium Station in the SODO area of Seattle. The test went very well. Testing of light rail trains will continue throughout this year in anticipation of service startup next year.


=========================================================

This may be a record for the longest light rail train in the United States. The Central Link vehicles are each 95' in length. A four-car train is 380'. Buffalo and Sacramento both have four-car light rail trains; however, Buffalo has non-articulated vehicles that are only 64' in length and most of the vehicles in Sacramento are older articulated models that are 80' in length.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 09:24 PM   #1791
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That's why I prefer talking about Link as a light metro - at 3 people per square meter standing (which is much lighter load than we have on buses today), that 4-car train carries 800. Japanese metros can get up to 10 people per square meter standing, but I'd expect a realistic maximum of 5-6 people per square meter standing. Note that the largest passengers typically sit, so the average girth of a standing passenger is lower than the city's average (which is already far below the national average).

Oh, the other pictures of the four-car train are on the seattle transit blog's photostream, if you want higher quality.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 10:05 PM   #1792
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Aren't there things like citizen request forms that you can send to the government? I think our transportation network and regulations/laws should be managed more by the federal government and state DOTs should just be responsible for the workforce/funding and maintenance. The 520 bridge will probably be a lot higher on the priority list if things were managed by the Federal Government, and we'd probably get more funding too from the Federal Government. Then the DOT/ST can focus more about LR and leave the highways to the Federal Gvmt.
So when our infrastructure *was* managed by the federal government, they managed to kill the railways. Let's get lobbyists out of government, THEN consider our options.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #1793
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Aren't there things like citizen request forms that you can send to the government? I think our transportation network and regulations/laws should be managed more by the federal government and state DOTs should just be responsible for the workforce/funding and maintenance. The 520 bridge will probably be a lot higher on the priority list if things were managed by the Federal Government, and we'd probably get more funding too from the Federal Government. Then the DOT/ST can focus more about LR and leave the highways to the Federal Gvmt.
I believe that the government is more concerned about the safety than any projects. For example, look at Minneapolis' collapsed bridge that caught so many people's attentions. The Washington Government looks at 520 Bridge and Alaskan Viaduct as their top priorities to do instead focus on public transportation projects for safety reasons. They wants to get it fixed before it collapse and hurt/kill anyone.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 02:03 AM   #1794
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Quote:
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That's why I prefer talking about Link as a light metro - at 3 people per square meter standing (which is much lighter load than we have on buses today), that 4-car train carries 800. ...
The term "Llght Metro" is generally reserved for systems such as Vancouver's Skytrain or the various VAL systems in Europe and Asia:





The features that distinguish a Light Metro system are that they are fully grade-separated, are usually fully automated, and acheive the desired capacity by operating relatively short trains at high frequency.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 03:52 AM   #1795
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Ours are actually fairly automated. The operators do very little of the work.
As for grade separation - University of Washington to International District will be, as soon as they kick buses out. SODO streets will eventually be closed. Sure, the Rainier Valley isn't, but any new north or east sections likely will be.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 04:16 AM   #1796
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The Rainier Valley portion still has its own right of way... its not like a typical light rail line where it mixes with traffic... it will only cross the intersections.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #1797
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One of the details I envy about SkyTrain is that it breaks even on operations. It seems like there are three key factors making this possible:

1) High fares
2) Density built along the lines, even in the suburbs
3) Automated trains = no labor costs for operators

It would be interesting to know the relative contributions of each of those factors; transit that could break even on operations could be a much easier sell here in the states *if* it were feasible.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #1798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
One of the details I envy about SkyTrain is that it breaks even on operations. It seems like there are three key factors making this possible:

1) High fares
2) Density built along the lines, even in the suburbs
3) Automated trains = no labor costs for operators

It would be interesting to know the relative contributions of each of those factors; transit that could break even on operations could be a much easier sell here in the states *if* it were feasible.
A lot of automated trains have standby operators though don't they?
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Old February 12th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #1799
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has no way a driver could take over

theres no controls or anything

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Old February 12th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #1800
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Quote:
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A lot of automated trains have standby operators though don't they?
With SkyTrain, there are no cabs: the public can to sit at the front window. Though the trains are automated, each train tail still has a driver's control panel...it is hidden beneath a cupboard. This is what it looks like, for Vancouver's Canada Line:



The trains are driven manually only when there is a major snowstorm.


I believe Hong Kong's MTR trains are driven automatically, but they do have drivers as well just to make sure things don't go wrong. The drivers are also responsible for opening and closing the doors, rather than the automation program.
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