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Old February 5th, 2011, 07:31 AM   #201
Woonsocket54
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Originally Posted by dwdwone View Post
So much for global warming.
Does an ice storm in Texas disprove the theory of gradual climate change?

In other news, this shitty transit system still can't get its shit together

Dallas Morning News
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/commu...lines-anew.ece

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Snow deals DART a fresh challenge, snarling rail lines anew


Photo: Ryan C. Henriksen/Staff Photographer
Commuters waited for the DART train on Friday at the St. Paul Station in Dallas. The snowfall dealt a fresh challenge to DART, which was unable to restore its bus and rail line system to normal.

By MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER
Transportation Writer
Published 04 February 2011 10:50 PM

Friday’s unexpectedly heavy snowfall rebuffed efforts by Dallas Area Rapid Transit to restore its light rail and bus system to normal, as once again passengers endured long waits in cold temperatures and commutes that in some cases stretched beyond three hours.

Up to five inches of snow had fallen by noon, triggering a whole menu of operational problems for the already hard-hit transit agency. Trains were stopped by frozen doors, by snow that covered navigational switches on the tracks, and by other mechanical problems.

Service was never stopped entirely, as it had been on Tuesday morning after an overnight ice storm. But it took DART until midafternoon to field enough trains to reliably operate a much-reduced schedule. It ran shorter-than-usual trains every 30 minutes beginning at about 2 p.m., and kept to that schedule through the night.

Friday’s troubles came on the fourth day of what many are calling one of the most serious, and certainly most unusual, winter storms in recent history. First came rain Monday night, then ice early the next morning, and on Wednesday the largest planned series of power outages in Dallas history.

Making all those problems worse, a deep freeze settled in Tuesday morning and wasn’t expected to end until Saturday, providing four straight days of temperatures that never got above the 20s.

But despite the unusual weather, which slicked over highways and left many neighborhood streets all but impassable for the week, DART’s chairman of the board said the agency’s management had let the public down this week.

DART executives needed to say sooner, and with more details, just how bad the week’s weather and other problems had affected the agency, especially its light rail, Oak Cliff businessman William Velasco said.

Too often, he said, the agency’s vague messages that trains were delayed by 20 minutes or “30 minutes or more” did too little to prepare riders for the cold, wet and long waits they faced.

He said he heard from DART president Gary Thomas midafternoon Tuesday, but only learned the full extent of the problems — that light rail had been shut down entirely for the first time in the agency’s history — later on from the news media. Other board members said Tuesday they were never contacted.

“I want to apologize to our ridership for this weather that came through this week,” Velasco said. “We have a responsibility to the public to make sure our buses and trains are somewhat on time even in these conditions. I understand there were times this week when that was simply not the case. As chairman of the board, I will get to the bottom of this. We will get this right.”

Velasco said he gives the agency’s nearly 4,000 employees credit for combating unusually severe weather

“To be fair, this was extreme weather, which we haven’t seen in what, 14, 15 years?” Velasco said. “Did DART make a mistake? You know they did. That goes without saying.”

His biggest disappointment, he said, is that this storm shows just how little progress DART has made in developing technology to communicate in real-time with its customers.

DART was hardly alone in having problems Friday.

The biggest problem was icy and newly snow-covered roads that simply were not cleared. Most cities, from Dallas to Little Elm, do not attempt to clear small or neighborhood streets.

Texas Department of Transportation officials continued their work around the clock treating the interstates, highways and major roads. By mid-morning, state officials had ordered reinforcements from as far away as Amarillo. By midday, North Texas had a contingent of some 75 snow plows and scores of other pieces of equipment.

Even so, many areas of even the biggest highways remained slippery and slow to travel.

And on the area’s growing network of toll roads, the news may have been even worse, though not for lack of effort on the part of the North Texas Tollway Authority. Like TxDOT, NTTA worked its maintenance crews around the clock for a fourth straight day.

But unlike their state counterparts, NTTA has no snow plows. Instead, it repeatedly put down sand and de-icing chemicals on every mile of the road throughout the day and night. But in most cases, the snow couldn’t be pushed aside and drivers were left with roads so covered that lanes were invisible.

By early morning Friday, NTTA had briefly closed southbound Dallas North Tollway, its most heavily traveled toll road, at Keller Springs Road.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 04:20 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
Does an ice storm in Texas disprove the theory of gradual climate change?

In other news, this shitty transit system still can't get its shit together
You do realize there have been brownouts in the area correct due to the power demand correct? I am sure other transit systems in New York would be suffering as well if they were in the exact situation.

Even though that area has some experience with Ice Storms they had very little experience in dealing with the extreme temperatures they got this year. I am talking about temperatures as low as 14 F which can weaken the rails among other things. Most of the infastructure in the area is not designed for these types of temperatures.

Last edited by diablo234; February 5th, 2011 at 04:58 PM.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 07:39 PM   #203
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As far as ice storms go, take it from a transplanted New Yorker. Rarely did New York experience the kinds of ice storms we get in Texas.
I'd really doubt that there claim; virtually all my wintertime trips through NY's Adirondack's since the '80s were accompanied by freezing rain...


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And because of their infrequency
Texas' own share, eh?



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So much for global warming.
Actually, you appear to have nailed what I believe to be the chief reason for the phenomenon of freezing rain.
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Old February 5th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #204
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So are there any new Jan stats for ridership on the Green Line or whole system?
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Old March 8th, 2011, 09:33 PM   #205
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Kinkisharyo's ameriTRAM (http://www.ameritram.com/) was on demonstration in Dallas today. DART and the City of Dallas are considering this vehicle for various streetcar lines.

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfa...st_look_a.phpp






Last edited by dfwcre8tive; March 9th, 2011 at 01:26 AM.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #206
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Also, MATA's streetcar extension is underway with a new line down Olive Street to connect to DART's St. Paul Station. The Cityplace Station terminal is also being reconstructed.

Photos here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...37856036263586
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Old May 12th, 2011, 02:28 PM   #207
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Old May 12th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #208
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Since the streetcars seem to be able to run on light rail tracks, is it only the capacity that differentiates them?
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Old May 13th, 2011, 01:47 AM   #209
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Since the streetcars seem to be able to run on light rail tracks, is it only the capacity that differentiates them?
Yeah, and the fact that LRV's wouldn't be able to run on streetcar tracks. (And the fact that the Light Rail and streetcar tracks currently lack a direct connection)
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Old May 13th, 2011, 11:06 PM   #210
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Orange/Blue Line Construction Update:

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Old May 14th, 2011, 05:48 AM   #211
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I honestly have to give it to Dallas. A city that contains the largest Light Rail system(and still expanding it) AND has the High Five Interchange with an extensive freeway system to go with it? Transportation wise Dallas seems to have everything.

Question though, how are they running 4 light rail lines through one single stretch of track in downtown? Headways must not be all that great. I think Dallas needs a second downtown connector.(Blue and Red Lines would not move, but Green and orange lines would have a new subway following a North-South direction crossing the current downtown tracks)
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Old May 14th, 2011, 06:53 AM   #212
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I honestly have to give it to Dallas. A city that contains the largest Light Rail system(and still expanding it) AND has the High Five Interchange with an extensive freeway system to go with it? Transportation wise Dallas seems to have everything.

Question though, how are they running 4 light rail lines through one single stretch of track in downtown? Headways must not be all that great. I think Dallas needs a second downtown connector.(Blue and Red Lines would not move, but Green and orange lines would have a new subway following a North-South direction crossing the current downtown tracks)
They system is barely used to begin with why would they need more capacity?
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Old May 14th, 2011, 08:02 AM   #213
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They system is barely used to begin with why would they need more capacity?
I don't live in Dallas so how am I suppose to know if it gets barely used or not? Though if wikipedia is to be believed, the entire system doesnt even get 60,000. The Los Angeles Blue Line alone gets 80,000, and the Houston''s Metro Rail gets nearly 40,000. However, looking at the videos and overhead maps, Dallas seems very spread out and in the videos the stations appear to built halfway into almost rural areas, so it's not surprising. However it looks like Dallas trying to take the approach of building the rail first, and letting the development come after.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 09:04 AM   #214
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I don't live in Dallas so how am I suppose to know if it gets barely used or not? Though if wikipedia is to be believed, the entire system doesnt even get 60,000. The Los Angeles Blue Line alone gets 80,000, and the Houston''s Metro Rail gets nearly 40,000. However, looking at the videos and overhead maps, Dallas seems very spread out and in the videos the stations appear to built halfway into almost rural areas, so it's not surprising. However it looks like Dallas trying to take the approach of building the rail first, and letting the development come after.
Its been awhile since the first line has opened and only a few developments have popped up. Your supposed to build Rail through Dense areas , DART seems to have a tough time doing that..... It will be really embrassing when Houston's Metro overtakes DART in ridership.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 09:18 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by State of the Union View Post
I don't live in Dallas so how am I suppose to know if it gets barely used or not? Though if wikipedia is to be believed, the entire system doesnt even get 60,000. The Los Angeles Blue Line alone gets 80,000, and the Houston''s Metro Rail gets nearly 40,000. However, looking at the videos and overhead maps, Dallas seems very spread out and in the videos the stations appear to built halfway into almost rural areas, so it's not surprising. However it looks like Dallas trying to take the approach of building the rail first, and letting the development come after.
One thing to remember, the current Ridership data for DART on wikipedia don't reflect the opening of the rest of the Green Line. This out of date ridership data also leads to DART's seemingly horrible Ridership per mile number, as they have the post-green line track mileage but not the post-green line ridership data, which falsely skews the results downwards. I've actually taken a couple of trips on the Northern segment of the Green Line, and from my impressions (riding during off-peak and peak periods) I estimate that DART's actual ridership post-green line is really about 90,000-95,000 boardings daily (which is close to San Diego numbers). And DART's current headways are 20 minutes off-peak, 15 minutes peak.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 01:29 PM   #216
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Dallas' low rail ridership is hardly surprising given its low density, excellent highway and arterial system, and continued expansion of tollways along the outer edges of development. That's what happens when rail transit is viewed more as a trophy than as a functional necessity.

Back in the 80's, a bank offered MARTA a commercial loan at a favorable interest rate to complete the entire referendum rail system ASAP. It's a good thing that MARTA declined, because we wouldn't have been able to fund its operations, especially since the original system included several short branches that would've made it difficult to provide service headways that were adequate on the branches without being excessive on the common sections. And the bank that offered the loan should've known that. Boosterism is no substitute for good planning.

That said, if/when peak oil hits, Dallas will be in a very enviable position.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #217
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One thing to remember, the current Ridership data for DART on wikipedia don't reflect the opening of the rest of the Green Line. This out of date ridership data also leads to DART's seemingly horrible Ridership per mile number, as they have the post-green line track mileage but not the post-green line ridership data, which falsely skews the results downwards. I've actually taken a couple of trips on the Northern segment of the Green Line, and from my impressions (riding during off-peak and peak periods) I estimate that DART's actual ridership post-green line is really about 90,000-95,000 boardings daily (which is close to San Diego numbers). And DART's current headways are 20 minutes off-peak, 15 minutes peak.
Fair Enough, though the average rapid bus has better headways than that....

Are there any official ridership numbers ANYWHERE?

EDIT: Also I'm wondering why the TRE wasn't routed through Arlington? It makes little sense especially since Irving is getting the new Orange line next year anyway?
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Old May 14th, 2011, 10:01 PM   #218
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15-20 minute headways are pretty awful. The Seattle streetcar runs more often than that. Is that just on the outskirts, or is that for trains running through downtown?
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Old May 15th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #219
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EDIT: Also I'm wondering why the TRE wasn't routed through Arlington? It makes little sense especially since Irving is getting the new Orange line next year anyway?
Arlington did not want to pay any taxes to fund mass transit.

Yet ironically they had no problems funding the new Dallas Cowboys stadium.

Anyways from what I can see the ridership estimates seem a bit off so I have to agree with FDW there.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 07:28 PM   #220
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15-20 minute headways are pretty awful. The Seattle streetcar runs more often than that. Is that just on the outskirts, or is that for trains running through downtown?
I would imagine that the downtown core stations would have 5 and 3 minute headways, since they are running 3-4 lines on the same tracks. Stations that only have 2 lines running through would have 10 minute headways, but It's the stations that belong to individual lines that have the $hitty headways. Looking at the Map, the Red Line(Northern Half) during peak when the orange lines trains are running through would probably be the best it gets for a single line.
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