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  #5241  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 1:18 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by the Genral View Post
There is nothing that can be done to significantly solve the traffic issues on I35 through downtown.
It depends on what you mean by "nothing" and "solve".

In the long term, there will always be rush hour traffic on I35. Agree 100%. That's the case for every large city in the world.

The I35 work however has the potential to add congestion-free lanes for buses. So for some people, the "solution" may be to not participate in the traffic.

And in the short term, added capacity can still provide economic benefit. As well as benefits in the non-rush hour time periods (helping to keep non rush hour free flowing as the city continues to grow).


I'm taking no stance as to whether this is the best use of our money. But it's certainly not "nothing".
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  #5242  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 2:32 PM
Dcbrickley Dcbrickley is offline
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".....the "solution" may be to not participate in the traffic. "

Novacek, with your permission, I plan to use this phrase forever! It's perfect.
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  #5243  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 2:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Dcbrickley View Post
".....the "solution" may be to not participate in the traffic. "

Novacek, with your permission, I plan to use this phrase forever! It's perfect.
That's not a perfect solution. As long as there are people who wish to live in a different place from where they work there will be traffic. Even the most transit friendly cities in the world have heavy traffic and gridlock congestion.
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  #5244  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 3:18 PM
Dcbrickley Dcbrickley is offline
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
That's not a perfect solution. As long as there are people who wish to live in a different place from where they work there will be traffic. Even the most transit friendly cities in the world have heavy traffic and gridlock congestion.
I've never lived far from where I work, because I hate commuting and I hate the thought of contributing to global warming and pollution any more than I have to.

If you choose to live far from your work, cool. I feel ZERO responsibility to get you to work quickly/easily.
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  #5245  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 3:24 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by Dcbrickley View Post
".....the "solution" may be to not participate in the traffic. "

Novacek, with your permission, I plan to use this phrase forever! It's perfect.


That's basically my plan (slightly modified). When my own commute gets too bad, just switch over to my bike and stop playing the game (just waiting on a few more infrastructure projects, like the mopac bike lanes).
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  #5246  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 3:26 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Even the most transit friendly cities in the world have heavy traffic and gridlock congestion.
Right, but in a true transit friendly city, the two (can) become disconnected. NYC has horrible traffic, but that gridlock doesn't hurt the subway (probably it helps it, by increasing demand).
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  #5247  
Old Posted Jul 27, 2016, 6:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Dcbrickley View Post
I've never lived far from where I work, because I hate commuting and I hate the thought of contributing to global warming and pollution any more than I have to.

If you choose to live far from your work, cool. I feel ZERO responsibility to get you to work quickly/easily.

If you choose to live far from your work, cool. I feel ZERO responsibility to get you to work quickly/easily.[/QUOTE]

I didn't think it needed to be said, but maybe it does . . . living far from your work is rarely a choice people WANT to make. I can tell you straight up, the majority of the people who staff the hotel I work at downtown can't afford to live anywhere else but far out. But they don't have a choice if they want these jobs.

Good transit options -- including good highways and roads -- are crucial levers against inequality. If you're a Good Citizen -- and you strike me as that -- you might reconsider the "zero responsibility" thing.
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  #5248  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 3:42 AM
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Austin's Commuter Rail Is A Monument To Government Waste
Scott Beyer, CONTRIBUTOR
Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbey.../#3448c0ee4310

Austin, TX–Last Saturday morning, while stumbling upon an Austin rail station, I was able to imagine at micro level what it must be like to visit one of China’s ghost cities. I was in Leander, an Austin suburb that has the northernmost stop on the metro area’s commuter rail system, when I spotted a multi-acre station plopped across what was essentially a rural area. After parking in the empty lot, I got out and walked around, to find a clean, well-landscaped facility that had not one human in sight. The info center was locked, the train platforms were empty, and no trains arrived. There was even a computerized voice humming out service updates over the platform speakers, to an absent audience. In fairness, the station was closed that day until 4pm. But that just begged the question—why would a train station be closed all Saturday morning and afternoon in a major metro area? Meanwhile, the platform offered an unobstructed view of adjacent US-183, where, in the course of 10 minutes, dozens of cars passed by in each direction.
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  #5249  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 4:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SkyPie View Post
Austin's Commuter Rail Is A Monument To Government Waste
Scott Beyer, CONTRIBUTOR
Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbey.../#3448c0ee4310

Austin, TX–Last Saturday morning, while stumbling upon an Austin rail station, I was able to imagine at micro level what it must be like to visit one of China’s ghost cities. I was in Leander, an Austin suburb that has the northernmost stop on the metro area’s commuter rail system, when I spotted a multi-acre station plopped across what was essentially a rural area. After parking in the empty lot, I got out and walked around, to find a clean, well-landscaped facility that had not one human in sight. The info center was locked, the train platforms were empty, and no trains arrived. There was even a computerized voice humming out service updates over the platform speakers, to an absent audience. In fairness, the station was closed that day until 4pm. But that just begged the question—why would a train station be closed all Saturday morning and afternoon in a major metro area? Meanwhile, the platform offered an unobstructed view of adjacent US-183, where, in the course of 10 minutes, dozens of cars passed by in each direction.
Hey, it's a commuter rail line. CapMetroRail isn't the only commuter rail operator in the states to have truncated operations on Saturday and Sunday.
List of Commuter Rail operators in the USA, and if they operate on Saturday and Sunday.

Sounder > No Saturday and No Sunday
ACE > No Saturday and No Sunday
CalTrain > Yes Saturday and No Sunday
Metrolink > Yes Saturday and Yes Sunday
Coaster > Yes Saturday and Yes Sunday
Sprinter > Yes Saturday and Yes Sunday
Frontrunner > Yes Saturday and No Sunday
Railrunner > Yes Saturday and No Sunday
TRE > Yes Saturday and No Sunday
CapMetro > Yes Saturday and No Sunday
Northstar > Yes Saturday and No Sunday
Metra > Yes Saturday and No Sunday
Music City > No Saturday and No Sunday

Well, that covers the Central, Mountain, and Pacific time zones. I don't think listing the Eastern Time Zones will change my point, even if they all ran on Saturday and Sunday - which by the way they don't.
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  #5250  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 8:16 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyPie View Post
Austin's Commuter Rail Is A Monument To Government Waste
Scott Beyer, CONTRIBUTOR
Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbey.../#3448c0ee4310

Austin, TX–Last Saturday morning, while stumbling upon an Austin rail station, I was able to imagine at micro level what it must be like to visit one of China’s ghost cities. I was in Leander, an Austin suburb that has the northernmost stop on the metro area’s commuter rail system, when I spotted a multi-acre station plopped across what was essentially a rural area. After parking in the empty lot, I got out and walked around, to find a clean, well-landscaped facility that had not one human in sight. The info center was locked, the train platforms were empty, and no trains arrived. There was even a computerized voice humming out service updates over the platform speakers, to an absent audience. In fairness, the station was closed that day until 4pm. But that just begged the question—why would a train station be closed all Saturday morning and afternoon in a major metro area? Meanwhile, the platform offered an unobstructed view of adjacent US-183, where, in the course of 10 minutes, dozens of cars passed by in each direction.
Every time I drive on I35 at 3:30 AM, I never see any traffic that couldn't be handled by one lane each way.

The whole thing is just a monument to government waste.
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  #5251  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 8:17 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyPie View Post
Austin's Commuter Rail Is A Monument To Government Waste
Scott Beyer, CONTRIBUTOR
Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottbey.../#3448c0ee4310

Meanwhile, the platform offered an unobstructed view of adjacent US-183, where, in the course of 10 minutes, dozens of cars passed by in each direction.
Gosh, a whole dozen cars. In 10 minutes.

What a traffic jam.
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  #5252  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 8:23 PM
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Read the whole article. It points out what we already knew. We have the worst rail Lin in the country.
Not that this is the greatest article ever and especially Mr. Scags, but they do pony out how pathetic the red line is and how it has hurt bus transit by syphening off money (more important the increases in price which most all cities have done) or by taking money from a quality light rail line that could have had subsidies under $3. Also, the comments are quite interesting.

Last edited by nixcity; Jul 31, 2016 at 9:08 PM.
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  #5253  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 9:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
Gosh, a whole dozen cars. In 10 minutes.

What a traffic jam.
dozens

Carry on.
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  #5254  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by nixcity View Post
Read the whole article. It points out what we already knew. We have the worst rail Line in the country.
Not that this is the greatest article ever and especially Mr. Scags, but they do pony out how pathetic the red line is and how it has hurt bus transit by syphening off money (more important the increases in price which most all cities have done) or by taking money from a quality light rail line that could have had subsidies under $3. Also, the comments are quite interesting.
In what way is it the worse in he country?
Ridership?
Latest data on Red Line ridership is from May 2016, average weekday ridership is now 2660, Saturday is now 1706.
Music City Star is 750
Downeaster is 1300
WES is 1700
DCTA is 1900
Shoreline East is 2000
North Star is 2500
So it's not the worse in weekday ridership.
How about riders per mile?
Downeaster is 9 riders per mile
Music City Star is 23 riders per mile
Capital Corridor is 29 riders per mile
Rail runner Express is 30 riders per mile
Shoreline East is 34 riders per mile
Keystone Services is 44 riders per mile
ACE is 58 riders per mile
North Star Line is 63 riders per mile
Red Line is 88 riders per mile
DCTA is 90 riders per mile.
So it's not the worse in riders per mile either.

Therefore, I suggest it is not the worse commuter rail line in America.
Sources of most of the data https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...s_by_ridership
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  #5255  
Old Posted Jul 31, 2016, 11:56 PM
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Wow, those are some seriously pathetic lines, what are the subsidies per trip?
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  #5256  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2016, 3:26 AM
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Wow, those are some seriously pathetic lines, what are the subsidies per trip?
I'm not going to look all of these transit agencies up to answer that. What I will do is look up CapMetro's and compare that to its bus service. That would be interesting to me. Here's the source for the data I used.
http://www.capmetro.org/uploadedFile...2012_Final.pdf
Page 7 has all the juicy data.
Rail subsidy per rider = $19.30
Bus subsidy per rider = $2.93
Express Bus subsidy per rider = $9.55
UT shuttle subsidy per rider = $0.72
MetroAccess subsidy per rider = $45.53
Ride Share subsidy per rider = $3.07
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  #5257  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2016, 12:18 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by lzppjb View Post
dozens

Carry on.
Meaning _maybe_ up to 24. If he would have seen anything close to 50, he would have said so for this hack-job.
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  #5258  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2016, 1:22 PM
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Considering the various viewpoints on our rail, here's some insight into another rail argument for TexRail in Fort Worth (to DFW airport and with other stops in some of the suburbs). Similar arguments, but I personally think it will be wildly successful over time. DCTA has been overly full certain times of day given their limited capacity and DART is doing better with time (though admittedly not as good as it can be; I rode it recently when up there seeing my in-laws and it was packed to the brim even in the off-peak hours on a Thursday). TRE seems full the few times I've seen people boarding and disembarking, and some friends who ride it every other week say it's usually pretty full. My point is this: rail is growing in popularity in Texas, albeit slowly, but it is growing. People are viewing it as an appropriate alternative in many, many cases. It will only get better as better infrastructure and connectivity exists (with proper placement of stations, bus connections, pedestrian connections, etc., also taken into consideration, of course...all important things in their own right).

Anyway, here's the article:
https://communityimpact.com/dallas-f...am-ahead-july/
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  #5259  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2016, 1:25 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by nixcity View Post
and how it has hurt bus transit by syphening off money
In fact, the Red Line has be subsidizing bus service for over a decade.

Every year, CapMetro takes in ~$50M from the quarter cent "rail tax", and then spends $13-$17M running the red line.

The rest subsidizes the rest of the budget.

Without the red line, the quarter cent rail tax isn't politically tenable. This has been proven time and time again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nixcity View Post
or by taking money from a quality light rail line that could have had subsidies under $3.
What "quality rail line"? That ship sailed with the 2000 vote (if it could ever have happened). It wasn't getting built after that, even absent the rail line.



Rather than making stuff up (like "worst rail Line in the country"), how about we look at actual numbers.

CapMetro spent like $120M on the red line by 2010. Also, at that point, they were basically bankrupt.

But under the 2000 plan, they were supposed to have ~$360M to spend on rail even earlier than this, by 2007.
It wasn't the red line that made CapMetro light rail impossible. It was the quarter cent givebacks and the rest of the unbalanced budget.
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  #5260  
Old Posted Aug 1, 2016, 1:50 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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It wasn't the red line that made CapMetro light rail impossible. It was the quarter cent givebacks and the rest of the unbalanced budget.
Just for fun, let's run the numbers on an alternative history where the 2004 vote didn't happen, or somehow failed (even though it passed by a larger margin than any other pass/fail rail vote margin).


So instead of spending that ~$120M on the red line, CapMetro has that money in the bank. And they someone avoid spending it on any other project. And they someone avoid the political pressure to use it on some other project. And they someone avoid the political pressure to give up the quarter cent rail tax. And they somehow avoid the political pressure for further give backs or rebates. And they somehow avoid the pressure to have that fund raided for suburban road projects. And they somehow avoid the political pressure to not raise fares while they have that huge balance.
(you can tell how likely I think this is)

So to that $120M in 2010, each year we add the operating expenses for the red line. If I remember I think it started out as $13M a year and is now up to $17M per year, but just to simplify things let's use $17M per year.

For these purposes, we're pretending we get to keep that whole $17M, which wouldn't actually be true. We still have to provide commuter service to Leander (but with buses instead). And we lose the expensive rail fares (now up to like $2M a year). And we still have that freight line we have to maintain. And we'll pretend that the red line doesn't bring in any additional federal grants for operating expenses (it does). And we'll pretend that the existence of the red line (and the dense development it encourages) doesn't have any positive impact on overall sales tax receipts.
And we pretend that we don't have to provide any additional expensive late-night service as an anti-DUI service, like they do for the red line.



In what year do we have enough money in the bank account to pay for the 2000 light rail system. And at this point, let's pretend its operating expenses are less than the red lines, so are covered going forward by the $17M per year (it's not).

Simple algebra.
2024 is when we'll have the rail.

Except that was the price in 2007. It's way more expensive in 2024. If we figure 2% inflation, in 2024 we need $540M, which is way more than we have yet.

(at some point past this, we'll finally have enough, since the $17M operating expenses will inflate as well, and presumably some interest from the money in the bank).

But you're still looking at something like 2030*.


*So again, how likely do you think it is that CapMetro could keep the .25% tax this whole time (25 years), given that they'd been forced to rebate or suspend it twice before.

Last edited by Novacek; Aug 1, 2016 at 2:04 PM.
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