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  #741  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2019, 4:29 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
What is it with Americans and their opposition to transit improvements? This is bizarre.
I don't profess to know all the answers, but here are some interesting reads on differences in transit between Canada and the United States:

https://humantransit.org/2018/04/why...om-canada.html

https://www.vox.com/2015/8/10/911819...n-subway-buses

https://www.citylab.com/transportati...ransit/568825/

From reading about the Ford brothers in Toronto and the failure of Vancouver's 2015 plebiscite, I know everything is not perfect north of the border. Still, whenever I visit major cities in Canada, I typically find better transit service and less stigma attached to transit use than I do in cities of comparable size and density in the U.S.
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  #742  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 5:08 AM
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tayser tayser is offline
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Hi y'all tram fans.

Canberra's first phase of light rail opened recently.

12.5km from Gungahlin to Civic (northern suburb to the main city centre of Canberra), $707 million AUD with 13 stops. Services are going to run every 15 minutes off-peak and weekends and every 6 minutes during peak.



Second phase has been in planning for a while which will see the line cross Lake Burley Griffin and run through the Parliamentary triangle to Woden (another of Canberra's polycentric CBDs). There's a bit of argy bargy at the moment whether the route should run deeper through the Parliamentary triangle closer to many more departments or skirt around Parliament house on State Ciricle (Green = state circle, orange = via parliamentary triangle).



Full journey from inside the passenger area of the tram (still waiting to see driver POV vids)

Video Link


As you can see there's plenty of median/road space that can be re-organised - this is Commonwealth Ave just before Parliament with the British, NZ and Canadian high commissions on the right: https://goo.gl/maps/L7FP841vb32U8MtLA

And Canberra's no stranger to mega surface car parks, ripe for redevelopment.

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  #743  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2019, 8:18 PM
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Metro leaders optimistic about shared Green/Purple light rail to Hobby airport

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/new...d-13799310.php

Quote:
.....

- Houston could have two light rail lines running to Hobby Airport after all, provided they share a lot of track. After saying the potential $1.8 billion investment to take both the Green and Purple lines to the airport was too costly, Metropolitan Transit Authority board members on Thursday reacted positively to an alternate plan to extend both lines to a common point, then having them share a single track in each direction the rest of the way to the airport. — A preliminary analysis estimates the extensions and the combined line would cost about $1.1 billion, and carry a similar number of daily riders as estimates for separate extensions of the Green and Purple lines about 6,600 daily trips.

....,



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  #744  
Old Posted May 9, 2019, 6:31 PM
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SANDAG proposes historic transit expansion, cutting long-promised highway projects

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com...ighway-project

Quote:
.....

- The San Diego region’s top transportation planning agency unveiled on Friday an unprecedented multi-billion dollar proposal to add hundreds of miles of high-speed transit lines stretching as far east as Poway, north to Escondido and through coastal communities to Oceanside. Scores of elected officials from around the region gathered at a special meeting of the San Diego Association of Governments to weigh in on the new plan, which would represent a seismic shift away from building highways and roads to an almost singular focus on public transit. --- However, many of the envisioned transit lines would run parallel to congested highways, providing traffic relief along key commuter corridors, said Hasan Ikhrata, SANDAG’s executive director. “This is not about the transit against the highway and the highway against the transit. It’s about a transportation system that works with all its components,” Ikhrata told his 21-member board and the other elected officials in attendance.

.....



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  #745  
Old Posted May 20, 2019, 2:59 AM
DavefromSt.Vital DavefromSt.Vital is offline
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Grand River Transit's ION line begins service June 21, running from Fairway Mall in Kitchener to Conestoga Mall in Waterloo:

https://www.grt.ca/en/ion-light-rail.aspx#
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  #746  
Old Posted May 20, 2019, 4:56 PM
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  #747  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 3:48 AM
DavefromSt.Vital DavefromSt.Vital is offline
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First Toronto Eglinton Crosstown LRT vehicle recently shown to media running under its own power, albeit just in the yard:

https://www.cp24.com/news/officials-...town-1.4432915
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  #748  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 6:15 AM
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While Phoenix's bus ridership remained stable, the light rail ridership declined 5.30% in 2018. But Mesa's "big bet" is on light rail instead. The new streetscape really does look nice though, but they probably could have done a similar thing with buses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMBY View Post
I was deeply saddened to learn that the first light rail line for Las Vegas, which was to go from the Airport to downtown via Maryland Avenue, has been scrapped. When I lived in Las Vegas I went to a number of the RTC meetings about the Maryland line and they were all hopeful it would get built. In lieu of that, they will have Bus Rapid Transit instead. One of the last big cities in the country not to have any light rail.

Most couldn't understand why they wanted a line down Maryland, and not from the Airport to the Strip and to downtown, but many don't realize that if you want Federal funds to help pay for it, it must be for residential use, not for tourists.

Bear in mind there's 9-10,000 taxi drivers in Las Vegas and they've long been campaign contributors to the Clark County Commission members. A rail line from the Airport to downtown might put how many out of a job.

A very sad day for Las Vegas, and have no regrets leaving there last August for Tucson.
Seems like Las Vegas has reached the point where it should start building LRT, but don't act like it doing worse than all those cities with LRT, or that they are actually trying to stop people from using transit there. The numbers speak for themselves:

Code:
City           Riders2018  +/-
Portland       97,070,600  -0.96%
Baltimore      95,309,400  -5.54%
Las Vegas      66,384,500  +2.75%
Salt Lake City 44,200,400  -2.04%
St. Louis      37,000,300  -5.63%
Cleveland      31,164,200  -3.35%
Charlotte      21,425,400  -0.82%
Sacramento     20,802,900  -4.99%
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  #749  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 2:36 PM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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I think what is happening is that light rail is/was focused on promoting TOD and cross-town rapid transit. Ridesharing and cheaper gas is eating into demand for transit among upper/middle class downtown people and commuters.

Buses are doing ok because of the suburbanization of poverty and the fact that a few cities are finally figuring out how to design and run more efficient networks and invest in better service.

I wouldn’t write off light rail as a mode and assume BRT is magically better independent of route and service considerations. That’s falling victim to a cargo cult mentality. I recommend googling Christopher Speiler, a Houston writer and transit expert. He points out that we missed hitting the densest places with either light rail or bus and our networks don’t work as well. Regardless of conveyance I think we need more ambition in serving tighter neighborhoods even if it’s costly to get lines into them. For Houston my fantasy network would reach out west to places like Uptown, Westheimer, Chinatown and Westchase. link the big hub areas together.
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  #750  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 2:55 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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The research that I have read suggests that Uber and Lyft are eroding transit ridership. The end result actually makes congestion worse because Uber and Lyft encourage the greater use of individual vehicles. The way to counteract this is to improve transit speed. This can be done by improving the overall transit network design, increasing frequency and coverage, and by improving the infrastructure allowing transit vehicles to move faster. In some cases, it can be the simple introduction of bus lanes. The challenge with the latter is that in most cases, there will be opposition to transferring limited vehicle lanes to transit. All of this becomes of discussion of making transit more competitive. LRT is no silver bullet if the end result is no improvement in service.
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  #751  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 5:14 PM
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A lot of light rail is just focused too much on TOD (or even worse, park and ride). The more cities invest in LRT, the more often they neglect the bus system connecting to it, the more incomplete the overall system becomes. And of course if there too many holes in the network, people have to turn to ridersharing to get around. The neglect of buses is what prevents LRT lines across the US from fulfilling their full potential.

Compare the ridership and growth of a more complete transit system without LRT (Las Vegas) to that of an incomplete transit system with lots of LRT (Sacramento) and you can see who is the clear winner.

If a cheaper option like BRT allows a system to invest more in the bus service around it, maybe that is better than building LRT and then having no money for buses feeding into those stations.
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  #752  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 5:34 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doady View Post
But Mesa's "big bet" is on light rail instead. The new streetscape really does look nice though, but they probably could have done a similar thing with buses.
Mesa previously operated a light form of BRT along this corridor. The city then made a wise decision to upgrade to light rail. The "similar thing" was a helpful interim step. Rail makes the commitment more enduring, attracts discretionary passengers that will never take a bus, and does more to catalyze development. It should be noted that Mesa has made substantial improvements in headways and hours of service on bus routes that connect to light rail, allowing the two modes to work together effectively. In that respect, the TV news report is incorrect. Mesa, as well as its neighbors Tempe and Phoenix, does not see rail in opposition to buses, but instead as the spine of a system in which buses complement trains.
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  #753  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 5:52 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
Phoenix Light Rail should be the poster boy for light rail in general. It far exceeded even the most rosy predictions and in a city generally thought of as suburban.

But whats really amazing is the amount of development built along the line.



10 years ago just as light rail was being built:

https://goo.gl/maps/ZLePBTEqmV8u7Yck7


Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/WzpTaXmCRVnQuPBv7


Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/Hu35oa9jNv7FXNhB9


Now:
https://goo.gl/maps/FEHm71PAfBAQBbp1A

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/jHjVXrNEzdjwcZnd6

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/Y1TxJg9b11uRKNbQA

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/hL9rbzwbJsDiZQo68

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/s8ikkBSHGQBsVyfd9

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/XC6wTLazvQmRcxLs8

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/M95oN5aa57VRTiEeA

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/2QcNncEncftarvUt5

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/PGGhEgheDYRKBSNz6

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/x5buFP3Zxo3va4m58

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/uYJRerszFNuXPqtR8

it just goes on and on. Every time I hear people that think light rail was a bad idea I shake my head and im not even a progressive guy politically.
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  #754  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 6:20 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
Phoenix Light Rail should be the poster boy for light rail in general. It far exceeded even the most rosy predictions and in a city generally thought of as suburban.

But whats really amazing is the amount of development built along the line.



10 years ago just as light rail was being built:

https://goo.gl/maps/ZLePBTEqmV8u7Yck7


Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/WzpTaXmCRVnQuPBv7


Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/Hu35oa9jNv7FXNhB9


Now:
https://goo.gl/maps/FEHm71PAfBAQBbp1A

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/jHjVXrNEzdjwcZnd6

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/Y1TxJg9b11uRKNbQA

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/hL9rbzwbJsDiZQo68

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/s8ikkBSHGQBsVyfd9

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/XC6wTLazvQmRcxLs8

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/M95oN5aa57VRTiEeA

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/2QcNncEncftarvUt5

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/PGGhEgheDYRKBSNz6

Then:

https://goo.gl/maps/x5buFP3Zxo3va4m58

Now:

https://goo.gl/maps/uYJRerszFNuXPqtR8

it just goes on and on. Every time I hear people that think light rail was a bad idea I shake my head and im not even a progressive guy politically.
Light Rail is hardly a bad idea if it makes transit more attractive. My point is that light rail is not the silver bullet if the end result is not better service. Investing in very expensive infrastructure such as light rail and then running trains every 20 or 30 minutes is a travesty. That money would have been better spent on increasing bus frequency on multiple routes.

Streetcars were popular back in the day because of the old saying that it didn't matter if you missed a streetcar, because there would be another coming shortly. This cannot be said about some light rail lines that have been built.
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  #755  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 6:35 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doady View Post
While Phoenix's bus ridership remained stable, the light rail ridership declined 5.30% in 2018. But Mesa's "big bet" is on light rail instead. The new streetscape really does look nice though, but they probably could have done a similar thing with buses.



Seems like Las Vegas has reached the point where it should start building LRT, but don't act like it doing worse than all those cities with LRT, or that they are actually trying to stop people from using transit there. The numbers speak for themselves:
The Decline in ridership is universal due to ridesharing and cheap gas, what are you going to do. Still the ridership numbers on Phoenix Light Rail was so far beyond what was originally expected that a 5% decline still has thousands and thousands of more passengers than they expected 10 years ago when it opened.
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  #756  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 6:37 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
The research that I have read suggests that Uber and Lyft are eroding transit ridership. The end result actually makes congestion worse because Uber and Lyft encourage the greater use of individual vehicles. The way to counteract this is to improve transit speed. This can be done by improving the overall transit network design, increasing frequency and coverage, and by improving the infrastructure allowing transit vehicles to move faster. In some cases, it can be the simple introduction of bus lanes. The challenge with the latter is that in most cases, there will be opposition to transferring limited vehicle lanes to transit. All of this becomes of discussion of making transit more competitive. LRT is no silver bullet if the end result is no improvement in service.
Anecdotally I agree, my use of transit (already low) went even lower once Uber and Lyft came out.

Even in places like NYC and Tokyo I have taken uber rather than deal with the train because the prices and time differences were worth it to me. Not always but depending on the time of day and my pacience at the time.
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  #757  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 6:57 PM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
Anecdotally I agree, my use of transit (already low) went even lower once Uber and Lyft came out.

Even in places like NYC and Tokyo I have taken uber rather than deal with the train because the prices and time differences were worth it to me. Not always but depending on the time of day and my pacience at the time.
What you are saying is that transit is losing in a competitive market to Uber. What this also says is that transit needs to up its competitive position by becoming a better service. Maybe, you won't be recovered as a customer, but maybe someone else will take your place.
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  #758  
Old Posted May 24, 2019, 10:32 PM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Light Rail is hardly a bad idea if it makes transit more attractive. My point is that light rail is not the silver bullet if the end result is not better service. Investing in very expensive infrastructure such as light rail and then running trains every 20 or 30 minutes is a travesty. That money would have been better spent on increasing bus frequency on multiple routes.

Streetcars were popular back in the day because of the old saying that it didn't matter if you missed a streetcar, because there would be another coming shortly. This cannot be said about some light rail lines that have been built.
Frequency is essential. The Phoenix-Tempe-Mesa light rail line has headways of 12 minutes weekdays, 15 minutes Saturdays, and 20 minutes Sundays and late night. That's better than some light rail and streetcar lines I've seen that run at 30-minute intervals, but it definitely could be better. I'd like to see 10 minutes weekdays and 15 minutes weekends and evenings. Where the Phoenix line does very well in my experience is terms of hours of service. The trains run from around 4 AM until midnight Sunday - Thursday and 4 AM until 2 AM Friday -Saturday. That's better than the hours I've seen even on some heavy rail systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
What you are saying is that transit is losing in a competitive market to Uber. What this also says is that transit needs to up its competitive position by becoming a better service. Maybe, you won't be recovered as a customer, but maybe someone else will take your place.
Uber and Lyft are deliberately underpriced in an attempt to build market share. Both have struggled since their recent IPOs to maintain their stock prices. Eventually both will have to raise fares to meet investor expectations. I've already noticed that Lyft, which I use about once a month, has been sending me fewer promotional discounts. My worry then is not so much about customer defection from transit to rideshare, but instead that short-sighted, opportunistic elected officials will use rideshare as an excuse to disinvest in transit, creating a death spiral of diminished service leading to diminished ridership.

Last edited by exit2lef; May 25, 2019 at 1:15 AM.
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  #759  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 1:00 AM
ssiguy ssiguy is offline
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Those frequencies are horrible but unfortunately common in the US.

How rapid is the rapid transit when you have to wait for it for 20 minutes? In most places with 4 million people outside the US, those would be lousy frequencies for an average local bus. This is made worse by the fact that US cities tend to have huge freeways networks and more importantly many freeways that go right thru the heart of the downtown so cars have a huge time savings advantage.

In the US cars and gas are very cheap and the effect of Uber and Lyft is much higher than in other countries because they are competing with vastly superior transit systems and service and they allow Americans to avoid using transit due to the negative stigma attached to it. The world views transit as an essential service while the vast majority of Americans view it as a social service. Most Americans would rather be caught walking into a porn shop than boarding a bus.
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  #760  
Old Posted May 25, 2019, 3:45 AM
accord1999 accord1999 is offline
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Originally Posted by Obadno View Post
Still the ridership numbers on Phoenix Light Rail was so far beyond what was originally expected that a 5% decline still has thousands and thousands of more passengers than they expected 10 years ago when it opened.
Maybe the estimates were low-balled? I looked at articles from that time period and 25K/day ridership for a line that stretched 20 miles with 28 stops is so small as to question why they built a rail line to begin with. Even with nearly 50K/day ridership, fare recovery is pretty bad at 30%, based on the FY2019 budget document.
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