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  #881  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2020, 11:30 PM
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Doady Doady is offline
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Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
I don't think total system ridership tells you what kind of physical infrastructure you need to provide a certain type of service.

City A might actually have pretty high ridership but the geography favors a network typology of hundreds of local bus routes each with a few thousand riders per day. City B might have low transit ridership, but a large proportion of it is in one or two corridors and rail is needed for capacity. An extreme example might be a random city in Brazil that doesn't have a metro yet versus somewhere like Lausanne, Switzerland.

I think with Dallas, the city's sprawl would favor a grid of local buses. But that would also be too slow for cross town travel. And if you are going to invest a lot of money into dedicated cross town infrastructure, you might as well funnel all your riders on to it, and if you do that it might as well be rail.

The dilemma for Dallas is that probably needs both DART rail and a local bus grid at the same time, but it couldn't afford both. Houston "cheats" by having some freeway transit lanes that were paid for using highway money. But I wonder how much those HOV lanes really cost per mile and when you consider how few people use them I wonder if a DART rail set up would actually be better.

Ultimately what might work best for Dallas IMO is to keep up with what they have, and then make up for what they lack in terms of local bus routes with better last-mile pedestrian and bike infrastructure. How close do local bus routes actually have to be to one another? If sidewalks and walkability is poor and there are physical barriers like a highway or a drainage ditch then you need more than one route in that general area. But if the last mile stuff was better people would be willing to walk further. For disabled or indigent patrons, the city would subsidize more partially privatized ridesharing type stuff with handicap van taxis. Treat local bus routes almost like BRT lite with stuff like signal priority and queue jumpers too, and then a single bus with one driver could do more trips per day and increase frequency with less overall capital investment.
I didn't mean to make this a debate about Dallas or any city in particular. Of course you need to look at the capacity needed for each individual corridor and I don't know the specifics. I'm just speaking generally: a certain amount of ridership is needed for successful rail, and I think not many cities are that point yet. And of course generally very large cities like Dallas need rail to handle those volume of riders, but they also need a lot more buses as well. San Francisco, NYC, Chicago, they have very large rail systems, but they also have very large bus systems as well.

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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
I am not going to disagree with your data nor your opinions. But I would like to point something out, DART built a light rail system because that is what they were told to do by the local taxpayers willing to subsidize it. Democracy in action to the hilt, voters being sold a rail solution for public transit and gullible enough to vote yes because we have to do something to reduce air pollution and clear traffic congestion.

Well, the rail solution has not worked as well as many had hoped with the belief that if you build it riders will ride it. Drivers continue to drive their cars. What has reduced traffic congestion, highway expansion that many pundits say will only increase traffic congestion in the future - but as of now, traffic congestion is way down.

The only times in the last few decades where DART actually saw an increase in ridership was when Dallas has had an economic slump. But pro business policies locally has kept that to a minimum, therefore the continuing low public transit ridership. The results is all based upon the local economy, do not let the so called experts suggest otherwise with multiple red herrings.

But here is the good news, if the local Dallas economy turns sour, a public transit system is in place to move any potential ridership increase, and is not on some planners drawing board waiting to be built.
I'm not arguing against light rail in Dallas. I think it's cool voters are so supportive of rail expansion. I just think the DART rail system would be much more successful with enough buses feeding into it. They have a strong backbone for a transit system but the potential is not being realized. It's only recently they started to recognize their mistake and you can see it in the 14% ridership growth last year. You can see the same mistake in other places in the US like Sacramento.

I think transit should not be so divided and viewed in such black and white way. I think there is too much "bus vs. rail" debate. We need to at the system as one whole, we need to look at the bigger picture, and I think a lot of places in the US have trouble with that.

As for ridership growth during economic slump, I think that is a common misconception. Like most systems, DART saw major ridership decline in 2009 (-8%). If people are not working, then they stay home and they don't use transit.

I think transit can be more successful if it is viewed as a part of prosperity and economic growth. Fares can't be too low for example. To be able to provide a good level of service to attract riders, agencies need to have higher fares.

If you build it they will come? I think that's absolutely true. But building a system is much more than just building rail. Dallas started building more of a bus system and the riders finally came. The level of service (frequency, service span, walking distance) is very important. I am a proponent of the idea of building it and they will come. But maybe there are other things to consider as well like TOD.
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  #882  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2020, 1:37 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doady View Post
Someone attacks buses as a solution and promotes light rail for a city that already has the best transit ridership in Texas, and you think I brought up Dallas as a counter-argument for "no apparent reason" and you even get upset about it?

The title of this thread is "Light Rail Boom" and Dallas has constructed the most modern light rail. No other city comes close. Dallas is the face of this thread, and if you that bothers you so much, go whine somewhere else.
"No apparent reason" applies not to the discussion of Dallas per se, but instead to bringing up the topic again after six months of dormancy. I'm just curious what relaunched the debate after so long. It seems an out-of-the-blue resurrection.

Last edited by exit2lef; Sep 14, 2020 at 2:45 AM.
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  #883  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2020, 1:46 AM
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I think DART would have been better as a regional rail system with tracks purchased from the freight companies connecting the suburbs with the core and a light rail system servicing the inner portions.
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  #884  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2020, 3:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
I think DART would have been better as a regional rail system with tracks purchased from the freight companies connecting the suburbs with the core and a light rail system servicing the inner portions.
Great, I'll agree. DART did buy several railroad corridors from the freight companies, The Rock Island line towards Fort Worth, the MKT Katy lines towards Wylie and Denton, the Southern Pacific lines towards Lancaster, Balch Springs, and Sherman, the Cotton Belt line towards Fort Worth and towards Greenville. About the only lines they did not buy are the UP (ex-T&P) lines from Forth Worth towards Mesquite, towards College Station, and towards Waco, and the BNSF line towards Madill and Hillsboro.

A few rail corridors got commuter rail, and a few got light rail. Maybe not the way you wished, but the way the local stakeholders wished. It seems the higher the density on the corridor, they more likely that corridor got light rail, with 10 minute headways instead of 30 minute headways seen with commuter rail. Just about everyone here would suggest it is far easier to have higher frequencies of service with light rail than with commuter rail.

I'll keep repeating this until a cow jumps over the moon, DART built what the taxpayers of Dallas wanted. If you believe local governments and local agencies should do what their local taxpayers wanted, then you must agree DART did just that - be it wrong or right.

Dallas certainly does not need "Yankees" from New Jersey, or "gold miners 49ers" from California dictating what they should build here.
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  #885  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2020, 11:57 AM
exit2lef exit2lef is offline
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[Ottawa] LRT marks 1st birthday with few riders — and fewer issues

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/lrt-marks-...080000865.html

Reliable and fast. Few delays. Not crowded.

That's how some riders described Ottawa's light rail system last week, and they're not words that would have been used during the darkest times of the Confederation Line's first year.

And with a litany of issues from flat wheels to snagged overhead wires, there were many such times. But as the white-and-red electric trains carry passengers into a second year, the picture is now dramatically different.

"There's nobody on it. It's pretty quiet. You're not worrying about somebody slamming the door open and stopping the train from moving," said rider Jane Phoenix.

"There's plenty of room, plenty of seats, and I feel safe."

The COVID-19 pandemic has emptied the downtown, and the LRT network too. The day after Labour Day — typically one of the busiest times of year — there were just 50 people on one train at Tunney's Pasture during the morning commute, according to John Manconi, Ottawa's transportation boss.

But the many months of low ridership have also allowed Rideau Transit Group, which built LRT and is now maintaining it, to fix many of the problems on the city's to-do list.
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  #886  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2020, 1:33 PM
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SkahHigh SkahHigh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Dallas certainly does not need "Yankees" from New Jersey, or "gold miners 49ers" from California dictating what they should build here.
Yes because Dallasians have gotten so much bang for their buck with their light rail system contrarily to those guys
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  #887  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2020, 9:43 PM
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I think if DART were being built today, it'd be DMU instead of light rail. We're seeing more and more DMU in the DFW built instead of LRT, because DMU is a more natural technology for the regional rail-like service that DART puts out. There's nothing wrong with that. Light rail was just the wrong type of train.

Put DMUs everywhere DART goes now, and use the money saved to build a smaller network of trams in the core city doing what light rail is really intended to do. That would've been a neat system IMO.
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  #888  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2020, 3:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
I think if DART were being built today, it'd be DMU instead of light rail. We're seeing more and more DMU in the DFW built instead of LRT, because DMU is a more natural technology for the regional rail-like service that DART puts out. There's nothing wrong with that. Light rail was just the wrong type of train.

Put DMUs everywhere DART goes now, and use the money saved to build a smaller network of trams in the core city doing what light rail is really intended to do. That would've been a neat system IMO.
Back in the early 1990s, DART did buy just about all the DMUs that were available at the time, RDCs, and put them on the TRE line towards Fort Worth, establishing an hourly, then eventually, a half hourly service frequencies. There were no other DMUs in the USA, and as it is, the RDCs DART bought came from Canada. There's only so much service you can provide with 13 RDCs.

Presently, DART has 163 SLRVs on its light rail lines. About 150 more units than RDCs available in 1990s. Find another reason!

At the time, the rail public transit favorite ice cream flavor was light rail. Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles, and St. Louis had, or were building light rail transit lines in the USA, Calgary and Edmonton in Canada did likewise. Why pick solely upon DART?
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  #889  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2020, 9:49 AM
SFBruin SFBruin is offline
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I don't think that light rail was the wrong type of technology. Many people prefer to ride light rail over DMUs.

Once gas prices inevitably rise, I think that more TOD will be constructed around stations, and the investment will pay off.

Last edited by SFBruin; Sep 15, 2020 at 10:00 AM.
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  #890  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2020, 12:03 AM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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The existing rail infrastructure DART replaced was mostly poor quality single track that had lots of grade crossings. To be suited to fast, comfortable, attractive mass transit it would have required a comparable amount of rebuilding and grade separation.

Austin did the DMU thing people here are suggesting and it didn't work. Ridership is absymal. The existing branch line they used doesn't really reach many useful destinations. Also because most of the alignment is still single track, and because the fleet of trains is too small, the service frequency is far too low. These things make it somewhat useless and worse than the express bus it replaced. And when it was all set and done the line still ended up costing a TON of money regardless. I think it is an example of being penny wise and pound foolish, a lack of big picture planning and conviction amongst local leaders who saw political demand for "build trains" and didn't really think it through.

Dallas snaking some DMU's every half hour down a one-way track at 20 mph with stops hidden behind warehouses would be a massive downgrade to what they have now, which in many stretches is from a functional, user point of view not that different from a heavy rail metro.
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  #891  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2020, 7:04 PM
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I've read some posts on here about Project Connect in Austin and I just want to clarify what it is.
It isn't just a 3 Light-rail lines and a subway thru Down town for 7.5ish billion dollars
It's also
: 74miles of bus rapid transit lines
: Another commuter rail line
: Expanded service on the existing commuter rail
: An all electric fleet of busses
: Bike and Steet Improvements
: Multiple park and ride facilities
: New Housing for displaced peoples
and much more.
It's a big deal and will be an amazing improvement. It will assure that the fastest growing major city in the U.S can continue to be the fastest growing city in the U.S

A few videos of what it is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAM-9JUtUzQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWDyZ0sb8wY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...ature=emb_logo

Airport Expansion which will connected to the rail line:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-L1c9njXCY

Last edited by austin242; Sep 16, 2020 at 7:33 PM.
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  #892  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2020, 9:46 PM
accord1999 accord1999 is offline
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Originally Posted by austin242 View Post
I've read some posts on here about Project Connect in Austin and I just want to clarify what it is.
It isn't just a 3 Light-rail lines and a subway thru Down town for 7.5ish billion dollars
But rail and tunnels are so expensive that they will consume most of that budget. And other mega-LRT projects have seen their costs skyrocket from their initial estimate.

And Austin has been growing rapidly even as transit ridership has declined from the 2008 peak.
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  #893  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2020, 7:42 AM
austin242 austin242 is offline
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We don't care if it's expensive (or at least most of the forumers from Austin don't) . Austin is mostly on limestone which correct me if i'm wrong, I believe is great for tunneling. It's both soft enough and hard enough to hold it's form. If we get one rail line and a tunnel I'll be happy. I do believe in cap metro to get it done. If we fail now it's just gonna get more expensive in the future. The point is it's needed now. It'll be needed more in the future. There are very few cities in the world the size of Austin without a proper metro. If they can do it we can too. We are the most progressive city in Texas. It's about time our infrastructure starts looking like we are forward thinking. It will only help the Austin economy. If only 100 people ride it a day the city would still be better off.
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  #894  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2020, 6:39 PM
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Phoenix begins construction of northwest LRT extension

https://www.railjournal.com/regions/...lrt-extension/

Quote:
.....

- The new section, which is planned to open in early 2024, will extend services from 19th Avenue/Dunlap across the I-17 Interstate highway to a new terminus near the old Metrocenter Mall. It follows the 2km Phase 1 extension between Montebello and Dunlap Avenue, which opened in March 2016. The extension will have three new stations, including an interchange at the Metrocenter with five bus routes. In addition, the project will include the planting of 200 trees and the installation of seven public artworks. The extension is expected to offer redevelopment opportunities and economic stimulus for the city’s northwest, following the closure of the Metrocenter Mall in June.

.....



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