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  #5521  
Old Posted Feb 26, 2021, 4:36 PM
numble numble is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Ron Tutor fully admitted that he underbids these projects and then makes billions on (foreseeable) change orders, so I'm not surprised their bid was thrown out.

https://californiapolicycenter.org/h...ntract-awards/

BYD is the devil you don't know. There's not a lot of data on monorail projects so their numbers can't be verified. It should be pretty obvious that an elevated line is cheaper than one that's mostly in subway.
BYD is already known for their poor electric buses and extreme political lobbying: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/...520-story.html

BYD is the Technology Supplier, Systems Integrator and is a Operations and Maintenance Co-Lead Contractor for the LA SkyRail proposal. LA SkyRail will have Skanska as the lead construction contractor, which is 3 years late and around $400m in budget overruns on the Regional Connector and looking to be 1 year late with $200m overruns so far on the Purple Line Section 1. Metro’s latest rail contracts have been awarded to Tutor for Purple Line Sections 2 & 3, and they are still tracking to be on schedule and on budget, even after a yearlong delay for oil wells underneath Beverly Hills High. If it was really based on experience with contractors, they have had better recent experience managing Tutor than Skanska.

It’s obvious from looking at the proposals that Bechtel and BYD spent a lot more time and money on their bids, probably because they don’t have much experience in the US and are looking to make this project their standout project and try to get more business in the US.

Last edited by numble; Feb 26, 2021 at 5:03 PM.
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  #5522  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2021, 5:30 PM
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Originally Posted by numble View Post
BYD is already known for their poor electric buses and extreme political lobbying: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/...520-story.html

BYD is the Technology Supplier, Systems Integrator and is a Operations and Maintenance Co-Lead Contractor for the LA SkyRail proposal. LA SkyRail will have Skanska as the lead construction contractor, which is 3 years late and around $400m in budget overruns on the Regional Connector and looking to be 1 year late with $200m overruns so far on the Purple Line Section 1. Metro’s latest rail contracts have been awarded to Tutor for Purple Line Sections 2 & 3, and they are still tracking to be on schedule and on budget, even after a yearlong delay for oil wells underneath Beverly Hills High. If it was really based on experience with contractors, they have had better recent experience managing Tutor than Skanska.

It’s obvious from looking at the proposals that Bechtel and BYD spent a lot more time and money on their bids, probably because they don’t have much experience in the US and are looking to make this project their standout project and try to get more business in the US.
I’ve seen you write this a few times in different places and it’s confused me. Bechtel is based in Virginia and has lots of US experience. They are the lead on the existing Silver line extension in Virginia that is opening a year late.
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  #5523  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2021, 10:27 PM
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The HRT rolling stock and stations should be designed to the same specifications as the Purple/Red Lines, with the goal/expectation that the latter will eventually be separated and converted to automation (while not precluding, say, Purple interlining with Sepulveda). This would allow for more frequent service, thereby yielding higher ridership and greater farebox revenue that could then be used to finance infill stations (Vermont/3rd, Wilshire/Crenshaw, etc). Any increase in travel times resulting from those infill stations would be offset by the shorter wait times owing to the more frequent headways.

This should be the type of thinking that dictates long-term planning. We need to be thinking of ways to design a system that not only connects important points of interest, but also one that serves communities and is able to spur political momentum toward implementing urban-minded infrastructure (continental crosswalks at every intersection, road diets, wider sidewalks, bulb-outs, etc) within these communities. The only thing holding LA back is this level of imagination and NIMBYs, who are slowly but surely continuing to lose the long-drawn-out war they've been able to sustain for decades.

Last edited by Quixote; Feb 27, 2021 at 10:39 PM.
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  #5524  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 1:10 AM
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The only thing holding LA back is this level of imagination and NIMBYs, who are slowly but surely continuing to lose the long-drawn-out war they've been able to sustain for decades.
Why dish in NIMBYs so hard? They are just homeowners looking out for their main, probably only, investment. Citizens from all income levels, from the richest to the poorest, have joined the NIMBY ranks. It is not just the richest neighborhoods that do not want public housing in their neighborhoods, likewise the poorest neighborhoods do not want to see their neighborhood generified into higher rent apartments and condos. NIMBYs exist world wide.
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  #5525  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 2:11 AM
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For serious hardcore nimby action google Stuttgart 21.
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  #5526  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 2:54 AM
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i am curious if BYD has actually solved the many problems/inefficiencies of monorails... or if it's just marketing fluff. the cross section of the trains is very promising compared to the older hitachi systems, but what enables this magic? how will they solve the evacuation walkways which do not appear to be shown anywhere? switching has always been hideous on these things, i see they have videos of a bending/switching center beam, but how long has this been actually used for? the yinchuan system is ... 3 years old?

the idea of tiny three car consists (231 passenger crush capacity, 56 seats!) running very frequently is interesting, but they'd have to run awfully frequently to be appropriate for fully grade separated transit in north america's second biggest metro area. a 10 car BART train can hold 2,000 people, a 6 car red line train, 1,080. red/B line claims 20k people per hour, BART at peak theoretically could do 50k. a 3 car skyrail train doesn't even pencil, so it's curious that every single drawing or photo shows 3 car consists (for automatic coupling?) obviously their peak capacity numbers are based on 6 are 8 cars. why don't they show them? i can't find a single picture of the one in yinchuan operating with more than 3 cars. skyrail/huawei's own PR video specifically states that it's a 3 car system, 600 passengers per train.

gensler put a lot of trendy fluff on the stations, but man, they are seriously poorly located with long winding circuitous walkways to the spots they *should* be... and then it's labeled "seamless connectivity." LOL.
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  #5527  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 2:59 AM
numble numble is offline
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Originally Posted by Easy View Post
I’ve seen you write this a few times in different places and it’s confused me. Bechtel is based in Virginia and has lots of US experience. They are the lead on the existing Silver line extension in Virginia that is opening a year late.
They don’t have very much experience in U.S. transit projects, and its true.

At their Q4 conference call, Tutor Perini’s CEO said the major players in the US are them, Skanska and Kiewit, and he does not see Bechtel being a major player with only one contract.

In their bid for the Sepulveda project, they list 4 projects to demonstrate their experience, only one of which is a U.S. transit project (the Silver Line). The other projects listed are a Toronto transit extension and 2 liquid natural gas projects.
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  #5528  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 6:25 AM
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Something to take into consideration is the world we live in today and for the foreseeable future. Metro's ridership has been decimated by the pandemic. People no longer want to be indoors or underground in enclosed spaces with crowds of people. Metro's ticket fares have all but depleted. County Sales taxes are indefinitely impacted by the closing of stores and restaurants as shopping for non essentials moves online. The structures in technology and communication have solidified the remote working of a large portion of the workforce.

Any Heavy Rail option from Van Nuys to LAX is minimum $20 Billion Dollars. Metro has a projected amount of $9.7 Billion allocated for this project from Sales tax projections that were crafted in 2016... and that did not take into account a pandemic.

At this point, we will be "lucky" if we can get anything.

Last edited by hughfb3; Feb 28, 2021 at 6:49 AM.
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  #5529  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by hughfb3 View Post
Something to take into consideration is the world we live in today and for the foreseeable future. Metro's ridership has been decimated by the pandemic. People no longer want to be indoors or underground in enclosed spaces with crowds of people. Metro's ticket fares have all but depleted. County Sales taxes are indefinitely impacted by the closing of stores and restaurants as shopping for non essentials moves online. The structures in technology and communication have solidified the remote working of a large portion of the workforce.

Any Heavy Rail option from Van Nuys to LAX is minimum $20 Billion Dollars. Metro has a projected amount of $9.7 Billion allocated for this project from Sales tax projections that were crafted in 2016... and that did not take into account a pandemic.

At this point, we will be "lucky" if we can get anything.
California collects sales taxes for online purchases and the sales tax collections for Metro have not had as large an impact on Metro as was initially expected. Metro received $862 million in the March 2020 stimulus bill, will receive a similar amount from the December 2020 stimulus bill and will probably receive something like $1.3 billion from the upcoming stimulus bill if it passes the Senate in the same form it passed the House. In other words, they will be receiving nearly $3 billion from the COVID relief packages. With an infrastructure bill in the works, and a plan for Congress to allow earmarks again, Metro might receive even more funding.

Meanwhile, as of January 2021, their sales tax revenues have only been down $260 million since the pandemic began. That looks like a lot, but in 5 of the past months, sales tax revenues were actually higher than the year before.



Metro’s finance team itself predicted that total sales tax losses across 3 years will only be around $190 million and that sales tax revenues are expected to be up next year. “ It is anticipated that sales tax revenue will finally exceed the pre-COVID-19 peak set in FY19 and reach $865.0 million per ordinance in FY22, a 2.9% increase from the FY21 Midyear Reforecast.”


https://metro.legistar.com/Legislati...EB0&FullText=1

You are incorrect that the sales tax calculations didn’t account for the pandemic. Of course it doesn’t predict pandemics, but it expects recessions that have a larger impact on Metro’s revenues than the pandemic has had. The sales tax expenditure plans for Measures R and M leaves a huge amount of unallocated amounts to account for things like downturns in the economy. This is why Measure R projects like the Purple Line, Expo Line 2, Gold Line to Azusa, Crenshaw Line, Regional Connector etc. were not affected by the Great Recession, which had a far larger impact on Metro’s budget. For example, in Measure M, they estimate $60 billion in transit and highway funding for 40 years, but only program for about $30 billion.

Last edited by numble; Feb 28, 2021 at 11:00 AM.
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  #5530  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 3:22 PM
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California collects sales taxes for online purchases and the sales tax collections for Metro have not had as large an impact on Metro as was initially expected. Metro received $862 million in the March 2020 stimulus bill, will receive a similar amount from the December 2020 stimulus bill and will probably receive something like $1.3 billion from the upcoming stimulus bill if it passes the Senate in the same form it passed the House. In other words, they will be receiving nearly $3 billion from the COVID relief packages. With an infrastructure bill in the works, and a plan for Congress to allow earmarks again, Metro might receive even more funding.

Meanwhile, as of January 2021, their sales tax revenues have only been down $260 million since the pandemic began. That looks like a lot, but in 5 of the past months, sales tax revenues were actually higher than the year before.

Metro’s finance team itself predicted that total sales tax losses across 3 years will only be around $190 million and that sales tax revenues are expected to be up next year. “ It is anticipated that sales tax revenue will finally exceed the pre-COVID-19 peak set in FY19 and reach $865.0 million per ordinance in FY22, a 2.9% increase from the FY21 Midyear Reforecast.”

https://metro.legistar.com/Legislati...EB0&FullText=1

You are incorrect that the sales tax calculations didn’t account for the pandemic. Of course it doesn’t predict pandemics, but it expects recessions that have a larger impact on Metro’s revenues than the pandemic has had. The sales tax expenditure plans for Measures R and M leaves a huge amount of unallocated amounts to account for things like downturns in the economy. This is why Measure R projects like the Purple Line, Expo Line 2, Gold Line to Azusa, Crenshaw Line, Regional Connector etc. were not affected by the Great Recession, which had a far larger impact on Metro’s budget. For example, in Measure M, they estimate $60 billion in transit and highway funding for 40 years, but only program for about $30 billion.
Numbers do not lie. While it is true that in 5 of the last months sales tax revenues are higher than the previous year; where you left it as a final thought; what you left out is that it is still true the sales tax revenues still remain below what they projected it would be pre covid.

By how much one may ask, the answer is right there in the charts, just look at the bottom line of the last chart.
I'll repeat it right here so you do not have to take the time to go look:
COVID 19 (% loss)
FY20=$48.3 Million(-5.5%),FY21=$69.2 Million(7.6%),FY22=$72.3 Million(-7.7%)

Of course future projections will not necessarily be the final results, but the important point I wish to point out is that the loses are accruing, seemingly getting larger each following year.

Why are they projecting that? Because they are projecting normal growth and revenues from sales taxes based on top of a new lower starting line.
And that means over the course of accruing over a time period of decades much lower revenues.

The stimulus package passing through Congress will probably make up for the losses for the last year and this year, it will most likely not make up for the accruing loses for the next few decades.

Last edited by electricron; Feb 28, 2021 at 3:33 PM.
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  #5531  
Old Posted Feb 28, 2021, 5:40 PM
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
Numbers do not lie. While it is true that in 5 of the last months sales tax revenues are higher than the previous year; where you left it as a final thought; what you left out is that it is still true the sales tax revenues still remain below what they projected it would be pre covid.

By how much one may ask, the answer is right there in the charts, just look at the bottom line of the last chart.
I'll repeat it right here so you do not have to take the time to go look:
COVID 19 (% loss)
FY20=$48.3 Million(-5.5%),FY21=$69.2 Million(7.6%),FY22=$72.3 Million(-7.7%)

Of course future projections will not necessarily be the final results, but the important point I wish to point out is that the loses are accruing, seemingly getting larger each following year.

Why are they projecting that? Because they are projecting normal growth and revenues from sales taxes based on top of a new lower starting line.
And that means over the course of accruing over a time period of decades much lower revenues.

The stimulus package passing through Congress will probably make up for the losses for the last year and this year, it will most likely not make up for the accruing loses for the next few decades.
I already wrote that they expected losses for 3 years to be $190 million. They received $862 million from the March 2020 stimulus bill and will receive something like $850 million from the December 2020 stimulus bill, and they will receive around $1.3 billion from the March 2021 stimulus bill—about $3 billion. That would cover losses for awhile.

I also wrote as my final point that the sales tax revenue projections for Measures R and M are built to assume recessions happening, i.e., only allocating half of projected revenues. The Great Recession did not affect the availability of funding for Measure R projects (Purple Line, Gold Line to Azusa, Expo to Santa Monica, Regional Connector and Crenshaw Line) despite the fact that the Great Recession had a far greater impact on sales tax revenues and there were no federal bailouts of transit agencies during the Great Recession.

Last edited by numble; Feb 28, 2021 at 6:35 PM.
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  #5532  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 7:38 PM
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I see a couple of you wrote that you want to see Purple line interline with Sepulveda line. I'm all for building service tracks but I don't see the allure of network design that interline two high capacity lines. You are just limiting the total system capacity and introducing artificially long wait time for commuters (they'll have to wait for every other train to come by).

I believe it is far better to run both lines at high frequency and allow people to transfer at Wilshire. But I concede that Metro has been terrible at designing transfer stations. Still, that's not really a good argument for interlining and reducing effective headway.
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  #5533  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 8:05 PM
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I believe it is far better to run both lines at high frequency and allow people to transfer at Wilshire. But I concede that Metro has been terrible at designing transfer stations. Still, that's not really a good argument for interlining and reducing effective headway.

If the red line is separated from the purple line and made to continue south on Vermont, then in theory the purple line could be made to split into three branches at Westwood Ave. One would head north to UCLA and the valley, another would turn south to LAX, and a third would continue westward under Wilshire to the VA and a future Santa Monica extension. A fourth route would be a north/south train between the valley and LAX.

What I just described would put 3 trains on the subway between Westwood and Union Station. BART does this with four trains, but there are many problems associated with it during peak hours, and a second transbay tube no doubt would seek to split the four routes between the two tubes.

One tiny operational advantage would be that the physical connection between the Wilshire Subway and the Sepulveda line would be made at some point east of the Westwood station, meaning that station could be skipped, creating a 1-station skip-stop. So what I mean is if you were heading south from UCLA your first purple line station could be Century City. Doing this would of course require flying crossovers from both the north and south and there is no provision for this in the purple line project, which is already under construction and can't be changed at this point.
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  #5534  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 9:55 PM
JDRCRASH JDRCRASH is offline
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Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
I see a couple of you wrote that you want to see Purple line interline with Sepulveda line. I'm all for building service tracks but I don't see the allure of network design that interline two high capacity lines. You are just limiting the total system capacity and introducing artificially long wait time for commuters (they'll have to wait for every other train to come by).

I believe it is far better to run both lines at high frequency and allow people to transfer at Wilshire. But I concede that Metro has been terrible at designing transfer stations. Still, that's not really a good argument for interlining and reducing effective headway.
Also, though these types of crossovers probably do exist in places like NYC, don't the trains there move WAY slower because of the stations close proximity to each other, justifying those tight, 90° turns that the trains out here just can't make without adversely affecting commute times?
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  #5535  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2021, 7:56 PM
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Also, though these types of crossovers probably do exist in places like NYC, don't the trains there move WAY slower because of the stations close proximity to each other, justifying those tight, 90° turns that the trains out here just can't make without adversely affecting commute times?
The NYC has a self-imposed speed limit of 45mph. Trains used to operate at higher speeds but things were capped at some point to reduce the likelihood of accidents. It probably also reduces stress on the elevated sections.
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  #5536  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2021, 1:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
If the red line is separated from the purple line and made to continue south on Vermont, then in theory the purple line could be made to split into three branches at Westwood Ave. One would head north to UCLA and the valley, another would turn south to LAX, and a third would continue westward under Wilshire to the VA and a future Santa Monica extension. A fourth route would be a north/south train between the valley and LAX.

What I just described would put 3 trains on the subway between Westwood and Union Station. BART does this with four trains, but there are many problems associated with it during peak hours, and a second transbay tube no doubt would seek to split the four routes between the two tubes.

One tiny operational advantage would be that the physical connection between the Wilshire Subway and the Sepulveda line would be made at some point east of the Westwood station, meaning that station could be skipped, creating a 1-station skip-stop. So what I mean is if you were heading south from UCLA your first purple line station could be Century City. Doing this would of course require flying crossovers from both the north and south and there is no provision for this in the purple line project, which is already under construction and can't be changed at this point.
I knew BART was going to be mentioned but I don't think it is very useful comparison. BART shares a common transbay tube but the lines spread out and ridership drops pretty fast outside the trunk line in between SF and Oakland - so the network design makes sense because the outer branches can get by with 1/3 or 1/4 of the frequency of the trunk section between Oakland and Daly City. Sepulveda and Wilshire lines are different. There won't be a low ridership branch to Antioch or Richmond - the entirety of Sepulveda line and Purple line are trunk lines.

Red line separation from Purple line is just a concept. Vermont subway probably won't happen in the next 25 years. But I agree that if the two lines are separated, the purple line continuation to the Valley or LAX is more feasible. But in that time, Purple line could also get extended to Santa Monica. Branching Purple line into 3 branches at Westwood is not ideal and creates an imbalanced schedule and artificially long headway - now you have to wait for every 3rd train to come to get to your destination on one of the branches.

Ironically, if Purple line ended at Westwood, this would be easy to do... the line simply branch north or south. But the line goes to VA hospital (and potentially Santa Monica) so realistically, you can only branch north or south at Westwood, not both (the other branch has to continue west). However, this creates its own problem because now Sepulveda line has uneven service north and south of Wilshire.

So we are basically back to my original point... much simpler and efficient to run two high frequency line rather than trying to interline, which means one of the branch of Sepulveda line will see 50% less service. I much rather both line run at 2 min intervals and transfer at Westwood then having to wait 4 or 6 min to get on the Wilshire to LAX train or Wilshire to Valley train. This may be acceptable way to run BART because not many people (comparatively) are going to Millbrae or Milpitas vs. Oakland but it won't be acceptable in LA where all the existing and potential stations on Purple and Sepulveda line are in the high ridership zone instead of far flung suburbs.

Last edited by bzcat; Mar 4, 2021 at 1:51 AM.
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  #5537  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2021, 8:30 PM
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I don't believe Purple should interline with Sepulveda; I just think it shouldn't be totally ruled out. That's why I'm against Bechtel's idea of narrower three-car consists. Three cars won't suffice once the line is extended down to the LAX/SoFi/Clippers arena arena. Just build the stations with the standard 450-foot platforms. Doesn't the use of a single-bore tunnel mean that they wouldn't have to build actual station boxes that drive up constructions costs? And if that's the case, why don't they spend more on an extra-large TBM to fit in a third or even fourth track for express services?

Last edited by Quixote; Mar 4, 2021 at 8:40 PM.
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  #5538  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2021, 10:00 PM
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I don't believe Purple should interline with Sepulveda; I just think it shouldn't be totally ruled out. That's why I'm against Bechtel's idea of narrower three-car consists. Three cars won't suffice once the line is extended down to the LAX/SoFi/Clippers arena arena. Just build the stations with the standard 450-foot platforms. Doesn't the use of a single-bore tunnel mean that they wouldn't have to build actual station boxes that drive up constructions costs? And if that's the case, why don't they spend more on an extra-large TBM to fit in a third or even fourth track for express services?
There is a point of diminishing return on the size single bore tunnel. Once you get too large, two tunnels become cost effective again.

Also, I don't know if the geology under the mountain can support an "extra large" tunnel. I don't think anyone has done a subway tunnel big enough to fit 4 tracks anywhere in the world.
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  #5539  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2021, 11:43 PM
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Things that I do like about the BYD proposal:

1) Cheaper cost (although probably not as much as is being advertised).
2) A dedicated Getty Center station. If you're going to follow the 405, you might as well build one. This actually really intrigues me and makes the MRT concept more palatable, because this really represents the only chance to ever build a Getty Center station.
3) The longer consists (up to 8-car trains) AND the frequency.
4) Talks of expansion beyond LAX and Van Nuys.
5) The trains themselves have a sleek design and resemble bullet trains, which I think would bring an added psychological effect and potentially capture choice riders.

If they can have an underground alignment from UCLA to Expo and then aerial along Sepulveda, I actually might be okay with it since the other option follows Sepulveda. Placing stations in the middle of a freeway is what I take umbrage with.
I agree with all this and want to add:

1) better passenger experience enjoying the mountain views and not stuck in a tunnel

2) better advertising when the train whisks past all the stand-still traffic.

On point 2, you still hear "LA has a subway?" often. Out of sight, out of mind.
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  #5540  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2021, 1:16 AM
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^ Those are likely people that aren't going to ride transit of any kind, even if it looks like Disneyworld.
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