SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/index.php)
-   Transportation (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   Cities Making the Most and Least Transit Progress (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=249665)

SAN Man Jan 23, 2022 9:58 PM

^Thanks for the clarification guys.

llamaorama Jan 23, 2022 11:09 PM

One problem with American transit is it only serves centralized places of employment. It doesn't get people to sunday afternoon dentist appointments or that fun restaurant on the other side of town, and you can't take it to enjoy a day at the beach or go hiking. LA interestingly could be an exception to this rule, only because of it's awesome geographic location making leisure and "staycation" activities right there in the city, and almost-dense-yet-decentralized layout of the place where there's all sorts of stuff along major roads.

But I wouldn't want to be carless in Dallas-Fort Worth even if there was a multi-line metro system here, because you just couldn't go and do anything. I feel like a lot of Americans probably feel this way.

For these reasons I think buses should get more attention since they can go more places. I like Colorado's Bustang system. Also there should be subsidized, loss-leader low ridership routes to high value destinations if it means more people use transit overall. A bus to a regional park. A bus to the city's largest mall. A bus to the medical center. And so forth.

IrvineNative Jan 23, 2022 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kittyhawk28 (Post 9511165)
Southern California, probably has by far the most rapid rail transit expansion programme in the country over the next 2 decades. LA Metro is doubling the size of its rail network in the next 10 years to 200 miles, and will likely triple the current network at full planned buildout by the 2040s-2050s (pending likely new rail transit tax measures) to up to 300 miles of light rail/subway across LA County. San Diego, as mentioned earlier, has a $160 billion vision to expand and reshape rail transit across the county. The Link Union Station Project will almost double Metrolink/Amtrak frequency and capacity by 2028, and Metrolink's $10 billion SCORE program will ensure at least 30 minute bi-directional frequencies on all Metrolink lines by 2028 through increased double tracking. Not to mention countless BRT projects planned.

I'm just concerned that LA's light rail is largely slow and street running unlike Seattle's Link, whose future expansions will be grade separated and be as subway like as possible.

The prioritization of rail projects in LA is also weird. East San Fernando Valley gets a street running LRT while the Vermont Corridor has to settle for BRT when it should be getting a grade separated LRT at least. LA is almost too pro-transit for its own good. Every suburb screams for light rail. In San Diego, the suburbs are all NIMBY which forces SANDAG to concentrate building rail in the urban core.

saybanana Jan 24, 2022 2:55 AM

What is missing from the metro los angeles map is the commuter rail map which would fill in the missing sections to the northwest, north east, east and south east. Some infill station, frequent trains, some grade separation and laus run thru tracks would help connect more of the county and adjacent counties that aren't building anything much except Santa Ana oc.

craigs Jan 24, 2022 5:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by llamaorama (Post 9511834)
One problem with American transit is it only serves centralized places of employment. It doesn't get people to sunday afternoon dentist appointments or that fun restaurant on the other side of town, and you can't take it to enjoy a day at the beach or go hiking. LA interestingly could be an exception to this rule, only because of it's awesome geographic location making leisure and "staycation" activities right there in the city, and almost-dense-yet-decentralized layout of the place where there's all sorts of stuff along major roads.

LA Metro's buses and trains are up to about 80% of pre-COVID ridership (best rebound among big agencies in the country), while NYC is hovering around 58% and SF is languishing around 45%, and it seems clear to me that the reason for those disparities is in line with your observation here.

Metro and the larger local agencies (Big Blue, Long Beach, etc.) are much more focused on local service than with getting commuters into and out of downtown LA. While downtown is physically the hub of the public transit network here and thus is very well served by bus and train, it is merely one of the larger of several employment nodes located around the city and region. And many other jobs aren't in a node at all, they're just scattered along major boulevards. Because of all that, LA's public transit system really was built in a way that gets people to the dentist and that restaurant across town, as the current ridership stats indicate.

ssiguy Jan 26, 2022 8:00 AM

I think the 2 big ones are L.A. and Toronto although Toronto will have vastly higher ridership.

Montreal is no slouch. Montreal's RER system will be completed in a couple year and will be 65km of completely grade separated automated rapid transit using LRT trains. It will include a large downtown tunnel connecting to the Metro network. Another new REM system is proposed for the city's eastside.

Seattle, Vancouver, Calgary, Dallas, Edmonton, Ottawa, Austin, SF, NYC, and Miami also get honourable mention.

ssiguy Jan 26, 2022 8:09 AM

All Canadian cities seem to be investing heavily into their transit systems and much of this is due to Trudeau sending tens of billions their way strictly for urban transit. He has even set aside billions for transit agencies to get rid of all their diesel buses and transform over to zero emissions ones.

For the US, the situation is a little less rosy as the big infrastructure fund was shrunk down so much that most of the transportation funding will go to highways and Amtrac most of which will be spent in NY on a tunnel.

Of course there are many US cities that have done little to improve their systems over the years like Chicago, Boston, and Philly and it shows with some of their rotting stations and rolling stock that looks like it should be moved to the Smithsonian.

There are many US cities with just rudimentary transit systems but the biggest failure, by far, is Detroit. It doesn't have any form of rapid transit and has none under construction or even proposed. Even BRT seems just too much for this city of 4 million. For a city the size and importance of Detroit, to not have any form of rapid transit {little alone even a passable regular bus service} is scandalous but probably even more unbelievable is that the vast majority of Detroiters don't seem to care.

Steely Dan Jan 26, 2022 3:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ssiguy (Post 9514586)
Of course there are many US cities that have done little to improve their systems over the years like Chicago, Boston, and Philly and it shows with some of their rotting stations and rolling stock that looks like it should be moved to the Smithsonian.

i can't speak for boston or philly, but i feel your assessment is overly harsh on chicago.

while it's true that the CTA hasn't engaged in the construction of any brand new el lines since the early '90s (orange line out to midway), they have been making continuous improvements to many of the archaic century-old el lines, and the the rolling stock is actually fairly up to date for a giant legacy american heavy rail rapid transit system.

over the past 30 years, the green, brown, pink, southside red, and northside blue lines lines have all gone through extensive and very expensive renovation projects to keep them running well into the 21st century. and the red/purple northside quad-track mainline is currently in a multi-billion dollar rebuild as well. many of the stations in the loop have also been extensively renovated. and new infill stations have been opened up over the years as formerly vacated sections of the near south and near west sides have been gentrifying - like morgan/lake, cermak-mccormick place, and the soon to be under construction damen stops on the green line. all told, these renovation/rehabilitation projects have cost the agency untold billions of dollars, which has made finding money for actual new-build expansions quite difficult to find. all part of the problem of having a rapid transit system that first opened back in the 19th century.

as for the rolling stock on the el, the CTA is currently in the process of acquiring 846 new 7000-series el cars to the tune of $1.3 billion. as they continue to come into service over this decade, they will eventually replace the entire 2600-series and 3200-series fleets that date from the 80s/early 90s. this will leave the 714 cars of 5000-series as the only older cars in the fleet, and they were all built between 2009 - 2015. so the el is actually well on its way to having a very up to date fleet.



So saying that the CTA "has done little to improve its system", currently and in the recent past, is a bit unfair in my eyes. Could it have been doing a whole lot more? Well of course, but given our nation's miserly attitude towards transit investment, the CTA has been lucky enough to get the billions of dollars it has gotten to rebuild its crumbling rail infrastructure and replace its outdated rolling stock. Those are still real transit wins with tangible benefits for the city of chicago, even if they aren't nearly as sexy as "OMG!!! city X is gonna build a hundred new miles of rail transit!"

Doady Jan 26, 2022 10:43 PM

I think Chicago's biggest failure in terms of growth and expansion, and it's biggest gap compared to Toronto, is in the bus network, not just of CTA but also of Pace. Compare the growth of Pace to that of Mississauga Transit and Brampton Transit since the 90s. In 1996, Brampton Transit was around 1/5 the size of Pace, carrying less than 19k riders per weekday, but by itself it is now larger than the entire Pace system, carrying 144k riders per weekday in 2016. Mississauga Transit carried 100k riders per weekday in 1996, and by 2019 the system doubled in size, carrying 201k riders per weekday. That's growth of over 220k daily boardings for just these two systems. In comparison, Pace went from 125k to 135k, only 10k growth for a much larger service area.

You think we need to focus less on "sexy" transit improvements? Not focus so much on "new miles of rail transit"? Maybe look at Pace instead. Old systems like CTA and Metra are not up-and-coming systems like TTC, GO, Mississauga, Brampton because they have such a huge rail system that they have successfully maintained and kept running, so of course they must be given credit for that, but that doesn't explain the failure of Pace Suburban Bus. 8% growth since 1996 is just pathetic. Pace serves a population of 4-5 million but ridership is lower than King County, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Orange County, Honolulu. Even with a "miserly attitude" towards transit, Chicagoland can do a lot better, as all of these other places show.

Kngkyle Jan 26, 2022 10:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9514804)
i can't speak for boston or philly, but i feel your assessment is overly harsh on chicago.

while it's true that the CTA hasn't engaged in the construction of any brand new el lines since the early '90s (orange line out to midway), they have been making continuous improvements to many of the archaic century-old el lines, and the the rolling stock is actually fairly up to date for a giant legacy american heavy rail rapid transit system.

over the past 30 years, the green, brown, pink, southside red, and northside blue lines lines have all gone through extensive and very expensive renovation projects to keep them running well into the 21st century. and the red/purple northside quad-track mainline is currently in a multi-billion dollar rebuild as well. many of the stations in the loop have also been extensively renovated. and new infill stations have been opened up over the years as formerly vacated sections of the near south and near west sides have been gentrifying - like morgan/lake, cermak-mccormick place, and the soon to be under construction damen stops on the green line. all told, these renovation/rehabilitation projects have cost the agency untold billions of dollars, which has made finding money for actual new-build expansions quite difficult to find. all part of the problem of having a rapid transit system that first opened back in the 19th century.

as for the rolling stock on the el, the CTA is currently in the process of acquiring 846 new 7000-series el cars to the tune of $1.3 billion. as they continue to come into service over this decade, they will eventually replace the entire 2600-series and 3200-series fleets that date from the 80s/early 90s. this will leave the 714 cars of 5000-series as the only older cars in the fleet, and they were all built between 2009 - 2015. so the el is actually well on its way to having a very up to date fleet.



So saying that the CTA "has done little to improve its system", currently and in the recent past, is a bit unfair in my eyes. Could it have been doing a whole lot more? Well of course, but given our nation's miserly attitude towards transit investment, the CTA has been lucky enough to get the billions of dollars it has gotten to rebuild its crumbling rail infrastructure and replace its outdated rolling stock. Those are still real transit wins with tangible benefits for the city of chicago, even if they aren't nearly as sexy as "OMG!!! city X is gonna build a hundred new miles of rail transit!"

100% Agreed.

In addition, the one actual rail expansion being talked about is a giant waste of money that is going to serve almost nobody. So hopefully that doesn't ever see the light of day.

homebucket Jan 26, 2022 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9508139)
As for transit laggards, I'll actually say San Francisco, because we aren't talking about which cities have the worst transit, we are talking about cities that fail to make much progress, including cities that have rested on their laurels.

Even pre-COVID, SF transit was a disaster. BART violent crime per capita was quadruple that of the DC Metro. BART headways were abysmal, 15 minute workday rush hour frequencies if your station was served only by one line. (Even DC Metro stations served by only one line have 6-8 minute rush hour frequencies). And Muni Metro was the slowest urban rail transit system in the nation, averaging less than 10 mph.

And expansions like the Silicon Valley BART were moving at a snails pace with cost overruns second to only NYC. A second Transbay tube has been discussed for ages but so far no progress. Ditto with Caltrain to Downtown. Meanwhile, SF spent over 2 billion on a lavish Transbay Transit Center for a high speed rail and Caltrain extension that may never come.

And topping off the Bay Area transit fiasco is VTA light rail, which gets some of the lowest ridership of any light rail system in the country and actually closed a light rail spur (the Almaden shuttle), which I believe is the first LRT line in the US to close in fifty years.

The only bright spot is Caltrain, which was the second busiest commuter rail line in the nation, featured express service, and is even electrifying most of the line to provide 10 minute headways during rush hour. But even CalMod has been delayed.

Disagree. Like the CTA system, a lot of the improvements have been behind the scenes, with improving reliability with new track, cabling, and other critical components. Transbay Tube seismic retrofitting has been ongoing since 2017 and should be completed by early 2023.

BART also has a new fleet of 775 train cars being incorporated into service with improved digital screens and dynamic system mapping, more doors, and new wheels to reduce noise by 50%.

There are also station modernization programs and multiple TOD projects being built and proposed on BART-owned property adjacent to the stations. So far, over 4000 units have been completed with another 2000 more in the pipeline.

BART extension to SJ has been slow, but I'm not sure how that's different than any other transit extensions currently underway in the US.

Then we've also got the Muni Central Subway extension and the new Van Ness BRT line.

Obviously there could be a lot more done. A second Transbay Tube, a Geary subway line either BART or Muni, a Dumbarton rail crossing, and completed HSR are all on the bucket list, but that's obviously limited by the amount of funding is received and our nation's miserly attitude towards transit investment, not a Bay Area specific fault.

SFBruin Jan 27, 2022 11:13 AM

SF will gain a lot from the opening of the Central Subway and Caltrain electrification.

jmecklenborg Jan 27, 2022 2:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9511847)
I'm just concerned that LA's light rail is largely slow and street running unlike Seattle's Link, whose future expansions will be grade separated and be as subway like as possible.

No it's not "largely slow and street running". The original Blue Line runs in the street in downtown Long Beach and for 1-2 miles approaching Downtown Los Angeles. Otherwise, it runs on its own ROW between the two cities, and has always had a northern terminus in a subway station. This line, of course, will soon run below ground through the rest of DT LA to the old Gold Line ROW, which is almost entirely exclusive ROW, except for a slow surface-running section in Pasadena.

The Expo Line only runs in mixed traffic between DT LA and USC, a distance of 1-2 miles, on trackwork shared in part with the above-mentioned Blue Line. There has been a lot of chatter regarding improvements to this section.

The Green Line is pretty much the only light rail in the United States that is completely grade-separated.

kittyhawk28 Jan 27, 2022 2:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9515925)
No it's not "largely slow and street running". The original Blue Line runs in the street in downtown Long Beach and for 1-2 miles approaching Downtown Los Angeles. Otherwise, it runs on its own ROW between the two cities, and has always had a northern terminus in a subway station. This line, of course, will soon run below ground through the rest of DT LA to the old Gold Line ROW, which is almost entirely exclusive ROW, except for a slow surface-running section in Pasadena.

The Expo Line only runs in mixed traffic between DT LA and USC, a distance of 1-2 miles, on trackwork shared in part with the above-mentioned Blue Line. There has been a lot of chatter regarding improvements to this section.

The Green Line is pretty much the only light rail in the United States that is completely grade-separated.

They honestly could make the Green Line a light metro (if it isn't already) for minimal cost, not only is it already grade separated its already high floor and uses some pretty high-speed LRVs relative to other cities.

Crawford Jan 27, 2022 4:46 PM

If BART has 15 min. headways, that's pretty impressive for U.S. standards.

BART is functionally a commuter rail line. Living somewhere like Hayward and having a train every 15 min. to Oakland or SF is pretty good. Washington Metro is more of a hybrid subway/commuter rail line, so should have somewhat shorter headways.

Steely Dan Jan 27, 2022 5:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9515925)

The Green Line is pretty much the only light rail in the United States that is completely grade-separated.

STL's metrolink system isn't 100% grade separated (there are some at-grade street crossings, particularly on its run through a mostly vacant east st. louis), but it does run 100% in dedicated ROW, has high-level boarding platforms, and runs at higher speeds because it is never in mixed traffic, so it ticks most of the "light metro" boxes as well.

jmecklenborg Jan 27, 2022 7:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9516172)
STL's metrolink system isn't 100% grade separated (there are some at-grade street crossings, particularly on its run through a mostly vacant east st. louis), but it does run 100% in dedicated ROW, has high-level boarding platforms, and runs at higher speeds because it is never in mixed traffic, so it ticks most of the "light metro" boxes as well.

I believe that some of the speculative expansions of the green line south toward Torrance have at-grade running with a few grade crossings, so the line might lose its anomalous status.

Steely Dan Jan 27, 2022 7:22 PM

^ there's often bound to be a few places on most systems where an at-grade street crossing or two occur.

hell, even on chicago's heavy rail el system, 4 of the lines (purple, yellow, brown, and pink) have some at-grade street crossing at their extremities.

in fact, i live right at the spot where the brown line transitions from steel elevated structure to running at grade. my local el stop is one of the unusual at-grade ones right at an at-grade street crossing.

https://www.chicago-l.org/stations/i...rockwell12.jpg
source: https://www.chicago-l.org/stations/rockwell.html


and i grew up in suburban wilmette a couple blocks away from an at-grade street crossing at the very end of the purple line. i guess i just have a thing for that sort of thing.

i wonder if any of the other heavy rail rapid transit system in the US have any at-grade street crossings?

homebucket Jan 27, 2022 7:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9516427)
i wonder if any of the other heavy rail rapid transit system in the US have any at-grade street crossings?

BART doesn't have any off the top of my head. There's some areas where it runs at street "level" or other times where it runs past people's backyards, or in a trench, but then the street goes underneath the tracks, so it's still separated.

IrvineNative Jan 27, 2022 7:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9515925)
No it's not "largely slow and street running". The original Blue Line runs in the street in downtown Long Beach and for 1-2 miles approaching Downtown Los Angeles. Otherwise, it runs on its own ROW between the two cities, and has always had a northern terminus in a subway station. This line, of course, will soon run below ground through the rest of DT LA to the old Gold Line ROW, which is almost entirely exclusive ROW, except for a slow surface-running section in Pasadena.

The Expo Line only runs in mixed traffic between DT LA and USC, a distance of 1-2 miles, on trackwork shared in part with the above-mentioned Blue Line. There has been a lot of chatter regarding improvements to this section.

The Green Line is pretty much the only light rail in the United States that is completely grade-separated.

But the East SFV LRT will run almost entirely if not entirely in street medians. The Gold Line to East LA runs mostly in street medians. The Crenshaw Line has street running sections.

I'll give credit for the Regional Connector, but Crenshaw Line construction is a disaster. Crenshaw began construction in 2014, is only 8.5 miles long, and has a street running section/grade crossings. San Diego's Mid Coast Trolley broke ground a full two years later, is 11 miles long, is fully grade separated, and opened on time and on budget in November. Meanwhile, Crenshaw is still under construction and over budget.

IrvineNative Jan 27, 2022 7:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9516116)
If BART has 15 min. headways, that's pretty impressive for U.S. standards.

Not really. MSP Blue and Green lines, Seattle's Link Light rail, LA Expo Line, and San Diego Blue Line from Santa Fe to San Ysidro all have better headways. SD Blue Line has 7.5 minute headways from before dawn to after dusk every weekday, without interlining. And the Blue Line does this even with a street running section through Downtown while all BART lines are fully grade separated and thus should have higher frequency. Alas, a 2nd Transbay Tube hasn't even broke ground and will take 20 years to build...

Doady Jan 27, 2022 8:06 PM

15 minutes both directions is great for a hybrid rapid transit/commuter rail, S-Bahn type of system. It is a one-of-a-kind system in North America, not comparable to anything else.

IrvineNative Jan 27, 2022 8:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9515475)
Disagree. Like the CTA system, a lot of the improvements have been behind the scenes, with improving reliability with new track, cabling, and other critical components. Transbay Tube seismic retrofitting has been ongoing since 2017 and should be completed by early 2023.

There are also station modernization programs and multiple TOD projects being built and proposed on BART-owned property adjacent to the stations. So far, over 4000 units have been completed with another 2000 more in the pipeline.

All of this is fine and dandy, but other systems like DC are buying new rolling stock, building much more TOD, AND building new lines on top of all that. I should have been more clear: the Bay isn't completely regressing, it is making some progress, but not as much progress as other big transit systems like LA or Seattle.

2000 residential TOD units in the pipeline for a system with as much ridership as BART isn't a lot. And how much of the TOD is office space? Office TOD generates more ridership than residential TOD. But with big corporations moving out, not moving to, the Bay Area, I doubt there'll be lots of office TOD popping up near BART stations soon.

San Diego Trolley has very little TOD outside of Downtown currently. But they have a whopping 10,000 residential TOD units and 2.6 million sq ft office space approved or under construction on the Green Line alone, and that's not counting downtown Projects. That's astonishing for a smaller, slower growing metro area.

jmecklenborg Jan 27, 2022 9:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 9516427)

i wonder if any of the other heavy rail rapid transit system in the US have any at-grade street crossings?

According to this, Chicago is the only active rapid transit system system with third-rail grade crossings:
https://cs.trains.com/trn/f/742/t/156685.aspx

The LIRR definitely has third rail crossings, but it's not rapid transit.

homebucket Jan 28, 2022 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9516510)
All of this is fine and dandy, but other systems like DC are buying new rolling stock, building much more TOD, AND building new lines on top of all that. I should have been more clear: the Bay isn't completely regressing, it is making some progress, but not as much progress as other big transit systems like LA or Seattle.

2000 residential TOD units in the pipeline for a system with as much ridership as BART isn't a lot. And how much of the TOD is office space? Office TOD generates more ridership than residential TOD. But with big corporations moving out, not moving to, the Bay Area, I doubt there'll be lots of office TOD popping up near BART stations soon.

San Diego Trolley has very little TOD outside of Downtown currently. But they have a whopping 10,000 residential TOD units and 2.6 million sq ft office space approved or under construction on the Green Line alone, and that's not counting downtown Projects. That's astonishing for a smaller, slower growing metro area.

It looks like you deliberately took out the part where I mentioned BART has ordered 775 new train cars, 286 of which are already currently in service, for a total rolling stock of 798 train cars — the most that has ever run on the system before.

Muni Metro (light rail) also has new trains, 68 of which are currently in service, with another 181 incoming in the next 3 years for a total of 249 new train cars. Muni buses are already quite new with their biodiesel-electric hybrid buses (all built 2013-newer with most being built 2015-on) and New Flyer Industries electric trolley (all 2015-newer), and they're testing a small fleet of battery-electric buses to see if it is viable to have an all-electric bus fleet by 2035.

As for office TOD, so far over 500,000 sq ft has been completed, with another 2.04 million sq ft in the pipeline.

tech12 Jan 30, 2022 1:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9516116)
If BART has 15 min. headways, that's pretty impressive for U.S. standards.

BART is functionally a commuter rail line. Living somewhere like Hayward and having a train every 15 min. to Oakland or SF is pretty good. Washington Metro is more of a hybrid subway/commuter rail line, so should have somewhat shorter headways.

BART is also a hybrid system. In San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, lines converge, stations are more numerous/closer together, and trains usually arrive more frequently than once every 15 minutes, so it acts more like a conventional metro. But outside of that area, it's more like a commuter system, with only one or two stops per suburb, and less frequent trains.

Crawford Jan 30, 2022 1:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9516483)
Not really. MSP Blue and Green lines, Seattle's Link Light rail, LA Expo Line, and San Diego Blue Line from Santa Fe to San Ysidro all have better headways.

Those are all low capacity light rail lines. BART is a high capacity heavy rail system.

Yes, bus and light rail lines frequently have 15 minute or better frequencies, even in moderate density corridors.

Crawford Jan 30, 2022 1:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9516698)
According to this, Chicago is the only active rapid transit system system with third-rail grade crossings:
https://cs.trains.com/trn/f/742/t/156685.aspx

The LIRR definitely has third rail crossings, but it's not rapid transit.

LIRR and Metro North both have third rail, and a few crossings left, but none on the main lines. There used to be a fair amount on the LIRR, but those were eliminated in recent decades.

If you take a train from Penn Station to Babylon, or a train from Grand Central to North White Plains, you'll never have a crossing. In fact for most of the main lines, you're never at grade. You're on an elevated structure, an embankment or a trench.

In the postwar decades, they converted the busiest lines to rapid transit-level infrastructure.

IrvineNative Jan 30, 2022 3:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9518799)
Those are all low capacity light rail lines. BART is a high capacity heavy rail system.

That's the point. A high capacity heavy rail system should have better frequencies (without interlining) then a light rail system.

From the rider's perspective, smaller, more frequent trains offer more convenience than bigger, less frequent trains.

Nouvellecosse Jan 30, 2022 2:54 PM

The term frequent means different things in different contexts. From the rider's perspective, it's also about the speed of the route and distance covered. I'd be fine waiting 15 minutes for a fast train to go 30 miles across the metro area but I'd rather just walk than wait 15 minutes for a service to go 1 mile within the nabe. In other words, I'd consider the 15 min service frequent in one case and infrequent in another. That has nothing to do with whether it's light or heavy rail though.

Crawford Jan 30, 2022 4:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9518907)
That's the point. A high capacity heavy rail system should have better frequencies (without interlining) then a light rail system.

No, a heavy capacity train usually has lower frequencies, because there's more capacity. This is especially true for commuter rail, and most of BART is functionally commuter rail. Light rail isn't commuter rail.

When a light rail line replaces a bus line, the frequency usually drops, because the light rail service usually has higher capacity.

And commuter rail service, around the planet, has lower frequencies than bus and light rail. Even A+ systems like the Paris RER have much lower frequencies than major Paris bus/light rail routes. This makes sense because you're comparing a train moving 2,000 people to a bus/light rail moving 50-100 people.

jmecklenborg Jan 31, 2022 4:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9518805)
If you take a train from Penn Station to Babylon, or a train from Grand Central to North White Plains, you'll never have a crossing. In fact for most of the main lines, you're never at grade. You're on an elevated structure, an embankment or a trench.

In the postwar decades, they converted the busiest lines to rapid transit-level infrastructure.

I don't think I've ridden a LIRR train in about 10 years, and my experience is limited to riding to/from the Islip airport from Ronkonkoma. There definitely were a few grade crossings on that line when I first rode it in the late 90s, as well as platforms that were shorter than the trains.

An extremely obscure fact is that the route and service pattern of Cincinnati Rapid Transit Loop was changed five years into construction. It was originally planned to be a true double-track loop and to have zero grade crossings, but after the buying power of the 1916 bond issue was halved by WWI inflation, in a scramble to buy property to create a line that could function, the board was forced to buy private property that would have necessitated a handful of grade crossings in this area: https://www.google.com/maps/search/o.../data=!3m1!1e3

I have the property line maps of the purchase somewhere at my house. The loop operating pattern was abandoned (at least temporarily) so that the thing would operate as a traditional line, with a station at Madison Rd. serving as the origin and terminal station of all trips, and all trains would share about 2,000 feet of track before either traveling on the western side of the loop or the eastern.

IrvineNative Feb 16, 2022 1:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9519206)
No, a heavy capacity train usually has lower frequencies, because there's more capacity. This is especially true for commuter rail, and most of BART is functionally commuter rail. Light rail isn't commuter rail.

When a light rail line replaces a bus line, the frequency usually drops, because the light rail service usually has higher capacity.

And commuter rail service, around the planet, has lower frequencies than bus and light rail. Even A+ systems like the Paris RER have much lower frequencies than major Paris bus/light rail routes. This makes sense because you're comparing a train moving 2,000 people to a bus/light rail moving 50-100 people.

The Toronto Subway has higher capacity trains than most US LRT systems. Yet the Toronto Subway has trains every 2-3 min. during peak hours vs 15 minutes for US LRT.

I agree that it's natural for commuter rail to have bigger trains and lower frequency than LRT. But subways/urban metros have bigger trains than LRT AND have higher frequencies.

The BART is a urban metro. A metro-commuter rail hybrid, I'll give you that, but still more of an urban metro, and still needs higher frequencies compared to the San Diego Trolley (especially since Downtown SF is far bigger and denser than Downtown SD).

Even compared with another US subway-commuter rail hybrid (the DC Metro) the BART has inferior frequencies, because it has only one transbay tube. The DC Metro at least has two, rather than one, crossing over the Potomac, as well as a line (the red line) that is not interlined at all with any other line, whereas all BART's lines interline with another line for at least part of their length.

nito Feb 16, 2022 1:06 PM

The biggest barrier to frequencies is the quality and type of signalling, grade separation, rolling stock acceleration and deceleration, and platform availability for turning services around. It is why you can have non-metro railways that can and do operate at higher frequencies than bus routes and light rail lines.

Many countries have been deploying the European Train Control System (ECTS) to provide automated or automated aspects on non-metro railway lines, particularly where there could be a mixture of services (e.g. rural and intercity). Such upgrades can deliver higher frequencies and faster operating speeds, at the same time as increasing safety.

mhays Feb 16, 2022 4:25 PM

Light rail can be reasonably frequent. Seattle will have three-minute frequencies in its core grade-separated section when a second line opens (pre-Covid plan at least), and six-minute frequencies for the tails.

Crawford Feb 16, 2022 4:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9538069)
The Toronto Subway has higher capacity trains than most US LRT systems. Yet the Toronto Subway has trains every 2-3 min. during peak hours vs 15 minutes for US LRT.

I don't understand your point. We're talking generalities, not extremes. And we're talking about the U.S.

In general, lower capacity transit has higher frequency. Yes, the Tokyo Metro has higher frequency than the Omaha bus. Irrelevant.

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9538069)
The BART is a urban metro.

No, it's functionally commuter rail. MUNI is the urban light metro serving SF.

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9538069)
Even compared with another US subway-commuter rail hybrid (the DC Metro) the BART has inferior frequencies, because it has only one transbay tube.

No, BART has inferior frequencies because it's lower ridership commuter rail. There's nothing preventing BART from running more trains, as only one portion crosses the bay. BART is overwhelmingly an East Bay, Oakland-centered service.

IrvineNative Feb 17, 2022 7:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 9538663)
Light rail can be reasonably frequent. Seattle will have three-minute frequencies in its core grade-separated section when a second line opens (pre-Covid plan at least), and six-minute frequencies for the tails.

Precisely. Let's not forget that Link Line 1 is similar to BART in that it is long (will go from Everett to Tacoma) and is designed as a semi-commuter service, kind of like BART.

If Link Line 1 has 6 minute headways at the tails, there is no excuse for BART branches to have 15 min headways.

mhays Feb 17, 2022 7:46 PM

But BART does have four lines on a single track, so the core section in SF proper gets frequent service. It also has longer trains than Link.

Link, btw, was utterly jam packed on some peak runs pre-Covid, to the extent that people would sometimes have to wait for the next one since we lack Tokyo-style pushers. I worry about capacity in the spoke immediately south of Downtown. The only difference will be they're now 400' (four car) trains instead of 300'.

jmecklenborg Feb 17, 2022 9:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrvineNative (Post 9540341)
Precisely. Let's not forget that Link Line 1 is similar to BART in that it is long (will go from Everett to Tacoma) and is designed as a semi-commuter service, kind of like BART.

You will not be able to do a one-seat ride from Everett to Tacoma. There will be a transfer at or near Federal Way, south of SeaTac.

jmecklenborg Feb 17, 2022 9:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9538679)
. There's nothing preventing BART from running more trains, as only one portion crosses the bay. BART is overwhelmingly an East Bay, Oakland-centered service.

What percentage of BART rides originate and stay in the East Bay?

mhays Feb 17, 2022 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmecklenborg (Post 9540675)
You will not be able to do a one-seat ride from Everett to Tacoma. There will be a transfer at or near Federal Way, south of SeaTac.

No, there will be a transfer in Downtown Seattle.

The current 1 Line will run from Tacoma to Everett based on current extensions at each end (Federal Way 2024, Lynnwood 2024) and planned extensions (Tacoma Dome 2032, Everett 2037-41).

However when they build the new line from Ballard (2037-39) to West Seattle (2032), they'll create an X with the existing line, so the Everett line goes to West Seattle and the Tacoma line to Ballard.

Tacoma has a streetcar that's also called Link and is also being expanded.

https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion

IrvineNative Feb 18, 2022 1:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 9540391)
But BART does have four lines on a single track, so the core section in SF proper gets frequent service. It also has longer trains than Link.

Link, btw, was utterly jam packed on some peak runs pre-Covid, to the extent that people would sometimes have to wait for the next one since we lack Tokyo-style pushers. I worry about capacity in the spoke immediately south of Downtown. The only difference will be they're now 400' (four car) trains instead of 300'.


Hopefully the additional frequency from interlining line 2 with line 1 will solve overcrowding.

tech12 Feb 18, 2022 1:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9538679)
No, it's functionally commuter rail. MUNI is the urban light metro serving SF.


No, BART has inferior frequencies because it's lower ridership commuter rail. There's nothing preventing BART from running more trains, as only one portion crosses the bay. BART is overwhelmingly an East Bay, Oakland-centered service.

You're wrong, as has been explained to you multiple times.

BART is a hybrid system that acts more like a traditional metro in the core of the system (SF/Oakland/Berkeley, where lines converge, there are more stations, and frequencies are good), and a commuter system out in the suburbs (just one or two stops per town, mostly for ferrying people to downtown SF, and to a lesser extent downtown Oakland or elsewhere). SF is the biggest downtown that is served by the system, by far (almost like it's the primary downtown of the entire Bay Area), and the SF section of track has the highest density of stations, and serves the most densely populated parts of the Bay Area (or any city outside of NYC). Meaning, there are a massive amount of passengers to serve that are going to and from SF. To say that BART is "overwhelmingly an East Bay, Oakland-centered service" is silly as hell.

edale Feb 18, 2022 6:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9540950)
You're wrong, as has been explained to you multiple times.

BART is a hybrid system that acts more like a traditional metro in the core of the system (SF/Oakland/Berkeley, where lines converge, there are more stations, and frequencies are good), and a commuter system out in the suburbs (just one or two stops per town, mostly for ferrying people to downtown SF, and to a lesser extent downtown Oakland or elsewhere). SF is the biggest downtown that is served by the system, by far (almost like it's the primary downtown of the entire Bay Area), and the SF section of track has the highest density of stations, and serves the most densely populated parts of the Bay Area (or any city outside of NYC). Meaning, there are a massive amount of passengers to serve that are going to and from SF. To say that BART is "overwhelmingly an East Bay, Oakland-centered service" is silly as hell.

BART serves a pretty limited section of SF, though. How many people are taking it for intra-SF trips? I have to imagine not that many, as it really just serves a single corridor. In that sense, it doesn't really function as the Metro system for the City itself. Though when you add together Muni + BART + Caltrain, SF has a pretty robust transit system.

Crawford Feb 18, 2022 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tech12 (Post 9540950)
You're wrong, as has been explained to you multiple times.

Wrong again.

BART is a primarily suburban, Oakland-centered system. The vast majority of stations, route miles, infrastructure and ridership originates from the East Bay. It's headquartered in Oakland. BART has only one line with a few stations serving SF. There's nothing preventing BART from running more trains. The capacity exists. But it doesn't, bc it's a functionally commuter rail system, not an urban rail system. There is no need to run trains every 2 minutes between Hayward and Fremont. The ridership is overwhelming peak travel and home-work oriented, like almost all commuter rail lines.

In contrast, MUNI is an urban system, centered on downtown SF, serving high frequencies, and with heavy off-peak service, and not necessarily for work commutes. It's usage mirrors that of other urban transit systems.

Big difference in system functionality.

jmecklenborg Feb 18, 2022 6:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mhays (Post 9540703)
No, there will be a transfer in Downtown Seattle.

Interesting. That transfer (probably at Federal Way) definitely was part of the plan at some point, but I haven't done any reading on Seattle's expansion plans in several years. The line numbering must also be relatively new since I don't remember that.

mhays Feb 18, 2022 9:04 PM

You're mixing up projects. There was never a transfer in Federal Way. It's just where the 1 Line will temporarily terminate.


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:23 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.