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BTW, in case you hadn't heard, downtown Toronto's population grew 300,000 since 2000. Yep, just downtown....

 

That is an amazing statement!

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Why force a transfer? Why not extend the #7 train??

 

Streetsblog New York ‏@StreetsblogNYC  4m4 minutes ago

Cuomo proposes AirTrain from Willets Point subway/LIRR to LGA. Also proposes Personal Rapid Transit for circulation at airport.

 

Dana Rubinstein ‏@danarubinstein  5m5 minutes ago

Governor Cuomo plans to build a 1.5-mile Air Train along Grand Central Parkway connecting LaGuardia to the 7 train and LIRR, he just said

 

Dana Rubinstein ‏@danarubinstein  34m34 minutes ago

The new AirTrain to LaGuardia will cost roughly $450 million and take about five years to build, according to administration

____________

 

Yonah Freemark ‏@yfreemark  20m20 minutes ago

I am fine with the idea of an AirTrain connection to LaGuardia, but linking it to Willets Point will not make for a fast Manhattan-LGA link

 

Yonah Freemark ‏@yfreemark  20m20 minutes ago

It makes so much more sense to run an AirTrain along Grand Central and BQE to Jackson Heights/Woodside

 

Yonah Freemark ‏@yfreemark  19m19 minutes ago

At Jackson Heights, there are more subway services (notably, the Queens Blvd lines), LIRR, and it's much closer to Manhattan!


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Also they could extend the N or Q from Astoria Blvd, along the parkway, to the airport.

 

Edit: It's probably some kind of funding thing though. AirTrain (also the airports and PATH) is funded by the Port Authority of NY & NJ, while the subway is the MTA.

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^ thats exactly it otherwise yes for sure extending the astoria trains would make the best sense and would not be too disruptive to do.

 

the 7 train or any of the other lines have nothing to do with the airport.

 

actually since the airtrain is a given, willets is the best and cheapest way to do it. its also by far the least disruptive.

 

so this is how its done in the ny metro. you dont getta ride straight into the terminal you have to switch to the airtrains. thanks pa!

 

i have to say i was a little surprized by this though because there are also plans to totally move and rebuild all of laguardia's terminals and i think most people assumed a rail link would need to wait for that to be done or at least for those plans to be further along (in other words, it would never be done). but the practically lawless bi-state port authority can do whatever the hell it wants to do, so there it is.

 

personally i never cared. unlike newark or jfk i just take the train and bus to laguardia. or train and cab. or more often just a cab the whole way. its much easier to get in and out of than the other two airports as it is. i think local airport transit improvement $ money would be better spent on a metro-north rail link to stewart because then they could eventually expand stewart and close laguardia.

 

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Why force a transfer? Why not extend the #7 train??

 

I lived in NYC when the AirTrain went into Kennedy.  There was a lot of discussion at the time about how stupid it was that you had to change trains from a normal subway train to a special Port Authority train to go to the airport.  And of course, it is stupid -- the A train runs within spitting distance of the airport, and it would be trivial to make it go straight to Kennedy.  After all, just about every city in Europe of any reasonable size runs a normal subway train to the city's airport.

 

The problem is that the Port Authority (which controls the airports) doesn't want the MTA to run an airport train the Port Authority can't control.  There are two reasons for this, as I recall:

 

1.  The normal, bone-headed, bureaucratic imperative for the PA to control everything within its domain.  Yes, this is a motive straight out of the worst of the Soviet Union's system of governance.  However, to change it requires courageous leadership at the level of the governors of both NY and NJ to force the PA to do something sensible.  Good luck with that! 

 

2.  The PA wants to make sure the kind of lowlives who lurk in NYC's subways are kept away from the airport so they don't intimidate or offend airport customers.  That's why the special Air Train costs more than a normal subway fare, and it's a separate system.  This reason debatable, and I certainly don't want to defend it, but it does resonate with a sizable number of people, for better or worse.  And I'm pretty sure it resonates with the type of people who make decisions at the PA.

 

So that's why the PA will build a separate train to take passengers to LaGuardia, and not use the #7 (or extend the N, which might also make sense).

 

Stuart

 

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If anyone has read the book "The Power Broker" about Robert Moses, it explains all of this perfectly. A lot of insight about how those public authorities, particularly the Port Authority and the former Triburough Bridge & Tunnel Authority (now part of the MTA) grew to be so powerful. They really can do practically whatever they want, based on how the original corporate charters were written, their pull with investors who love their bonds and have influence over politicians, and due to stipulations they work into their debt covenants which are inalterable by law.

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Interesting. I knew there was a reason why I prefer to take Amtrak into NYC.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Why force a transfer? Why not extend the #7 train??

 

I lived in NYC when the AirTrain went into Kennedy.  There was a lot of discussion at the time about how stupid it was that you had to change trains from a normal subway train to a special Port Authority train to go to the airport.  And of course, it is stupid -- the A train runs within spitting distance of the airport, and it would be trivial to make it go straight to Kennedy.  After all, just about every city in Europe of any reasonable size runs a normal subway train to the city's airport.

 

The problem is that the Port Authority (which controls the airports) doesn't want the MTA to run an airport train the Port Authority can't control.  There are two reasons for this, as I recall:

 

1.  The normal, bone-headed, bureaucratic imperative for the PA to control everything within its domain.  Yes, this is a motive straight out of the worst of the Soviet Union's system of governance.  However, to change it requires courageous leadership at the level of the governors of both NY and NJ to force the PA to do something sensible.  Good luck with that! 

 

2.  The PA wants to make sure the kind of lowlives who lurk in NYC's subways are kept away from the airport so they don't intimidate or offend airport customers.  That's why the special Air Train costs more than a normal subway fare, and it's a separate system.  This reason debatable, and I certainly don't want to defend it, but it does resonate with a sizable number of people, for better or worse.  And I'm pretty sure it resonates with the type of people who make decisions at the PA.

 

So that's why the PA will build a separate train to take passengers to LaGuardia, and not use the #7 (or extend the N, which might also make sense).

 

Stuart

 

 

 

perhaps to their credit, if there can be any, is that both reasons are not looking so totally mullet-headed given "the tehr" and security concerns. yet even that is a fail because city busses, etc etc vehicles go to the airports, so whats the difference? too quick and easy to get in and out by a direct subway link perhaps? i dk. the whole airtrain thing is just a silly and expensive lack of cooperation, but thats what it is and what its to be.

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...yet even that is a fail because city busses, etc etc vehicles go to the airports, so whats the difference?

 

This is very true.  However, I believe there is a difference between the slow bus and the fast subway in the minds of everybody, skells included.  Besides the time factor (i.e. bus=slow, subway=fast) It's a psychological barrier surely, but perhaps it's real enough to dissuade the wrong people from going to the airport to hang out. 

 

(Indeed, I took the city bus to LaGuardia once or perhaps twice, but after that I gave up and switched to cabs.  The bus is simply too slow to offset the low price.)

 

Also, don't know exactly why, but in my experience it's rare to find skells hanging out on busses, but not so rare to find them lurking in subway stations and on the train.  Maybe because the bus driver is close by, so there's no anonymity?  That is, the presence of a driver makes the bus feel more like a supervised environment?  I dunno....

 

Finally, when I left in NYC the subway was around $1.25 (or maybe $1.50) and the AirTrain was maybe $5.00.  I just checked the AirTrain website, and the price is now $7.50.  For a business traveler that's not a big hit in the wallet, but for a wandering homeless person that may present a steep enough barrier to entry to discourage them from going to the airport to while away the day.

 

Most European cities don't have the same lowlife problem we have, so they feel more comfortable running the subway to the airport.  (But check out the population of skells hanging around the train stations in larger European cities.)  Also, their public agencies work together.  The Port Authority of NY/NJ is well known for being an island unto itself. 

 

Stuart

 

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this 'skells' thing... am I the only one who finds that to be a ludicrous excuse. In my numerous visits to NYC, I never noticed excessive numbers of homeless in the subway. Nor did any other vagrants pose any serious concern.

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I suspect the apparent lack of ambition to build any one-seat transit rides to NYC airports has a lot more to do with the insane cost than anything else.

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It's goofy institutional barriers by a control-freak agency which complicates transit access in the otherwise most transit-friend city in the country. Great for the port authority. Very sad for everyone else. Makes me want to boycott NYC-area airports just on principle.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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no, very sad is no rail link. transferring to the airtrains is not a big deal.

 

i dk if this will even actually get built anytime soon. i would think they need to settle on the plan to rebuild the terminals first.

 

beyond the future airport rebuild, which is supposed to move all the terminals more to the east end, there is also more method to the pa's madness of current site choice here, at least potentially when looking further down the road. that road being the van wyck.

 

so with all this work to be done at modernizing laguardia and linking it by rail, that's why i still say ideally they should focus on trying to build up stewart instead and eventually just close it (the pa has had control of stewart since 2008).

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American mass transit is dying

Three of the four largest systems in the country have been crippled this winter — and the worst is yet to come

 

"We’ve learned to expect such things from our ancient and perennially underfunded subway. But the slow decline of its infrastructure doesn’t explain the MTA’s obscurantist approach to its own shortcomings. When things go wrong, the agency never effectively communicates the scope of the problem, leaving commuters to guess their best route home — or whether they should remain in the subway at all or try their luck above ground."

 

Sound familiar???

 

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/01/american_mass_transit_is_dying/

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Like I've said, winter weather exposes weaknesses. Doesn't mean it's dying anymore than crumbling roads and bridges means they're dying. But these are all wake-up calls.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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APTA @APTA_info  ·  2h 2 hours ago

Record 10.8 billion trips taken on U.S. public transportation In 2014 -the highest transit ridership in 58 years.

http://bit.ly/1AaiahZ

 

All Aboard Ohio @AllAboardOhio  ·  8h 8 hours ago

USA highest transit ridership in 58 years! http://www.apta.com/mediacenter/pressreleases/2015/Pages/150309_Ridership.aspx

Columbus, Canton among systems with record ridership @COTABus @SARTAonline

 

Scott Bogren ‏@CTMag1  1h1 hour ago

Commuters Take Train More Even as Gasoline Prices Drop

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-09/commuters-take-train-more-even-as-gasoline-prices-drop

 

All Aboard Ohio @AllAboardOhio  ·  8h 8 hours ago

Even as gas prices fall, USA transit use keeps rising to highest since Congress OK'd Interstate highways in 1956. Points to cultural shift.

 

The Hill Transport ‏@hilltransport  25m25 minutes ago

Transit group touts 10.8B rides in 2014 http://bit.ly/1F2YsdB

 

Yonah Freemark ‏@yfreemark  11m11 minutes ago

NYC thus continues to power national transit growth. That said, apparently BOS, DEN, Minneapolis, SF, SLC, SEA saw record ridership too

 

Peter Varga ‏@PeterVarga_  45m45 minutes ago

73% of the jobs in public transport in US are in the private sector @APTA_CEO @APTA_info @FTA_DOT @MassTransitmag @USChamber


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I followed the link to the article, over 50% of the authors citations were his own articles.

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:-)

I just found this program on NHK World on Demand. It shows the latest in this diesel hybrib passenger trains in Japan. Simple explanation on how this system works. We could surely use them here for commuter rail. What do you think?

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A big blow was dealt to Baltimore today as Gov. Hogan axed the proposed Red Line. Not all was bad news though, the Purple Line in suburban DC is still moving forward

 

 

Hogan says no to Red Line, yes to Purple

 

By Michael Dresser and Luke Broadwater

The Baltimore Sun

 

Dashing Baltimore's hopes for a long-anticipated east-west light rail line to improve its transit network, Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he will not build the $2.9 billion Red Line across the city.

 

"We are not opposed to public transportation. We are opposed to wasteful boondoggles," the governor said. "The Red Line as currently proposed is not the best way to bring jobs and opportunity to the city."

 

But Hogan, making his first public appearance since announcing Monday that he has cancer, offered mass-transit advocates a limited victory by giving conditional approval to construction of a slimmed-down version of the Purple Line light rail project in the Washington suburbs. He said the state would reduce its up-front share of construction costs from almost $700 million to $168 million, while requiring Prince George's and Montgomery counties to shoulder more of the burden.

 

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-hogan-transportation-20150624-story.html

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So he can pour more money into more roads they don't need as VMTs fall in Maryland, that many Baltimore citizens can't afford to use, and the government can't afford to maintain.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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So he can pour more money into more roads they don't need as VMTs fall in Maryland, that many Baltimore citizens can't afford to use, and the government can't afford to maintain.

 

"The governor announced $2 billion in highway spending, $1.35 billion of it new, as part of a long-range plan to give the state road system 57 percent of the transportation pie rather than the 45 percent share it received under Gov. Martin O'Malley. Hogan said he was keeping the promise he made to Maryland voters to make the state's roads his No. 1 priority."

 

:roll:

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^^ Typical Republican move: anti-urban, anti-transit, pro-rural interests. 

 

10 years of hard, tedious work (and $millions spent) by Baltimore leaders and transit officials to conceive and get federal funding for this excellent job & growth -creating Red Line project right down the toilet.  I take no comfort in realizing that the same Cave-Man GOP mentality infests and inflicts Ohio and has killed worthwhile rail projects (3-Cs Amtrak, Cincy's MetroMoves, Cleveland-Akron-Canton commuter rail, etc)  and starved transit systems throughout the state.  I'd just thought Maryland, which is one of the best railroad/rail transit states in the nation, would be better than this, ... and that's what's truly disturbing and disgusting. ... And this canned Republican: 'let's fix the roads spiel is total horse-sh*t and a ruse, because Republicans are the biggest infrastructure repair enemies on the planet; a bunch of phonies.

 

... a very dark day for Baltimore ... and all the rest of us who really care about cities.

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^^ Typical Republican move: anti-urban, anti-transit, pro-rural interests. 

 

10 years of hard, tedious work (and $millions spent) by Baltimore leaders and transit officials to conceive and get federal funding for this excellent job & growth -creating Red Line project right down the toilet.  I take no comfort in realizing that the same Cave-Man GOP mentality infests and inflicts Ohio and has killed worthwhile rail projects (3-Cs Amtrak, Cincy's MetroMoves, Cleveland-Akron-Canton commuter rail, etc)  and starved transit systems throughout the state.  I'd just thought Maryland, which is one of the best railroad/rail transit states in the nation, would be better than this, ... and that's what's truly disturbing and disgusting. ... And this canned Republican: 'let's fix the roads spiel is total horse-sh*t and a ruse, because Republicans are the biggest infrastructure repair enemies on the planet; a bunch of phonies.

 

... a very dark day for Baltimore ... and all the rest of us who really care about cities.

 

I hope environmental organizations file lawsuits under the Clean Air Act against many of these new road capacity projects. It's time to go to DEFCON1 against those who seek to force everyone to drive or who sentence to house arrest those who don't.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Los Angeles Eyes a More Frequent Bus Network for No New Cost

The tradeoffs would include more crowded buses and some service cuts.

ERIC JAFFE @e_jaffe 1:21 PM ET

 

The big trend in U.S. transit bus service is to do more with less—or, in some senses, to do something different with the same. So we see cities like Houston and Omaha redesigning their bus systems, at zero additional cost, into networks that cover less territory than before but that run more frequently where they do go. That crowd may soon get a high-profile new face: Los Angeles.

 

At least that’s the service direction indicated by a series of recent documents posted online by L.A. Metro’s Blue Ribbon Committee, a panel tasked with suggesting a new transit vision for the city. Over the course of five meetings dating back to February, the committee has drafted a service plan that centers around an expanded network of frequent bus—those running at least every 15 minutes. Here’s the proposed map (spotted by Human Transit), with proposed expansions in red and purple:

 

MORE:

http://www.citylab.com/cityfixer/2015/07/los-angeles-eyes-a-better-bus-network-for-no-new-cost/397988/

 

c46c42858.jpg


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Well, I'll tell you, the BRT doesn't exist there except for that dedicated road one in the valley and on the freeways.  Otherwise, no bus on Wilshire is going to be "rapid" by any stretch.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Well, I'll tell you, the BRT doesn't exist there except for that dedicated road one in the valley and on the freeways.  Otherwise, no bus on Wilshire is going to be "rapid" by any stretch.

 

It's not based solely on existing service/infrastructure. It's also based on what's planned. Thus...

 

http://www.metro.net/projects/wilshire/


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I'm skeptical but we'll see.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I'm pretty sure they'll build it. LA has a better record of building transit than we do in Ohio. The Purple Line is now being extended below Wilshire to Westwood near UCLA. And the Wilshire BRT will be in the outer, less-heavily traveled portion to feed the Purple Line.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I'm pretty sure they'll build it. LA has a better record of building transit than we do in Ohio. The Purple Line is now being extended below Wilshire to Westwood near UCLA. And the Wilshire BRT will be in the outer, less-heavily traveled portion to feed the Purple Line.

 

... not to mention that the Expo Line (LRT) is currently being extended to the Sea (Santa Monica). 

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Friday, July 17, 2015

LRT beats BRT on key metrics: FTA

Written by Lyndon Henry

 

For several decades, U.S. proponents of “bus rapid transit” (so-called BRT) have waged a veritable war against light rail transit (LRT), relying particularly on a claim that BRT is “just like light rail, but cheaper.”

 

LRT defenders have responded with data-based evidence, of which some of the strongest has been the operating and maintenance (O&M) data reported by transit agencies and published annually in the National Transit Database (NTD) of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Consistently, this has shown LRT systems averaging significantly lower in unit O&M costs compared to urban bus services. However, past NTD reports have consolidated BRT with “regular” bus performance data, leading bus partisans to argue that BRT’s supposed O&M cost advantages were being obscured in the big all-bus mix.

 

Actually, in 2012 FTA began separately reporting BRT whenever it was separately provided by the reporting agencies. By 2013, a total of seven agencies were separately reporting their BRT data—enough to facilitate an analytical comparison of average costs between LRT and BRT.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/blogs/lyndon-henry/lrt-beats-brt-on-key-metrics-fta.html


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Friday, July 17, 2015

LRT beats BRT on key metrics: FTA

Written by Lyndon Henry

 

For several decades, U.S. proponents of “bus rapid transit” (so-called BRT) have waged a veritable war against light rail transit (LRT), relying particularly on a claim that BRT is “just like light rail, but cheaper.”

 

LRT defenders have responded with data-based evidence, of which some of the strongest has been the operating and maintenance (O&M) data reported by transit agencies and published annually in the National Transit Database (NTD) of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Consistently, this has shown LRT systems averaging significantly lower in unit O&M costs compared to urban bus services. However, past NTD reports have consolidated BRT with “regular” bus performance data, leading bus partisans to argue that BRT’s supposed O&M cost advantages were being obscured in the big all-bus mix.

 

Actually, in 2012 FTA began separately reporting BRT whenever it was separately provided by the reporting agencies. By 2013, a total of seven agencies were separately reporting their BRT data—enough to facilitate an analytical comparison of average costs between LRT and BRT.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/blogs/lyndon-henry/lrt-beats-brt-on-key-metrics-fta.html

 

Well, I've been pleasantly surprised to see the HealthLine become more successful by most measures than I expected it would be, particularly given that it still suffers from inadequate signal prioritization and a few other nagging issues.  And looking back on it, I think it was the right decision (even though I hoped for light rail in the beginning).  We were never going to get more light rail in the short to medium term; it was simply too expensive.  It was either this or nothing.  And I'm glad we have this.

 

The obvious limiting factor with regard to BRT is capacity.  Not really a problem for us today, but I continue to hold out hope that U.S. cities including ours will rebound eventually, and if the density of population and employment along the Euclid Ave. corridor were to increase sufficiently, we could find ourselves struggling with this same issue again.  Rail projects typically take a very long time to build.  As an admittedly pathological, but instructive example:  the 2nd Ave. line in NYC, the need for which has been known for nearly a century, and is only now being built, while the Lexington Ave. line struggles to carry more traffic than the combined volume of the entire Washington Metro system.  If there is ever to be rail, it will likely require years, perhaps decades, to gather the necessary funding and political will to make it happen.  We will not have the luxury of waiting until the need is already upon us.  We'll have to anticipate and plan for it well in advance, which of course runs the risk that density, demand, etc. could shrink again and leave us with what some might deride as yet another "rail line to nowhere."  It's a tough call, well beyond my pay grade.  But I'm guessing that, at some point within the next generation or two, someone is going to have to make it. 

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Friday, July 17, 2015

LRT beats BRT on key metrics: FTA

Written by Lyndon Henry

 

For several decades, U.S. proponents of “bus rapid transit” (so-called BRT) have waged a veritable war against light rail transit (LRT), relying particularly on a claim that BRT is “just like light rail, but cheaper.”

 

LRT defenders have responded with data-based evidence, of which some of the strongest has been the operating and maintenance (O&M) data reported by transit agencies and published annually in the National Transit Database (NTD) of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Consistently, this has shown LRT systems averaging significantly lower in unit O&M costs compared to urban bus services. However, past NTD reports have consolidated BRT with “regular” bus performance data, leading bus partisans to argue that BRT’s supposed O&M cost advantages were being obscured in the big all-bus mix.

 

Actually, in 2012 FTA began separately reporting BRT whenever it was separately provided by the reporting agencies. By 2013, a total of seven agencies were separately reporting their BRT data—enough to facilitate an analytical comparison of average costs between LRT and BRT.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/blogs/lyndon-henry/lrt-beats-brt-on-key-metrics-fta.html

 

Well, I've been pleasantly surprised to see the HealthLine become more successful by most measures than I expected it would be, particularly given that it still suffers from inadequate signal prioritization and a few other nagging issues.  And looking back on it, I think it was the right decision (even though I hoped for light rail in the beginning).  We were never going to get more light rail in the short to medium term; it was simply too expensive.  It was either this or nothing.  And I'm glad we have this.

 

The obvious limiting factor with regard to BRT is capacity.  Not really a problem for us today, but I continue to hold out hope that U.S. cities including ours will rebound eventually, and if the density of population and employment along the Euclid Ave. corridor were to increase sufficiently, we could find ourselves struggling with this same issue again.  Rail projects typically take a very long time to build.  As an admittedly pathological, but instructive example:  the 2nd Ave. line in NYC, the need for which has been known for nearly a century, and is only now being built, while the Lexington Ave. line struggles to carry more traffic than the combined volume of the entire Washington Metro system.  If there is ever to be rail, it will likely require years, perhaps decades, to gather the necessary funding and political will to make it happen.  We will not have the luxury of waiting until the need is already upon us.  We'll have to anticipate and plan for it well in advance, which of course runs the risk that density, demand, etc. could shrink again and leave us with what some might deride as yet another "rail line to nowhere."  It's a tough call, well beyond my pay grade.  But I'm guessing that, at some point within the next generation or two, someone is going to have to make it. 

 

This sounds defeatist. Sure building rail is difficult and expensive, but that's not a reason to reject it out of hand when rail is the best solution for rebuilding your city, creating jobs and high-density Smart Growth.  Yes executing rail transit construction is a long and tedious process.  But that's not a reason not to do it.  Conservatives like to harp on bad transit examples to negative future transit development.  Just because New York's 2nd Avenue subway has been a long, drawn out and poorly executed project covering decades, doesn't mean that all rail transit development isn't worthwhile.  (and I'm sure once the 2nd Ave line is built, it will have a huge positive impact on the section of Manhattan that it will serve)  Heavy rail subway construction is difficult, no doubt, and New York's plan is to build a long HRT through a heavily built up area in 21st Century New York is not nearly as easy as building elevated and subway lines in a turn of the 20th century New York of 3.5 million and a lot of undeveloped rural property in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens.  In Washington, its taken a lot of hard planning, negotiation, construction and, yes, gazillions of dollar to build the DC Metro, but can anybody say it wasn't worth it?

 

The Health Line is an improvement over the No. 6 bus it replaced, but it's not what it could have been had it been rail, as the article KJP highlighted above.  The article highlights what we (really) already know.  BRT systems like the HL are more similar to the buses they replace: that is, they are for short hop trips; and those relying on them for longer end-to-end type commutes, tend to be frustrated.  We've heard the horror stories about slow the HL is from downtown to University Circle where the Red Line is twice as fast even though it does not give the door-to-door service the HL does (although the new UC-Little Italy will given the Red Line a much stronger hand)... LRT and HRT are used (and relied upon for much longer trips than BRT, which is the ultimate bus operation.  Had the Dual Hub project been built as even light rail, it's impact on travel and high-density development in the Euclid corridor would be much more pronounced than with the HL.  Maybe LRT someday will replace the HL; we can only hope...

 

I'm just glad to see some well researched studies that disprove the bromide that BRT is just the same as Light Rail only cheaper.

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Friday, July 17, 2015

LRT beats BRT on key metrics: FTA

Written by Lyndon Henry

 

For several decades, U.S. proponents of “bus rapid transit” (so-called BRT) have waged a veritable war against light rail transit (LRT), relying particularly on a claim that BRT is “just like light rail, but cheaper.”

 

LRT defenders have responded with data-based evidence, of which some of the strongest has been the operating and maintenance (O&M) data reported by transit agencies and published annually in the National Transit Database (NTD) of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Consistently, this has shown LRT systems averaging significantly lower in unit O&M costs compared to urban bus services. However, past NTD reports have consolidated BRT with “regular” bus performance data, leading bus partisans to argue that BRT’s supposed O&M cost advantages were being obscured in the big all-bus mix.

 

Actually, in 2012 FTA began separately reporting BRT whenever it was separately provided by the reporting agencies. By 2013, a total of seven agencies were separately reporting their BRT data—enough to facilitate an analytical comparison of average costs between LRT and BRT.

 

READ MORE AT:

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/blogs/lyndon-henry/lrt-beats-brt-on-key-metrics-fta.html

 

Well, I've been pleasantly surprised to see the HealthLine become more successful by most measures than I expected it would be, particularly given that it still suffers from inadequate signal prioritization and a few other nagging issues.  And looking back on it, I think it was the right decision (even though I hoped for light rail in the beginning).  We were never going to get more light rail in the short to medium term; it was simply too expensive.  It was either this or nothing.  And I'm glad we have this.

 

The obvious limiting factor with regard to BRT is capacity.  Not really a problem for us today, but I continue to hold out hope that U.S. cities including ours will rebound eventually, and if the density of population and employment along the Euclid Ave. corridor were to increase sufficiently, we could find ourselves struggling with this same issue again.  Rail projects typically take a very long time to build.  As an admittedly pathological, but instructive example:  the 2nd Ave. line in NYC, the need for which has been known for nearly a century, and is only now being built, while the Lexington Ave. line struggles to carry more traffic than the combined volume of the entire Washington Metro system.  If there is ever to be rail, it will likely require years, perhaps decades, to gather the necessary funding and political will to make it happen.  We will not have the luxury of waiting until the need is already upon us.  We'll have to anticipate and plan for it well in advance, which of course runs the risk that density, demand, etc. could shrink again and leave us with what some might deride as yet another "rail line to nowhere."  It's a tough call, well beyond my pay grade.  But I'm guessing that, at some point within the next generation or two, someone is going to have to make it. 

 

This sounds defeatist. Sure building rail is difficult and expensive, but that's not a reason to reject it out of hand when rail is the best solution for rebuilding your city, creating jobs and high-density Smart Growth.  Yes executing rail transit construction is a long and tedious process.  But that's not a reason not to do it.  Conservatives like to harp on bad transit examples to negative future transit development.  Just because New York's 2nd Avenue subway has been a long, drawn out and poorly executed project covering decades, doesn't mean that all rail transit development isn't worthwhile.  (and I'm sure once the 2nd Ave line is built, it will have a huge positive impact on the section of Manhattan that it will serve)  Heavy rail subway construction is difficult, no doubt, and New York's plan is to build a long HRT through a heavily built up area in 21st Century New York is not nearly as easy as building elevated and subway lines in a turn of the 20th century New York of 3.5 million and a lot of undeveloped rural property in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens.  In Washington, its taken a lot of hard planning, negotiation, construction and, yes, gazillions of dollar to build the DC Metro, but can anybody say it wasn't worth it?

 

The Health Line is an improvement over the No. 6 bus it replaced, but it's not what it could have been had it been rail, as the article KJP highlighted above.  The article highlights what we (really) already know.  BRT systems like the HL are more similar to the buses they replace: that is, they are for short hop trips; and those relying on them for longer end-to-end type commutes, tend to be frustrated.  We've heard the horror stories about slow the HL is from downtown to University Circle where the Red Line is twice as fast even though it does not give the door-to-door service the HL does (although the new UC-Little Italy will given the Red Line a much stronger hand)... LRT and HRT are used (and relied upon for much longer trips than BRT, which is the ultimate bus operation.  Had the Dual Hub project been built as even light rail, it's impact on travel and high-density development in the Euclid corridor would be much more pronounced than with the HL.  Maybe LRT someday will replace the HL; we can only hope...

 

I'm just glad to see some well researched studies that disprove the bromide that BRT is just the same as Light Rail only cheaper.

 

I'm not sure where you're getting the defeatism here.  Part of my point is that BRT appears to be good enough for now but that the Euclid Corridor is one of the few that actually may be able to support something better in the future.  And that we should look into this, sooner rather than later, so we don't get caught missing what might be a very narrow window of opportunity to build when it appears.

 

I don't buy into the notion that rail will automatically transform low-density corridors into higher-density ones. Not automatically.  Two main reasons:  (a) zoning; (b) the need to remediate brownfields.  We can't repeat the results of the Van Sweringens, because the conditions from which they benefited do not exist at present.  So how do we fix that?  Hint: zoning laws can be changed, if there is political will; suburban sprawl can be halted and even reversed if the conditions that caused it are eliminated; a common-sense approach to environmental problems can achieve much more than the way things are done now, and can (and does in many other countries) allow for reclamation and redevelopment of former brownfields in a safe and cost-effective fashion.  Now, again, that is not defeatism.  It's the kind of realism that you need if you want to make progress.

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Mass Transit ‏@MassTransitmag  7m7 minutes ago

#Metro's Dreary, Dangerous Rosa Parks Station to Get a Major Makeover http://MassTransitmag.com/12095724


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Want to see if buses in your city are getting slower? We have an app for that. http://t.co/epK4n0OzR8 http://t.co/e2QwU6xiy0


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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They paid consultants, so they at least spent one dime....

 

Smart Growth Online ‏@smartgrowthorg  17m17 minutes ago

How did Houston revamp its bus network without spending a dime?

http://smartgrowth.org/houston-just-dramatically-improved-its-mass-transit-system-without-spending-a-dime/

 

CM8UFO4WEAAd1y9.jpg:large


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Minneapolis fare cards can now be used for both transit and car sharing, first in the US  http://t.co/nZpw3bcyFz


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Minneapolis fare cards can now be used for both transit and car sharing, first in the US  http://t.co/nZpw3bcyFz

 

Maybe one day we'll get a smart card for our transit system and our city will get a car sharing system, then in about 20 years we might be able to join the Twin Cities with this

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:wtf:

:wtf:

To the above 3 posts: Why can't RTA get a remade route map?

 

Post it in the Cleveland RTA thread.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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City Observatory ‏@CityObs  39m39 minutes ago

Are bus operations costs growing unsustainably around the country? http://cityobservatory.org/is-wmatas-transit-cost-problem-a-national-issue/ … @ggwash @humantransit pic.twitter.com/AXSizdi5a3

 

CPCU0vsWIAAtQWb.png:large


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Indy says hello to rapid transit

 

By VICTORIA T. DAVIS

@Victoria08Davis | 0 comments

 

Within the next two years, Indianapolis will have the first fully-electric bus rapid transit system in the U.S. according to IndyGo. What will be known as the Red Line will be constructed in three separate phases, spanning 13 miles, with the first phase set for completion in 2018.

 

The first phase will begin at 66th street and College Avenue in Broad Ripple, travel through the new Downtown Transit Center, set to open this fall, and on to the University of Indianapolis (Ulndy). Phase two will pick up in Broad Ripple and travel through Carmel and Westfield. Phase three will extend the system from Ulndy to Greenwood.

 

http://www.indianapolisrecorder.com/article_fb5fb69a-32d7-563e-95c4-a0d3266728a1.html

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VERY non-Ohio! Thought this was a cool project...

 

Dublin Metro North and DART expansion revived under Ireland's €27bn capital plan http://t.co/W42hKVxcwV http://t.co/Vvvj3vuL6r


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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A city’s immovable roadblock

 

Nashville’s ambitious new bus line seemed to have a green light — until the GOP-led Legislature, with help from the Koch brothers, stepped in.

 

By Michael Kranish GLOBE STAFF  OCTOBER 10, 2015

 

NASHVILLE — Karl Dean, a Democrat in his second term as this city’s mayor, had a few minutes to tell President Obama about his dream: building a “trackless trolley” line that would connect Nashville’s gentrifying east side with its ritzy west. He had spent years submitting applications for a $75 million grant, and he made sure the president knew about it.

 

Two months after that January 2014 meeting in Nashville, the dream seemed to be coming true. The White House announced that money for Dean’s project was in the president’s budget.

 

 

Unbeknownst to Dean, however, an extraordinary coalition was at work behind the scenes to take away the money before the check could be written. The local leader of a group created by the conservative Koch brothers helped write a bill that was introduced in the Tennessee Legislature by a sympathetic Republican lawmaker and that was designed to kill the project.

 

“I’m not used to having the state come in and try to crush us,” Dean said in an interview last month, on his last full day in office.

 

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/10/10/nashville-mayor-wanted-bring-two-parts-his-city-together-then-was-crushed-state-legislators/QT91unb8xk4xPBqkTumgMP/story.html

 

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/10/10/nashville-mayor-wanted-bring-two-parts-his-city-together-then-was-crushed-state-legislators/QT91unb8xk4xPBqkTumgMP/story.html

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Yet another reason why cities should not focus on BRT as the main part of their public transportation system. The anti-transit forces will still oppose it because it's transit.

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