Saturday, December 29, 2007
News Coverage of the event...
San Diego Union Tribune
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Virginia Beach wants a $15 million grant from the Virginia Department of Transportation to help pay for the rail line that runs between Newtown and Birdneck roads if an agreement to sell it is ever reached.
The track is owned by Norfolk Southern Corp. and is considered the logical extension of Norfolk’s light rail project, which began construction this month with utility work at Harbor Park.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
When I was at the Bellview Station in Denver a few months ago I snapped this photo. Would have been cool if I got an LRV to shadow the sun...perhaps next time. Also, Richard Layman mentioned the Siemens Combino Ultra in a recent post about streetcar vehicles. Here is a photo you all have probably already seen of the Combino Supra in Budapest I took while I was there in October.
Monday, December 17, 2007
So after a year's worth of ridership data, Charlotte planners will be able to use the bias that they weren't able to use on the first line, which if the FTA used current regulations, wouldn't even have been built. Charlotte got a medium low on their cost effectiveness rating, which now the FTA says you must have a medium to even get into Preliminary Engineering. But guess what they use to calculate cost effectiveness? Ridership! Which seems to be behind recently; Houston, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Denver have all opened lines recently and have had much higher ridership than predicted. So higher numbers lead to better CE measures, but new lines aren't allowed the bias. Does this mean that new lines aren't afforded the right numbers? Ask the folks in Columbus Ohio. Early indications say that ridership in Charlotte will be exceeded. 9,000 riders were expected and so far daily numbers have been around 12,000. I expect it will die down a little but as more development on the South Corridor comes online, more ridership will be added. What this tells me is that more cities are going to get the short end of the New Starts stick. Is anyone else ready for a new administration that cares about urban issues?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
This would be the first modern application of the Rapid Streetcar idea. It would connect to the City of Lake Oswego to the South Waterfront Streetcar while using the same vehicles.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Also, there was an article in the New York Times on how the Rangers take the subway to work while the Knicks park their cars wherever they want. Streetsblog has the coverage in the link above.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
South Lake Union Streetcar Opens
Seattle Transit Blog
Orphan Road Overlords
Orphan Road Opens
New Viaduct News
Carless in Seattle
Seattle Transit Blog
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
So now I had to get to the acupuncturist in Montclaire. I left an hour before the appointment as the 59 comes every hour from Lake Merritt BART. I sat in the back of a 30 foot VanHool bus and watched the really nice houses pass by on the hills. It was actually a nice ride if not a little bumpy. But there was a catch. My appointment was going to be over at 5 but the last 59 went to the Rockridge BART at 4:15 or so. Not good. So I had to figure out a way back. Well where the 59 dropped off the 18 picked up and I was lucky enough that it ran every 15 minutes into the evening. So when I was done at 5 I hopped on the 18 and traveled on the other side of the hill from the 59. It took me to the 12th Street BART station and I hopped on the 24th street and mission turn around train to go home since I wouldn't be going to my Gramma's house.
I was thinking a bit negatively that there wasn't a 59 but my roommate pointed out that we are lucky to live in a fairly transit friendly place in the bay area and the fact that there was an 18 at all was good. It was still at 15 minute headways so yes, that was pretty good. I imagine that if I were in Houston or somewhere else this wouldn't have worked. So my car died, but i knew that I could depend on transit to get me where I needed to go. It took a little more time, but I got to watch the world go by instead of having to slog through traffic.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
The FTA's motives for withdrawing its approval after earlier approving the planned conversion to rail are unclear, but the move smacks of partisan vindictiveness. Although Little claimed in her letter that federal guidelines required the proposal to be resubmitted, Metro officials pointed out that the document's harsh tone was a striking change from previous cooperation between the agencies.
Metro's initial plan called for rail to be laid and covered on the BRT routes in preparation for an eventual shift to trains. After the FTA allowed different formulas to be used in measuring potential ridership for the lines, Metro officials decided rail construction was feasible for all the routes.
Hopefully by next November all this political jostling will be over. However I would also like to see the transit agencies stand up to the FTA and tell their congressmen they are tried of having to deal with ideology when building their transit systems. With agencies not wanting to bite the hand that feeds them, they have just let the FTA continue to push towards higher and more ridiculous standards that keeps some cities from even applying for federal funds. Perhaps this move by Metro is the first in a set of moves by the transit industry to fight back. The Chronicle editorial says it best and speaks for all transit agencies in its comments below.
Houston needs an expanded mass transit system sooner rather than later. Our elected federal officials who support that plan need to make their voices heard at the FTA to counter rail opponents and make sure backroom power plays do not delay construction.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I understand doing an AA on a new corridor and in some places BRT is the best tool for the job, but forcing a study of it as an alternative when its obviously a waste of money is ridiculous. Use it to study different route alternatives instead. Besides, it looks like we are going to have to save all the money we can with the crazy inflation that is going on and the lowering of the dollar's value against other world currencies.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
These guys are ridiculous. Houston was told by the FTA that they would have to resubmit engineering forms for Preliminary Engineering now that they've gone to LRT from BRT. The annoying part is that these guys don't quit trying to water down transit. I can't wait for this administration to be gone so this crap stops happening.
But perhaps the thing that annoys me the most is that these lines were to be planned to always be LRT. In fact the EIS was supposed to have a convertible alternative in it where they would build the line and run buses on it. The FTA can't call takebacks on this as its in the New Starts Report for Houston. So they decided to change the timeline and go LRT early. It's not like the FTA didn't know they were going to do it eventually. This is a stall tactic and I'm wondering if someone named Culbertson isn't behind the details. The current congressional delegation needs to step up now and set it straight.