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slide_rule
Nov 21, 2008, 8:40 PM
^so it's a deal with the devil, or at least the rural legislators who have disproportionate political power? it's difficult to envisage the leaders of airdrie, cochrane, etc. willingly acceding their own control of land usage for the sake of the greater good. apart from tax dodging and big, cheap lots, there is little incentive for a calgarian office worker to live in a far off exurb.

the two albertan cities' big advantage is their metropolitan government. by making it easier for people to commute from other municipalities, calgary itself loses a lot of leverage, compromising its ability to densify and plan cohesively.

i'm just surprised the airport link is contingent on extending rail service to the far off areas. wouldn't it make more sense to just build a spur from the DT core to the airport itself?

MalcolmTucker
Nov 21, 2008, 9:10 PM
Re: airport link - If it is LRT, not at all. A one seat to the airport on a train is competitive with cabs for people going downtown to stay in hotels and conduct business. People will pay $15 dollars for a one seat train to downtown that is designed to accommodate people going to the airport, while less will pay $3 for an LRT ticket that takes the same trip. The captive users you capture with a LRT link are better served by a bus link in almost all cases. You should be able to even have the service (one-seat) be provided on a cost recovery basis.

It is all psychology for an airport link.

As for rural Mayors grappling with land use, I don't think you really know who the leaders of surrounding communities are. Think about the personal legacy of the civic leaders that brought a fixed link into their communities, and their virtual guarantee of their continual reelection. The chief electoral promise of Cochrane's Mayor is a fixed link to Calgary (with a short term goal of bus transit at least to the new Crowfoot Station). If someone came to him and said 'within 400m of the stations you need to develop at a density similar to the Bridges project, and all other new residences cannot be below 10 UPA' would he say no? Never!

All you need is one community to agree to conditions to get the rest to fall in line.

The one dimensional view of suburbs you hold is rather quizzical. Calgary is not Edmonton. Our suburbs do not abut our boundaries (not counting exurb type Springbank development). They do not draw significantly down our tax base (industrial or commercial). It helps that the majority of civic funding in Alberta does not come from the property taxes, our internal infrastructure is paid for by transfers, while our ringroad and major free way is paid for directly by the provincial government. While I wouldn't support giving up our current unicity structure, we are no way near the problems cause by centre city-suburb relations in the average american experience, of even the Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver experience before regionalization.

slide_rule
Nov 21, 2008, 9:40 PM
^considering the political power of developers, what are the odds of these rural mayors sacrificing their cities' selfish economic development for the sake of calgary's greater good? you could legislate a certain density within a radius of the station itself, but there will inevitably be someone else who comes in and proposes higher yield, greenfield development in the adjoining areas. cities need money, and exurban mayors have the least ability to resist the lure of high profit, low density developments that skim off the tax base of the core. multiple governing bodies within a metropolitan area will inevitably result in competing concerns and competition for development and tax dollars.

suburbs do not abut our boundaries

this is a great thing. but providing transit for these hamlets doesn't bode well for calgary itself. and it effectively acts as a subsidy for people to commute from further off.

the regional transit plan would make more sense if certain conditions could be met. first, calgary would need an improved, comprehensive transit system. then calgary itself would be at or near build out and had already sufficiently densified around its PT stations.

Riise
Nov 23, 2008, 8:02 PM
While I like your passion and understanding of what type of urban repair and change is needed Slide Rule, I have to agree with Kyle; you don't fully understand the municipal governance situation in the region. Additionally, you seem to suffer from the same problem as Mike_Toronto, you are clinging to one planning paradigm and don't seem to understand that change takes time and compromise. Anyway, to get to my point.


[E]xurban mayors have the least ability to resist the lure of high profit, low density developments that skim off the tax base of the core.

Actually, they are the municipalities that can least afford this type of development. Generally, residential land uses generate the least amount of tax revenue for municipalities and the exurban sprawl that plagues parts of the region are not large profit makers but rather massive coffer drainers. We were discussing this in a meeting on Friday and the M.D. of Rocky View has decided that it can no longer afford to continue exurban sprawl and development changes MUST be made.

In regards to regional growth management, I believe commuter rail can be the spine of a sustainable Greater Calgary Growth Plan. The Calgary Region should model its growth after the Finger Plan (http://www.denmark.dk/en/menu/About-Denmark/Society/Economy-Production/Infrastructure/TheFingerPlan/) adopted by Copenhagen. Development should be focused in rail corridors and take the form of new towns (urban villages) along the rail lines like pearls on a necklace. This type of growth strategies allows both Calgary and other municipalities in the region to develop their tax bases but in a sustainable fashion. In order for this type of Smart Growth to occur, you need to follow the Dutch development model and ensure that public transport is there before the first residents, business, shop owners, etc. move in.

slide_rule
Nov 23, 2008, 9:56 PM
^i'm ok with disagreements, now my arguments are in the miketoronto mold? his arguments are easily dismissed because he makes an arbitrary distinction between the city of toronto and sauga or markham, etc. but calgary is both a much smaller city, and doesn't have large suburbs immediately adjacent.

here's the thing; most 'progressive' political types, and all the academics despise the sprawling developments. yet sprawl is still built, simply because it allows for fat profits and quick tax revenues. airdrie and cochrane, etc. may proclaim the benefits of smart growth and density. but in the end, who's more susceptible to developer greed; calgary with its established tax base, or the outlying hamlets with lots of lower cost, empty land? again, these patterns have already been established in the three older, larger canadian cities. with some small exceptions, development flows toward the areas with the cheapest costs.

you could argue that commuter rail between the core and these outlying areas will be legislated to include only higher density developments. you'd be right. but then the various malls, lifestyle centers, big box stores, etc. would be attracted to the area. once a critical mass of population is reached, the pressures to add amenities will increase. normally this would not be a bad thing, but calgary proper has a very low density and suffers from the corresponding problems with transit, car dependency, etc. thus i dismiss the comparisons to stockholm, copenhagen, etc. those cities already possess comprehensive PT and urban vibrancy in their cores.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 24, 2008, 6:21 AM
Doing TOD in outlying communities has the capacity to allow middle class families to live a mostly car free lifestyle. Tradeoffs are always made with these sort of things, but cheaper development costs as long as development is well planned, dense, and well serviced is great.

The easiest way to do it without massive public subsidy is outlying cities.

slide_rule
Dec 6, 2008, 8:26 PM
^you guys are going to hate me for dredging up this topic. i don't have a vendetta against the hamlets involved, nor do i have anything against rail transit.

but from my own experience with developers, and from acquaintances and former classmates in both land development and government, i can almost guarantee that the initial promises of good development will be sacrificed for more of the status quo, big boxed, low density stuff seen everywhere else in the car-dependent world. the development community wields a lot of financial and political clout, and stands to gain a lot (at the detriment of the greater good) from available greenfield land.

calgary's unified municipal government gives it a major advantage over the larger north american cities. you don't want to give that up. as weak, ineffectual, and incompetent as the government may seem right now, it would only get worse if its taxbase has an option to go elsewhere.

Policy Wonk
Dec 6, 2008, 10:27 PM
i can almost guarantee that the initial promises of good development will be sacrificed for more of the status quo, big boxed, low density stuff seen everywhere else in the car-dependent world.

That isn't entirely for a lack of sincerity on the part of the developer, it is pretty difficult to see that through when transit authorities such as Calgary Transit just don't care and won't even come to the table and the only transit service a new community is likely to receive without that type of cooperation is a couple of rush hour express buses.

Transit authorities do not greenwash themselves, they do not see themselves as some sort of benevolent environmental agent, they just see themselves as bus drivers and don't really concern themselves with such issues or what their role in them might be.

Aegis
Dec 31, 2008, 6:11 PM
Are there any living proposals for regional rail service in the Calgary area? I can't see the population of our "bedroom communities" being large enough to justify the cost..several hundred million dollars do build a line from Okotoks to Calgary, and buy rolling stock...

mersar
Dec 31, 2008, 6:35 PM
The Calgary Regional Partnership is developing a commuter rail proposal currently, from what I've heard we should see it some time in the spring when the province starts handing out the money they allocated for transit. The Premier and Transportation minister are both said to be in favour of the regional rail idea for the long term, the proposal had at one point included some short-term bus system but from what I'd heard its been put aside from the bigger plan.

Theres also been discussion between Calgary Transit and the 4 surrounding communities at some level in the past few months that has been mentioned in brief, not much detail but I'd suspect probably related to some form of potential bus service.

mersar
Jan 1, 2009, 2:30 AM
And just as a followup, there was mention in one of the Cochrane papers that the CRP plan will be unveiled in January, with public hearings on it in February and at least Cochrane will be aiming to institute policies to support it by June.

The Geographer
Jan 3, 2009, 10:10 PM
Are there any living proposals for regional rail service in the Calgary area? I can't see the population of our "bedroom communities" being large enough to justify the cost..several hundred million dollars do build a line from Okotoks to Calgary, and buy rolling stock...

People need to stop looking at what the communities are now, and thinking about what they will be. Most of these communities will double or more within the next twenty years. By creating a unified transportation/land use initiative now, we can shape the type of development that will be there 20 years from now, while creating a symbiotic relationship between Calgary and the region. In fact, this is how all transit should be built - before development occurs, not after. A compact town based around a rail station is actually a more traditional Canadian small town anyway.

In general, I think kyle_olsen is dead on with this issue. The advantages are not only in terms of connecting existing communities, but also allowing efficient, compact, "new town" developments to direct growth and pay for the system by internalizing the benefit. This was how the CPR was built in the first place (as well as American railroads). Calgary was itself a train-oriented-development.

My only reservation is about using up prime farmland in the east, north, and south of the city. In that sense, intensifying within Calgary is a better idea. However, rural politics are a reality, and this is a great way to assure future commuter town development is compact and sensible.

MalcolmTucker
Jan 3, 2009, 11:28 PM
If it is one thing we have around here it is farm land! And it isn't like even if we had to get all our food from a certain distance around the city we wouldn't have enough wheat, barley, canola, beef and hogs. 100 mile diet for Calgary is pretty sparse, we have never even had to really try anything else, as the railway has always been here.

Not wanting to develop farmland because it is farmland is cultural imperialism, it isn't like we force people to stop farming, unless you call big cash payouts for their land being 'forced'.

The Geographer
Jan 3, 2009, 11:50 PM
If it is one thing we have around here it is farm land! And it isn't like even if we had to get all our food from a certain distance around the city we wouldn't have enough wheat, barley, canola, beef and hogs. 100 mile diet for Calgary is pretty sparse, we have never even had to really try anything else, as the railway has always been here.

Not wanting to develop farmland because it is farmland is cultural imperialism, it isn't like we force people to stop farming, unless you call big cash payouts for their land being 'forced'.

Not just because it is farmland, because it is some of the best in the world. It is actually strange that Calgary didn't develop more west and north west, as that is far more scenic land that is far less productive. I am not concerned about the way of life of the farm, just the shortsightedness of using up extremely productive farmland, permanently.

That being said, if compact new towns redirect growth away from acreages and sprawl that would occur anyway, it should be a positive.

mersar
Jan 3, 2009, 11:58 PM
Problems with developing west and northwest is the economics of the terrain. Its much cheaper to build on flat land then on hilly land (both in terms of actual cost, and how many UPA you can build across the site), and there aren't too many developers who will commit to the more expensive type of development. A lot of the area to the north west has also the two extremes in terms of who owns the land: huge swaths owned by a single family who don't want to develop it (for instance, the family who sold/donated the land for the Glenbow Ranch provincial park to the province, which runs virtually from Cochrane's limits to Calgary's limits), and other swaths that have been subdivided into little 4 acre parcels where consolidation for a larger development gets messy with that many people involved.

Theres going to be a lot of redevelopment of some of the acreage areas in Springbank over time, the Harmony development is a good start as its a relatively high density project compared to what surrounds it. A lot of the growth being pushed by the CRP does address the west side of the city, some of the longer range plans call for upwards of 100,000 new residents and employment nodes from the current city limit west to Highway 22

lubicon
Jan 5, 2009, 6:28 PM
One of the biggest barriers to westward growth in Calgary is the TsuTina reserve on the west/southwest border of Calgary. It effectively limits any westward growth from north of Hwy 22 to pretty much Glenmore Trail.

Vascilli
Jan 6, 2009, 5:05 AM
One of the biggest barriers to westward growth in Calgary is the TsuTina reserve on the west/southwest border of Calgary. It effectively limits any westward growth from north of Hwy 22 to pretty much Glenmore Trail.

Frankly I don't mind it, save for getting from Westhills to the Glenmore Reservoir. Some sort of massive tunnel would be nice though.

Vascilli
Feb 13, 2009, 4:31 AM
Well boo-fucking-hoo. They can either do it voluntarily or be coerced to it through increasing costs.


I love putting swears in the middle of words. :yes:

Anyways, what's the likelihood of commuter rail systems actually being made?

MalcolmTucker
Feb 13, 2009, 5:01 AM
^ all depends on the province, and whether they decide to invest in the city directly, or regional for the Green Transit money.

Vascilli
Feb 13, 2009, 5:35 AM
...BOTH :whip:

It would be nice, maybe then I could visit Cochrane. (I've never been..)

electricron
Feb 13, 2009, 7:50 AM
Commuter or Regional Rail is used all over Europe, and is gaining popularity in North America. The costs to build a Regional Rail system varies significantly, depending upon how busy with freight the existing rail lines are.
Since I'm not familiar with the traffic of the Calgary railroad corridors, I'll just list what has been happening in the USA recently.

CapMetro in Austin, Tx has built a ~31 mile (~50 km) Metrorail commuter line for ~$105 million. That averages to ~$2.1 million/km.
CapMetro already owned the ROW, and had maintained the tracks along, so they didn't have to spend much upgrading the tracks. But they did add tracks, turnouts, rebuilt a few bridges, and added stations with park and ride lots. CapMetro bought 6 lightweight Stadler GTW DMUs. The rail line isn't busy, and CapMetro has received temporal separation approval to run their non-FRA complaint trains on the tracks.
http://allsystemsgo.capmetro.org/capital-metrorail.shtml

TriMet in Portland, Or has built a ~15 mile (~24 km) WES commuter line for ~$166 million. That averages to ~$7 million/km.
Since the P&W, a local shortline freight company, owns the ROW, TriMet bought trackage rights for the ROW. TriMet also rebuilt all the tracks, added new tracks and turnouts, rebuilt a few bridges, and added stations with park and ride lots. TriMet bought 3 heavy Colorado Railcar DMUs. There aren't that many freight trains on the tracks. Since CR DMUs are FRA compliant, there is no problem running passenger and freight trains on the same tracks.
http://trimet.org/wes/index.htm

New Mexico built a ~100 mile (~161 km) Railrunner commuter line between Albuquerque and Santa Fe for ~$385 million, including all 300 miles of BNSF ROW New Mexico bought for $75 million. That averages to ~$2.4 million/km.
New Mexico only built new tracks on new ROW for just 18 miles, added turnouts, built a few bridges, and added stations with park and ride lots. Railrunner uses Motive Power MP36PH-3C locomotives and Bombardier BiLevel passenger cars. There aren't that many freight trains on the tracks. Since the trains are FRA compliant, there is no problem running passenger and freight trains on the same tracks.
http://www.nmrailrunner.com/

Denton County TX DCTA is building the ~21 mile (~38 km) A-Train commuter line for an estimated ~$317 million. That averages ~$8 million/km. $8 million/km seems high in comparison, but $1 to $2 million per km is for the 10 feet wide concrete bike path.
DCTA is building on an existing publicly owned ROW, replacing every feet of track, replacing all but one bridge, building a parallel bike path, building new turnouts and stations with park and ride lots. DCTA is looking at purchasing 12 light DMUs, but hasn't finalized that yet. There's just one local freight train a day on the tracks. DCTA is asking for temporal separation approval to run their non-FRA complaint trains on the tracks.
http://www.mya-train.com/

Minnesota is building the 40 mile (~64 km) Northstar commuter line for an estimated ~$320 million. That averages ~$5 million per km.
Northstar will be purchasing trackage rights over the BNSF. They are building stations, adding just a few miles of track, building new turnouts and stations with park and ride lots. Northstar is buying Motive Power MP36PH-3C locomotives and Bombardier BiLevel passenger cars. There are many freight trains on the tracks, but they have been doubled tracked for a long time. Since the trains are FRA compliant, there is no problem running passenger and freight trains on the same tracks.
http://www.northstartrain.org/

I haven't discussed California's commuter rail projects because there's so many in service and being planned. I have only posted links to very recently completed projects and projects being built today.
Compared to light rail, commuter rail is cheap. $2 to $8 million per km is the capital costs depending upon how much work is needed.
The main disadvantage for commuter rail is that the stations are placed further apart to maintain the train's average speed. Because the stations are further apart and the trains have longer headways, commuter rail doesn't attract as many passengers. But, do you really want to place a train station in rural areas?

mersar
Feb 13, 2009, 8:22 AM
Thanks for all those numbers.

Generally most of the commuter options into Calgary will consist of only 2 stations on each line with possibly one central station in the downtown, the expensive part will be whatever is required to be done to add tracks where they need to be doubled. For sure any line out to Cochrane will need to have at least some, if not all, of the track doubled as it is the CPR main line and has far too much freight traffic. The other 2 easy to do lines are on a lot less utilized freight lines, though I can imagine that some double tracking may still need to be done in a few places.

I'm looking forward to seeing the plan that the CRP has put together when its unveiled

Vascilli
Feb 13, 2009, 8:30 AM
I wonder what stock would be used, there's a lot of fun options. (I'm assuming high speed won't be used, given the distance and cost)

outoftheice
Feb 13, 2009, 3:59 PM
It would be nice to see some regional rail in the Calgary area. As far as stock goes, my vote is for the Bombardier Bi-level cars. They seem to have worked quite well for GO Transit out in Ontario. Plus it's just fun to watch the world go by from the second level. Before construction begins though, I really hope that the Calgary Regional Partnership buys in to two guiding principals.

1: That any municipality that wants regional rail agrees to a minimum density for any new development. Have it written into the contract for service with stiff financial penalties if the municpality breaks the rules. Calgary is finally starting to try and curb sprawl and without this type of agreement I'm afraid we'll just see the sprawl shifted to Cochrane and Airdrie with the selling point being an easy commute by rail to downtown Calgary.

2: Whatever type of entity ends up running the regional rail system, they should ensure that fares are transferable on to Calgary Transit. As far as how to make this work, I'm not too sure but perhaps the model to look to is the National Rail system in the UK. A day pass on National Rail also allows unlimited travel on London's Tube system. This access makes the transit system much more appealing for commuters looking to use the system. Compare this to somewhere such as Toronto where every transit system that you use (GO Transit, TTC etc...) requires seperate fare payment at every transfer. Although it doesn't seem to be much of a pain, I can say from personal experience that it's enough of a pain to discourage transit use and most people will just drive unless they can limit their travel to just one transit system. The region is trying to change this but their solution is simply to give Transit users the option to use a smart card that will be accepted on all the different transit systems, however the user will still have to pay all the seperate fares.

With these two guiding principals, I think Calgary will be in a great position to move forward with a successful regional rail program.

Riise
Feb 13, 2009, 4:17 PM
I wonder what stock would be used, there's a lot of fun options. (I'm assuming high speed won't be used, given the distance and cost)

I hope they don't go with those nasty Bombardier BiLevel coaches! I'd like to see them go with EMU's but electrification might be considered too costly. If they go with double-deck EMU's I'd choose CityRail's A Set (http://www.downeredirail.com.au/Uploads/Documents/RAIL08003_PPP_BROCHURE%20FINAL_20080731124839.pdf), if they go with double-deck DMU's I'd choose these (http://bombardier.com/en/transportation/products-services/rail-vehicles/commuter-and-regional-trains/double-deck-coaches/double-deck-medium-profile---germany?docID=0901260d80010281), and if they go with a hybrid I'd choose Bombardier's ACG (http://bombardier.com/en/transportation/products-services/rail-vehicles/commuter-and-regional-trains/hybrid-multiple-units/agc?docID=0901260d80010382).

Beltliner
Feb 13, 2009, 6:15 PM
I hope they don't go with those nasty Bombardier BiLevel coaches! I'd like to see them go with EMU's but electrification might be considered too costly. If they go with double-deck EMU's I'd choose CityRail's A Set (http://www.downeredirail.com.au/Uploads/Documents/RAIL08003_PPP_BROCHURE%20FINAL_20080731124839.pdf), if they go with double-deck DMU's I'd choose these (http://bombardier.com/en/transportation/products-services/rail-vehicles/commuter-and-regional-trains/double-deck-coaches/double-deck-medium-profile---germany?docID=0901260d80010281), and if they go with a hybrid I'd choose Bombardier's ACG (http://bombardier.com/en/transportation/products-services/rail-vehicles/commuter-and-regional-trains/hybrid-multiple-units/agc?docID=0901260d80010382).

If I had to play a hunch, I would pick a diesel variant of the Siemens Desiro multiple-unit double-decker (http://www.transportation.siemens.com/ts/en/pub/products/tr/services/reg_trains/desiro/desiro_double_deck.htm), on the grounds that Calgary Transit already uses Siemens rolling stock, and may be able to leverage economies of scale in purchasing and maintaining their fleet. Pity that Colorado Railcar fell apart as messily as it did (http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1233809704143440.xml&coll=7), though.

Riise
Feb 13, 2009, 6:31 PM
If I had to play a hunch, I would pick a diesel variant of the Siemens Desiro multiple-unit double-decker (http://www.transportation.siemens.com/ts/en/pub/products/tr/services/reg_trains/desiro/desiro_double_deck.htm), on the grounds that Calgary Transit already uses Siemens rolling stock, and may be able to leverage economies of scale in purchasing and maintaining their fleet. Pity that Colorado Railcar fell apart as messily as it did (http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1233809704143440.xml&coll=7), though.

That's a good hunch and a nice trainset. While I can see the City's brand loyalty with Siemens, I also think buying Canadian might help provide some Federal funding. Btw, I originally thought the consist featured on the Siemens site was an RER Train because of the similar livery.

Vascilli
Feb 13, 2009, 6:50 PM
I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that there won't be enough ridership to justify bi-levels. (Who knows, maybe there will be) Bombardier's Spacium 3.O6 looks nice, lots of room and a smart design.

MalcolmTucker
Feb 13, 2009, 6:51 PM
For cost, Calgary is hampered by both geography and industry. Our rail lines are not derelict like many cities so we have to build new instead of converting.

For out to Cochrane, the obvious choice would be to go to three tracks from the beginning. The majority of the cost is earthworks, including trenching, cliff face removal in a provincial park. The future cost of doing only one extra track now, would be very very high.

That being said, I have heard numbers bandied about for a line out to Cochrane in the $500 million dollar range so it might not be the first line you want, especially when the Airdrie line can also serve an airport express, and carry HSR out into the Valley.

Depending on whehther you want future HSR to be FRA complient, you either build an additional track, or optimally two more so your not path dependent on FRA complient rolling stock.

From back in the day (and remember when I say ROW, I mean the land only, not tracks):
You just use the province land use format to help prevent sprawl, put a condition that if intercity rail is to be extended, a minimum density of 10 units per acre is put in place throughout the service area.

http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/9026/picture3na6.png

Southern Section
http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/3007/picture4yb8.png

There are five lines that can be built without reacquiring or buying new ROW:
Cochrane (West) 40.25 km
High River (South) 65.4 km
Airdrie (North) 34.5 km
Chestermere/ New Town (East) 28 km
Carseland (SE) 50 km

New ROW would be required to run out to Strathmore, extending that line to 51.2 km.

Most of the towns have two stations, since i figured the further out stations would likely have a light maintenance facility. This is also since I deicded to keep costs down by not displacing currently used lots along the ROW near the downtowns, and leaving room for park and rides is important.

The Airdrie line could go further north, but I am not sure it would add much to it. There could also be a third east line, but it wouldn't hit any major centres (much like the Carseland line I guess)

Here is my source google map (http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=110981100854688850630.0004519ebf2e9c721c8d3&t=p&ll=51.013755,-114.007874&spn=1.309814,2.345581&z=9), where all the Station names include distances from the Palliser Station.

MalcolmTucker
Feb 13, 2009, 6:56 PM
I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that there won't be enough ridership to justify bi-levels. (Who knows, maybe there will be) Bombardier's Spacium 3.O6 looks nice, lots of room and a smart design.
BIlevels are sort of a double ended sword. It lets you operate shorter trains, which means shorter (ie cheaper) stations for many years. When you want to upgrade capacity, your up the creek with only expensive options (more tracks, station expansion).

Best is to design what you need for standard car operation, then in 20 years when you need capacity and frequency is already at a pretty good level you go to double deckers. Also remember you do not want too much cpacity initially, or the cars will feel unsafe.

Riise
Feb 13, 2009, 7:01 PM
Best is to design what you need for standard car operation, then in 20 years when you need capacity and frequency is already at a pretty good level you go to double deckers. Also remember you do not want too much cpacity initially, or the cars will feel unsafe.

I'm a fan of going with the single-deck sets first but it seems like double-deckers are the norm in northern North America.

electricron
Feb 13, 2009, 11:05 PM
I'm a fan of going with the single-deck sets first but it seems like double-deckers are the norm in northern North America.

Double deckers are the norm with diesel locomtive pulled/pushed trains. But single level DMUs are the norm in North America.

The correct choice depends upon predicted ridership 20 to 30 years into the future. Bi-level Bombardier cars have ~150 seats, a 10 car train has a capacity of ~1500 seats. Standard single level DMU articulated cars have ~100 seats, double articulated DMU cars have ~150 seats, but being limited to a maximum of 6 car trains, their maximum capacity is ~600 and ~900 seats.

Station platform length is usually the determining factor on the number of cars in a train. The 6 car DMU maximum limiting factor is based on train multiple unit controls and coupling capability.

Colorado Railcar was recently liquidated and was the only manufacture building heavy (FRA compliant) DMUs. But there are other manufactures that may start building them soon. Somona-Marin Area Rapid Transit is looking at buying DMUs soon, and has an interesting presentation about the available choices.
Here's the link:
http://www.sonomamarintrain.org/userfiles/file/SMART-14JAN09_Revised.pdf

FRA Compliant Heavy DMUs:
1) Bombardier M7 Designed for commuter service mixed with freight, Married pair configuration, Design base: LIRR M7 (FRA compliant), Diesel electric drive, No cost estimate available.

2) Nippon Sharyo Designed for Commuter service mixed with freight, Married pair configuration, New Design, Diesel hydraulic drive, No cost estimate available.

3) Rotem Designed for commuter service mixed with freight, Married pair configuration, Design based on TTA project, Diesel hydraulic drive, ROM cost estimate $8 to $9M. Note: In August 2006, Triangle Transit (formerly Triangle Transit Authority) announced that it would not file a “New Starts” report on the Regional Rail Transit Project with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for Federal FY 2008.
Triangle Transit, the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC), Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG), NC Department of Transportation and Regional Transportation Alliance will work with the community as we rethink transit in the Triangle.

4) Siemens No information available (Siemens exhibits interest in building FRA-compliant DMU)
5) CAF No information available (CAF offered an FRA-compliant DMU to NJT)

Non FRA Compliant Light DMUs:
1) Alstom Coradia Lint 41 Compliance UIC; EN 15227 Germany, no US application

2) Bombardier Talent VT 643 Compliance UIC, Germany, Ottawa Canada, no US application

3) Siemens Desiro Compliance UIC (CPUC with waivers), Oceanside, CA: 12 vehicles, Temporal separation

4) Stadler GTW 2/6 Compliance UIC, FRA alternate, EN15227, Austin, TX: 6 vehicles, Temporal separation

5) Stadler GTW 2/6 Compliance CPUC, Camden, NJ: 20 vehicles, Temporal separation

6) Breda IC2 Compliance UIC, Proposed for U.S.

para transit fellow
Feb 24, 2009, 8:19 PM
I found this but I notice that the survey doesn't cover commuting From Calgary to and outlying community"

Proposed New Regional Two–Way Express Bus Services
Linking Regional Communities to and from the City of Calgary


The Calgary Regional Partnership is developing integrated regional land use and transit plans. Future phases of the regional transit plan involve LRT extensions, new commuter rail services, and bus connections between the regional communities. The first phase of the proposed regional transit plan will include the development of regional bus services providing two-way service linking regional communities to the City of Calgary during the primary commuting hours.

To help us understand your travel needs and how these services could be most effective, we are asking you to complete and submit the following online survey by March 24, 2009.

Calgary Regional Partnership Survey on Linking Regional Communities

This March 2009 there will be a number of meetings where the public will have the opportunity to review the draft plans and provide feedback. Please watch for the date and location of meetings near you.
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/survey-intro.zgi?p=WEB228TQP6NFX5

twsnagel
Feb 25, 2009, 9:05 PM
For sure any line out to Cochrane will need to have at least some, if not all, of the track doubled as it is the CPR main line and has far too much freight traffic. The other 2 easy to do lines are on a lot less utilized freight lines, though I can imagine that some double tracking may still need to be done in a few places.

Mersar, I respectfully question whether the CPR mainline is really that close to capacity.

Two weekends ago, I went to the Cave and Basin museum in Banff. They've got an exhibit there on the impact of transportation on the national park.

In the 1960s, there were twice the trains going through the park than there are today. If memory serves, 2000 trains per year then compared to 1000 now. The numbers may be wrong but there were definitely twice the number of trains then verses now.

Also, remember that the mainline has been substantially improved with heavier-weight steel and thermite welds since the 1960s, so the fewer trains will also pass more quickly; occupying the line for less time.

I bet they could easily get away with not double-tracking the line.

I think the biggest argument for double-tracking is that, in my understanding, the CPR does not operate on a schedule any more. They have no tracking of cars across the country - it just works like a pipe: they pour cars into one end and eventually they come out at the other. Each section is controlled so that collisions are avoided, but as I understand it, the trains are no longer scheduled such that a certain train is a certain place at a certain time.

This was one of the big "advantages" that there was to no longer running (schedule-bound) passenger trains on the CPR mainline west of Manitoba.

As I like to say - "This is no way to run a railroad". Bring back the conductors with pocket watches, I say! :-)

MalcolmTucker
Feb 25, 2009, 9:32 PM
The question is would CPR allow you to run service without double or triple tracking, and the answer is most likely, if not most definitely no.

There is no reason why the CPR would abandon a formula that works for them. There is no way for our government to compel them to allocate capacity to regional transit with a stick, using a carrot is much more effective. The only carrot we have that is effective is track upgrades.

I also find the 1000 trains a year number suspect. Right now (numbers from 2005) CPR has the capacity to run 38 trains a day, at an average 100 cars. They are spending $500 million to increase the capacity by 4 trains a day (upgrades from Moose Jaw - Vancouver). If CPR needs extra capacity at 38 trains a day, it is arguable they are at or near that limit. That would work out to just under 14,000 trains a year. (source (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1215/is_11_206/ai_n15966611))

mersar
Feb 25, 2009, 10:55 PM
I also find the 1000 trains a year number suspect. Right now (numbers from 2005) CPR has the capacity to run 38 trains a day, at an average 100 cars. They are spending $500 million to increase the capacity by 4 trains a day (upgrades from Moose Jaw - Vancouver). If CPR needs extra capacity at 38 trains a day, it is arguable they are at or near that limit. That would work out to just under 14,000 trains a year. (source (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1215/is_11_206/ai_n15966611))

Yep. Through the middle of the day during the week there is a train through Cochrane about every 20-30 minutes generally, at night it seems to drop to one an hour or so though so there is room for growth but only so much.

The thing with trying to coordinate scheduled traffic with their unscheduled system and no double tracking would mean if a freight train was leaving the west side of the city the passenger train would need to wait in Cochrane until it got through town before it could leave, which would likely be at least 20 minutes. At least with double tracking, even if both sides were shared (which CPR I imagine would love, currently they have to pull at least one train every few hours onto the west siding in Cochrane to wait for a train going the other direction) the train would only need to weight a few minutes if another train in the same direction was going through, and then pull out behind it.

mersar
Feb 26, 2009, 2:24 AM
From this week's Cochrane Eagle:

Commuter buses stalled on funding

By Rachel Maclean
The Eagle
Mayor Truper McBride is hoping the provincial government will be able to find enough money in this year’s budget to get express commuter buses rolling.
It would be one of the first steps in the Calgary Regional Partnership’s (CRP) transit plan that could eventually lead to regional train links in the next decade.
But with Finance Minister Iris Evans announcing Feb. 19 that Alberta could be $1 billion in debt at the end of this year, with predictions of 15,000 jobs lost in coming months as the economy shrinks by two per cent, accessing transit funds could pose a problem.
“I understand everyone, including Cochrane, has had difficult budgets this year,” said McBride. “But with that said, recessions are periods when you can affectively restructure economies and make them stronger for the future. Transit is one of the ways to do that. . . . So this is the time to spend on infrastructure projects that will help create the jobs and jump start the economy.”
McBride hopes the province will be able to devote a significant portion of the $2 billion Green Trip Fund announced last July for transit initiatives.
Currently, local charter bus companies, such as Southland Transport, offer two buses with two trips into downtown Calgary in the morning and two trips back out in the evening for Cochrane, Okotoks, Chestermere, Strathmore, High River and Airdrie.
McBride would like to see commuter buses making nine trips, both in the morning and evening, connecting with Calgary transit, the University of Calgary, and even into the other municipalities involved, with a bus pass that works within the entire Calgary transit system.
“It would be a seamless transit integration for Cochrane into the entire region,” said McBride. “So it would be quite possible to catch a bus in Cochrane and take it all the way down to High River.”
He said there would still be room for private charter buses, but the government’s role would be to make it the most accessible cost and maximize the public benefit.
“We are not looking to strong arm companies like Southland or any other private provider that might be in the business at the moment,” said McBride. “We are looking for ways to partner with the private sector.”
The mayor said if the funds are not available this year then the plan is not dead — it just may be stretched out over the next few years.
“Whether it happens sooner or later it will be happening,” said McBride.
The CRP plans to apply for the Green Trip Fund in the near future and will be presenting a transit plan in March as part of the draft Calgary Metropolitan Plan.
Source (http://www.cochraneeagle.com/index.php?action=fullnews&id=5624)

9 trips wouldn't be a bad start, assuming a 3 hour 'peak' period thats 20 minute frequency and probably only require 4 actual buses

mersar
Feb 26, 2009, 2:30 AM
From this weeks Cochrane Times:
Heavy rail funding down

Provincial government slows transit plans in face of economic downtown

Posted By Brad Herron

A slip in the Alberta economy may be derailing the dream of passenger rail from Cochrane into downtown Calgary.

With the Alberta government slipping into recession, the amount of up-front funding allocated to the Green Trip transportation plan has been slashed to between $10 million and $50 million in 2009. The provincial government has promised $2 billion in transit funding, but the program will be rolled out much slower than originally thought, said Alberta Transportation spokesperson Jerry Bellikka.

“There is a lot of confusion over this, because when we announced the program last July of $2 billion, that we would have that within 4 years. When we announced the program, we never said it would be over four years or there would be X amount of dollars per year,” Bellikka said.

When Green Trip was announced, the province wanted applications completed by the fall of 2008.

Now, almost through February, the government has yet to complete the criteria for application and it could be until early summer before the guidelines are completed. Bellikka said the province is “consulting with a number of municipalities, including Cochrane,” to develop these.

Mayor Truper McBride said a slow pay-off of Green Trip funds would hinder the ability of municipalities to build the infrastructure necessary for a long-term transit system.

He had originally hoped the province would provide the money to quickly establish heavy-rail transit throughout the region, but admits that may be years away.

“Transit isn’t something you can spend a few million dollars here and a few million dollars there on and be a success, it really has to be a commitment from a senior level of government to make it a reality,” said McBride, also chairman of the Calgary Regional Partnership’s transit committee. “They are talking $50 million as the initial injection. Well, you really can’t do anything with that, especially if the province wants to spread that around the entire province.”

The regional partnership’s transit committee has prepared an extension report on transit in the region, which will be made public in March.

McBride said the CRP’s data clearly shows buses, and eventually rail transit, will be needed quickly.

A busing system into Calgary from the region’s outlying communities will be atop the wish list, but McBride said any application will include long-term goals for heavy-rail, which includes land acquisition and funding for station construction.

“Transit will be a necessity if Calgary is to be successful, vibrant city and region in the future. It’s a matter of when and not really if,” McBride said.

“We understand the need to reprioritize our priorities with the economic downturn, so I do understand what the province is doing here, but I disagree the way to do it and reprioritize will be to cut transit, because it's part of the restructuring that should be done during a economic downturn,” he added.

Operating costs are an additional stumbling block for municipalities to climb over. Bellikka said the province has no intention of funding the operation of transit once the infrastucture and capital expenses are completed.

“This is not intended as a public transit operating program,” Bellikka said. “We expect municipalities will be able to find a way of dealing with the operating costs.”

After dealing with a tight budget in January, McBride said Cochrane simply doesn’t have the money to operate a large-scale transit system into Calgary.

If the province doesn’t pick up a bulk of the tab, transit will likely be done on a small scale.
Source (http://www.cochranetimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1449837)

Wooster
Feb 26, 2009, 3:22 AM
This Truper McBride seems to be quite on the ball. Is he a good mayor? His name is hilarious - a cochrane stereotype.

This green trip funding is ridiculous. They are totally missing the opportunity to leverage the $2 billion to get into cost sharing agreements with the federal government with their stimulus.

mersar
Feb 26, 2009, 3:32 AM
So far he's been pretty effective. When he first ran for council (2 terms ago I believe) there was some worry due to his age (he's now only in his early 30's, when he first ran he was just finishing a degree at U of C and was probably 15 years younger then every other member in council at the time) but is is definitely on the ball on most issues. He ran for mayor in 2007 with regional transit as part of his platform so this is definitely something he has an interest in.

And I'd have to agree the funding is pretty ridiculous. At most the $50 they've put on the table for this coming fiscal year will cover some of the planning for a few projects depending on which ones are chosen.

Beltliner
Feb 27, 2009, 9:37 PM
Starting to wonder whether the most cost-effective carbon sequestration mechanism would be a wadded-up sock, folks (http://www.calgaryherald.com/Technology/Minister+unimpressed+with+Calgary+area+transit+proposals/1336811/story.html)...

Minister unimpressed with Calgary-area transit proposals

By Jason Markusoff, The Fishwrap
27 Feb 2009

Transport Minister Luke Ouellette said the proposals by Calgary and other cities for intercity bus and train services are disappointingly not innovative, but he reaffirmed that Alberta’s $2 billion fund for regional transit proposals will eventually come.

Thursday’s provincial fiscal update downsized the current size of the fund to $195 million, and Ouellette has signalled only up to $50 million of that will be available this coming year, thanks to a recessionary budget crunch.

At a transit symposium, Calgary Regional Partnership formally released their vision for an express-bus service serving Calgary from Cochrane, Okotoks, High River and Airdrie, with trains coming a decade or so later.

“I was hoping people would come up with better ideas,” the minister told reporters after his speech to the symposium.

“It looks more like people are saying, ‘We just need public transit.’

“The innovative ideas that I was talking about is: What’s going to lower the most greenhouse gas? Just because you go out and buy a bunch of buses, is that going to take a bunch of cars off the road? We don’t know that yet.”

Cochrane Mayor Truper McBride, heading the region’s transit venture, said he was pleased that Ouellette agrees that transit is an important measure to limit climate change. But he was taken aback by the minister’s critique.

“I think that if you look at our plan, it’s innovation at its best,” McBride said. “We have a vision of transit that’s never been done before on a very large scale.”

The mayor argued that a commuter service that uses light rails and the existing Canadian Pacific heavy-rail lines wouldn’t be cheap, but would cost less than a ring road that encourages more car traffic.

Regional officials have warned their early plans for intercity buses, which they’d like to start running in 2010, would cost more than the Calgary area would get from the smaller-than-expected funding pool the province is offering.

Airdrie Mayor Linda Bruce also said smaller communities will need provincial or federal money to run a new bus system, although Ouellette said operating costs are a local responsibility.

Bigtime
Feb 27, 2009, 9:49 PM
Bigtime Unimpressed with Provincial Government

27 Feb 2009

Seriously? That is what counts as a critique of the ideas put forth?

Seriously? :koko:

I guess we should have been coming up with ideas like hovercars and hoverbuses, oh and transporters and faster than light drives...

frinkprof
Feb 27, 2009, 10:01 PM
I'd like to know what he was expecting. The GTA has GO plus buses from the closer suburbs, Montreal has commuter rail and buses, the GVRD has West Coast Express and buses. Why should anything more than taking what works and applying it to this region be needed? Was he expecting the re-invention of the wheel? Does it take a ground-breaking study to discover that providing bus service will take cars of the road?

lubicon
Feb 27, 2009, 10:06 PM
“I was hoping people would come up with better ideas,” the minister told reporters after his speech to the symposium.

“It looks more like people are saying, ‘We just need public transit.’

If this is what people want then maybe they should look at funding for some transit projects that peopel will actually use and appreciate. Like SELRT for example.

fusili
Feb 27, 2009, 10:24 PM
Our government sucks....that is all.

fusili
Feb 27, 2009, 10:25 PM
Oh, and maybe we should be asking our government where their innovative ideas are.

Bunk
Feb 27, 2009, 10:26 PM
It honestly just looks like they're looking for any way to not dole out the promised money. They'll probably be saying for years they don't like the ideas, or they are not innovative enough.

Regional transit and transit in general is not a complicated science. Provide service - make it ultra-convenient, reliable, comfortable and affordable. No more, no less.

mersar
Feb 27, 2009, 10:37 PM
I'd like to know what he was expecting. The GTA has GO plus buses from the closer suburbs, Montreal has commuter rail and buses, the GVRD has West Coast Express and buses. Why should anything more than taking what works and applying it to this region be needed? Was he expecting the re-invention of the wheel? Does it take a ground-breaking study to discover that providing bus service will take cars of the road?

Exactly. Why should anything but whats been proven to be an effective method be proposed for use here? Last I checked the definition of innovation was the act of introducing new things or methods of doing things, which for this area regional transit certainly is. Perhaps someone needs to buy the minister a dictionary?

MalcolmTucker
Feb 27, 2009, 11:34 PM
What did the Minister want, Segway freeways? Teleportation? IT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Entity_%28South_Park%29)?http://www.terminally-incoherent.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2006/11/garrison-it.jpg

They designated it for public transit in the very announcement of the money, and now they say they don't like public transit?

Sounds like someone should have been handling the Minister that day and let him get a question he wasn't briefed for. The question is, at a PUBLIC TRANSIT SYMPOSIUM what did he expect?

outoftheice
Mar 26, 2009, 4:02 PM
The Calgary Regional Partnership now has the draft regional plan on their website, along with a survery asking for feedback. I'd encourage people to take the time and complete the survey. While the survey covers all aspects of the plan, there are a few sections that focus on the regional transit system such as operating hours, park and ride, type of busses to be used, etc... After looking at the document, it looks like the region is trying to move in the right direction, but in light of the recent controversy with the PlanIt document, I'm sure some vocal support wouldn't hurt!

http://www.calgaryregion.ca/crp/

Zilla
Apr 1, 2009, 3:06 PM
Message from CRP:

Representatives of Calgary City Council and the 16 other municipal members councils of Calgary Regional Partnership worked with stakeholders to prepare a DRAFT plan for the Calgary region. This plan will guide our region’s development for the next 60 to 70 years. This DRAFT regional plan and the development of Plan It Calgary are proceeding along a parallel and integrated path.

Please join planners and representatives from the City of Calgary and the Calgary Regional Partnership THIS SATURDAY April 4 for a specially requested Open House being held at the Calgary Metropolitan Centre from 1 - 4 PM to learn more about the broader directions of this DRAFT regional plan and how it impacts Calgary and Calgary’s neighboring municipalities. Short presentations will be made at throughout the afternoon.

We look forward to hearing your comments and getting your feedback prior to moving forward with this draft plan.

For further information and to provide your feedback, please visit our website at www.calgaryregion.ca .

jeffwhit
Apr 1, 2009, 7:55 PM
Bigtime Unimpressed with Provincial Government

27 Feb 2009

Seriously? That is what counts as a critique of the ideas put forth?

Seriously? :koko:

I guess we should have been coming up with ideas like hovercars and hoverbuses, oh and transporters and faster than light drives...

Well, hovercars would take cars "off" the road.... zing!
Goddam, I hate this government. Also, does anyone actually know what "the innovative ideas that he was talking about" are, or did he seriously just request "some innovative ideas?"


If this is what people want then maybe they should look at funding for some transit projects that peopel will actually use and appreciate. Like SELRT for example.

But lubicon, we need solutions that work for all Albertans, by which I mean the ones that don't live in Edmonton or Calgary.

para transit fellow
Apr 14, 2009, 1:46 AM
in other news, the Capital region board has their transit plan up for display

http://capitalregionboard.ab.ca/index.php/transit

Vascilli
Apr 14, 2009, 2:30 AM
in other news, the Capital region board has their transit plan up for display

http://capitalregionboard.ab.ca/index.php/transit

I read through the PDF and I don't think Calgary was mentioned once. :shrug:

frinkprof
Apr 14, 2009, 2:41 AM
^Capital Region Board. As in the capital of Alberta, Edmonton. para_transit_fellow posted it for comparitive reasons.

MalcolmTucker
Apr 14, 2009, 2:43 AM
For the 6.7 billion Edmonton is looking for, Calgary could do the SE LRT, centre street subway, and commuter rail south and west. Plus a bunch of other miscellaneous things.

Vascilli
Apr 14, 2009, 2:55 AM
^Capital Region Board. As in the capital of Alberta, Edmonton. para_transit_fellow posted it for comparitive reasons.

Mhmm, that makes more sense. :haha:

I see they have smart cards on the drawing board, we'll see how those work out..

mersar
Apr 23, 2009, 7:35 PM
Was just reading one of the local forums for Cochrane, specifically the discussion about the regional rail and found two posts that show that at least some of our elected officials 'get it' when it comes to why its important:

Just as an aside, I've looked at Canadian municipalities that run LRT type transit systems and the heavy rail Go Train in the Toronto. All lose money and are heavily subsidized by municipal/regional taxes. Therefore, the decision seems to be whether to offer this form of trasportation and lose money or to not offer it and continue to rely on other transportation means (cars, trucks, buses). Clearly, there may be good reasons to offer light and/or heavy rail transit options, but all of them mean higher taxes. The question is are they, in the minds of the ratepayers, worth the extra tax levy?

Hi Ken, do roads produce revenue for us? Last I checked they were a big black whole for public dollars.
Are you aware of the cost of a large scale interchange in Calgary? We're looking at around $400 million to $600 million. Four of these things run the tax payer $1.6 billion to $2.4 billion ..... those numbers are higher than what we are asking for for transit. We are always playing catch up trying to build more of these as the population grows. So, certainly we agree that we need more than four of these interchanges and the number of them needed on the books just keeps increasing. The case quickly becomes to be seen that transit is the solution and not more and more highways.
Most of your arguments on here seem to be grounded in the fact that transit is too expensive so we should just keep using roads. Roads are in the long run more expensive to upkeep and build than transit systems. People are very quick to forget that roads are 100% subsidized by taxpayers and are also exclusive to an extent that you must have a car to use them. Transit in Calgary's case is only 50% subsidized by the tax payer ..... which one do you see currently as the more expensive choice for the tax payer? If one were to follow your arguments on the cost of transit to conclusion we would need to be putting tolls on our roads as they simply cost too much tax payers money to keep building more of.
A society based on public transportation is less expensive than a society where everyone drives individual cars on every increasing road surfaces in both private and public dollars.
Too often people get stuck in mindsets where because we've always done what we've always done, trying to understand how doing something completely different is better can be quite difficult, especially some of the more seasoned people that are products of failed paradigms. Younger generations seem to be able to adjust much more easily to these needed paradigm shifts. We've entered a period right now in Cochrane (and the region from all direction right now being taken by CRP) where many of the old practices, ideas, mindsets, and ideologies are going the way of the dinosaur ...... this is a good thing, after seven and a half years trying to affect these changes on council it is finally happening.
This ought to spark some lively debate and Point of View Truper bashing http://www.cochraneissues.com/forums/smileys/smiley1.gif. Let the games begin!
The journey continues,
Truper

Source (http://www.cochraneissues.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=536&PN=1&TPN=3)

The first post was by a former Cochrane councillor, the second is the reply by the current Cochrane Mayor.


Theres quite a bit of interesting talk over on that forum about the regional rail plans, including some posts by a guy who claims to be a consultant who is working on an independent proposal from the CRP for commuter rail in the Calgary region, supposedly they have backing from several big industry players as well.

MalcolmTucker
Apr 23, 2009, 7:39 PM
^ Perhaps that you can add that GO has 80% operational cost recovery since it is more of a premium service.

What is the forum, might take a look through it?

mersar
Apr 23, 2009, 7:58 PM
The link is right below the second comment :P

outoftheice
Apr 23, 2009, 8:09 PM
Actually from what I understand, when the numbers are broken down, the heavy rail portion of Go Transit operates on a 100% cost recovery basis... it's only the bus portion of the service that requires an operating subsidy.

You Need A Thneed
Apr 23, 2009, 10:08 PM
Are you aware of the cost of a large scale interchange in Calgary? We're looking at around $400 million to $600 million.

...

the second is the reply by the current Cochrane Mayor.


That's scary that their Mayor is that far off in terms of dollar value.

frinkprof
Apr 23, 2009, 10:23 PM
^Yeah that struck me as strange as well. $400M - $600M for an interchange? That's like 15-20X what it costs. The rest of his thinking is spot on though.

mersar
Apr 23, 2009, 10:44 PM
^Yeah that struck me as strange as well. $400M - $600M for an interchange? That's like 15-20X what it costs. The rest of his thinking is spot on though.

Probably 10x or so actually (Metis @ 64th is budgeted at $55M for instance). I replied over there to just point out some more accurate numbers, though I'd still say his overall point is pretty valid

MalcolmTucker
Apr 24, 2009, 1:25 AM
The link is right below the second comment :P
After two near all nighters I thought I was a bit tired, but wow, I didn't even see that before.

para transit fellow
Apr 24, 2009, 3:27 AM
That's scary that their Mayor is that far off in terms of dollar value.

does anyone have an estimate for the proposed glenmore/ deerfoot modifications?

if a simple interchange is 42 million (ref: airdrie "rat hole") what is the cost of all of the phases to make glenmore/ deerfoot functional?

Cochrane's Mayor may embellish the amounts ... but there is a point about the cost of developing/ maintaining roads and who pays vs. who uses the road.

You Need A Thneed
Apr 24, 2009, 5:37 AM
does anyone have an estimate for the proposed glenmore/ deerfoot modifications?

if a simple interchange is 42 million (ref: airdrie "rat hole") what is the cost of all of the phases to make glenmore/ deerfoot functional?

Cochrane's Mayor may embellish the amounts ... but there is a point about the cost of developing/ maintaining roads and who pays vs. who uses the road.

GE5 ended up at what? $110 million? It doesn't get a whole lot more complicated than that. Detour work is a fairly big part of the total cost of some of these structures. Deerfoot/Glenmore interchange modifications won't require too much in terms of expensive detours, I'd say in the range of 60-80 million.

Metis/64 interchange actually has 2 bridges (one over Metis - one over the LRT tracks), and has a whole bunch of MSE concrete walls (the precast retaining wall panels), which adds to the cost to get it up to it's 40 million or so budget. The detour work was 10% of that budget too.

mersar
Apr 24, 2009, 5:54 AM
GE5 was budgetted at $110, not sure about any overruns. Metis/64th is $55M budget according to the city's website.

mersar
May 6, 2009, 5:33 PM
Regional transit plan will help ween us off car culture

By Mayor Truper McBride
The Calgary Regional Partnership is finishing up the final components of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and will be voting to ratify it on June 19. This plan will begin laying the foundation for a cultural shift in our region regarding our mobility, and will begin moving us away from an automobile-dependent society and towards cleaner, more cost-effective transit systems.
The RTP will speak to the immediate deployment of a regional bus rapid-transit service into the Cochrane region. Made up of high-quality stretched buses equipped with laptop plug-in stations and possibly even a beverage service, the rapid-transit service will move people to and from Calgary with an estimated three trips in the morning and three trips in the evening. Not only will it provide a method of transportation from Cochrane into the City of Calgary, but also transport Calgarians to regional communities. Purchasing a ticket on the bus service from outlying communities like Cochrane will give users seamless access into the Calgary transit system, and vice-versa for Calgarians using the service and traveling into outlying regions.
The Regional Economic Development Plan has identified a significant economic opportunity for light industry to locate in municipalities like Cochrane if the labour force is connected via transit systems. This will be of significant value to Cochrane as we continue work to create more local jobs.
Along with bus services are significant changes to our “built” form and our downtown core with a re-write of our Downtown Area Redevelopment Plan. A transit hub will be developed downtown along the rail tracks to serve multiple purposes for Cochrane: it will become a significant economic anchor for our downtown core as well as the central hub for internal and regional transit systems. Regional buses would “dock” in Cochrane and, eventually, our internal transit system would transport people around town from that location.
In the medium- to long-term, and after the transit market/culture has been established, heavy-rail transit will be deployed to Cochrane and also arrive at our downtown transit station. Depending on the economy, this may happen in 10 to 15 years. In preparation for the arrival of rail service, the Calgary Region will be working with CP Rail and the City of Calgary to protect key pieces of land for this future infrastructure requirement.
If there are any questions about the Regional Transportation Plan, I hope to hear from you at 403-851-2505.
Source (http://www.cochraneeagle.com/index.php?action=fullnews&id=5962)

Beltliner
May 6, 2009, 5:39 PM
^^^ Good news, and well worth following--but The Eagle's headline writer needs to be weaned off his iPod and to be slapped upside the head with a couple of volumes from the OED.

para transit fellow
Jun 30, 2009, 7:25 PM
http://chestermerecommuter.com

Unfortunate News:
The Management and Staff at Chestermere Commuter Service are very sorry to announce that as of July 01, 2009, we will be unable to continue offering our services to the residents of the Town of Chestermere. Due to recent decline of the economy, mechanical failures with our equipment, along with low revenues and ridership, the cost of operating the commuter service has become too large for us to continue offering this service. At this time we wish to thank all our riders for their patronage over the past 20 months.

Any thoughts?

I'm tending to think that heavy maintenance started creeping up on them.

mersar
Jun 30, 2009, 8:13 PM
Yeah, that is quite possible considering the equipment they were using.

para transit fellow
Aug 9, 2009, 5:54 PM
I recently noticed these two documents over at the Calgary regional partnership:

Regional Transit Plan Discussion Paper on Commuter Rail
Regional Transit Plan Governance Discussion Paper

http://www.calgaryregion.ca/crp/projects/projects/regionaltransportationplanning/documents.aspx

Seems that we are going to get stuck on the basic "how do we fund the operation" question.

mersar
Aug 26, 2009, 8:49 PM
City helps fuel Cochrane’s transit dream (http://www.cochraneeagle.com/?p=7477)

August 25, 2009
By: Rachel Maclean

Transit could be driving into Cochrane sooner than expected.
The Town of Cochrane is getting some help from the City of Calgary for a new transit feasibility report. “Cochrane has some challenges when it comes to transit,” said Mayor Truper McBride. “With Calgary helping us by giving us resources . . . this is an incredible deal.”
The report, pegged at $25,000, will look at how cost effective it would be and how many people would be interested in a Bus Rapid Transit system running from Cochrane to the Crowfoot C-Train station in Calgary.
It will also look at the best places for a heavy rail train to be going into Calgary, and how Cochrane can eventually create a transit system of its own.
McBride also said transit planning will be important for new developments, like a potential mix-use development on the old Town Hall site.
McBride said the hope is to make a transit-friendly property that includes affordable housing, a possible senior centre and business space.
More concrete plans for the site should be out in the fall, and the transit report should be done by the end of the year.

Source (http://www.cochraneeagle.com/?p=7477)

jeffwhit
Aug 27, 2009, 1:29 AM
^^With all due respect to the people of Cochrane, I hope this service has a price that will offset the costs. I mean, it's Calgary's transit system. Getting more cars off the road is good for everyone, but I don't see a problem charging a premium fare for this.

lubicon
Aug 27, 2009, 2:52 PM
^^With all due respect to the people of Cochrane, I hope this service has a price that will offset the costs. I mean, it's Calgary's transit system. Getting more cars off the road is good for everyone, but I don't see a problem charging a premium fare for this.

Agreed. But they need to implement a system where a single fare (or monthly pass) takes you all the way to your ultimate distination. You don't want to make the system inconvenient to use by forcing users to pay twice on one trip - once for the Cochrane-Crowfoot segment and then again to use the C Train.

Stang
Aug 27, 2009, 3:40 PM
Agreed. But they need to implement a system where a single fare (or monthly pass) takes you all the way to your ultimate distination. You don't want to make the system inconvenient to use by forcing users to pay twice on one trip - once for the Cochrane-Crowfoot segment and then again to use the C Train.

I'd imagine that it wouldn't be unlike the premium express buses in the suburbs. Instead of a 50 cent premium, maybe $1 or $1.50 (just throwing numbers out there).

By the sounds of the article, they'd be on a Calgary Transit bus, so I'd assume that transfers would apply the usual way.

That being said, they should also give the Cochrane folk a chance to buy a pass with the premium built-in so they don't have to pay with a pass/ticket plus the premium in cash. That was always a peeve of mine on the express bus. I didn't mind the premium itself, but paying it with change in addition to a pass was a pain.

SubwayRev
Aug 27, 2009, 4:16 PM
I'd imagine that it wouldn't be unlike the premium express buses in the suburbs. Instead of a 50 cent premium, maybe $1 or $1.50 (just throwing numbers out there).

By the sounds of the article, they'd be on a Calgary Transit bus, so I'd assume that transfers would apply the usual way.

That being said, they should also give the Cochrane folk a chance to buy a pass with the premium built-in so they don't have to pay with a pass/ticket plus the premium in cash. That was always a peeve of mine on the express bus. I didn't mind the premium itself, but paying it with change in addition to a pass was a pain.

I agree with you there, it needs to be as easy as possible. If we went to a modern fare system instead of the ripped-piece-of-paper-transfer system, this would be easy to implement. With a Metrocard system, this would be a piece of cake.

jeffwhit
Aug 27, 2009, 8:55 PM
Agreed. But they need to implement a system where a single fare (or monthly pass) takes you all the way to your ultimate distination. You don't want to make the system inconvenient to use by forcing users to pay twice on one trip - once for the Cochrane-Crowfoot segment and then again to use the C Train.

No, i didn't mean that, just a premium to board a bus in Cochrane, and that ticket/transfer would take you all the way to wherever in Calgary you wanted to go. Basically a 2 zone ticket. The problem lies more in the trip back to Cochrane, the c-train ticket machines would have to beable to dispense 2-zone tickets as well, and bus drivers would need to have zone-2 transfers as well as the regular ones. Am I missing something?
As long as we're sticking with a POP system, which I'm fine with, we should honestly just copy what Vancouver is using.

para transit fellow
Nov 19, 2009, 6:56 PM
FYI the Consultant's full report (at least I think it's the full report) for the Calgary Regional Transit Plan is now available:

http://www.calgaryregion.ca/crp/media/60480/transit%20plan%20with%20appendices-nov-091.pdf

MonctonGoldenFlames
Nov 19, 2009, 7:16 PM
yet another study that is going on the premise that the nclrt is gong up the nose creek corridor.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 19, 2009, 8:00 PM
^ The plan does not preclude the LRT going up Centre St, which is the important thing. The CRP can only operate with best available data, they aren't there to dictate to the communities.

mersar
Nov 19, 2009, 8:22 PM
Yep.

Overall its an interesting report, the short term plans all should be fairly feasable, the big question is if theres support, the sticking point for the public is probably going to be the price. For instance they're suggesting a $8 one way fare (integrated with Calgary Transit) or a $200/month pass, the latter of which still sounds high unless you really think about it and realize how much you'd be spending driving. In the short term the system will be intially just buses that run direct from the community to the city (downtown or an LRT station) and back. Later that changes to local feeders to a central hub, then buses from the hub to the city, and eventually the hub will connect with rail.

The one thing that could be interesting to see though is the governance model they're suggesting. Initially they suggest pretty much just a committee at CRP to keep things consistent but with the indidivual communities being in charge still, but in the long term they suggest a proper regional authority with a similar mandate to what Translink has in BC

frinkprof
Nov 19, 2009, 8:28 PM
^I would have no problem with those prices. It's a bargain in my mind.

srperrycgy
Nov 19, 2009, 8:34 PM
I think that $5 for a one-way trip is very reasonable. I paid $3.75 to get from Vancouver Airport to the North Shore yesterday and that was quite reasonable to me and the services were excellent. Translink's model is not necessarily the one to emulate for any future regional Calgary model. Too much politics and municipal self-interest invloved there.

ummagumma66
Jan 5, 2010, 7:58 AM
I heard an interesting rumor today at work, and I was looking for a little confirmation, as some of you know I work at CrossIron Mills as one of the senior supervisors for security, anyways, I heard the the LRT was supposed to be running up to CIM in the very near future. Is there any truth to that little rumor?

frinkprof
Jan 5, 2010, 8:15 AM
^Not that I have heard, and I would be surprised if it was. Especially the "very near future" part.

Perhaps someone is confusing the Saddleridge extension of the NELRT as going all the way out there. Either that, or someone has heard something to do with the regional rail proposal and is speculating or mistaken that it will all be happening very soon.

ummagumma66
Jan 5, 2010, 9:11 AM
I figured as much.

para transit fellow
Jan 5, 2010, 3:20 PM
There is a right of way for the LRT from saddleridge to Xiron Mills and possibly on towards airdrie but I was under the impression it was to be in the 15-20 year timeframe before we see it.

You Need A Thneed
Jan 5, 2010, 3:53 PM
^ Yup, there is a right of way that extends the NE LRT all the up past CrossIron Mills. It isn't however, going to be extended up there anytime very near in the future. I would guess 20-30 years minimum.

mersar
Jan 5, 2010, 5:54 PM
The right of way also will be on the west side of Deerfoot, the somewhat decided on parts go as far as Stonegate (east of Deerfoot, south of Stoney) after coming east along 128th ave from Skyview Ranch, but there was some mention in a report or map a while back indicating it would likely cross back over Deerfoot into the part of west Balzac thats actually in the city limits.

You Need A Thneed
Jan 5, 2010, 6:58 PM
The right of way also will be on the west side of Deerfoot, the somewhat decided on parts go as far as Stonegate (east of Deerfoot, south of Stoney) after coming east along 128th ave from Skyview Ranch, but there was some mention in a report or map a while back indicating it would likely cross back over Deerfoot into the part of west Balzac thats actually in the city limits.

That's not what the Balzac land use planning maps show. They show the NE LRT getting extended pretty much straight North up the 36th Street corridor (halfway between Deerfoot and Metis), straight North from Stonegate. It doesn't cross to the west side of Deerfoot at all.

Of course, the city documents may disagree, and who knows what is most up to date.

jeffwhit
Jan 5, 2010, 7:04 PM
^ Yup, there is a right of way that extends the NE LRT all the up past CrossIron Mills. It isn't however, going to be extended up there anytime very near in the future. I would guess 20-30 years minimum.
I really hope that serving CIM isn't a priority for the LRT. Yes, I am one of those people who has an irrational hate-on for that place, but seriously.

fusili
Jan 5, 2010, 7:15 PM
I really hope that serving CIM isn't a priority for the LRT. Yes, I am one of those people who has an irrational hate-on for that place, but seriously.

Or the fact that it is in the MD of Rockyview. Why would Calgary Transit provide service to Rockyview?

You Need A Thneed
Jan 5, 2010, 7:32 PM
Or the fact that it is in the MD of Rockyview. Why would Calgary Transit provide service to Rockyview?

Obviously, the MD of Rockyview would have to pay for the extension whenever it happens, that's why.

By the time this extension is likely to be built, the area will be a huge employment area. Let's not talk about this extension like it's going to be built this year.

MasterG
Jan 5, 2010, 7:59 PM
I really hope that serving CIM isn't a priority for the LRT. Yes, I am one of those people who has an irrational hate-on for that place, but seriously.


I agree. I do think that an eventual regional rail proposal should make a point of including a stop at the mall. Anything to cut down on car traffic in the Airdrie - CIM -Downtown corridor. Correct me if I am mistaken, but i think the current freight rail line is fairly close, albeit on the other side of the QE2.

The regional rail link could also put a stop in the vicinity of the Airport Trail interchange, to connect to a Airport bus service. Perhaps a stop there could also be integrated to provide downtown rail access from harvest hills/panorama area, that would otherwise require the NCLRT instead. I think that area would probably attract the majority of riders on the NCLRT, as areas further in are mainly light industrial with few trip-generators along the proposed route. Could the higher capacity regional rail be used instead of the LRT, considering most people would be boarding in the far north? Thoughts?

para transit fellow
Jan 5, 2010, 11:51 PM
Or the fact that it is in the MD of Rockyview. Why would Calgary Transit provide service to Rockyview?

Same reason Cagary Transit is supposed to be providing BRT service to Airdrie in fall 2010 -- the municipality is going to pay Calgary Transit to do it (somehow).

Northski
Jan 6, 2010, 9:12 PM
From the CRTP:

In the very long term (i.e., 20 years plus), building a City of Calgary LRT line to the north and possibly
extending it to Balzac and Airdrie, and building an east LRT along 17th Avenue and extending it to the
east to Chestermere. Note: An LRT line extension to the north to Balzac and Airdrie would be
dependent upon the level and pace of intensification and mixed-use development along either side of the
Highway 2 corridor between Calgary and Airdrie. It would also depend on whether commuter rail service
to Balzac and Airdrie more appropriately meets the needs of these communities and the corridor north of
the City of Calgary and is built before a Calgary North LRT line. Peak period commuter rail service with
service to a few key destinations and higher speeds to Airdrie in the medium to long-term may better
serve the travel needs of the area than an all-day lower speed LRT service with more stops; and
Building strategically located regional park-and-ride facilities.

KrisYYC
Mar 14, 2010, 1:43 AM
I really hope that serving CIM isn't a priority for the LRT. Yes, I am one of those people who has an irrational hate-on for that place, but seriously.

I'd be furious if they made plans to run the LRT to mallzac while ignoring the airport.

frinkprof
Mar 14, 2010, 1:54 AM
^The airport has already pretty much been "ignored." If you're speaking strictly about the NE LRT line that is.