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mwalker_mw
Oct 20, 2010, 1:33 PM
A note on ParkPlus - you can set it up to email or call you at regular intervals to remind you your session is still active. I'm a big fan... but I'd love to see them release some phone apps for it.

frinkprof
Oct 20, 2010, 1:41 PM
When is the WLRT scheduled to open again?December 10th, 2012.

Stang
Oct 20, 2010, 2:13 PM
As an occasional parker, I love Park Plus. The only problem that I ever had with it was a few weeks ago during that system-wide outage. I started a parking session with my phone right before the outage (literally, because I was only parked for about 10 minutes), and when I went to cancel the session, the system was down. Meanwhile, my session continued for the next couple of hours while they tried to fix the system.

But, to the CPA's credit, I emailed them and explained what happened. They responded within a few hours and put a credit back on my account. Outages will happen, but their response to it was favourable. And it sure beats putting coins into the meter only to have it jammed up by some bum or crackhead who comes along right after and steals your quarters.

mooky
Oct 20, 2010, 6:40 PM
I believe the number was $6 million a year estimated revenue from the $3 parknride fees. But I also believe that was assuming all the lots would stay around the same capacity they had been getting previously.

I'd be interested to see what the generated revenue is with the lots less full than they were. I suspect the lost revenue wouldn't be that much in the end, maybe $2-3 million.

I even heard Naheed mention at one point that "ridership was down due to the fee, so in fact, the city hurt themselves in net revenue in that regard" to paraphrase him ... now I'm not sure if he was speaking anecdotally or if he had any figures either, but I do know a two people that started parking back downtown because with 2 bus passes and $3 fee, the price at some downtown lots was worth the minimal increased fee to have the car convenience. In my mind I'd still pay the $3 cause its cheaper, but who's to argue with irrational human logic of convenience when they have money obviously burning a hole in their pockets.

freeweed
Oct 20, 2010, 7:03 PM
In my mind I'd still pay the $3 cause its cheaper, but who's to argue with irrational human logic of convenience when they have money obviously burning a hole in their pockets.

To paraphrase the Linux/homebuilding PC communities: it's only more expensive if your time is worthless. We all spend our money on convenience of some sort or another, I'm not sure why you'd call that irrational. ;)

On a purely functional note, I'd gladly pay $100/month more if I could shave even 20 minutes out of my round-trip commute each day. That's nearly 7 hours of time saved for $100, and I'm willing to bet most downtown workers make more than $14/hour. If (and this is a big if) I could find parking very close to my office, when you eliminate the walking several blocks through downtown to and from the LRT (especially with the stations closed for a year for a re-build), and eliminate having to stand around waiting for a 2 buses that may or may not be on time...

Unfortunately in my case I'd probably have to park even further away so the gains are negated. But on the rare occasions that I have driven into work, it's as fast or faster than transit, even with our wonderful LRT system. So it could easily be justified financially depending on where a person works (especially with 2 people carpooling).

Eliminate the PnR fee and I'd never even consider driving. $85/month plus maybe 10 cents in gas each day and it's a no brainer to take transit.

Well, I lie anyway as I actually prefer transit when it comes to rush hour commuting. I rather enjoy the reading time and the extra walking. But from a purely financial perspective, I can easily see driving making sense for a lot of people.

rail car designer
Oct 21, 2010, 3:50 AM
Metrolinx released their RFP for the Union - Pearson line last week with an incredibly short deadline.

It's basically a modified version of the Sonoma - Marin RFP that was recently won by Nippon Sharyo. It will be interesting to see what the other proposers bring to the table in what is essentially a mulligan.

Canadian74
Oct 23, 2010, 12:17 AM
Does Calgary Transit have plans to order more Nova buses besides the 40 they have ordered?

Have all of 40 so far ordered delivered yet? If no, how many have been delivered?

Thanks.

freeweed
Oct 23, 2010, 1:51 AM
Nenshi has already been quoted as saying the city might not be able to scrap the PnR fee. Gotta love politicians. He isn't even in office yet and has already broken a big campaign promise. :haha:

(Yes yes, I'll wait to see what he ACTUALLY tries to do here)

srperrycgy
Oct 23, 2010, 2:14 AM
One of the few issues I disagreed with him on. There's no such thing as free parking. ;)

MalcolmTucker
Oct 23, 2010, 2:22 AM
The amount raised from the fee has already shrunk quite a bit, once the city has a number on what is actually being made from the lots, shall know better. I would wonder also how much extra money is made from the lots themselves, and how much is made from ticketing in surrounding communities (or at least, the marginal increase in the amount of community ticketing).

Certainly I wouldn't expect the fee to be done away with until the budget is passed, it shouldn't be on the first or second council meeting.

mersar
Oct 23, 2010, 3:48 PM
Does Calgary Transit have plans to order more Nova buses besides the 40 they have ordered?

Have all of 40 so far ordered delivered yet? If no, how many have been delivered?

Thanks.

About 25 of the 40 have arrived, 5 so far have been put into service (mostly on routes that run out of Crowfoot such as the 37/137,43/143,58/158 and routes 2 and 3 as well.

The order was 40 this year with the option for 40 next year if CT wanted to buy more (pretty high chance, though there have been some complaints from drivers about these buses being gutless from whats being said on cptdb)

freeweed
Oct 23, 2010, 4:11 PM
One of the few issues I disagreed with him on. There's no such thing as free parking. ;)

And there's no such thing as a $2.75 LRT fare, either. ;)

Yet both are used to encourage people to take transit.

Ferreth
Oct 23, 2010, 4:43 PM
Nenshi has already been quoted as saying the city might not be able to scrap the PnR fee. Gotta love politicians. He isn't even in office yet and has already broken a big campaign promise. :haha:

(Yes yes, I'll wait to see what he ACTUALLY tries to do here)

I'm kinda hoping Nenshi take a bit more thoughtful approach to the PnR fee rather than scrap vs. keep.

I'd look first to see how usage has changed since the fees went in. In the unlikely event that usage is the same, the fee should stay, although I'd advocate for a monthly pass @ $60 (small discount) and @ $50 if you buy with a monthly bus pass. I'd advocate for a drop in the fee if there has been a significant drop in usage, and if there has been a drastic drop in usage that can be attributed to the $3 fee, then perhaps it should be scrapped.

What I don't want to see is driving into a lot at noon to ride the train downtown for the afternoon and not being able to park. What I want to see, particularly if PnR fees are not impacting usage, is an investment in more parking from the collected fees.

jeffwhit
Oct 23, 2010, 5:48 PM
I'm kinda hoping Nenshi take a bit more thoughtful approach to the PnR fee rather than scrap vs. keep.

I'd look first to see how usage has changed since the fees went in. In the unlikely event that usage is the same, the fee should stay, although I'd advocate for a monthly pass @ $60 (small discount) and @ $50 if you buy with a monthly bus pass. I'd advocate for a drop in the fee if there has been a significant drop in usage, and if there has been a drastic drop in usage that can be attributed to the $3 fee, then perhaps it should be scrapped.

What I don't want to see is driving into a lot at noon to ride the train downtown for the afternoon and not being able to park. What I want to see, particularly if PnR fees are not impacting usage, is an investment in more parking from the collected fees.

You should email him that. For real.

MalcolmTucker
Oct 23, 2010, 9:44 PM
I'm kinda hoping Nenshi take a bit more thoughtful approach to the PnR fee rather than scrap vs. keep.

I'd look first to see how usage has changed since the fees went in. In the unlikely event that usage is the same, the fee should stay, although I'd advocate for a monthly pass @ $60 (small discount) and @ $50 if you buy with a monthly bus pass. I'd advocate for a drop in the fee if there has been a significant drop in usage, and if there has been a drastic drop in usage that can be attributed to the $3 fee, then perhaps it should be scrapped.

What I don't want to see is driving into a lot at noon to ride the train downtown for the afternoon and not being able to park. What I want to see, particularly if PnR fees are not impacting usage, is an investment in more parking from the collected fees.
First point re:investment in more parking. Parking is really expensive. Unless you want the money spent on more surface lots, keep dreaming.

Second point re: mid day parking. Personally I would be more than fine with short term pay spots, the lots will start to be more full if the fee is dropped. However, the more inner city lots weren't filling up anymore even without the fee, but that is a good thing because we will be removing parking for TOD. So, just as we begun to see more midday users with the imposition of the new fee, we may drive them away with taking it away, unless there is some amelioration (depending on how many previous PNR users and now feeder bus users want to go back to their old habits).

tmjr
Oct 23, 2010, 10:13 PM
I'm kinda hoping Nenshi take a bit more thoughtful approach to the PnR fee rather than scrap vs. keep.


Personally, Ferreth's approach sounds quite sensible. However, I suspect that if Mr. Nenshi does take such an approach it could have consequences that reach further than people's use of the transit system.

It seems to me that in the recent election, Mr. Nenshi's campaign was able to re-engage many people who wouldn't normally vote or be interested in civic politics (that may be stating the obvious :) ). I could be wrong, but I personally doubt that that was because he was tweeting or had a facebook page.

It seems to me that voter disengagement is principally due to a cynicism that politicians always say one thing at election time and then never come through on what they said after election. Disengagement is the result of disappointment with those elected - i.e., of repeated iterations of voting for people who sound promising but in the end don't do what they said they would do.

I realize that the reason for "say one thing - something else ends up happening" is much more complex than just 'politicians are dishonest', and that such a perception of politics may not really be fair. Nevertheless, I think the net result is still disillusionment in politicians and government and therefore the whole electoral process.

I think the reason that Mr. Nenshi engaged so many people is that for the first time in a long time, people believed that change was actually possible.
He gave people a reason to think that he would actually come through with what he said: his ideas weren't merely pleasant fluff but rather seemed to be concrete proposals SUPPORTED by research and reasoning. That gave me the hope that "Hey, maybe these changes ARE possible...", and I suspect that I'm not alone.

Now that he's been elected, I think he can do far more to disengage voters than he did to engage them simply by not coming through on his 'promises'. It would harden the notion that politicians, despite how they may seem at election time, are all the same, etc. I realize that Mr. Nenshi is just one vote on a council of 15, but his ideas weren't couched in terms of 'as long as everyone else will agree' and so that's not what people will remember.

Mr. Nenshi was unequivocal about the $3.00 PNR fee: "Naheed has called the imposition of this fee the single worst decision this Council has made – and that’s saying something!" (from his Better Idea #5). He has repeatedly stated or implied that he wants to remove the PNR fee. To now say "well, maybe we should study it first" would undermine his credibility at least somewhat.

With all said, I don't know if coming through on a single issue is really all that important. I'm more trying to make the point that because of his success at re-engaging the electorate, its all the more important that he comes through on what he campaigned on.

Perhaps my ramble would be more appropriate in the Municipal Politics thread, but its Ferreth and Freeweed's fault - their posts got me thinking about this... :jester: Of course, I'm more than happy to have this moved if that would be best (I just don't know how to do it...)

freeweed
Oct 24, 2010, 12:28 AM
The PnR fee is a pretty simple issue: do we want to encourage transit use at all costs, or is it more important to "punish" driving at all costs? I think only a fool would argue that the PnR lots encourage transit use, the question is by how much.

That being said, the entire transit system is subsidized by taxpayers, so I'm always amused at how people bring up things like "parking isn't free" and whatnot. Of course it's not - neither is the LRT itself. It's ALL subsidized. Personally I wish this city was rich enough to have it ALL be free. Imagine how many people would take transit if the entire system cost nothing. Including the parking, which as much as some would like to pretend otherwise, is a vital part of the system. Not everyone lives a block from a feeder route, and not everyone is willing to spend half an hour on a bus for what is otherwise a 5 minute drive.

Either way, I rarely used the lots when they were free and I rarely use them now. $3 isn't exactly breaking my bank account. It's just another hassle that I've seen push many people away from transit, and it was a pure money grab by the City in the vein of a lot of traffic controls.

Ferreth
Oct 24, 2010, 4:03 AM
Sir Humphrey,
Yes, it's expensive - but if we are getting close to full utilization, we can build a parkade in each LRT leg paid for in 13 years.

For the West lrt parkade & NW line using the following sources:
http://www.albertacanada.com/documents/SP_MajorAlbertaProjects.pdf (28 mil cost)
http://www.boma.ca/Newsletter/Current.pdf (750 stall)
http://members.shaw.ca/lrtincalgary/ (3900 stalls in the NW adding up the stations)

I'll calculate for the the NW as an example: 3900 stalls x $3 $ 90% utilization * 250 days = 2.6 mil/ year.

>>> pays out a $33 million parkade in 13 years. For comparison, the west lrt parkade is supposed to add 750 stalls at $28 million, so we should be able to add roughly 1200 stalls. 30% increase isn't that bad in my books. I'd consider building parkades closer in to replace the surface spots, TOD development sales of the land - use the money to build more parkades further out might allow parkades to be built even faster. My math and cited costs may be off; to feel to critque!

tmjr,
I think Nenshi has to take the "Ralph Klein" approach of admitting his mistakes, and in this case telling people when a promise made won't work out for good stated reasons, rather than the usual political BS. People might be more willing to pay $3 if they saw parkades being built.

Freeweed,
For myself, $3 isn't going to break the bank either. If it did, I'd take the bus to the train, which I think is what's happened to increase the feeder bus utilization. As far as the hassle goes, if I was still using LRT to go downtown everyday, I'd just want to buy a monthly PnR pass along with my transit pass and forget about it after I'd put it in the car. Come to think of it, just register my plate when I pay, then I don't even have to worry about putting something on the car.

In conclusion, if I was Nenshi, I'd like to see some ridership numbers and lot utilization numbers before & after the fees went in first before I made any decisions about the $3 PnR fee. I think we are only now to the point where fee has been in place long enough to look at the numbers and draw some conclusions.

Koolfire
Oct 24, 2010, 4:26 AM
Sir Humphrey,
Yes, it's expensive - but if we are getting close to full utilization, we can build a parkade in each LRT leg paid for in 13 years.

For the West lrt parkade & NW line using the following sources:
http://www.albertacanada.com/documents/SP_MajorAlbertaProjects.pdf (28 mil cost)
http://www.boma.ca/Newsletter/Current.pdf (750 stall)
http://members.shaw.ca/lrtincalgary/ (3900 stalls in the NW adding up the stations)

I'll calculate for the the NW as an example: 3900 stalls x $3 $ 90% utilization * 250 days = 2.6 mil/ year.

>>> pays out a $33 million parkade in 13 years. For comparison, the west lrt parkade is supposed to add 750 stalls at $28 million, so we should be able to add roughly 1200 stalls. 30% increase isn't that bad in my books. I'd consider building parkades closer in to replace the surface spots, TOD development sales of the land - use the money to build more parkades further out might allow parkades to be built even faster. My math and cited costs may be off; to feel to critque!



Building 1 parked every 13 years is unacceptable. The parkade needs to be able to pay itself within a fairly reasonable timeframe (ie,10 years) After 10 years your going to have to do refurbishments with new asphalt, paint, etc.

So 28,000,000 / 750 stalls = $37333.33, $37333.33 / 3 = 12444.44 uses before breakeven. 12444.44/ 365 day. So 34 year to payback. So really to get paid back in a reasonable timeframe the fee should be $10. Now if you can build the parkade for about 9 million then it would be a reasonable at $3.

DizzyEdge
Oct 24, 2010, 8:22 AM
I agree with tmjr, whatever honeymoon/goodwill Nenshi has now will be used up and put into the red if he doesn't revoke that fee that was a big part of his campaigning, and could damage his credibility enough that he will be unable to use any popularity of his to sway council to vote for any other of his ideas. He'll end up weaker than Obama, but only a day or two into his mandate.

MalcolmTucker
Oct 24, 2010, 2:16 PM
I agree with tmjr, whatever honeymoon/goodwill Nenshi has now will be used up and put into the red if he doesn't revoke that fee that was a big part of his campaigning, and could damage his credibility enough that he will be unable to use any popularity of his to sway council to vote for any other of his ideas. He'll end up weaker than Obama, but only a day or two into his mandate.
Replied to at the municipal politics thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=5028554&posted=1#post5028554). This issue likely won't be dealt with until the budget.

You Need A Thneed
Oct 24, 2010, 4:09 PM
I guess my reply went into the municipal politics thread.

MalcolmTucker
Oct 24, 2010, 6:35 PM
I know project budgets have ballooned a bit, but look at this:
http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/819/picture4iz.png

West LRT is way above budget, considering the first $700 million dollar estimate included LRVs while today's $984 million dollar number does not. My word.

Canadian74
Oct 24, 2010, 9:19 PM
About 25 of the 40 have arrived, 5 so far have been put into service (mostly on routes that run out of Crowfoot such as the 37/137,43/143,58/158 and routes 2 and 3 as well.

The order was 40 this year with the option for 40 next year if CT wanted to buy more (pretty high chance, though there have been some complaints from drivers about these buses being gutless from whats being said on cptdb)

Are they replacing anything or purely for expansion?
They look really nice and I had the chance to ride them a lot of times in Vancouver.

Hope CT gets more.

mersar
Oct 24, 2010, 9:49 PM
Are they replacing anything or purely for expansion?
They look really nice and I had the chance to ride them a lot of times in Vancouver.

Hope CT gets more.

Some replacement of the GM fishbowls, some expansion. Its not really set as to what is for what, essentially the GM's are retired once they reach the point its not worth fixing them, and are usually stripped for parts to keep the rest of the fleet going when they are retired. So year-over-year its a net growth in terms of the numbers (they bought 40 buses this year, and have retired ~15)

You Need A Thneed
Oct 25, 2010, 6:19 PM
It looks like they are almost ready to lay pliths(?) and track for some of the LRT line through Martindale. The gravel is layed, and looks ready to go for track. It's hard to believe that it is nearly two years before the extension is scheduled to open. The ways things are going, they should easily be able to open it in 2011, if they wanted to.

Thinking how much work is left to do on the WLRT, vs. how much work is left to do for the NE extension, the 3 month difference in scheduled opening date seems laughable.

reflexzero
Oct 25, 2010, 7:32 PM
It looks like they are almost ready to lay pliths(?) and track for some of the LRT line through Martindale. The gravel is layed, and looks ready to go for track. It's hard to believe that it is nearly two years before the extension is scheduled to open. The ways things are going, they should easily be able to open it in 2011, if they wanted to.

Thinking how much work is left to do on the WLRT, vs. how much work is left to do for the NE extension, the 3 month difference in scheduled opening date seems laughable.

Well considering they left 64th and Metis in construction zone limbo for two years, I don't imagine there will be much progress over the winter months. I mean, I'll be happy to stand corrected, but I doubt the project is high on the priority list. Case in point, I'd sure like to be able to get onto Stoney Trail via Metis north of 80th Ave, or perhaps even get on via the non-existant 96th ave.. but instead I have to drive through 3 playground zones and up that goat trail to CHB.

Not that I'm complaining. :rolleyes:

CTrainDude
Oct 25, 2010, 7:33 PM
It looks like they are almost ready to lay pliths(?) and track for some of the LRT line through Martindale. The gravel is layed, and looks ready to go for track. It's hard to believe that it is nearly two years before the extension is scheduled to open. The ways things are going, they should easily be able to open it in 2011, if they wanted to.

Thinking how much work is left to do on the WLRT, vs. how much work is left to do for the NE extension, the 3 month difference in scheduled opening date seems laughable.

On regular track, they lay ties. Plinths are the concrete blocks that the tracks attach to in areas of direct fixation (like tunnels and bridges).

You Need A Thneed
Oct 25, 2010, 8:00 PM
Well considering they left 64th and Metis in construction zone limbo for two years, I don't imagine there will be much progress over the winter months. I mean, I'll be happy to stand corrected, but I doubt the project is high on the priority list. Case in point, I'd sure like to be able to get onto Stoney Trail via Metis north of 80th Ave, or perhaps even get on via the non-existant 96th ave.. but instead I have to drive through 3 playground zones and up that goat trail to CHB.

Not that I'm complaining. :rolleyes:

Progress will certainly be slow as soon as it turns colder. There is work to be done that either is impossible to do with frozen ground/cold weather, or becomes significantly more costly. Anything that requires compacted soil is impossible to do with frozen ground. An extended warm spell in fall and an early spring could be what the project needs to get significnatly ahead of schedule.

Metis was tendered this summer, and the city was hoping to at least get something doen by the end of November (writing into the contract a bonus to the contractor if it was completed by then), but it think expropriation was an issue, as there were 4 properties required for the project that were given notices in the paper just last week or the week before.

The city also tendered a project that would have connected 60th Street to the unused 96th Ave interchange on Stoney, but I don't know what happened with that one either. I haven't seen any construction started on that one either. That one would have closed 68th Street for good.

I, for one, am looking forward to the day when 96th Ave (airport Trail) connects all the way from Harvest Hills Blvd to Stoney Trail on the east side. What a valuable piece of road that is going to be. You can draw a 13 km long line around the portion of the NE east of the airport and north of McKnight, that currently has only two cow paths that cross the line to get out to the North, East or West. It's time for that to change.

You Need A Thneed
Oct 25, 2010, 8:04 PM
On regular track, they lay ties. Plinths are the concrete blocks that the tracks attach to in areas of direct fixation (like tunnels and bridges).

Thanks! I wasn't sure if Plinths was the correct term, or whether ties was. A good portion of the ties are sitting in the Saddletowne P&R lot. I noticed a small pile of track when I drove by the East crossing of Martindale Blvd yesterday. With the extended warm weather, perhaps they might try to lay some track yet this fall.

RicoLance21
Oct 27, 2010, 12:35 AM
Sir Humphrey,
Yes, it's expensive - but if we are getting close to full utilization, we can build a parkade in each LRT leg paid for in 13 years.

For the West lrt parkade & NW line using the following sources:
http://www.albertacanada.com/documents/SP_MajorAlbertaProjects.pdf (28 mil cost)
http://www.boma.ca/Newsletter/Current.pdf (750 stall)
http://members.shaw.ca/lrtincalgary/ (3900 stalls in the NW adding up the stations)

I'll calculate for the the NW as an example: 3900 stalls x $3 $ 90% utilization * 250 days = 2.6 mil/ year.

>>> pays out a $33 million parkade in 13 years. For comparison, the west lrt parkade is supposed to add 750 stalls at $28 million, so we should be able to add roughly 1200 stalls. 30% increase isn't that bad in my books. I'd consider building parkades closer in to replace the surface spots, TOD development sales of the land - use the money to build more parkades further out might allow parkades to be built even faster. My math and cited costs may be off; to feel to critque!

tmjr,
I think Nenshi has to take the "Ralph Klein" approach of admitting his mistakes, and in this case telling people when a promise made won't work out for good stated reasons, rather than the usual political BS. People might be more willing to pay $3 if they saw parkades being built.

Freeweed,
For myself, $3 isn't going to break the bank either. If it did, I'd take the bus to the train, which I think is what's happened to increase the feeder bus utilization. As far as the hassle goes, if I was still using LRT to go downtown everyday, I'd just want to buy a monthly PnR pass along with my transit pass and forget about it after I'd put it in the car. Come to think of it, just register my plate when I pay, then I don't even have to worry about putting something on the car.

In conclusion, if I was Nenshi, I'd like to see some ridership numbers and lot utilization numbers before & after the fees went in first before I made any decisions about the $3 PnR fee. I think we are only now to the point where fee has been in place long enough to look at the numbers and draw some conclusions.

But Nenshi also mention about adding more BRT routes, which means more park and ride lots. This should somewhat justify eliminating the $3 PnR fee. I am hoping the 14 Street SW BRT goes through; that would ease up some congestion on the C-Train South leg and the PnR lots--assuming that the 14 Street SW BRT would also have a few PnR lots.

frinkprof
Oct 27, 2010, 5:57 AM
I started up a transit discussion thread on Calgary Puck. The first post is basically the same as here, but thought some might be interested in checking out the discussion and ideas being tossed around over there.

http://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=96436

You Need A Thneed
Oct 27, 2010, 4:20 PM
There has been 4 of the New SD160s parked as one consist at OMBF quite often lately. If anyone wants to check them out. It would be hard to get a close up view of them though, they are right in the middle of the yard.

shogged
Oct 27, 2010, 8:14 PM
I started up a transit discussion thread on Calgary Puck. The first post is basically the same as here, but thought some might be interested in checking out the discussion and ideas being tossed around over there.

http://forum.calgarypuck.com/showthread.php?t=96436

that was hard to read, some of the comments were so obviously wrong, my hands were trembling to keep from creating an account simply to respond...

so I came here instead! *breaths*

DizzyEdge
Nov 2, 2010, 12:19 AM
Can anyone point me to a source of the annual cost of Calgary Transit to the city after fares? And similarly the annual cost of Calgary Roads?

mersar
Nov 2, 2010, 12:30 AM
2009-2011 Operating budget can be found here (http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/bu/finance/budget/2009_2011/pdf/05_transportation_business_plan_and_budget.pdf)

For Transit for 2010

Revenue: 154,063
Expenditures: 316,951
Recoveries: 8,121
Net: 154,768

For Roads:
Revenue: 13,568
Expenditures: 170,748
Recoveries: 34,776
Net: 122,404

So technically roads cost less in operating budget, though transit spent twice as much.

Capital budgets were 162,996 for Transit and 42,864 for Roads for 2010, and 473,709 for Transportation Infrastructure (which is where pretty much all the 'big' projects fall for both Roads and Transit)

DizzyEdge
Nov 2, 2010, 12:37 AM
^^ of course they're not independent systems, if less transit capacity was available more would likely need to be spent on roads.

freeweed
Nov 2, 2010, 12:40 AM
That blows me away to see transit spending ahead of roads, although I guess we're in a hyper-expansion phase right now. Operating budget for roads is what, cleaning etc?

mersar
Nov 2, 2010, 12:46 AM
That blows me away to see transit spending ahead of roads, although I guess we're in a hyper-expansion phase right now. Operating budget for roads is what, cleaning etc?

Street cleaning, snow removal, keeping the street lights on at night, pot hole repair, line painting, etc.

Note that those are also about a year out of date now, and there has been some shuffling of schedules. And of course just things not working as they hoped, in those documents they figured the Park n Ride's would bring in 8.925 million, and cost 2.925 million. I'd bet both figures are a lot closer to the smaller one now.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 2, 2010, 12:47 AM
Remember that roads doesn't include the operational costs for Deerfoot and Stoney.

From before Stoney was extended this was the projected savings from those moves:
The transfer of responsibility for maintenance and further upgrading of the Deerfoot and Stoney Trails to the province could save the city as much as $230 million over 10 years, he said. The province could end up paying the city to provide maintenance for the roads.
Source: Tax deal pumps cash into roads, Calgary Herald Wed Sep 8 1999 Page: A1 / FRONT

Which would work out to $23 million a year, an amount that has had to have escalated substantially by now, with major extensions on both roads. (discounting whatever capital expenditures the city was planning to make with the tiny amount of cash the city had to spend on infrastructure before the agreement that was part of this deal was made)

Koolfire
Nov 2, 2010, 1:08 AM
2009-2011 Operating budget can be found here (http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/bu/finance/budget/2009_2011/pdf/05_transportation_business_plan_and_budget.pdf)


Looking at the budget there are two things I don't get. 7th Ave refurbishment has a budget in 2013? Shouldn't it be done mostly by the end of 2011 and complete with WLRT in 2012?

Second, I see 201 is scheduled for 4 car station lengths by 2013. But were is 202 budgeted? Whitehorn is already being done to 4 car length. There isn't enough budgeted under "Buildings & Stations" for 6 stations to be refurbished.

Edit: Reading deeper 7th Ave refurbishment to 4 cars is budgeted $10,000 for 2014 as well. I don't get it.

CTrainDude
Nov 2, 2010, 1:32 AM
Looking at the budget there are two things I don't get. 7th Ave refurbishment has a budget in 2013? Shouldn't it be done mostly by the end of 2011 and complete with WLRT in 2012?

Second, I see 201 is scheduled for 4 car station lengths by 2013. But were is 202 budgeted? Whitehorn is already being done to 4 car length. There isn't enough budgeted under "Buildings & Stations" for 6 stations to be refurbished.

Edit: Reading deeper 7th Ave refurbishment to 4 cars is budgeted $10,000 for 2014 as well. I don't get it.

Maybe streetscaping?

mersar
Nov 2, 2010, 1:43 AM
Looking at the budget there are two things I don't get. 7th Ave refurbishment has a budget in 2013? Shouldn't it be done mostly by the end of 2011 and complete with WLRT in 2012?

Second, I see 201 is scheduled for 4 car station lengths by 2013. But were is 202 budgeted? Whitehorn is already being done to 4 car length. There isn't enough budgeted under "Buildings & Stations" for 6 stations to be refurbished.

Edit: Reading deeper 7th Ave refurbishment to 4 cars is budgeted $10,000 for 2014 as well. I don't get it.

Well my reading into it is the Whitehorn might be getting done under the 'LRT station refurbishment' line item (656-15W) which had 14M in 2009 and 14M in 2010 as I can't figure out where else that money would be going to (some I can see potentially for the work on the bus loops at Brentwood, etc, but not that full amount). Or possibly the 655-14W which is 'LRT infrastructure lifecycle rehabilitation', as those are terms I've heard tossed around as to what the work at Whitehorn is. Or even the general Buildings and Stations item, which has like 6.8M over the 3 years.

Koolfire
Nov 2, 2010, 1:59 AM
Well my reading into it is the Whitehorn might be getting done under the 'LRT station refurbishment' line item (656-15W) which had 14M in 2009 and 14M in 2010 as I can't figure out where else that money would be going to (some I can see potentially for the work on the bus loops at Brentwood, etc, but not that full amount). Or possibly the 655-14W which is 'LRT infrastructure lifecycle rehabilitation', as those are terms I've heard tossed around as to what the work at Whitehorn is. Or even the general Buildings and Stations item, which has like 6.8M over the 3 years.

656-06W - 4-Car Platforms-NW and South Stations (TIIP) had 15 Million budgeted this year but I don't remember any NW or South Stations getting 4 car length stations. Maybe this is were the money came from. There is another 15 Million budgeted next year so we'll know soon enough once the next station get refurbished.

DizzyEdge
Nov 4, 2010, 3:55 PM
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/City+staff+urge+delay+long+awaited+southeast+Train+line/3774868/story.html

City staff urge delay in long-awaited southeast C-Train line

kw5150
Nov 4, 2010, 4:10 PM
656-06W - 4-Car Platforms-NW and South Stations (TIIP) had 15 Million budgeted this year but I don't remember any NW or South Stations getting 4 car length stations. Maybe this is were the money came from. There is another 15 Million budgeted next year so we'll know soon enough once the next station get refurbished.

Why did they not build these stations for future capacity......or the ability to very easily expand???? These must be the same guys running road construction in the city........no future plans??

fusili
Nov 4, 2010, 4:19 PM
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/City+staff+urge+delay+long+awaited+southeast+Train+line/3774868/story.html

City staff urge delay in long-awaited southeast C-Train line


Facepalm.



Why are we building commuter transit for Airdrie and Cochrane when our system isn't even complete yet? Commuter transit to outlying towns should be the last priority of any transit system. Airdrie and Cochrane can buy their own damn buses.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 4, 2010, 4:39 PM
Facepalm.



Why are we building commuter transit for Airdrie and Cochrane when our system isn't even complete yet? Commuter transit to outlying towns should be the last priority of any transit system. Airdrie and Cochrane can buy their own damn buses.

The reason is Green Trip has both a very clear mandate on requiring regional transit, and unclear political direction on whether non-inter-jurisdictional projects are allowed to draw from it. The bureaucrats have to recommend the safe answer on how to get the funds, and they have.

To be honest, building the SE LRT as envisioned with this amount is really shitty. Does everyone in the SE want to hike down to 10th Ave and Macleod Tr to get on their wonderful transit?

Council needs to really reject both visions, and go back to the drawing board. There are better ways to get the SE LRT done than what they have asked for.

freeweed
Nov 4, 2010, 4:46 PM
Why are we building commuter transit for Airdrie and Cochrane when our system isn't even complete yet? Commuter transit to outlying towns should be the last priority of any transit system. Airdrie and Cochrane can buy their own damn buses.

I think it's high time we start charging differential rates for LRT fares. You live outside of Calgary, you can pay a premium. Don't know how the hell you'd handle this outside of monthly passes mind you...

That's just ridiculous that instead of improving transit for Calgary residents, we'd spend the money on adding more capacity for out-of-towners.

Blah blah, provincial funding - which doesn't cover operational costs.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 4, 2010, 4:51 PM
I think it's high time we start charging differential rates for LRT fares. You live outside of Calgary, you can pay a premium. Don't know how the hell you'd handle this outside of monthly passes mind you...

That's just ridiculous that instead of improving transit for Calgary residents, we'd spend the money on adding more capacity for out-of-towners.

Blah blah, provincial funding - which doesn't cover operational costs.

The funding is specifically for regional needs. All those extra trains - it is not like that many out of towners really are taking the train - plus the cost of an extra user on the LRT is minimal, even fully distributed it is like 0.60. Every out of towner taking the ctrain is contributing far more than someone arriving via a city of calgary bus. As long as the regional shuttle buses to the LRT stations have a separate fare structure, it is all good.

Wooster
Nov 4, 2010, 4:53 PM
Every other major city's rapid transit infrastructure is built with major contributions from the federal government. Why isn't this the case in Calgary?

Why does SELRT have to be built with 2/3 greenTRIP 1/3 municipal funding. Why not a mix like that of Canada line with Federal, Provincial, Municipal and Private funding?

MalcolmTucker
Nov 4, 2010, 5:08 PM
Every other major city's rapid transit infrastructure is built with major contributions from the federal government. Why isn't this the case in Calgary?

Why does SELRT have to be built with 2/3 greenTRIP 1/3 municipal funding. Why not a mix like that of Canada line with Federal, Provincial, Municipal and Private funding?

Calgary builds so much that matching funds for every project would limit our funding by quite a bit, and funding is set by population, and Calgary has a relatively low population.

kw5150
Nov 4, 2010, 5:16 PM
For the people living way out in the far off suburbs....... what did you expect? You KNEW what you were buying into...... now you have live with it for a while. It may take years to get LRT transit because a good portion of the province and city's money has been spent on roads. You can't have it all!

Cities do not get built overnight. The SE LRT will happen eventually. In the meantime, you will just have to grin and bear it......there is always the ring road.......

DarkKeyo
Nov 4, 2010, 5:47 PM
For the people living way out in the far off suburbs....... what did you expect? You KNEW what you were buying into...... now you have live with it for a while. It may take years to get LRT transit because a good portion of the province and city's money has been spent on roads. You can't have it all!

Cities do not get built overnight. The SE LRT will happen eventually. In the meantime, you will just have to grin and bear it......there is always the ring road.......

So, you are suggesting we not provide people with a choice between cars and transit? And are you suggesting we not provide people like me, who have no choice but to ride transit, access to large parts of the city? Just because I don't live in the suburbs doesn't mean I don't have to go places (like say the massive employment areas of the SE industrial parks) that are not central.

DarkKeyo
Nov 4, 2010, 5:54 PM
Ugh. There is so much wrong with this whole idea. We shouldn't have to choose between SELRT and a BRT system, because both are necessary short term. I'm going to nitpick that article a bit. Or, reading what I've written down here, generally rant a bit...

We shouldn't be designing our LRT system to accommodate people from Airdrie and the other exurbs, although we do need to expand capacity on it now, for the people who already ride it, which is what the 4-car trains by 2014 are for. Didn't we order enough trains as part of that 4-car expansion?

All those extra trains - it is not like that many out of towners really are taking the train - plus the cost of an extra user on the LRT is minimal, even fully distributed it is like 0.60. Every out of towner taking the ctrain is contributing far more than someone arriving via a city of calgary bus. As long as the regional shuttle buses to the LRT stations have a separate fare structure, it is all good. I agree with this :previous: .

We should also keep in mind that the SELRT, but ONLY in complete form, will add a lot of ridership to the system, on parts that aren't already overloaded, and that the reasons the SE BRT isn't generating ridership are because it takes too LONG for buses to travel that distance on the existing road network; and that unlike the LRT, it doesn't have a feeder bus system going to it; it generally doesn't encourage people to walk to it; and the park-and-ride is not an attractive option for such a long and slow bus route.

And, I thought that taking cars off roads was the point of GreenTrip. A SELRT and a NLRT will take many, many cars off of roads, particularly Deerfoot, whereas people from exurbs will either drive anyways, or use the inter-city buses to get to LRT. This is "bang for your buck" just as much as BRT to Forest Lawn is. And why are they even mentioning service to people who live south of the Glenmore Resevoir? They have the same (probably underused) suburban feeder bus routes to the LRT that all suburbs have.

If we do anything, I think it should be: expand capacity on the lines we have, as planned. Create Intercity bus routes to the LRT, as planned, with a separate fare system. Build the entire SELRT, as soon as it's financially possible, and include the study for the NCLRT in the planning process. Create more BRT, proper BRT if possible, where it is needed, such as Forest Lawn.

Isn't most of that part of the campaign platform of Mayor Nenshi?

kw5150
Nov 4, 2010, 6:17 PM
So, you are suggesting we not provide people with a choice between cars and transit? And are you suggesting we not provide people like me, who have no choice but to ride transit, access to large parts of the city? Just because I don't live in the suburbs doesn't mean I don't have to go places (like say the massive employment areas of the SE industrial parks) that are not central.

No, of course not. I am saying they will have to be patient.

mersar
Nov 4, 2010, 6:49 PM
Didn't we order enough trains as part of that 4-car expansion?

A grand sum of 0 LRV's have been ordered specifically for the 4 car expansions, as of now. The only existing order was to handle the WestLRT, as well as NW and NE extensions, and replacements for retired LRV's. Any LRV's needed for the expansions probably won't be arriving until closer to when the expansion is done, and at this time CT is pretty tight on space again, so the OBMF expansion also needs to be done before then too. Expanding stations on both lines to 4 car will probably need another 20-30 LRV's is my guess.

Bender77
Nov 4, 2010, 7:37 PM
Expanding stations on both lines to 4 car will probably need another 20-30 LRV's is my guess.

The Calgary Herald story makes it sound like we will need 50. Or is that to replace some old LRV's as well?

fusili
Nov 4, 2010, 7:41 PM
For the people living way out in the far off suburbs....... what did you expect? You KNEW what you were buying into...... now you have live with it for a while. It may take years to get LRT transit because a good portion of the province and city's money has been spent on roads. You can't have it all!

Cities do not get built overnight. The SE LRT will happen eventually. In the meantime, you will just have to grin and bear it......there is always the ring road.......

Thanks for writing that. Although people should have some level public transit, people living in the suburbs should not expect to have great transit. I am a strong proponent of using transit as an incentive to live closer to the city and in denser areas. Right now it seems Calgary is doing just the reverse- providing good transit to far flung suburbs and terrible service to the inner city. People need to be given the incentives and disincentives otherwise our transit will be perpetually ineffective.

mersar
Nov 4, 2010, 8:01 PM
The Calgary Herald story makes it sound like we will need 50. Or is that to replace some old LRV's as well?

Well 50 actually wouldn't be that far off either.

Considering the 201 alone at peak frequency of 5 minutes and around 100 minutes to do the full trip and back (give or take), you'd be looking at 20 more LRV's, and the full 202 (Saddletown to 69th) would be similar. Of course the spacing isn't exactly even between trains but that would be closer to 40. Plus reserve capacity to allow for maintenance and breakdowns. We'll probably also start replacing some of the U2's by that time as well, though not too many.

outoftheice
Nov 4, 2010, 8:06 PM
RE: Calgary Herald Article

Perhaps someone in the know can tell me why in the province where we have P3 ring roads, P3 schools and P3 healthcare projects, nobody ever talks about P3 transit? Look at the latest ring road deal, the province advanced about 30% of the project cost over the 2 years of contruction and the rest will be paid over the next 30 years. Why can the same not be done for the LRT in Calgary? The construction cost for a combined North Central/SE LRT is about $3.6 Billion. Using the same model as the ring road P3, that would mean the city and province would need to advance about $1.08 Billion over the project's construction period (which would probably run about 5 years) and the rest of the cost would be spread over a 30 year term. If I'm not mistaken, $1.08 Billion is about the same amount of money that is available if the City and Province's Green Trip funding is combined. Then, instead of the proposed compromise transit projects that are a mish-mash of everything, we will have completed the last 2 legs of a world class LRT network that will be more than capable to handle all the regional transit commuters required! Can someone please tell me why what seems obvious to me, doesn't even seem to be worth discussing at the political level?

MalcolmTucker
Nov 4, 2010, 8:28 PM
No reason why we couldn't do P3. But it is mug's game to say it saves money, it only creates certainty (which may save money). Paying a P3 partner, or paying off debt is no different.

Edmonton paid for the SLRT to Century Park by allocating the federal gas tax money directly to the line in their budget. For many years, the amount will not be there to pay for new capital, but will be paying the debt. No reason why we can't do the same. Just need to realize that no matter what we do we will have less money in the future. They don't have as much money to devote to new projects as we do because of their past actions. Marching ever forward, will hit the wall sometime. Whether we over leverage and build out the SE LRT and then have no expansion for 20 years, or take the measured approach and get to the same goal but a bit more sanely - I prefer the later.

To be honest, even trying the SE LRT before 2017 will stretch the city's fiscal capacity. Better to find another deserving project that fits within the budget envelop and increases regional capacity - debottlenecking the LRT in downtown by building a tunnel. No reason to build a truncated SE LRT that goes requires a long walk or bus ride at both ends.

freeweed
Nov 4, 2010, 8:34 PM
Plus, we could have LRT lines built in less than half the time, if the Ring Road is any indication. Or imagine not taking an entire year to re-platform a station.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 4, 2010, 8:36 PM
No need for a private investment to have speedy implementation.

Robert in Calgary
Nov 4, 2010, 8:53 PM
RE: Calgary Herald Article

The construction cost for a combined North Central/SE LRT is about $3.6 Billion.
(snip)

.....we will have completed the last 2 legs of a world class LRT network that will be more than capable to handle all the regional transit commuters required!

1. I would raise the gas tax by 6 cents to fund the bulk of the SE/Centre Street LRT. Approx $120 million per year or about $2.4 Billion over twenty years to get the project rolling.

2. Once it reaches the Crossroads Market, I would actually like the SE LRT to turn towards the Stampede and I would like a new Stampede station to serve South/NW and SE/Centre Street at a minimum. The Stampede would like to reopen 17th Avenue as a main access point. This would require a rebuilding of the line between the two tunnel portals. (option to lower the tracks under both 17th Avenue and 25th Avenue)

3. I would like to see a combined approach to building City Centre LRT infrastructure plus a new Central Library and Glenbow Museum. I view the Bay Parkade/Old Herald building block as a good central point to base this around. (funded by another six cent gas tax increase, I have no qualms about using gas tax money for a library and museum)

4. For me, Plan It became a failure when the planners said they were only planning on six legs of LRT. My view is that there can be 10 legs organized into five routes going through downtown plus at least one crosstown route.

freeweed
Nov 4, 2010, 9:22 PM
No need for a private investment to have speedy implementation.

There shouldn't be, but for whatever reason there sure seems to be.

fusili
Nov 4, 2010, 9:29 PM
4. For me, Plan It became a failure when the planners said they were only planning on six legs of LRT. My view is that there can be 10 legs organized into five routes going through downtown plus at least one crosstown route.

I would disagree. 6 radial LRT lines should be pretty good, provided they are high capacity. The rest can be circular and crosstown BRTs and some smaller radial and circular streetcars. I think about 10 BRTs and 6 street car routes would do the trick.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 4, 2010, 9:47 PM
I wonder if the province would be open to allowing the Calgary Regional Partnership to run a referendum for project specific taxes to see if the people are willing to pay for it. It works well in the USA.

Wooster
Nov 4, 2010, 10:01 PM
I wonder if the province would be open to allowing the Calgary Regional Partnership to run a referendum for project specific taxes to see if the people are willing to pay for it. It works well in the USA.

I'd like to see more of this in happen in Canada. Perhaps a direct levy of some sort that would cover 50% of the costs (other 50% would come from prov/feds) of multiple long term projects. Creates a direct relationship between the tax and what citizens get out of it.

Look at places like Metropolitan Denver's Fastracks program as an example.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 4, 2010, 10:04 PM
Would be politically 'courageous' to put it in however - would need to start with a law allowing citizen referenda on anything unfortunately. Wait - does Alberta still have a referendum law? It was one thing that was a reform style thing that might have been brought in and forgotten about in the 90s.

outoftheice
Nov 4, 2010, 11:20 PM
No reason why we couldn't do P3. But it is mug's game to say it saves money, it only creates certainty (which may save money). Paying a P3 partner, or paying off debt is no different.

Edmonton paid for the SLRT to Century Park by allocating the federal gas tax money directly to the line in their budget. For many years, the amount will not be there to pay for new capital, but will be paying the debt. No reason why we can't do the same. Just need to realize that no matter what we do we will have less money in the future. They don't have as much money to devote to new projects as we do because of their past actions. Marching ever forward, will hit the wall sometime. Whether we over leverage and build out the SE LRT and then have no expansion for 20 years, or take the measured approach and get to the same goal but a bit more sanely - I prefer the later.

To be honest, even trying the SE LRT before 2017 will stretch the city's fiscal capacity. Better to find another deserving project that fits within the budget envelop and increases regional capacity - debottlenecking the LRT in downtown by building a tunnel. No reason to build a truncated SE LRT that goes requires a long walk or bus ride at both ends.

You raise some good points, however I'd be curious to get your take on 2 counter-points...

Paying a P3 partner, or paying off debt is no different. To this I would say, yes and no. From a financial perspective, there is little to no difference. If anything, a P3 partnership is more expensive over the long term than the City assuming the debt itself. However from a political perspective, there seems to be a huge difference. To me, people are a lot more willing to accept debt through P3 versus a level of government taking on that debt themselves. As you said, essentially a "mug's game" but it strikes me as one that needs to be played to ensure support from the general population. If I remember correctly, there is also a limit to the amount of total debt that the City of Calgary can assume. I believe that since the actual debt in a P3 is technically carried by the P3 partnership it would not be limited by these rules... perhaps someone else can clarify?

Whether we over leverage and build out the SE LRT and then have no expansion for 20 years, or take the measured approach and get to the same goal but a bit more sanely - I prefer the later.

From a purely transportation perspective, I agree. But from a transportation and planning perspective, I would have to disagree. To me, the City needs to do something to address urban sprawl. In the long run, sprawl will cost us more than any LRT project. If the goals set forth in Plan It Calgary are realized, the City will save itself $11.2 Billion in expenditures. For me, the LRT is the best catalyst to drive growth and investment in existing communities. If we put the tracks down now and then do nothing for 20 years, that's still 20 years where intensification in density can occur along the LRT network. That's 20 years of investment and building opportunities that are forever lost by delaying the project. People will be more willing to spend their money if the LRT is there, not because the LRT may or may not be there at some point in the future. So yes, in 20 years, we may be at the same spot from a transportation perspective, but from a planning perspective where will we be? That will be 20 additional years of sprawl, 20 years of lost opportunities for available private capital to fund inner city development opportunities. A combined SE/NC LRT will cost about $3.6 Billion to build now. But if by building it now, we are able to impact where growth occurs in the city, it will be 20 years of financial strain for a lifetime of financial gain. $3.6 Billion now to try and save $11.2 Billion down the road makes sense to me!

Koolfire
Nov 5, 2010, 1:13 AM
RE: Calgary Herald Article

I'll play devils advocate and agree with what the city staff are saying. There is better bang for the buck with other projects than SE LRT or NC LRT. A better project would be the 8th Ave Subway which could increase service dramatically on the South line without even having to go to 4 car length stations. Improved service will draw at additional SE residents.

The ring road will change driving patterns considerably, more so then people realize. From 22X/Deerfoot, to Sunridge Mall, Stoney Trail will be about 2 km shorter.

Those two things would/will take a large burden off Deerfoot.

Interesting though, what if the SE/NC LRT is built as a transit way first. It's something that hasn't been consider up to now. City and Province have indicated that doing the SE LRT in one go is too much of a burden. But if you make the route so that it's constantly upgradeable this could work. I see it as the following:

After WLRT is complete, reroute 301 to SE. Get people used to this route.
Start construction on LRT ROW in foothills in a way to be useable by buses as a transit way. Build the flyovers, interchanges, bypasses. This will continuously improve service speed. Continue this till LRT alignment is 100% complete in the SE.
Upgrade this route with electric overhead cable and transition buses over to hybrid were they can work on electric overhead cables or diesel engine.
Next start construction on Downtown tunnel. For now it can exit near Eau Clarie Market. Tunnel is to have electric cables so that buses do not have exhaust fumes.
After that continue tunnel construction under Bow River to about 16th Ave North. At least to were the traffic bottleneck begins.
Then finally complete the last portion tunnel, likely just north of McKnight were the buses can run in their own ROW. The ROW could be built at almost anytime as it's not contingent on anything.
After the alignment is complete start conversion from Bus to Train by putting down rails. Build/Rebuild stations if required. LowFloor trains replacing the buses would likely be the best way to go.


The reason I see this as a more realistic way to go is that by breaking down the project into smaller part the more likely the city will make progress on this project. Also doing this will let Calgary Transit provide service on this route without having to shut it down during construction as the buses will detour around during non-rush hours. Something is better then nothing.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 5, 2010, 1:35 AM
Transitways are a great way to waste money on high operating costs. Plus conversion costs are always awful, and hard to justify politically since your not providing 'new' service, you have to shut down the existing service while you do it, likely for at least a year.

As for the SE Transitway, the portion over the Deerfoot is the wrong project at the wrong time. You can provide superior service like so, (a post from the summer, forgive the poorly drawn SE LRT - it is on the wrong alignment) for much less money.
Plan includes:
17th Avenue transit lanes - $94 million
Busway to connect 17th Ave SE with SE LRT in Inglewood - $153 million, plus land purchases

I was wondering - why go to the SE LRT? Why not up to Barlow/Maxbell? The route is shorter, doesn't need the SE LRT (which might not get all the way downtown in the first phase), and likely much cheaper to shore up a hill side that to buld bridges over a rail yard, freeway, canal and river.
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/8214/17thbrt.jpg
Orange = SE LRT
Red = NE LRT
Yellow = Barlow Maxbell 17th BRT connector
Blue = 17th BRT and Inglewood Transitway

YYCguys
Nov 5, 2010, 2:49 AM
Heard today on ShawTV channel, an interview with Mayor Nenshi, when asked what he can't wait to do, he replied, "Take a sledge hammer to the Park n Ride machines". :)

Robert in Calgary
Nov 5, 2010, 3:21 AM
I would disagree. 6 radial LRT lines should be pretty good, provided they are high capacity. The rest can be circular and crosstown BRTs and some smaller radial and circular streetcars. I think about 10 BRTs and 6 street car routes would do the trick.

If there's genuine follow through on Plan It, we end up with more people and more congestion in the existing space with Transit trying to operate in this.

I find 6 LRT lines doesn't cut it in any respect. We're about to hit 4 and likely 5 in some way, by the end of the decade. Add in that line 6 is still officially slated for the Nose Creek Valley. :hell:

Are we going to have Transit only lanes all over the city?

Robert in Calgary
Nov 5, 2010, 3:31 AM
RE: Calgary Herald Article

I'll play devils advocate and agree with what the city staff are saying. There is better bang for the buck with other projects than SE LRT or NC LRT. A better project would be the 8th Ave Subway which could increase service dramatically on the South line without even having to go to 4 car length stations. Improved service will draw at additional SE residents.


I tend to agree that we need to tackle LRT infrastructure downtown. Given the city's penchant for socking money away in accounts, it's a shame the city hasn't been specifically saving money for the last 25 years for major LRT projects downtown.

A few years ago, I wrote and asked what the city's plans were for LRT downtown. Next thing I know, I'm reading a news story about how the city is starting planning on this very question. Once again, Your welcome City Hall! :haha:

I would sooner see a Anderson/Douglas Glen LRT connection with more money going into downtown work. This is 7.2 km vs SE LRT, 13.6km from 10th Ave/2nd St. SW to Douglas Glen.

http://beta.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/25061616/

or, a crosstown route I've been advocating for years.

http://beta.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/21502232/

MichaelS
Nov 5, 2010, 4:54 AM
From a purely transportation perspective, I agree. But from a transportation and planning perspective, I would have to disagree. To me, the City needs to do something to address urban sprawl. In the long run, sprawl will cost us more than any LRT project. If the goals set forth in Plan It Calgary are realized, the City will save itself $11.2 Billion in expenditures. For me, the LRT is the best catalyst to drive growth and investment in existing communities. If we put the tracks down now and then do nothing for 20 years, that's still 20 years where intensification in density can occur along the LRT network. That's 20 years of investment and building opportunities that are forever lost by delaying the project. People will be more willing to spend their money if the LRT is there, not because the LRT may or may not be there at some point in the future. So yes, in 20 years, we may be at the same spot from a transportation perspective, but from a planning perspective where will we be? That will be 20 additional years of sprawl, 20 years of lost opportunities for available private capital to fund inner city development opportunities. A combined SE/NC LRT will cost about $3.6 Billion to build now. But if by building it now, we are able to impact where growth occurs in the city, it will be 20 years of financial strain for a lifetime of financial gain. $3.6 Billion now to try and save $11.2 Billion down the road makes sense to me!

Building a SE LRT will only encourage more sprawl in the SE. People will be able to live further out, drive the 10 minutes to the last station, and hop on for the quick ride into downtown. With the current lines, we have more than enough TOD potential to redevlop over 20 years (think Brentwood, Chinook, Anderson, Westbrook, Banff Trail, etc...). If the market wants to densify around an LRT line, we don't need to build a new one for them to do it.

Building the SE line will encourage sprawl, but upgrading the existing lines to run more frequent will encourage density around them in my opinion.

Bassic Lab
Nov 5, 2010, 8:56 AM
Building a SE LRT will only encourage more sprawl in the SE. People will be able to live further out, drive the 10 minutes to the last station, and hop on for the quick ride into downtown. With the current lines, we have more than enough TOD potential to redevlop over 20 years (think Brentwood, Chinook, Anderson, Westbrook, Banff Trail, etc...). If the market wants to densify around an LRT line, we don't need to build a new one for them to do it.

Building the SE line will encourage sprawl, but upgrading the existing lines to run more frequent will encourage density around them in my opinion.

The problem is that the city is not going to stop growing geographically. The SE suburbs will spread with the SE LRT or without it. The difference will be worse traffic congestion on vital roads, like Deerfoot, and suburbs oriented towards cars instead of transit. It is already as short a drive from outlying towns, like Okotoks, to Somerset-Bridlewood as it would be to the Seton-South Hospital station.

This really highlights the problematic nature of the entire Greentrip Fund. The province essentially just promised two billion dollars as a PR stunt. They had no concept of what they actually wanted the money to be spent on, they just added some loose guidelines for political reasons. What they failed to realize is that "green transportation" does not make sense between different municipalities within the Calgary region. The population is too concentrated in a single city and too spread out in all of the others for it too make sense. Nenshi seriously has to explain to Stelmach that the region does not need transit funding; the city of Calgary is who does need it. In the next provincial election Calgary will have twenty five seats while the surrounding area will have between three and five depending on how liberally the surrounding area is defined. I have no idea what they are trying to do with Greentrip, spending in Calgary makes more sense environmentally, practically, and politically.

Riise
Nov 5, 2010, 10:54 AM
To be honest, building the SE LRT as envisioned with this amount is really shitty. Does everyone in the SE want to hike down to 10th Ave and Macleod Tr to get on their wonderful transit?

Council needs to really reject both visions, and go back to the drawing board. There are better ways to get the SE LRT done than what they have asked for.

No reason to build a truncated SE LRT that goes requires a long walk or bus ride at both ends.

+1

He speaks the truth. The plan as it stands today is pathetically incomplete.


Would be politically 'courageous' to put it in however...

It would be nice if the Provincial government took an interest in urban matters. I know there is a 'power' issue and they don't want to devolve too much power to the Municipal level but they could make up for this if they actually got involved; they can't keep the power but do nothing.



Thanks for writing that. Although people should have some level public transit, people living in the suburbs should not expect to have great transit.

That is unless they pay a premium and get the developer to tie their development into the primary rapid transit network.

bookermorgan
Nov 5, 2010, 1:20 PM
Ha ha

http://chzgifs.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/autowakeupp1.gif

DarkKeyo
Nov 5, 2010, 4:59 PM
2. Once it reaches the Crossroads Market, I would actually like the SE LRT to turn towards the Stampede and I would like a new Stampede station to serve South/NW and SE/Centre Street at a minimum
The station at 4 st SE, beside the underpass, will be two blocks away from the start of the Stampede Trail retail development. So, SELRT will improve access to stampede considerably.

I would disagree. 6 radial LRT lines should be pretty good, provided they are high capacity. The rest can be circular and crosstown BRTs and some smaller radial and circular streetcars. I think about 10 BRTs and 6 street car routes would do the trick.
Agreed 100%

A better project would be the 8th Ave Subway which could increase service dramatically on the South line without even having to go to 4 car length stations.

Unfortunately, years of not building transit have made all of these projects desirable. We need the subway, the 4 car trains, and the two new lines. By 2020 if possible.

Interesting though, what if the SE/NC LRT is built as a transit way first. It's something that hasn't been consider up to now.


Look at Ottawa as an example of what can go wrong if you build transitways first and convert later. It cost them a lot, and there was quite a lot of debate. Where would you put a NC transitway anyways?

I would sooner see a Anderson/Douglas Glen LRT connection with more money going into downtown work. This is 7.2 km vs SE LRT, 13.6km from 10th Ave/2nd St. SW to Douglas Glen.

http://beta.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/25061616/

or, a crosstown route I've been advocating for years.

http://beta.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/21502232/

These would be better as BRT, at least at first, especially since they can be implemented soon.

The problem is that the city is not going to stop growing geographically. The SE suburbs will spread with the SE LRT or without it. The difference will be worse traffic congestion on vital roads, like Deerfoot, and suburbs oriented towards cars instead of transit. It is already as short a drive from outlying towns, like Okotoks, to Somerset-Bridlewood as it would be to the Seton-South Hospital station.

Agreed 100%

DarkKeyo
Nov 5, 2010, 5:04 PM
What we really need is to sit down and plan very carefully what we want to do with the transit network in the next 10+ years. We should do studies to find out the benefits of NCLRT under Centre St, to find out the benefits of P3's, and where we can implement BRT's, especially crosstown ones. Didn't Nenshi make that part of his transportation platform?

Toronto's Transit City and Edmonton's latest network plan, at least give them an idea of the direction they want to go and when and how they want to build things. We need something like that, especially one that is suited to current economic times (unlike Transit City).

MalcolmTucker
Nov 5, 2010, 5:21 PM
We have a plan, a detailed plan that takes us into at least the middle of the next decade. It is just we want more and more, and are trying to push the SE LRT to the head of the cue when there is little money for it.

Stick to the plan - Stephen Avenue Subway is next, along with 4 and 5 car trains along with other debottlenecking like building the Heritage grade separation.

We just need that study to be done - I am guessing the SE LRT downtown route might be changed in it - due to deep water utilities running under both 10th and 9th at 2nd St - which might change the whole ball game.

MalcolmTucker
Nov 5, 2010, 5:34 PM
As for the BRT Routes, we already have 'high order transit' routes in the official plan, with technology to be determined [Page 90]:
http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/planning/pdf/municipal_development_plan/calgary_transportation_plan.pdf#page=90 (http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/planning/pdf/municipal_development_plan/calgary_transportation_plan.pdf)

The plan is where the 17th Ave SE busway to the SE LRT comes from.

kw5150
Nov 5, 2010, 5:45 PM
What we really need is to sit down and plan very carefully what we want to do with the transit network in the next 10+ years. We should do studies to find out the benefits of NCLRT under Centre St, to find out the benefits of P3's, and where we can implement BRT's, especially crosstown ones. Didn't Nenshi make that part of his transportation platform?

Toronto's Transit City and Edmonton's latest network plan, at least give them an idea of the direction they want to go and when and how they want to build things. We need something like that, especially one that is suited to current economic times (unlike Transit City).

You should read the article that was posted a few pages back. It has devoted 10 million to SE LRT research and strategizing.

kw5150
Nov 5, 2010, 5:51 PM
Does anyone else find it strange that they tackled all of the major road and LRT construction during the highest construction costs ever recoreded for Calgary? Could they not have saved the money for an economic downturn? Everyone knew secretly that the boom times would not last forever...... Can someone explain why this happened? Could they not have stretched out some of the work???

craner
Nov 5, 2010, 6:55 PM
We have a plan, a detailed plan that takes us into at least the middle of the next decade. It is just we want more and more, and are trying to push the SE LRT to the head of the cue when there is little money for it.

Stick to the plan - Stephen Avenue Subway is next, along with 4 and 5 car trains along with other debottlenecking like building the Heritage grade separation.

We just need that study to be done - I am guessing the SE LRT downtown route might be changed in it - due to deep water utilities running under both 10th and 9th at 2nd St - which might change the whole ball game.

Yes Please !

MichaelS
Nov 5, 2010, 7:30 PM
Does anyone else find it strange that they tackled all of the major road and LRT construction during the highest construction costs ever recoreded for Calgary? Could they not have saved the money for an economic downturn? Everyone knew secretly that the boom times would not last forever...... Can someone explain why this happened? Could they not have stretched out some of the work???

The way real estate agents talked, I don't thikn everyone knew that the boom times would not last forever.

But seriously, I don't think anybody can predict so accurately when an economic cycle will change. In the mean time, we had a tens of thousdands of people moving to Calgary each year, and the citizens demanding that new infrastructure be built to handle the population increase. Politicians just did what citizens called for. Bronconnier ran on a very large infrastructure platform, and was elected and then went about implimenting it. Give the people what they want.

freeweed
Nov 5, 2010, 7:32 PM
Does anyone else find it strange that they tackled all of the major road and LRT construction during the highest construction costs ever recoreded for Calgary? Could they not have saved the money for an economic downturn? Everyone knew secretly that the boom times would not last forever...... Can someone explain why this happened? Could they not have stretched out some of the work???

Human psychology. When times are tight, and people don't have money - they don't want "the government" spending like crazy. When things are good and the coffers are overflowing (like Alberta saw from 2005-08), people want the money spent.

It's silly and it's counterproductive, but our elected officials are just that - elected. Even when the populace is wrong, they do have to listen to voters if they want to be re-elected. It's counter-intuitive to most people that government should spend during recessions and save during boom times. Not fair nor logical, but that's just how it is.

kw5150
Nov 5, 2010, 7:43 PM
:previous: :previous:

I knew the boom would end. I actually told my mom to withdraw her RRSP's in early July. The economy tanked 2 weeks later. Myself, I saved cash during the boom for a down payment (instead of spending, spending) and capitalized on the lower costs of the housing market this year.

I think a party could gain a lot of recognition if it utilized smarter spending practices. They could still give people what they want...just in smaller peices.

Things were moving so fast and the city approved SO MANY projects from 2003 - 2007 that the whole city was in absolute mayhem. I cant help but think that the designers and construction workers are STILL burnt out from it all........I know I am sometimes.

Dado
Nov 5, 2010, 8:04 PM
I think you guys need to sort out your uses of "transitway" et al.

A 'transitway' in its "pure" form is a grade-separated right-of-way for the exclusive use of transit vehicles. Technically, it is technology neutral, so that the SkyTrain right-of-way is arguably a transitway. However, since the term is only really used in Ottawa and was invented as a bit of a cover for a bus-only system it has come to be a sort of synonym for a grade-separated busway but in fact the precise term for that is a "bus transitway". When light rail replaces buses on Ottawa's transitways, they could be called "light rail transitways". Of course even in Ottawa not all the transitways are completely grade-separated: the East and Southeast Transitways are, the West Transitway is discontinuous and the Southwest Transitway (also discontinuous) has numerous at-grade crossings.

A 'busway' is an exclusive roadway for buses. It may or may not be grade-separated. It can even run in the median of a major road, like the 98 B-Line did in Vancouver.

"The Transitway" (capitalized) is the name of Ottawa's so-called rapid transit system. I don't see a problem with using the term post-conversion to light rail, but somehow I think it will be dropped because of its connotations. The capitalized term may also be used as part of a proper name, like road, street, avenue, etc., are: the "West Transitway", the "Southeast Transitway", etc.



Given Ottawa's experience, you basically want to stay away from busways unless you're absolutely sure it will never be converted (or not for a very long time). A busway will function long past the point at which it should have been converted and the temptation is just to put it off until such time as conversion is needed, at which point the conversion is more disruptive. You might be able to add tracks to something like a median busway and have it shared between trams and buses where operation is on line-of-sight and speeds are relatively low. You do not, however, want to share high-speed running of buses and light rail trains.

As a general rule, buses require grade separation at lower passenger and/or cross street volumes than does light rail. Where a train blocking a cross street for a few seconds every few minutes is acceptable, buses tripping preemptions a few times a minute simply would not be. Hence, buses either have to stop some of the time or the crossing gets grade separated. Ottawa has no examples of absolute bus preemption of cross street traffic.

frinkprof
Nov 6, 2010, 4:04 AM
Good for a chuckle.

http://www.scullen.ca/wp-content/uploads/2006/02/Calgary_Anagram_LRT.jpg

freeweed
Nov 6, 2010, 5:26 AM
Not sure I get much of that. And I've tried, with and without Chardonnay.

Koolfire
Nov 6, 2010, 5:32 AM
Not sure I get much of that. And I've tried, with and without Chardonnay.

They're anagrams. Someone must have stared into one of these signs for too long to come up with some of these.

freeweed
Nov 6, 2010, 5:58 AM
They're anagrams. Someone must have stared into one of these signs for too long to come up with some of these.

WOW. OK, now I think I get it. I was trying to figure out Crowfoot and failing miserably (for obvious reasons).

That's insanely clever.

DarkKeyo
Nov 6, 2010, 6:48 AM
As for the BRT Routes, we already have 'high order transit' routes in the official plan, with technology to be determined [Page 90]:
http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/planning/pdf/municipal_development_plan/calgary_transportation_plan.pdf#page=90 (http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/BU/planning/pdf/municipal_development_plan/calgary_transportation_plan.pdf)

The plan is where the 17th Ave SE busway to the SE LRT comes from.

I'll have to reread that, since I seem to have forgotten most of it. A quick glance at the map hints that I would still debate or suggest updates to their plans. I'll also read the article kw5150 was referring to. Better to argue my points after I've done my research.

That still leaves us with the problem of needing all of this expansion in the short-term and not having the finances for it, thus leading to debate over what has priority.

ByeByeBaby
Nov 6, 2010, 6:53 AM
That's an old map. It's missing:

Cow Of Rot
SW Dicks - NW Tight Men


Also, all of the under construction stations like:

Marital Den
Last Endowed
Say C**t ("Any Cuts" in the PG map)
A-La-Nuts
Hippo Pants Again?
Or Best Wok
Sir Coco

Wooster
Nov 6, 2010, 2:39 PM
The fact that Council has to make a snap decision on monday about which projects to prioritize for funding that we've known has been coming for over 2 years is troubling. I really think that the City needs to make a capital priority list for transit and other transportation infrastructure so that when provincial and/or federal money comes along, it's clear what is the highest priority. This should include order of magnitude costing from the outset. A next step would be to come up with a mechanism to pay for a significant share of this infrastructure with predictable sources of funding, so that we can leverage available municipally generated funds into more money to complete projects from senior levels of government. The province and/or feds are much more likely to latch onto big infrastructure projects when it's very clear what they're funding, what the benefit is and when all that needs to happen for it to go ahead is for them to sign the cheque and put their signs up promoting it.

SubwayRev
Nov 6, 2010, 4:23 PM
The fact that Council has to make a snap decision on monday about which projects to prioritize for funding that we've known has been coming for over 2 years is troubling. I really think that the City needs to make a capital priority list for transit and other transportation infrastructure so that when provincial and/or federal money comes along, it's clear what is the highest priority. This should include order of magnitude costing from the outset. A next step would be to come up with a mechanism to pay for a significant share of this infrastructure with predictable sources of funding, so that we can leverage available municipally generated funds into more money to complete projects from senior levels of government. The province and/or feds are much more likely to latch onto big infrastructure projects when it's very clear what they're funding, what the benefit is and when all that needs to happen for it to go ahead is for them to sign the cheque and put their signs up promoting it.

Could not agree more. Then the important thing to do, is follow that list of priorities, from top to bottom. Currently, we do little projects, because we can't afford the big ones (Think NW and NE LRT extensions). That money should not have been spent on those projects until the higher priority projects were completed. Funding a series of small-impact, low-priority projects for years, instead of pooling that money together for the big ticket items is not the way to build a transit system. Or a road network.

I remember driving in Gilbert, Arizona in the early 90's and seeing a large swatch of land between two suburbs, with a sign saying "Future Santan freeway corridor." The road wasn't built until 2006, but there had been plans, land set aside, even some overpasses built in the middle of the desert, because it was part of their long-term network plans.

You can also look to Phoenix's light rail system. All of their future extensions are already listed, with routes, cost estimates, completion dates, and funding sources. Basically it's 'here's the plan, how we're going to do it and where. Now let's get it done.'

MalcolmTucker
Nov 6, 2010, 4:51 PM
1) We have a predictable source of funds, a source that every other city (save other Albertan ones) is insanely jealous of
2) We have very little 'available municipally generated funds', and the funds we do have is largely from debt financing
3) We have a capital projects list. The problem is the projects are so big that it is hard to work out financing at the best of times.

As an aside, the money that is currently being spent on the Rocky Ridge/Tuscany and Saddletowne extensions would have looked pretty good topping up Green Trip, or in general providing enough funds to make the SE LRT somewhat useful in its first phase (getting from Eau Claire to Douglasdale)

I think it is important to look at all of this in perspective. Calgary is building on a cost basis its equivalent of the Canada Line right now. The next project we want to do will cost double that (SE LRT). To expect to be able to go fast on the next project is a bit ridiculous. In the perspective of most city's, starting it in 2017 (when MSI expires) or 2020 would still be going pretty fast all things considered.

There is a huge hole in the SE LRT budget, that I believe is too big to fill by P3 or debt financing without seriously dragging us down in the future. That hole could get bigger with the election of a new government in the province, or the replacement of Stelmach.

If could arrange it with the province, it would be useful to spend this first piece of Green Trip on the West LRT for both parties. The province gets a project that is close to completion to campaign on in the next election. The city frees up capital from the later years of MSI.

If they didn't agree to the above, what you are left with is a program envelope of $300 million over the next two-three years, and $900 million at the in-determinant back end. So what do you spend on?