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  #6221  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 6:07 PM
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On a more cheerful note, this is a new addition to State Street in South Salt Lake, at the old Utah Auto Gallery (about 2300 south):

It's right in the crook of I-15 and I-80, and 10 supercharger stalls are currently under construction. Supposedly a full service center on the site is soon to follow! Wow!
I am really excited about this, and cannot wait until the Tesla Model 3 (aka the poor man's Tesla) is released in a few years. I currently drive an all electric Nissan Leaf that runs off the solar panels on my roof, and I love it. I haven't been to a gas station since April of last year. It would be great to get a car with a little more range though. Hopefully by the time the lease is up on my Leaf in April 2017, the Tesla Model 3 will be out, though I am not very optimistic on that, as Tesla regularly brings in new car lines later than announcements.
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  #6222  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 6:39 PM
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I currently drive an all electric Nissan Leaf that runs off the solar panels on my roof
marry me
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  #6223  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 8:24 PM
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Another Hack-job analysis for all you numberphiles out there!
(This is based on the APTA data I found a day or two ago)


What can be learned from this? UTA needs to push the Van Pool idea more, as it very nearly pays for itself.

FrontRunner is at a disadvantage in this table, because this is fiscal year 2013, meaning these numbers are between Oct 2012 and 0ct 2013, so FrontRunner South wasn't open for a portion of this time.

Buses still cost so much more to run per passenger than I thought. In the Network Study, UTA claims that they can run a bus at $0.17-$0.37 per passenger mile, depending on if the bus is sitting-full or standing-full. Clearly the buses are rarely that full, as the actual cost is $1.07 more per mile than the conservative sitting-full estimate. Clearly the buses need work - I suggest UTA look to what has been done in Huston.

Lastly, Para-transit continues to be a drag on the system. I understand that many people need para-transit service, but if the $4.5 million it takes to operate the service annually is taking $4.5 million away from other UTA services, I wonder if it should be re-evaluated. You know, 'the greater good' and all.
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  #6224  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 9:01 PM
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Buses still cost so much more to run per passenger than I thought. In the Network Study, UTA claims that they can run a bus at $0.17-$0.37 per passenger mile, depending on if the bus is sitting-full or standing-full. Clearly the buses are rarely that full, as the actual cost is $1.07 more per mile than the conservative sitting-full estimate. Clearly the buses need work - I suggest UTA look to what has been done in Huston.
UTA already redesigned their system in 2007 to make it more grid-oriented. Ridership leaped because the routes made so much more sense, and because service was redirected and strengthened where ridership was already high.

However, UTA's funding dried up throughout the recession. And, combined with the breakneck rail expansion program, bus service (and subsequently ridership) suffered. All UTA really has to do is improve service to 2007/2008 levels again, but it can't do that without the state legislature actually giving a damn about transit. (If last year's HB388 is any indication, it doesn't.)

Quote:
Lastly, Para-transit continues to be a drag on the system. I understand that many people need para-transit service, but if the $4.5 million it takes to operate the service annually is taking $4.5 million away from other UTA services, I wonder if it should be re-evaluated. You know, 'the greater good' and all.
UTA is federally mandated to provide this service, so this won't go away any time soon. It costs somewhere around $35 per passenger, so, yeah, it's a huge drag.
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  #6225  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 9:12 PM
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marry me
I guess it is legal now, why not! You will have to break the news to my wife.
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  #6226  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 9:20 PM
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Congratulations guys! Will it be a temple wedding?!
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  #6227  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by CountyLemonade View Post
UTA already redesigned their system in 2007 to make it more grid-oriented. Ridership leaped because the routes made so much more sense, and because service was redirected and strengthened where ridership was already high.

However, UTA's funding dried up throughout the recession. And, combined with the breakneck rail expansion program, bus service (and subsequently ridership) suffered. All UTA really has to do is improve service to 2007/2008 levels again, but it can't do that without the state legislature actually giving a damn about transit. (If last year's HB388 is any indication, it doesn't.)
I do try to give credit where it is due - and UTA does have a very good system for our size of city. If I ever complain, it's not because UTA is lacking (again, for our city size), but because I would like it to do more. There's always more that can be done, right?

If 'getting service levels back' means higher frequency and longer hours, then I agree that's a big part of what UTA buses need.
BTW, how is the legislative session going? Any work on the transit-funding front yet?
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  #6228  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 10:09 PM
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The only reason democrats are "inept," as you put it, is because they have no power in this theocratic State.
Whatever helps you sleep at night. Acting like one is greater than the other is the false paradigm that plagues our society. Political parties are toxic and as long as sheep follow suit, it will continue to be. Blast Republicans all you want, but leaving out half of the problem just isn't right.

Not trying to steer the board from current discussion. It's just that this forum is full of "Republicans suck!" statements, as if that's the only issue and I'm just trying to point out that Democrats are far from the answer, which unfortunately seems to be the kool-aid that many posters here suck down regularly. I've noticed it here for years and it's mostly just embarrassing than anything else.

Thought I'd mention something about it, but by all means, I don't intend to stop it.
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  #6229  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 10:17 PM
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Whatever helps you sleep at night. Acting like one is greater than the other is the false paradigm that plagues our society. Political parties are toxic and as long as sheep follow suit, it will continue to be. Blast Republicans all you want, but leaving out half of the problem just isn't right.

Not trying to steer the board from current discussion. It's just that this forum is full of "Republicans suck!" statements, as if that's the only issue and I'm just trying to point out that Democrats are far from the answer, which unfortunately seems to be the kool-aid that many posters here suck down regularly. I've noticed it here for years and it's mostly just embarrassing than anything else.

Thought I'd mention something about it, but by all means, I don't intend to stop it.
Are you yourself affiliated to any political party?

In general, the democratic platform is far greater than the republican platform. I'd say the democratic party is the lesser of two evils, so to speak.
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  #6230  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 10:35 PM
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Judging by the amount of argumentative political sidetracks these forums see, I'd say someone should create a "Salt Lake Political arguments and other bla bla bla I hate the government but won't do anything about it" Thread.

Frankly, it's really annoying to log on and instead of seeing development or other such news, its more political and religious ranting that goes absolutely nowhere.

You don't see pics of 111 south main in the Airport thread, it doesn't belong. Neither does this.
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  #6231  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 10:43 PM
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I had a chance to speak with a Frontrunner engine operator. He said electrification might happen sooner than you would think. This makes me wonder, at what point would frontrunner require double tracking and then electrification?

The 2040 goal is 15 minute frequencies in each direction, but at what level of ridership would this be deemed necessary?
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  #6232  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2015, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Wasatch Wasteland View Post
I had a chance to speak with a Frontrunner engine operator. He said electrification might happen sooner than you would think. This makes me wonder, at what point would frontrunner require double tracking and then electrification?

The 2040 goal is 15 minute frequencies in each direction, but at what level of ridership would this be deemed necessary?
The network study that UTA commissioned showed that increasing frequency to 15 minutes would nearly double ridership. Increasing speed would increase it another 10% roughly.

I think that adding selective double tracking and expanding what is already in place could be done relatively soon, possibly as part of the next transit increase.

At roughly $10 Million a mile for the double tracking, it would be a great benefit for relatively lower costs.

Electrification would be more expensive but I don't think it would be out of the question in the next round of funding.

Given the choice though, I would go with the double tracking first and electrification 2nd if we can't get both at the same time.

I don't think we will see the Frontrunner fully double tracked until after the line is electrified and selective double tracking is running frequency issues. Maybe closer to 2040 or 2050.
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  #6233  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 12:40 AM
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I see what you mean.

For example, San Francisco's Caltrain began operation in 1985 with little to no ridership. It served the peninsula and San Jose population which at the time was about the same as the current Wasatch Front population, ~2.5 Million. It took them 30 years and increasing amounts of double/bypass track to get to where they are now, which is 50,000 riders per day. Only now are they finally electrifying it.

2040-2050 seems pretty accurate, although in these times of rail revival and bust who knows what might happen.
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  #6234  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 4:30 PM
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Some news regarding the transit tax increase buried in a gas tax article:

House proposes gas-tax hike that isn’t

http://www.sltrib.com/home/2199311-1...hike-that-isnt

Quote:
Anderson's bill also would allow voters to approve a sales-tax increase of a quarter-cent per $1 purchase to help cities, counties and transit districts, such as the Utah Transit Authority. Because voters must approve it, legislators again could say they did not raise taxes.

In Salt Lake, Weber, Davis and Utah counties, the bill would divide the extra quarter-cent in tax that so that a tenth-cent each would go to UTA and cities, and counties would take .05 cents for transportation projects of regional importance.

In other counties, cities would take a tenth cent, and counties would take .15 for roads and other transportation projects.

Cities, counties and UTA jointly proposed those amounts, said Anderson.
From the above, this may be a great scenario. This would allow UTA to increase bus frequency and service, BRT, and some rail enhancements. It will also allow Ogden and SLC to build their Streetcars, Sandy to do the Trax/Frontrunner connector.

This of course will also allow other cities to work on transit options that would be specific for their city, be it mass transit, road construction or a combination of both.

I think this would be a great step forward towards transit focused more on the needs of the various cities rather than the regional needs that current exist.

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Originally Posted by Wasatch Wasteland View Post
I see what you mean.

For example, San Francisco's Caltrain began operation in 1985 with little to no ridership. It served the peninsula and San Jose population which at the time was about the same as the current Wasatch Front population, ~2.5 Million. It took them 30 years and increasing amounts of double/bypass track to get to where they are now, which is 50,000 riders per day. Only now are they finally electrifying it.

2040-2050 seems pretty accurate, although in these times of rail revival and bust who knows what might happen.
If Frontrunner was able to get to 15 minute frequencies in the next few years, it is possible that we will see faster ridership growth than Caltran did. This thought is mostly due to the expected ridership growth with just the 15 minute frequency (36,000+ daily boardings). With electrification, it could be roughly 40,000 to 42,000 daily boarding. Either would be great but even seeing 36,000+ daily boardings in roughly 15 years from start of service would be a great ROI on a system that was mostly built for a 2040+ population.
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  #6235  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 8:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Makid View Post
Some news regarding the transit tax increase buried in a gas tax article:

House proposes gas-tax hike that isn’t

http://www.sltrib.com/home/2199311-1...hike-that-isnt

From the above, this may be a great scenario. This would allow UTA to increase bus frequency and service, BRT, and some rail enhancements. It will also allow Ogden and SLC to build their Streetcars, Sandy to do the Trax/Frontrunner connector.

This of course will also allow other cities to work on transit options that would be specific for their city, be it mass transit, road construction or a combination of both.

I think this would be a great step forward towards transit focused more on the needs of the various cities rather than the regional needs that current exist.
Eh, one-tenth of a cent isn't much at all. It still leaves UTA will less funding than most of its other peer agencies. One-tenth of a percent would probably restore service back to approximately 2008 levels or less (see here for an idea) but that's still not enough to get us really decent evening, Saturday, and Sunday service especially. The full quarter or three-tenths increase (as Rep. Briscoe is proposing) would be ideal.
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  #6236  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 10:34 PM
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Eh, one-tenth of a cent isn't much at all. It still leaves UTA will less funding than most of its other peer agencies. One-tenth of a percent would probably restore service back to approximately 2008 levels or less (see here for an idea) but that's still not enough to get us really decent evening, Saturday, and Sunday service especially. The full quarter or three-tenths increase (as Rep. Briscoe is proposing) would be ideal.
I agree that the thee-tenths increase would be best. But if the County put its .05% to UTA, that would be a further increase, the same with each city.

The problem would be if the cities in SL County used their tenth for roads. I would expect SLC to use their for the streetcar system and increased service in the city. Other cities though may not be as willing to put most or all of it to transit. The County most likely would though, so UTA would be getting a .15% increase at a minimum.

I think a great compromise would be to bring UTA up to .2% or .25% from .1%, leave the cities at .1% and then the county at .05%.

With this, the County could have a county wide vote for either a .25% or a .3% vote on a sales tax increase. The UTA direct funds would be locked to restore and expand bus service and possibly reduce fares. The County portion would be able to be put towards bus service or rail service and frequencies (Trax and Frontrunner) in SL County.

Other service counties could get rail with the UTA direct fund such as Ogden's Streetcar and the Orem Trax extension and the rest of the funds to expand bus service. The county could use their increase for increasing transit options, buying ROW for future transit expansion, etc.

The part that I left out of the above is the .1% for the city. This would be separate from the County votes. By this, the city could have a separate question on the ballot the same year (2015) or possibly in a later year (2016 or later) where they would be able to ask their citizens to increase the tax within the city and the proceeds to be used for transit and transportation within the city itself.

This would allow cities to increase transit options as they see the needs locally. This would also signal the end of the large region tax increases for transit and shift it towards local funding.

As the current bonds are paid off, the taxes can remain for regional transit options, upgrades, conversions (BRT/LRT/Streetcar/FR Electrification,double tracking/etc.).

This system would allow the current 2040 plan as well as all maintenance and future plans (bonds would just need to be repaid first). This also allows cities to begin to expand transit options within their city boarders without needing to rely on a regional tax increase or property taxes to build and support additional transit options.
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  #6237  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2015, 11:18 PM
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I wonder how many of that % will go towards giving key people raises?
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  #6238  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2015, 12:07 AM
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I wonder how many of that % will go towards giving key people raises?
That all depends on how the bill that allows the increase or the voter proposition is written.

If either states that all funds must be directed to service, frequency or even expansion, none of the increase can be used for bonuses or raises. Only to hiring of new personnel. Raises and bonuses would need to come from other sources.
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  #6239  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 6:26 PM
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I took my geek up to the next level to try and determine what a FrontRunner double-tracking project might look like, and what it might cost. I used the published schedule to determine how long it takes trains to get from one station to another, and then added the northbound to the southbound to determine if it was longer or shorter than 15 minutes. If longer, that section would need double tracking to accommodate a more frequent schedule.
I used station-pairs because this way no extra switching is needed. Switching tracks at stations and sidings add extra time and unreliability to the schedule. My plan is to double-track between stations in an attempt to get rid of switching tracks and sidings.
Here's what I came up with:

The final result is that more-or-less, every other section of track gets a second track. The north section was sort of tricky, but by combining longer sections with fewer obstacles to construction, I think I have come up with the most feasible design. The section between north temple and woods cross wouldn't be double tracked more than it is, but the switch would be upgraded to a 32.7 turnout, capable of 80 mph (as opposed to the current switch, which has a top speed of 45 mph).
Keep in mind that the station-to-station times are from the current schedule, which adds in time for meets at certain stations. Having extra double-track would speed up meets and would decrease the total travel time between stops as well.

The total cost would be $414 million, which would make FrontRunner almost 2/3 double tracked (not counting pleasant view, as UTA does not own that part). I would also want UTA to fully extend the platforms at all stations, which could bring the costs up to $450 million. Then, if UTA buys enough equipment to add 8 more consists (for 15 minute service) and extend the current consists by 1 car, that would add another $100 million (Bombardier bilevel coaches alone cost just over $2 million each). This would bring the total cost of the double-track project to about $550 million.
For comparison, the SLC-Pleasant View cost $611 million and the South section cost $850 million (supposedly the flyover bridge at South Jordan cost about $200 million of that, but I couldn't find a source).
I can possibly see something like this being put to a local bonding vote, much like FrontLines 2015 was back in 2007. When exactly a project like this comes to the ballot probably depends on a lot of things, but I think within 5-10 years is likely.
Either way, this is going to be a big huge project, and UTA won't be able to do it on its own.
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  #6240  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2015, 6:40 PM
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Does anyone remember the history behind the parking garages that UTA built at the Jordan Valley station on the Red Line, why are the parking structure not being used?
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