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  #12301  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2019, 9:09 AM
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In my opinion, the only thing RTD did wrong with the commuter rail lines, was not selecting the Kiewit/Siemens lead teams proposals. The technical problems and delays are not RTD's fault, so much as they are the fault of the Parsons/Bielford Beaty design and build out. The old saying, "you get what you pay for" comes into play. The small amount of savings has quickly evaporated, over what it would have cost to go with the Kiewit design. Kiewit has the reputation of completing RTD LRT lines on time and under budget. The technology upgrades their design proposed, were leaps and bounds over the bare bones design RTD went with to "save" a little money. Remember, the Kiewit proposal would have used Siemens EMU's running on 135 volt Catenary, which would allowed these trains to cruise at 85mph. It also proposed a high tech command center and would have utilized superior connectivity infrastructure from top to bottom. In fact we're talking European standards for their HSR lines, the only limiting factor in speed was simply do to not being fully grade separated and sharing ROW in places with freight rail (thus the 85 mph speed limit). RTD missed that boat.
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  #12302  
Old Posted Sep 27, 2019, 3:32 PM
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Originally Posted by LooksLikeForever View Post
You are absolutely correct, my mistake. I do believe the N line has a potential future expansion as well, but just further into Thornton/Northglenn I believe.
Yes, eventually the N line is supposed to be extended to Hwy 7/168th Ave.
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  #12303  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2019, 7:41 PM
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More Hot Takes from CPR

How Many People Ride Your RTD Bus? How Cost-Effective Is It?
September 28, 2019 By Nathaniel Minor/CPR
Quote:
But subsidies per rider don't necessarily mean those lines are the most expensive to operate. Less popular routes that have higher subsidies also operate far less frequently. The costliest routes also tend to be very popular.
Spend an hour thinking about that and then get back to us.
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  #12304  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2019, 6:56 PM
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Some days I'm just not dialed in; matter of time or scattered mind

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Originally Posted by mr1138 View Post
It's interesting to see the realignment options being studied. I like the concepts for both the additional RTD tracks (potentially allowing for express trains?) and re-use of the historic Burnham structure as a new joint 10th and Osage/Front Range Rail station.
Yeah, I only got a flyover take on this with my first pass; quite the fascinating proposal. Thanks to Michael Roberts at Westword who has a piece on this I got a nice 2nd bite.

Inside the Massive I-25 Project That's About to Take Its First Step
SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 BY MICHAEL ROBERTS
Quote:
Interstate 25 from Santa Fe Drive to 20th Street is the busiest slab of Colorado's highway system, with an estimated 250,000 vehicles using at least part of it on a daily basis — and that number is expected to hit 300,000 by 2040. In the meantime, approximately 1,000 crashes per year, or around three a day, take place along this five-mile stretch.

Credit CDOT via Westword

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Originally Posted by EngiNerd View Post
The land is big enough that rerouting CML tracks through Burnham yard could also easily accompany redevelopment, I don't think those two things are mutually exclusive. The Burnham hard is 61 acres....for perspective, the entire Union Station area from 15th to 20th, CML to Wewatta (between DUS and the train canopy) is about 60 acres....61 acres is a huge area that can accommodate all sorts of multimodal and TOD.
What an amazing opportunity if difficult to pull together.
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  #12305  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2019, 12:08 AM
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What an amazing opportunity if difficult to pull together.

I like difficult.
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  #12306  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2019, 12:54 AM
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CDOT’s m.o. is solving a known bottleneck and sudden lane reduction caused by a river/railroad right-of-way constraint that affects 250,000 people per day using that stretch of roadway. Which, I’d point out, is more than double RTD’s total rail system ridership. The m.o. is to make 250,000 people’s day slightly better.
Excellent...

And even when RTD's rail system ridership doubles it still won't be a binary issue. I-25 will Always and Forever be critical for the movement of goods and services as well as buses, vans, self-driving cars, whatever comes along. It's vital to the front range, the state as well as the urban core. Can't live without it. That said, I celebrate the importance of all modes.

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Edit: This is why I’m a Biden guy. This unproductive revolutionary instant gratification fix it all overnight nonsense isn’t getting us anywhere. Can’t wait for “nothing to change” and then we’ll watch an entire generation of young voters be disappointed and go back to giving up on the system. And then we can all put away our magic wands and get back to actual hard work. (End of grumpy old man rant!)
Philosophically, not a problem but I just have trouble envisioning Biden as Presidential. So I'm now a Buttigieg guy. I figure if a needed change of scenery can elect a black guy then maybe the same need can elect a gay guy? Ofc, I'm well familiar with Obama's theme songs. Maybe a Perfect Symphony would work for Pete; he could win over all the blind, the Italian and the Irish voters.

BTW, I stated months ago that Elizabeth Warren could be the sleeper candidate; a hunch for how she seemed to be doing everything right. Tech rock ahead.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-f...-idUSKBN1WG42H
Quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg told employees in July that the company would “go to the mat” to defeat Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren’s expected effort to break up the world’s largest social media company if she were elected president, according to audio of two internal company meetings published by The Verge.
I have no clue why socialists are anathema to tech success and success in general? In any case...

Consider how Trump totally turned the Republican Party on its head. Could Elizabeth Warren do the same for Democrats?
Meanwhile where's the candidate or party who caters to the large silent majority that hangs out closer to the middle?

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I like difficult.
I noticed when I read the Westword piece it specifically mentioned HPTE.
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  #12307  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2019, 1:39 AM
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So I'm now a Buttigieg guy. I figure if a needed change of scenery can elect a black guy then maybe the same need can elect a gay guy?
The "first" here that I am not okay with is electing a 12 year old to be President. He's younger than me, and I am too young to be President. Therefore, no, he does not get my vote.
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  #12308  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2019, 2:31 AM
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Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
The "first" here that I am not okay with is electing a 12 year old to be President. He's younger than me, and I am too young to be President. Therefore, no, he does not get my vote.
Who says you're too young to be President? Better than the bevy of Baby Boomers showing early signs of senility who aren't exactly inspiring large degrees of confidence in running the country. Unfortunately their ranks weren't thinned enough by Vietnam and they remain a pox upon the nation.

Plus you've got the hair.
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  #12309  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2019, 6:15 AM
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
Who says you're too young to be President? Better than the bevy of Baby Boomers showing early signs of senility who aren't exactly inspiring large degrees of confidence in running the country. Unfortunately their ranks weren't thinned enough by Vietnam and they remain a pox upon the nation.

Plus you've got the hair.
Well this is embarrassing; I have to agree with you.

The thought of Biden stammering to explain himself is... not good. Despite his egregious faults the one thing Trump has going is how he comes across so self-assured. That brings comfort to the masses.

While the economy is known to be resilient I shudder to think of the whiplash from going to the clueless on the right to the clueless on the left. If Klobuchar could get any traction, I'd be fine with her.

Wait a minute. I've still got hair?
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  #12310  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2019, 3:51 PM
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Well this is embarrassing; I have to agree with you.

The thought of Biden stammering to explain himself is... not good. Despite his egregious faults the one thing Trump has going is how he comes across so self-assured. That brings comfort to the masses.

While the economy is known to be resilient I shudder to think of the whiplash from going to the clueless on the right to the clueless on the left. If Klobuchar could get any traction, I'd be fine with her.

Wait a minute. I've still got hair?
Wait, Trump brings comfort to the masses? I have never felt comfortable with what he says. Reading through his improvised speeches is damn near impossible, as they are just ramblings that make next to no sense. His pre-written speeches showcase other people in the WH (like Steven Miller), who I have plenty issues with.

I know plenty politicians who I do not agree with at all who posses the quality you have attributed to Trump. He brings absolutely no comfort to the masses.
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  #12311  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2019, 6:09 PM
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Wait, Trump brings comfort to the masses? I have never felt comfortable with what he says. Reading through his improvised speeches is damn near impossible, as they are just ramblings that make next to no sense. His pre-written speeches showcase other people in the WH (like Steven Miller), who I have plenty issues with.

I know plenty politicians who I do not agree with at all who posses the quality you have attributed to Trump. He brings absolutely no comfort to the masses.
Sorry; I was speaking from a generic sense of a positive leadership quality without any regard to issues. I could say the same about Elizabeth Warren. That doesn't change the fact that the country is still divided into thirds as to their politics.

Interestingly, conservatives will concede among themselves that if Michelle Obama were to run for President the race would be over. Fortunately, for them, that isn't going to happen but it does describe the kind of person that could easily win over a large majority of voters.

News Stop: it's the new RTD place for news


Image courtesy of RTD

RTD has redesigned their communication effort via a new news site with a few different sub-threads. On their main page they list all the upcoming events ie meetings of interest to the public.
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  #12312  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2019, 6:17 PM
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Reset your clocks; the master clock keeper just woke up

Here I thought the process had started couple of months ago but no.

https://www.cpr.org/2019/10/02/rider...magine-itself/
Quote:
The Regional Transportation District on Wednesday formally kicked off a two-year effort that could result in fundamental changes to how the transit agency operates.

The “Reimagine RTD” process comes in the midst of a debilitating driver shortage, falling ridership, tightening budgets, delays to major rail projects and increasing competition from personal vehicles and ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

It also comes as the Denver metro area continues to grow and traffic congestion worsens. That puts RTD in a unique position, said Dave Genova, RTD’s general manager and CEO.
It might take RTD two years to "separate the wheat from the chaff" but it won't take me long. They're looking for fundamental change? Not a problem.
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  #12313  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2019, 7:33 PM
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Props to Caitlin Hendee and 9News for some good coverage

RTD's new campaign looks to address declines in ridership, changing travel behavior
October 2, 2019
Quote:
DENVER — The Regional Transportation District on Wednesday unveiled its "Reimagine RTD" campaign — a two-year effort to address ridership decline and the changing competitive landscape that includes ride-share services and the potential for self-driving vehicles.
This... and they've got numbers.
Quote:
"The way people travel is changing," RTD said in a news release. "People across the metro area are redefining how they get around."
RTD ridership numbers have steadily decreased since 2014, according to data on its website. Approximate ridership numbers based on annual boardings since then were:
  • 97.6 million from December 2017 to November 2018.
  • 100.9 million from December 2016 to November 2017.
  • 101.3 million from December 2015 to November 2016.
  • 103.4 million from December 2014 to November 2015.
This time period covers some of the most robust growth Denver has seen, especially in the urban core. This time period also covers the start-up of several FasTracks lines with the W Line opening in April of 2013, the A Line opening in April of 2016 with the B Line opening in July, 2016 and the R Line in February, 2017 etc.

Clearly the bus system lost riders faster than light/commuter rail could add them.
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  #12314  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 6:19 PM
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Fox31 has the Race Results

Denver, RTD hoping to get downtown traffic moving faster
OCTOBER 3, 2019 By BY MATT MAURO/KDVR
Quote:
Thursday afternoon, RTD and a number of other groups staged an amazing race of sorts -- from Union Station to the Civic Center bus stop -- to see which group of people could make the trek the quickest: bus riders, walkers, a wheelchair user and bike riders.

The cyclists arrived the quickest, while the bus riders were the slowest.
Big Bertha came in last; what are we gonna do about that?
Quote:
The city of Denver and the Regional Transportation District are hoping a new and somewhat controversial plan can ease one of the Mile High City's biggest frustrations: downtown traffic.

The city is in the process of removing a lane of regular vehicle traffic on a number of streets downtown and replacing it with a dedicated bus lane and improved bike lanes.

The goal is to get more people out of their personal vehicles and make RTD's buses move quicker.
Wait... What?
Quote:
That's easier said than done, though. First of all, not everyone likes the plan and wants more lanes for their vehicles.

RTD is hoping that if its buses move faster, more people will use ride them and in turn, decrease traffic for those who do choose to drive themselves.
This will be fun to track as to how well it works. My only reservation is the bus lanes should be BAT lanes and will probably used in that fashion regardless. Perhaps that is what is intended?
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  #12315  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 6:45 PM
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This will be fun to track as to how well it works. My only reservation is the bus lanes should be BAT lanes and will probably used in that fashion regardless. Perhaps that is what is intended?
Almost certainly yes. Denver isn't going to start killing curb cuts to make these lanes, so they'll function as BAT lanes. The current bus lanes also function as BAT lanes as well.
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Last edited by wong21fr; Oct 4, 2019 at 7:38 PM.
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  #12316  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 7:03 PM
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Story Telling

Ken and his friends would like bus service within the city to be cheap and frequent. In my best Elizabeth Warren voice: "I've got a plan for that."

Story One

I pick up three of the nicest young Hispanics from a highly regarded family operated Italian restaurant in Scottsdale headed home after work. They probably could have used transit with only one transfer. I took them to their trailer home where they lived (a lot of these in Phoenix) for about $15 which is only $5 per person. Modest trip length, the ride took ~15 minutes. They might have waited that long to catch the 1st bus.

Story Two

I pick up a couple of Asians restaurant employees from a JW Marriott resort-hotel in NE Phx/Scottsdale. Nice longer ride to the Desert Diamond Casino in west Phx/Glendale. I think they could have used buses with at least two transfers to get there? It took us ~25 minutes and cost ~$24. or $12. each but they obviously planned to make that back and more at the blackjack tables. Bus ride likely closer to an hour and 25 minutes at best. I hopped on the Loop 101 for 90% of the way and drove (with traffic) at ~75 mph.

Story Three

I pick up the Executive Chef from one of the nicer hotels in Scottsdale, the Westin Kierland Resort. Longer ride largely through the city cost maybe $27 but at least this gentleman makes a lot of money.

Moral of the stories

As you move out into the suburbs bus service makes less and less sense. Access isn't good, time is terrible etc. There could be specific corridors that might warrant bus service but they'd be the exception.
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  #12317  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 7:38 PM
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Moral of the stories

As you move out into the suburbs bus service makes less and less sense. Access isn't good, time is terrible etc. There could be specific corridors that might warrant bus service but they'd be the exception.
Aye. But who's subsidizing the rideshare trips in the suburbs? The confidence of the market of future earnings is doing so right now, but that only works if they a) automate the drivers out of a job, or b) become the market dominate option and jack up prices. Transit agencies could farm out their on-demand service to ridesharing companies and subsidize the fares, but how much of a subsidy are we talking?
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  #12318  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 8:30 PM
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a) automate the drivers out of a job,
You apparently missed my previous response; don't believe everything you read. What would you guess the cost of buying a fleet of self-driving cars would be let alone the insurance and maintenance etc. Besides that's still a couple of decades away except for perhaps designated routes.

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or b) become the market dominate option and jack up prices.
My best guess with ride-share is that they're close to being cash-flow positive; Uber Eats also. I wouldn't be surprised if rates drifted higher on some types of rides; we'll see. Uber's latest iteration is a 'comfort' option which merely guarantees the rider a Not small car or a crummy old car. It's especially popular for airport rides for example and is ~$5 more so maybe $23 instead of $18.

The unknown in Uber's case is that they're in various countries and I have no idea how those are performing.

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Transit agencies could farm out their on-demand service to ridesharing companies and subsidize the fares, but how much of a subsidy are we talking?
I am still a big believer that in time 'shuttle bus' style on-demand service can make a lot of sense.

In some cities (not in Phx) Uber is offering Uber Pool for those who qualify for the XL platform which means they have three rows of seats, usually a Van for carrying more than 4 pax. I've heard some drivers grumbling about the pay versus hassle but whatever.

In time shuttle buses, preferably operated by the private sector could be great in DTC for transporting riders from light rail and likely subsidized by the DTC. It can and has to a degree made sense already in Lone Tree who does subsidize the effort. These fancy shuttles could work well in downtown Denver IMO especially for nearby neighborhoods.
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  #12319  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2019, 9:28 PM
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a) automate the drivers out of a job,
I just recalled a scenario that plays out, not frequently but is not that rare, maybe once (or twice) a day.

Google Navigation/maps are awesome but they're not perfect so this happens and it plays out like this:

I pull up to the dot on the map and tap-text "I have arrived." I get an answer back "Where are you?" "I'm at the dot on the map; where are you?" "I'm over here." "How lovely and exactly where is 'over here'?"

Sometimes they're one street over or their on Elm Circle instead of Elm Way etc. Now if they're smart enough to follow you on their own app they can say "it looks like your one street over" or if this has happened before they're ready to advise. Good luck communicating with an app for a self-driving car.
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  #12320  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2019, 9:15 AM
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You apparently missed my previous response; don't believe everything you read. What would you guess the cost of buying a fleet of self-driving cars would be let alone the insurance and maintenance etc. Besides that's still a couple of decades away except for perhaps designated routes.


My best guess with ride-share is that they're close to being cash-flow positive; Uber Eats also. I wouldn't be surprised if rates drifted higher on some types of rides; we'll see. Uber's latest iteration is a 'comfort' option which merely guarantees the rider a Not small car or a crummy old car. It's especially popular for airport rides for example and is ~$5 more so maybe $23 instead of $18.

The unknown in Uber's case is that they're in various countries and I have no idea how those are performing.



I am still a big believer that in time 'shuttle bus' style on-demand service can make a lot of sense.

In some cities (not in Phx) Uber is offering Uber Pool for those who qualify for the XL platform which means they have three rows of seats, usually a Van for carrying more than 4 pax. I've heard some drivers grumbling about the pay versus hassle but whatever.

In time shuttle buses, preferably operated by the private sector could be great in DTC for transporting riders from light rail and likely subsidized by the DTC. It can and has to a degree made sense already in Lone Tree who does subsidize the effort. These fancy shuttles could work well in downtown Denver IMO especially for nearby neighborhoods.
Been thinking about Uber and LYFT and how they are both aggressively developing driverless cars technology. They are both doing this because they have determined this is how they will become profitable long term.

So here is my thought exercise...

1.) If Uber and/or LYFT develop their own driverless cars and then construct and own their own fleet, they will be:

a.) A car manufacturer
b.) Legally considered a traditional taxi company, not ride sharing. Which of course means they will have to comply with municipal ordinances which restricted how many companies can opperaterate in their city. Likely a reduced or limited footprint.

2.) If Uber and/or LYFT manufacture a driverless cars which they developed and then sold or leased them to their drivers, who then provide the ride-sharing service. Then the following apply:

a.) Drivers could designate their car available to drive customers, when the driver has a period of time which they will not require use of their car. Such as while they sleep, or while they are at work.

b.) As a driver perk, if your car is out driving and won't be able to make it back to you in time, you don't have to wait on your own car to return. Just summon an Uber/LYFT. You can just have your car keep driving at all times and then return home at your designated time, or to recharge it's batteries.

c.) Uber and/or LYFT become some kind of quasi-auto leasing/dealer service (possibly including maintenance), car sharing enabling company, economy transforming mobility enabling, source of a universal base-like income generating mechanism. People who own or lease a driverless cars, could earn this income around the clock. This will allow people to work fewer hours a day, to help off-set the impact of job losses due to AI/Automation. Or it could enable upward economic mobility, for anyone who still can manage working 60-70 hours a week and then essentially brings in an entire second income off of their driverless cars. And then own/lease multiple cars and start bringing in more income from each car.

d.) Transit agencies switch to driverless buses and trains and integrate with ride sharing apps including trip cost and payment. Perhaps have designated driverless cars and bus only lanes.

Think about this future.
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