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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2018, 6:02 AM
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The bus redesign in Houston wasn't successful?
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2018, 1:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
The bus redesign in Houston wasn't successful?
It was both successful and unsuccessful. Read
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/new...r-10801459.php
https://kinder.rice.edu/2016/08/16/a...idership-is-up

The increase in ridership was on their light rail trains, not on the buses one and two years later. I haven’t read nor seen any later reports.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2018, 4:03 PM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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How big was Atlanta when it built Marta?

MARTA rail gets no love but it has good ridership.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2018, 4:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Doady View Post
If the ridership is not there for buses, the cheapest and most flexible mode by far, then I don't see how it can justify high-capacity light rail and subway.
I get that you have some pre-determined talking points that you'd like to get out, but could everyone maybe stop ignoring what I actually say? I'll repeat myself:

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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
They'd have to either abandon 90% of their service area as unservable, or have to spend big on express rights-of-way. They could build busways instead of rail, but it would be just as expensive and less sexy to voters.
The kind of buses you'd have to build to serve 90% of Nashville or Charlotte are NOT "the cheapest and most flexible." Their choice is to either give up the future to cars, or spend big on transit lines that are significant enough to either support park-and-rides, or to provide the political support for upzoning and new street grids around the stations (ie to make the land use changes they need for transit to be convenient to more people). You *can* do that with BRT/busways for somewhat cheaper than rail, but it's still a major capital investment and is not "the cheapest and most flexible."

The notion that there is a simple, quick answer for making transit work in places like this is inconvenient but wrong. The core problem in these places is land use, which simply running more buses does not solve because absent land use changes not enough people can physically access them to make the frequent service worthwhile, or to sustain the citywide political support to pay for them. These cities need something they can sell as transformative to voters.

I honestly have no idea if Charlotte's specific plans here make any sense. But I do know there's no easy or cheap answer.
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Last edited by Cirrus; Jul 23, 2018 at 2:32 PM.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 21, 2018, 4:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Eightball View Post
Walker style bus redesigns are normally a failure. ie Houston, the one Baltimore just did is a disaster etc
Houston and Baltimore bus ridership is holding roughly steady, compared to large declines in nearly all other US cities. In the US in 2018, holding roughly steady is a big win.

Anybody who expects Walkerization to transform transit in a city will be disappointed. It's a marginal improvement that raises efficiency a few percent, for free. That's all.

In Baltimore it *did* improve operations, efficiency, and ridership (compared to the decline trend). It's a *political* disaster because the governor of Maryland sold it as the only thing Baltimore transit would need to be great, which is obviously incorrect. Walkerization is the first thing every city should do, but it's not the only thing. Baltimore cancelled a very high ridership subway proposal that was funded and ready to go, and made the Walkerization that was supposed to be only a complementary improvement the only thing they did.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2018, 2:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Dale View Post
... and billions of dollars.
Well yeah, the problem in the US is we're like a bunch of people with infrastructure PTSD thinking a billion dollars per mile is a normal cost for subway.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2018, 5:12 PM
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Selling rail as the route to a denser, more urban future can be tough.

In my city, we've done very little upzoning around stations despite general acceptance of infill and fairly good transit ridership. It sounds like a far harder case in cities like Nashville and Charlotte.

If it's hard to spiderweb efficient bus lines all over town, it sounds like park-n-rides and drop-offs are the main way of getting new converts, with density happening more gradually.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2018, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Selling rail as the route to a denser, more urban future can be tough.

In my city, we've done very little upzoning around stations despite general acceptance of infill and fairly good transit ridership. It sounds like a far harder case in cities like Nashville and Charlotte.
Not to get political, but there is a certain paradox that exists in that the large coastal cities often have cultures that are decidedly anti development for various reasons (antipathy to capitalism, fretting over "gentrification", over-zealous historical preservation) leading to their TOD development being decidedly stunted, which may or may not describe the problem in Seattle. I know that both SF and Boston have ridiculously anti-development cultures that really stand in the way of building a region-wide transit culture (PT outside I-95 loop in BOS is pathetic)

I can see places like Dallas, Nashville, Charlotte, et al becoming TOD havens simply because local politics/neuroses are less likely to get in the way.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 4:28 AM
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The concept of density and infill wins elections in Seattle, and we've been more successful adding development than most cities. But is hard politically to upzone a lower-density area, and the concept of actual highrises is a third-rail nearly everywhere.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 6:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post

Anybody who expects Walkerization to transform transit in a city will be disappointed. It's a marginal improvement that raises efficiency a few percent,
oh ok bet, glad somebody said it! obviously. tho i disagree with the second assertion, holding a steady bus ridership (well it went down a bunch after Metro officials bragged about it going up) is not any kind of accomplishment in one of the fastest growing cities in the country (Houston). That's always been a weird take given what actually happened
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for free. That's all.
huh? The Baltimore bus redesign is a 150 million dollar undertaking. Also, pretty sure Walker & Associates don't work for free. But I respect your initial framing, that at best a reframing of current service levels can possibly provide a very small benefit. Richard Layman has noted the same thing.We need more reality based transit planners like ya'll in the US instead of the idiots we got rn. The main thing for me as a daily transit rider, car free household (by choice) is that bus transfers fucking suck, esp in places with terrible weather and bus stop infrastructure like Houston. With real time tracking i'd much rather have a one seat ride to where ever i'm goin, even if the frequency is less, than unnecessary transfers. I hate transit planners that rarely take transit lecturing ppl on what's best. Pretty sure Walker owns a car too and lives in a walk score 70 Portland neighborhood so he a fraud fr

Last edited by Eightball; Jul 23, 2018 at 6:06 AM. Reason: he main
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  #31  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 2:18 PM
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"For free" in terms of operating costs. Walkerization is in principle more or less operating cost neutral. The Baltimore thing came with a lot of capital costs that aren't strictly necessary for the concept: complete rebranding of every MTA bus in Baltimore, infrastructure improvements including a lot of bus lanes, etc. They were generally good improvements (although the new branding for rail is bad and was an afterthought). I haven't actually seen a breakdown of their costs, but I'd bet the actual service change accounted for a very small percentage of that cost.

Anyway:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownTown
the problem in the US is we're like a bunch of people with infrastructure PTSD thinking a billion dollars per mile is a normal cost for subway.
Yes. That has to change.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 3:10 PM
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Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
How big was Atlanta when it built Marta?

MARTA rail gets no love but it has good ridership.
For U.S. standards, perhaps.

By intl standards, a metro of 7 million with total weekday metro ridership of around 200k is pretty bad, especially since this is essentially the region's commuter rail too.

But, yeah, compared to, say, Miami, it's pretty decent.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 3:11 PM
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Well yeah, the problem in the US is we're like a bunch of people with infrastructure PTSD thinking a billion dollars per mile is a normal cost for subway.
That would be amazing if it were so cheap.

The Second Avenue Subway's second phase is currently running at over $3.5 billion a mile, and that's with much of the tunnel already dug in the 70's.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 3:49 PM
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Meanwhile, China is building entire subway systems from scratch in just a single decade.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 3:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Eightball View Post
The main thing for me as a daily transit rider, car free household (by choice) is that bus transfers fucking suck, esp in places with terrible weather and bus stop infrastructure like Houston. With real time tracking i'd much rather have a one seat ride to where ever i'm goin, even if the frequency is less, than unnecessary transfers. I hate transit planners that rarely take transit lecturing ppl on what's best. Pretty sure Walker owns a car too and lives in a walk score 70 Portland neighborhood so he a fraud fr
In a city like Houston, any bus riding sucks. Obviously the climate is brutal for half the year and the city doesn't have the physical infrastructure in place (shelters, sidewalks, street trees) to make walking and waiting for a bus pleasant. If you're a choice rider, then even a Walkerized bus network in a place like Houston will seem like an inferior choice.

However, if you are already a bus rider, and already putting up with the inconveniences, then a Walkerized bus network offers the promise of less time spent waiting out in the humidity/rain, and a faster journey to your destination.

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That would be amazing if it were so cheap.

The Second Avenue Subway's second phase is currently running at over $3.5 billion a mile, and that's with much of the tunnel already dug in the 70's.
Supposedly the reason for that high cost is because they are making a decision NOT to use the tunnel segments already dug, and instead to dig a deep-level tunnel below them including cavern stations mined out of the earth. Not sure why they are intentionally throwing away the existing tunnels, but possibly because the current route turns west under 125th St (which was not contemplated in the 70s) and the tunnel now needs to pass deep below the 2-level Lexington Ave Line.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 7:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
For U.S. standards, perhaps.

By intl standards, a metro of 7 million with total weekday metro ridership of around 200k is pretty bad, especially since this is essentially the region's commuter rail too.

But, yeah, compared to, say, Miami, it's pretty decent.
I agree with what your saying, but maybe what I meant to say is that the choice to build heavy rail was probably the best plausible alternative for transit in Atlanta. Sure, a more ideal outcome might have been to use heavy rail on the North-South line and instead of doing the east-west line have something else of any mode going to Emory and/or Marietta, but hindsight is 20/20.

In alternative-universe Atlanta, MARTA rail was voted down in the 1970's and it wasn't until the 1990s that they chose to build a cheap(not in price, but in approach LRT like Dallas, where instead of going underground through Downtown it ran on surface streets and instead of a Midtown subway(that possibly stimulated the development of the most impressive linear urban corridor in the south) it exclusively used rail ROW skirting the edge of the GT area. Chances are ridership would be lower, the usefulness would be garbage-tier

In Charlotte's case, maybe the more ambitious subway plan is actually the best because it actually penetrates the region's greatest concentration of jobs and residential density with intelligently located stations in areas which are actually walkable. Maybe if the trains were very fast and frequent because they zoomed through tunnels, unlike some light rail that has to crawl at 10 mph through road intersections while dinging its fakey electronic bell, it would be a joy to use as opposed to driving and parking in congested areas.

Last edited by llamaorama; Jul 23, 2018 at 7:43 PM.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2018, 7:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
That would be amazing if it were so cheap. The Second Avenue Subway's second phase is currently running at over $3.5 billion a mile
New York is an outlier even by US standards.

I mean obviously it's a problem everywhere in the US, and New York is the worst offender. But the rest of the US isn't *as* outrageous.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2018, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Supposedly the reason for that high cost is because they are making a decision NOT to use the tunnel segments already dug, and instead to dig a deep-level tunnel below them including cavern stations mined out of the earth. Not sure why they are intentionally throwing away the existing tunnels, but possibly because the current route turns west under 125th St (which was not contemplated in the 70s) and the tunnel now needs to pass deep below the 2-level Lexington Ave Line.
Well, you're also not allowed to build subway lines the way they used to. They dig deep bores and mined stations to avoid lawsuits from NIMBYs on the surface complaining about noise and disruptions etc. Back in the day they just tore everything up and people had to deal with the mess for a few years.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2018, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Supposedly the reason for that high cost is because they are making a decision NOT to use the tunnel segments already dug, and instead to dig a deep-level tunnel below them including cavern stations mined out of the earth. Not sure why they are intentionally throwing away the existing tunnels, but possibly because the current route turns west under 125th St (which was not contemplated in the 70s) and the tunnel now needs to pass deep below the 2-level Lexington Ave Line.
Aha, I had not heard this. The MTA had always claimed they could use the existing tunnels from 40 years ago, but I guess it makes sense because the first phase of SAS is already extremely deep, and the alignment around 125th Street is a bit different than in past plans.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2018, 12:29 PM
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Meanwhile, China is building entire subway systems from scratch in just a single decade.
Can you please just use your brain for 2 seconds before typing.

They don't have decent workers yet in China; they still have slaves.
Although they're gradually getting better, stuff they build might still break down anytime.
Even some of their latest buildings may collapse tomorrow, cause engineering is so cheap over there.
People just can't feel involved in their duty when it hardly pays off.

You must be aware of it. You can't be that misinformed.

It's better to take a bit of time and money to produce reliable things that provide people with a fair quality of living.
You won't even deny cause you'll obviously agree.

I guess northern European (like Scandinavian) and Swiss standards are the best to follow.
Not so overpriced for themselves, although I surely can't afford Switzerland, and their things do work fine.
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