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  #11681  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2018, 3:10 PM
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My apologies if this has been discussed before, but what are the chances our light rail will be converted to low floor in our lifetimes? Our rail cars are butt ugly and the whole stairs & handicap ramp set up just seems too clunky for 2018.

If we have to spend tons of money to replace aging cars anyway, why not convert?
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  #11682  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2018, 3:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Orange View Post
My apologies if this has been discussed before, but what are the chances our light rail will be converted to low floor in our lifetimes? Our rail cars are butt ugly and the whole stairs & handicap ramp set up just seems too clunky for 2018.

If we have to spend tons of money to replace aging cars anyway, why not convert?
You're talking about an organization that has had the same brand ("The Ride") for decades despite the fact that not a single person on earth has ever referred to Denver's transit system as such. I think they have made it fairly clear they have no intent on changing anytime soon.
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  #11683  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2018, 5:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverInfill View Post
You're talking about an organization that has had the same brand ("The Ride") for decades despite the fact that not a single person on earth has ever referred to Denver's transit system as such. I think they have made it fairly clear they have no intent on changing anytime soon.
RTD probably won't consider a low-floor vehicle replacement until the majority of the 200-vehicle LRV fleet is ready to be replaced. Given that a light rail vehicles life is at least 40 years we're probably talking the late 2020's to early 2030's when RTD will look at going low-floor followed by a phased replacement with some lines going low-floor before others. But nearly all the stations are set up to accommodate such a change now that the wheelchair ramps are metal structures that can be removed relatively easy.
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  #11684  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2018, 3:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunt_q View Post
I mean, why expect an iPhone XS when you can get a fax machine (and a busted ass dot matrix monochrome sign at your light rail station).
You've heard of Amway? This is RTDway.


2 of Denver largest suburbs seek transportation funding on November ballot
Oct 19, 2018 By Ed Sealover – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Quote:
The initiatives are part of more than a half-dozen local transportation questions that voters will have to consider ... as an August survey from the Colorado Municipal League found that cities and towns have an aggregate $3 billion shortfall for needed transportation improvements and another $750 million in maintenance needs.
With respect to Arvada and Lakewood:
Quote:
Lakewood is asking voters if it can retain excess revenues under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights cap through 2025 and put them toward public safety, transportation and open space and parks purchases. And Arvada is asking residents for permission to sell $79.8 million in bonds to improve two of its major corridors.
Here's the local tie-in to Prop 110
Quote:
there is more of a focus on transportation now as citizens across the state debate what they are willing to do to improve that sector — and as many city leaders ask voters specifically to back the statewide transportation sales-tax hike in addition to local ballot questions.

“I think this election is huge,” Bommer said in regard to the future of transportation in the state. “Municipalities are always going to go to their voters and ask for support for whatever they need ... If we want to look past that and see where we want to be, we’ve got to do something different.”
Bommer heads up the Colorado Municipal League.

Does communities asking for local tax increases for roads help or hurt the cause of Prop 110?
Quote:
Paul (Lakewood Mayor) in particular is embracing a strategy of asking city residents to support both the statewide sales-tax increase and the local measure, saying they work hand-in-hand.
I'm also seeing support and endorsements coming from the I-70 West corridor all the way to Grand Junction.

Two problems: normally a tax-increase issue needs to be poll ahead at this point in the election cycle as historically many voters get 'buyers remorse' on the way to voting. 2nd, this year's ballot is so heavily cluttered with initiatives it can dampen 'approval enthusiasm.' That said, this is when many voters are just dialing in and thinking about their voting preferences.

The biggest advantage of Prop 110 should be that it includes local funding. Everybody complains about congestion. Now's their chance to do something about it.
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  #11685  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2018, 5:36 PM
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Image courtesy of King Co via Curbed Seattle

King County Metro will experiment with ride-hailing app
Oct 17, 2018 By Sarah Anne Lloyd - Curbed Seattle

This is what I've been talking about.
Quote:
As the Seattle area grows, it’s become increasingly difficult to find parking at park and rides, making taking the bus or train a little difficult for people living off transit corridors. Efforts to address these challenges are often referred to as first and last-mile solutions—or micromobility or microtransit.
King County's experiment:
Quote:
The shuttle, called Ride2, is operated by Chariot and Ford Smart Mobility.

Later this month... Eastside commuters within two or three miles of the Eastgate Park and Ride will be able to summon a shuttle service—with wheelchair-accessible shuttles available upon request—to carry them to and from their transit connections.
To see a visual representation of the area Click Here.
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  #11686  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2018, 7:06 PM
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Transit in Seattle - An overview
as opposed to Denver Transit

From an overview it's fair to say that Seattle has had a very checkered past with plenty of missteps relative to transit - like any place does. Fortunately for Seattle that is now ancient history.

Do you prefer First Class fare or a Value fare?
At this point Seattle goes First Class with respect to their transit. Any value engineering goes to trimming excess Wish Lists piled on by communities. Denver, otoh, tends more towards a value proposition. Being a value kind of a guy, I can see and appreciate - wait for it - the value of that.

Initiating light rail in Seattle
Seattle's initial light rail (according to Wikipedia) was 13.9 miles and opened in 2009. IIRC ridership went from mid-20,000 to over 30,000 between 2012 and 2015.

Then this happened
The line was expanded to 20.4 miles with the most recent extensions including a tunnel to the University of Washington on one end and to SeaTac (airport ) and Angie Lake on the other end in 2016. This opened up the ridership floodgates with an updated weekday ridership of currently over 80,000 - compared to RTD's ridership of ~25,000 on both the SW and SE corridors.

In one respect Seattle is more like Phoenix than Denver
Phoenix also had one obvious transit corridor that was converted from bus to light rail. It runs between two urban centers (Phoenix and Tempe) with an airport stop in between. From an original line of 20 miles to now 26 miles weekday ridership is currently at 48,000. Phoenix light rail is primarily an Urban Line as I assume is Seattle's Central Link light rail.

Denver on the other hand
didn't have an that one obvious transit corridor other than East Colfax which didn't have priority appeal among decision makers. Denver's initial light rail ran from Broadway Station through downtown Denver which made total sense and still does.
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Last edited by TakeFive; Oct 19, 2018 at 9:33 PM.
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  #11687  
Old Posted Oct 20, 2018, 12:16 AM
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Sea-Tac was more like 2010. Angle Lake was 2016.
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  #11688  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2018, 6:04 PM
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Roads, bridges and what else?

http://www.cpr.org/news/story/the-ex...09-or-prop-110
Quote:
The transportation debate has reached a fever pitch in Colorado: What to do about worn-out roads, debilitating commutes and transit.
CPR held a debate between Props 109 and 110. The debate itself was rather lame but this is interesting.
Quote:
In a recent national survey, more than a third of Denver respondents described their commutes as worse than they were five years ago. And 20 percent said they had quit jobs because of painful commutes. On Twitter, people told CPR News they had even turned down offers for good jobs because of the drive time.
In news out of Fort Collins:

Coloradoan editorial board endorsement: On transportation, yes to 110, not so fast on 109
Oct. 21, 2018 By Kevin Duggan, Fort Collins Coloradoan
Quote:
The Coloradoan editorial board supports Proposition 110 even with its tax increase. It’s high time the state had a dedicated revenue stream to fund transportation in its many and evolving forms.
Nice articulation of their thinking:
Quote:
As a state, we shouldn’t be pitting widening a highway against providing health care insurance to residents who need it most.

Proposition 109 would fund only roads and bridges: Multi-modal transportation would not be part of the mix. That’s a short-sighted approach to transportation, especially as the state’s urban centers grow and alternative transportation, such as transit, becomes increasingly relevant.

The Coloradoan editorial board does not support Proposition 109.
Playing the healthcare card, specifically, goes to something that voters care a lot about. It's worth noting that if Colorado were to cut $200 million from Medicaid costs then they would lose $200 million in matching federal funds. That $400 million hit to the "system" brings up other (not good) questions.
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  #11689  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2018, 7:14 PM
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Clarence Falls in Love with Metromover

Pick your route running from Denver's Civic Center Station to Union Station.

Video Link


How about Broadway to 18th Street to Wewatta Street?

Metromover
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metromover
Quote:
The Metromover serves primarily as an alternative way to travel within the greater Downtown Miami neighborhoods. The system is composed of three loops and 21 stations. The stations are located approximately two blocks away from each other, and connect near all major buildings and places in the Downtown area. Together with Metrorail, the system has seen steady ridership growth per annum, with an average of 105,500 daily passengers in 2013.
Miami Metromover is 4.4 miles long.
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  #11690  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2018, 6:49 PM
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One week to go

https://www.denvergov.org/content/de...t/transit.html

The three-month window for review and feedback is coming to a close.

Quote:
DENVER MOVES: TRANSIT DRAFT PLAN

Next Steps
  • August 6 - October 31, 2018: Public review of draft plan
  • 2018-19: After the comment period, the input received will be used to inform finalizing the plan and next steps moving forward.
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  #11691  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2018, 8:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays View Post
Sea-Tac was more like 2010. Angle Lake was 2016.
Thanks; I made the mistake of being lazy. Among different key words there's a number of different Wikipedia 'pages' I could have used and obviously found the one that was most confused.

Central Link originally opened in July, 2009; the SeaTac airport extension opened in December of 2009. Finally, the 1.6 mile Angle Lake elevated extension opened in late 2016.

It's the University Link Tunnel extension that's most interesting


Photo per Sound Transit

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_Link_tunnel
Quote:
The University Link tunnel is a 3.15-mile light rail tunnel in Seattle... The twin-bore tunnel ... carries Link Light Rail running from the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to University of Washington station via Capitol Hill station.
Seattle received a "High" grade from the FTA for their proposal and ended up securing an $870 grant towards the $1.9 billion estimate. Final cost came in at $1.7 billion. This segment opened in March, 2016.

Weekday Ridership History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Link
Quote:
Ridership on Central Link has risen significantly from the beginning of service in 2009, when it averaged 15,500 per weekday.[103] In 2010... with 21,611 daily riders on the line.[104] Ridership increased significantly in the following years, surpassing 25,000 daily riders in 2012,[105] 30,000 in 2014,[106] and 35,000 in 2015.[107]
Then the University Link Extension went 'live.'
Quote:
The opening of the University Link extension in March 2016 increased daily ridership by 66 percent in its first month of operation,[108] and averaged 66,203 daily riders during the last quarter of the year
Reported ridership was 72,000 in 2017 and is presently 80,000.

The history and story of light rail transit in Seattle is quite fascinating... and it's just getting started.
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  #11692  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2018, 10:18 PM
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Just trying to keep Cirrus happy

Let's focus more on ridership for Urban Lines among peer cities. Per Wikipedia, they convert boardings to ridership per mile and I'm assuming these are more urban lines as opposed to suburb to city lines.

City, weekday boardings and boardings per mile
  • Calgary ..................... 299,300 ...... 7,887
  • Edmonton .................. 112,500...... 7,452
  • Seattle ........................ 80,000 ..... 3,902
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul ...... 71,900 ..... 3,344
  • Phoenix ....................... 48,900 ..... 2,240
  • San Diego .................. 112,100 ..... 2,140
  • Portland ..................... 119,700 ..... 2,070
  • Denver ........................ 75,900 ..... 1,297
  • Dallas .......................... 98,700 ..... 1,091

While ridership per mile is a way of measuring efficiency it has it's shortcomings. For example with Denver's suburb to city system, stops are more typically spaced about a mile apart so you wouldn't expect ridership per mile to be near as high as an urban line running in denser areas with more frequent stops. For example, does anybody think that those who pull the funding strings in Dallas give one wit about ridership per mile? Not in the slightest.

In Portland the Blue Line which is also the longest at 33 miles carries 45% of the total ridership for all 5 lines. Not sure what a the most relevant urban line and ridership would be.

With respect to Denver RTD's current system, soon as the (airport) A Line grows some then Denver will have 4 corridors with over 25,000 boardings. That means over a 100,000 boardings into downtown and back.
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  #11693  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2018, 10:54 PM
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Seattle's Light Rail Future

Thanks to Sound Transit 3 or ST3, Seattle has planned eleven light rail projects (several under construction) from extensions as short as 3.7 miles to three lines as long as 14-15.5 miles. Should they succeed in finishing all projects they'll presumably spend between $25 to $30 billion.

Denver/RTD could accomplish all the light rail bones they'll ever need by investing an additional ~$4 billion.

QUESTION: But how much would it cost the City of Denver?
ANSWER: $250 million, maybe a little more which assumes they utilize a P3 (and why wouldn't they?)
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  #11694  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2018, 11:35 PM
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Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones

Denver Moves - Transit and everybody agrees that Denver has five “high capacity” urban corridors:
  • Colfax Avenue
  • Colorado Boulevard
  • Federal Boulevard
  • Broadway/Lincoln Street
  • Speer Boulevard/Leetsdale Drive
The city is also looking at a shorter segment in Park Avenue.

Remind me again... You are saying that for ~$250 million Denver could cover 60 percent of that landscape with light rail bones?
That's what I'm saying. Would you like to celebrate with a little Inner City Blues with it's awesome black and white visuals?
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  #11695  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2018, 3:02 AM
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Creating the Frequent Urban Rider

Thinking again of this fine passenger coach:


Source

A) Along Downing from Colfax to Blake street
B) Along Downing/Corona and Downing/Marion Pkwy from Colfax to Virginia Ave.
C) Along 15th St from downtown into LoHi.
D) Along a Brighton Blvd/Blake St. loup into downtown.

It shouldn't be that hard to come up with a few fixed routes for frequent service that could better appeal to 'choice' riders with a bus that comfortably accommodates 35 riders. Could be just the ticket for inner city transit.
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  #11696  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2018, 4:30 AM
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Ken/DenverInfill recently had an interesting discussion

It started as an update for DHA Headquarters and morphed into a discussion about 'all that parking' in that location.

Paul Gillis made this comment:
Quote:
...but I work with many people who simply will not use transit even if it is a one seat shot (and a bus ride is totally off the table) and will pay the road tolls and $200 a month for parking. The reality is that this is still a western city with urban sprawl and transit is in most case not convenient or involves transfers. The transit statistics bear this out as the city is experiencing major population growth, but transit growth is flat at best and RTD continues to cut more than grow. A different approach to transit is needed or the cycle continues.
I've also read similar comments even on Streetsblog USA. Too many people have no interest in riding the typical transit bus. It's why I think that the above 'shuttle-style' buses may be able to overcome this. If your bus service only offers what people don't want to ride, that seems a bit silly. Frequent service won't help with these people.

Take residents of Highlands for example. They might jump at the chance to have a more 'custom' ride and be willing to pay more for this kind of service.
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  #11697  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2018, 4:50 AM
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Enticing could-be transit riders


Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Times of San Diego

SANDAG, MTS To Waive Transit Fares In San Diego
October 2, 2018 By City News Service - KPBS
Quote:
All Metropolitan Transit System and North County Transit District services will be free Tuesday as part of the San Diego Association of Governments' support of National Rideshare Week.
What's the thinking for this?
Quote:
"We are hosting Free Ride Day to encourage San Diego residents to shake up their routine and choose transit," Jablonski said. "San Diego has a growing and thriving network of transportation options.
Trips on MTS Buses and Trolleys Spike by 47,000 on ‘Free Ride Day’
OCTOBER 4, 2018 BY CHRIS JENNEWEIN - Times of San Diego
Quote:
Trolley (light rail) ridership was up by 19 percent, and MTS bus ridership by 12 percent.
Does anyone else think this is an obvious and smart way of promoting transit ridership?
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  #11698  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2018, 5:51 AM
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Is transit losing its value and importance?

No, not exactly but Urban Land Institute has new take on what appeals most to investors.

Walkability Now May Outweigh Transit Access in Valuing Location
October 9, 2018 By Kevin Brass/ULI
Quote:
Ride-hailing services and autonomous vehicles are already starting to change the economic formulas for transit-oriented development (TOD), a panel of developers and investors said during the ULI Fall Meeting in Boston. Public transportation ridership is declining in most major cities, holding negative implications for TOD projects, said David Bragg, managing director of Green Street Advisors...
What's considered important now?
Quote:
“Access to transportation was more important a decade ago than it is today,” largely due to changes in the demographics of the workforce, said Doug Linde, president of Boston Properties. “Creating a place, not just a development next to transit, is growing more critical.”

The emphasis these days is more on walkability than a direct rail or metro connection, said Matt Birenbaum, chief investment officer at AvalonBay Communities... The ability to walk to shops and restaurants can add more value than proximity to a rail link, he said.
Ken and his friends wouldn't argue with this as 'walkability' is always 'top of mind' for them.
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  #11699  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2018, 6:06 AM
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DIA just had its busiest August ever
October 16, 2018 By Alexander Kirk - 9News Denver
Quote:
Denver International Airport recorded its 11th consecutive month of 'unprecedented' passenger traffic in August.

DENVER — August 2018 was the busiest August in Denver International Airport history. DIA says 246,170 more passengers traveled through the airport this August than the previous August, a 4.3 percent increase. This August was the second-busiest month ever for the airport.
While not quite as robust as last year's annual growth of 5.3%, the 4.3% growth in August passenger traffic is still impressive. Looks like DIA could approach 64 million passengers for the year.
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  #11700  
Old Posted Oct 26, 2018, 6:25 AM
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Final Promise and Testament

To whom in may concern:

Word on the street is that come Halloween I shall turn into a pumpkin at which time this thread shall be turned over to any god-fearing souls who wish to find the way forward.

PLEASE, no cheering until you have finished all of your Halloween candy.
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