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  #11221  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 3:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
I'm delighted that this year's Colorado elections look to be dominated by transportation issues.


Side Note:
My early money is on Cynthia Coffman, current AG, winning the governor's race. What's interesting is that (now) deep red Arizona has already elected four female governors: two Dems and two Republicans. This could finally be Colorado's turn to elect its first female governor.
I agree we will likely have a woman governor. I disagree on who it will be. I think a Republican will have a hard time winning in purple state Colorado in what seems to be a likely Democratic "wave" election.

I do see a woman winning it though - Cary Kennedy, who came out ahead with the Dems in the recent caucus.
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  #11222  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 3:59 PM
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There's also some discussion of sprawl creating car dependency, yada yada and to an extent if you compare cities that sprawl with the Original Six transit cities that's a legitimate factor but it also misses the point.
What is the sixth of the Original Six transit cities? Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Flyers, Sharks-North, and...?
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  #11223  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 4:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CherryCreek View Post
I agree we will likely have a woman governor. I disagree on who it will be. I think a Republican will have a hard time winning in purple state Colorado in what seems to be a likely Democratic "wave" election.

I do see a woman winning it though - Cary Kennedy, who came out ahead with the Dems in the recent caucus.
If Cary is the candidate, then maybe I agree. But the Dems are short on good candidates. Walker Stapleton will be formidable. I would vote for him over Jared Polis, wave or no wave. Coloradans will vote a split ballot. And I am not sure it's as much a "wave" in Colorado, since the Governor's race is the only big race on our ballot. Congressional elections are bleh, uninspiring in the places where Dems would be most fired up (YAY - I am 19 and can't WAIT to go cast a vote for... Diana DeGette?) And we do not have a Senate seat up.
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  #11224  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 5:07 PM
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bunt... Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Flyers, Sharks-North, and... Capitals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryCreek View Post
I agree we will likely have a woman governor. I disagree on who it will be. I think a Republican will have a hard time winning in purple state Colorado in what seems to be a likely Democratic "wave" election.

I do see a woman winning it though - Cary Kennedy, who came out ahead with the Dems in the recent caucus.
TBH, I wasn't yet familiar with the Dems but Cary sounds like an excellent candidate.

But I mostly agree with bunt and doubt there'll be any 'wave' in Colorado. I'm an "all politics is local" fan and any potential wave is more likely in states which boomerang but Trump's image is improving, sort of; it's more about those tax cuts than anything from a national perspective.

In Colorado, trending blueish or not, it's still 'we' independents that tend to decide elections. Stapleton may be a very good candidate in some respects but for me Cynthia is the right kind of face for the elephants if they want to win.
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  #11225  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 5:39 PM
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You can call them the Chokers, since that's all they ever do.
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  #11226  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 5:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
bunt... Rangers, Bruins, Blackhawks, Flyers, Sharks-North, and... Capitals.
Oh, I wasn't thinking of Washington as an original transit city. They're just the only one that could build a modern metro in the 20th century because, well, the federal government. Everybody else has a budget.
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  #11227  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 5:54 PM
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Call them the Big 6 instead of the Original 6. You lose the hockey connection but it's more accurate.

Also, although the feds did help more than usual, the bigger reason DC and SF were able to build such large post-war Metros is that we canceled our urban interstates and put the money into subways instead. It's not a coincidence that the 2 biggest freeway revolts were DC & SF.
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  #11228  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 5:57 PM
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Speaking of Greater Greater Washington it looks like Cirrus has been out shaking hands and kissing babies.

Va. reaches landmark $154M Metro funding deal
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  #11229  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 5:59 PM
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You have no idea.
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  #11230  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2018, 9:44 PM
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You have no idea.
I can only imagine.


If it's good enough for D.C.
then it must be even better for Arlington, Texas?

Texas town ditches its bus service for ride-sharing app Via
Mar 12, 2018 By Andrew J. Hawkins/The Verge
Quote:
It’s the latest evidence of US cities forgoing investments in public transportation in favor of partnerships with privately held technology startups.

Under the deal, residents of Arlington, Texas, who own a smartphone can use Via’s app to summon one of 10 commuter vans that will be operating primarily in the city’s downtown area. Fares will only be $3 a ride, or $10 for a weekly pass, thanks to direct subsidies from the city. Via will replace a fleet of charter buses that had been operating in Arlington for four years.
So does this make traditional transit obsolete?
Quote:
Arlington mayor Jeff Williams said, “Absolutely. I think with the new technology that’s coming on you’re going to see very little light rail built because this is so much cheaper.”
So far as being cheaper - highly unlikely - but to date Uber doesn't even know what it needs to charge to actually make money.

I'm still trying to sort out how all this will work in the future. My best guess is that ride sharing can provide a first mile, last mile assist to light rail but is more of a threat to clunky, unpredictable buses. But it would work best I'd think during non-peak hours when having a bus with 2 or a few riders is decidedly not very efficient.
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  #11231  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2018, 3:51 PM
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Arlington TX was famous for years as being the largest city in America without even a local bus network. So it's not exactly surprising they're taking the first opportunity to bail.

For the adults at the table, we're still talking about ride-hailing as something that replaces very low-ridership/frequency buses, but not main lines. Ride-hailing generates more trips per person than normal owner-occupied driving does, meaning it generates more congestion, so it really cannot replace main line transit.

Arlington TX just doesn't have any main line transit.
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  #11232  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2018, 10:34 PM
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RTD, transit workers union agree to new contract that could help alleviate driver woes
March 13, 2018 by Esteban L. Hernandez/Denverite
Quote:
The Regional Transportation District is banking on higher wages and improved benefits introduced by a new collective bargaining agreement to help attract bus and train operators in what an RTD spokesman said is a “hot” Colorado economy.
This was not a case of the Union holding RTD hostage; rather it was needed to hopefully alleviate the shortage of nearly 200 drivers to operate buses and light rail.
Quote:
According to (Scott) Reed, RTD currently has 139 vacancies for bus drivers (13 percent) and 59 vacancies for light rail drivers, which is nearly a third of their workforce (27 percent).

For a more permanent fix, RTD will launch an “aggressive” marketing campaign to hire more operators next month, Reed said.
Not sure why this wasn't done previously but sounds smart to me.
Quote:
While Reed said the agency usually advertises on top-rated radio stations, this year will include radio ads on Spanish-speaking stations to help broaden their reach.

“We think that it’s a bit of an untapped market for what could be a very successful career with RTD,” Reed said, adding that they’re interested in hiring more bilingual drivers.
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  #11233  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2018, 10:51 PM
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I think I see the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
Arlington TX was famous for years as being the largest city in America without even a local bus network. So it's not exactly surprising they're taking the first opportunity to bail.
Who knows, maybe this time, Arlington will be a Trail Blazer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
For the adults at the table, we're still talking about ride-hailing as something that replaces very low-ridership/frequency buses, but not main lines. Ride-hailing generates more trips per person than normal owner-occupied driving does, meaning it generates more congestion, so it really cannot replace main line transit.
Certainly D-Met Transport could catch fire any day and blow up like a hot air balloon... but just to be on the safe side let's assume that doesn't happen.

RTD has just significantly increased their operating expense with pay raises and increased legacy costs and more will be needed over time.

Looking ahead I can foresee RTD being forced to redefine itself and repurpose its services. Including guidance from Denveright/Denver Moves: Transit as well as trends around the country RTD needs to come up with the money needed for the capital costs of creating a more competitive product and meeting increased operating expenses around designated High Value routes ie BRT/enhanced service routes. To do this RTD will need to put away the scalpel and take a hatchet to its current budget. I can foresee the need to cut back or even eliminate much of the off-peak service in favor of ride-sharing which is easily much more efficient.
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  #11234  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2018, 5:00 AM
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Oh there's no doubt the big transit agencies will have to evolve.

But it's not like the changes are only bad. For now, ride-hailing is only working because it's massively subsidized by venture capital. That won't last forever. The hope among ride-hailing companies is that it lasts long enough for autonomous cars to make drivers obsolete and thus massively reduce their costs. It's a race to get the robots on the street before the venture capital dries up.

Sounds great. Except the same trick works for transit. The biggest operating cost for transit is the driver. Cut out the driver and you can run way more frequent service for way less money, making your bus line competitive again.

So yeah, there's no doubt evolution is coming. But don't throw in the towel yet.
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  #11235  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2018, 5:47 PM
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Oh there's no doubt the big transit agencies will have to evolve.

But it's not like the changes are only bad. For now, ride-hailing is only working because it's massively subsidized by venture capital. That won't last forever.
'Ride-hailing' is a fascinating system built on technology. I've been doing some reading into the concept. I also recall reading several years ago about how Amazon wouldn't be able to generate enough revenue to justify its model with the extreme investments they were making. Uber/Lyft is not the same though so we'll see.

I linked to an article about ride-hailing in Portland which mentioned there were a record 10 million rides last year. Checking APTA for bus ridership numbers yielded a little over 61 million or roughly a six to one ratio. Pretty impressive ride-hailing numbers for a transit-strong city.

Ultimately Uber/Lyft fares will drift higher and whether the Starbucks latte crowd continues to ride is a fair question. I'm also interested in van-style ride-sharing as a better value if less convenient. Given the tech it seems vans would have to be a more efficient and cost effective solution for filling in lower ridership gaps whether area or time of day.
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  #11236  
Old Posted Mar 16, 2018, 8:10 PM
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Portland has pleasant transit but ridership is moderate at best as shown by commute shares.
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  #11237  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2018, 10:01 PM
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I finally found RTD's monthly ridership reports
and while they don't show weekday ridership numbers I was able to deduce...

Of the SE Corridor's E, F and H lines, Aurora's popular H line carries 40% of the ridership. If you add in the new R Line then Aurora carries 47% of the total ridership on those 4 lines.

The W Line is not all that far behind the H Line which has about 15% better ridership. The A Line has the best single line ridership, unsurprisingly.
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  #11238  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2018, 11:19 PM
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Schools back in session
and I have the new end of the year, station weekday ridership numbers. There are currently a total of 59 stations.

Tier One
1) Union Station with ridership over 30,000

Tier Two - with ridership over 10,000
2) Colfax at Auraria - 12,750
3) I-25 & Broadway - 12,430
4) Denver Airport - 12,028
5) 16th Street Stations - 11,556

Tier Three - with ridership over 6,000
6) 18th Street Stations - 8,397
7) Auraria West - 7,343
8) Lincoln - 6,604
9) Peoria - 6,591
10) Nine Mile - 6,282

Tier Four - with riderhip over 5,000
11) Littleton/Mineral - 5,520
12) Alameda - 5,428
13) Englewood - 5,402

With respect to Aurora, the Florida Station moved up 3 spots to 26th while Iliff jumped from 42th to 34th. Originally I thought Nine Mile was losing riders to Iliff (and they may be) but they (also) regained the ridership lost over the summer presumably due to Auraria. With Florida having no parking I'm wondering if some riders from 'Aurora metro center' aren't transferring to the H line at Florida instead of taking the A Line into downtown? The north end of Aurora still sucks.
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  #11239  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 7:08 PM
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Photo image courtesy Vail Daily

Town of Vail hosts electric bus for five-day demonstration, evaluation
March 15, 2018 - Daily staff report - newsroom@vaildaily.com
Quote:
VAIL — The town of Vail will host a five-day demonstration of an electric bus from Tuesday, March 20, through Saturday, March 24. The demonstration is part of a project to upgrade buses serving on the in-town route to battery-electric buses in 2020. The 40-foot, ADA-accessible, battery-electric bus manufactured by BYD will be in regular service on the in-town route between Lionshead and Vail Village during this time and rider feedback will be encouraged.
Is that it?
No, there's so much more.
Quote:
The visit will be the first in a series of electric bus demonstrations throughout the year showcasing transit bus manufacturers including BYD, Gillig, New Flyer and Proterra.

Photo image courtesy Proterra/Clint Davis/Summit Daily

Breckenridge to start Proterra Electric Bus demo this week
March 18, 2018 - Summit Daily Staff Report - News@summitdaily.com
Quote:
Breckenridge has the goal of leasing two electric buses for next winter and will soon be starting a month-long demo of an electric bus from Proterra, an industry leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission electric buses.
Is that it?
I'll have you know that Breck is a Trailblazer!
Quote:
According to the town, Breckenridge will be the first Colorado mountain town to put an electric bus in use on one of its routes for an extended period of time.
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  #11240  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 7:24 PM
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^ Those all-electric BYD buses are what's running on the Mall.
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