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  #61  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 7:30 AM
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So what exactly makes Denver's - 62,900/day on 56 km track, rank lower than Saint Louis's - 61,573/day on 74 km of track? All other cities on the list seem to be n their proper descending order. What is the unknown variable which makes Denver's 62,900/day rank lower than Saint Louis's 61,573/day?

in 2013, Denver's 19km West Corridor light rail line will open, adding at least 20k daily riders and bringing the system track total up to ~75km with ~82,000/day ridership (not including any ridership gains between now and then on existing lines). That will put Denver's LRT system up in the next tier, right behind San Diego, Portland and Edmonton.
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  #62  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 7:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
How much of the physical density of the DC area is due to Metro's presence, though? In 1950, with DC at a higher population than today and, due to the fixed boundaries, a higher density than today, the city managed just fine with streetcars (albeit ones with a few underground portions, e.g. Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill).

Metro's crush-loads could probably be accommodated just as easily on a dense network of streetcar lines as on a system of widely spaced subways. According to this (PowerPoint warning) the number of jobs in DC has remained relatively constant since the 1950s. If we accept this as a rough proxy for downtown DC employment, and you take into account that the majority of Metro riders are making a traditional downtown commute, I'd say the former streetcar system could easily take the role of Metro within the district.

Of course, that also raises a whole host of other questions... assuming the streetcars still existed and Metro had not been built, would downtown DC have been able to remain the huge regional employment center that it is, or would it just be the highest levels of government rubbing shoulders with tumbleweeds and shuttered storefronts, while the millions of suburban workers, both Federal and private, commuted to suburban office parks on the (much larger) DC-area freeway system? This is why I hate hypotheticals. Metro was undoubtedly a big factor in creating the dense and dynamic capital region that exists today, but there were innumerable other factors as well, whose effect may have benefited DC even without Metro.
What i'm confused about and i know if not addressed will lead to problems , is the lengths of the vehicles. They look about the size of a city bus , why not make them 2x as long?
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  #63  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 7:34 AM
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Just a minor correction (I'm a homer, what can I say): Boston's combined heavy and light rail daily ridership - the Red, Blue and Orange heavy rail lines and the Green and Mattapan light rail lines - is 623,422 per day.

Boston's Green Line sees 237,700 per day on 42 km (26 mi) of track.
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  #64  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 7:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
Just a minor correction (I'm a homer, what can I say): Boston's combined heavy and light rail daily ridership - the Red, Blue and Orange heavy rail lines and the Green and Mattapan light rail lines - is 623,422 per day.

Boston's Green Line sees 237,700 per day on 42 km (26 mi) of track.
Where'd you get that number? The APTA report (4th Quarter 2k9) says 481k for the RBO lines, 235k for the Green.
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  #65  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by blade_bltz View Post
Where'd you get that number? The APTA report (4th Quarter 2k9) says 481k for the RBO lines, 235k for the Green.
I honestly have no idea where there number came from, that was an at-work post I think I added up the ridership numbers from the MBTA Wikipedia article, but I should have just looked at the ridership Wiki charts instead.

Boston has a daily ridership of 719,000: 237,700 for the Green Line and light rail portion of the Ashmont–Mattapan Line and 481,300 for the Red, Orange, Blue and heavy rail portion of the Ashmont–Mattapan Line. An additional 130,800 or 143,700 take a Commuter Line, depending on which chart you're looking at.



Some good charts for this discussion...

US Light Rail Ridership Stats

North American Light Rail Ridership Stats (scroll down)

US Heavy Rail Ridership Stats

North American Rapid Transit Ridership Stats

North American Commuter Rail Ridership Stats (scroll down)

I know there will be disagreements on some of the numbers on those North American charts, especially with the metro numbers, but it's the best thing I could find on Wikipedia with American, Canadian and Mexican numbers all in once place for easy comparison.
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  #66  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 5:03 PM
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APTA numbers are routinely different from local sources, but they're supposedly apples-to-apples nationwide, so when listing agencies I'd use APTA over other sources.

ardecila: I do think that a combination of urban light rail and high quality, frequent commuter rail (more like interurban rail) is capable of handling tremendous densities. However, that sort of system is drastically different than the type of light-rail-as-mini-metro advocated on the last page. Light rail as mini metro has serious flaws, including major capacity constraints. It is fundamentally not capable of doing the same thing as a real Metro. A combination of appropriate modes on appropriate corridors, however, can be capable.
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  #67  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 6:02 PM
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edit: nevermind, someone already did it.
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  #68  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 6:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnyderBock View Post
So what exactly makes Denver's - 62,900/day on 56 km track, rank lower than Saint Louis's - 61,573/day on 74 km of track? All other cities on the list seem to be n their proper descending order. What is the unknown variable which makes Denver's 62,900/day rank lower than Saint Louis's 61,573/day?

in 2013, Denver's 19km West Corridor light rail line will open, adding at least 20k daily riders and bringing the system track total up to ~75km with ~82,000/day ridership (not including any ridership gains between now and then on existing lines). That will put Denver's LRT system up in the next tier, right behind San Diego, Portland and Edmonton.
Oh god don't read too much into it, it was a mere mistake. I wasn't smiting Denver or anything like that.

Edmonton's current numbers are probably incorrect too, as with our new expansion (the 20.5km system that I ranked in) is estimated to have brought our ridership to almost 100 000/day. The Edmonton stats are based on 2010 track and 2009 ridership.

naidoo also did this

Quote:
Originally Posted by naidoo View Post
We've been told 100k daily ridership to be reasonable for our expanded LRT system. I took EE's more comprehensive list and calculated daily ridership/km (ranked in order of highest daily ridership/km):


City Daily Ridership Length (km) Ridership/km

New York City (subway) 7,791,700 369 21115.71816
Montreal 987,000 71 13901.40845
Toronto (subway) 942,600 68.3 13800.87848
New York City (PATH subway) 244,300 22.2 11004.5045
Philadelphia (Market subway) 178,715 20.76 8608.622351
Boston 481,300 61 7890.163934
Philadelphia (Broad St subway) 114,816 19.3 5949.015544
Calgary 266,100 48.8 5452.868852
Vancouver 344796 68.7 5018.864629
Edmonton 100,000 20.5 4878.04878
Washington DC 801,400 171 4686.549708
Chicago 640,000 170.8 3747.0726
Houston 45,000 12.1 3719.008264
Toronto (streetcar) 276,000 75 3680
Atlanta 247,200 76.6 3227.154047
Buffalo 23,200 10.3 2252.427184
San Francisco 358,500 167 2146.706587
Minneapolis-St. Paul 32,300 19.8 1631.313131
Detroit 7,500 4.7 1595.744681
Salt Lake City 43,400 30.58 1419.228254
Portland 115,400 84.7 1362.455726
Phoenix 43,509 32 1359.65625
San Diego 107,000 82.2 1301.703163
Charlotte 20,000 15.45 1294.498382
Los Angeles 144,900 127.3 1138.256088
Denver 62,900 56 1123.214286
Saint Louis 61,573 74 832.0675676
Sacramento 49,800 60.21 827.105132
Seattle/Tacoma 20,200 27.8 726.618705
Pittsburgh 24,800 40 620
Cleveland 18,600 31 600
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  #69  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 9:21 PM
novawolverine novawolverine is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
How much of the physical density of the DC area is due to Metro's presence, though? In 1950, with DC at a higher population than today and, due to the fixed boundaries, a higher density than today, the city managed just fine with streetcars (albeit ones with a few underground portions, e.g. Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill).

Metro's crush-loads could probably be accommodated just as easily on a dense network of streetcar lines as on a system of widely spaced subways. According to this (PowerPoint warning) the number of jobs in DC has remained relatively constant since the 1950s. If we accept this as a rough proxy for downtown DC employment, and you take into account that the majority of Metro riders are making a traditional downtown commute, I'd say the former streetcar system could easily take the role of Metro within the district.

Of course, that also raises a whole host of other questions... assuming the streetcars still existed and Metro had not been built, would downtown DC have been able to remain the huge regional employment center that it is, or would it just be the highest levels of government rubbing shoulders with tumbleweeds and shuttered storefronts, while the millions of suburban workers, both Federal and private, commuted to suburban office parks on the (much larger) DC-area freeway system? This is why I hate hypotheticals. Metro was undoubtedly a big factor in creating the dense and dynamic capital region that exists today, but there were innumerable other factors as well, whose effect may have benefited DC even without Metro.
I think what you describe in your second paragraph is likely. There are factors besides metro, but it mostly has to do w/ gov't expanding and more competitive suburbs from a business standpoint relative to the city. But most of our development has been dictated by the presence of metro in one form or another.

I agree w/ Cirrus. Only with a high-quality commuter rail, the traditional streetcar system inside the city on important corridors would be acceptable. What you see every morning on all the lines, but especially the Red, Orange, Blue and Yellow lines wouldn't be possible w/o some heavier form of rail than a dinky streetcar. The fact that the population is substantially less than 1950 and that the number of jobs is slightly higher illustrates the importance of a sturdier, higher-capacity vehicle with a higher rate of travel and longer optimal range to get commuters into the city and people to their jobs in the immediate suburbs. That powerpoint is from 2002, and while that's not a long time ago, the jobs have only increased inside the city and suburbs since then, as has the population. And I know Cirrus has said this before plenty of times, and I agree, that metro is not optimal for what it does currently towards the end of its lines, but light rail wouldn't be the answer, commuter rail is.

Another thing is that while light rail is more permanent than bus, I don't know of any form of transit that we see is more permanent than heavy rail.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 2:55 PM
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A Desire for More Streetcars


Tod Newcombe | July 2010

Read More: http://www.governing.com/columns/urb...treetcars.html

Quote:
It may lack the romance and history of the St. Charles streetcars in New Orleans, but Seattle's modest streetcar line in the South Lake Union district has given a once downtrodden city neighborhood instant credibility as a place to live and work. The new line links South Lake Union to the city's growing light-rail system, which in turn connects to downtown Seattle shopping areas, commuter rail and the airport. The 2.6-mile loop with single cars trundling along at city traffic speeds might just be the future of streetcars in America.

While many single streetcar lines play to the tourist crowds and trolley fans, numerous cities seriously are considering and planning legitimate streetcar systems as part of their mass transit network. In addition to Seattle, which plans to add a second line, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Salt Lake City and Charlotte, N.C., are exploring adding streetcar lines to existing transit systems. Tacoma, Wash., operates a short modern line; Portland, Ore., has a popular service in its downtown; and Washington, D.C., is constructing a streetcar line in its Anacostia neighborhood.

Streetcars differ from their light-rail cousins in several ways. They operate in city traffic rather than on their own right of way. They typically are a single car that's powered by overhead electric lines, runs at local speed limits, makes frequent stops and travels for short distances--often just 1 to 3 miles. Light-rail systems, however, run multi-car train sets, travel at higher speeds, stop less frequently and often are on lines that extend well into the suburbs.

Critics contend that cities would get far more bang for their buck by investing in bus systems. But streetcar advocates emphasize their ability to connect neighborhoods, increase accessibility and spur economic development, as Seattle is discovering. Most of all, though, they stress their low cost: approximately $25 million per mile to build versus anywhere from $50 million to $75 million per mile for light rail, depending on whether the track is elevated or on the surface.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 4:07 PM
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Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
A Desire for More Streetcars


Tod Newcombe | July 2010

Read More: http://www.governing.com/columns/urb...treetcars.html
Great article!! I agree... streetcars may not be quite as fast, but there are many other benefits to them, especially if you're trying to encourage connectivity within a growing TOD.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 4:30 PM
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Find out the average number of passengers on board each train, and divide that by the amount of electrical energy needed to power the train. Then, compare it to the same figure but with the same passengers driving plug-in electric cars instead. Then, factor in the amount of money, energy, materials, and time needed to construct the roadways used by those people as opposed to the amount of resources that went into constructing the train system.

What would the results be? I can't make a guess either way.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 7:31 PM
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Go here, click on the "May" publication, and go manually (#s on pages) to page 12. This regards life cycle energy use by a bunch of modes. http://www.sustainable-transportation.com/
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  #74  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 7:36 PM
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Originally Posted by edmontonenthusiast View Post
^Yeah I was only doing Canada/America if you didn't tell. No Mexico City or Guadalajara either. I was doing cultural North America (Central America is a different place culturally) over geographical North America (where Central America is in the same general land mass).
Mexico is part of North America if you didn't know. Mexico City is the biggest city in the Western Hemisphere and has one of the largest metro systems in the world - 150 stations.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 8:30 PM
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Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
Find out the average number of passengers on board each train, and divide that by the amount of electrical energy needed to power the train. Then, compare it to the same figure but with the same passengers driving plug-in electric cars instead. Then, factor in the amount of money, energy, materials, and time needed to construct the roadways used by those people as opposed to the amount of resources that went into constructing the train system.

What would the results be? I can't make a guess either way.
Don't forget parking.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 8:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
A Desire for More Streetcars


Tod Newcombe | July 2010

Read More: http://www.governing.com/columns/urb...treetcars.html
Philadelphia's Subway-Surface system are operated by streetcars that, for the most part, are glorified buses. The article is correct in the points it makes about the amenities of streetcars as opposed to typical light rail but because they operate in mixed traffic, they seem to make more sense in smaller cities/shorter distances. Philadelphia's streetcars operate on routes that are average 4-6 miles from their common terminus downtown and these cars have been running for over 100 years. I wonder how well their reintroduction would work in certain places as most cities once had these systems.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 10:42 PM
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Mexico is part of North America if you didn't know. Mexico City is the biggest city in the Western Hemisphere and has one of the largest metro systems in the world - 150 stations.
Yeah, I know, I just stated in the quoted post that Mexico is geographically apart of the North American continent, but for my list I just did North(ern) America, excluding Central America.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2010, 11:37 PM
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its all about providing people with options that encourage them to not use their cars. light rail is just part of the transit equation and should be used in conjunction with other modes to be most effective. it does not need to be given a second look, it worked the first time. the hard part is convincing people to use public transit.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2010, 12:17 AM
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its all about providing people with options that encourage them to not use their cars. light rail is just part of the transit equation and should be used in conjunction with other modes to be most effective. it does not need to be given a second look, it worked the first time. the hard part is convincing people to use public transit.
But today's planners are stuck on the light rail ideal and deride all other options.

The fact of the matter is that we have to think about the future and not just now. Places like Atlanta did a great in building subway from the start. But if they were building today, it would almost for sure be an LRT. And it would not be carrying half as many people as the MARTA subway carries. That is just one example.

When light rail is done right as in Edmonton, you are approaching the level of building a heavy rail system. Only difference is they use old railway right of ways, etc, which helps lower costs.

Light rail really is the "downtown mall" of the 2000's. Every city needed a downtown mall in the 90's. Now it is light rail that everyone wants.
It is a fad. It makes sense in some places. But it for sure does not make sense in all the cities building it. And in some of the larger cities like Toronto, it really does not make sense. But it is being built because that is what everyone else is doing.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2010, 12:33 AM
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i wouldn't exactly call it the new outside mall. sure some cities might appear to jumping on a bandwagon but their intent is the same, expanding transit options and giving people another transit choice. that in effect i think we can all agree is a good idea. whether or not its a fiscally sound idea probably depends on the city where the line is being built. gas aint getting any cheaper. that is a fact.
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