Originally Posted by paulsjv
Well if the rail is even some what of a success maybe that will be the catalyst to actually build a light rail system!
Of course it's pure speculation on my part but I think it would be served better to try and make the rail system we got a success instead of constantly saying it's going to fail. If the rail does fail it will hurt Austin a lot more so I'd rather do my best to make it succeed because it's success will more than likely spur other great transit things! So I may be in a minority when it comes to walking a few blocks to get to my final destination but I hope others will follow suit in order to make the rail a success and therefore have even better mass transit in the future! It's what we are going to get so constantly complaining about it like M1 seems to do doesn't really serve a purpose. However, JAM is right that his point of view is very valuable because now we know where the weaknesses of the current rail solution is and there can be ideas spurred from that to try and make it a success despite everything that M1 says and does to make it a total failure.
"a few blocks" is what you'd do with the quarter-mile rule. That's not what we built here. We're talking about a walk of about a mile to get from the Convention Center to Seaholm; and about a half-mile to get to the closest major office buildings in downtown.
The challenge is that our political leaders went on the record as saying "let's ride and then decide", so the work of guys like me who obviously would want a complete change of direction got even harder. In the meantime, if it somehow does exceed expectations (by carring 2000 riders per day instead of 1500, which is absolutely pathetic by light-rail standards, which is how Capital Metro's shills are branding this thing), the path for 'expansion' is to build a streetcar circulator. Remember, it is impossible to extend this commuter rail service to UT or the Capitol. Physically impossible. The vehicles can't turn on city streets - they're too porky.
And remember, too, wishful thinking is no substitute for transit research that has shown that most people won't walk more than a quarter-mile from station to endpoint, and most choice commuters will not accept a transfer (even to a second, good, rail line) in cities where parking doesn't command super-premium prices.