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  #361  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2012, 10:24 PM
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  #362  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2012, 1:00 AM
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Man, that thing is FAST!! It looks like a solid LRT line; speedy, AND I'm sure reliable, frequent, etc...
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Last edited by Jonboy1983; Apr 29, 2012 at 1:08 AM. Reason: question asked already answered... :)
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  #363  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2012, 2:03 PM
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France Commits to Tramways, A Possible Model for the Future of Urban Rail


06/25/2012

By Yonah Freemark

Read More: http://americancity.org/daily/entry/...-of-urban-rail

Quote:
Last weekend, the city of Brest, on the far western coast of France, opened its new tramway, a 14.3-kilometer line that connects the center city to the west and northeast. About 50,000 daily riders are expected in a city of about 140,000 inhabitants. This Friday, Orléans, an even smaller city in central France, will open its second, 11.3-kilometer tramway line. The first already attracts about 40,000 daily users. These two cities are far from alone in France. Across the country, cities large and small have adopted the construction of modern tramways* to bring their citizens a modern form of public transportation that has led to improved circulation, more convenient networks and renovated downtowns.

- The appeal of tramways is easy to understand. The electric vehicles are silent, modern-looking and entirely flat-floor. Their tracks can be nestled in a lawn, creating a grass median through which trains run; if done right, they can be used as a tool to restore the beauty of an urban boulevard, rather than deface it, as do some light rail lines traveling on grade-separated track. In some cities, like Nice, Bordeaux and Orléans, vehicles have been designed with batteries that allow them to travel some distance (such as across a historic square) without the need for overhead messenger wire. In virtually every case, tramways in France have been specifically located on major bus corridors in order to replace overcrowded routes with higher capacity services.

- In France as a whole, these tramways currently carry about 2.8 million riders a day, compared to about 1.6 million daily riders on all U.S. light rail and streetcar systems. These riders appear to be attracted to trams above and beyond what had previously been offered through bus service. In Lyon, four tram lines opened since 2000 have brought in a considerable numbers of users; the rail system attracted 58 million riders in 2010. But the city’s transit network as a whole grew by 86 million riders between 2000 and 2010 (an increase of 30 percent), meaning that the new trams were not simply moving people from buses into trains. In other words, the investment in rail appears to be paying off in terms of moving people into public transportation who used to be using some other mode of travel. That, again, is not a surprise: It is not only enjoyable to travel by tramway, but such service is also usually faster and more comfortable than equivalent bus service.

- Trams are not always cheap; the Brest line, for instance, cost about 40 million euro per mile to build, or $50 million per mile. Some cities, like Besançon in eastern France, have been able to limit costs to about $35 million per mile. Even that may be more than one might hope for steel implanted in concrete. But in the American context, those costs come across as reasonable. The U.S. Department of Transportation revealed its latest TIGER discretionary grants last week. The one streetcar project that got the nod was the Wave in Fort Lauderdale, which will cost $83.2 million (of which the federal government will pay $18 million) for 1.4 miles of track — that’s $59 million per mile. In exchange, the Florida city will get a rail line that attracts an estimated 2,800 riders a day, thanks mostly to the short, tourist-oriented route where virtually no bus ridership currently exists.

- Cincinnati’s line will cost $50 million per mile to build, Seattle’s $53 million per mile and Atlanta’s $72 million per mile. At these costs, American cities should be pushing for their streetcars to work a bit more like French tramways. Or even French buses. In Metz, in eastern France, the city is investing in a very innovative bus system called Mettis that is currently under construction and expected to open in September next year at a cost of €170 million for 17.8 kilometers of service — or about $19 million per mile. That would be expensive for a bus line if the system was bus rapid transit in the non-rapid form BRT too often takes. But Mettis will be a new breed, so much like a tramway that it will be hard to differentiate its vehicles and alignment from that of a rail service. Mettis’ two lines will use 79-foot hybrid buses (quite a bit longer than an American streetcar) specially constructed by Van Hool. They will feature four large doors and provide complete low-floor service to the platforms being planned for the large stations, as rendered above. The system is being built to accommodate future electrification through energy transfer at stops, though that technology is not yet fully developed.

.....



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  #364  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2012, 8:40 PM
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And the fight continues in Cincinnati...

U.S. House bars federal money for streetcar
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U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot’s trying to keep future federal transportation funding away from being spent on Cincinnati’s streetcar.

The House on Wednesday night approved an amendment Chabot attached to the annual transportation spending bill. The Westwood Republican said the country “cannot continue to spend money it doesn’t have.”

“My amendment is about priorities,” he said in a statement. “This project is far from a necessity while projects of high priority like the Brent Spence Bridge and I-71 (Martin Luther King) interchange are left on hold.”

Chabot has spoken out against the project before, but this was the first time anyone had pushed the topic to a congressional vote. Gov. John Kasich took back $52 million in state streetcar money last year.
Source: http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...sey=nav%7Chead
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  #365  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2012, 4:07 PM
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That pisses me off to no end... What a boob!
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  #366  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2012, 1:05 AM
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A boob indeed. Some rail advocates here in Ohio think that the way the ammendment is worded could lead to the loss of Amtrak service in Cincinnati.

This better not make it through the Senate.
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  #367  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2012, 9:56 PM
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Originally Posted by natiboy View Post
A boob indeed. Some rail advocates here in Ohio think that the way the ammendment is worded could lead to the loss of Amtrak service in Cincinnati.

This better not make it through the Senate.
Agreed. I DO see such projects being necessary. They can lead to job growth and development, can be seen as a way of alleviating traffic congestion and as an engine promoting TOD demand and other land use-oriented demand.

What are the Brent Spence Bridge and I-71 interchange? Me thinks that such projects would lead to further urban sprawl and congestion in the long run. Necessities my ass! Talk about cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.
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  #368  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2012, 6:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
What are the Brent Spence Bridge and I-71 interchange?
The Brent Spence Bridge is the bridge that carries I-75 over the Ohio River. They say it is "functionally obsolete", so we are getting a $2-3 billion replacement. The I-71 interchange will give the University of Cincinnati and the surrounding neighborhoods better highway access.

Hopefully all of the projects will move forward as planned.
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  #369  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2012, 3:48 PM
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As a militant pedestrian, I still support replacing existing highways, assuming their role is "pass-through" or bridge.

But obviously, this time around, any bridge damn well better have bike/pedestrian lanes.
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  #370  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2012, 7:32 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
As a militant pedestrian, I still support replacing existing highways, assuming their role is "pass-through" or bridge.

But obviously, this time around, any bridge damn well better have bike/pedestrian lanes.
Quote:
“cannot continue to spend money it doesn’t have.”
Sorry, everyone knows that pedestrianism is a luxury that is limited to 3rd world country and resort locations, such as the Cayman Islands. This country cannot be expected to promote such extravagant lifestyles that are promulgated by leftist socialist companies such as Nike, Adidas and Columbia Sportswear!
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  #371  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2012, 10:37 PM
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I'm really hoping this Cincinnati streetcar debacle is a joke! I thought Cincy had this thing in the bag. Looks like Ohio is just as regressive as Missouri when it comes to alternative transportation. The state of Missouri only gives St. Louis $1 million/yr for a nearly 50 mile light rail system that has been in place for 20 years. People had been pushing for rail in St. Louis since the streetcars were ripped up in the 60s! We didn't get light rail until the 1990s. Good luck Cincy and keep up the good fight!
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  #372  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 1:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
Man, that thing is FAST!! It looks like a solid LRT line; speedy, AND I'm sure reliable, frequent, etc...
Only about every 12 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes after 7pm according to the posted schedules unfortunately.
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  #373  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 2:52 AM
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Originally Posted by J. Will View Post
Only about every 12 minutes during the day and every 20 minutes after 7pm according to the posted schedules unfortunately.
It's fast by my hometown's standards. They're in a state of retreat tho as a result of years with their heads up their asses. (referring to Pittsburgh's Port Authority of Allegheny County). They have 12-20 minute peak headways and 30 minute off peak hours headways, but I'm sure both will jump considerably once the system is pretty much axed in a few months...

Heck, at least it operates at roughly 50 mph or at least it looks like it does. The average speed on Pittsburgh's T doesn't even top 15 mph! I think the fastest parts of the system are places where the trains barely top 40 or 45...
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  #374  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 4:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goat314 View Post
I'm really hoping this Cincinnati streetcar debacle is a joke! I thought Cincy had this thing in the bag. Looks like Ohio is just as regressive as Missouri when it comes to alternative transportation. The state of Missouri only gives St. Louis $1 million/yr for a nearly 50 mile light rail system that has been in place for 20 years. People had been pushing for rail in St. Louis since the streetcars were ripped up in the 60s! We didn't get light rail until the 1990s. Good luck Cincy and keep up the good fight!
I read that Ohio ranks near the bottom when it comes to state funding for transit.
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  #375  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 1:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goat314 View Post
I'm really hoping this Cincinnati streetcar debacle is a joke! I thought Cincy had this thing in the bag. Looks like Ohio is just as regressive as Missouri when it comes to alternative transportation. The state of Missouri only gives St. Louis $1 million/yr for a nearly 50 mile light rail system that has been in place for 20 years. People had been pushing for rail in St. Louis since the streetcars were ripped up in the 60s! We didn't get light rail until the 1990s. Good luck Cincy and keep up the good fight!
Atlanta gets $0 from the state of Georgia for MARTA.
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  #376  
Old Posted Jul 4, 2012, 4:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goat314 View Post
I'm really hoping this Cincinnati streetcar debacle is a joke! I thought Cincy had this thing in the bag. Looks like Ohio is just as regressive as Missouri when it comes to alternative transportation. The state of Missouri only gives St. Louis $1 million/yr for a nearly 50 mile light rail system that has been in place for 20 years. People had been pushing for rail in St. Louis since the streetcars were ripped up in the 60s! We didn't get light rail until the 1990s. Good luck Cincy and keep up the good fight!
Thanks for the support. I don't think the provision passed in the bill, but even if it did, it shouldn't affect the first phase of the streetcar which is already under construction. It would eliminate funding for future phases. But, we've been pushing for this project for 5 years already and it's survived two votes. Hopefully we can keep everything on track.
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  #377  
Old Posted Aug 11, 2012, 9:24 PM
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Houston Metro receives $188 million for light rail construction


August 9, 2012

By Stewart Powell

Read More: http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012...-construction/

Quote:
.....

Congressman Gene Green, the Houston Democrat who is dean of the metropolitan area’s House delegation, said the money is part of Houston Metro’s full funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration.

- The North Corridor project will receive $94 million for a 5.3-mile light rail transit extension that begins at the existing University of Houston-Downtown Station and runs north to Interstate 45, ending at Northline Commons. The project includes eight new stations, expansion of the existing rail operations center, and purchase of 22 light rail vehicles.

- The $94 million grant for the Southeast Corridor covers design and construction of a new 6.6-mile light rail line from downtown Houston to a terminal at Palm Center. The project includes 10 new stations, a new vehicle storage and wash facility, and purchase of 29 light rail vehicles.

......



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  #378  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2012, 10:50 PM
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Cities Use Federal Funding to Back New Routes but Some Call Projects a Waste


August 15, 2012

By CAROLINE PORTER

Read More: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...844409848.html

Quote:
Cities from Los Angeles to Atlanta are making big bets to revitalize their downtowns by bringing back a form of transportation many abandoned decades ago: the streetcar. Some cities are counting on help from federal stimulus dollars, but a few are going it alone.

- Late last month, about 500 residents in one part of Kansas City, Mo., voted to create a special taxing district to raise $75 million over about two decades for a streetcar. In the same week, Cincinnati officials passed a measure to allow about $15 million to be spent on a 3.6-mile loop. And in Los Angeles, the city council approved a plan to ask voters if they are willing to pay additional taxes for a four-mile downtown streetcar loop. Proponents say the streetcars would boost economic growth and catch the fancy of younger generations.

- But others see a waste of tax dollars on projects that, they say, offer little more than a way to move downtown workers from their offices to lunch. "I would love a rail system that actually gets people to work, not just to buy a sandwich," said Josh Spring, the director of the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, which opposes the project there, which is backed by about $40 million in federal dollars.

- The revival in streetcar projects comes in part because of federal backing. In 2009, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood pledged $280 million for urban-transit projects, such as streetcars. During the past four years, the Department of Transportation doled out more than $450 million to 12 streetcar projects across the country, according to the Federal Transit Administration. Atlanta and Salt Lake City already have broken ground on streetcar projects with a total of $74 million in federal funding.

- Many cities point to streetcar projects like the one in Portland, Ore., which opened its first leg in 2001 and is expected to expand to 7.3 miles of track next month from four miles now. City officials in a 2008 report cited the streetcar as impetus for more than 10,000 new housing units and 5.4 million square feet of office, institutional, retail and hotel construction within two blocks. "Portland wasn't like a mecca before. It was another dirty midsized city," said Mr. Johnson of Kansas City, who says he has no problem paying an extra $200 per year for the streetcar to roll into his city of 480,000.

- Other cities have had less operational success with their projects. Last year, officials in Tampa, Fla., scaled back the hours of operation and the frequency of rides in order to balance the annual $1.3 million operating budget for a 2.7-mile streetcar, according to Marcia Mejia, public information officer for the area's regional transportation agency. Ridership numbers for a streetcar in Little Rock, Ark., were 112,000 per year, rather than the estimated 130,000. City officials say construction work hampered its usage.

.....



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  #379  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2012, 3:15 PM
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NE LRT Extension in Calgary begins operation today. 2.9 km of track, two new stations, ~140 new park and ride stalls.

Martindale and Saddletowne Stations in the top right corner:



Some pictures by User "Frinkprof" of saturday's opening celebration:

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Originally Posted by frinkprof View Post
Photos from the NE LRT Extension opening celebration today.

Some food trucks lined up prior to the festivities




East side of Saddletowne Station




Not everything is complete yet




From the south pedestrian crossing. Traction power substation on the left




Preparing the ceremonial ribbon for the first train




Crowd on the platform just after the ribbon cutting




Train and Station




Martindale Station



And some more pictures of the new extension by "srperrycalgary"


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From earlier today:

Video Link


Saddletowne Station:


Saddletowne4 by srp775, on Flickr


Saddletowne1 by srp775, on Flickr


Saddletowne16 by srp775, on Flickr

Martindale Station:


Martindale4 by srp775, on Flickr


Martindale7 by srp775, on Flickr


Martindale1 by srp775, on Flickr
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  #380  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2012, 8:32 PM
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Great pics Frinkprof. Thanks.
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