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Old 10-03-2015, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,401 posts, read 2,726,205 times
Reputation: 2159

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
MARTA should buy the streetcar from the city. For one thing, you take better care of things that you own. Number two, the city needs to get out of the streetcar business 100%.
But if MARTA actually buys it, we'll be taxing ourselves twice for it. Once when we paid for the federal backing to build it, and again when MARTA buys it, since all of the money used is tax funds.

I personally like the way Portland does their streetcars, where the city owns and funds them, but contracts opperations out to TriMet completly. That way, MARTA isn't over burdened with a system they didn't actually build, but can still run it as if it were an integrated part of their network.

This also allows fresh expansion funds to go towards it from the city, without bogging down MARTA with more expansion burden.
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Old 10-03-2015, 08:30 AM
 
28,109 posts, read 24,632,008 times
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Well, maybe we should put it up for bids and let the market decide what it is worth.

I hate to see the city remain on the hook for maintenance and operation. Unlike MARTA, the streetcar has no dedicated source of funding other than fares.

In addition, there's the stray electricity problem.

SaportaReport | Atlanta Streetcar could expose city to liability for damage to underground utilities
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:52 AM
 
Location: In your feelings
2,199 posts, read 1,488,655 times
Reputation: 2168
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Well, maybe we should put it up for bids and let the market decide what it is worth.

I hate to see the city remain on the hook for maintenance and operation. Unlike MARTA, the streetcar has no dedicated source of funding other than fares.

In addition, there's the stray electricity problem.

SaportaReport | Atlanta Streetcar could expose city to liability for damage to underground utilities
You're dredging up a 7-month-old story to reinforce your point? Trying to sell the Streetcar like it's a used car is a tremendously silly idea. The city can continue to own it, while MARTA is the sole operator. Plenty of transit systems around the country work that way, someone's already brought up the example of the Portland streetcar, which is owned by the city and run by TriMet.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:23 AM
 
28,109 posts, read 24,632,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnetar View Post
You're dredging up a 7-month-old story to reinforce your point? Trying to sell the Streetcar like it's a used car is a tremendously silly idea. The city can continue to own it, while MARTA is the sole operator. Plenty of transit systems around the country work that way, someone's already brought up the example of the Portland streetcar, which is owned by the city and run by TriMet.
If the stray electricity problem has been fixed I withdraw the reference to the article. If not, it's entirely relevant.

And of course that's hardly the only element of maintenance. Why stick that on the city, when there is no dedicated means of funding the streetcar other than fare collection and general revenues?
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,401 posts, read 2,726,205 times
Reputation: 2159
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
If the stray electricity problem has been fixed I withdraw the reference to the article. If not, it's entirely relevant.

And of course that's hardly the only element of maintenance. Why stick that on the city, when there is no dedicated means of funding the streetcar other than fare collection and general revenues?
The streetcar receives operations funding from the Department of Public Works, with improvement funding coming from the Executive offices funding. ATL FY2015 Adopted Budeget

It's not like they're just operating without planned future funding, it's just that it's coming from the city in general as opposed to a separate T-Splost or so. At that point, without a new tax or so, anything more dedicated becomes a matter of semantics.

I would much rather the City not sell off the streetcar, but do what I and others have said where they hand over the operations and maintenance to MARTA, but supply the funding for it.

I wouldn't mind seeing the full 1% tax being offered in the CoA when / if MARTA does their expansion push. Half would go to MARTA for the HRT/LRT/BRT building, and the other .5% would go to funding the streetcar's expansion and construction. The portion of the original .5% tax that would have gone to the Beltline LRT, would wither go into other expansion funds, or pay for the O&M for the Streetcars / Beltline as they get built.
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:06 PM
 
28,109 posts, read 24,632,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
The streetcar receives operations funding from the Department of Public Works, with improvement funding coming from the Executive offices funding. ATL FY2015 Adopted Budeget

It's not like they're just operating without planned future funding, it's just that it's coming from the city in general as opposed to a separate T-Splost or so. At that point, without a new tax or so, anything more dedicated becomes a matter of semantics.
Well, that's the point. The maintenance and operation money is just coming out of the city's general coffers.

Why not tax the owners of the property along the line? If the primary purpose of the streetcar is business development, it seems like these folks are the primary beneficiaries.

Another option is to put an additional penny or two on retail businesses along the streetcar line.
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,401 posts, read 2,726,205 times
Reputation: 2159
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Well, that's the point. The maintenance and operation money is just coming out of the city's general coffers.

Why not tax the owners of the property along the line? If the primary purpose of the streetcar is business development, it seems like these folks are the primary beneficiaries.

Another option is to put an additional penny or two on retail businesses along the streetcar line.
The reason you don't start taxing the people along the streetcar line extra for simply being along it is that you're encouraging development, especially in a historically blighted area. It doesn't make much sense to me to try and encourage buisnesses to start up along the route, and then tell them they have extra taxes on top of their existing taxes.

Besides, it's not like the city isn't getting anything extra froma along the route. New buisnesses that open up where there wern't any before add to the general funds. Increased property values for existing buisnesses bring in extra tax revenue already. More people shopping means more sales tax.

The only justifiable reason i can see for increasing taxes for the streetcar, is if there is a massive city funding gap, which isn't there right now, or it's for a big push to expand the system.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,147 posts, read 16,140,747 times
Reputation: 4894
Public Transit Does Not Have to Reduce Traffic Congestion to Succeed
Public Transportation Does Not Have to Reduce Traffic Congestion to Succeed - CityLab
Quote:
Construction on the second phase of L.A.’s Expo light rail line is expected to be finished this month, with an opening scheduled for 2016. The project comes with high hopes of reducing traffic congestion in America’s most notorious car town. That goal was outlined in the environmental analysis for the original leg of the line, from Downtown L.A. to Culver City, and was reiterated by Mayor Eric Garcetti this summer in discussing the extension to Santa Monica:

"The region's newest rail line will add another transportation route while relieving traffic and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process."
It’s common, if not almost required, for major transit projects in the U.S. to carry promises of traffic relief. In a practical sense they’d be foolish not to. Most Americans still drive from here to there, and winning the favor of the majority is the job of the politician. So we see all sorts of public transportation efforts tout the benefits they’ll have on congestion: from light rail to metro rail to bus-rapid transit to bike-share.

There’s just the little problem of the evidence. With few exceptions, studies tend to find limited signs that transit has much of an impact on nearby road congestion. Some places see slight congestion gains or mileage declines in the short term, and well-designed service should lay the foundation for reduced car-reliance in the long run, but the direct transit-traffic link is tenuous at best.

Blame induced demand

Part of the reason is that old devil of induced demand: the more space that opens up on a road, the more drivers emerge to grab it. (That’s also why building more roads doesn’t solve the traffic problem, either.) Another part is that public transit remains a marginal travel mode in most U.S. metros. That means a system can attract lots of new riders without moving the traffic needle much, especially if a big chunk of the new transit riders were also former transit riders—as opposed to people who gave up driving.

A new study of the Expo line spotlights those very explanations in reporting a modest link between light rail and congestion relief. Transport scholars Genevieve Giuliano, Sandip Chakrabarti, and Mohja Rhoads found the Expo rail to be responsible for an overall increase in transit ridership on the L.A. Metro system. But their data couldn’t detect any reductions in traffic speed or travel time on Interstate 10 in the same corridor, and they found “mixed and inconclusive evidence” for relief on local roads.

They conclude that the traffic benefits of the light rail (below, LRT) are “very limited,” and blame the surge of new drivers to new road space:

[T]he congestion reduction benefits of LRT are likely very limited. If new LRT lines are located in high demand areas, we can expect a lot of latent demand; so LRT—to the extent that transit capacity is increased—allows for new auto trips, some of which may fill up the space made available by those who shift from auto to transit (Downs 1992). Moreover, as in the Expo Line case, new LRT lines typically add only incrementally to the overall capacity of the corridor.
So it isn’t quite right for transit advocates or public officials to use “relieves traffic!” as a project’s main selling point. But it’s equally incorrect to use “doesn’t relieve traffic!” as a reason to oppose it.

Expect plenty of other benefits

Good transit offers a world of benefits beyond any impact on rush-hour roads, beginning with agglomeration—the economic boost that occurs when people and jobs cluster in cities. Once a city reaches a certain level of congestion and hits a wall in terms of road space, rail or bus systems are the only way to pump more people into the central areas that produce these gains. Here’s Jarrett Walker on how transit “raises the level of economic activity and prosperity at a fixed level of congestion”:

Congestion appears to reach equilibrium at a level that is maddeningly high but that can't be called "total gridlock." At that level, people just stop trying to travel. If your city is car-dependent, that limit becomes the cap on the economic activity — and thus the prosperity — of your city. To the extent that your city is dependent on transit, supported by walking and cycling, economic activity and prosperity can continue to grow while congestion remains constant.
Other benefits to transit include better overall access to the city (especially jobs), greater mobility for people who don’t drive (for reasons of choice, health, or income), and of course improved sustainability. There’s a basic equity issue here, too, captured by transport scholar David Levinson in a great essay earlier this year at streets.mn explaining why “it warps thinking that the aim of public transit funding is to benefit those non-transit users”:

Transit today is, in almost all US markets, slower than driving. People who depend on transit can reach fewer jobs than those who have automobiles available. Some people use transit by choice, for instance to save money (if they need to pay for parking), and the rest without choice. In my opinion, it is more important to spend scarce public dollars to improve options for those without choices than to improve the choices for those who already have alternatives.
There is a way to relieve traffic congestion: charge drivers to enter high-traffic areas at high-traffic times. Congestion pricing has worked everywhere around the world it’s been implemented. But since not everyone is able or willing to pay a road fee, congestion pricing requires something besides the right price to succeed—namely, good public transit alternatives.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:30 AM
 
28,109 posts, read 24,632,008 times
Reputation: 9523
Reduced traffic congestion should not be the test of whether public transportation is considered successful.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,147 posts, read 16,140,747 times
Reputation: 4894
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Reduced traffic congestion should not be the test of whether public transportation is considered successful.
So therefore corndog/McGrit's criticism of the Clifton Corridor is worthless.
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