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Old 02-25-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX/London, UK
709 posts, read 597,862 times
Reputation: 478
Quote:
Originally Posted by wag more bark less View Post
Wow, I never would have guessed that about South Austin. Do you have a statistic that shows that? I believe you I'd love to see the actual numbers though. I live off South Lamar and multifamily housing demand seems higher than ever...several new buildings and lots of new plans in the works. I dunno about the rest of South, though. I'd love rail but I really like South Austin, damn!
The easiest numbers I guess would just be the latest census results. I'll put them at the bottom.

Chris Bradford who lives in the Zilker neighborhood and writes the Austin Contrarian Blog (one of my favorite blogs on the subject) also had a nice write up about it. You can find that article here: 78704 and the 2010 Census - Austin Contrarian

One of the things about the inner city neighborhoods like South Austin are they are adding some housing stock, and filling that increased number of housing stock, yet losing population. Most of that existing housing is owned by the baby boomers, whose kids have moved on and started families of their own out in the newer further out neighborhoods. The apartments that are popping up are being filled by singles, and there is enough NIMBYism to keep the growing numbers of singles in the new apartment units below the numbers of kids growing up and moving out to start their own families, as well as any other housing stock being replaced by commercial. So what you end up with is mostly retired baby boomers whose kids have moved out in the old homes in those areas mixed with a few twenty-somethings in those houses, and lots of twenty-somethings in the apartments. That creates an unhealthy neighborhood that loses population. Not one that accommodates those who want to start families and raise their kids there.

This is why the schools in the area are having a hard time filling their classes, and last year we almost had one of the best schools in Austin forced to close for this reason. The neighborhoods do fight the apartment complexes on the main streets such as Lamar or S 1st, but usually lose. However they are successful in stopping any attempts to do what is really necessarily to create a real healthy neighborhood that would be more inviting to families. Such as creating duplexes and the like off the few main roads. Such as the new 4 unit houses that they are building at Mueller. The fear is that such infill like those multi-unit houses off the main thoroughfares and inside the actual neighborhoods would change the neighborhoods. And they are probably right. But it would make the area healthy again, and start bring back families that currently have no other choice but to move out to the burbs. As well as full up the schools and increase the tax base significantly to improve those schools and support the parks. Not that the current schools are not good, there are some great ones in that area. The parks are also great, like Zilker. But because of how unhealthy the neighborhood is, it is all payed by taxes from elsewhere. They need to get families moving back in to fix that.

As long as the rest of Austin remains healthy, and South Austin remains so unhealthy, I just can't see any reason why they would think about taking rail down south. Even if the neighborhoods were to allow rail (which we all know they never would) they would never allow the neighborhoods to become healthy enough to support rail.

I'll just copy a couple of the images from Chris' blog (above link) that shows the numbers. I tried to go do them myself but it looked horrible and unreadable and Chris presents it simple and easy. Plus it has the number of housing units, like you and I are talking about presented in a easy way to see.

Just the population one


And one with the housing units

Last edited by BevoLJ; 02-25-2012 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
515 posts, read 239,611 times
Reputation: 237
Quote:
Originally Posted by BevoLJ View Post
As long as the rest of Austin remains healthy, and South Austin remains so unhealthy, I just can't see any reason why they would think about taking rail down south. Even if the neighborhoods were to allow rail (which we all know they never would) they would never allow the neighborhoods to become healthy enough to support rail.
As I said once, there is little to no opposition to the LSTAR service in South Austin, and in fact a good deal of support. Ridership modeling for the LSTAR service actually shows a very healthy travel market from the Slaughter Lane station.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:52 AM
 
3,985 posts, read 5,993,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BevoLJ View Post
The easiest numbers I guess would just be the latest census results. I'll put them at the bottom.

Chris Bradford who lives in the Zilker neighborhood and writes the Austin Contrarian Blog (one of my favorite blogs on the subject) also had a nice write up about it. You can find that article here: 78704 and the 2010 Census - Austin Contrarian

So what you end up with is mostly retired baby boomers whose kids have moved out in the old homes in those areas mixed with a few twenty-somethings in those houses, and lots of twenty-somethings in the apartments. That creates an unhealthy neighborhood that loses population. Not one that accommodates those who want to start families and raise their kids there.

This is why the schools in the area are having a hard time filling their classes, and last year we almost had one of the best schools in Austin forced to close for this reason. The neighborhoods do fight the apartment complexes on the main streets such as Lamar or S 1st, but usually lose. However they are successful in stopping any attempts to do what is really necessarily to create a real healthy neighborhood that would be more inviting to families. Such as creating duplexes and the like off the few main roads. Such as the new 4 unit houses that they are building at Mueller. The fear is that such infill like those multi-unit houses off the main thoroughfares and inside the actual neighborhoods would change the neighborhoods. And they are probably right. But it would make the area healthy again, and start bring back families that currently have no other choice but to move out to the burbs. As well as full up the schools and increase the tax base significantly to improve those schools and support the parks. Not that the current schools are not good, there are some great ones in that area. The parks are also great, like Zilker. But because of how unhealthy the neighborhood is, it is all payed by taxes from elsewhere. They need to get families moving back in to fix that.

As long as the rest of Austin remains healthy, and South Austin remains so unhealthy, I just can't see any reason why they would think about taking rail down south. Even if the neighborhoods were to allow rail (which we all know they never would) they would never allow the neighborhoods to become healthy enough to support rail.
This is the natural evolution of an area. Adding duplexes could permanently damage the area with low income families. As the baby boomers get so old that they start to die, need assisted living or just downsize, the area will rehab and new families will start to move in again. South austin is about as close to downtown as northwest hills (or even closer) so will probably see the same cycle. The intrinsic value of the area is high so it will definitely grow again. Northwest hills is going through it now but is still mostly old people. Central austin is growing again as young families move in and is well on its way.

My area is in the suburbs and has a lot of young families. In 30-40 years I would expect the area to turn over.

Where I grew up is just starting to turn over as the old people are downsizing and new families are moving in. From the time the kids leave home to the time parents need to leave is probably around 20-30 years.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
2,572 posts, read 2,801,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
Adding duplexes could permanently damage the area with low income families.
Have any facts you want to cite to back up your claim? Seems like anytime there is a proposal to add apartments or duplexes people get up in arms about the influx of so-called "undesirables." Happened last month in San Marcos when a rezoning app. for apts fell through because the single family homeowners didn't want that in their neighborhood. Stupidly enough some cited traffic congestion as the negative effect of the development when in fact those students will now have to live farther away from TSU thereby INCREASING the amount of roadway traffic.

Seems like people move to Austin, rent for a few years, then buy in an neighborhood and deem it undesirable for any change to happen to that neighborhood because it is perfect the way it is. NIMBYISM might be politically viable but it has plenty of negative consequences when it comes to land use (sprawl) and property rights. ANC is regressive in the fact that they do not take into account that this region doubles in population about every 20-25 years.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
6,813 posts, read 10,367,245 times
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South Austin is not dying, it's just gentrifying.

Those figures back it up -- that's exactly what happens to any gentrifying neighborhood. You put in the average cost of a home in those areas in 2000 vs. 2010 and there is no question. Simply put: in low income areas you might typically find 4-5 persons per household average and in wealthier areas, you will find about 2-3 per household.

Of course, this doesn't counter BevoLJ's point that the data doesn't present favorably for rail service to be extended to South Austin. However, given the Red Line, I'm not so sure any real consideration of ridership is high on the priority list for these rail projects. They seem to be vanity projects first and foremost. If effective pubic transportation was really the goal, they would expand and improve the bus service to get people hooked on public transit; then become multi-modal on the clearly popular routes.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
515 posts, read 239,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
Of course, this doesn't counter BevoLJ's point that the data doesn't present favorably for rail service to be extended to South Austin.
Again - the station at Slaughter Lane shows respectably high ridership potential for the LSTAR project. The population of South Austin is not the total catchment area for the station, which will feature fairly ample parking. You also have to consider riders from south of Slaughter Lane as well.

In addition, there is little opposition to the LSTAR project, as it uses existing Union Pacific Railroad right of way. The only major new construction will be the stations, which will actually add value to the areas they're in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
However, given the Red Line, I'm not so sure any real consideration of ridership is high on the priority list for these rail projects. They seem to be vanity projects first and foremost. If effective pubic transportation was really the goal, they would expand and improve the bus service to get people hooked on public transit; then become multi-modal on the clearly popular routes.
Not really. Ridership projections for the Red Line were always modest, because the project was done on a very low budget comparable to other rail projects. There were missteps during design and construction, and the initial service plan (which was rush hours only) was too lean to hit the modest ridership target of 1,600 trips per day. The line is currently handling an average of 1,700 to 1,800 trips per day after service plan adjustments, with 98+% on time performance, and much higher than expected reliability on the rail vehicles.

Ridership is always a consideration in rail projects. Federal guidelines require ridership modeling be done, and in designing a project, you need to have some order of magnitude ridership estimate so you can plan parking lot sizes, vehicle requirements, and service plans.

"Expanding and improving the bus service" is an easy thing to say, but not quite as easy to accomplish. In general, bus transit attracts less riders and has a higher per rider subsidy requirement than rail. People don't tend to get 'hooked' on bus transit, but good quality rail service does tend to create very loyal riders. Capital Metro's missteps with the Red Line notwithstanding, the service is a success today by the original measures. Now that the service is meeting its original targets, rail opponents now want to move the goalposts.

Finally, high-capacity transit (which includes a variety of transit modes from express buses on managed lanes through bus rapid transit to light rail, commuter rail, and regional rail) can be built on existing rights of way for the most part, at lower economic and societal cost than highway expansion, and provides more peak period capacity than the practical limit for highway lanes.
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
6,813 posts, read 10,367,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb9152 View Post
Again - the station at Slaughter Lane shows respectably high ridership potential for the LSTAR project. The population of South Austin is not the total catchment area for the station, which will feature fairly ample parking. You also have to consider riders from south of Slaughter Lane as well.

In addition, there is little opposition to the LSTAR project, as it uses existing Union Pacific Railroad right of way. The only major new construction will be the stations, which will actually add value to the areas they're in.
I think there is value in the LSTAR project, but it's not really urban rail for south Austin. It's a completely different thing, and the population around the stations is not critical to its success like urban rail.

Quote:
Ridership projections for the Red Line were always modest, because the project was done on a very low budget comparable to other rail projects. There were missteps during design and construction, and the initial service plan (which was rush hours only) was too lean to hit the modest ridership target of 1,600 trips per day. The line is currently handling an average of 1,700 to 1,800 trips per day after service plan adjustments, with 98+% on time performance, and much higher than expected reliability on the rail vehicles.
Whatever the ridiculously low projections were (obviously intended to be surpassed by a considerable amount to make the project look better).. the fact they had to kill off express bus routes just to meet those projections, and are now looking at completely different ridership (party shuttle vs. commuter trips) just to meet those... sorry, it spells failure.

Anyway, how could you call a transportation service that costs us a subsidy of $35 per TRIP (after the ticket cost) a success in any way? That's anywhere from 10-30 times the subsidy that we pay per trip for bus service. (source: How much are we subsidizing the Red Line?)


Quote:
"Expanding and improving the bus service" is an easy thing to say, but not quite as easy to accomplish. In general, bus transit attracts less riders and has a higher per rider subsidy requirement than rail. People don't tend to get 'hooked' on bus transit, but good quality rail service does tend to create very loyal riders.
Expanding bus service is considerably easier and cheaper than implementing rail. If you have proof otherwise, then post it. And the per-passenger subsidy is much lower in most situations -- certainly it is so in the case of our Red Line.

Also, ever been to the UT campus area? People get hooked on good quality bus service. No doubt about it. If they can 1)rely on a bus arriving every 10-15 minutes, 2) walk to their bus stop, and 3) walk to their destination from the stop they get off at... then the buses will be full.

Besides, if people won't ride buses because they "don't look as cool" as trains, well, you can get buses that look just like trains. Add wifi and good frequency it's hard to imagine anyone would pass it up.


(from wikipedia)
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
515 posts, read 239,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
I think there is value in the LSTAR project, but it's not really urban rail for south Austin. It's a completely different thing, and the population around the stations is not critical to its success like urban rail.
True - I didn't realize you were referring specifically to Urban Rail. My fault. However, the route for Urban Rail does take it south of the lake and down the Riverside corridor (which is ripe for redevelopment).

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
Whatever the ridiculously low projections were (obviously intended to be surpassed by a considerable amount to make the project look better).. the fact they had to kill off express bus routes just to meet those projections, and are now looking at completely different ridership (party shuttle vs. commuter trips) just to meet those... sorry, it spells failure.
The projections were not "ridiculously low". They were in line with the bare-bones service plan that Capital Metro planned, which was predicated on the very low capital cost of the line (i.e. less track, less trainsets = less service). Not saying that this was the *right* move; but the projections matched the service level. As to the curtailing of express bus routes - that was a knee-jerk overreaction on Cap Metro's part. As the company is now finding after hiring a very competent and experienced head for their rail service, the rail service could have been made much more attractive and competitive from the start - the travel times could have been lower from the beginning, and the service patterns could have been adjusted to provide a higher level of service to match demand. Plus, Cap Metro should have kept rail fares higher, where they belong as representative of a higher quality service, and kept the express buses. There was some panic when the ridership didn't hit 1,600 on day one, but that was unwarranted. Rail service in a city that hasn't had it for a long time will take some time to develop.

As I stated in my last post, the ridership projections are what they are, and they were completely consistent with the sparse service level Cap Metro planned on operating. When the service didn't meet them on day one, rail opponents crowed. Now that they're being met or exceeded, opponents are moving the goal posts - for example, calling the original ridership projections "ridiculous". I don't think any level of ridership will be good enough, frankly, for some ideologues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
Anyway, how could you call a transportation service that costs us a subsidy of $35 per TRIP (after the ticket cost) a success in any way? That's anywhere from 10-30 times the subsidy that we pay per trip for bus service. (source: How much are we subsidizing the Red Line?)
The service is a success as defined by its original service targets. It is meeting or exceeding them. The problem with the subsidy amount is that it's a symptom of Cap Metro's overall pricing strategy. Explanation here:

There are two extreme views of transit pricing - one maintains that public transit is a public service for everyone, but especially the working poor, such that the fares should be kept very low (ridiculously low?), even perhaps free to all, and subsidy very high; the other maintains that transit, especially high-quality transit such as rail service, should be priced almost entirely on a free market basis. All transit organizations make a choice somewhere between those two extremes, as a policy matter. Cap Metro chose long ago to pursue a policy of maximizing social benefit - i.e. the prices are very low - artificially low - and subsidy is artificially high. Cap Metro also knee-jerked the pricing strategy on MetroRail when it didn't meet ridership targets on day one, lowering rail prices (rather than making them higher than bus, as they should be as a higher quality service, and as they are in almost every other city that has rail and bus). That's why the subsidy is so high.

Also, there are economies of scale that Cap Metro will not enjoy until the ridership grows substantially. There are certain sunk costs that don't grow much as service is added, but you enhance your revenue with each new ticket sold.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
Expanding bus service is considerably easier and cheaper than implementing rail. If you have proof otherwise, then post it. And the per-passenger subsidy is much lower in most situations -- certainly it is so in the case of our Red Line.
Easier and cheaper? Of course it is for the start-up. But regular bus service simply doesn't attract 'choice' riders (i.e. those who could drive but choose to forgo the car for transit); it caters to the transit-dependent. It doesn't create new riders because it's less reliable and slower than your car; if you don't attract new riders, your per-rider subsidy is going to go up substantially as you enhance your service (by hiring more drivers and running more buses, burning more fuel, etc.).

In fact, the per-passenger subsidy is generally higher on bus in more mature systems. Here's the thing - if you want to add capacity on a bus route, you have to add another bus and (most importantly) another driver. That buys you about 60 spaces for the cost of a salary and benefits, and the cost of a bus plus maintenance, depreciation, etc. If you want to add capacity on a rail line, you add a few railcars to trains - no need for expensive increases in the labor force. As ridership grows, it costs less and less on an incremental basis to provide more service on rail. With bus, the incremental cost doesn't go down a lot because you're adding a new employee every time you add a single 60-passenger bus.

Plus, here's the rub - if it's so "easy" to improve bus service such that people who could drive would decide instead to take the bus, then what needs to be done? If it's "easy", then you should be able to lay out a fairly straightforward, simple plan. And why isn't Cap Metro doing it, if it's so "easy"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
Also, ever been to the UT campus area? People get hooked on good quality bus service. No doubt about it. If they can 1)rely on a bus arriving every 10-15 minutes, 2) walk to their bus stop, and 3) walk to their destination from the stop they get off at... then the buses will be full.
College students on campus are mostly transit-dependent. If it were as easy as providing 10-15 minute service, then by that logic just about every Cap Metro rush hour bus should be bursting at the seams. The problem is, bus service does not entice drivers out of their cars...why would it? It's subject to the same congestion and delay as driving a car, AND it stops more often, so it's incredibly slow as compared to the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atxcio View Post
Besides, if people won't ride buses because they "don't look as cool" as trains, well, you can get buses that look just like trains. Add wifi and good frequency it's hard to imagine anyone would pass it up.


(from wikipedia)
The way the vehicles look has little to do with it. Bus Rapid Transit works as an intermediate mode between regular bus and rail because it shares some of the qualities that make rail attractive - reduced boarding times (floor level boarding, off-board fare collection so there's no queue at the farebox), reduced travel times due to operation on exclusive (i.e. regular traffic-free) or nearly exclusive lanes, and transit prioritization in mixed traffic (i.e. traffic signal preferencing, queue-jumping at intersections, and so forth). The "sexy" look of BRT vehicles is a novelty that helps sell the service. It's not what gets people out of their cars or keeps them riding. Again, not to oversimplify, but if that were the case, then all Cap Metro would have to do is put sleek fenders on its vehicles and paint them in some sleek color, and slap "MetroRapid" on the side, and BOOM...huge ridership. Bus Rapid Transit is a different animal - it requires a lot more investment than simply adding some paint and a few more buses.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:42 PM
 
8,241 posts, read 10,162,708 times
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Tell me again why HOV lanes don't work to reduce traffic?
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
6,813 posts, read 10,367,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jb9152 View Post
The projections were not "ridiculously low". They were in line with the bare-bones service plan that Capital Metro planned, which was predicated on the very low capital cost of the line (i.e. less track, less trainsets = less service).
They seem pretty ridiculously low to me. Perhaps you have some examples of other rail systems where ridership projections for the system were less than 1600 per day? In terms of the Cap Metro total system capacity, that number represents 1.1% of the total of system ridership per day (using cap Metro's 140K number from their web site). In comparison to other heavy rail systems, it's near or at the bottom.

In fact, I recall Cap Metro originally projected red line ridership of 2000-2500 trips per day, at least when the proposal was voted on back in 2004. I wasn't completely certain about that, but I did a quick search... and sure enough, Cap Metro was claiming ridership of 1700-2000 per day as late as 2008. Check out this PDF from Cap Metro:

http://www.campotexas.org/pdfs/TWG_C...ion_2_4_08.pdf

Quote:
What are the ridership projections for the Leander line?
– Ridership is expected to be between 1,700 and 2,000 passenger trips per day within six months of opening
Oh, and here's one from a rail advocacy group that said projections were 3000-4000 per day initially, then up to 8000-10000 per day in the near term:
http://web1.ctaa.org/webmodules/weba...n_Red_Line.pdf

For the record, I believe actual ridership after 6 months was around 800 per day.

Quote:
Now that they're being met or exceeded, opponents are moving the goal posts - for example, calling the original ridership projections "ridiculous".
Now who is moving the goal posts again?

Quote:
I don't think any level of ridership will be good enough, frankly, for some ideologues. The service is a success as defined by its original service targets.
And some ideologues (or Cap Metro employees) will just never admit any rail system project is a failure. Again, do you think the $35 per rider subsidy we are paying right now is a success? I don't need it explained, I know what a subsidy is. Just want to get clarification of what level of subsidy you consider reasonable.

Quote:
Easier and cheaper? Of course it is for the start-up. But regular bus service simply doesn't attract 'choice' riders (i.e. those who could drive but choose to forgo the car for transit); it caters to the transit-dependent. It doesn't create new riders because it's less reliable and slower than your car; if you don't attract new riders, your per-rider subsidy is going to go up substantially as you enhance your service (by hiring more drivers and running more buses, burning more fuel, etc.).
Yep, easier and cheaper. And the subsidies are much lower. And buses (or cars) are faster not slower than the Red Line. Look it up if you don't believe me.

Seems like the only thing we disagree regarding the bus system is about whether "choice" riders can be attracted. I think they can. And again, to see an example just go to West Campus (or really any neighborhood on the UT Shuttle, which runs with decent frequency).

Quote:
Here's the thing - if you want to add capacity on a bus route, you have to add another bus and (most importantly) another driver. That buys you about 60 spaces for the cost of a salary and benefits, and the cost of a bus plus maintenance, depreciation, etc. If you want to add capacity on a rail line, you add a few railcars to trains - no need for expensive increases in the labor force.
Just wondering, do you have any idea at all what adding capacity to the Red Line would cost? I think you just might, so maybe you could share it with us. But it looks to me like no level of ridership on the Red Line will ever get it to the point where the subsidy would be as low per passenger as a bus. As it is, capacity is somewhere around 3200 trips per day, max -- I think these levels were reached during SXSW and people were turned away. In fact, I believe they brought buses in as a backup so as to not strand people. So anyway, at 3200 passengers per day, we'd still be talking roughly 10X the subsidy of a bus. To get beyond that number, you'd have to begin adding rail cars and/or frequency, possibly even completely more trains, and that is very expensive these days. Plus, frequency is will always have a ceiling due to the freight traffic; and moving that is something that (I've heard) will cost in the billion dollar range. So I see no way the numbers work out for the Red Line to ever have a subsidy similar to a bus, much less cheaper, no matter how "mature" it gets. Please feel free to post some figures if you know otherwise.

Quote:
Plus, here's the rub - if it's so "easy" to improve bus service such that people who could drive would decide instead to take the bus, then what needs to be done? If it's "easy", then you should be able to lay out a fairly straightforward, simple plan. And why isn't Cap Metro doing it, if it's so "easy"?
Here is the plan:
All Systems Go Long-Range Transit Plan - Capital Metro - Austin, TX

And Cap Metro is doing it. Cost = $49 million. That's for 22 60-foot articulated buses (each with 105 passenger capacity), running at 10-20 minute frequencies 7 days a week. I'm gonna go out on limb here and predict that ridership will surpass the Red Line from day one, and at around a third of the cost. Plus, for things like SXSW or UT football games it's very easy to add capacity temporarily and then move it back later. Not so easy to do with a train.

Quote:
The problem is, bus service does not entice drivers out of their cars...why would it? It's subject to the same congestion and delay as driving a car, AND it stops more often, so it's incredibly slow as compared to the car.
Actually, the buses described above with signal priority are certainly faster than cars. And waaaaay faster than the Red Line which is even slower than a standard bus. That's why they actually had to cancel the competing, faster buses to motivate people to take the phenomenally more expensive Red Line.

Quote:
The way the vehicles look has little to do with it. Bus Rapid Transit works as an intermediate mode between regular bus and rail because it shares some of the qualities that make rail attractive - reduced boarding times (floor level boarding, off-board fare collection so there's no queue at the farebox), reduced travel times due to operation on exclusive (i.e. regular traffic-free) or nearly exclusive lanes, and transit prioritization in mixed traffic (i.e. traffic signal preferencing, queue-jumping at intersections, and so forth). The "sexy" look of BRT vehicles is a novelty that helps sell the service.
Er, the "choice" ridership argument was yours, not mine. Now you are saying things like how the vehicles look, convenience of boarding, reduced travel times and are just a novelty? Seems a little contradictory.

Now, you sound like you know a little about all this stuff, and that's great. But often it's those that are closest to something that are the last to admit when it really isn't working. Advocacy of rail systems over bus systems is all fine and good, but this particular project is one you really don't want any part of defending, IMO. I mean, we haven't even touched on the cost overruns and the 2 years late thing.

You could make a better argument, I think, that the Red Line was a painful enough experience that it convinced the city that it would have to look to some entity other than Cap Metro for a decent rail line. Or that the Red Line could be salvaged as a "party bus" for a few years serving the suburban population and boosting business for the downtown nightlife and shopping businesses. And perhaps it will become beloved as the party shuttle (like the Dillo was), and the increased ridership from that would lead to some great headlines for the line. And just in time for a new election for more rail. Then the Red Line will have fulfilled it's duty as a "starter" line to get people interested in the concept.

Last edited by atxcio; 03-01-2012 at 09:26 PM..
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