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Old 03-13-2009, 04:07 PM
 
Location: The land of sugar... previously Houston and Austin
5,345 posts, read 9,102,010 times
Reputation: 3411

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edara View Post
Ok.....just so we're clear with what we've read so far.....Austin doesn't have or stinks for public transportation? Dallas is better but wouldn't fit what we're seeking(refer back to my 1st post) other than transportation? Houston is nice, but humid and more crime there, but transportation is ok?
Correct, Austin has little public transit.
Same goes for San Antonio.
Dallas and Houston have some, with Dallas having the most developed as of right now and Houston having more in the works.
Houston has more crime than Austin, but Dallas has more crime than Houston (at least looking at stats).
I've lived in both Houston and Austin, and frankly, didn't notice a huge difference with the humidity levels overall. Dallas would probably be the least humid of all of them. But, Houston seems to have fewer problems with drought and everything turning brown; it's usually much greener looking than the other major Texas cities.
Also remember Dallas and Houston are going to be huge compared to Austin. Think along the lines of comparing Sacramento, CA to L.A. or Albany to NYC. Not exactly the same, but you get the idea. So of course you're going to have more crime, more traffic (though Austin's is quite bad) etc, but you'll also have world-class, big-city amenities (arts/culture/museums/restaurants...)
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
2,334 posts, read 5,233,226 times
Reputation: 906
Quote:
Originally Posted by royal744 View Post
Hate to say it, but Dallas, hands down. Their light rail system is a home run in every way. Austin will get a starter line soon; Houston has at least one line up and running and it is a great start. San Antonio is still lost in the woods here, but not for lack of discussion.
I know I sound like a humbug academic here....but Austin is NOT getting light rail. It's getting Commuter Rail which is vastly different. Light rail is smaller, more nimble(able to navigate through city streets, make sharper turns and runs on electricity), while commuter rail runs on standard size train tracks which means:

a.) The cars are WAY too big to navigate through the city, hence one of the reasons why the new commuter rail's last stop is outside of the standard ".5 mile radius" of the densest part of downtown(Congress up to the Capital and UT)

b.) They run on diesel(DMU -Diesel Multiple unit) which is certainly smellier than electric, another reason why they aren't very good in neighborhoods.

But if planned properly, commuter lines can be great for getting people to and from the city and suburbs.

Cap Metro was able to sell this on the city of Austin by promising they would use "existing" tracks, thus keeping costs down. Problem is, the "existing tracks" available don't really connect Austin with it's most popular suburbs(Round Rock, etc...) and instead simply follow the existing tracks that lead to..............Leander

Anyway, I hope it works out as I would hate all of the PT naysayers to shout "failure" just because an ill-designed system falls short of its ill-imagined goals. Again, I hope I'm wrong!

More promising for Central Austin, IMHO, is the streetcar plan that CAMPO(Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) and ROMA design group has put together with most of the city council's blessing. Let's hope they can sell it to the luddites.

Here's the older link from last August:

News: Developing Stories: Who'll Take a Streetcar? 32,000 Riders a Day. - The Austin Chronicle
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
2,665 posts, read 2,991,609 times
Reputation: 1284
Quote:
Originally Posted by twange View Post
I know I sound like a humbug academic here....but Austin is NOT getting light rail. It's getting Commuter Rail which is vastly different. Light rail is smaller, more nimble(able to navigate through city streets, make sharper turns and runs on electricity), while commuter rail runs on standard size train tracks which means:

a.) The cars are WAY too big to navigate through the city, hence one of the reasons why the new commuter rail's last stop is outside of the standard ".5 mile radius" of the densest part of downtown(Congress up to the Capital and UT)

b.) They run on diesel(DMU -Diesel Multiple unit) which is certainly smellier than electric, another reason why they aren't very good in neighborhoods.

But if planned properly, commuter lines can be great for getting people to and from the city and suburbs.

Cap Metro was able to sell this on the city of Austin by promising they would use "existing" tracks, thus keeping costs down. Problem is, the "existing tracks" available don't really connect Austin with it's most popular suburbs(Round Rock, etc...) and instead simply follow the existing tracks that lead to..............Leander

Anyway, I hope it works out as I would hate all of the PT naysayers to shout "failure" just because an ill-designed system falls short of its ill-imagined goals. Again, I hope I'm wrong!

More promising for Central Austin, IMHO, is the streetcar plan that CAMPO(Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) and ROMA design group has put together with most of the city council's blessing. Let's hope they can sell it to the luddites.

Here's the older link from last August:

News: Developing Stories: Who'll Take a Streetcar? 32,000 Riders a Day. - The Austin Chronicle
The smell issue should not be a problem as today's diesel fuel has a sulphur content of 15 PPM compared to the pre-2007 content of 500 PPM.

I would also say that even though this system does not go to the epicenter of the downtown that the Austin Convention Center is definitely within the Austin CBD and that this area will be spurred to even denser development with the new line.
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:13 AM
 
Location: H-town!
1,016 posts, read 1,067,087 times
Reputation: 223
From what I know and what I've heard:

Dallas has the most IT jobs in Texas (I'm a programmer myself so IT jobs are important to me as well).
A lot more people like Austin than they like SA, Houston or Dallas.
Houston is the most humid and Dallas is probably the least humid.
I currently live in Houston but I grew up in the Austin area. I didn't really notice a difference in the humidity. They're both nice and humid.
Houston has tons of mosquitoes. This is one thing everybody hates about Houston. It has tons of mosquitoes 6 months of the year. A can of Off will be your best friend living here.
San Antonio is by far the most tourist friendly city. SA has lots of tourist stuff (the Alamo, the Riverwalk, Fiesta Texas, Sea World, a big zoo, you name it).
Austin has the highest cost of living in Texas.
Dallas has the best public transportation.
Austin and San Antonio are right next to the hill country. The hill country is one of the most scenic parts of Texas. Texans always brag about the hill country. If you like a lot of big hills, outdoor stuff, a nice lake (Lake Travis) then you will definitely like Austin.

So here you have it. There are good things about all these cities but in Texas and also nationwide for every person that likes Dallas or Houston there are ten people that like Austin. Many more people like Austin the best because Austin is a liberal town. A lot of people like a liberal place in the middle of a very red state. Most people like the hill country. Austin has a ton of live music venues. It has a great university (the University of Texas). Austin consistently ranks at the top with Boston, San Francisco and Seattle.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Austin
16 posts, read 25,305 times
Reputation: 18
San antonio by far has a better transit then Austin. Austin is too busy trying to figure out what to do about it's "Toll Roads' which by the way is the biggest mistake made by the "brainless wonders" who work for the city. Yep S.A. is far better and Via should be proud. Incidently, Dillo is far more ontime then Metro-Cap, now isn't that embarrassing.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
8,762 posts, read 18,178,658 times
Reputation: 3617
Quote:
The smell issue should not be a problem as today's diesel fuel has a sulphur content of 15 PPM compared to the pre-2007 content of 500 PPM.
Well, the 15 ppm standard goes into effect in October of 2010. For the moment, we are still at the 500 ppm standard.... But all things considered, I supose the commuter rail won't go into effect until after the lower sulfur standard anyway .
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
2,665 posts, read 2,991,609 times
Reputation: 1284
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMarty View Post
San antonio by far has a better transit then Austin. Austin is too busy trying to figure out what to do about it's "Toll Roads' which by the way is the biggest mistake made by the "brainless wonders" who work for the city. Yep S.A. is far better and Via should be proud. Incidently, Dillo is far more ontime then Metro-Cap, now isn't that embarrassing.
So how is SA's transit far better than Austin's?

For me it takes 16-18 minutes to get to work on the flyer route on S. First Street so I have few quibbles with CapMetro aside from grumpy bus drivers.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, AUSTINtx
2,665 posts, read 2,991,609 times
Reputation: 1284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
Well, the 15 ppm standard goes into effect in October of 2010. For the moment, we are still at the 500 ppm standard.... But all things considered, I supose the commuter rail won't go into effect until after the lower sulfur standard anyway .
Yes that is the federal requirement but some agencies/cities/states have met this ahead of time. I could not find rail-specific info but apparently the entire fleet of buses is using ULSD:

Newsroom - News and Info - Capital Metro Transit - Austin, Texas (http://www.capmetro.org/news/news_detail.asp?id=6656 - broken link)
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
4,497 posts, read 4,417,256 times
Reputation: 2370
Dallas is light-years ahead of Austin and San Antonio when it comes to public transportation. SA and Austin are pretty much on par.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: H-town!
1,016 posts, read 1,067,087 times
Reputation: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by nature's message View Post
Dallas is light-years ahead of Austin and San Antonio when it comes to public transportation. SA and Austin are pretty much on par.
You're exactly right. This is what I said above in my explanation. I said Dallas has the best public transportation in Texas. I live in Houston and Dallas has Houston beat too.

Houston's public transportation pretty much sucks. Houston is a huge city but it has about the worst public transportation in the country compared to all the other big cities. The problem is Houston is the oil capital of the world. Here in Houston they want you driving your SUVs and big trucks putting money into the pockets of the oil companies. They don't like public transportation here. That doesn't help the oil companies.
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