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Old 09-26-2016, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Columbia,SC
751 posts, read 485,744 times
Reputation: 87

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCxpBrussel View Post
I'm a transit nerd and a huge fan of rail transit, but I think Columbia is not ready for such an ambitious project yet. I would love to see it exist here one day, but striking before the iron is hit would be counterproductive.

We need more density better walkabikity first. We also need to create a bus system that attracts riders of choice and shift the culture of the area to one that embraces alternative means of transportation. Rail lines generally replace heavily-used bus lines that have reached critical mass and can't easily increase capacity by adding more buses. I can't imagine there is a single bus line in Columbia that fits that description yet.

If we magically had two billion dollars to build whatever we wanted, I'd be the loudest voice in the room in support of a robust LRT system. But short of that, we should crawl before we walk and maybe emulate Nashville by building a basic, cheap-as-possible commuter rail system to get the ball rolling. There are active rail lines that go from downtown to the Irmo area and the Northeast, directly parallel to the two primary commuter arteries. We should by a few trainsets and run two per hour to a downtown intermodal center that connects to frequent bus lines, bike rentals, Zipcar, etc. By creating a transit hub, we have a focal point for the future LRT system.
I agree on the connectivity thing a think note with the introduction of Zipcars and people biking more i believe a line connect downtown to Northeast and Downtown to irmo area or further out would be a great start even if it's diesel powered trains at first. That would be a great start for Columbia and the cheapest alternative at least all the city has to build it stations and parking.

I know something like that would spark a bunch of development along the lines just look at South end in Charlotte i remember years ago that area wasn't no where near as big until the Blue line opened and now it's grown beyond my expectations.

I can imagine it bringing together Downtown Vista Innovista USC 5 Points and Bull street
Together. Not to mention the popular areas like Harbison and Sandhills. Just to start.

Something like that can easily (hopefully) be paid by the penny sales tax.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:43 AM
 
29,893 posts, read 27,345,109 times
Reputation: 18435
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCxpBrussel View Post
I'm a transit nerd and a huge fan of rail transit, but I think Columbia is not ready for such an ambitious project yet. I would love to see it exist here one day, but striking before the iron is hit would be counterproductive.

We need more density better walkabikity first. We also need to create a bus system that attracts riders of choice and shift the culture of the area to one that embraces alternative means of transportation. Rail lines generally replace heavily-used bus lines that have reached critical mass and can't easily increase capacity by adding more buses. I can't imagine there is a single bus line in Columbia that fits that description yet.

If we magically had two billion dollars to build whatever we wanted, I'd be the loudest voice in the room in support of a robust LRT system. But short of that, we should crawl before we walk and maybe emulate Nashville by building a basic, cheap-as-possible commuter rail system to get the ball rolling. There are active rail lines that go from downtown to the Irmo area and the Northeast, directly parallel to the two primary commuter arteries. We should by a few trainsets and run two per hour to a downtown intermodal center that connects to frequent bus lines, bike rentals, Zipcar, etc. By creating a transit hub, we have a focal point for the future LRT system.
Columbia isn't yet ready for LRT, but a downtown streetcar system is feasible at this point. I also think BRT could probably work along key corridors.
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
1,710 posts, read 1,508,551 times
Reputation: 358
No, the current penny tax would not be able to fund a rail system. The money has already been allocated to projects. This would have to be part of a Phase II after the penny tax is reauthorized by a second referendum. With the negative press this tax has received (much of it deserved), that's not a sure thing.

Let's build a good bus system first, make downtown sense and walkable, fill in the gaps with transit-oriented development, and then think about rail transit.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:02 AM
 
29,893 posts, read 27,345,109 times
Reputation: 18435
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCxpBrussel View Post
No, the current penny tax would not be able to fund a rail system. The money has already been allocated to projects. This would have to be part of a Phase II after the penny tax is reauthorized by a second referendum. With the negative press this tax has received (much of it deserved), that's not a sure thing.

Let's build a good bus system first, make downtown sense and walkable, fill in the gaps with transit-oriented development, and then think about rail transit.
Well I wasn't really talking from a financial standpoint, but point taken. I also agree that shoring up the bus system should be the first priority. However, typically rail-based transit (and BRT) spurs TOD as opposed to a regular bus system. Good urban development is more than sufficient for now.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
1,710 posts, read 1,508,551 times
Reputation: 358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Well I wasn't really talking from a financial standpoint, but point taken. I also agree that shoring up the bus system should be the first priority. However, typically rail-based transit (and BRT) spurs TOD as opposed to a regular bus system. Good urban development is more than sufficient for now.
You are 100% right that rail-based transit creates development that buses do not. However, I don't think Columbia's downtown transit use or traffic jams currently warrant a huge investment in rail. That money would be taken from other projects which I think would be of more use at this time, like refurbishing roads, further expanding the bus system, renovating existing and building new parks (especially the Waterfront Park). We're also in dire need of fixing our water and sewer system.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:32 PM
 
29,893 posts, read 27,345,109 times
Reputation: 18435
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCxpBrussel View Post
You are 100% right that rail-based transit creates development that buses do not. However, I don't think Columbia's downtown transit use or traffic jams currently warrant a huge investment in rail. That money would be taken from other projects which I think would be of more use at this time, like refurbishing roads, further expanding the bus system, renovating existing and building new parks (especially the Waterfront Park). We're also in dire need of fixing our water and sewer system.
Yes, I do believe other, more basic things that are already in line should be handled first.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:38 PM
 
616 posts, read 457,774 times
Reputation: 118
Maybe we should bring back the trolley style buses to connect Bull Street, Finlay Park, Main Street, The Vista and Five Points. People who would never ride on a bus to save their life would get on a tourist trolley. It could also be used to address some of the issues in the pedestrian-bicycle report that outlined a need to get people to make one trip into town, instead of driving from place to place. Of course you would have to sell such a project to the Associations and Bull Street, and I have no clue who or how it would be funded.
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Old 09-26-2016, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Columbia,SC
751 posts, read 485,744 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordo06 View Post
Maybe we should bring back the trolley style buses to connect Bull Street, Finlay Park, Main Street, The Vista and Five Points. People who would never ride on a bus to save their life would get on a tourist trolley. It could also be used to address some of the issues in the pedestrian-bicycle report that outlined a need to get people to make one trip into town, instead of driving from place to place. Of course you would have to sell such a project to the Associations and Bull Street, and I have no clue who or how it would be funded.
I was thinking that would be cool to bring the trolley buses back and run them in the major areas especially in the bull street area once things start to take off
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:58 PM
 
6,180 posts, read 9,405,231 times
Reputation: 1791
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCxpBrussel View Post
You are 100% right that rail-based transit creates development that buses do not. However, I don't think Columbia's downtown transit use or traffic jams currently warrant a huge investment in rail. That money would be taken from other projects which I think would be of more use at this time, like refurbishing roads, further expanding the bus system, renovating existing and building new parks (especially the Waterfront Park). We're also in dire need of fixing our water and sewer system.
How does Little Rock get away with a street car? It's downtown is set up very similiar to Columbia. The system was in place long before billy the kid Clinton opened his Presidential Library so I can only imagine its ridership increased. Memphis has one too... yeah it has Beale St but outside of those 3blks it's downtown is not more impressive than the cola CBD
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Columbia,SC
751 posts, read 485,744 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodlands View Post
How does Little Rock get away with a street car? It's downtown is set up very similiar to Columbia. The system was in place long before billy the kid Clinton opened his Presidential Library so I can only imagine its ridership increased. Memphis has one too... yeah it has Beale St but outside of those 3blks it's downtown is not more impressive than the cola CBD
Let's not forget Savannah, GA a city much smaller then Columbia and they have a street car.

And after looking at the route of both Little Rock http://www.lightrailnow.org/images/l...map-phase1.jpg

And Memphis routes i think current Columbia now is ready for a street car system to link the neighborhoods.
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