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Old 04-07-2014, 12:54 PM
 
459 posts, read 674,637 times
Reputation: 726

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
As you already said in another post, you are comparing apples to oranges and bananas. Light rail ≠ commuter rail or subway.

I will agree with you on one thing. When you said that RTD's light rail is a hybrid commuter rail / light rail system. You nailed that one. I really hope that when it comes time for the first rebuild, RTD will take the opportunity to upgrade the entire system to commuter rail.
Pittsburgh does LRT zones so do a few other US systems, but you're right most of them in the US do not. Just because one system does something different it doesn't mean it's necessarily worse.

RTD is outside of an urban area for a longer time than most of these US LRT systems (not all) that do not zones. Politically some of the lines have been pushed a little further than they should have been because of the regional nature of RTD relative to other cities who cover smaller service areas (generally). Which results in that commuter/lrt hybrid in terms of how the lines act.

If RTD had to do it all over again they might have done different modes further out if it was politically/technically/financially feasible (big ifs). We are where we are, and there's bigger transit priorities right now than building a commuter rail to Lone Tree to replace the light rail.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,875,789 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
So the increases speed is at the cost of fewer stops (which can also be accomplished with light rail) which means decreased service for some.
Yes, 10% would get decreased service. 90% would get improved and much faster service, which would probably grow ridership. RTD has been getting lots of complaints about how the light rail is slower then the express buses it replaced. That problem would be solved.

Do you want to ride a 50 mph light rail train to Downtown, that stops 15 times, or do you want to ride an 80 mph commuter train that stops just five times? A 40 minute ride from Lincoln Ave. to Downtown could be reduced to a 20 or 25 minute trip. Might get a few more riders, think?
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Old 04-07-2014, 02:25 PM
 
922 posts, read 989,093 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Yes, 10% would get decreased service. 90% would get improved and much faster service, which would probably grow ridership. RTD has been getting lots of complaints about how the light rail is slower then the express buses it replaced. That problem would be solved.

Do you want to ride a 50 mph light rail train to Downtown, that stops 15 times, or do you want to ride an 80 mph commuter train that stops just five times? A 40 minute ride from Lincoln Ave. to Downtown could be reduced to a 20 or 25 minute trip. Might get a few more riders, think?
One thing to bear in mind is the cost difference per passenger between those express buses and the light rail. Those complaints are from commuters that had been receiving a $5-10 subsidy per trip for their express service whereas they now have a $2-$3 subsidy. I'm pretty sure that the complaints would be equally viscous if RTD kept the express buses but jacked up the fares to reduce the subsidies. But, that's to be expected when you are running 4 buses twice a day for a couple hundred people versus one train car carrying the same amount.

It would be great to see some sort of limited service introduced on the existing light rail lines with the addition of passing tracks at some stations, but that's at least a couple of decades into the future. I'm also hoping that RTD does take a hard look at the zone structure for the rail system and either reduce the number of zones or reduce the fare difference between zones. The reduced number of zones would be the best option and I would be in favor of two zones. This might become an issue in 2017 when the I-225 line comes online and RTD would have to figure out out to implement concentric zone with a rail line that pretty much travel in one zone.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:57 PM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,193,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Yes, 10% would get decreased service. 90% would get improved and much faster service, which would probably grow ridership. RTD has been getting lots of complaints about how the light rail is slower then the express buses it replaced. That problem would be solved.

Do you want to ride a 50 mph light rail train to Downtown, that stops 15 times, or do you want to ride an 80 mph commuter train that stops just five times? A 40 minute ride from Lincoln Ave. to Downtown could be reduced to a 20 or 25 minute trip. Might get a few more riders, think?
By deleting 10 of 15 stops you would have a decrease of service of way more than 10%.
And since non of the roadway was designed for 80 mph heavy rail, you are proposing abandoning a very new system and starting over. Not going to happen.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,875,789 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
OIt would be great to see some sort of limited service introduced on the existing light rail lines with the addition of passing tracks at some stations, but that's at least a couple of decades into the future.
Despite what RTD will tell you, they do not need passing tracks to run express service. San Jose doesn't have any passing tracks, yet they run light rail express trains. Which cut about six minutes off peoples commute time. Sure passing tracks would be better, but they are not necessary. All they have to do is change the schedule to have some trains skip stops. That simple.


VTA Express Light Rail - YouTube
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Cole neighborhood, Denver, CO
1,123 posts, read 2,457,304 times
Reputation: 1247
My major problem with RTD is they don't have turnstiles at every station. This allows many riders to jump on without a ticket, taking a risk they won't get checked before they get off. Even worse, the person checking the ticket is an RTD Security employee. Acting as a conductor is counterproductive to providing safety and security for riders.

If RTD would install turnstiles at every station, it would eliminate the free riders, which would hopefully bring ticket prices down.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,875,789 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_reino View Post
My major problem with RTD is they don't have turnstiles at every station. This allows many riders to jump on without a ticket, taking a risk they won't get checked before they get off. Even worse, the person checking the ticket is an RTD Security employee. Acting as a conductor is counterproductive to providing safety and security for riders.

If RTD would install turnstiles at every station, it would eliminate the free riders, which would hopefully bring ticket prices down.
It would be kind of difficult and probably a bit ineffective to put fare gates on Downtown sidewalks, don't you think?

That said, I have always thought that light rail systems should be fare gated where ever possible. By securing as much of the system as possible with gates, the security could focus on the stations that are not gated. Which would be much more effective then just randomly checking people all over.

But even if that happened, do you really think that all those security guards would stay around? How many security guards do you see riding busses? Checking tickets is what pays their salaries.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,412,267 times
Reputation: 13004
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
RTD is not supposed to be encouraging people to drive more.
No, but the price encourages carpooling.
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