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Old 05-10-2016, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,006 posts, read 16,061,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridanative10 View Post
Dallas actually has the country's biggest light rail system,90 miles , was really impressed by it. even getting out of dfw.
It's extensive. Now we wait and see how development fills in around it. The problem is that it's so new and the metro area so sprawling and low-density that it's not super effective yet, but it will be better if/when we start seeing higher density development around urban stations, and urban nodes/tod around suburban stations. It's going to be interesting to see. You have to give Dallas credit, DART is ambitious and goes against the grain of a lot of transit planning (density around many stations isn't what many transit authorities would consider high enough to warrant light rail).
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:12 AM
 
7,704 posts, read 4,564,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Really? Light Rail is more efficient than buses, has higher capacities, operate better and more safely (fixed rails reduce incidents due to operator error)-especially on designated ROWs and in tunnels. The fixed rails and more obvious stations (buses typically use shelters) induce economic development in a way that buses will never be able to as well. Nobody in Boston is clamoring to get rid of the Green Line and replace it with bus service. Nobody in San Francisco is wishing they'd dump the light rail extension and just stick with buses.
People in Boston fought a green line extension in Jamaica Plain and many Bostonians living along the Green Line opt for busses. The Green Line, at grade is an unmitigated nightmare.

Also, rail bias and TOD do not make rail a better transportation solution. I'd rather be able to set around a city without a car than appease converted suburbanites who find busses déclassé.

Last edited by gladhands; 05-10-2016 at 08:20 AM..
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:33 AM
 
9,382 posts, read 9,539,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
People in Boston fought a green line extension in Jamaica Plain and many Bostonians living along the Green Line opt for busses. The Green Line, at grade is an unmitigated nightmare.

Also, rail bias and TOD do not make rail a better transportation solution. I'd rather be able to set around a city without a car than appease converted suburbanites who find busses déclassé.
They opt for busses because the Green Line is at capacity, it carries over 250,000 people/day.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:41 AM
 
7,704 posts, read 4,564,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
They opt for busses because the Green Line is at capacity, it carries over 250,000 people/day.
When I took the bus from Copley Square to Longwood, it had nothing to do with green line capacity, and everything to do with the fact that I can walk that distance more quickly than I could take the green line. I know this, because when I walked in warm weather, I often passed green line trains.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,006 posts, read 16,061,917 times
Reputation: 9355
Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
People in Boston fought a green line extension in Jamaica Plain and many Bostonians living along the Green Line opt for busses. The Green Line, at grade is an unmitigated nightmare.

Also, rail bias and TOD do not make rail a better transportation solution. I'd rather be able to set around a city without a car than appease converted suburbanites who find busses déclassé.
There's a NIMBY attitude here that has nothing to do with buses being better than light rail and everything to do with people not wanting the development, increased rents and property values (which means higher assessments and property taxes) that rail brings to an area. That's why people in JP bitched about it. People in Somerville and Medford are clamoring for a Green Line extension, by the way. As btownboss4 said, the Green Line is at capacity and doesn't directly connect everyone to where they want to go. If you live in Brigham Circle and work in Kendall Square, you're right on the Green Line but the bus is the direct connection. It has nothing to do with people shunning the Green Line. I'll admit, the Green Line sucks by BU on the B and after Brigham Circle on the E. That's a small segment of the system and overall it's infinitely better than bus service and not even close to being an unmitigated nightmare, which is why it's at capacity. It's an effective system.

And TOD absolutely does make rail a better transportation solution. It's called ROI and if the primary reason to invest in transit is to move people from A to B, then second reason is to encourage development and reap the economic rewards. Buses simply don't do that.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,006 posts, read 16,061,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
When I took the bus from Copley Square to Longwood, it had nothing to do with green line capacity, and everything to do with the fact that I can walk that distance more quickly than I could take the green line. I know this, because when I walked in warm weather, I often passed green line trains.
B.S. That's a 35-40 minute walk and a 10 minute trip on the Green Line on a bad day.

If you're talking about the Longwood stop on the D, the Green Line is underground from Copley until Fenway (1 stop before Longwood), so I'd be curious to know how you know you walked past trains if they're in the tunnel for almost the entire length of the route (and on their own ROW, away from the street for the rest of it).

If you're talking about the Longwood stop on the E, the trains are still underground for the majority of the Route (until between Symphony and NEU), and if you were to walk from LMA to Copley or vice-versa, Huntington Avenue (where the trains run above ground) wouldn't be your best route unless you were blindly following Google Maps.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:54 AM
 
7,704 posts, read 4,564,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
B.S. That's a 35-40 minute walk and a 10 minute trip on the Green Line on a bad day.

If you're talking about the Longwood stop on the D, the Green Line is underground from Copley until Fenway (1 stop before Longwood), so I'd be curious to know how you know you walked past trains if they're in the tunnel for almost the entire length of the route (and on their own ROW, away from the street for the rest of it).

If you're talking about the Longwood stop on the E, the trains are still underground for the majority of the Route (until between Symphony and NEU), and if you were to walk from LMA to Copley or vice-versa, Huntington Avenue (where the trains run above ground) wouldn't be your best route unless you were blindly following Google Maps.
Brigham Circle. The E line is awful on Huntington Ave
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,006 posts, read 16,061,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
Brigham Circle. The E line is awful on Huntington Ave
Not that awful. I've walked MFA to Symphony or Prudential instead of waiting for a train since it's just a few stops and if you don't get right on a train, the difference between the walk time and train trip is negligible. But no way Brigham to Copley on foot is quicker in any situation except for a disabled/derailed train blocking the tracks. I've done the route dozens of times. Nobody would do that unless they felt like a walk. Copley to Brigham on the E is 10-15 minutes at rush hour. It's a 40 minute walk. Huntington isn't bad at all. The Green Line has a designated ROW and signal priority. If you want to tell me how bad the B on Commonwealth by BU is, we'd agree. But the E along Huntington is fine. Far better than buses along the same route and certainly faster than walking 2+ miles.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:51 AM
 
1,830 posts, read 1,252,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
It's extensive. Now we wait and see how development fills in around it. The problem is that it's so new and the metro area so sprawling and low-density that it's not super effective yet, but it will be better if/when we start seeing higher density development around urban stations, and urban nodes/tod around suburban stations. It's going to be interesting to see. You have to give Dallas credit, DART is ambitious and goes against the grain of a lot of transit planning (density around many stations isn't what many transit authorities would consider high enough to warrant light rail).
In no way is Dallas mid sized, but I'd like to put in input. There are three stations in Carrollton. The first, Downtown Carrollton Station, has been great for the area, with improvements made every year, although once could say the growth in the area is happening independently of the station. Trinity Mills Station doesn't have much of an area to affect, being surrounded by highways, with the exception to the basically abandoned plaza to the east. One could argue the development around Walmart is thanks to the station, but it's more so because of the H Mart eight years ago, which cause the continuing influx of Asian stores. The last is North Carrollton, which doesn't seem to he doing much of anything for the area, except increased traffic. There is construction of, I believe, apartments across the street of it, which may count as new/faux urban, without the stores yet.

Overall, the stations have been good for surrounding areas, in Carrollton at least.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:26 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 4,463,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
I've never been to Portland, so help me understand a few things:

Are most of the spokes commuter lines to/from the burbs, or do they truly serve city neighborhoods?

What's the frequency like? Enough to make them preferable to busses?

I ask because that map looks quite impressive, but Portland's ridership rate isn't all that high.
As Minervah notes, the answers are complicated.

It helps to look at the REAL map of how the lines sit in the city instead of the simplified "fantasy" map that's a bit of a visual illusion.

https://trimet.org/pdfs/maps/trimetsystem.pdf

From there you can see that large swaths of SW, NE, and SE are not served by light rail at all, and nothing at all runs across the river to WA because of politics (and money and politics). Many suburbs aren't served at all (Vancouver, Lake Oswego).

The Orange line is new (and I don't think even open yet), but does certainly fill a void.

Frequency-wise, it depends. On average they run about as often as buses. If you were at the Hollywood TC going downtown, you'd probably catch the MAX rather than the bus, as that spot is served by 3 different MAX lines and so there's a line going downtown every few minutes.

But in many places your choice is the one (bus OR MAX) that's available to your location, and not which one is "better." There are places where bus and MAX are both available and share a route, but for large areas in the metro, that's just not the case.

And I would note, that Portland's light rail is fairly slow along a number of routes/stretches (even without involving transfers from a bus line), and I think that's partly why ridership is not higher. Traffic may suck, but time-wise it can be a wash.

Parking downtown also sucks, but a number of the park & ride lots have no space/fill up early.
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