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Old 04-01-2011, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Lynx could NOT start BRT "immediately." It would take six months to get it planned, a year to get the funding from the FTA and state/local governments, six months to write a bid spec and get it published for the procurement of the buses, and 18 months to wait for delivery of the buses after an order was placed.

Using existing buses would require them to impact exiting routes.

I'm not saying BRT is bad, it's a less expensive option then light rail that can be flexed as ridership habits and population centers shift, but it's not something that happens overnight.
Okay so when I said immediately, I guess I meant quicker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
It's different buckets of funding. The problem with SunRail was that it was expensive and was only going to serve a very small population while affecting everyone's wallet.

Lynx and FDOT could offer the same level of service by implementing BRT at a mere fraction of the cost and a much, much lower environmental impact.
The only problem with your statement is that I don't consider a bus that is subject to traffic delays as the same level of service of rail which get priority over roadway traffic. I support Kyle's idea that BRT would be a good start, but rail would attract time oriented commuters and help keep those on board who can't be late.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
The only problem with your statement is that I don't consider a bus that is subject to traffic delays as the same level of service of rail which get priority over roadway traffic. I support Kyle's idea that BRT would be a good start, but rail would attract time oriented commuters and help keep those on board who can't be late.
I rode the train as a commuter from NJ to NYC every day for a number of years. Trust me, commuter rail isn't what it's cracked up to be. I'd say we were delayed 20% of the time. Our delays were about the same as those who use BRT/commuter coach service.

Restricting the left lane on I-4 to HOV/Energy Efficient (ie hybrid or electric)/and bus service during rush hours would be an effective way to encourage carpooling and use of BRT. It would have the same impact and cost billions of dollars less.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I rode the train as a commuter from NJ to NYC every day for a number of years. Trust me, commuter rail isn't what it's cracked up to be. I'd say we were delayed 20% of the time. Our delays were about the same as those who use BRT/commuter coach service.

Restricting the left lane on I-4 to HOV/Energy Efficient (ie hybrid or electric)/and bus service during rush hours would be an effective way to encourage carpooling and use of BRT. It would have the same impact and cost billions of dollars less.
Apples (the big apple specifically) to Oranges (quite literally). Same thing is true with Metra in Chicago, however they share the track with a butt load of freight, and tunnels/bridge waits, etc. SunRail would only be competing with 4 Amtrak trains all day long. 56 SunRail trains per day and only 4 Amtrak, it seemed like a pretty sweat deal.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
Apples (the big apple specifically) to Oranges (quite literally). Same thing is true with Metra in Chicago, however they share the track with a butt load of freight, and tunnels/bridge waits, etc. SunRail would only be competing with 4 Amtrak trains all day long. 56 SunRail trains per day and only 4 Amtrak, it seemed like a pretty sweat deal.
It wasn't the freight trains that slowed us down. It was the accidents, the switches that were stuck, etc. Then there are the times that someone refuses to pay their fare and you sit in a train station for 25 minutes waiting for transit police to show up. Or a sick passenger. The list goes on, and it's not going to be any different for Florida.

Some of the biggest delays I encountered were when people either committed suicide by train, or switches got stuck and we had to sit on the tracks waiting for someone to come out and fix it.

Put it this way, PATH in NYC/NJ doesn't share tracks with anyone (they are light rail) and yet they still have regular delays and disruptions in service.
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
It wasn't the freight trains that slowed us down. It was the accidents, the switches that were stuck, etc. Then there are the times that someone refuses to pay their fare and you sit in a train station for 25 minutes waiting for transit police to show up. Or a sick passenger. The list goes on, and it's not going to be any different for Florida.

Some of the biggest delays I encountered were when people either committed suicide by train, or switches got stuck and we had to sit on the tracks waiting for someone to come out and fix it.

Put it this way, PATH in NYC/NJ doesn't share tracks with anyone (they are light rail) and yet they still have regular delays and disruptions in service.
Do we have a deluge of people killing themselves via Amtrak or CSX here in the metro? Other than that, I could see the other things happening even on our track set up witch is very low on switches comparatively speaking. People trying to beat the crossing would be the bigger deal down here if you ask me, but perhaps folks would realize that 3 or 4 coaches plus an engine will take less than 25 seconds to clear an intersection.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
Do we have a deluge of people killing themselves via Amtrak or CSX here in the metro? Other than that, I could see the other things happening even on our track set up witch is very low on switches comparatively speaking. People trying to beat the crossing would be the bigger deal down here if you ask me, but perhaps folks would realize that 3 or 4 coaches plus an engine will take less than 25 seconds to clear an intersection.
People don't jump in front of freight trains as much as they do commuter trains, as freight trains travel much slower. I was on Amtrack once and a guy on a snowmobile decided to cut across the tracks at a bad moment. Obviously we don't have snowmobiles down here, but we have quads which will easily cause the same problem. For some reason, certain people like to play chicken with trains--Darwinism at it's finest.

It's not just the people jumping in front of them, but those trying to beat the crossing, and even passengers running late who try to hop onto a moving train and were injured--that happened about once a month on NJ transit.

And at least once a month there would also be a medical emergency caused by a sick passenger--heart attacks and strokes, fainting, all sorts of stuff. That type of thong doesn't just affect the train your on, but the whole system gets backed up.

Oh, and the people who wouldn't pay their fares, jeez, they were the worst, holding up a whole train of people because they were trying to use a cheaper weekend ticket or travel further than their ticket allowed.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
People don't jump in front of freight trains as much as they do commuter trains, as freight trains travel much slower. I was on Amtrack once and a guy on a snowmobile decided to cut across the tracks at a bad moment. Obviously we don't have snowmobiles down here, but we have quads which will easily cause the same problem. For some reason, certain people like to play chicken with trains--Darwinism at it's finest.

It's not just the people jumping in front of them, but those trying to beat the crossing, and even passengers running late who try to hop onto a moving train and were injured--that happened about once a month on NJ transit.

And at least once a month there would also be a medical emergency caused by a sick passenger--heart attacks and strokes, fainting, all sorts of stuff. That type of thong doesn't just affect the train your on, but the whole system gets backed up.

Oh, and the people who wouldn't pay their fares, jeez, they were the worst, holding up a whole train of people because they were trying to use a cheaper weekend ticket or travel further than their ticket allowed.
God I say if they don't pay their fare let it go till the last stop. Is $2-4 really worth ticking off all of your other paying passengers. The medical stuff could happen on BRT as well and I hope everybody would be just as respectful and understand the wait. You're right about the suicides, but really, that's a sad state of affairs.
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Old 04-02-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlFlaUsa View Post
God I say if they don't pay their fare let it go till the last stop. Is $2-4 really worth ticking off all of your other paying passengers. The medical stuff could happen on BRT as well and I hope everybody would be just as respectful and understand the wait. You're right about the suicides, but really, that's a sad state of affairs.
The difference with a medical happening on BRT is that the bus pulls over to wait for the ambulance, but it doesn't affect every bus behind it waiting to get into the depot. It might affect 10% of the passengers during that commute period, but won't affect 50-100% of them like it does with a train.

As far as the fares go, it's not that easy. Generally fare beating is a crime, and the only acceptable way to deal with it is to get the person off the train at the next stop--often the people refusing to pay a fare will also cause other problems if they are left onboard. On a bus if you don't pay the fare, you can't get on. On the train, the fare is collected once the train is moving.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Orlando Metro Area
3,447 posts, read 5,585,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
The difference with a medical happening on BRT is that the bus pulls over to wait for the ambulance, but it doesn't affect every bus behind it waiting to get into the depot. It might affect 10% of the passengers during that commute period, but won't affect 50-100% of them like it does with a train.

As far as the fares go, it's not that easy. Generally fare beating is a crime, and the only acceptable way to deal with it is to get the person off the train at the next stop--often the people refusing to pay a fare will also cause other problems if they are left onboard. On a bus if you don't pay the fare, you can't get on. On the train, the fare is collected once the train is moving.
I'll take your good point about the BRT medical emergencies and raise you a more subwayesque turnstile fashion station the could be developed where you have to pay your fare to reach the platform. As for if they would ever consider that with the obvious problem of finding an appropriate way to block the platform, IDK.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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Turnstyle boarding works great in an urban setting where the entire station is elevated and/or enclosed, it's generally impractical in a suburban setting where passengers board from ground level open air platforms.

Elevating or enclosing platforms adds tremendous expense to rail in terms of both capital and maintenance expense. You would still need to provide either conductors or transit police aboard to ensure the safety of passengers, so you might as well have them collect tickets.

Allowing conductors to sell tickets to disabled people on the train without an upcharge also saves a lot of money in ADA costs--you can use only ticket machines at the station, rather than having ticket clerks.

Of course the option is to build your train stations as fully enclosed with parking decks, to recoup capital and operating expenses. But I'm not sure that would pay off, if people have to pay for parking on top of train ticket's they'll probably just drive. Generally that only works in places where you can offer cheaper parking costs in the outer lying areas than they have in the urban centers (think $5 a day in a typical NJ Transit lot versus $35/day in NYC), in this case you'd never come close to recouping costs.
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