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Old 10-31-2018, 09:59 AM
 
11,976 posts, read 5,111,061 times
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I could be wrong, but I think the only major city left with street cars is San Francisco and those were saved because they are a tourist attraction although many people use them everyday.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:06 AM
 
Location: La Jolla
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This is just one of the reasons we have decided to retire right where we are. In 3 years there will be an extension to our trolley system with a stop we will be able to walk to from our home. It will take us to shopping, near enough to doctors that we could then Uber (if the time comes we can't walk) from the trolley stop and even downtown. I could even take it to my current office with a 10 minute walk from the stop if I am still working here. The extension was supposed to come our way 15 years ago, but at least it's better late than never for us.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:11 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,547 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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Get a riding lawnmower... (with brakes!)
"Straight Story"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Straight_Story

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0166896/

One of our small communities is forming a transportation non-profit / risdeshare.

Lots of hoops, but a worthwhile endeavor.

We have done rural senior volunteer service for 30 yrs (a lot of driving). Met some GREAT folks!

I am considering an 'uber type' available service for rural errands and transport. Now if only rural USA had coverage / internet.

Not bad in FLAT land (city within an hour), but tough to find a signal in Mtns and deserts.

What a great Rural infrastructure improvement opportunity for USA! Wouldn't have to drive to town to check email, shop amazon, order from library, check your bank statement...
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:11 AM
 
5,426 posts, read 3,445,259 times
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New Orleans has a street car or trolley system. Not sure how extensive it is.

Last edited by matisse12; 10-31-2018 at 10:28 AM..
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,503,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
The street car system in Minneapolis has been very much needed in recent decades, but those without foresight and good planning eliminated it long ago. The original street car system was depended upon by MANY before it was eliminated. There are great old photos of it - and people would also ride it to the three or four lakes which are right in the urban middle of the city of Minneapolis.
As much as we like to think about reviving a former public transit system, this usually doesn't work because the patterns (and character) of the places where people used to live and work have changed; the ridership, and the revenue, are no longer there. (It was tried twice in my home community during the gasoline price spikes of 1973 and 1979, and failed as soon as prices retreated and stabilized.

And I'd put even less faith in a revival of streetcars, for example; they're somewhat of a fantasy that appeals to people looking for a sentimental wallow in the past, but the physical plant is going to be costly, and can't be easily changed when population shifts, and there are plenty of consultants, engineers, politicians, friends of politicians, and friends of friends, looking for grants for "feasibility studies", "environmental studies", blah … blah ….

What seems to be working in my community is a bare-bones system, built upon a cab company that serves the elderly and disabled at an artificially-low price via a subsidy, and the general public at full fares (for which there isn't much of a demand, but so long as the facilities are there, the occasional extra revenue helps). Labor costs have to be kept down, and there is an adequate supply of people who can drive or dispatch, but at prevailing, market-determined rates. (In other words, no room for a labor union with its dues, bureaucracy, and tendency to promote divisive issues).

These are some of the realities of life in a less-concentrated, de-industrialized economy, and people who are looking for a revival under the Old Rules are in for a disappointment. But the ranks of those of us who no longer drive are growing rapidly, and something that works can still be cobbled together, working from the bottom up, on a case-by case basis.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 10-31-2018 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:36 AM
 
5,426 posts, read 3,445,259 times
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Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post

As much as we like to think about reviving a former public transit system, this usually doesn't work because the patterns (and character) of the places where people used to live and work have changed; the ridership, and the revenue, are no longer there. (It was tried twice in my home community during the gasoline price spikes of 1973 and 1979, and failed as soon as prices retreated and stabilized.

And I'd put even less faith in a revival of streetcars, for example; they're somewhat of a fantasy that appeals to people looking for a sentimental wallow in the past, but the physical plant is going to be costly, and can't be easily changed when population shifts, and there are plenty of consultants, engineers, politicians, friends of politicians, and friends of friends, looking for grants for "feasibility studies", "environmental studies", blah … blah ….

These are some of the realities of life in a less-concentrated, de-industrialized economy, and people who are looking for a revival under the Old Rules are in for a disappointment. But the ranks of those of us who no longer drive are growing rapidly, and something that works can still be cobbled together, working from the bottom up, on a case-by case basis.
Your dismissal and ridicule of street car systems is very inaccurate, for many areas.

Portland's Streetcar Revival - Trains Magazine - Trains News Wire, Railroad News, Railroad Industry News, Web Cams, and Forms

https://www.aarp.org/home-garden/liv...r_revival.html

Portland isn’t alone. American cities are experiencing a streetcar renaissance. Portland built the nation’s first new line in the 21st century. Tampa, Fla. (2002), Tacoma, Wash. (2003), Little Rock, Ark. (2004), and Seattle (2007) soon followed suit.

Now at least 40 cities—Tucson, Ariz., and Detroit among them—have lines in the works. Encouraged by easier access to federal funding, as many as 40 more cities—from tiny Cripple Creek, Colo., to sprawling Los Angeles—are exploring the possibility of building new lines, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

Supporters say that streetcars cost less in the long run and pollute less than other forms of transportation while injecting new life into neighborhoods. Simply put, they help create communities where residents have alternatives to cars for getting around.

“Since the streetcar opened,” Ann Niles says, “the neighborhood has completely taken off. The streets are full of activity. There’s dense development, and people are out walking their dogs or going to the parks. The streetcar helped create the neighborhood we want to live in.”

What's Behind Today's Urban Streetcar Revival? Forbes, April 13, 2018


https://www.forbes.com/sites/petesau.../#593dbf543f07

By one account from early last year, as many as ten streetcar lines have opened or have been proposed over the last few years. Portland got things started with the opening of a next generation streetcar line in 2001, and soon other cities followed suit. Portland was followed by Seattle, Salt Lake City, Tucson, Atlanta, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Cincinnati and Detroit, with new lines also proposed for Charlotte, St. Louis, Fort Lauderdale, Milwaukee, Tempe, Oklahoma City and even Brooklyn. With discussions underway for even more streetcar lines in other cities across the country, we're definitely in the middle of a new era in streetcar development.

Last edited by matisse12; 10-31-2018 at 10:45 AM..
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,503,405 times
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Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
Your dismissal and ridicule of street car systems is very inaccurate, for many areas.
For the record, I hold a degree in Transportation/Logistics, (Penn State '71) the curriculum of which included a graduate-level course in urban transportation -- and I saw my first copy of Trains at the age of seven, in the winter of 1956/57.

I'm not opposed to any form of public transportation … where economically feasible. But the costs begin to rise as soon as the politicians, bureaucrats, and their allies seeking to return to the rules of the 1940's show up.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:37 AM
 
11,125 posts, read 8,531,120 times
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Originally Posted by Serious Conversation View Post
Few people who haven't lived this life seem to understand it. People can talk about Uber and public services until they are blue in the face. In many cases, those services are unavailable in our necks of the woods.
I hear you. In the context of retirement and aging, people know what they're getting into when they move to rural areas. So, people live according to their choices.

By the way, building or expanding public transportation can be one of the most contentious issues on a local ballot. Years ago, fights broke out in Kansas City public meetings over building a light rail system.
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Old 10-31-2018, 01:37 PM
 
7,907 posts, read 5,031,079 times
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Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
...I can't tell you how many threads in this and other forums I have read about this subject, yet the planners and governments still don't get it....
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
As much as we like to think about reviving a former public transit system, this usually doesn't work because the patterns (and character) of the places where people used to live and work have changed...
Mass transit (such as buses) would help, in an already well-settled, high density locale, which in the second half of the 20th century dispensed with its transit option. It won’t help in a sprawling, low-density region, that never had such transit in the first place. Even if a magical bus were to drop me off at my mailbox, how would I trudge the remaining 400’ to my front door, carrying a shopping cart’s full of groceries in my arms? OK, maybe I could do it, but what about a person who’s 30 years older, in frail health?

What has happened in my locale, is that the more affluent retirees have left. They’re in Florida. Those who have remained, are the poorer ones, and not coincidentally, the ones in worse health. The tax-base has diminished, and even a rapacious tax-system can’t afford to adequately fund public projects such as transit. And even if a magical federal grant were to drop from the heavens, the public transit system simply would not work with true point-to-point conveyance of passengers.

Simply put, we would either have to redo the entire country, or herd the less affluent elderly into specialized ghettos. The alternative is what we experience in our locale: persons of grievously diminished ability, poor reflexes, marginal eyesight and bad coordination, nevertheless trying to pilot their vehicles on public roads. And given the culture of our area, those vehicles are likely to be large SUVs or pickup trucks. It is amazing that we don’t have considerably more accidents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ndcairngorm View Post
Many a young mother might be interested in making a few extra bucks by being your "driver" when you need to get to different places. I've seen that work out well for people without a car.

It seems in this, the richest country in the world, we cannot rely on the government to provide public transport for its population as most older First World countries do, so we have to make do with a network of other solutions which we provide for ourselves. So be it.
One possible solution would be a civic works-program, where young people (college students?) would be employed by the state part-time, to serve as task-runners for the elderly and the infirm. Clients would register with the state, confirming their need. Workers would register with the state, confirming their suitability. This would provide a valuable service to the needy, and spending-money to healthy young people who otherwise can’t find jobs (or who need occasional jobs, with a full-time college cousre-load). But this unfortunately is anathema to both Left and Right, because it sounds like a socialist boondoggle (and thus disaffects the Right), and like worker exploitation (and this disaffects the Left).

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlygal View Post
I hear you. In the context of retirement and aging, people know what they're getting into when they move to rural areas. So, people live according to their choices.
Perhaps. But some of us actually relocated to poorer and more rural regions, leaving the more affluent and higher-density coastal regions in which we grew up. Why? Because not long ago, those small towns in the Heartland were where the factories and military bases and research labs were located. Chasing one's career could mean leaving New York City and moving to near a military research facility in Alabama (or Ohio - hence my handle). Decades later, (1) one is older and nearing retirement, and (2) de-industrialization has eviscerated the local. Our local town was never prosperous, but 40 years ago, it was doing OK. Today it's, well, not OK.

So, we have people who accepted a reduced quality of life, to advance their careers. Now their careers are complete. Now what?

Last edited by ohio_peasant; 10-31-2018 at 02:13 PM..
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,240 posts, read 4,128,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
For the record, I hold a degree in Transportation/Logistics, (Penn State '71) the curriculum of which included a graduate-level course in urban transportation -- and I saw my first copy of Trains at the age of seven, in the winter of 1956/57.

I'm not opposed to any form of public transportation where economically feasible. But the costs begin to rise as soon as the politicians, bureaucrats, and their allies seeking to return to the rules of the 1940's show up.

I have found that a light rail system will usually wind up costing about six times the original estimate. And ridership will always be lower than originally projected, although that might eventually rise to projected levels.
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