U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-18-2012, 12:17 PM
 
1,714 posts, read 3,545,434 times
Reputation: 1138

Advertisements

So, a light rail is coming to my hood in 2-3 years (Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension to Azusa-Phrase2A).

I can't wait because I will live only one mile away from a light rail system that will take me to two major job centers (Pasadena~20mins and Los Angeles~1hour) and every suburb in between.

Many people describe it as a suburban and interurban light rail because it will go through low-density suburbs and will serve as both a commuter train to job centers and also as a train that connects small suburban centers to one another.

Have you ever experienced suburban light rail--does it make sense?

Does light rail tend to develop and urbanize suburban areas?

Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-18-2012, 12:40 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 79,245,465 times
Reputation: 18605
The record, even in areas with a history of other transit uses is, at best, mixed. People who live in area w/o transit options are so accustomed to driving to work that the thought of getting to any sort of "transit station" does not enter their minds. Even in areas with other transit options, like buses or heavy rail, the fact is that ridership patterns rarely remain such that all modes benefit.

The handful of folks that do acclimate to rail based commutes often end up being heavily subsidized.

Redevelopment efforts are unlikely to create more density w/o intervention from either "old fashioned" forced razing of things like public housing OR high financial incentive to developers, neither of which is likely in the current economic climate / layout of mature suburbs. Large scale transit oriented development is very difficult to achieve as even under the most aggressive implementation for the rail component most residential developers need to much more quickly -- four years is about 3x longer than any sane residential developer feels comfortable with... Over time if the transit service targets areas with good employment on one end and good quality of life on the other, as well time efficient and sufficiently affordable, there may be some shifts toward residents with a desire to take advantage of the benefits, but that may take a decade or more AND given the relative lack of employment stability folks that moved to area becuase of transit options may find the next job is not ideal for the transit in place...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2012, 01:13 PM
 
2,553 posts, read 2,254,698 times
Reputation: 1350
The bigger wall to high ridership numbers is that people can still drive without paying directly for road use and park without paying directly for parking use for the vast majority of trips, so they do. And this is only made worse if LRT is slower than the car trip, which is often the case due to shared ROWs with cars, at-grade crossings, circuitous routes, and many stations.

So, if LRT has low ridership, then developers have no reason to urbanize around it because they can get higher margins elsewhere.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2012, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 14,536,994 times
Reputation: 4024
The D Line branch of Boston's Green Line will operate in a fairly similar way to the Gold Line extension... Though I never took it to the end of the line, the D Line serves Newton, which is one of Boston's largest truly "suburban-feeling" suburbs. I would imagine the ridership is pretty high for what it, essentially a commuter rail with local stops once it gets into Brookline and Boston (though it serves some fairly low-density parts of Brookline too).

I would imagine that the San Gabriel Valley is slightly higher in density than Newton, though I could certainly be wrong. It will be interesting to see how the extension affects the ridership of the Gold Line, which is pretty decent now (~45k, but a lot of that is from the Eastside extension) but took some time to get to a respectable level. According to Wikipedia, the D line has a ridership of about 22k.

I'm sure you are very excited about the extension, with good reason, but I kind of wish the Crenshaw Corridor line could have been built first... but I get that we have to spread the wealth since the entire county is footing the bill.

Last edited by munchitup; 06-18-2012 at 01:25 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2012, 01:33 PM
 
12,884 posts, read 17,262,629 times
Reputation: 8993
Interurbans were all the rage a century ago. They were like the streetcars of that time or light rail today but much lower budget. Rail was indeed lighter, pole top collection, motormen paid about $600 a year, equal to less than minimum wage today. Less road competition because most people didn't have cars, buses not invented yet, and no "hard" roads. In some cases they did spur development.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2012, 01:35 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
46,079 posts, read 48,325,796 times
Reputation: 15081
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
The D Line branch of Boston's Green Line will operate in a fairly similar way to the Gold Line extension... Though I never took it to the end of the line, the D Line serves Newton, which is one of Boston's largest truly "suburban-feeling" suburbs. I would imagine the ridership is pretty high for what it, essentially a commuter rail with local stops once it gets into Brookline and Boston (though it serves some fairly low-density parts of Brookline too).

I would imagine that the San Gabriel Valley is slightly higher in density than Newton, though I could certainly be wrong. It will be interesting to see how the extension affects the ridership of the Gold Line, which is pretty decent now but took some time to get to a respectable level.
I'm thinking that Boston D line would do better because the employment centers at the other end (Back Bay and Downtown) are denser (job-wise not residential), more pedestrian friendly and with more difficult/expensive parking than LA.

http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/do...ook%202010.pdf (see page 18 ridership stats)

D line ridership is 22 thousand total and the bulk of the ridership is in fairly dense Brookline, though a couple of outer Newton stops get some decent ridership. It's a really slow commute for the distance if you're at the end of the line. The train tracks were there and grade separated, so it was a very logical place for a light rail line (as opposed to street running which doesn't offer as many advantages over buses). Likewise, the grade separated Somerville line extension is a very good place for light rail line. I'd assume Newton is less dense, but it's probably more uneven with denser development and shops right near light rail stops.

The Gold line currently passes through denser areas and gets 45k over 19 miles, probably only a littlen more ridership per mile than the D green line (total non-subway length of D line is 22.6 miles, can't figure the exact amount of the D branch but it's longer than the rest maybe equal to the rest combined?). I'd expect the suburban extension of the gold line to do worse; there are probably better places for light rail. If it's cheap to build, maybe it can't hurt, but otherwise LA has many other better places to build light rail.

Last edited by nei; 06-18-2012 at 02:09 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2012, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Edgewater, CO
531 posts, read 1,043,131 times
Reputation: 643
Both of the existing light rail lines in Denver, as well as the one opening in spring of 2013, are all suburban to interurban. Apart from a few apartment complexes built right next to the lines, I don't think there's a whole lot of development as a result of the lines.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2012, 01:38 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
46,079 posts, read 48,325,796 times
Reputation: 15081
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechMike View Post
Both of the existing light rail lines in Denver, as well as the one opening in spring of 2013, are all suburban to interurban. Apart from a few apartment complexes built right next to the lines, I don't think there's a whole lot of development as a result of the lines.
Are they mostly park and rides so little development is possible? Or does light rail not competitive time-wise and convenience for getting to downtown?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2012, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 14,536,994 times
Reputation: 4024
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The Gold line currently passes through denser areas and gets 45k over 19 miles, probably only a littlen more ridership per mile than the D green line (total non-subway length of D line is 22.6 miles, can't figure the exact amount of the D branch but it's longer than the rest maybe equal to the rest combined?). I'd expect the suburban extension of the gold line to do worse; there are probably better places for light rail. If it's cheap to build, maybe it can't hurt, but otherwise LA has many other better places to build light rail.
Maybe not the cheapest to build, but one thing is for sure - People in the SGV want this line pretty bad. It cleared all the legal hurdles very quickly and has excellent community support. Like I mentioned before, everyone in LA county is paying for the Metro expansion, so it is important that everyone get a little slice of the pie. In fact, it is critical that Metro garners more support in the San Gabriel Valley because their representative has a vote about whether the Measure R+ initiative goes through to ballot. But I agree, the Regional Connector or Crenshaw Line (or 405 Corridor) would make more sense to be a priority over a suburban light rail line.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-18-2012, 02:15 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
46,079 posts, read 48,325,796 times
Reputation: 15081
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The Gold line currently passes through denser areas and gets 45k over 19 miles, probably only a little more ridership per mile than the D green line (total non-subway length of D line is 22.6 miles, can't figure the exact amount of the D branch but it's longer than the rest maybe equal to the rest combined?).
The non-suwbay (subway portion is shared with other lines) of the interurban Boston D line is 10.09 miles (Kenmore to Riverside). So, 2200 riders per mile, with a much higher riders / mile in the first 3.5 miles Brookline section than the lower density Newton section.

Gold line is 2400 riders per mile probably also with a skewed distribution. Connecting the gold line to the blue to go through downtown LA rather than one edge might give a big ridership boost, or maybe not; not sure how time consuming a Red line transfer is.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Urban Planning
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top