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Old 04-30-2013, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,250 posts, read 26,220,119 times
Reputation: 11706

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetgraphics View Post
In the case of rail, it was criminally destroyed, and we are stuck paying exorbitant amounts to bring it back. Partly because no one will address the underlying problem of government meddling and corruption from the opponents of rail.
Why do people keep saying this? I feel like this idea simply won't die. It's like the equivalent of the "Barack Obama is a Indonesian-born Muslim" rumor. The fact that a number of transit agencies shut down their own streetcar lines kinda blows a hole in this theory, no?
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Vallejo
14,057 posts, read 16,066,811 times
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You deny that the typewriter was killed off by a government conspiracy known as DARPA and then later the thing that's like a series of tubes?
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:05 AM
 
4,023 posts, read 3,264,546 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Why do people keep saying this? I feel like this idea simply won't die. It's like the equivalent of the "Barack Obama is a Indonesian-born Muslim" rumor. The fact that a number of transit agencies shut down their own streetcar lines kinda blows a hole in this theory, no?

Nah. The streetcar lines were operated and maintained by private companies who received no assistance, no subsidies from the federal guvment. The streetcar companies had to maintain and replace all their own equipment, tracks, overhead wires and everything else out of their own pocket (with revenue from fares). But they were not allowed to set the prices of their fares. The guvment told them how much fare they could charge, and it wasn't near enough to cover their costs so naturally they went bankrupt. The fares were set artificially low.

Imagine if GM and Ford had to pay 100% of the costs for building and maintaining all the roadways that their cars ran on? And the guvment told them what they could charge people to buy their cars? How long do you think GM and Ford would be in business? Not long. They would have gone bankrupt and died long ago, along with the streetcar companies. Except when GM really did go bankrupt a few years ago, they received a huge taxpayer bailout from Obama. When the streetcar companies went bankrupt, they didn't get a dime.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,103,705 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
Nah. The streetcar lines were operated and maintained by private companies who received no assistance, no subsidies from the federal guvment. The streetcar companies had to maintain and replace all their own equipment, tracks, overhead wires and everything else out of their own pocket (with revenue from fares). But they were not allowed to set the prices of their fares. The guvment told them how much fare they could charge, and it wasn't near enough to cover their costs so naturally they went bankrupt. The fares were set artificially low.

Imagine if GM and Ford had to pay 100% of the costs for building and maintaining all the roadways that their cars ran on? And the guvment told them what they could charge people to buy their cars? How long do you think GM and Ford would be in business? Not long. They would have gone bankrupt and died long ago, along with the streetcar companies. Except when GM really did go bankrupt a few years ago, they received a huge taxpayer bailout from Obama. When the streetcar companies went bankrupt, they didn't get a dime.
From what I hear it is because they were terrible and nobody liked them.

In my opinion, the biggest mistake LA made with streetcars was not ending the lines, but tearing out the rails and building on or too close to the ROWs - because now that we have significantly better LRT technology it would be nice to build lines on-the-cheap on the ROWs (which is the case with some LRT lines in LA).
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,250 posts, read 26,220,119 times
Reputation: 11706
I enjoy talking about streetcars because I enjoy hearing the pretzel logic from streetcar fanboys.

I'm all for transit but I want transit that's based on functionality and practicality rather than pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking.

There's no solid evidence that streetcars promote economic development. So if that's the case, then why do we continue to hear about streetcars promoting economic development? And there are certainly streetcar projects that have not promoted economic development. So we just can't cherrypick the alleged winners. We have to take the winners with the losers.

And the capacity argument only makes sense if greater capacity is really necessary. Do Charlotte and Atlanta really need streetcars with a capacity of 180 to shuffle around 45 people during rush hour? And it would cost more to run streetcars at the same frequency as buses.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: South Park, San Diego
4,934 posts, read 7,589,851 times
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I love street cars, trams, light rail and trains and live in an area that has a rail transit system (albeit, modest compared to many), I also have a romanticized view of them when the system was even larger here, going right through my neighborhood and over beautiful wooden trestles crossing the canyons.

That being said they are abhorrently expensive to build and run, even as we expand our systems here I'm just as much to champion BRT. The infrastructure is mostly there and the actual transport can be more streetcar like, while taking advantage of new technologies in efficiency and longevity. Heck, the NG busses that we have now are clean, quiet and dependable even without a dedicated BRT system in place. I'm often taking the 3 minute walk up to the stop next to my house to go either uptown or downtown on the busses running every 10 minutes. There is always very limited funds to allocate, better to go with systems that prove to be the best bang for the buck.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,103,705 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I enjoy talking about streetcars because I enjoy hearing the pretzel logic from streetcar fanboys.

I'm all for transit but I want transit that's based on functionality and practicality rather than pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking.

There's no solid evidence that streetcars promote economic development. So if that's the case, then why do we continue to hear about streetcars promoting economic development? And there are certainly streetcar projects that have not promoted economic development. So we just can't cherrypick the alleged winners. We have to take the winners with the losers.


And the capacity argument only makes sense if greater capacity is really necessary. Do Charlotte and Atlanta really need streetcars with a capacity of 180 to shuffle around 45 people during rush hour? And it would cost more to run streetcars at the same frequency as buses.
I am in agreement that streetcars are not a superior mode of transit - however I'm not sure I am totally on board with saying they do not create investment in areas.

I am going to reserve judgement on their ability to promote development until the DTLA streetcar is implemented. But even increased development / growth along that corridor, as mentioned by me earlier in the thread, could just be the result of general improvement and investment in the area.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,103,705 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Damon View Post
I love street cars, trams, light rail and trains and live in an area that has a rail transit system (albeit, modest compared to many), I also have a romanticized view of them when the system was even larger here, going right through my neighborhood and over beautiful wooden trestles crossing the canyons.

That being said they are abhorrently expensive to build and run, even as we expand our systems here I'm just as much to champion BRT. The infrastructure is mostly there and the actual transport can be more streetcar like, while taking advantage of new technologies in efficiency and longevity. Heck, the NG busses that we have now are clean, quiet and dependable even without a dedicated BRT system in place. I'm often taking the 3 minute walk up to the stop next to my house to go either uptown or downtown on the busses running every 10 minutes. There is always very limited funds to allocate, better to go with systems that prove to be the best bang for the buck.
Absolutely. I don't care what it is or if it runs on rubber or steel, if saving money on implementation means it has head-ways of 5-10 minutes I'd be all about it.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,250 posts, read 26,220,119 times
Reputation: 11706
Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
I am in agreement that streetcars are not a superior mode of transit - however I'm not sure I am totally on board with saying they do not create investment in areas.

I am going to reserve judgement on their ability to promote development until the DTLA streetcar is implemented. But even increased development / growth along that corridor, as mentioned by me earlier in the thread, could just be the result of general improvement and investment in the area.
Where's the evidence? You can't say they promote economic development but then twist and contort and explain away the examples where economic development didn't occur. When development does occur, it's usually part of a comprehensive plan of which the streetcar merely represents one individual piece. That doesn't prove causality. And it sure as hell doesn't prove that a streetcar is necessarily a decisive or even an important factor in luring development.

These are my predictions for streetcars:

1. Some cities will see limited development along routes, especially routes closer to the downtown core.

2. There will be marginal increases in transit ridership (at first). These gains will be touted as huge successes by transit agencies that have put everything on the line for these projects.

3. The streetcars will be slow and people will slowly realize that they're not good for really getting anywhere on time.

4. Streetcar lines will lose money and the transit system as a whole will be strained. This will result in service cuts (primarily to existing bus routes). But then a point will be reached when cuts also have to be made to streetcar service. Consequently, people become even more disgruntled with the streetcar.

5. Higher density cities (DC, LA) will probably be fine. But these systems will have their problems that will serve as reminders of why it was a good idea to scrap streetcars in the first place.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 04-30-2013 at 02:52 PM..
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 13,103,705 times
Reputation: 3979
Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Where's the evidence? You can't say they promote economic development but then twist and contort and explain away the examples where economic development didn't occur. When development does occur, it's usually part of a comprehensive plan of which the streetcar merely represents one individual piece. That doesn't prove causality. And it sure as hell doesn't prove that a streetcar is necessarily a decisive or even an important factor in luring development.
Haha yep: The City of Los Angeles : Bringing Back Broadway : HOME

The streetcar is even on their front page. I agree that the streetcar is just a piece of the puzzle.

There is one thing I will say about it, and that is tourists will probably love this thing. It might take a bit of the intimidation factor of DTLA away, at least a little bit.
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