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Old 09-17-2013, 07:17 AM
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,840 posts, read 9,228,873 times
Reputation: 13779


Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
Notice most of the cities that have a rail system are OLD and have MASSIVE populations in concentrated areas. Too bad others on this thread haven't figured that out. Those systems are also subsidized. Even NYC has subsidies. And they have 10 million people in a much more concentrated area that the Capitol Region!

Even 136,000 people using a train every day doesn't sound that great. 3,000 sounds beyond pitiful!! Sounds like bankruptcy will happen momentarily.

I don't understand the love for commuter rail. It's expensive to build, to maintain, and to modify, which negates its operational advantages except where there's high ridership levels as in metros like NY and Chicago. Upstate cities simply don't have the population or the residential or job density necessary to make commuter rail feasible.

The Buffalo subway, for example, which city leaders insisted would rejuvenate the city back in the 1970s (it was built in the early 1980s), is a white elephant (or maybe white buffalo ) that requires more and more subsidies. It's ridership has never approached the levels that its advocates projected, and a big reason for this is that there's only a single line running up and down Main Street between downtown and the old SUNY Buffalo campus (now called the South Campus) while much of the Buffalo's population lives in neighborhoods located much further west. In the last 20 or 25 years, a major commercial area full of big box stores, specialty shops, supermarkets, movie theatres, and restaurants has developed in the area west of Delaware Avenue at the northern edge of the city (close to where most Buffalonians live as well as the suburbs).

If the subway line had been run beneath Delaware Avenue, it would have been more successful IMO because it would have connected downtown to a major commercial area while running through the most populous area of the city. As it stands now, it connects downtown to a college campus that's only a satellite campus. The problem is that there's no remedy as the subway route can't be changed, and that's the problem with rail. If the planners misjudge commuter trends or the trends change over a few decades, bus routes can be reconfigured, added or discontinued. Commuter rail doesn't allow that flexibility.
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