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Old 09-29-2012, 06:13 PM
 
26,585 posts, read 62,054,681 times
Reputation: 13166

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sman6293 View Post
Once the state and government get on a better track, they can get some money on this substantial project. Yes people are car dependent, especially in the Albany area, but if routes parallel highly driven car routes, The Northway, Central Avenue and Western Avenue, traffic will shift over to the transit routes. The Northway is bad in the mornings and afternoons. So, if a faster, cheaper alternative is offered, like rapid transit with limited stops, people would getting stuck in traffic and stop paying $4.00 to drive 17 or 18 miles. If you could ride the subway for $0.50 going from Clifton Park or Colonie directly to your office in Albany you would. The way to get this project moving with out jumping right in is a short test route from Downtown to Colonie Center or Crossgates Mall. Then it would be extended as demand increases, to the airport and Latham. As demand increases, as it will if gas stays so expensive and continues to climb, a huge, popular system will be created linking the Capital District by rails.
Fifty cents? That's never going to happen.

In my opinion, mass transit should be self-funding. So with a rail component, it should be about $12--one way.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:25 PM
 
26,585 posts, read 62,054,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkingElsewhere View Post
First, it's not the norm to pay for parking at your job. I don't know anyone, including myself, or anywhere other than the NYS government where the employer charges it's employees for parking. Every job I've ever worked at never charged for parking, minus the NYS government. Second, it costs $2 an hour (so if you work 8 hours a day that's $18) to park in the visitor parking at the Empire Plaza, and the private lots are $10 a day. That's $50-$90 a week for parking which is insane. No matter how high someone's salary is nobody wants to waste that much money on parking, especially since we pay enough for gas these days.
You need to get out more. Most people in most cities pay to park, regardless of who their employer is. Most college and university staff have to buy a parking permit every year. Unless you work in a suburban location, you should expect to pay for parking.

Quote:
I don't understand why people here are so anti-public transportation. Yes it's nice to have a car, but it's also nice to have good public transportation. Not have to worry about the stress of driving and traffic, save on gas, less pollutant emissions for vehicles, promotes walking more. And as I said, public transportation is so convenient when you're going out at night or in places where parking is hard.
Because it's not self-supporting and people don't want to cover someone else's convenience. There's already a decent bus system that's under utilized--why do you think that spending billions to add rail or subway service that it would be used any more?

Quote:
As for your comment saying a rail system connecting the Capital Region would be too difficult, it exists in New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut, and the lower Hudson Valley in order to get to New York City (and with more than one train line covering just as many if not more square miles than the Capital Region, except the lower Hudson Valley), so how is the Capital Region any different?
Because those rail systems were put in place long as the urban areas built up around them--they weren't retrofitted.

Quote:
And don't get me started on NYS budgets and how it's too much to fund public transportation. With the amount of money NY residents pay in taxes you'd think there is enough money for the state and county governments to subsidize a subway system throughout the entire state! But I guess not.
Actually the FTA provides a good chunk of the funding through Federal taxes. That money goes to NY DOT and then gets distributed. In the big picture, the Feds are covering about 40% of the cost of mass transit in this country. And I'm guessing you have no idea how expensive it is to operate a rail system.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:24 AM
 
639 posts, read 1,123,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
You need to get out more. Most people in most cities pay to park, regardless of who their employer is. Most college and university staff have to buy a parking permit every year. Unless you work in a suburban location, you should expect to pay for parking.
Actually I lived in several US cities because of my husband's job including San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, and Miami. Never once did my employer require me to pay for parking. As for denser cities in the Northeast such as NYC, Boston, and DC there is a rail system so people have the option to take that rather than pay for parking. I was also specifically talking about the Empire State Plaza where you have to pay $50-$90 a WEEK for parking..much different and more expensive than colleges/universities where you maybe only pay $50 yearly for a parking pass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Because it's not self-supporting and people don't want to cover someone else's convenience. There's already a decent bus system that's under utilized--why do you think that spending billions to add rail or subway service that it would be used any more?
Why do you assume that nobody is going to use light-rail if it's built in the Capital Region? Several posters and people have expressed interest in a light-rail system. Studies have been done and people generally prefer light-rail travel over bus service.(Explaining the Psychological Appeal of Rail Over Buses | Streetsblog Capitol Hill). Remember, many people like the idea of light-rail because they don't have to deal with traffic, unlike buses which are apart of the traffic. Also, the bus system is not that efficient once you get into the suburbs of the Capital Region, I've notice this as well as many of my co-workers and friends here.

And if you feel that funding for public transportation is "covering someone else's convenience" then why don't you use it for yourself once in a while and feel like you get your moneys worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Because those rail systems were put in place long as the urban areas built up around them--they weren't retrofitted.
Why does it matter if it was or wasn't retrofitted? All you need is good urban planning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Actually the FTA provides a good chunk of the funding through Federal taxes. That money goes to NY DOT and then gets distributed. In the big picture, the Feds are covering about 40% of the cost of mass transit in this country. And I'm guessing you have no idea how expensive it is to operate a rail system.
Yes, it costs money to operate public transit. But you're forgetting that there is an economic benefit as well. Think of many how jobs will be created and revenue will be made, which will greatly benefit the Capital Region. As I stated in another post.

Public transit creates jobs.
Every $100 million invested in public transit creates and supports roughly 4,000 jobs.
According to US DOT director Norman Mineta, every $1 billion invested in the nations’ transportation infrastructure supports approximately 47,500 jobs.
Transit capital investment is a significant source of job creation. In the year following the investment 314 jobs are created for each $10 million invested in transit capital funding.
Transit operations spending provides a direct infusion to the local economy. Over 570 jobs are created for each $10 million invested in the short run.
Tri-Rail of South Florida expects its five-year public transportation development plan to spawn 6,300 ongoing system-related jobs.
New York’s East Side Access project is expected to generate 375,000 jobs and $26 billion in wages.
Source: The Economic Benefits of Transit

Also refer to Nexis4Jersey previous post on how railroad helped the economy and raise property values in New Jersey.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:29 AM
 
7,296 posts, read 11,866,342 times
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Mt recommendation is to start with BRT first before going light rail. BRT is far less expensive and less flexible - you can dismantle it if it is no longer needed. If the demand is proven to be there, then that's when you go light rail. Do it one step at a time or this can turn out to be a very expensive project.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:09 PM
 
26,585 posts, read 62,054,681 times
Reputation: 13166
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkingElsewhere View Post
Actually I lived in several US cities because of my husband's job including San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, and Miami. Never once did my employer require me to pay for parking. As for denser cities in the Northeast such as NYC, Boston, and DC there is a rail system so people have the option to take that rather than pay for parking. I was also specifically talking about the Empire State Plaza where you have to pay $50-$90 a WEEK for parking..much different and more expensive than colleges/universities where you maybe only pay $50 yearly for a parking pass.
Really? Then tell me why Harvard charges faculty and staff between $1,356.00 and $2715.00 per year to park? USF charges between $257.00 and $1,025.00 for an annual parking permit--and they are on a large suburban campus like SUNYA. UG charges faculty $480 a year, UC Davis will run you $588 a year while UC Berkeley will cost $1488. I didn't go looking for expensive schools, just tried to find a sampling of urban and suburban universities as they popped into my head.

If you work in Syracuse, NY; Hartford, CT; or Orlando, FL; be prepared to pay to park. Employers don't routinely cover the cost.

Quote:
Why do you assume that nobody is going to use light-rail if it's built in the Capital Region? Several posters and people have expressed interest in a light-rail system. Studies have been done and people generally prefer light-rail travel over bus service.(Explaining the Psychological Appeal of Rail Over Buses | Streetsblog Capitol Hill). Remember, many people like the idea of light-rail because they don't have to deal with traffic, unlike buses which are apart of the traffic. Also, the bus system is not that efficient once you get into the suburbs of the Capital Region, I've notice this as well as many of my co-workers and friends here.
Bottom line, it's expensive. People don't use the available bus system, why would they use light rail? People might say they will use it, but bottom line, when push comes to shove, those trains will run empty. Look at Tri-Rail in Miami or the rail system in Buffalo for good case studies. BRT would be a much better option. It's (relatively) inexpensive to begin, and as population centers shift over teh years, the bus routes can shift with them. Put in rail and you're stuck with it.

Quote:
And if you feel that funding for public transportation is "covering someone else's convenience" then why don't you use it for yourself once in a while and feel like you get your moneys worth?
When I lived in Albany I took CDTA to work every day. When I lived in Syracuse, I took Centro to work every day. When I lived in NJ, I took NJT to work every day. So what's your point? I live in a suburban area and work in a very rural area. I'd love it if there was public transit, although somehow I don't think they'll start it for the two people who would ride it each day--nor would I expect them to.

Quote:
Why does it matter if it was or wasn't retrofitted? All you need is good urban planning.
It takes more than that. It takes buy in from the population--almost impossible in a car-centric area.

Quote:
Yes, it costs money to operate public transit. But you're forgetting that there is an economic benefit as well. Think of many how jobs will be created and revenue will be made, which will greatly benefit the Capital Region. As I stated in another post.
Many of those jobs are short term construction jobs. Then where will those people work? The facts the government hands out doesn't tell the entire story.

Quote:
Also refer to Nexis4Jersey previous post on how railroad helped the economy and raise property values in New Jersey.
I lived in NJ for 12 years. The trains did nothing of the sort. In fact nobody wanted train tracks in their backyard. Very few walked to stations, most either paid to park (I paid $90/month to park my car in a commuter lot so I could buy a $280/month pass to take the train to NYC) or were dropped off by a spouse.

Additionally the homes within walking distance to the train stations were generally older and smaller, and in many cases in undesirable neighborhoods. In almost every case there is also a commuter bus option in addition to the trains, and more people ride the buses than take rail. Buses are cheaper and often the suburban park and rides offer free parking. (There is no free parking for rail anywhere in NJ)

Given their propensity for delays and breakdowns (bridges stuck open, suicide by Acela, catenaries freezing in the snow, the list goes on and on and on) trains aren't such a great idea. One breaks down on the tracks and all rail traffic comes to a standstill. Buses can take an alternate route.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:13 PM
 
26,585 posts, read 62,054,681 times
Reputation: 13166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
Mt recommendation is to start with BRT first before going light rail. BRT is far less expensive and less flexible - you can dismantle it if it is no longer needed. If the demand is proven to be there, then that's when you go light rail. Do it one step at a time or this can turn out to be a very expensive project.
YES!!! FINALLY someone who gets it!!!
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:22 PM
 
26,585 posts, read 62,054,681 times
Reputation: 13166
One other reason to not use rail--BUY AMERICA. Transit buses and the commuter coaches used by public transit authorities are MADE IN AMERICA with at least 60% AMERICAN MATERIALS and by AMERICA WORKERS. CDTA buys their buses from Gillig, an American owned company with it's headquarters and manufacturing facility just outside of San Francisco. Nova is a Canadian company but produces buses for the American market in Plattsburg, NY. (CDTA has some older Nova's and Orions (also built in NY by a now shuttered company) that they are getting ready to retire.)

Rail cars? Seimens is the only company making light rail vehicles in the US (Sacramento), and they aren't even American owned.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:26 PM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,380 posts, read 26,856,553 times
Reputation: 4581
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Really? Then tell me why Harvard charges faculty and staff between $1,356.00 and $2715.00 per year to park? USF charges between $257.00 and $1,025.00 for an annual parking permit--and they are on a large suburban campus like SUNYA. UG charges faculty $480 a year, UC Davis will run you $588 a year while UC Berkeley will cost $1488. I didn't go looking for expensive schools, just tried to find a sampling of urban and suburban universities as they popped into my head.

If you work in Syracuse, NY; Hartford, CT; or Orlando, FL; be prepared to pay to park. Employers don't routinely cover the cost.



Bottom line, it's expensive. People don't use the available bus system, why would they use light rail? People might say they will use it, but bottom line, when push comes to shove, those trains will run empty. Look at Tri-Rail in Miami or the rail system in Buffalo for good case studies. BRT would be a much better option. It's (relatively) inexpensive to begin, and as population centers shift over teh years, the bus routes can shift with them. Put in rail and you're stuck with it.



When I lived in Albany I took CDTA to work every day. When I lived in Syracuse, I took Centro to work every day. When I lived in NJ, I took NJT to work every day. So what's your point? I live in a suburban area and work in a very rural area. I'd love it if there was public transit, although somehow I don't think they'll start it for the two people who would ride it each day--nor would I expect them to.



It takes more than that. It takes buy in from the population--almost impossible in a car-centric area.



Many of those jobs are short term construction jobs. Then where will those people work? The facts the government hands out doesn't tell the entire story.



I lived in NJ for 12 years. The trains did nothing of the sort. In fact nobody wanted train tracks in their backyard. Very few walked to stations, most either paid to park (I paid $90/month to park my car in a commuter lot so I could buy a $280/month pass to take the train to NYC) or were dropped off by a spouse.

Additionally the homes within walking distance to the train stations were generally older and smaller, and in many cases in undesirable neighborhoods. In almost every case there is also a commuter bus option in addition to the trains, and more people ride the buses than take rail. Buses are cheaper and often the suburban park and rides offer free parking. (There is no free parking for rail anywhere in NJ)

Given their propensity for delays and breakdowns (bridges stuck open, suicide by Acela, catenaries freezing in the snow, the list goes on and on and on) trains aren't such a great idea. One breaks down on the tracks and all rail traffic comes to a standstill. Buses can take an alternate route.
Oh really? 1.8 Million use the transit system in NJ , while most hate having it in there backyards , alot people love having it in there town. Only 35% drive to the stations and park... They reduced the amount of breakdowns this year , Newer Catenary rarely has issue. If a train breaks down then there's usually a 20 min delay... As for Suicides you can't stop them.... The homes are older and smaller because the Railroads built them but they are in better shape then most homes built in the 50s....these homes were built to last. Buses get stuck in traffic , it takes me 80 mins by bus to Manhattan and 50 mins by train... Just because you don't like the system doesn't mean there shouldn't be a system....and it shouldn't be expanded....stupid reasons. Most would not affect a New system....
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:49 PM
 
13 posts, read 25,451 times
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Never going to happen, ever. For many reasons including the fact that it's totally unnecessary for such a small city, but even if it were practical, a lot of private interests stand in the way. Since gas has gone up, private bus companies are loaded right now from the Chinese curb side guys to legit carriers, and have political pull especially in crooked Albany politics, they'd never stand for it. I'm sure there's many other interests that would block it as well, that's just an example off the top of my head.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:14 PM
 
26,585 posts, read 62,054,681 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
Oh really? 1.8 Million use the transit system in NJ , while most hate having it in there backyards , alot people love having it in there town. Only 35% drive to the stations and park...
Your numbers are off. Far more people take the bus than the train.

Total Annual Unlinked Trips
Bus .................................................. ............................... 155,676,004
Rail (includes some of Metro north).......................................... 79,632,021

Quote:
They reduced the amount of breakdowns this year , Newer Catenary rarely has issue. If a train breaks down then there's usually a 20 min delay... As for Suicides you can't stop them.... The homes are older and smaller because the Railroads built them but they are in better shape then most homes built in the 50s....these homes were built to last.
Today's home buyer doesn't want to live in a tiny home where the master bedroom won't even hold a queen sized bed. They'd rather have a home with modern conveniences and have to drive to a commuter station than live in a tiny home that backs to tracks. That's why so many of them are board ups.

Quote:
Buses get stuck in traffic , it takes me 80 mins by bus to Manhattan and 50 mins by train... Just because you don't like the system doesn't mean there shouldn't be a system....and it shouldn't be expanded....stupid reasons. Most would not affect a New system....
You are talking about NJ, I'm talking about the Albany area. I've lived and commuted in both. It would be far less expensive to create HOV and bus lanes on the Northway and 787 than it would be to put in rail to the suburbs. Considering that a huge number of workers in the suburbs don't even go into the downtown core but rather to areas like the State office campus, Colonie, and Latham, rail makes no sense. People from Malta would need to drive to the station then take the train to downtown and then transfer to a bus to go five miles to where their office is. It would be faster and more cost efficient to drive.

Rail works in places like NJ/NYC where there isn't a logical option to drive and parking runs $30 a day. But it's not going to work in a spread out suburban area like the Capital District where the reality is that as much as they complain about traffic, the reality is that it's simply not that bad and they aren't going to drive to a station, ride to an inter-modal, and then transfer at least once and ride to their destination. Not when it's going to take them 80 minutes for a drive they can do in 40.

Last edited by annerk; 10-01-2012 at 07:50 PM..
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