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Old 08-04-2008, 06:14 PM
 
80 posts, read 340,622 times
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There is currently a somewhat heated debate on one of our local newpapers blogs regarding adding a light rail system to the Capital Region.

I would like to know the opinion of a project like this from the contributors to this blog.

Cost vs. benefits? Logical route if it is a viable project? etc.

Opinions please...

Thanks
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:39 AM
 
Location: amsterdam ny
155 posts, read 809,094 times
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Here is an old thread regarding light rail in smallbany area:
Albany Area Rising- need commuter rail
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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I would much rather see light rail than a convention center that will sit empty. But the city can't afford either, especially with Paterson vetoing the payment in lieu of taxes bill.
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:40 AM
 
169 posts, read 396,292 times
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Light rail is not the most effective system for transportation. Mass transit does have to be implemented for capital district's cities to support the density of population they once had (when they developed around the trolley) but today its simply a worse option than the automobile, because it goes slower. I don't see why maglev isn't being discussed; its not that expensive (american maglev builds it for under 20 million a mile) and it can go way faster than you can legally drive you car.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:50 PM
 
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Thanks jackson, sounds like light rail is becoming obsolete. I'll be looking into this meglev.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:18 AM
 
257 posts, read 1,267,047 times
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There was a plan a year or two ago to convert Central Ave into a Bus Rapid Transit corridor with signal preemption, bus lanes, etc. Is this still alive? I think Central Ave is the busiest bus route on the CDTA.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:24 AM
 
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I could be wrong about this, but I don't think that maglev trains support the density of stops that you would need for an effective urban rail system. A New York to Albany express maglev would be spectacular but I can't see one rolling down Central Avenue in place of the #55 bus. They just don't stop often enough. Light rail is not obsolete for these uses, it is still the best medium-density option for rapid transit in urban areas. As for the Northway alignment that is currently served by the NX commuter bus, now you may have a point. This area is overwhelmingly suburban and stops would be widely spaced.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:29 AM
 
9 posts, read 31,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProvGuy View Post
There was a plan a year or two ago to convert Central Ave into a Bus Rapid Transit corridor with signal preemption, bus lanes, etc. Is this still alive? I think Central Ave is the busiest bus route on the CDTA.
This plan is very much alive but will probably be slow-going for the next few years due to the budget crunch. Yes, the #55 Albany-Schenectady is far and away the most popular route in the system. I ride it pretty regularly myself and standing loads are the norm, even during off-peak midday hours.

IMO the problem with this corridor is that the two anchor cities are so far from another that they leave an no-man's land of low density around the Lisha Kill area between Balltown Road and New Karner Road where transit isn't well supported.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:16 PM
 
18 posts, read 34,250 times
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I think every single city should make light rail mandatory because it reduces traffic and emissions and the dependency on foreign oil. The problem is it tends to get very political with politicians appeasement effecting the ultimate effectiveness of the project. The biggest issue tends to be acquiring right away for the tracks. Nobody ever agrees.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:22 PM
 
169 posts, read 396,292 times
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Quote:
I could be wrong about this, but I don't think that maglev trains support the density of stops that you would need for an effective urban rail system. A New York to Albany express maglev would be spectacular but I can't see one rolling down Central Avenue in place of the #55 bus. They just don't stop often enough. Light rail is not obsolete for these uses, it is still the best medium-density option for rapid transit in urban areas. As for the Northway alignment that is currently served by the NX commuter bus, now you may have a point. This area is overwhelmingly suburban and stops would be widely spaced.
Very good point. But let me explain why maglev would be more effective. First off, You can have stops close enough. For schenectady, for instance, you could put a stop on erie next to ALCO site, a stop right on state street, a stop at GE, have it travel along the 890 corridor and stop at brandywine, and then to the airport and then on to albany. These would be local stops, an express train would run from glens falls to saratoga to schenectady to the airport to albany and across the river to the train station and the new redevelopment. Most people commute from outside the city, so if the train had stops in clifton park and luther forest, it would serve commuters extremely effectively. Buses could be used to bring people to the stations between stops. Maglev is totally essential for getting suburban commuters out of their cars, regardless of gas prices, because it is simply a lot faster. Light rail doesn't compete with cars in travel time, especially considering the time used to get to a light rail stop. It might take slightly more time to get to a maglev station, but the train speed would more than make up for the time. And you don't need a whole lot of stops. You simply need the stops to serve areas where lots of people work, such as ge, the empire state plaza, albany med, suny albany and hopefully in the future luther forest. Light rail may be a good supplement to maglev, but busses will do just fine for a far less expensive investment. Light rail will always have to be subsidized, not only in their capital costs but the operation. Maglev is very profitable because the maintinance is far less, the electrical use is about 70 percent less than conventional rail, and people will be willing to pay a lot more to travel on them (but still less than the price of gas) because they go much faster than cars.
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