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View Poll Results: Do you think Light-rail is appropriate for Albuquerque?
Yes - In the immediate future 21 46.67%
Maybe/Possibly - In the future would be nice, as the metro grows. 10 22.22%
No - Albuquerque does not need Light-rail 14 31.11%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 08-07-2012, 11:19 PM
 
295 posts, read 526,065 times
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After a recent trip to Denver, which I have not visited in years, I couldn't help but notice the successful light rail system that is along the freeway, and a separate route which extends from Downtown to littleton. Denver RTD is also in the process of expansion of light-rail and commuter rail, which could all be completed by 2016 if all goes well. A price tag to their taxpayers of 6.1 Billion dollars. Although light rail is not new to Denver it seems to work there, so my question for fellow posters on here is: would light rail work in Albuquerque and what would be possible routes?

I can't stand the fact the Paseo is getting worse and worse by the year, and there have been little solutions to decrease traffic backups into the west side. Could light rail be a possible solution? a route from Rio Rancho into the city?

Here are some pictures of Light rail in Charlotte, now picture it in Albuquerque!



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Old 08-08-2012, 06:27 AM
N8!
 
2,409 posts, read 4,786,578 times
Reputation: 4213
Let the Rail Runner pay for itself first, then address ABQ.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
3,690 posts, read 8,055,740 times
Reputation: 2956
Denver has far more congestion, far more commuters, and far more events where freeways get shut down (wind, snow, flood, oil refinery, etc.). Also, the mean commuting distance is further.

All those things in mind, I think that the jury's still out on how cost-effective their mass transit system will end up.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
5,548 posts, read 14,703,527 times
Reputation: 2730
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan from NM View Post
A price tag to their taxpayers of 6.1 Billion dollars.
I wonder how that was paid for? It's going to require an ongoing subsidy. Light rail fans are notoriously
wussies when it comes to paying for that stuff. A tax on transportation fuel is the way to go.
It is how that stuff is paid for everywhere in the world where there is good mass and rapid transit.

Here in the US, we just issue some bonds and hope that taxpayers don't notice that once the thing is built, they are going to
have to keep coughing up more money to subsidize the operations and maintenance. Almost everyong buys fuel, so they don't
like to vote for fuel taxes. Most people don't pay income taxes, so voting for bonds that someone else has to pay for is just fine.

I would guess that 90%+++ of Rio Rancho and Albuquerque residents would not vote for an additional fuel tax for light rail.
Having it build with bond money or however the Railrunner Santa Fe expansion was paid for is just sneaky and immoral.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan from NM View Post
I can't stand the fact the Paseo is getting worse and worse by the year, and
there have been little solutions to decrease traffic backups into the west side.
Could light rail be a possible solution? a route from Rio Rancho into the city?
Here is where the difference between mass and rapid transit comes in.
A light rail like we have in the US would be a slow, plodding, bus with metal wheels and a metal road.
Portland has one of these. They could have just paved that route and put a bus in there. It's slow.

Light rail would be great if they ran it from Rio Ranch downtown and only a couple of other stops plus
one at the Railrunner and then downtown Albuquerque. They would also need to run it at near triple digit
speeds. Otherwise, why use it when you could use the far more useful and convenient automobile?

If light rail isn't going to be "rapid" rail, then a BRT is a far superior option. Unfortunately, since it is much more
economical, then there are lots of highly compensated "consultants" and "planners" and then ultimately
construction contractors and custom rail equipment builders won't get paid for stuff and thus won't support BRT.
Quote:
Originally Posted by N8! View Post
Let the Rail Runner pay for itself first, then address ABQ.
Do you actualy see the Railrunner on a trajectory of paying for itself? I'm guessing no.
You were just using hyperbole to vote "no" on light rail which is totally legitimate.
No sane person would ever hope that Railrunner is going to fund itself with ticket sales. <-- insert sanity/mortimer joke here

Rail is never self-paying. It always requires a subsidy. People who are willing to pay for good transit pay for it with transportation fuel taxes.

Here are just a few of the jillion other light rail oriented threads:

---o--- Which is the best option for future transit in Albuquerque?
---o--- A Project I'd Like To Start To Solve ABQ's Transit Problem
---o--- Albuquerque "The Plan" (2011, hotel, house)
---o--- Will Albuquerque Live Up to it's Potential?

People like to start threads with heavy emphasis on light rail as if no one has ever thought of it before, but it keeps coming up over and over.

I think Zoidberg had the best idea many years ago in this forum. Albuquerque would be best served by trying to secure right-of-ways
for stuff like future roads and rails and mass/rapid transit. Later, when the metro area is pushing 2 million, the cost of building stuff
like that will be far less than it would have been - buying right-of-ways just before starting to build stuff.

Last edited by mortimer; 08-08-2012 at 08:59 AM..
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:43 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,920 posts, read 19,783,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mortimer View Post
People like to start threads with heavy emphasis on light rail as if no one has ever thought of it before, but it keeps coming up over and over.

It go's something like this...

Dream urban rail line (and/or streetcar): Central Ave line connecting Old Town, Downtown, UNM, Nob Hill, & Uptown

Dream commuter light rail line: Downtown to Rio Rancho

Pragmatic feedback and realistic costs/expenses

Futility: I guess we'll see in about 20 years or so

The End
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Santa Fe
713 posts, read 1,683,064 times
Reputation: 596
Is there anyplace where mass transit actually pays for itself? Just wondering.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Old Town
1,976 posts, read 3,499,365 times
Reputation: 2014
No. It is a necessary evil. Public transportation sucks and I don't wish it upon my worst enemies.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:31 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
26,469 posts, read 44,575,907 times
Reputation: 30832
Quote:
Originally Posted by loborick View Post
Is there anyplace where mass transit actually pays for itself? Just wondering.
A few transportation systems actually pay for themselves. They are in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.
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Old 08-08-2012, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque
132 posts, read 262,875 times
Reputation: 140
In the meantime, ABQ is moving forward with BRT along Central, and plans are being developed for express bus services (Rapid Ride +) from RR to UNM/Downtown via Journal Center.

Light rail is about a million people off unless we begin to densify and really choke up our roads. As long as we keep putting $100+ million bandages on our freeways, I may never seen rail in ABQ in my lifetime. So far, the people support sprawl as long as they perceive their commute times to be affected by something other than what they consistently subsidize.
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:13 AM
JBM
 
Location: New Mexico!
567 posts, read 975,090 times
Reputation: 510
I'd say yes, it's possible... But only if we really wanted to pay for it. Personally, I'd rather have a better bus system. I'd love it if there were better buses along University and César Chavez. I don't fancy the 16/18 very much. I'd also like a Rapid Ride Line up San Mateo and then down Montgomery. If I had just those things, I'd use the bus with a much greater frequency. Also: i'd be irate if we started installing any kind of rail without first allowing the buses to run later. THere's been many a time I've considered taking the bus but end up driving or biking because I know the buses will have ceased operations. Long story short, I'd LOVE light rail, i'd most likely use it if it were installed, but there's a bunch of stuff we can do with our current system to get people moving around first before we go installing rail lines... And yes, I'd like more rapid ride on the west side. The gap on Coors between I-40 and Central is always troublesome for me. The local line and the 766 don't sync up which leads me to probably the largest problem with ABQ Ride: Buses don't follow schedule. In some cities, when a bus is running ahead of time it might spend more time in station and then try to make up time when it's behind a bit. I always get this feeling that the 777 and 766 are pretty much racing each other, or a rapid bus will leave when a local shows up (like the coors situation - I'm talking about the 155 in case I'm confusing someone)... I don't know. I think if we did it, it'd be U-shaped, from RR down coors and then probably following central to louisiana up to Uptown... It'd be nice, but... I'd rather fix what we have and improve on that, first.

Also: I like the Zoidberg idea of planning for the future to minimize future costs. That might be the best bet, yet!
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