Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Transit Space Race Update

With the elections in yesterday it was time to update the Transit Space Race. Seattle moved into the top tier while St. Louis dropped a division. Kansas City dropped into the hopeless category until they can work up another plan. I'm going to update Atlanta and Hawaii soon but need to get some more info for them. Atlanta will be in the hopefuls league while we await further developments and Hawaii will be in tier one planning. Check the plans down at the bottom right of the blog.

8 comments:

cHarles said...

Now that Prop 1A passed what is the next step for high speed rail in California? time frame?

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I believe that the business plan will be out within the next week then we'll see where it goes from there.

Jon said...

Its interesting to note that putting transit measures on the ballot really only occurs west of the Mississippi River (with few exceptions). Why cant there be measures like these for expanding the rail systems in Chicago, Philly, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, NYC, Boston, etc? Its transit ballot measures that have almost single handedly sparked the transit space race which are all outside of the Northeast US. I'm sure the electorate would support transit measures in the Northeast, nevermind these cities are already dense and built around transit.

AJ said...

In less than 8 years, the extensions in Seattle will start rolling in. So exciting!

Winston said...

Charles,

The next step for HSR in California is finding the other $10-20 billion they need to complete the first leg of the project. Obama's election makes this easier, but the state budget problems make it harder. Also, more feeder routes are needed for the system to get lots of ridership.

These seem to be coming on their own to some extent. L.A. just voted to approve Measure R which will dramatically expand the city's rail network. Also the citizens of Sonoma and Marin county approved the SMART rail line which will run from 80 miles north of San Francisco to the Larkspur ferry terminal, which is a short ferry ride from the HSR station.

The other bit of rail transit news is that tiny (pop: 44k) West Sacramento voted to operate a trolley system connecting its new downtown and baseball stadium to downtown Sacramento where it will connect to (and share tracks with) Sacramento's light rail system which goes to Sacramento's future HSR station. I mention this one because they're talking about having it running within 3 years.

Alon Levy said...

Jon, Northeastern states don't have the initiative laws of Western states. I don't think New York has any initiative system; this means measures for expanding the rail system have to come from the state legislature. New York also lacks the laws of redder areas requiring referendums for any tax increase, so the state legislature is free to raise money for subways by itself.

jon said...

Thanks alon levy,
I was wondering if that was the case.

Jonlin said...

And the extensions in Seattle that are part of the Proposition (not initiative; it was put forward by an organization created by the legislature) that was just passed won't start opening until 2020. In 2016, an extension will open that was already going to be funded by leftover money from the first segment and federal funding.