Thursday, December 11, 2008

Find Out What You're Asking For

KC Light Rail has a link to the stimulus lists for cities around the country by the US Conference of Mayors. Take a look and let us know if your city "gets it". Shouldn't their be some sort of region wide coordinated approach? It's always fun to look at lists though right?

For San Francisco, here's the link. Definitely needed things including a new control room and midlife overhauls for buses and the Bredas. I wonder if they have pong on their current control room computers.

And the city that sees this as an opportunity to do big things, Salt Lake City. Asking $403 million for five different light rail projects.

Another quirky thing, Austin asks for $80 million to update the current commuter rail line ($220 in rail asks). Does this mean electrification? Double tracking? Is that possible? What does urban rail vehicle purchases mean. Soooo confused!

If you find something interesting, let us know in the comments.

14 comments:

Matthew said...

As to Austin, that is insanely odd. They haven't even started operations yet! I'd be hoping that maybe they're talking about funds for double-tracking, so they might be able to run trains on a better schedule.
Or maybe they see a need for an extension farther into Downtown? I love how they see getting 3760 jobs out of "expansion"???
Thanks for pointing that out. If only that 2000 LRT system'd been built, and these funds could go to that!

Alon Levy said...

New York's not asking for anything...

jon said...

Are the Breda LRVs in SF really approaching their "mid-life"?

Noticed that Alberquque, Miami, Portland, Providence, St. Louis and Tucson are seeking money for new streetcar lines.

Besides SLC, St. Louis seems to be the only city seeking a new major rapid transit line with its $900,000,000 request for 'North/South MetroLink Extensions'

These stood out to me...
San Jose: Downtown BART station portal in Historic Bank of America Building - $46,000,000

I'm assuming the "portal" would be the pedestrian entrance to station? I recall that this was a one of the most attractive buildings in downtown SJ.

San Jose Diridon Transit Station Expansion for BART and High Speed Rail - $100,000,000

St. Louis: Light Rail Rehabilitation/Preventive Maintenance--Original 1993 Alignment - $45,000,000

Its good to see some rehab on these 10-25 year old lines. I was on the Westside MAX line in Portland recently and after 10 years it is quite worn with its heavy use.

Rhywun said...

> New York's not asking for anything...

Yeah, what's up with that? I guess we're doin' fine.

austin said...

"What does urban rail vehicle purchases mean"

I'm guessing that means purchasing the vehicles for the urban rail project... different than the commuter rail project.

I suppose it's too soon to list anything other than vehicle costs in the stimulus list... since they're not sure where the urban rail is going (or if it's going at all)...

Josh said...

"Are the Breda LRVs in SF really approaching their 'mid-life'?"

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but they started going in around 1997. Not sure how long they're supposed to last, but I can see 12 years being mid-life, easily.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

LRVs would be 24 years for full life. Midlife would be 12 years. Some of these vehicles will be approaching midlife in a few years if 1997 is correct. Buses are 12 years and mid life is 6 years.

Matt Fisher said...

There are many known instances of LRVs and streetcars lasting more than 25 years. The original Siemens-Duewag U2 LRVs in Edmonton, Calgary, and San Diego are more than 25 years beyond their original arrival, and the original U2 LRVs in Frankfurt will be retired after 40 years of service since the U-Bahn opened 40 years ago. This is what it's called, by the way, and it's a lot like Stadtbahn (in German) systems in other places across Germany, like in Cologne. I've been in these LRVs when I was in Alberta five years ago, and my dad's been on the San Diego Trolley six years ago.

And would it be good to discuss labour issues in a future post? Here in Ottawa, OC Transpo workers have been on strike since Wednesday. I just thought it would be a relevant topic. I support the workers, as without them, I'd be forced to depend on a car - I can't drive.

Matt Fisher said...

And to further elaborate, two years ago, in the Denver-Boulder Metro Area, when the RTD went on strike, it was for a week. It included the first closure of light rail in twelve years. I can also include when the opening of the Hiawatha Line in Minneapolis was delayed two months by a Metro Transit strike, the strike in Los Angeles five years ago, and three years ago this month, the MTA strike in New York City. Hopefully, this strike should not last two months (which is what a strike in Calgary in 2001 lasted).

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Well yes they should last longer, but the FTA rules allow funding for mid-life overhauls of vehicles at the specified intervals I stated above. Obviously San Francisco and many other cities are running super old vehicles. BART in SF as Heavy Rail is running 40 year old cars now.

jon said...

it seems they are basing the lifespan of the breda cars by those of the boeings. as far as i know lrv's are expected to last about 40 years and that the boeings were an exception and actually got a waiver from the FTA to dispose of them much earlier than planned.

the original LRVs in portland are going through their mid-life overhauls now (and have for the last few years). these cars went into service in 1986 and i believe first arrived in 1984. so that would put them at a retirement of around 45 years.

sk said...

In Philly -- not much transit-related. 40 new hybrid buses, which is good. Interestingly, a fair amount of money for renovations to libraries, which are being cut [and some closed] under our mayor's budget cuts.

JoeC said...

It's not my city (I'm in SF and yes the Bredas are at midlife after 12 years), but there is an incredible item in Sacramento's list for something called "Railyards Tunnel / Connection to Old Sac", $750,000,000 from the Amtrak section. That is about three quarters of the total request for intercity rail, but I can't find any documentation of it, except that it is part of the the Mission Bay-like redevelopment of the railyards. And that it would create 15 whole jobs. That $750,000,000 could fund a lot of intercity rail start-ups instead of facilitating a real estate development deal on freight railroad property.
Just browsing through the lists, one can see a lot of sloppiness, "pork" and road building, as well as a lot of good projects that are pretty well documented and progressive.

Scott said...

Here in Los Angeles, some of the Blue Line cars are well past mid life at 20 years of age. They were made in 1989 and started service in July 1990.