Monday, October 19, 2009

Four Two Through

Dave thinks there might be a correlation between the number of trains into a station and its development pattern. I think there is a bit more to do with it than that including market and available zoning allowances. But I think sometimes the market can be influenced by the amount of transportation available to an area over time.

For example I believe downtown Oakland was a little hamstrung when BART decided to split off trains to Fremont before going through a downtown Oakland station. With four lines instead of two going through downtown Oakland, it seems like it could have changed Oakland's equasion. Currently there is high frequency in the morning and evening rush, but at other times it could really use more trains into and from San Francisco. When there are opportunities to provide more service to a major destination, it seems like more service is a wise move that might be able to set the table for other improvements.


Matt' said...

I don't know if there is a correlation, but there certainly are consequences.

Case in point, take the post which I wrote about WMATA maximum train capacity (where the graphics come from). Development along the Orange Line in Arlington and Fairfax Counties has pushed demand for Metro above the capacity of the Orange Line. Despite operating at 4 minute headways, trains are packed. Additional service cannot be added without reducing Blue Line service.

So in that regard, it makes sense to cluster development around lines with a high theoretical capacity. In the Metro System this includes the entire Red Line, the combined downtown trunk lines, the combined Blue/Yellow Arlandria segment, and the Green/Yellow Lines north of downtown (because the Yellow Line could run all the way to Greenbelt).

Of course building a separated Blue Line or constructing some new inter-line connections could solve some of these issues.

Justin said...

Yikes. Spambot.

This is where interlining is a disadvantage. It works well with lower frequencies(10 minute or higher), but it can seriously constrain capacity.

david vartanoff said...

WMATA is hobbled by short platforms, insufficient car fleet and unreliable berthing of 8 car trains in stations. Thus they are unable to adequately service riders in rush hour.

Alon Levy said...

Yes, building separate lines serving the city proper instead of the suburbs would help Metro a lot. For a start, it would turn it into a true metro, rather than high-capacity commuter rail.

Matt Fisher said...


I would agree. This effect appears to be a sort of "decoupling".