Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Night Notes

Long Beach is looking at streetcars
Quatar has a $22B deal with Deutsche Bahn to build freight, passenger, and Metro rail lines using Siemens technology.
Having the last train leave at 6:30 is a ridership killer. Commuter rail lines with limited time tables make no sense to me.
Major developments along the North Corridor Commuter Rail line in Charlotte. My question, will it actually be Transit Oriented?
Is the housing bust going to actually halt suburbs? I feel like this will be short lived unless something bigger changes.


Alex B. said...

It's a bummer to have commuter rail cut off service so early, but hopefully that limited service can work as proof of concept enough that they can buy more slots along that track. That train travels along a very busy stretch of track that's part of BNSF's mainline. BNSF was reluctant to agree to what Northstar got.

So, I hope what they got is popular and successful, and maybe they can parlay that into more service at later hours soon.

Minneapolis, like many Midwestern cities, has a ton of rail tracks in and around town. It's a great potential market for commuter rail services - which ought to be fairly easy to implement and begin. I hope this can blaze a bit of a trail.

kenf said...

The Maryland commuter trains out of Washington (2 of the 3 lines) have had limited service for longer than I can remember, and they actually get decent ridership, even though it is a royal pain in the ass.

whiteguyfromtheprojects said...

The Sounder in Seattle has way too limited runs... The Sounder North line only has four round trips per day, in the peak direction, and Sounder South has seven round trips in the peak direction and two in the reverse peak direction each day. Neither runs on weekends. Luckily, they are going to add two or three round trips to Sounder South, as it is very popular, and I hear one of those might even be midday! The main obstacle to having more Sounder South trains is that BNSF owns the rails and will only allow so many commuter rail runs. Sounder North, unfortunately, only gets about 1000 users per day, so isn't likely to see more runs anywhere in the near future... And the last Sounder South run leaves at 6:15 from Seattle.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those Maryland commuters that has to pay $180/month for a Monthly Marc/Metra pass to go one stop North on the Marc train. I love public transportation, but also have a car because the last train out is at 6:40, and there are 3 trains going out and two coming in. My schedule is not that fixed at work. The only people that ride the train besides myself are those without cars. The limited runs makes it difficult to get people to move to trains. (On the positive side, I can put a stop to those late in the day requests by saying sorry, have to catch the train...)

Alon Levy said...

Alex, for the reasons Anon stated, commuter rail that only runs at rush hour is going to be a failure of concept, not a proof of concept. Even people who would take it at rush hour may choose to drive instead, because driving in at 9 am gives them the ability to leave at 7 pm, whereas taking the train doesn't.

Matt Fisher said...

Yeah, having the last commuter rail train leave at 6:30 p.m. sucks.

arcady said...

A corollary to this line of reasoning is that even if nobody takes a train at midday, or late in the evening, that train could be contributing incremental ridership, because there are people who wouldn't take the other trains if not for the potential to go home early or stay late.