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Charleston Transit | Commuter Rail, Light Rail

118 posts in this topic

 

Posted (edited)

That is an extension to the proposed light rail from the Charleston visitor center to the magnolia development in the neck area(I believe they already have the right of way for this portion.) One would go out to Summerville parallel to I-26(I think,) the other would follow Rivers ave to Moncks Corner. I have no idea where all the stops are planned.

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Edited by MikesLogic

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Posted

We have discussed this before. I think they brought it up last about 6-8 months ago. I still think its a good idea :)

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Posted

That is awsome that light rail is being considered between Chas. and Summerville/Moncks Corner! This will give people a choice who live inland on whether to drive I-26 or take the train since most of the metro area is car reliant. I hope this goes through!

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Posted

Indeed. If you check the main SC forum there is a very interesting thread that discusses which city in SC will be the first to get rail transit of some sort. Right now Charleston and Greenville are the only two, with RH in a separate class since it may get a leg from Charlotte's LRT.

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Posted

Hopefully, everything works out. Charleston has always been a metro where I thought some form of rail would work very well there. This line would also benefit the city by finally being a catalyst to attract redevelopment in the Neck area.

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Posted

Weird parellels in Boston. Somerville, MA is getting light rail after a fight. We also have a Charlestown (think: battle of Bunker Hill).

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Posted

Light rail for Charleston is still alive and pushing foward, despite it being very slow, according to the article link below.

The Futrex company has been pushing for financing of a light rail system in Chas for 10 years and still is trying. Company President Byron Waldman says he has reason to be encouraged that Futrex soon could land private financing or a contract to build one of its systems. The Charleston Citywide Local Development Corp. recently helped the situation by deciding that the company did not need to make any payments on a taxpayer-financed loan worth roughly $1.7 million for up to three more years.

Futrex came to the Charleston area with bold plans for a new mass-transit system, saying that 1,000 people could be employed building it. The company has plans for a high-speed, low-cost monorail that would be unusual in that the cars would not sit atop a beam, as monorails do, but would hang from the side of a beam so that cars could travel in both directions at once. A plan that won some federal financing called for a working, $35 million Futrex system serving Charleston International Airport. The original plan was a loop from the airport to the Charleston Area Convention Center, but it fell through due to lack of investment dollars.

Monorail plan still on board

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Posted (edited)

Futrex is developing monobeam transit, not monorail. There is a bit of a difference as shown in the link below. It does address a lot of the issues of building transit in the already built environment, but it is more expensive than LRT and unproven.

I wondered what happened to Futrex as this was one of the very first threads posted here on UrbanPlanet. You can review it below.

SC & GA Develop Advanced Monobean Transit

Edited by metro.m

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Posted

It seems that there are two deparate movements in Charleston. I have read many articles about the proposed LRT, but very few on this. I now think that this may be the hold up to the entire mass transit issue in Charleston. The LRT proponents could be waiting to see if this is going to take off or not.

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Posted

I actually like the idea of a monobeam or monorail that Futrex is proposing instead of standard light rail with overhanging wires. Not only is a monobeam more aesthetically pleasing, it would be the most cost-efficient, especially with the potential of hurricane damage. Standard LRT wires and poles would easily be damaged due to high winds and downed trees, but a concrete monobeam would have minimal, if any damage.

Futrex has proposed several routes...even the new Cooper River bridge has the ability to take a monobeam or monorail. One of the primary routes is to start from the Chas Visitor Center DT and would make stops at the Neck (Magnolia or Midtown developments), Uptown (Noisette and near the proposed Hunley museum), the coliseum/convention center, and the airport.

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Posted

Good point. I didn't think about that. While monobeam may be more expensive initself, it may end up being less expensive due to the purchasing of rights of way and parcels outright for stations. Which reminds me, with elevated structures like that you can't have the 'informal' stops at ground level (as opposed to the more formal 'station') which may also increase costs.

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Posted

Generally, with the exception of street trolleys, you don't have LRVs making informal stops outside of designated stations.

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Posted

Right, but by that I mean they have the option of having ground level platforms with minimal structures associated with it. Particularly in more dense urban settings. Iwth the elevated monobeam you actually have to build up to the track.

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Posted

Actually there isn't any technical reason why you could not lower a track to enter a ground level station.

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Posted

Do any other communities around the world have monobeam transit? If so, it would be a novelty to have the first one in Charleston.

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Posted

Most likely Charleston would be the first it it was built.

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Posted

How about commuter rail?

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Posted

If we are talking about moving people from Summerville to the lower penisula, then CR makes a lot more sense. What is freight train situation in Charleston like? Would there be a way to add a station(s) to one of these lines?

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Posted

$46M is very reasonable for a starter system and may be doable without any federal help.

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Posted

Indeed. I am glad that CARTA is keeping its options open. Though I would prefer LRT, any sort of mass transit will help Charleston. CR may indeed be a better option if you think about it. It would bring commuters from a suburban world into downtown, which is extremely pedestrian friendly. You don't really need a car there to function.

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Posted

Light rail averages about $60M/mile. It's 25 miles from Charleston to Summerville which means a $1.5B line. While it would be great if they did something like that, I just don't see it happening unless there is a complete re-thinking of how regional development takes place there, and all of the local municipalities decide to develop this as a transit corridor. This means making the difficult political decisions to prevent or slowdown development elsewhere. This will of course be an unpalatable plan in places like Mt. Pleasant where the line won't go.

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Posted

True. A CR line would not need to involve Mount Pleasant at all. However, the long range plans for Jonnie Dodds Blvd show that they want to make room for some sort of mass transit in that area.

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Posted

I just started to read the Charleston thread and I have a question about light rail or transit in Charleston. I use to live DT Charleston several years ago so I understand the city quite well.

These may be on another post so sorry if it is duplicated.

1- Why would transit end at the tourst center? Why not come down the side along East Bay and end at what I use to call the "Polymer Plant" which I am not sure is still there but one of the best places to redelop in the world. Therefore, DT workers could get off there along with more tourist?

2--This would help develpment the area along the Cooper River (again, have not see it in years)

If there was ever a place to have mass transit, it is Charleston (outside of the concervative nature of the city and DT)

Anyway, I miss living there and love to go back to visit.

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