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Everything posted by monsoon

  1. The paper did not print his complete presentation so I don't know. I would have posted it if it had been in there. I didn't know about this event or I would have attended to see what was said in person. In any case, I stuck to quotes posted in the paper and left out the opinions but added my own. Standard stuff. One other note, this was announced a couple of weeks ago. Brian Sisson of the Huntersville town council has announced he is running to unseat mayor Jill Swain. Swain was from the same crowd as the very transit friendly Kim Phillips. Sisson on the other hand was part of the trio that was elected in 2007 that said NO to CATs when they showed up looking for $90M in TIFs from the town. If he is elected he will become a voting member of the MTC and that could be fairly interesting.
  2. The Mayor of Davidson is quoted in one of the papers this week in that he believes that CATS is going to ditch the North Commuter Rail line because of the failure to find money to fund it. ATM ~$350,000,000. In the same article NC state representative Thom Tillis said it appears the effort to get the statewide 1/2 cent local option sales tax passed in the NC Legislature won't happen for several years at the earliest. In reading the Raleigh UP transit topic, I saw mention that it was take off the agenda for consideration. I am not sure if Mecklenburg was ever added back as this county was specifically excluded from that bill. The Charlotte city council and the MTC both voted to have Mecklenburg added. I don't think the one that actually would count with the Legislature, the Mecklenburg county council, ever took up the issue. I might be wrong on that one, but as it turns out, it appears to be irrelevant. Finally Bob Watson, who is the leader of one of those Tea Party groups told the Lake Norman Chamber that CATS could build the North Line "if CATS used existing funds wisely". He went on to give some figures on how inefficiently CATS is running the South line and if they cleaned that up, the money could be used for the North purpose. ---------- I've been saying this for a long time. CATS wastes a lot of transit tax money on inefficiency in operations whereas the people who voted for the tax thought it was going to capital construction. (this was what was implied). And that future train lines were not going to be built using the present plan. On the transit tax issue, it sounds as if the the state is reluctant to pass it because the NC legislature is looking at increasing the state sales tax and adding a whole slew of other small fees and taxes to address it's own budget shortfalls. So this is an issue that it does not want to deal with. If the Charlotte city council and the MTC wanted to actually address the issue, they would stop with the useless votes on increasing taxes and instead pull a detailed independent review of CATS operations with the idea of having it run efficiently while at the same time increasing ridership on all lines. The fact that it has buses the Federal government is forcing it to sell because it cut back service, and their only excuse is to blame it on the economy, is a testimate to this fact.
  3. ^Indeed. The two hybrid buses that I was referring to and pictured above were purchased as part of a different evaluation. They decided not to purchase more of them due to the cost.
  4. Those are not equivalent examples. Anyway, the point remains, the FTA is making Charlotte shed capital assets due to service reductions. In most places when the economy goes bad more people ride transit because it is cheaper than the automobile. If the idea here is that transit only works when times are good, then CATS really does have it backwards, but I think it is more the koolade they drink here where common sense has little to do with it. The recent bruhaha over the Street Car is case enough of that. However, I always say the proof is in the pudding. Get back to me when the FTA or CATS has any firm dates they can put down for doing something with the NE extension.
  5. I don't think it can be assumed that distance is relative to ridership. The North CR line is 3X longer yet it is projected to carry just a fraction of the people.
  6. Well, I'm not going to argue with web links. However we have already discussed Phoenix's economic situation before. Since you brought them up as a yardstick to measure by, despite the economic woes there, their new LRT is easily carrying 2x the people that Lynx is, and they built the system without $100M cost overruns related to shear incompetence by management to manage a project. I stand by my words. A transit agency that cuts back service is not going to be the one that gets the limited transit dollars for more capital purchases.
  7. CATS misfortunes are of its own making. However I don't see any increase in funding headed in the direction of New Starts. Transit agencies still have to prove they are worthy of receiving federal money and a transit agency that is cutting service, because it doesn't know how to run a transit program, does not seem worthy at this time. To be fair, I place the blame squarely on the heads of the city council, the county council and the MTC for not sticking to any plans it makes in regards to TOD.
  8. They are now saying that Mays died from heart disease an not the bump on the head on the plane. I had noticed that in recent interviews, very recent in fact, that Mays seemed to be losing a good big to weight. Maybe they had already told him to say off the food cooked on all those infomercial machines.
  9. ^Wow, quite a change for that area. It's been a long time since there has been anything "Gay" that far out. Maybe not since Charades (huge dance club located in a former supermarket) was located at the intersection of Eastway & The Plaza in the 80s. Well... if you don't count that bar that used to be in Rowan county. lol
  10. ^No, CATs has had these hybrids for a while. Tober authorized the purchase of two hybrid buses 2-3 years ago. I believe they might be doing runs into the East Charlotte area as part of the regular bus service. They decided not to purchase more of them due to the cost. I've stated here many times the FTA will not look kindly on CATS when it asks for capital funding for transit while at the same time reducing service. While most here didn't believe me when I said that, and tossed out a bunch of irrelevant arguments as to why I was wrong, here is the proof, if it is true, that indeed they don't like it and will go back and look at how their money has been spent. CATS has gotten a lot of federal money for capital purchases of buses. It will be especially problematic for CATS when they try to get the Feds to pony up at least $1/2 Billion for the next rail project all while they are cutting back. At least this forces them back into the real world.
  11. ^Indeed. Nothing ever came from the first project that he "leaked" via his son to the local media. Aside from the pseudo domain name registered, there was never an official announcement and more importantly never any mention that he couldn't pull together a plan to actually build the thing. But he sure did get a lot of coverage from it. IMO, his similar project in Chicago busted his balls and he isn't wanting to get into such a mess again. Trump seems happier these days parading around on the WWE wrestling matches as their mouthpiece.
  12. In a bizarre piece of news, that loud mouth TV pitchman, Billy Mays, has died at the age of 50 years old. His death is being blamed on a particularly bad landing of a US Airways jet yesterday in Tampa where it blew a tire and Mays banged his head pretty hard.
  13. You know, this will bother a lot of people. Here you have a developer essentially stating that prices have not been right, as in too high, so now they are going to substantially lower prices on these developments, if they are even built. This is going to upset some of those people who were paying upwards of $500,000 for one of those homes in Wilmore that was close to falling to the ground. Some of them posted here about this still being such a good deal.
  14. This is getting back off topic, but I was looking the other day and discovered there are no Krispy Kreme stores left in the city of Charlotte. This is so odd for a city that had them all over the place for decades before they became a world status symbol of cities. (I do realize the company has had recent issues) Seems to me that a KK in this area would do much better than a DD. KK is a North Carolina company and one that has gotten down making hot donuts in small stores. It seems to me this would be no brainer.
  15. Heh. I read that BJ article. I will say again, these kind of things remind me of the band playing happy gleeful music all while the Titanic was quickly slipping into the deep Atlantic. While the city might cough up the money, they usually do for hair brained plans, Levine isn't going to built a $700M development anytime soon if he is the business man that people give him credit for being.
  16. If you are in Charlotte, there is a good chance that much if the power is generated from nuclear fission. They claim this is green power these days. Given all the rain, there might also be some hydro power mixed in as there is a lot of water in the Catawba right now.
  17. Looks as if the condos at the place formerly known as Fat City will be turned into apartments. At a starting price of $175K they could not find buyers. It's fairly interesting given that the demographic these have been marketed to, could get $8,500 tossed at them by the federal government. This is a housing windfall they are most likely never going to see again, yet they couldn't sell them. IMO, this isn't a very well built building but that hasn't seemed to stop people from buying places like that in the past. Isn't this place supposed to be highly successful because it's near a proposed CATS transit station for the train? It's another sign that prices are headed back to what these places should be really worth. In another part of the forum, they are talking about the "investment" condos built across the street from Williams Brice Stadium that are larger and much better built than this Fat City place, which has basically sat there with just 10 initially sold units then has sat there for over a year with nothing. So this past weekend they basically cut the price on each unit by ~$100,000 when it was all said and done, and they were able to unload most of the place. To me that means the FC condos should probably be lowered to start at $75K, and they they would probably sell out. Would suck for some of those who have bought nearby however.
  18. ^Yeah but that is again more bad journalism because the reporting of percentages without looking at the data they were generated from is a meaningless activity but is often done to support some ill conceived notion. Percentages mean nothing without context. i.e. $100 something drops to $10 in 6 months. This will be reported as a 90% drop. Then over the next 6 months the $10 something rises up to $19. This will be reported as a 90% increase. Notice in the first case 90% = $90. In the second case 90% = $9. You will get, record increases in prices reported which completely ignores the fact the place is still down 81%. This is why that Brookings report is meaningless to what is going on in SC. Oh and again, they don't mention what is causing the collapse of the economy and hence can't many any accurate predictions, which they try, on which areas are doing better.
  19. No doubt. The airlines in 1975 were not losing money and they gave excellent on time service in comparison to today. We are not talking about the same product being offered. The ticket price in 1975 included everything and it was just like money. You could trade it back in for no penality or use it to fly on a different airline. That $200 ticket today has so many additional fees and restrictions on it you end up paying far far far more, all so you can get into a seat that adults can't fit in.. Yet with all of that, they are still operating in an unsustainable situation. If the reason for this runway isn't having to do with real need, but rather to improve the bottom line of airline, an unsustainable industry, then it's still a waste of government money.
  20. It's been my observation that an industry whose business plan includes pissing off their customers as a plan to make money, is an industry that is going to be hit with painful change. Even one that is an oligopoly like the airline industry.
  21. Yes this is the theory, but it assumes USAir wants to increase plane frequency. It's my guess if the fuel is burning them, then they won't do it as they have shown absolutely no regard for the customer when it comes to squeezing another dime out of a flight. They don't mind making people wait in airports if it saves them money. Unless there are financial benefits, they won't use it. They are in a world of hurt again. Fuel is going back up, corporate America has essentially stopped flying its employees, and tourists are pissed off at the surly treatment from the airlines and avoiding the planes as much as possible.
  22. ^4th {sodEmoji.|}{sodEmoji.|} runway? Someone at the CBJ is having wetdreams again. My guess is this 3rd runway is going to sit there mostly unused. The big 6 airlines are heading into meltdown mode again and aside from making more cutbacks in service, they are not going to waste the fuel to taxi out to this runway. This construction was a huge waste of resources given the cost vs the benefit. (I don't doubt they will send some token planes down it, but then it will be quietly forgotten like most of these boondoggles.)
  23. Well, you be the judge. Here is a snapshot of the Rochester NY market. http://www.trulia.com/home_prices/New_York...ester-heat_map/ Other places I see are Buffalo (is there anyone even left there?), Albany which is the home of the NY State government and thus government jobs, Syracuse a huge college town, the mid-Hudson valley where I think there has also been a considerable decline. The rest of the dots are in the suburban NYC market and I simply don't believe the prices in places like Westchester county are holding. Then again this is where all the Wall Street money ended up.
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