TopTenn

The Transportation and Mass Transit Megathread

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking it had to do with a barge construction company didn't it? Dave told me once, apparently that info did not stick very well.

Nashville Bridge Company built barges at the facility next to that building. During WW2, they actually built ocean going minesweeper ships, I am told. That must have been a strange site to see them moving up the Cumberland.

Years ago, I was driving across the Shelby Street bridge, when a big limo with Tampa Florida license plates pulled into the buildings parking area. I figured it must have been George himself. He is from Tampa and lived there primarily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


If anyone is interested, they have posted the tenative schedule on the website. Music City Star

Im not sure if it's set in stone, but it makes me think we are getting close. I assume we are just waiting for the stations to be completed. I cannot wait to hear the phrase "ALL ABOARD!" :w00t:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to be negative... cuz i'm all in favor of the new commuter rail, but i'm not too sure about those rates :unsure: I live in Hermitage... so if I worked downtown it would be $143/month... which if you only work weekdays (which I think is when it is supposed to run), it comes out to be over $6/day. Even if gas was $3/gal, I think I could match or beat that by driving... it's only like 10 miles or so... and I get pretty crappy gas mileage lol.

I dunno.. maybe the cost of parking makes up for it... but if you worked downtown every day wouldn't the company you work for pay for parking? I don't work downtown very often... so I don't really know.

I thought someone had said before that it was gonna be like $1 to ride? Maybe I was dreaming. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to be negative... cuz i'm all in favor of the new commuter rail, but i'm not too sure about those rates :unsure: I live in Hermitage... so if I worked downtown it would be $143/month... which if you only work weekdays (which I think is when it is supposed to run), it comes out to be over $6/day. Even if gas was $3/gal, I think I could match or beat that by driving... it's only like 10 miles or so... and I get pretty crappy gas mileage lol.

I dunno.. maybe the cost of parking makes up for it... but if you worked downtown every day wouldn't the company you work for pay for parking? I don't work downtown very often... so I don't really know.

I thought someone had said before that it was gonna be like $1 to ride? Maybe I was dreaming. :P

I used to live in Lebanon and of the people who knew it was coming, none said they would give up their cars. They said they might take it once just to see what its like. But your right, it's too expensive and its not very convenient. I was hoping every hour or half hour. I can't imagine Memphis' light rail costing more than $1.50/ride once they build it out and probably at 15-30 minute intervals. They bought the trains for only $1 so maybe thats what you remember. I wonder why its so expensive?

EDIT-Will it run on gas or electric?

Edited by Bears

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot wait to hear the phrase "ALL ABOARD!" :w00t:

I feel the same way. I can't believe we're going to have passenger rail in Nashville once again. It sounds almost too good to be true. What is it about rail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Education is going to be very important is making the commuter rail work. People often think the cost of commuting by personal vehicle is the cost of gas and oil. That's only the beginning. Many studies have been done on this and after all is said and done, $6 roundtrip is a real bargain. It's all in how one tallies the true costs. It would cost more than that to park, then the gas, then the maintenance, tires, vastly accelerated depreciation, stress, possible accidents and such.

Here's a tidbit from Texas which might explain some of this. I'm sure there are other examples with a good Google, but this should provide some light.

http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/assistance/edu...commutesol.html

Here's one from AAA for the year 2003. It's bound to be much higher now with gas prices as they are.

http://www.aaanewsroom.net/Main/Default.as...4&ArticleID=196

Edited by it's just dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO atleast $36 for 5 round trips is a bit much. I remember getting an unlimited Travelcard for Zones 1&2 in London for only $15 per week after currency conversion. Anyone have any prices for other city commuter rails?

Edited by Bears

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Education is going to be very important is making the commuter rail work. People often think the cost of commuting by personal vehicle is the cost of gas and oil. That's only the beginning. Many studies have been done on this and after all is said and done, $6 roundtrip is a real bargain. It's all in how one tallies the true costs. It would cost more than that to park, then the gas, then the maintenance, tires, vastly accelerated depreciation, stress, possible accidents and such.

Those articles count the owning cost of vehicles, as well as the operating cost. Let's face it, nobody is going to be getting rid of their vehicles anytime soon.... and when you use 14.1 cents/mile for 20 miles round trip, its like $3/day to drive.

But... I definitely agree about the stress factor. In my opinion... that in itself would be enough of a benefit to make me consider riding the commuter rail (along with the environmental benefits, etc.).... even if it was slightly more costly than driving.

I have a feeling the general public will have trouble seeing this, though. Most people will look at $6/day and think that's pretty high. If some downtown employers get involved and provide for the cost to their employees, maybe it will get the ball rolling and increase general interest. As Dave said... education will be the key to making this thing work.

Edited by jice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree... all should be considered. Tires, I believe, was considered as part of the operating costs. I didn't mean to completely discredit the ownership costs either (insurance, mileage, etc.)... what I was getting at was the reports (from what I could tell) seemed to be considering the total cost of ownership, not just how much of that total relates to the actual commute to and from work.

But all in all I have to agree... it would probably come out to be close to the same, at least if you have to pay for parking as well. If the company you work for provided parking for you, it would probably be a slightly different story. (I have never worked downtown full time, so I don't really know how it works)

I, too, am a believer that this could work... I just hope the people take the opportunity to make it work. I have a feeling many are going to have a hard time getting out of their cars when the cost is basically the same. Most people probably won't factor in the less stress, more enjoyable commute part.

EDIT: Oops.. I guess I got this in before Dave's edit, so now I'm replying to an imaginary post :P It's all good though lol

Edited by jice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lol, jice. I feel busted. lol

I just felt wordy one minute, and not the next. It's all in the timing sometimes. Sorry 'bout that.

lol.. its cool :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to be negative... cuz i'm all in favor of the new commuter rail, but i'm not too sure about those rates :unsure: I live in Hermitage... so if I worked downtown it would be $143/month... which if you only work weekdays (which I think is when it is supposed to run), it comes out to be over $6/day. Even if gas was $3/gal, I think I could match or beat that by driving... it's only like 10 miles or so... and I get pretty crappy gas mileage lol.

I dunno.. maybe the cost of parking makes up for it... but if you worked downtown every day wouldn't the company you work for pay for parking? I don't work downtown very often... so I don't really know.

I thought someone had said before that it was gonna be like $1 to ride? Maybe I was dreaming. :P

I am keeping an eye on the progress of the Music City Star...I commute to Philly from NJ by train and I love it. My monthly pass is $163 (I live at the end of the line), so $143 isn't too bad. I am thinking of moving to the Spring Hill area, and would love to have the option to commute into Nashville. It is soooo much better to work in the city than in the boooring suburbs. Even if the train ride is an hour each way, which is what I do right now, you can use that time to read, sleep, listen to your iPod, or just relax.

Has anyone heard what the next phase will be, after the 1st line is complete?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am keeping an eye on the progress of the Music City Star...I commute to Philly from NJ by train and I love it. My monthly pass is $163 (I live at the end of the line), so $143 isn't too bad. I am thinking of moving to the Spring Hill area, and would love to have the option to commute into Nashville. It is soooo much better to work in the city than in the boooring suburbs. Even if the train ride is an hour each way, which is what I do right now, you can use that time to read, sleep, listen to your iPod, or just relax.

Has anyone heard what the next phase will be, after the 1st line is complete?

The $143 was the monthly fee from Hermitage. The end of the line, Lebanon, is $168/mo.. which is about 30 miles from Nashville.

I believe the next line is to Murfreesboro... according to smeagolsfree's old post:

Nashville to Murfreesboro rail moving forward. Heres the latest from our friends at the Tennesseean.

http://tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/articl...50343/1026/NEWS

Edited by jice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am really excited about this project, however i think the RTA and MTA will serve themselves a killer blow if they do not offer free transfers from rail-to-road mass transit. Depending on how you see it, to price of The Star is somewhat reasonable, but if you have to pay another 1.25 fare once your at the end of the rail line to complete your commute, that is getting quite expensive. If you factor in express buses(1.75) it could be as much as $17 round trip(non-express would be $15). I think free transfers are a MUST.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not interested in commuter rail so much because of the enviromental considerations, but because of the cost of gas, maintenence, miles, etc... and like dave said, reduced stress (I know exactly when the train leaves and exactly when it arrives regardless of traffic). Marketing the environmental aspects probably won't work in this area because we aren't surrounded by the smog and congestion problems on the level of an L.A, Chicago, or Atlanta.

But the price is going to be the big issue. Remember, most of us will still have to have our cars to drive to the train station. Then on top of that, the cost of the ticket will play in, and I think if you have to pay for transfers, that will kill the whole deal. I work in East Nashville, and certainly don't think I would be willing to walk 2 miles in a suit in the hot summer sun (uphill both ways of course!) just to ride the train. I think anything over $3 for a round trip daily ticket will kill this project very quickly.

Edited by rocky top buzz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. For Lebanon, which is only about 30 miles away, I think that this should cost no more than three dollars, four tops. As DannyBoy said, he pays $163 a month for a trip that takes an hour, while people in Lebanon will be paying more for a trip about thirty to fourty minutes. I understand that they need to make a profit, but eventually, if it gets too expensive, the profit will start to go down because less people will ride it. I wonder what the price will be for Murfreesboro. I imagine they will charge more than $200, considering the rates they're charging for Lebanon.

But this is all just estimates, they might realize that this is too high, and bring the price down. Plus, I'm sure that they have done more research then us, and that they know what they're doing. They have one chance to do this, and I bet they, more than anyone, want to do it right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that they need to make a profit, but eventually, if it gets too expensive, the profit will start to go down because less people will ride it.

I don't believe a profit will ever be made from RTA rail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a positive note: one aspect of this that makes this a go is the fact that you can board a train in Lebanon. Try doing that in Atlanta, D.C., or St. Louis and you will find that you have to drive to within about 15 miles of DT to the first stop on the line. By the time one has driven that far, taking the train becomes a bit of a waste (unless parking is a serious issue)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a positive note: one aspect of this that makes this a go is the fact that you can board a train in Lebanon. Try doing that in Atlanta, D.C., or St. Louis and you will find that you have to drive to within about 15 miles of DT to the first stop on the line. By the time one has driven that far, taking the train becomes a bit of a waste (unless parking is a serious issue)

What about DC's metro? Maryland's commuter rail is pretty extensive and has several connections to the Metro lines...so does VA's rail (i think)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In chicago were nashville got the trains from a metra ride is 3.45 and it takes your from chicago to indiana and further, I do think the 4$ a ride is kinda stiff but it might work,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other thing that makes the trains work in Chicago is that the trains run to/from the city relatively continuously, not just going downtown in the morning and going out to the burbs in the evening. Believe it or not, lots of people live downtown (or in the city) and take the trains out to the suburbs, where a lot of corporate offices are located, and then take the trains back downtown in the evening in order to get home. Or people will take a train out to the suburbs for a pleasure trip to the Ravinia Music Festival, the zoo, etc. My concern with the proposed train schedule is that people are so limited in their options in terms of time and direction that the existing schedules will not actually be feasible for many potential riders. Plus, the trains are going to arrive downtown in the morning before much of anything is open. Note: if the light rail program works, I imagine that there will be lots of business opportunities for coffee shops and breakfast joints to open up early downtown near the station. Another public transit idea that Chicago utilizes well is having sports announcers tell people, "please take a train or bus to this event" and the news points out connecting busses, shuttles to offsite parking, etc. It would be really good if Nashville could work it out so that trains bring people downtown shortly before events like ball games and then run back out sometime after the event, although I know that ballgames can run into overtime. Just a suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another public transit idea that Chicago utilizes well is having sports announcers tell people, "please take a train or bus to this event" and the news points out connecting busses, shuttles to offsite parking, etc. It would be really good if Nashville could work it out so that trains bring people downtown shortly before events like ball games and then run back out sometime after the event, although I know that ballgames can run into overtime. Just a suggestion.

Fantastic suggestion! Maybe then the buses would run later when i need them to. I take MTA to all Sounds games. What stinks is that in order to catch the last outbound bus to go home, i have to leave the stadium at 9:15. So for a game that starts at 7 pm, i usually have to leave in the 8th inning. (makes me miss SF when I could catch an entire Giants game, stop for a beer, get a bus/train home and not even fret about it)

Realistically, though -- i don't think radio announcements (or any other PSA) will get Middle Tennesseans out of their cars in any meaningful numbers. But $$ will. Cut into the bottom-line and we'll see a demand. So, if more people demand this service do you think MTA/RTA/Whoever will supply it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you take another look at the schedule, I think that there actually is one train leaving downtown going out to the suburbs. I may be wrong though.

There does appear to be a train leaving in the morning headed for the suburbs... actually 2 trains. Not to mention ones leaving the suburbs in the afternoon headed downtown.

I think the idea of using the train for special events such as sports games is an excellent idea! That would be very convenient and would boost ridership. When I used to go to events in downtown St. Louis (I'm from IL)... many times we would park on the IL side of the river and ride the MetroLink into downtown. Parking is free... and the ride is fairly cheap ($1.25/ride I think)... and plus, no traffic to fight.

I am not sure how great a turnout Nashville would get in the same situation... when the one-way ride costs $5/person. If there were a special event discount... it could work, though.

The problem right now with providing more routes for the rail in Nashville is the fact that there is only 1 track being used for both directions. But... this is just the beginning. Down the road... once the ridership is high enough... and the demand for more routes is high... i'm sure another track would be laid, to go both directions at once.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.