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CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red, Airport Lines

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17 minutes ago, nmundo said:

 


The UNCC app. Is complete trash. It works. That’s as much good as I can say about it. CATS should just get the data and make real time API that companies can hook into. Let a company who’s entire focus is making apps do it. Boston MBTA is a great example of this, they just provide their data to Transit (it’s a descriptive app name but also hard to search for specifically) and let them do what their good at. I already use Transit to look at routes in CLT but it’s all based on schedule not live data. What CATS needs to focus on is getting a fare card system and keeping the system running. Every single one of the apps they have put out have been absolutely horrible.


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Well I haven't used it much but thought it was good. What's trash about it?

Totally agree cats should not be doing this. Pick a city that does a good job and tell their vendor to copy it.  The open API is good too as it gives you many choices. Do you know if there is a standards based API?

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14 hours ago, tozmervo said:

Future Planning:
Staff recommended two specific items for future planning consideration: one is a continuation of the Silver Line past Belmont to Gastonia. The other has been much discussed on this board: another Blue Line extension through Pineville continuing to Ballantyne. They also want to look at options to leverage 485 express lanes for bus interconnection to the Blue Line. 

If CATS is considering light rail to Gastonia, then does this mean they may consider light rail expansion to other outlying towns in the metro too? Like expanding the Blue Line to the north towards Concord, the Blue Line south towards Rock Hill, and Silver Line to Monroe? Interesting that commuter rail didn’t come up as an alternative to Gastonia. 

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Well I haven't used it much but thought it was good. What's trash about it?
Totally agree cats should not be doing this. Pick a city that does a good job and tell their vendor to copy it.  The open API is good too as it gives you many choices. Do you know if there is a standards based API?


GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification), it’s the universal standard for transit data. It’s can be used for just schedule data or live data. CATS doesn’t provide a public feed in any form, Raleigh does. You can see what feeds are available by looking on http:// https://transitfeeds.com

They need need to get organized. Why do they even have multiple apps to begin with. They should not be trying to reinvent the wheel and instead open up their data and do something like this https://transitapp.com/partners/transit


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Sorry for bucking the way the conversation is trending in regards to the app, but one of the most feasible parts of this plan that I see is the extension south to Pineville and eventually Ballentyne. I think Ballentyne will always be car centric, but I know more than a few people who will either drive from Ballentyne to the 485 station to park and ride, or will take a bus to 485 (or Archdale?) and connect to ride Uptown. A direct connection in Ballentyle makes sense. It would be one of the few times I'd actually be cool with a massive parking structure, I'm talking like airport scale. And it could spark a kind of town center development, and at least contribute to a degree of density in the area. 

On that note, I wonder how much Simon would be willing to cough up for a stop at or near Carolina Place?  I imagine the route would follow Polk street and then Lancaster highway, but a more easterly route could easily incorporate a stop in the parking lot of Carolina Place Mall. I think if they don't push for this investment, Carolina Place might be the next dead mall in Charlotte. That whole area feels stuck in the 90's, and not in a nostalgic way. People DO still shop at malls, but what is the draw over there? 

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14 minutes ago, nakers2 said:

I think Ballentyne will always be car centric, but I know more than a few people who will either drive from Ballentyne to the 485 station to park and ride, or will take a bus to 485 (or Archdale?) and connect to ride Uptown.

I think a connection in Ballantyne makes all of the sense in the world, but I was thinking of it in the other direction.  I know a ton of people who live in Southend and commute to Ballantyne every morning for work that would love it if they could take the train instead of driving.  For CATS, it would make sense for their southbound trains south of Uptown to have more than, like, 5 passengers in the mornings.

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I would be less interested in connecting to the mall itself and more interested in connecting to the vast swath of re-developable future TOD land it sits on. 

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1 hour ago, nakers2 said:

On that note, I wonder how much Simon would be willing to cough up for a stop at or near Carolina Place?  I imagine the route would follow Polk street and then Lancaster highway, but a more easterly route could easily incorporate a stop in the parking lot of Carolina Place Mall. I think if they don't push for this investment, Carolina Place might be the next dead mall in Charlotte. That whole area feels stuck in the 90's, and not in a nostalgic way. People DO still shop at malls, but what is the draw over there? 

Someone posted in a thread here the other day -- with Carolina Place in mind -- about an old mall in Atlanta where they have built apartments connected to the mall.  I thought that was brilliant.  Imagine if they did that at Carolina Place (apartments and/or condos), did some modernization to the common area, such as skylights to bring the sun in and make it feel more open to the outside, and maybe real plants and trees, and bring in some entertainment-type businesses like an indoor Putt-Putt (to help counter the fact that so much of regular shopping is being done online; make it not just a shopping destination but also an entertainment destination), AND have a Blue Line stop there, allowing people living there to easily connect with Uptown, and people living along the Blue Line all the way up to UNCC an easy way to get to Carolina Place for shopping AND entertainment.

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On 1/24/2019 at 3:42 PM, JacksonH said:

Someone posted in a thread here the other day -- with Carolina Place in mind -- about an old mall in Atlanta where they have built apartments connected to the mall.  I thought that was brilliant.  Imagine if they did that at Carolina Place (apartments and/or condos), did some modernization to the common area, such as skylights to bring the sun in and make it feel more open to the outside, and maybe real plants and trees, and bring in some entertainment-type businesses like an indoor Putt-Putt (to help counter the fact that so much of regular shopping is being done online; make it not just a shopping destination but also an entertainment destination), AND have a Blue Line stop there, allowing people living there to easily connect with Uptown, and people living along the Blue Line all the way up to UNCC an easy way to get to Carolina Place for shopping AND entertainment.

The key to Carolina Place is using those parking lots to refocus and redevelop. Long term the value of that property is the land. Office, housing, hotel and even to reimagine the property after the current anchors are long gone. 

A rail stop would be amazing, but its out of the hands of ownership unless they deed land to the city for the explicit use as a station.

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8 hours ago, CarolinaDaydreamin said:

The key to Carolina Place is using those parking lots to refocus and redevelop. Long term the value of that property is the land. Office, housing, hotel and even to reimagine the property after the current anchors are long gone. 

A rail stop would be amazing, but its out of the hands of ownership unless they deed land to the city for the explicit use as a station.

Same can be said for Ballantyne, in that all those parking lots are ripe for infill. And since the mall property is just en route to Ballantyne, any rail and station by the mall can closely follow 485. If mall owners aren't cooperative, the station could even go closer to 51 and other destinations, like the hospital. Or they even skip them, like Downtown Pineville's foolishness. With the extension being all about Ballantyne, the Town of Pineville needs to show some political will or once again miss their chance.

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On 1/26/2019 at 9:10 AM, southslider said:

Same can be said for Ballantyne, in that all those parking lots are ripe for infill. And since the mall property is just en route to Ballantyne, any rail and station by the mall can closely follow 485. If mall owners aren't cooperative, the station could even go closer to 51 and other destinations, like the hospital. Or they even skip them, like Downtown Pineville's foolishness. With the extension being all about Ballantyne, the Town of Pineville needs to show some political will or once again miss their chance.

RE: Pineville: see page 3:  http://www.pinevillenc.gov/Portals/0/PropertyAgent/585/Files/170/Council Strategic Planning Retreat 102518.pdf

RE: Ballantyne: I'm willing to bet the market will force the infill of those parking lots a lot sooner than we think, especially if the Blue Line gets extended there in the next 10 years.

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This could be posted in a few different threads, but here is a great idea Seattle is implementing re: affordable housing that Charlotte should emulate.  I know CATS has mentioned it as a priority but having a set plan in place for future lines during the planning stages would go a long way, especially if they need the land to build it anyway.

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/01/link-light-rail-affordable-capitol-hill-housing-seattle/581296/  

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12 hours ago, EllAyyDub said:

This could be posted in a few different threads, but here is a great idea Seattle is implementing re: affordable housing that Charlotte should emulate.  I know CATS has mentioned it as a priority but having a set plan in place for future lines during the planning stages would go a long way, especially if they need the land to build it anyway.

https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2019/01/link-light-rail-affordable-capitol-hill-housing-seattle/581296/  

Problem #1 with emulating Seattle is that the Republicans have currently made the legal mechanism to do that illegal (inclusionary zoning). However, the City is doing the next best thing with it's TOD ordinance be including affordable housing in the TOD bonus structure. If you want affordable housing in transit station areas, you should call your council member to support this ordinance adoption.

https://charlotteudo.org/transit-oriented-development/

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Heavy rail, give me a break. Why are we chasing 19th century technology?

Europe and Asia have had Maglev trains for years. Yet the richest country on the planet struggles to build yesterday’s technology. Never fails to amaze me the reality we live in. 

Edited by Matthew.Brendan
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4 hours ago, kermit said:

While I am thrilled that two adjecent counties are now on the transit bandwagon I fear they are attaching themselves to inappropriate technology (LRT). It will be around 20 miles to ride from Gastown or Rock Hill to uptown, that is an awfully long ride in an LRT vehicle. IMO decent commuter rail (e.g. hourly/half hourly service all day with fewer stops than LRT)  would be much better for everyone.

While I totally get what you're saying, I just want to point out that the DC Metro is currently expanding the Silver Line out past Dulles Airport.  This extension is scheduled to open next year.  While this isn't considered light rail, I find the frequency of stops and travel speeds aren't significantly different.  And this extension will result in a distance of around 30 miles from the end of the line to the District, with about 20 stops.  Many of the people who live out in those areas, including a friend of mine, do work in the District.  It will be a long journey for them on that train, but many people have their laptops and are able to do work while commuting -- work they would not be able to do if they were in their own car driving to their jobs.

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Good arguments up there. Britain has some High Speed trains, but it's not comparable to the ones in Asia in regards of speed and maybe technology, especially because the land is not big enough to make it worth it or economically viable, so here in UK they focus more on expanding the classic 19th century trains, as someone said before me.

Of course, America is lagging behind with this, as you have a lot more land than UK does, but I guess that if it is not developed yet, is because there's not enough demand to support it.

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4 hours ago, cltbwimob said:

The only places that I know of that has an active Maglev is Shanghai.  Europe, Japan, Korea, etc do have high speed rail on steel wheels but it’s not Maglev, and most of that is for intercity travel.  Suburban commuter rail in those countries is still standard fare rail similar to what we have here in terms of speed and technology.  IIRC the fastest commuter rail line in the world was the MARC Penn Line between Baltimore and DC until they got rid of the electric locomotives, but I think trains still routinely travel 110 mph on that route.

Maglev and high speed rail are not practical for the typical ~25-mile commuter rail line with 6-12 stops.

Edit: I don’t know if it was a sarcastic post or not but I do enjoy when people appeal to the “19th century technology” argument.  I find it to be ironic considering that the car is also 19th century technology but people still use it for their daily commute.  With the exception of the airplane virtually every piece of transportation technology we use predates the 20th century (Heck the boat is millennia-before-Christ technology yet it’s still used today).  And wile I know the car of today is nothing like the cars from 100+ years ago, neither is the train of today like those of 100+ years ago.  I don’t see too many steam locomotives making hauls these days.

Yes and we wasted more than a hundred years on Automobiles which have put us in the mess we presently find ourselves in. 

Heavy rail is great, it should have been built everywhere. We are just now trying in this country to escape the 1 car / 1 person hell that literally entire generations have held up as the only answer. All our cities are designed and built around cars. Except for the oldest which have functioning rail systems. Funny that. 

While not widespread Maglev technology is nothing new. Germany had the M-Bahn in the late 1980’s and another line that ran until 2006. Birmingham UK ran the worlds first commercial maglev between its airport and rail station from 1984-1995. 

China has passenger maglev trains. South Korea has them as well. As does Japan, who is currently constructing what will be the worlds longest, at 178 miles, 90% of which will be underground or through tunnels. 

America? Maglevs are a pipe dream (pardon the pun, and apologies to Elon Musk who is single handedly trying to bring about such change). 

This country actively fights against (and is successful in torpedoing) even basic light rail systems for our cities. (See: Nashville, Phoenix)

I don’t know, were you being sarcastic? Do you still use a telegraph and fax? Those too were cutting edge technologies that somehow (in the case of fax at least) lives on to this day? Or is the modern equivalent (a super computer in your pocket) the more sensible alternative in the 21st century. 

I am absolutely excited that surrounding counties/cities to Charlotte are finally realizing that robust transit options are the real answer, not simply more roads/lanes. Imagine that!

It is just a shame we will need to fight and scratch to even get the lumbering dinosaur (moderate speed heavy commuter rail) in place sometime in the next 5-30 years as East Asia and Europe continues to build the future. 

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14 minutes ago, orulz said:

Something needs to be done to bring Norfolk Southern to the table as a good faith negotiating partner. Their demand for dedicated commuter tracks is absurd. A shared, fully double-track corridor should be plenty to handle all manner of freight and passenger demand on everything except the mainline (to Gastonia/Salisbury) where three tracks may be needed in some places.

O-Line status: still torn up in Cornelius since last August.

2019-01-26 12.21.32.jpg

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8 minutes ago, tozmervo said:

O-Line status: still torn up in Cornelius since last August.

2019-01-26 12.21.32.jpg

That’s a makeshift bumping post. Looks like all of the customers north of this location are dormant or are no longer being rail served. CATS just needs the right politicians to champion the Red Line.  That’s how most of these matters get resolved. 

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Yeah so now that they are adopting "precision scheduled railroading" which generally means a heavier focus on mainlines and less emphasis on branch lines. They are expected to announce something about how this approach will affect their operations sometime in February. This may be an opportunity to go back to the table with them. When CSX adopted precision scheduling, they began a process of selling off non-core lines to shortlines. If NS does sell the O-line, I would expect the price to be in the vicinity of perhaps 100 to 200 million.

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28 minutes ago, orulz said:

Something needs to be done to bring Norfolk Southern to the table as a good faith negotiating partner. Their demand for dedicated commuter tracks is absurd. A shared, fully double-track corridor should be plenty to handle all manner of freight and passenger demand on everything except the mainline (to Gastonia/Salisbury) where three tracks may be needed in some places.

Maybe our esteemed Senator from Cornelius might ask one of his colleagues on the Senate Committee on Commerce , Science & Transportation to call NS and nicely ask why they are not cooperating with a documented need in his State.  

 https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/surfacetransportationandmerchantmarineinfrastructuresafetyandsecurity 

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