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

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^ huh, The Silver Line is gonna run along side the NS tracks through town? Too bad they didn't know this when they were designing the new bridges for Gateway station....

They also need to get their story straight on the rail trail though Uptown. Bikes are frowned upon going through 3rd st, CTC and 7th street, something will need to change if its planned to be a N-S  bike throughway.

#GezzIamSlow

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32 minutes ago, kermit said:

^ huh, The Silver Line is gonna run along side the NS tracks through town? Too bad they didn't know this when they were designing the new bridges for Gateway station....

They also need to get their story straight on the rail trail though Uptown. Bikes are frowned upon going through 3rd st, CTC and 7th street, something will need to change if its planned to be a N-S  bike throughway.

#GezzIamSlow

If only there was the political will (or $500MM dollars) to build a cut and cover tunnel beneath uptown to connect to Gateway :(

Dallas DART went underground to connect their LRT to downtown... Just sayin'

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I note that the Charlotte Transit Center will be closed for the week of the NBA All-Star game, as it was for the 2019 Democratic National Convention, and will be, I assume, for the 2020 Republican National Convention.  During the All-Star Game week, city bus transfers will take place at a surface lot on 7th Street.

If the existing Transit Center is not suitable for special events (concerns about  congestion,  crime, street people, whatever), why is it deemed to be OK during other times?  The current location makes little sense.  The city bus center should be moved to the Gateway Center.  Some passengers will still need to get from the Blue Line to Gateway, but the tunnel idea floated a couple of months ago is absurd.  Close Trade Street to vehicular traffic between the Blue Line and Gateway, and run a shuttle (free to people who hold Blue Line tickets) up and down Trade Street.  This could be trolleys on tracks parallel to the Gold Line, or an automated people mover, or open-sided buses.

I assume the City and/or County owns the land under the CTC.  Selling it to a private developer could go a long way toward paying for an addition to the Gateway Center to accommodate city busses.  Get rid of the Transit Center, and the land under it, and both it and the surface lot across 4th Street from it become two of the most valuable parcels in town.

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Do they have any statistics available on what percentage of passengers using the Transit Center are making a connection to the Blue Line or Gold Line? Percentage of passengers destined for Tryon St area should be a factor as well. I feel like that would provide insight on whether or not the current location adjacent to rail is important. 

Edited by CLT2014

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Based on observation as a train rider roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of Blue line traffic uses the CTC for bus transfers ( based on the number of people walking down the ramp to the CTC)

Edited by kermit
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33 minutes ago, southernnorthcarolina said:

If the existing Transit Center is not suitable for special events (concerns about  congestion,  crime, street people, whatever), why is it deemed to be OK during other times?  The current location makes little sense.  The city bus center should be moved to the Gateway Center.  Some passengers will still need to get from the Blue Line to Gateway, but the tunnel idea floated a couple of months ago is absurd.  Close Trade Street to vehicular traffic between the Blue Line and Gateway, and run a shuttle (free to people who hold Blue Line tickets) up and down Trade Street.  This could be trolleys on tracks parallel to the Gold Line, or an automated people mover, or open-sided buses.

For the political conventions and all-star game, the area around the arena is considered a "clean zone," and everyone inside has been screened.

While you mentioned the significant impact to bus service, train service will also be impacted. Blue Line riders will have to exit at 3rd and 7th, going through a security sweep, and then will be allowed back on the train to pass by the arena. CTC blue line station will not be serviced. 

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1 hour ago, CLT2014 said:

Do they have any statistics available on what percentage of passengers using the Transit Center are making a connection to the Blue Line or Gold Line? Percentage of passengers destined for Tryon St area should be a factor as well. I feel like that would provide insight on whether or not the current location adjacent to rail is important. 

 

51 minutes ago, kermit said:

Based on observation as a train rider roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of Blue line traffic uses the CTC for bus transfers ( based on the number of people walking down the ramp to the CTC)

 

Of course, whether the city bus transfer point remains in its current location, or is moved to Gateway, it will be adjacent to some rail, but not all of it.  It seems to me better by far to have quick connections to the Red, Silver, and Gold Lines, plus Amtrak, plus Greyhound, than to be adjacent to only the Blue and Gold Lines.  They might want to wait until they're sure there will be a Silver and/or Red Line before they move the city bus facility.

Whether the city bus facility is moved or not, some form of shuttle between the Blue Line and Gateway would seem to be a requirement.

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RE Shuttle to Blue Line from Gateway: Won't the Gold Line and Silver Line both serve in that role?

(Gold Line frequency really needs to be at sub 5 minute levels all day long!)

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4 minutes ago, kermit said:

RE Shuttle to Blue Line from Gateway: Won't the Gold Line and Silver Line both serve in that role?

(Gold Line frequency really needs to be at sub 5 minute levels all day long!)

 

The shuttle would logically need to follow a part of the Gold Line route, but I'd think it would need a parallel track to keep the way clear for the longer trolley trips.

Same applies for the Silver Line.  Even if they routed it from Gateway, down Trade, then left to the Blue Line track before branching off toward Independence, it sems to me you'd still need a separate track for the shuttle.

 

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1 hour ago, CLT704 said:

Couldn't the streetcar just act as the shuttle?? Otherwise it's redundant.

 

The shuttle could be a streetcar, but as I see it, it would still need a separate track.  Let's say the shuttle has three stops:  Gateway, The Square, and the Blue Line.  One car, back and forth, maybe 10-15 minutes for a round trip.  What happens when the Gold Line Trolley wanders in from Eastland, bound for Johnson C. Smith?  Somehow, the shuttle would have to get out of the way.  You could have a siding, I suppose, but a parallel track would be better.

If the Silver Line were routed down Trade, you'd have three parallel rail lines -- all the more reason to close Trade to vehicles other than transit and emergency vehicles.  Under this scenario, I'd also close two  blocks of Tryon to vehicles other than transit -- 4th to Trade to 5th.  And consider depressing the three tracks about 10 feet below grade in the first block of West Trade, with pedestrian crossings above, and take advantage of the slope in the first block of East Trade, where the tracks would return to grade.  Boarding at The Square stop wound be midway between Tryon and College.

As I said on another thread, making downtown streets pedestrian only is dicey.  It has failed in numerous places due to a deadening effect -- notoriously in Raleigh's Fayetteville Street Mall.  But if done in a small area, in places which are already densly developed, and enlivened by trains and trolleys, it could work.  The paired one-way streets  of 4th and 5th, and College and Church, could pick up the traffic load of Tryon and Trade.

 

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5 hours ago, CLT704 said:

Couldn't the streetcar just act as the shuttle?? Otherwise it's redundant.

I always thought that one of the main purposes of the Gold-Line WAS to shuttle people from the future Gateway Station to the existing Blue-Line/CTC. Hopefully frequencies will be increased from the current projections and it will be free to ride. The only way to increase frequency would be to purchase more shorty s70’s though, at which point I could totally see CATS start charging for streetcar rides.

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5 hours ago, lit said:

The only way to increase frequency would be to purchase more shorty s70’s though, at which point I could totally see CATS start charging for streetcar rides.

Once the current phase of construction is completed, streetcar will no longer be free to ride.

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1 hour ago, southslider said:

Once the current phase of construction is completed, streetcar will no longer be free to ride.

Welp, that sucks. Doesn’t it seem like that would deter people from riding if they only had to go a few blocks?

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2 hours ago, lit said:

Welp, that sucks. Doesn’t it seem like that would deter people from riding if they only had to go a few blocks?

Yeah, not a ton of people are going to pay $2.20 each way just to get from Gateway Village to a lunch on College Street unless they have a pass.

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There's also an ongoing discussion at CPCC whether or not to partner with CATS to offer transit passes to students and faculty, in a similar fashion to UNCC.

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2 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

Yeah, not a ton of people are going to pay $2.20 each way just to get from Gateway Village to a lunch on College Street unless they have a pass.

I mean, I’m not gonna hop on it at the Epicenter to hitch a ride back up the hill to Tilt if I gotta wait 15-20 minutes, THEN pay them $2. I could hop on a rickshaw or rent a scooter. 

 

Also, I was really excited that the Gold Line is going to connect JCSU, JWU, and CPCC to each other (and to UNCC via the Blue Line), but it won’t do any good if the students have to pay to ride it.

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22 minutes ago, lit said:

Also, I was really excited that the Gold Line is going to connect JCSU, JWU, and CPCC to each other (and to UNCC via the Blue Line), but it won’t do any good if the students have to pay to ride it.

The schools need to get on the ball here, just like UNC Charlotte, get the transportation fee (and it is a discounted fee) to be added to every student and allow for student ID to be the pass - problem solved.

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For CPCC it should be a no-brainer to follow UNC Charlotte's example.

Many of the CPCC campuses fall along or near the Blue,  Silver and Gold lines -- the only outlier is the Merancas Campus in Huntersville

image.png.0925c7e71dd502ccbe3b4e1816786f07.png

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