Jump to content

CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red Lines


Recommended Posts


  • Replies 4.9k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

*cracks knuckles* here's my takeaways from the MTC meeting tonight: Red Line: The staff recommendation is to keep commuter rail on the O-line as the preferred option. What this largely boils do

I went to the Matthews Community meeting for the Silver Line station area planning last night and I thought y'all might appreciate some of the pictures/information from the event. I meant to take

Hushpuppy321, your question is the perfect segue into further discussions on the proper role of transit, and to do it justice requires more writing and reading than many can tolerate on a forum such a

Posted Images

1 hour ago, Hushpuppy321 said:

Does anyone know the ideal length of a LightRail Sytem?  Is there any such thing?  I had thought that your father flung suburbs like Monroe, Rock Hill, Gastonia, Mooresville, Kannapolis, etc. would be better served by Commuter Rail due to higher speed of travel and fewer stops.

There aren't really any cutoff values on the length of each mode. Technically you can build LRT and heavy rail as long as you want. But there are other, mostly financial, reasons why the length of LRT should be limited.

Light rail is well suited for short stop-spacing (every mile to 1/2 mile) thanks to vehicles that can accelerate quickly. Since LRT is also very expensive it only makes sense to build it in places where density makes that kind of stop spacing useful. There are enough low density areas between 485 and the outlying towns (like Rock Hill) that there is no need for a LRT-sized stop spacing so there is not point in spending a bunch of $$$ on LRT when commuter rail on existing tracks would be much cheaper and perform better.

The FTA will never let LRT vehicles use heavy rail tracks which are still used by heavy rail trains.

There are a few other issues like passenger comfort that need to be considered as well -- LRT trains don't generally have restroom facilities, that becomes important when rides start to get longer than 40 minutes or so.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

LRT to Rock Hill continues to gain steam.  Here’s a recent article from The Herald https://amp.heraldonline.com/news/local/article235625612.html 

@kermit has made an excellent point multiple times on this matter.  Regional Rail is the only viable rail option to Rock Hill.  

Regional rail (all day bi-directional service including weekends) would provide York County with excellent TOD opportunities especially in downtown Rock Hill. I-485, Tyvola, and the area around the Old Steele Creek Road overpass in West Charlotte would provide excellent LYNX connections. 

Edited by Seaboard Fellow
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

What do the members of UP think of the proposed sales tax for the arts? I have a feeling it's got at least a considerable chance of passing, and while I support the arts and parks, I worry that this tax increase will shelve the chance for a transit tax increase for the foreseeable future. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, nakers2 said:

What do the members of UP think of the proposed sales tax for the arts? I have a feeling it's got at least a considerable chance of passing, and while I support the arts and parks, I worry that this tax increase will shelve the chance for a transit tax increase for the foreseeable future. 

I can definitely see that happening as an effect of tax increase exhaustion

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the massive tax cuts at the federal and state, it would ironic for people to have tax increase exhaustion, but still possible/probable that they will.   People tend to be extremely sensitive to local taxes, even though that is the only tax that directly gets reinvested in their local community.  State taxes get redistributed across the state, and Charlotte is a donor county.  Federal taxes get redistributed across the country, and NC is a donor state.  

But people don't seem to reflect on any past tax cuts or tax growth avoidance as giving them somehow more capacity for other taxes.     People sure as hell do not view the frozen gas tax that didn't grow for 20 years as giving them more room to afford the tolls that are now necessary due to that frozen gas tax. 

 

We will see how the public views this particular tax, but it is sure clear that Charlotte needs the investments to support growth to the next level.   

 

There is a part of me that would not be surprised in the slightest if online retailers underpay the taxes they collect to the various jurisdictions.   There is so much open fraud in the world today, and I barely trust that I'll get a decent product when it arrives, but then I raise my eyebrows when they collect taxes.  I sure hope that gets sent to NC and Charlotte and Mecklenburg squarely.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, orulz said:

Umm.. something doesn't quite seem right about that? I thought the bike lane is supposed to pass behind the bus platform in those things?

The platform is the bike lane in this instance. It eliminates bike-bus conflicts & also prevents standing cars in the lane. It does increase the possibility of bike-pedestrian conflicts, but in this case I think that's an acceptable change (and a much safer conflict to deal with)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/1/2019 at 2:40 PM, Seaboard Fellow said:

LRT to Rock Hill continues to gain steam.  Here’s a recent article from The Herald https://amp.heraldonline.com/news/local/article235625612.html 

@kermit has made an excellent point multiple times on this matter.  Regional Rail is the only viable rail option to Rock Hill.  

Regional rail (all day bi-directional service including weekends) would provide York County with excellent TOD opportunities especially in downtown Rock Hill. I-485, Tyvola, and the area around the Old Steele Creek Road overpass in West Charlotte would provide excellent LYNX connections. 

Seems to me, I'm no expert, but Charlotte Metro has a golden opportunity to show some leadership and get this mass transit stuff right the first time.  Gateway station looks to be cluster since it does not integrate light rail; if I read things correct.  Why does it seem so hard to get folks to agree that an integrated mass transit system can do wonders for growth.  

Heavy rail from Rock Hill to station/hub that integrates to the  blue/silver line light rail system.  Which in turn integrates and intersects with SEHSR and red line to points north at gateway station.  Am I crazy for thinking this makes sense?

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, NcSc74 said:

Seems to me, I'm no expert, but Charlotte Metro has a golden opportunity to show some leadership and get this mass transit stuff right the first time.  Gateway station looks to be cluster since it does not integrate light rail; if I read things correct.  Why does it seem so hard to get folks to agree that an integrated mass transit system can do wonders for growth.  

Heavy rail from Rock Hill to station/hub that integrates to the  blue/silver line light rail system.  Which in turn integrates and intersects with SEHSR and red line to points north at gateway station.  Am I crazy for thinking this makes sense?

I'm not quite sure where Gateway plays into that article? Gateway is intended to receive any commuter rail lines that are constructed, and the silver line route has a stop at gateway, as well as the gold line. I'm not sure how much more integrated you can get.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

On paper, Gold Line will connect Gateway with Blue Line, but have you ever walked between the  built CTC stations of Gold and Blue Line?  It's not very direct or convenient. Similarly, the walk between the future Gateway and Gold Line platforms will also lack a direct path for regular transfers.

However, the current construction at Gateway is just tracks. No station. And no commuter rail. And good thing, since no Silver Line connection to Blue Line is funded either.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, tozmervo said:

The platform is the bike lane in this instance. It eliminates bike-bus conflicts & also prevents standing cars in the lane. It does increase the possibility of bike-pedestrian conflicts, but in this case I think that's an acceptable change (and a much safer conflict to deal with)

I think the situation I'm thinking of is where there is a protected bike lane that's behind parking. The bus stop platform goes where the parking goes, and there is a bridge across the bike lane from the sidewalk to the bus platform. Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I noticed back in March that Charmeck.org stopped posting the CATS Quarterly Reports to the FTA. I sent a polite email inquiry asking for the new links and they told me to file a public records request (eye roll). I filed it on June 14 and was sent the March and June 2019 reports today attached to a cordial email. I replyd  to thank them and ask if they could go ahead and send the September report as well -- they did (thanks to CATS for that).  I also asked if they could return to posting the report on their web site and this was the reply I got:

Quote

These reports while they’re public records are not public facing on charlottenc.gov.  They’re uploaded in the back office, so that an external link can be generated to give the FTA direct access to them.  You’re able to find them online via the search because they exist, but we do not provide public facing access to them directly from our site.

So it appears that there has been a change in policy (they were always made public in the past) rather than an oversight.

#ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmm

I'll dig through the reports later today....

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

September FTA Quarterly Report:

  • Bus ridership was flat. Blue Line ridership was up 13.8% YOY (July). Anecdotally I noticed a big additional jump at the start of this academic year (mid August) so it is not included here
  • From the BLE risk register (pdf p 23):
    Quote

    There are several outstanding quality issues that need to be resolved by the Track and Systems contractor, including track movement, EGM (gate mechanism), GVM (Ground Volt Monitor), and Public Address System. To assist the contractor in resolving these quality issues, the CM team is working with the contractor and their vendors to bring these issues to completion. This involves CATS, the CMC and the Designer troubleshooting these elements with support from the contractor team. The team has made progress related to EGMs (Highway Grade Crossing Warning System) and Public Address. Additional track movement was identified at Toby Creek during the summer months, and a speed restriction has been implemented. CATS is proceeding with bringing on a separate track contractor to inmplement a remedy for this movement. It is CATS opinion that this movement is caused by a deficiency with the contractor's installation. CATS has contracted with RJ Corman to remediate the Toby Creek curve issue during the October maintenance shutdown. The Track and Systems contractor has made significant progress on corrective work for the gate crossing mechanisms, and this work is expected to be completed in October. A possible solution (notch filters) for the EMI issue has been identified and is being investigated

    This solves the mystery of the UNCC slow zone and suggests that the work currently underway on N Tryon crossing gates may bring some improvements to BLE speed

  • Lots of talk of Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) on N Tryon crossing gates, work is underway to mitigate, projected finish date of the work is 5/20/20 (pdf p 23). Anecdotally, recent work has been underway and the N Tryin crossings appear to be much more reliable and trains -seem- to be moving faster through intersections.

  • Gold Line Vehicle #2 was shipped on 8/12/19, vehicle 3 is complete and undergoing factory testing

  • Phase 2 construction is scheduled for completion in March 2020 (really ???). "Substantial Project Construction Completion" is listed as September 2020 (????). "Target Revenue Service" date is February 2021

  • The possibility of a phased Gold Line opening is mentioned on pdf p 62 in the event of continued delays on Hawthorne Bridge

  • No mention of Silver Line in discussions of Gold Line Phase 2 construction

  • North Corridor BRT is far behind the schedule I had imagined. They released an RFQ to "develop the BRT concept further" in September 2019 -- this is a long way off.

  • Transit tax receipts were running 13% above target amounts in May

This report was briefer than previous reports

 

Edited by kermit
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading the Sept MTC meeting minutes.

Looks like extending all 2 car station to 3 car will be part of Pineville-Ballantyne extension(p13 in pdf)

https://charlottenc.gov/cats/about/boards/MTC Agendas/MTC_Agenda_Summary_190925.pdf

 

Lewis metioned this on Sept MTC meeting. <=25 miles

On 9/28/2019 at 2:18 PM, Hushpuppy321 said:

Does anyone know the ideal length of a LightRail Sytem?  Is there any such thing?  I had thought that your father flung suburbs like Monroe, Rock Hill, Gastonia, Mooresville, Kannapolis, etc. would be better served by Commuter Rail due to higher speed of travel and fewer stops.

 

Quote

 CATS CEO MR. LEWIS:  ......Really Light Rail as a method of transportation about as far as you can go on Light Rail is about 25 miles.  When you start to go beyond that and with stations every half mile to a mile, we could end up with a corridor that has 50 stations in it, it would take somebody four hours to get from one end to the other.  This is probably about as far as we can go on one corridor....

 

Edited by XRZ.ME
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a good example of how to do modern commuter rail is RTD's electrified commuter rail which runs on 15 minute headways on two of the three operational lines (the 4th will be 20 minute peak). Just learn from RTD and don't try to go overboard with PTC and cause flaggers to have to be stationed at every crossing for two years as well as delay the opening of one line for the same amount of time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, southslider said:

If the I-77 Express Lanes would ever fully open, North commuters would experience Charlotte's first decent BRT.

Each time the lanes get delayed, CATS has to push back the bus route changes to the next schedule change cycle, which is now February. They'll be able to make minor en-route changes, but not the full switch that adds a route to exit 23 and takes the busses in on Church St instead of Trade. They have to allow several weeks to communicate the route changes to passengers, prepare new signage, etc. With the moving target of an open date there's only so much prep they can do. 

  • Confused 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.