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CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red Lines

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21 minutes ago, kermit said:

I think CATS may may be a victim of bad timing over the next year. If the election plays out like the polls suggest (a big if), it sounds increasingly likely there will be a big infrastructure stimulus this winter (many say w a focus on climate change). I fear that the Silver Line won’t be far enough along in design and engineering to make it eligible for this batch of federal funds. There really aren’t any other transit projects that are ready to go. The three car platform expansion on the blue line seems doubly stupid in the age of COVID. I guess CATS could potentially order more vehicles and increase frequency on its routes (if operations funds were part of the stimulus).

I dunno, it seems like the city is well positioned, but we don’t have any real plans to leverage when its time to ask.

Cross Charlotte trail? Aggressive bike infrastructure expansion? Remove 277?  

I feel like you have to go after everything if Biden is elected. Silver, BLE, GLE, design studies on a future Red line. Make up a purple line if you need. Just take funds.

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5 hours ago, Blue_Devil said:

I feel like you have to go after everything if Biden is elected. Silver, BLE, GLE, design studies on a future Red line. Make up a purple line if you need. Just take funds.

Exactly - and can more be done with Gateway Station and Commuter Rail with lines from Huntersville and Rock Hill

Get Queens Park funded after acquiring Norfolk Southern tracks

Wishful thinking, but while acquiring land for Light Rail expansion, can we make each stop on the light rail a piazza?  Seems like a great opportunity for place-making.

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How is CATS financial situation? 
 

Some transit agencies need billions just to survive. Charlotte night have stiff competition from cities such as New York and others who might have a much larger need. 

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10 hours ago, LKN704 said:

To occupy my sanity whilst the debate was playing in the background, I composed this map: https://metromapmaker.com/?map=n-K817_Z

I think it's fairly accurate, although there may be a few geographic issues with my map. 

This is great! Old Concord needs to be added between Sugar Creek & Tom Hunter.

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Way beyond Charlotte (but perhaps relevant for Silver Line financing), the Public-Private Partnership financing and construction model used for O'ahu's Hart light rail has been killed off. The project is seven (7!) years behind schedule. This follows the collapse of the PPP being used for the Maryland Purple Line light rail project.

https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2020/10/06/mayor-urges-hart-pull-plug-private-public-partnership-process/

 

Edited by kermit

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York County is proceeding with its plan to update its long-range transportation plan and is holding two virtual public meetings on October 13 and 15, which should include some discussion of York County to Charlotte commuting.  Their last study from 2007 (if I remember correctly) recommended BRT on a widened highway 21 corridor.  It will be interesting to see what a revised study says about commuter rail or extending the blue line into York County.  I believe the rail right-of-way is the same track as the commuter train plan going up to Mooresville, so rolling out both lines and sharing vehicles could allow for a continuous rate from Mooresville to Rock Hill, which would be kind of cool. On the other hand, if I'm Mecklenburg County, maybe I don't appreciate SC and York County peeling off companies like LPL with tax incentives so they'll move 10 miles south, and I tell York County to go pound sand. I think they'll also get some analysis for a light rail extension to Rock Hill, probably considering routes along highway 21 and the NS right-of-way, but I'm guessing those options would not be feasible from either a cost or commuting time perspective.

http://www.rfats.org/rfats-2050-long-range-transportation-plan-update/?fbclid=IwAR15DXD2ilKV0_Vuywxu97LQRHyFkVlA9iArl8sXdVgfdRrWn66Mrf73O6I

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13 hours ago, RugbyPike#11 said:

York County is proceeding with its plan to update its long-range transportation plan and is holding two virtual public meetings on October 13 and 15, which should include some discussion of York County to Charlotte commuting.  Their last study from 2007 (if I remember correctly) recommended BRT on a widened highway 21 corridor.  It will be interesting to see what a revised study says about commuter rail or extending the blue line into York County.  I believe the rail right-of-way is the same track as the commuter train plan going up to Mooresville, so rolling out both lines and sharing vehicles could allow for a continuous rate from Mooresville to Rock Hill, which would be kind of cool. On the other hand, if I'm Mecklenburg County, maybe I don't appreciate SC and York County peeling off companies like LPL with tax incentives so they'll move 10 miles south, and I tell York County to go pound sand. I think they'll also get some analysis for a light rail extension to Rock Hill, probably considering routes along highway 21 and the NS right-of-way, but I'm guessing those options would not be feasible from either a cost or commuting time perspective.

http://www.rfats.org/rfats-2050-long-range-transportation-plan-update/?fbclid=IwAR15DXD2ilKV0_Vuywxu97LQRHyFkVlA9iArl8sXdVgfdRrWn66Mrf73O6I

I can't see the blue line being extended into Rock Hill, especially if the current plan of extending the line to into Ballantyne comes to fruition. Commuter rail makes more sense for Rock Hill. I just wonder if it is possible for the Blue Line and the commuter rail to possibly share a stop somewhere as a transfer point.

BRT makes sense as well as long as there are dedicated bus only lanes. As of now 77 and most roads around it are a parking lot during non-covid rush hour.

Edited by norm21499

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12 minutes ago, norm21499 said:

I can't see the blue line being extended into Rock Hill, especially if the current plan of extending the line to into Ballantyne comes to fruition. Commuter rail makes more sense for Rock Hill. I just wonder if it is possible for the Blue Line and the commuter rail to possibly share a stop somewhere as a transfer point.

BRT makes sense as well as long as there are dedicated bus only lanes. As of now 77 and most roads around it are a parking lot during non-covid rush hour.

Yeah, I think you could do transfers at any of the stops from Tyvola south. If you work in Gateway, hopping on the commuter train from a transfer station would be a better commute than hitting all of the blue line stops and then walking almost a mile from the uptown stop. 

I wouldn’t mind BRT, but I think a commuter train would be the best option for the 2050 plan. For the next 30 years (like 2070 or 2080), or if you can just get a dumptruck of Green New Deal funds, then you look at Blue Line extension.  There’s a ton of empty land along highway 21 where York County could have some higher density corridors. The commuter train could help spur density in the downtowns and a few other areas along the way.  I’ve spent a lot of time staring at the NS tracks and satellite maps. 

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2 hours ago, RugbyPike#11 said:

I may have gone overboard. I consider this itch well scratched.

Charlotte transit - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1k6hMDX6QVUqsDa_z1fN5qlKOqucI4HAt&usp=sharing

 

Your turn to the NW in Rock Hill to serve Winthrop is genius. Not much track reconstruction to send those trains to York which would be a great terminus (assuming speeds are decent).

Given the good condition of the tracks the green line should probably run to Kings Mountain (Bessemer City) and Salisbury/Spencer at the other end.

In a money is no object world, the map makes me want a circular rail line along Billy Graham, Woodlawn, Wendover, Eastway which would connect nearly all of the lines. 

 

 

Edited by kermit
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8 hours ago, kermit said:

Your turn to the NW in Rock Hill to serve Winthrop is genius. Not much track reconstruction to send those trains to York which would be a great terminus (assuming speeds are decent).

Given the good condition of the tracks the green line should probably run to Kings Mountain (Bessemer City) and Salisbury/Spencer at the other end.

In a money is no object world, the map makes me want a circular rail line along Billy Graham, Woodlawn, Wendover, Eastway which would connect nearly all of the lines. 

 

 

Ask and you shall receive.  This version contains:

Blue Line (with layer for extension to Ballantyne)
Gold Line including future
Silver Line
Red Line commuter rail from Mt. Mourne to York County (connecting downtowns York, Rock Hill, Fort Mill, and Pineville)
Green Line commuter rail from Kings Mountain to Salisbury

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1Aw7MbnDaGDMhoK5OXwbMUFPkg2-Zndjz&usp=sharing

Since we're going wish list, I tried to extend the red line to Mooresville instead of stopping at Mt Mourne, but the system is being finicky this morning and not always saving changes.  I'll have to noodle a little more on your circular connector idea, because now I'm trying to think if there would be a good way to connect the Southpark business district and mall by adjusting your route further south.  If you're talking 2100 and we haven't destroyed the world, then these routes all seem plausible.  I'm uncertain how self-driving vehicle technology will impact fixed rail.  I think the most efficient system would be self-driving ride share services funneling people towards transit for longer commutes, but I think the vehicle manufacturers will be lobbying to suppress public transit so they can sell more personal and fleet vehicles. I wonder something similar about freight. Will freight train use decrease when you don't have to pay as much labor for your truck driver (I picture a future driver managing a convoy of mostly autonomous freight vehicles)?  Or will there be some kind of automation where driverless trucks pick a container up off a train, and then are unloaded at sorting warehouses for final distribution?  The answers could make all of this look different in the future.

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Somewhat of a random question, but did acceptance of CARES Act funding specifically require transit operators maintain their pre-COVID normal frequencies? I know CATS was given 10.5 million dollars in funding but I can't seem to find any data regarding a change of frequency. 

I only ask because this was the Metro in DC 45 minutes ago:

IMG_2529.thumb.jpeg.1f3a8a3c19c69e159696603da0083e0f.jpeg

I'm all for reducing headways as they are extremely important for stimulating ridership.  Having trains arrive every 4 minutes in the middle of the pandemic is borderline fiscally irresponsible. I was one of three on the platform. The inbound platform had no one on it, and it appeared that trains were due to arrive within a similar frequency (3 trains every 3/4 minutes). When I got off at my stop, I was the only one I saw disembarking, and there was no one waiting on the inbound platform. 

The irony of all of this is that Metro is in the middle of a huge marketing campaign boasting about service cuts scheduled to take effect in 2021 due to COVID-induced low ridership that will see headways drastically increase and a number of turn-backs go into effect on some lines to save operating costs. 

My point I guess I am making is that could Metro (and other transit agencies) have saved some of the stimulus money for 2021 if they didn't dramatically decrease headways/service so quickly?

Edited by LKN704
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Drove out Central ave today to check out the bus lanes. They were kinda disappointing, really nothing more than a solid white line separating lanes and a BUS ONLY paint a couple times per block. At the start of each block is a small overhead sign that says Bus Only (but its not very noticeable).  Given their understatedness its not a surprise that they are getting ignored by drivers and the lanes are seeing a good bit of car traffic. Since this section of Central flows pretty well I am not sure this trial is going to be viewed as much of a success.

Edited by kermit
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Ask and you shall receive.  This version contains:
Blue Line (with layer for extension to Ballantyne)
Gold Line including future
Silver Line
Red Line commuter rail from Mt. Mourne to York County (connecting downtowns York, Rock Hill, Fort Mill, and Pineville)
Green Line commuter rail from Kings Mountain to Salisbury
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1Aw7MbnDaGDMhoK5OXwbMUFPkg2-Zndjz&usp=sharing
Since we're going wish list, I tried to extend the red line to Mooresville instead of stopping at Mt Mourne, but the system is being finicky this morning and not always saving changes.  I'll have to noodle a little more on your circular connector idea, because now I'm trying to think if there would be a good way to connect the Southpark business district and mall by adjusting your route further south.  If you're talking 2100 and we haven't destroyed the world, then these routes all seem plausible.  I'm uncertain how self-driving vehicle technology will impact fixed rail.  I think the most efficient system would be self-driving ride share services funneling people towards transit for longer commutes, but I think the vehicle manufacturers will be lobbying to suppress public transit so they can sell more personal and fleet vehicles. I wonder something similar about freight. Will freight train use decrease when you don't have to pay as much labor for your truck driver (I picture a future driver managing a convoy of mostly autonomous freight vehicles)?  Or will there be some kind of automation where driverless trucks pick a container up off a train, and then are unloaded at sorting warehouses for final distribution?  The answers could make all of this look different in the future.


Ask and you shall receive.  This version contains:
.....

Awesome, that's really cool!

What about a short extension of the northeastern Blue Line to connect to a commuter station at University City Blvd/Mallard Creek Church Rd?
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Just thinking out loud, a terminus station on the grounds of the NC Transportation museum at Spencer would be pretty sweet. Not to mention it is state land with plenty of space for layover tracks.

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Wow, Austin looks phenomenal!

Austin is a more progressive city than Nashville, and its progressiveness accelerates each day. It’s also in what looks like a newly purple state that is trending more liberal, whereas Nashville is in a deep red state.

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40 minutes ago, DCMetroRaleigh said:

Wow, Austin looks phenomenal!

Austin is a more progressive city than Nashville, and its progressiveness accelerates each day. It’s also in what looks like a newly purple state that is trending more liberal, whereas Nashville is in a deep red state.

Nashville's progressive neighborhoods also get watered down by the fact that it's a metro government with Davidson county. 

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Unfortunately, and I'm just speculating here, being completely honest in your planning can kill a project.  Every dollar added to a project is some vote lost.

We really need to raise these discussions to the federal level as was done to build an interstate system of highways. Having Congress consider the future of the country and not only their state or re-election chances is impossible in today's toxic environment though. 

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18 hours ago, elrodvt said:

Unfortunately, and I'm just speculating here, being completely honest in your planning can kill a project.  Every dollar added to a project is some vote lost.

We really need to raise these discussions to the federal level as was done to build an interstate system of highways. Having Congress consider the future of the country and not only their state or re-election chances is impossible in today's toxic environment though. 

I am not sure I agree that the emphasis should be on the cost of a transit project. I think the emphasis should be on the benefits generated by a project. Both the immediate (travel time improvements for some) and the long-term (tax revenue increases thanks to densification and carbon output reductions) should be included in these discussions. Transit cost-benefit analysis in Germany prices reduced carbon outputs at 200eur per ton IIRC. I think we need better ways to calculate (and broadcast) the positive economic impacts of transit along with being more clear about the heavy costs of continuing to be auto dependent, these costs include secondhand impacts such as air quality degradation but also more existential ones like climate change.

IMO a well-reasoned and through discussion of the benefits of transit would end all (non-ideological)  opposition to it.

Edited by kermit
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