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CATS Long Term Transit Plan - Silver, Red Lines


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*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

This is a side note (and not picking on anyone!), but I think that we advocates should start pushing to use the term "regional rail" rather than "commuter rail." Commuter rail brings to mind a 9-5, pe

The simple answer is “nope.” A people mover makes 100% sense. First, CLT would be paying for it, not CATS. So that’s an immediate win. Case closed. However: Second, a people mover can circulate bett

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I came across this article the other day (https://tunnelingonline.com/why-tunnels-in-the-us-cost-much-more-than-anywhere-else-in-the-world/). Fascinating/amusing to me that TFL was able to build Crossrail/Elizabeth Line for a fraction of the cost of the 2nd Ave Subway in NYC (and I doubt we will see the entirety of the planned line completed to Downtown/Seaport in our lifetimes). 

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10 hours ago, LKN704 said:

I came across this article the other day (https://tunnelingonline.com/why-tunnels-in-the-us-cost-much-more-than-anywhere-else-in-the-world/). Fascinating/amusing to me that TFL was able to build Crossrail/Elizabeth Line for a fraction of the cost of the 2nd Ave Subway in NYC (and I doubt we will see the entirety of the planned line completed to Downtown/Seaport in our lifetimes). 

The US has the highest per mile construction costs for transit in the world by a LARGE margin... Throw tunnels in there... Phew...

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16 minutes ago, kermit said:

On the brighter side of the election, it looks like most transit tax referenda passed easily (including the ambitious Austin project). I have only found two exceptions so far, Gwinett County GA (second defeat in 2 years) and Portland. The virus does not appear to have damped the desire to expand transit.

It seems like Charlotte should have put a transit initiative on the ballot. Any reason they didn't?

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12 minutes ago, Blue_Devil said:

It seems like Charlotte should have put a transit initiative on the ballot. Any reason they didn't?

Yea, they don’t have their crap together yet. They are waiting on prelim engineering on the Silver Line for better costing information. In addition, it does not appear they know how they plan to structure the funding requests (sales, vs land vs ?? taxes). Lewis’ foot dragging on the process has been unconscionable, but so has his operational management so we are stuck in this weird purgatory. 

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1 hour ago, southslider said:

Gateway Station killed Silver Line

Yeah - CATS can’t walk and chew gum at the same time but I don’t think Gateway ‘killed’ SilverLine but there probably won’t be any ‘Big Bang’ ballot initiatives until possibly the next presidential election cycle in 2024.  That would put things on track for start of construction in late 2027/2028

Edited by Hushpuppy321
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1 hour ago, 49er said:

The Charlotte Moves Task Force is looking at something like what passed in Austin as a way forward. The referendum might include infrastructure other than transit. 

Hope they don’t tack too much stuff into the referendum that could compromise it. 

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Unless there is a senate surprise in Georgia it sounds like big budget increases for transit in the Biden administration are unlikely. That said, we can expect the new administration to pay out all of the FTA funding allocations (something the Trump admin never did) which is a positive for the Silver Line. The caveat is there is a significant backlog of projects waiting on funding since the tap was basically shut off the past four years.

https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grant-programs/capital-investments/current-capital-investment-grant-cig-projects  [the projects labeled **PD or NSE are waiting in line for funding]

On the bright side, it does sound like the Biden administration will refocus the TIGER / Build grant program back towards urban and non-highway projects and significantly increase the program budget.  I could see this being a useful source of income for Charlotte bike infrastructure (bridge over independence) and small transit projects like the new Southend rail station or a quick-start Seversville streetcar.

It might also be reasonable to expect existing budgets at the FRA to be allocated towards passenger improvements and Amtrak, so small improvements on the Piedmont route (including phase 2 of the still unused new equipment yard at Summit, and Harrisburg, Hillsborough and Lexington stations and possibly S-Line reconstruction) may be in the cards. Hopefully, the Triangle can get their commuter rail up and running as well (some FRA funds could help with capacity upgrades), success there would bode well for Charlotte's future with regional transit. 

 

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On 11/20/2020 at 11:50 AM, tozmervo said:

I wonder if an off-year referendum is better or worse for getting passed. The only positions on the Fall 2021 ballot will be city & CMS officials for all of the towns & city of charlotte. 

I think it’s very much a risk - referendums can be easily defeated during low turnout elections.  

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