Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Blazer85

Mass Transit around Greater Birmingham

Should Birmingham bring back their streetcars?  

41 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Birmingham bring back their streetcars?

    • Yes
      37
    • No
      2
    • Undecided
      2


Recommended Posts

Birmingham is currently considering reopening streetcar lines throughout the city. Here's some background to consider. I was just reading random stuff on the BJCTA website and found a couple of interesting facts.

-1884 Birmingham's Street Railway Company opened with five lines

-1891 First electric streetcar began operation

-1925 Birmingham Railway and Electric Company Streetcar system operated over 80 miles of track and carried 56 million revenue passengers

-1948 Ridership reached an all time peak at 93 million passengers

93 million!! Good heavens!

No wonder Birmingham was said to have had the 2nd most extensive streetcar system in the nation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


^ People were getting rid of them everywhere in the 1950s. Cars became more affordable, and anywhere people could buy them, they did. Toronto (which has/had one of the more extensive streetcar networks in the world) maintained theirs through all of those years... primarily because Toronto had a large population of poor that could not afford cars. BHM, however, had a large enough population that bought cars that it significantly hurt the industry. Streetcars were also once very popular in Cleveland and Cincinnati as well. When Birmingham, Cleveland, and Cincinnati discontinued their streetcar lines, Toronto bought most of those cities streetcars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, of course the city should.  I heard it will be fairly cheap to re-open some lines, because all the city did, was just pave over the tracks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yup...It would not be that costly. B'ham has an extensive track network. The only concern is that the areas in which the tracks run are in generally run-down blighted areas. For example East lake and Woodlawn. Those area of town used to thrive with activity. Now most of the people who commute to work live in areas that do not have existing lines. (ie 280, Trussville, and Hoover). I still would be behind it though. It might even bring some deveoplers back to the table to enhance the quality of life along B'ham's abandoned corridors. Here is hoping for the best. :thumbsup: Btw, it would not be a bad idea at all to put one on 20th street. That would be awesome. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ People were getting rid of them everywhere in the 1950s.  Cars became more affordable, and anywhere people could buy them, they did.  Toronto (which has/had one of the more extensive streetcar networks in the world) maintained theirs through all of those years... primarily because Toronto had a large population of poor that could not afford cars.  BHM, however, had a large enough population that bought cars that it significantly hurt the industry.  Streetcars were also once very popular in Cleveland and Cincinnati as well.  When Birmingham, Cleveland, and Cincinnati discontinued their streetcar lines, Toronto bought most of those cities streetcars.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, blazer, it was more complicated than that. National City Lines, a bogus streetcar company owned by General Motors and other major auto/oil interests, bought up most of the streetcar lines in this country, and this began before the 1950s.

Read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_City_Lines

and this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motor...tcar_conspiracy

I didn't believe my college professor when he told our class about this. Unfortunately, it's true.

The apologists for suburban sprawl would have you believe that their cash cow came about because of market forces. Ruthless power politics had more to do with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The return of streetcars to Birmingham would be a major coup for the city. Hopefully a decent mayor will get elected eventually, and make it happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG how we need a viable transit system. Here is an update on that.

Alternatives Analysis For Streetcar Environmental Study Progresses

Phase II of the Alternatives Analysis has commensed with the selection of the firm DMJM & Harris to lead a

team of consultants to evaluate corridors and modes in the downtown Birmingham and UAB/Southside areas.

While the focus of the study is mostly in the downtown area, its emphasis on transit is regional and will serve

as the framework for a regional system.

This project constitutes the advancement of one of the transit system plan elements, the downtown streetcar

project. In order for this project to advance within the prescribed federal guidelines and receive federal funding,

it must complete both a corridor level Alternatives Analysis (AA) and the corresponding Draft Environmental

Impact Statement (DEIS). The RPC, in cooperation with the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit

Authority, will work with DMJM & Harris who will conduct the technical work needed to complete this phase

of the regional transit plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, almost the same thing happened here in Greenville, SC. But the thing with that is, the system was shut down for about six months. They had had to figure out what happened. And to tell you the truth I don't think we ever did. Everything

just came back on line, with less of everything though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, almost the same thing happened here in Greenville, SC. But the thing with that is, the system was shut down for about six months. They had had to figure out what happened. And to tell you the truth I don't think we ever did. Everything

just came back on line, with less of everything though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

WOW !!! MAJIKMAN, I had NO idea that happened in Greenville ! What year was that in???

A2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not know if you guys read this or not, but this is not exactly a great way to get an Urban Core back on its feet. I think some corrupt official was skimming off of the top.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

2 words: PHIL GARY

That man is about as corrupt as most politcians in Montgomery. Him and those 3 transit board members little deed of firing the transit manager after he was efficiently running the system. I just want to kick all 4 of them dead in their asses. :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I consider this one of those "scare tactics" that the state of Alabama and its municipalities use way too much. However, no matter what the situation is down in Birmingham, the state needs to invest in an adequate mass transit system for all of its cities, especially the Big 4. The state has plenty of money, but it's all going into "special projects" that never happen.

Though I have never seen a route map for MAX, I'm guessing they are "buses to nowhere",getting you from the ghetto to the ghetto, so that's why nobody rides on them. But Huntsville's transit system has operated for 15 years with this method, and it's in no danger of shutting down, which makes me think this situation is a bunch of bull.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

jmanhsv is right, the state needs to adequately fund mass transit for the big 4. The backward drones at ALDOT don't think about anything but building or widening highways.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The chairwoman of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority was removed from her leadership position Wednesday. This happened 4 days after board members said they were dissatisfied with her leadership and asked her to step down.

I swear Phil Gary is the reason why that board keeps having problems. At the rate their going Birmingham would never have an adequate and efficient mass transit system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, I agree. It seemed that this woman was destined to make things happen with mass transit in Birmingham, but it looks like they might have taken a step back. I do hope they get the transit issue fixed in Birmingham so the city can enjoy having the system instead of having it be a burden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's happening again:

BJCTA might be forced to cut services even more

I swear this region's negligence towards the poor and disabled is AMAZING. Why can't the Jefferson County legislators vote to allow the BJCTA to be efficiently funded. It is embarassing. The people of this region needs to step up and vote some mofos out of office in Jefferson County.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you man. It is totally embarassing to see how some of these guys can't work together in Birmingham. This is the type of mentality that is hurting Birmingham, and letting every other major city in the state start to catch up to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you man. It is totally embarassing to see how some of these guys can't work together in Birmingham. This is the type of mentality that is hurting Birmingham, and letting every other major city in the state start to catch up to it.

Take a look at Birmingham's metro area and count the number of other municipalities within Jefferson County alone. There are too many other suburbs that are looking out for their own self-interests instead of working together (or *gasp* consolidating) as one cohesive unit to achieve common goals. Birmingham had better start annexing land in northwest Jefferson County before those suburbs to the north and west grow larger and more powerful.

I am beginning to believe this is one of the largest problems the Birmingham has, aside from piss-poor leadership. If there were less municipalities in the area, I honestly think that would solve half of the problems right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This also happened in Charleston a few years ago. CARTA went completely broke and stopped running busses altogether. The result is that it showed everyone how much transit was needed, and the County passed a half-cent sales tax to fund it. Sometimes you have to do that to make it work (and it seems to do the trick).

I am suprised to learn that a city the size of Birminham is having problems with transit funding though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take a look at Birmingham's metro area and count the number of other municipalities within Jefferson County alone. There are too many other suburbs that are looking out for their own self-interests instead of working together (or *gasp* consolidating) as one cohesive unit to achieve common goals. Birmingham had better start annexing land in northwest Jefferson County before those suburbs to the north and west grow larger and more powerful.

I am beginning to believe this is one of the largest problems the Birmingham has, aside from piss-poor leadership. If there were less municipalities in the area, I honestly think that would solve half of the problems right there.

Birmingham and Jefferson County should really look at consolidation of governments and do away with all the small municipalities. I know the "over the mountain" communities would never agree, but this would be such a positive step and help issues like the transit issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This also happened in Charleston a few years ago. CARTA went completely broke and stopped running busses altogether. The result is that it showed everyone how much transit was needed, and the County passed a half-cent sales tax to fund it. Sometimes you have to do that to make it work (and it seems to do the trick).

I am suprised to learn that a city the size of Birminham is having problems with transit funding though.

I see what you mean, but we have some of the most selfish individuals on this planet in Alabama. The charitable atmosphere around here is a front. They would treat the trash on the sidewalk better than the poor and disabled here. Most people w/o a car or a ride to work either wind up losing their job because they can't get there or have to quit, thus the vicious cycle continues. We have voters who systematically continue to vote incompetent individuals who call themselves politicians into office just because they bring home the bacon. Many "Over the Mountain" and western Jefferson County politicians don't believe mass transit will benefit them in any form whatsoever. There is a known saying around Birmingham that says "Bubba wouldn't give up his pick-up to ride a bus or train". The fact that we've had so many plan proposals to fund mass transit in Jefferson County from the BARTA plan tied into MAPS, vehicle registration fees, to the current extension of the county occupational tax to include lawyers, doctors, and business owners that I have literally given up. What should have been done is allow some of the revenue from gax taxes to fund it, but oh well. Some people here are so dead driven to inhibit efficient public transit in this state that in fact they would be glad to see the BJCTA system shut down permanently and never restart it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.