mcheiss

Proposed Light Rail Systems

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There seems to be a big trend in today's cities for a push towards light rail and transit related projects.

In my community of Northwest Arkansas, we are considering a 10-stop light Rail system that would cost anywhere between $550 Million to $1.2 Billion.

I would like to know who else is planning light rail systems in the U.S.

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There has been a study in New Orleans which was funded by the U.S. government, to study and plan for a LRT system going from downtown New Orleans, west through Metairie and Kenner, and ending at Armstrong International Airport.

http://www.east-westcorridor.com/transitAlt.html

There have also been many new plans and ideas for LRT's connecting New Orleans to Baton Rouge and Slidell, and LRT's that would stretch over Lake Ponchartrain, and connect the northern suburbs with New Orleans.

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I will name a few that I know about. (there are pinned discussions UrbanPlanet for all of these. check the subforum for the city)

Charlotte

Is building its first Light Rail Line. It should open in early 2008. Proposed is an additional LRT and there is active work to build a Commuter Rail line into town. The CR line, if it remains on schedule, will open in 2009-10. Residents voted in a 1/2 cent mass transit sales tax which is helping to pay for the line.

South Light Rail Discussion on UP

Charlotte Commuter Rail Discussion on UP

Raleigh-Durham

Has a proposal to build a 35 mile regional commuter rail line connecting the two cities together. This system is more LRT like than commuter rail like as it will be doubled tracked and the vehicles will travel on a schedule more like a LRT. This proposal is awating a final decision from the FRA for federal funding, but is having problems with the new tigher rules for ridership numbers.

Triangle Rail Transit Discussion on UP

Orlando

Has a proposal for a 64 mile regional commuter rail line connecting four counties together. The state recently pledged $200M towards the line which will go a long way to get federal matching funds. If it remains on schedule it will open sometime in 2009-2010. Full operation by 2011.

Central Florida Commuter Rail Discussion on UP

Nashville

Is currently building its first commuter rail line. This has to be the most cost effective line built in modern history. I believe it is a 30+ mile starter line with 5 stations that should open in 2006. It was also a very fast project and should be used as an example of how rail transit can be stated for low cost as I believe the entire cost of the line was less than $40M. There are proposals to extend this system with 4-5 more lines.

Nashville Commuter Rail discussion on UP

Edited by metro.m

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Miami has plans for a street car system connecting it's northern inner ring neighborhoods to downtown. There are also plans for a light rail line to connect Downtown and South Beach, but those have been shelved as of now.

Fort Lauderdale has plans for a small street car type line serving it's downtown.

St. Petersburg, FL has release plans for a monorail system serving most of Pinellas county.

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Jacksonville, FL

JTA is currently studying operating a commuter rail line connecting Jax, with St. Augustine, to the south, and Fernandina Beach, to the north. Funding would come from private companies and investors, interested in developing TODs. However, these plans are currently taking a backseat to JTA's plans for BRT. Hopefully, the current projects in Charlotte, Orlando and Nashville, will help push JTA to speed up the process.

http://jacksonville.bizjournals.com/jackso...ry8.html?page=2

Edited by thelakelander

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Norfolk, VA

Norfolk has gotten approval for fedral funding for the city's light rail project - under certain conditions. The federal gov't insists that the city limit the amount of parking to encourge people to use the system. The city also has to purchase an unused rail corridor for the starter line from Norfolk-based rail giant Norfolk Southern Corporation.

Check out the proposal here:

http://www.hrtransit.org/lrt/index.asp

Article from Va. Pilot announcing project endorsement from the FTA

http://www.hrtransit.org/lrt/pdf/push.pdf

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I believe Charlotte is planning an LRT system, and commuter system between Austin and San Antonio are also planned. Great for NW AR to plan a light rail. For that area and the size, it's great.

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Honolulu Hawaii is proposing one. They actually had the opportunity to build one back in '97 I believe, but a couple of idiots in city council voted against it so it was short two votes of passing. Fastforward to now, the traffic problem has only gotten worse and the city is going to have to pay millions of dollars more to build that same rail system.

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Honolulu Hawaii is proposing one. They actually had the opportunity to build one back in '97 I believe, but a couple of idiots in city council voted against it so it was short two votes of passing. Fastforward to now, the traffic problem has only gotten worse and the city is going to have to pay millions of dollars more to build that same rail system.

Do you have an exact estimate on that rail system?

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There are very preliminary studies being done for light rail or BRT on 2 routes heading south out of Providence. The mayor keeps speaking about LRT, but there are no official plans or funding yet.

Rhode Island is focused on Commuter Rail right now. We currently have MBTA Commuter Rail service from Providence to Boston, and that is going to be extended south further into Rhode Island to serve T.F. Green Aiport and several stops south of the airport. There's also the possibility that Connecticut's Shoreline East Commuter Rail could be extended into Southern Rhode Island. And the city of Pawtucket is looking to open a Commuter Rail station on the current Providence to Boston line.

There is a propsal by a group of private investers to create a rail shuttle line on Aquidneck Island serving Newport. This could run with DMUs. The rail bridge to Aquidneck Island needs to be replaced, if this is done, the shuttle service could eventually run to Fall River, Massachusetts and connect to a proposed Commuter Rail line from Fall River to Boston.

In Boston, the MBTA recently gave high priority status to a proposal to extend the greenline LRT north into the city of Somerville.

GreenLine001.jpg

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Nashville

Is currently building its first commuter rail line. This has to be the most cost effective line built in modern history. I believe it is a 30+ mile starter line with 5 stations that should open in 2006. It was also a very fast project and should be used as an example of how rail transit can be stated for low cost as I believe the entire cost of the line was less than $40M. There are proposals to extend this system with 4-5 more lines.

Nashville Commuter Rail discussion on UP

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in South Carolina, Greenville and Charleston are in the process of planning light rail.

Nationally there is a 45 year waiting list to get federal funding for LRT, so there are alot of communities out there.

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in South Carolina, Greenville and Charleston are in the process of planning light rail.

Nationally there is a 45 year waiting list to get federal funding for LRT, so there are alot of communities out there.

Wow, I didn't know it was that long!!

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in South Carolina, Greenville and Charleston are in the process of planning light rail.

Nationally there is a 45 year waiting list to get federal funding for LRT, so there are alot of communities out there.

I think the US is far behind in this category. While cars have been the main mode of transportation around the country for decades, minds are changing as the price of oil continues to climb dramatically. People are far more willing to look at alternative methods of transportation, and hopefully the Government will respond with a more amitious plan.

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I think it is desperately needed and many communities are wise to be thinking of it. But how many of these lines have also been turned into BRT systems, that ultimately don't do so well?

Are there such a thing as DMU's (besides Colorado Railcar and a few old Budd cars) that are available to run in the US? I know all around New England they talk about the DMUs, but it always ends up that they don't have the cars.

I for one would love to see something run from Providence to Worcester.

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I think the US is far behind in this category. While cars have been the main mode of transportation around the country for decades, minds are changing as the price of oil continues to climb dramatically. People are far more willing to look at alternative methods of transportation, and hopefully the Government will respond with a more amitious plan.

Although the US is behind in this facet of urban planning, it is nice to see cities like Portland and Tacoma making strides. For example, Portland's first MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) line opened in 1986 and has been successful ever since. With lines out to the north (Interstate Avenue/Expo Center), the northeast (Portland International Airport), the east (Gresham), and the west (Hillsboro), the MAX light rail system has been a key part of the Portland metro area's crusade for urban and sustainable planning excellence. As if that wasn't enough, new lines and extensions are in the works, including one to Vancouver, WA, Clackamas Town Center, Wilsonville, and Forest Grove. In addition, Portland is revitalizing its downtown transit mall by putting in a MAX line that will run north and south in addition to the original line running east and west. In terms of improving on an already good system, the Portland Streetcar was introduced in 2001 as the first modern streetcar system in the US. This smaller version of MAX travels through downtown and makes stops at many locations, including Portland State University, the Pearl District, NW 23rd Avenue, and Riverplace. Opening towards the end of this year is the streetcar expansion to South Waterfront via Riverplace. This means that Portland will be getting 3 new streetcars (in colors such as lime green and bright yellow) from its supplier in the Czech Republic. Speaking of transit and South Waterfront, the Portland Aerial Tram is scheduled to open this December as the second aerial tramway in an urban setting in the US (the first and only other is NYC's Roosevelt Island Tramway). Carrying 70 people per car, the tram will take passengers from Oregon Health and Science University's Health and Healing Center at South Waterfront to the school's main campus up on Pill Hill (as it is known by locals). The funny thing about Portland's transportation developments is the fact that 2006 is the 20th Anniversary of MAX, the 5th Anniversary of the Portland Streetcar, and the grand opening of the Portland Aerial Tram. In terms of Tacoma, the streetcar system they have there is pretty much identical to the system that Portland has. I am under the impression that the cars for both are made by the same Czech company. In both cases, the streetcar systems have really helped to revitalize the downtown areas of both cities, especially Tacoma. This just goes to show the far-reaching effects of light rail transportation in cities of the Pacific Northwest.

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Charlotte has looked at Portland and San Diego while designing its own system. Here is a transit map that CATS just released for what is now known as Lynx. At the moment the Blue Line is under construction.

LYNX.jpg

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Charlottesville, VA is considering a light rail line that would connect the transit center (under construction) downtown with the University of Virginia and continue to the shopping areas along Route 29 North.

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In Tampa, FL we have a proposed light rail system extending from Tampa International Airport to USF (University of South Florida)

Pic

railmapsmall1.jpg

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Theres been plans for one in Richmond...its still on the drawing boards. I dont have a visual picture, but it runs through Main Street Station as a hub.

Main Street-Short Pump

Main Street-Ashland

Main Street-Church Hill

Main Street- RIC

Main Street- Midlothian

(many more stops will be added in the near future including Manchester and Chesterfield, and the construction of a bridge acroos the James back to Main Street :w00t:)

Edited by TBurban

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Indianapolis is completing studies for its first rapid transit line. The line will extend from the IUPUI campus on the west side of downtown, through central downtown Indianapolis and head northeast through the city towards Fishers and Noblesville. The mode will likely be light rail, although automated guideway transit has support also. Given the proposed layouts which center on the old Nickel Plate RR line, it is likely to be some form of rail transit.

A link to the study is here:

Indy MPO Directions Study

See page 23 for the map.

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