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Virginia Beach Light Rail and Transit


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The Norfolk line Is a 7 mile starter line that does not go between population centers or major places of employment. The article you are referring to was biased and totally misrepresented the findings

I forgot about that...the total was estimated at $240M, and VB only had to put up the amount you said, since the state was supplying a huge chunk of about 155M. Ugh...I just got irritated all ove

New VB Tourism slogan.......   "Come visit Virginia Beach where you can take a bus to our border, then get on a train to visit a real city. But, hey, we just got another grocery store."

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This thing is going nuclear. Pilot article has been updated again.

Layne said he "can't believe" people are still talking about maglev as an option and said it "won't go anywhere" if state funds are to be involved.

I'm really starting to like this layne guy.

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http://hamptonroads.com/2014/04/va-beach-state-compromise-light-rail-terms

The conditions, which the city will now use to apply for a state grant, are a compromise from those initially offered by the state. They agree to split the cost of a $290 million light rail extension from Newtown Road in Norfolk to Town Center, with the city covering any cost overruns.

In exchange, the city will drop the three public-private proposals under review and put the project out for a competitive bid.

The state at first demanded that the city essentially forgo exploring any alternative transit technologies such as magnetic levitation, or maglev, which is not federally certified. The compromise reverses that requirement, leaving the city’s options open to look at other systems once the “record of decision” is reached for the light rail extension.

“It’s clearly a softer approach,” Sessoms said this morning. “I think the Commonwealth understands that we would want to look for new technology that could be available 10 years from now,” he later added.

The state still will not provide any money for that research.

The terms also stipulate that the city would have to reimburse the state for the money it contributed toward purchasing a 10.6-mile right of way for light rail if it chooses to place maglev or any other alternative system on that land. The state footed about $20 million of the $40 million price tag to buy from Norfolk Southern the right of way, which stretches from Newtown Road to the Oceanfront parallel to Interstate 264.

This is so stupid. This thing has become such a sideshow. Whatever. Prepare to have 2 unused elevated tracks in our region. The officials in this area are so gullible that the same con artist can come back to the same community running the exact same scam. Unbelievable.

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One very small glimmer of hope.

In exchange, the city will drop the three public-private proposals under review and put the project out for a competitive bid.

Putting this out for competitive bid should shine a light on some of AMT's dubious accounting practices. We'll see how cheap this really is once all the engineering is factored in.

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http://hamptonroads.com/2014/04/va-beach-state-compromise-light-rail-terms

This is so stupid. This thing has become such a sideshow. Whatever. Prepare to have 2 unused elevated tracks in our region. The officials in this area are so gullible that the same con artist can come back to the same community running the exact same scam. Unbelievable.

I'm telling ya... this reeks of "don't make it easier for that Norfolk trash to enter our city". Maglev doesn't work, at least not in the context of inner-city public transportation. It's slow, it's unproven, and we have no REAL idea what it costs.

 

The only conceivable thing I can think of that would resemble an intelligent motive behind this is that it is actually some kind of hair-brained negotiation tactic for the proposed light rail lines to drive the costs down a little more (seeee... this technology is cheaper, we COULD use it... unless light rail's costs go down). But the whole idea of maglev "connected" (ie: not actually connected) with the light rail system is just absolutely absurd. Instead of ultimately having one cohesive ultimately very useful system, you instead have two piecework, inefficient, underutilized lines. Stupid stupid stupid!

Edited by HRVT
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I'm telling ya... this reeks of "don't make it easier for that Norfolk trash to enter our city". Maglev doesn't work, at least not in the context of inner-city public transportation. It's slow, it's unproven, and we have no REAL idea what it costs.

 

What?! Absolutely not. I hate when people try to play that card, it's an absolutely invalid argument used to guilt people into agreeing with the position in favor light rail.  I mean, the buses run from Norfolk to Virginia Beach and you don't see people up in arms about discontinuing bus service.  This is not anything like the water wars of the 1950s and 60s, and most of our city leaders are in favor of maglev not because it will help disconnect the region (I mean, come on), but because it's pitched as being cheaper, aka better for them politically if they try to sell themselves as being fiscally conservative with public money.  This doesn't have anything to do with the City's leadership trying to exclude "Norfolk trash."

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I'm telling ya... this reeks of "don't make it easier for that Norfolk trash to enter our city". Maglev doesn't work, at least not in the context of inner-city public transportation. It's slow, it's unproven, and we have no REAL idea what it costs.

 

The only conceivable thing I can think of that would resemble an intelligent motive behind this is that it is actually some kind of hair-brained negotiation tactic for the proposed light rail lines to drive the costs down a little more (seeee... this technology is cheaper, we COULD use it... unless light rail's costs go down). But the whole idea of maglev "connected" (ie: not actually connected) with the light rail system is just absolutely absurd. Instead of ultimately having one cohesive ultimately very useful system, you instead have two piecework, inefficient, underutilized lines. Stupid stupid stupid!

growing up in norfolk that attitude is real...by the way this is rusthebuss....my email was hacked so I created another account
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What?! Absolutely not. I hate when people try to play that card, it's an absolutely invalid argument used to guilt people into agreeing with the position in favor light rail.  I mean, the buses run from Norfolk to Virginia Beach and you don't see people up in arms about discontinuing bus service.  This is not anything like the water wars of the 1950s and 60s, and most of our city leaders are in favor of maglev not because it will help disconnect the region (I mean, come on), but because it's pitched as being cheaper, aka better for them politically if they try to sell themselves as being fiscally conservative with public money.  This doesn't have anything to do with the City's leadership trying to exclude "Norfolk trash."

I'm not trying to guilt anyone into any position. I just call it like I see it. I may very well be wrong. But why in the world would you build a completely separate line with technology that isn't just unproven, but is actually proven to NOT work on shaky (at best) financial figures.

 

Even if it's about saving a few bucks, seriously, you come darn near to rendering the system useless. You can have two "starter lines" or you can have one cohesive system. It's a no-brainer, and it's infuriating (whatever the motives) that council would think for one second about this idiotic maglev proposal. It is absolutely idiotic.

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What?! Absolutely not. I hate when people try to play that card, it's an absolutely invalid argument used to guilt people into agreeing with the position in favor light rail.  I mean, the buses run from Norfolk to Virginia Beach and you don't see people up in arms about discontinuing bus service.  This is not anything like the water wars of the 1950s and 60s, and most of our city leaders are in favor of maglev not because it will help disconnect the region (I mean, come on), but because it's pitched as being cheaper, aka better for them politically if they try to sell themselves as being fiscally conservative with public money.  This doesn't have anything to do with the City's leadership trying to exclude "Norfolk trash."

As recently as 1999, when light rail failed in a referendum, a council member was quoted as saying "we don't want that 'element' in this city". That is the incident that Norva757 and HRVT are referring to. I'm trying to find the article but it is hard to locate since it is so old. I would like to think that attitude has disappeared in the 15 years hence but I find it completely plausible that some of that exist today. No need to whitewash or gloss over it, it happened. Do I think that is the main driver in this instance? No. But when council makes such nonsensical decisions they leave their motives open to speculation.

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What?! Absolutely not. I hate when people try to play that card, it's an absolutely invalid argument used to guilt people into agreeing with the position in favor light rail.  I mean, the buses run from Norfolk to Virginia Beach and you don't see people up in arms about discontinuing bus service.  This is not anything like the water wars of the 1950s and 60s, and most of our city leaders are in favor of maglev not because it will help disconnect the region (I mean, come on), but because it's pitched as being cheaper, aka better for them politically if they try to sell themselves as being fiscally conservative with public money.  This doesn't have anything to do with the City's leadership trying to exclude "Norfolk trash."

The "Norfolk Trash" element is very real... my wife and I talk about it all the time whenever the news reports on local politics.  I grew up in VA Beach (Plaza) but have lived in Norfolk for most of my professional career.  From the view over here in Berkley, Virginia Beach definitely makes a lot of head scratching moves that atleast make you think about an elitest attitude or the Norfolk Element perception.  If VA Beach had hopped on board earlier, instead of turning up their noses to easier access to their "protected" suburban utopia, we could've had rail down to the oceanfront by now at a much cheaper rate.  That being said, I hope they do the right thing for the benefit of the region and not just for VA Beach...  Welcome back Russ!

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The "Norfolk Trash" element is very real... my wife and I talk about it all the time whenever the news reports on local politics.  I grew up in VA Beach (Plaza) but have lived in Norfolk for most of my professional career.  From the view over here in Berkley, Virginia Beach definitely makes a lot of head scratching moves that atleast make you think about an elitest attitude or the Norfolk Element perception.  If VA Beach had hopped on board earlier, instead of turning up their noses to easier access to their "protected" suburban utopia, we could've had rail down to the oceanfront by now at a much cheaper rate.  That being said, I hope they do the right thing for the benefit of the region and not just for VA Beach...  Welcome back Russ!

thanks
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As usual, John Moss wants to keep his head in the sand (for lack of a better place, but hey, family forum).

 

He said he has no appetite for light rail anywhere in Virginia Beach, but he would be happy if the city would “contain a bad disease” by not extending light rail beyond Town Center.

 

I'm convinced some of these people would rather chop off their left foot before they either a) do business with the other cities or b) let VB remain a small, quaint country town like it was in the 1960s. Given the mentality of people who complain about progress, this belief shouldn't surprise me.

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Just as I thought. The only reason some were pursuing maglev was as a back door way to kill light rail. It never ceases to amaze me how many who champion the democratic process will seek to circumvent it by any means necessary when things don't go their way....

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As usual, John Moss wants to keep his head in the sand (for lack of a better place, but hey, family forum).

 

 

 

 

I'm convinced some of these people would rather chop off their left foot before they either a) do business with the other cities or b) let VB remain a small, quaint country town like it was in the 1960s. Given the mentality of people who complain about progress, this belief shouldn't surprise me.

 

 

How the hell is giving people another option than driving on the choked up excuse for highways that VA Beach has a "bad disease." Honestly, what the hell is this guy's problem?  If he hates living in a city so much, move to f***ing Alaska and quit dragging down a place that's trying to make itself better.

 

I've not been so angry at a person about a development related issue in a LONG time.  And I've been following the freaking AMP debacle in my home town of Nashville!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Funny, remove the windows on a bus and it becomes a trolley...I wish they would put in real trolleys at the oceanfront and have a series of light rail tracks for them.

 

Though I will say, good that they are bringing them back, I didn't know they were gone.  They were definitely one of those things from my childhood I remember.

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  • 5 weeks later...

From the article:

 

The city of Virginia Beach is investing time and money in a rail system the state doesn't support.

13News Now asked Wood why the city funded the trip to Japan, knowing the state will only fund light rail projects.

 

I don't want to see any more VB residents or council members complain about how the LRT extension is a "waste of taxpayer dollars" when the city is spending money to go overseas for a project the state already refuses to fund. Absolutely ridiculous.

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Sheer ridiculousness. Just stupid. This looks to be more stall tactic to torpedo the whole deal. Especially with the quote of "By the time light rail is running in Virginia Beach, there is likely to be a new governor.". While this IS true technically, the construction SHOULD be substantially moving ahead by the time we have a new governor and it would be ludicrous to simply go a new direction at that point. 

 

Light rail is the clear way to go. Maglev is such an unproven technology. Sure, it's cheaper.... but what good is cheap if it doesn't work? Or doesn't connect?

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Guys,

Way way way way way long time lurker, been following urban planet ever since the first tower was built around town center.

Never had a reason to join until now...

Here is the letter i sent

Hello Mr. Wood,

My name is Michael G. I am an active voter, tax payer, and concerned citizen of Virginia Beach.

I am writing today because I am concerned about the way you are choosing to spend city funds, and the way you are representing the interests of Virginia Beach, specifically in the area of public transportation.

I understand the importance of examining all alternatives to light rail before spending hundreds of millions of city dollars on the undertaking. I understand that there are many opposing view points about the need for light rail in the city. What I do not understand is why you would use city money to take, what is essentially a vacation to Japan, to investigate maglev.

Maglev forces Virginia Beach to go it alone. Governor Mcauliffe has already made it clear Virginia Beach will get no money for maglev, only for light rail.

I am an alumni of Old Dominion University. I see the "maglev track" sitting collecting dust. The millions of dollars wasted trying to make it work. It is now little more than a billboard, letting you know you are at Old Dominion University as you make your way down Hampton Blvd.

Even if I assume that the technology is improved, or that you can convince a company to "prove" the technology via test tracks, opportunity costs still outweigh any benefit maglev can provide.

If maglev succeeds, the City of Virginia Beach will have lost an opportunity to work with The City of Norfolk to develop a unified method for public transportation across the two cities. In addition, it will loose the advantages that being a second-mover has. There will be no opportunity to learn from Norfolk's mistakes, because the two technologies are drastically different.

If maglev fails, even if the city faces no upfront costs, the time lost will put the City of Virginia Beach further behind in the race to develop transportation infrastructure necessary to compete regionally.

There are alternatives to light rail. They are worth studying. Maglev is not. Empirical evidence proves this. Spending thousands of dollars of taxpayer dollars to take a joy ride in Japan is an unnecessary waste of Virginia Beach's resources.

Thank you.

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