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Sabaidee

Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network

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2 hours ago, CLT704 said:

^ Why can't we have nice things? lol but seriously it doesn't seem that many big projects go to plan here: the blue line delay, the greenway fiasco and now this. 

I don't actually have a lot of confidence in CATS and I worry how things like this will affect the 'Big Bang' plan.

This city is abysmal at projects

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The problem is with us, the voters, and the city manager! As voters we should be demanding that management be revamped at CATS.

They've been screwing up projects for decades now, yet as soon as we hear "big-bang" we collectively glaze over and go "aww!!! that would be awesome" and forget that while the vision is good we need people that can actually manage other people and processes, we need real executives.

 

Edit: note, the goal is to get better people to execute the project, not to cancel or change the project itself!

Edited by Scribe
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Far as the Bridge Girder mix up goes - I believe it's a Design-Build Project so the risk is all on the Contractor to fix the issues.  Long as this gets done within the next 6 months it shouldn't impact the GoldLines opening schedule too much.  Definitely will be frustrating to the nearby residents and businesses to have the bridge closed longer than expected.  They have until the May/June 2020 Timeframe to get all of the Phase 2 Infrastructure completed so they can have several months of running vehicles and testing systems to open the line on time for the 2020 RNC.

Edited by Hushpuppy321
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1 hour ago, Scribe said:

The problem is with us, the voters, and the city manager! As voters we should be demanding that management be revamped at CATS.

They've been screwing up projects for decades now, yet as soon as we hear "big-bang" we collectively glaze over and go "aww!!! that would be awesome" and forget that while the vision is good we need people that can actually manage other people and processes, we need real executives.

 

Edit: note, the goal is to get better people to execute the project, not to cancel or change the project itself!

I watched the video and it sounds like it was the contractor who messed up, not the city.

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1 hour ago, JacksonH said:

I watched the video and it sounds like it was the contractor who messed up, not the city.

Every time I hear a story about a contractor making a mistake in a big project I cannot help but think about the poor sap(s) that are getting fired as a result. 

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On 1/10/2019 at 8:59 AM, Scribe said:

The problem is with us, the voters, and the city manager! As voters we should be demanding that management be revamped at CATS.

They've been screwing up projects for decades now, yet as soon as we hear "big-bang" we collectively glaze over and go "aww!!! that would be awesome" and forget that while the vision is good we need people that can actually manage other people and processes, we need real executives.

 

Edit: note, the goal is to get better people to execute the project, not to cancel or change the project itself!

unfortunately we are a "low bid" state, so they (the city) are forced to take the cheapest bidder even if they have no experience with these types of transit/transportation projects (don't know if that is the case with Johnson Brothers here) so often time the city is not able to select a team that may be best suited for the job. This is contractor error, not CATS and not sure they could have done anything differently...



 

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3 hours ago, elrodvt said:

There are ways to write a contract to shut out the riffraff from even bidding. Right?

ehhhh… it's a lot harder than it sounds. The laws are written to very effectively remove the ability to do "preferred" bidding, so as to eliminate corruption. That's a great thing, but it also makes it harder to forcibly disqualify contractors. Qualification based bidding might be "have you built three similar bridges of a certain size and budget in the past five years." If yes, you are qualified.

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It seems like you could specify insurance requirements, capital on hand, 90% projects over least 5 years on time and some metric to measure customer satisfaction, quality control methods, construction technique experience, verification of Visa etc... Basically make sure your bidders are larger, professional outfits. Not to favor anyone specificly.

These are probably dumb examples. But do you have some real examples of things you would want to specify but cannot? I don't doubt you're right just trying to wrap my head around it. The 3 bridge example you have sounds good. Are you saying that cannot be in the requirements?

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On 1/11/2019 at 11:15 PM, elrodvt said:

It seems like you could specify insurance requirements, capital on hand, 90% projects over least 5 years on time and some metric to measure customer satisfaction, quality control methods, construction technique experience, verification of Visa etc... Basically make sure your bidders are larger, professional outfits. Not to favor anyone specificly.

These are probably dumb examples. But do you have some real examples of things you would want to specify but cannot? I don't doubt you're right just trying to wrap my head around it. The 3 bridge example you have sounds good. Are you saying that cannot be in the requirements?

you are right on target.  many public works projects essentially pre-qualify by requiring a very high threshold for bonding the project.  

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2 minutes ago, lit said:

Charlotte Observer is now reporting the Hawthorne bridge won’t be open before the August 2020 deadline...

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article224513445.html

 

They don't exactly say that

Quote

But it’s unclear how long the problem will take to correct. The city is meeting with contractors to develop a timeline, and work is continuing on other portions of the track, including in the West End, on West Trade Street in uptown and in Elizabeth.

Service is supposed to start in August 2020 along the four-mile Gold Line route.

 

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I know that the Gold Line Ph 2 will replace the replica trolley vehicles with the modern Siemens lightrail-style vehicles.  Does anyone know how many cars will be run at a time, or CATS' plans for frequency?  1 car vs 2 connected?  Similar schedule to Gold Line Phase 1, or more frequent/later service?

Thanks to those more knowledgeable than me...

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One more question... 

If the initial plan is to run one modern vehicle at a time (presumably with greater capacity than the current replica trolleys?), are the stops being built/adjusted for future ability to run a greater number of vehicles?  

I was traveling in Dublin recently and was impressed with the capacity and frequency of their streetcars - example streetview: https://www.google.com/maps/@53.3395801,-6.2592013,3a,73.3y,278.5h,92.17t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1svFvl75heA1zhAvdd_nc33Q!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

image.thumb.png.fca1d64a1c0b87d51d423a130e3bd238.png

 

Edited by pathb
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In general the new US streetcar systems have been designed for single vehicle use only, this is partly due to limitations on station size (usually issues related to block length). IIRC modern US streetcar vehicles are usually manufactured without the couplers and electronics used to combine vehicles.

Given these limitations, the only way for CATS to increase capacity would be increased frequencies. This is a good thing since streetcars only work well when riders are confident that the next ‘train’ is less than 5 minutes away, (otherwise its often faster to walk). Its been a while since I read the CATS SSGA proposal but I believe the Gold Line will have similar frequencies as the Blue Line (roughly every 8 minutes at peak and 15 minutes the remainder of the day). CATS also has an unfortunate track record of reducing frequencies from proposed amounts (the Blue Line was once planned to run every 10 minutes all day long after the extension was opened — never happened). IMO this low frequency on the Gold Line is a recipe for poor ridership, its no secret that effective streetcars have sub-5 minute headways all day long (see Toronto or Melbourne).

Edited by kermit
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