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Charlotte Center City Streetcar Network


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Streetcar #401 in the wild at North yard. Testing (in the yard) was underway this afternoon.      

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On 12/10/2020 at 7:13 PM, LKN704 said:

Oof...30 min headways on Sundays, and 15 mins during peak times. I get trains are sexy and its easier to get people out of their cars and onto trains than it is to get them on a bus, but taking the headways into consideration it seems almost like a waste of money to me. An enhanced circulator style bus service that ran every 10 minutes (like the Gold Rush Trolleys) would have been a greater investment. 

Man, I remember being frustrated at how these Gold Rush Trolleys would just miss their times too. It was a much better service than we will have with the Streetcar.

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3 hours ago, sakami said:

There is a neighborhood rumor that the Hawthorne bridge will open to vehicle traffic before Christmas  There was lots of activity on Hawthorne today so fingers crossed it happens. 

It's open according to the CATS Facebook page!

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I walked the Hawthorne bridge today and was surprised to see a traffic light has been installed at Sunnyside. Is there an operational need for this for the streetcar? Something about spacing behind the vehicle when it is stopped? Otherwise I’m surprised the volume necessitates it knowing how many cars will avoid this route once the streetcar is regularly running. 

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12 hours ago, sakami said:

I walked the Hawthorne bridge today and was surprised to see a traffic light has been installed at Sunnyside. Is there an operational need for this for the streetcar? Something about spacing behind the vehicle when it is stopped? Otherwise I’m surprised the volume necessitates it knowing how many cars will avoid this route once the streetcar is regularly running. 

The signal allows double-ended trams to enter and exit the median tail track and change direction.

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12 hours ago, kermit said:

Not funded yet, its probably in the big bang, but I have not heard explicit discussion of it yet (but I may have missed them). But the Central ave bus lanes are a tell that they still see the route as important.

Roughly:

phase 1: $25 million, plus the city provided the woefully unreliable vehicles and a bit of installed track on Elizabeth av. All of the cash was federal. I believe the city spent about $13 million on various streetscape things as well (which may or may not be Gold Line related depending on your POV)

phase 2: $150 million (half federal half local) — CATS has been pretty quiet about costs here at the end of the project I would bet there have been some overages.

Total: $175 million (ish). (I may be off, this is from memory and its been a while since I have looked at the docs)

https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/docs/NC__Charlotte_CityLYNX_Gold_Line_Phase_2_Profile_FY16_0.pdf

at $40 something million per mile this was well less than half the cost of the BLE, which makes it a relatively cost effective rail project (and it will certainly recoup that cost from increases in revenue from new density).  Frequency issues aside, I think the Gold Line will be good addition to Charlotte's mobility systems.

One (unfair) criticism I have of the project is that it was built with a lack of foresight. Planning the Gold Line route simultaneously with the Silver Line routing could have produced some huge cost efficiencies and created a better transit network. Alas, Charlotte was really slow to begin Silver Line planning and funding strategies.

Is there any talk about getting a couple more cars in P3 or just in general? Would help the frequency issue. 

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12 hours ago, Yeahdoug said:

Is there any talk about getting a couple more cars in P3 or just in general? Would help the frequency issue. 

I believe that CATS has enough vehicles now to run the GL every 8ish minutes if they wanted to — they just don’t want to pay the operating costs of higher frequency. 

But yes, if phase 3 happens it will certainly include more vehicles. 

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On 12/31/2020 at 11:12 AM, kermit said:

I believe that CATS has enough vehicles now to run the GL every 8ish minutes if they wanted to — they just don’t want to pay the operating costs of higher frequency. 

But yes, if phase 3 happens it will certainly include more vehicles. 

I think it's more than operating costs - they would need all their vehicles in operation at the same time, which isn't sustainable from an operations standpoint. I could see them doing that for special event service, but not for regular schedule until the city comes up with money for more vehicles.

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3 hours ago, KJHburg said:

towards the end of the line in Elizabeth.  the entire line proposed for this streetcar could have been done by now and just as fast for riders by using Bus Rapid Transit like the first line being built in Raleigh now.   and probably at least half the cost!   this Hawthorne Bridge took longer than it will take for the entire BRT line in Raleigh to be built and put into operation. 

Raleigh BRT New Bern Ave corridor

 

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Wow that was a great video about Raleigh BRT.  Are we ever going to get any additional information about how CATS planned BRT will differ from what they are about to construct in East Raleigh?  Is the Metro-Rapid just started in North Meck even considered BRT?  Is any other city in NC/SC even considering Streetcar Service?  Do you all think any large scale development will be jump started due to establishing BRT in Raleigh?

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On 1/20/2021 at 12:03 AM, Hushpuppy321 said:

Is any other city in NC/SC even considering Streetcar Service?

Not as far as I’m aware.  Winston-Salem studied a possible line to Wake Forest recently but decided not to move forward, and there has been some discussion about putting trams in Wilmington once the rail relocation is completed, but nothing serious is planned anywhere at present.  Of course, the Triangle has had a couple of (failed) attempts at light rail, if that counts, but as mentioned above Raleigh is now pursuing BRT.

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