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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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I just walked the route of the new streetcar in Atlanta for the third time in two days. The sad part is that my walking pace was faster than the streetcar every trip. Signal priority, traffic, and cars in the way slowed the streetcar considerably.

 

Curb lane parking should be removed along any streetcar corridor as motorists just can't figure it out.

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I do fear the parking thing.  I parked for Viva Chicken the other day and I was thinking how close it was to the streetcar, even though I was near the curb.  It was technically fine, but quite interesting to imagine stalling the whole line because of a failed parking job.  

 

CATS used to imply or say outright in the public meetings that there would likely be some integration with the traffic lights. but that was back during 'pie in the sky' mode for the whole line, and I doubt it was included for this first starter line.   

 

Walking faster than the transit line is quite common for the Gold Rush, especially the old Tryon St line.  

 

With it being free, it is not much of a problem that slowness will cause people to skip it, but that will be a problem once they try to charge.

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I do fear the parking thing. I parked for Viva Chicken the other day and I was thinking how close it was to the streetcar, even though I was near the curb. It was technically fine, but quite interesting to imagine stalling the whole line because of a failed parking job.

CATS used to imply or say outright in the public meetings that there would likely be some integration with the traffic lights. but that was back during 'pie in the sky' mode for the whole line, and I doubt it was included for this first starter line.

Walking faster than the transit line is quite common for the Gold Rush, especially the old Tryon St line.

With it being free, it is not much of a problem that slowness will cause people to skip it, but that will be a problem once they try to charge.

People rather walk to Plaza Midwood or JCSU than pay a transit fare that a decent portion may already have a transfer ticket for or residents in the area that have monthly passes?

I'm thinking 6pm in winter time when it's dark or anytime of the day at the 277 entrance, I rather be on a Tram than walking it.

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
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Well, yes, but that slightly supports my point.  For short circulatory transit I am a big proponent of fare free because it is not worth it to pay $2 to got 2 miles.  But the people who have other reasons for it to remain free will still benefit from the good value.   

 

But there are times when it is still a value at $2, but at the margins, there will be people that will ride more or make different parking or driving decisions because they know the tram/trolley is there to hop on and hop off.  The marginal riders cost CATS very little. 

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$1 or use your free transfer. This system in its current form shouldn't be about raising money for operations for the city. There are also transit studies that show ultra-low fares increase ridership and thus increase fare collection beyond what could sometimes be achieved by a higher fare for the entire system.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I'm sure because this project is not related to Charlotte Trolley, the organization, but it will be nice to the see the "Gold Line" lettering.

 

The term "trolley" doesn't have a lot of value to some, but I still think it will pull some tourist riders.   I heard a family with a little girl talking about how the trolley was coming and they were excited to get to ride it.   I think it will have people going to the end and back like when it first came to Charlotte 10y ago.  

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Well, I'm sure because this project is not related to Charlotte Trolley, the organization, but it will be nice to the see the "Gold Line" lettering.

The term "trolley" doesn't have a lot of value to some, but I still think it will pull some tourist riders. I heard a family with a little girl talking about how the trolley was coming and they were excited to get to ride it. I think it will have people going to the end and back like when it first came to Charlotte 10y ago.

I wonder If CCP would/could promote the Gold Line as a way to more retail (Metropolitan area) and the greenway.

Not that it would be particularly convenient, though

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
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It is outside the scope of center city partners. 

 

 

CCP already neglects the non-CBD portion of uptown as it is, don't get them even less focused on uptown by trying to support Midtown.     

 

 

This streetcar absolutely is convenient to Midtown.    It is not bad to walk a block and a half, especially when a greenway takes you between the transit line and the retailers.     

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Does anyone have any update on potential TIGER funding for Phase II?  i know there is a thread for TIGER funding, and I will post this question there, but it seems applicable here as well.  We still have our $63 Million set aside right?  We jsut need the Fed's portion to move forward with Phase II.  It would be good to get Phase II going before people can say Phase I was a waste.

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The city applied for Small Starts funding (not TIGER which is a smaller pot of money). IIRC the application has already been submitted to the FTA, I think we are looking at a notification date (yes or no) around October 2015 (my memory could be really flawed here). I believe the details of the Small Starts grant are back a few pages in this thread. Matching funds will be necessary, and I think the city is still studying how to get them.

 

I suspect that the TIGER program has come to an end based on results from November's election.

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http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/cats/planning/GoldLine/Small%20Starts/V%20Local%20Financial%20Commitment%20Submission/Appendixes/APPENDIX_C%20-%20City%20Council%20Action%20Sep%202014.pdf#search=small%20starts

 

Small Starts application for Phase 2 seeks $75 million to match a local contribution of $75 million. The application assumes a 2016 start for construction for service in 2019. 

 

edit: the application http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/cats/planning/GoldLine/Pages/Small-starts.aspx

Edited by tozmervo
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The city applied for Small Starts funding (not TIGER which is a smaller pot of money). IIRC the application has already been submitted to the FTA, I think we are looking at a notification date (yes or no) around October 2015 (my memory could be really flawed here). I believe the details of the Small Starts grant are back a few pages in this thread. Matching funds will be necessary, and I think the city is still studying how to get them.

 

I suspect that the TIGER program has come to an end based on results from November's election.

 

I hope you are wrong about TIGER, but I think you will be right...

 

Yes, your timing sounds right.  With that tidbit, I found the following info:

 

Letter from Charlotte to FTA:

http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/cats/planning/GoldLine/Small%20Starts/CityLYNX%20Gold%20Line%20Phase%202%20SSG%20Letter.pdf

 

Brochure about timing and process:

http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/charlottefuture/documents/citylynx%20gold%20line%20power%20point_final.pdf

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Keep in mind a lot of these 2 to 5 mile systems being installed are loops with only one track the entire length. Charlotte is double tracked for 1.5 miles. If the starter project was a loop and not a down and back design on the same street, the starter project would be counted as a roughly 3 mile long streetcar.

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They still have a ways to go. Even accepting the inherent complicated nature of this project, it seems like it's going awfully slowly. There's not a single platform that's anywhere close to being done as far as I can tell. 

 

 

I feel like the "hard" work is done though.  I think they can accelerate the smaller components, especially since they won't need to worry so much about traffic.  But my god are you right, we move slower than dirt on these types of projects.

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The project is not as far away from being completed as it appears. The Hawthorne Station's platform is finished. So is one of the platforms at CTC. Forms are set up for the platforms at the Government Center Station, the other CTC platform, and one of the CPCC platforms. It is not very difficult and it takes a relatively short time to install the platforms. Shelters and striping will be a task which takes minimal work

The new signals, one of the final steps, are also going in as we speak at most of the intersections. Crews are working on completing the switch motors around the arena. Hanging the OCS is relatively simple and there are only two blocks left to install. They just evened the pavement between Kings and McDowell and by the Federal Reserve.

My bet is construction wraps-up by mid next month at the latest, it may appear to be a mess, but there really isn't much left to do in the scale of things. Parts of Trade should fully reopen soon. The project is behind schedule, but Charlotte benefits from having vehicles that are already tested and certified. This will eliminate a significant part of the testing phase.

I still want to know why they had to tear-up and replace the track in front of the jail and near McDowell.

Edited by ajfunder
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The project is not as far away from being completed as it appears. The Hawthorne Station's platform is finished. So is one of the platforms at CTC. Forms are set up for the platforms at the Government Center Station, the other CTC platform, and one of the CPCC platforms. It is not very difficult and it takes a relatively short time to install the platforms. Shelters and striping will be a task which takes minimal work

The new signals, one of the final steps, are also going in as we speak at most of the intersections. Crews are working on completing the switch motors around the arena. Hanging the OCS is relatively simple and there are only two blocks left to install. They just evened the pavement between Kings and McDowell and by the Federal Reserve.

My bet is construction wraps-up by mid next month at the latest, it may appear to be a mess, but there really isn't much left to do in the scale of things. Parts of Trade should fully reopen soon. The project is behind schedule, but Charlotte benefits from having vehicles that are already tested and certified. This will eliminate a significant part of the testing phase.

I still want to know why they had to tear-up and replace the track in front of the jail and near McDowell.

measurements showed they were 1/4" off.

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