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monsoon

Gold Rush Streetcar Blue Line will Be Shutdown

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CATS is planning to shut down the Gold Rush Blue Line Streetcar due to very low ridership. This is the circle line that travels around downtown by traveling through the 4 wards. There will be an open house from 11am to 1pm today at the Francis Auditorium at the main Library downtown for people to voice their concerns about this. It should be noted that this line does not cost anything to use, so it is a bit amazing the people of these neighborhoods are not taking advantage of it.

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This is quite shocking. I always assumed that it had a steady ridership since I know many people in the area that utilize it. I use it. I guess I was wrong. It also added some urban flavor to the area because of the car's design. But if people are not taking advantage of a free service, I can't blame CATS for shutting it down.

This also does not bode well for future streetcar proposals, let alone light rail.

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This also does not bode well for future streetcar proposals, let alone light rail.

Indeed. It would indicate the region ought to focus on commuter rail rather than building $250M streetcar systems.

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Thats comparing apples to oranges. The bus lines that run where the streetcar will go are the most heavily used. I'd say that bodes very well for streetcar. An unreliable circular line that runs through the 4 wards is just that. Unreliable and seldom used.

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Thats comparing apples to oranges. The bus lines that run where the streetcar will go are the most heavily used. I'd say that bodes very well for streetcar. An unreliable circular line that runs through the 4 wards is just that. Unreliable and seldom used.

I never used it because it doesn't run deep enough into First Ward. Why walk from past 10th street to 7th street and then take the thing two more blocks?

What they need is one that goes deep into each ward, stops at one place and shuttles back and forth from that one place every few minutes. That way you don't have to time everything so delicately.

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I can't recall in which thread I read this recently, but someone was just complaining about the irregular scheduling of the Gold Rush. I think they said it's supposed to run every 7mins or so, and they'd waited more than a half hour for it (with clients, no less). If that's the case, I can see why it'd be empty.

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Sorry, but I always thought the Gold Rush was a waste of money. Can someone explain to me why the bankers should get a free ride from their cars to their offices but poor working class people have to pay to ride the bus?

The gold rush lines' routes don't make any sense, they are not really needed, and nobody uses them.

More money to spend on useful transit projects.

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Even when I parked in first ward, I didn't use the Blue line either. I could walk the remaining blocks in the time it took to wait for it.

I do use the orange/red Gold Rush lines to get to the government center, and sometimes to the north end of Tryon.

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The orange line (Tryon St.) line is usually so packed that people at the Morehead St. parking lot can't make it on in the morning......

I always thought the hours of that line should be extended.

The blue line never did make much sense though....the quickest route between two point is a straight line, and this route rarely achieved that for most peoples trips.

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Sorry, but I always thought the Gold Rush was a waste of money. Can someone explain to me why the bankers should get a free ride from their cars to their offices but poor working class people have to pay to ride the bus?

The gold rush lines' routes don't make any sense, they are not really needed, and nobody uses them.

More money to spend on useful transit projects.

Most of the banks employees are working class people and a lot of people in public housing are in First Ward, probably in much greater density than many of the other routes. Also, why does public transportation have to only be for "poor working class people"?

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Most of the banks employees are working class people and a lot of people in public housing are in First Ward, probably in much greater density than many of the other routes. Also, why does public transportation have to only be for "poor working class people"?

You missed my point. My question is why should the wealthiest parts of town get free bus service?

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Thats comparing apples to oranges. The bus lines that run where the streetcar will go are the most heavily used. I'd say that bodes very well for streetcar. An unreliable circular line that runs through the 4 wards is just that. Unreliable and seldom used.

I was referring to the plan to build a circular streetcar line along the basically the same route. I assume this is the last nail in the coffin that it will never happen.

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You missed my point. My question is why should the wealthiest parts of town get free bus service?

Part of my point was that a lot of people in First Ward are working class poor. You'd have a hard time finding that much public housing in such a small area just about anywhere in the city.

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The streetcar circular is already abandoned by CATS. It is now going to be four linear spokes between goods city neighborhoods and downtown. Just like the blue gold Rush line, it basically goes nowhere. By the way, I have tried to use the blue line many times. One time I was going to the convention center from First Ward. It took 30 min to come and then 20 min to get there. Walking would take a third of the time. I say good riddance to the blue line.

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Nope. I agree with their choice, and they're going to make it regardless of what people say... so ...

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Nope. I agree with their choice, and they're going to make it regardless of what people say... so ...

Ditto. I rode my bike uptown to see Harry Potter.

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Did any of you go to the meeting?

I was on the blue line this afternoon, and one of my fellow passengers said he was at the meeting. He said they're still considering a) adjusting the route to attract more riders or b) terminating the blue line line, but extending the red line so it loops through some portion of first and/or fourth wards. Whatever the decision, he said they said the change should come by October.

For those who wonder why us rich uptown residents should ride for free, let me say that I'd be happy to pay, but most riders on that trolley are poor folks or old folks, like bus riders everywhere.

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I think the red and orange lines can be justifiable as free shuttles, just because they are so busy. Why slow things down by having passengers put coins in a box?

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I agree with most of what has been said here. I live in 4th ward and work uptown. I have tried to take the blue line to work (especially in the winter) but the irregularity of the route makes it pointless. I can walk in half the time.

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That is true, the Gold Rush is half full of old and poor folks going between the various services uptown.

Also, by the way, uptown residents pay extra property tax, which supports Center City Partners. Center City Partners pays for part of the Gold Rush (I think originally all of it). CATS also benefits from the very high ridership of the Gold Rush circular, as it brings up the total ridership of the system by, I believe, multiple millions. I read that that brings in additional federal and state dollars. Most of those riders go only a few blocks, so the costs/rider are quite low.

Personally, I would like to see fair-free bussing in all of the central district (roughly within a 4 mile radius of uptown), similar to Chapel Hill.

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Now that the Blue line has been shut down for a few months, has anyone missed it? I know there was one time when I was going to use it, when I realized it was shut down.

The Tryon St one was always much more frequent and reliable, so waiting ~30 minutes for the Blue line was never worth it over walking to Tryon.

Am I right in assuming that by shutting down the blue line, it added frequency and capacity to the Tryon and Trade lines, which are much more heavily ridden?

I just can't stand the one trolley bus that has the recording of where it goes. It is almost entirely a normal AT&T-style female voice stating all the destinations. Then, at the very end of it, in a volume significantly louder than the rest, it says "Camden Grandview" in the most irritating of accents. I can't stand to listen to that every block.

Also, does anyone think they should run the Trade Street line to Plaza-Midwood or to Presby in advance of the now delayed streetcar line? They could charge for the part outside of uptown, as they do for the temporary South End line now. I think it would help build ridership now, as well as prove (or disprove) the viability of that line.

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I could see extending down Trade to Presby. PM seems a stretch.

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Now that the Blue line has been shut down for a few months, has anyone missed it? I know there was one time when I was going to use it, when I realized it was shut down.

The Tryon St one was always much more frequent and reliable, so waiting ~30 minutes for the Blue line was never worth it over walking to Tryon.

Am I right in assuming that by shutting down the blue line, it added frequency and capacity to the Tryon and Trade lines, which are much more heavily ridden?

I just can't stand the one trolley bus that has the recording of where it goes. It is almost entirely a normal AT&T-style female voice stating all the destinations. Then, at the very end of it, in a volume significantly louder than the rest, it says "Camden Grandview" in the most irritating of accents. I can't stand to listen to that every block.

Also, does anyone think they should run the Trade Street line to Plaza-Midwood or to Presby in advance of the now delayed streetcar line? They could charge for the part outside of uptown, as they do for the temporary South End line now. I think it would help build ridership now, as well as prove (or disprove) the viability of that line.

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In general, there was just so much wrong with the blue line, it is hard to miss. I swore to never bother with it again after being mortally embarassed with some colleagues for telling them it is supposed to run every 15 minutes, only to end up waiting almost three times that.

I have, on numerous occassions walked an entire mile of its route thinking it would come by any minute, and it never showed up. When you can walk a mile before a shuttle will come, you know you have a useless shuttle route.

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