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[Louisville] Council to study light rail line again

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Council to study rail line again

Key --

1. Some democrats, such as Majority Leader Jim King, support the measure. Others, like U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth (D), wants further information.

2. Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson (Republican) did not embrace the idea and worry about impacts to the Ohio River Bridges project.

3. With developments such as the arena, Museum Plaza, RiverPark Place, etc., majority leader has stated now is the right time to revisit light rail. Such a system connecting the new developments throughout downtown and Bardstown Road, and to the northeast and southern suburbs (at stations near interchanges) might work best IMO. Currently, there are bus systems that reach many of the far-flung suburbs, and as previously reported, many are near or at capacity despite bus capacity increases. The demand is there, we just need to go one step further.

4. Work was previously culled on a light-rail line along Interstate 65 from downtown to the Gene Snyder in 2004 because of political support and funds.

Article information: "Council to study rail line again, By Marcus Green, The Courier-Journal, Friday, March 9, 2007"

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Its good to hear that Louisville's leaders on the local and federal levels, lead by the council Dems, are looking at light rail again. With a Dem majority of the Council (15-11, had to look that up) it seems they would be a good chance they could pass it if the Mayor gets on board with the project and deems it viable. I think in that case Congressman Yarmuth would be on board too. Now the legislature, thats where it would be interesting to see this subject play out. Actually I found it odd they didnt even mention the Governor or the Legislature in the article.

On a side note, Mayor Abramson is actually Democrat, he was speculated as a potential candidate for Democratic primary for Governor this year at either the top or bottom of the ticket. Not sure how progressive or conservative he is, but he sure seems to be popular being the longest serving Mayor of Lousville, and now Metro Mayor.

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More turn to mass transit

Article information: "More turn to mass transit, By Marcus Green, The Courier-Journal, Tuesday, March 13, 2007"

Key --

1. TARC's ridership highest since 1999 and still growing

2. "Gas prices spurred Americans last year to jump on buses, subways, trolleys, light rail and other public transportation at a greater rate than at any time since the 1950s."

3. 15.8 million rides in 2006. January 2007 ridership surpasses January 2006, even with lower gas prices.

3a. 1.35 million rides in January 2007; 1.29 million rides in January 2006; 1.17 million rides in December 2006.

4. Standing-room only crowds on some buses meant an increase in service on the Outer Loop along the Preston Highway to downtown and out on the Dixie Highway.

4a. Riders now wait 12-20 minutes on some roads, but will be reduced to <15 minutes.

5. Express service will be offered between southern Indiana and downtown Louisville for 2007. A park and ride lot will be constructed near Interstate 65 and 265 for this purpose.

6. 6% increase in 2006 ridership over 2005 surpassed the 2.3% increase over the same period nationwide.

6a. Nationwide, light rail use increased 5.6%.

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Great to see renewed interest in light rail by local leadership. Would the state be helpful, or are the transportation department types only interested in highways?

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