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Charlotte's Light Rail: Lynx Blue Line


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On 7/23/2019 at 6:54 PM, southslider said:

I like the lower-cost idea of keeping the gates down.  Another one would be to add big STOP letters on the turn lanes before the skinny stop bar.

Keep the gate down until the left turn arrow is on? I dig it. Too bad we have to stupid proof the system, but if it works, it works. 

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Just some before and after photos of the view of uptown and the blue line from 11th street. Definitely a big difference!

Posted Images

On 7/24/2019 at 7:34 AM, grodney said:

My brief study indicated that trips from 485 station to uptown lost time to the schedule on EVERY trip......thus, nothing to do with Tryon.  See "Time Lost" column below.  Of course N Tryon might cause even worse delays!

 

trainsouth.jpg

I'm actually impressed it has departed on time so frequently.  How is the reverse (3rd to 485) looking?

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1 minute ago, Desert Power said:

I'm actually impressed it has departed on time so frequently.  How is the reverse (3rd to 485) looking?

It leaves on time from 485 because of 15-minute headways at that time of the morning.  The 6:28am northbound train is supposed to arrive 485 at 6:19am.....which it never does.  It averaged almost 6 minutes late, with all arrivals between 3 and 8 minutes late.  But because of the long turnaround time, it almost always departed on time.

For the southbound trip in the afternoon, it arrived on-time 2 out of 10 times.....with 6 of 10 being 3-4 minutes late (with 4 of those 6 during 7-minute headways!).  In 10 trips it never arrived 485 on time.  It also lost time to the schedule on all 10 trips.  See below.

 

trainnorth.jpg

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17 hours ago, nakers2 said:

Keep the gate down until the left turn arrow is on? I dig it. Too bad we have to stupid proof the system, but if it works, it works. 

Yep, plus add STOP painted big approaching the stop bar in the left lane. Belts and suspenders seem needed for the slow learners.

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5 hours ago, grodney said:

It leaves on time from 485 because of 15-minute headways at that time of the morning.  The 6:28am northbound train is supposed to arrive 485 at 6:19am.....which it never does.  It averaged almost 6 minutes late, with all arrivals between 3 and 8 minutes late.  But because of the long turnaround time, it almost always departed on time.

For the southbound trip in the afternoon, it arrived on-time 2 out of 10 times.....with 6 of 10 being 3-4 minutes late (with 4 of those 6 during 7-minute headways!).  In 10 trips it never arrived 485 on time.  It also lost time to the schedule on all 10 trips.  See below.

 

trainnorth.jpg

Huh?  I rode DC metro for years (rush and non-rush hour).  Numbers up there look pretty good to me.   Never ever ever paid attention to schedule in DC, always off.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Today on the 6:28 northbound, as the Operator was switching ends at 485, I heard a banging on the window.  Then she (the Operator) comes on board and smacks her keys on the metal seats next to the gentleman in the 4th seat and says "No sleeping on the train" then she walks forward and smacks her keys on the metal seats next to the lady in the first seat and says "Ma'am, no sleeping on the train".  What the hell?  Crackdown on sleeping on the train?  And what business is it of CATS?  Both of these were commuters....not homeless taking up a seat.

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15 hours ago, grodney said:

Today on the 6:28 northbound, as the Operator was switching ends at 485, I heard a banging on the window.  Then she (the Operator) comes on board and smacks her keys on the metal seats next to the gentleman in the 4th seat and says "No sleeping on the train" then she walks forward and smacks her keys on the metal seats next to the lady in the first seat and says "Ma'am, no sleeping on the train".  What the hell?  Crackdown on sleeping on the train?  And what business is it of CATS?  Both of these were commuters....not homeless taking up a seat.

It would be nice if they'd crack down on people talking loudly on their phones, watching videos or listening to music without headphone, etc.

Not blue line related, but I was catching the 9 in Plaza Midwood to go Uptown yesterday (arguably one of the few roads in Charlotte with reliable local bus service) and despite me waving at him, the bus driver just drove on by. He realized what he'd done and stopped a good 50 yards or so past me, I had to run across an intersection to catch him. When I got on board no even so much as a "sorry man, I zoned out" I tried to joke it off by saying "you didn't see my pineapple shirt?" (yes, I was wearing a shirt with pineapples on it) and he just grunted. Not exactly the best ambassadors to our city, if I was recommending someone a cheap way to get Uptown but 9 or 17 would actually be transit options I'd recognize. 

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Appearances suggest that UNCC ridership has roughly doubled this academic year, but keep in mind that increase is off a low base.

Unfortunately much of this traffic is just people who park at JW Clay and ride one stop to campus. This includes two neighbors of mine (not related)  who live in Dilworth and rode to campus on the Blue Line after walking to East/West for a few months. However the slowness of the trip and poor off-peak frequencies led them to change up and drive to the Clay deck instead. #DoBetterCATS

U City deck continues to be embarrassingly empty, but is is still slowly improving.

Edited by kermit
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45 minutes ago, Madison Parkitect said:

Driving from Dilworth to JW Clay was better for them than taking the train? Yikes, that doesn't speak well for CATS.

The problem for the train is it is a 40 minute ride from Dilworth to UNCC, no mater the traffic. Universities have commuters doing less traditional schedules and don't need to all be on campus at 8AM and leave at 5PM, so many commuters avoid the worst traffic times. Hence the train is often competing for riders who have the choice to drive in free flowing traffic on interstates going 70 mph.

If somebody had a 9:30AM class, it is a 20 minute drive right now from Dilworth to UNCC versus 40 minute on the train (+ waiting time on the platform) Even at the worst of rush hour at 5:30PM from UNCC back to Dilworth, Google estimates 25 minute to 40 minutes driving.... so the train at best breaks even with a "long" driving day at the worst time to commute in the metro.

Add in that commuters to a university might linger on campus late for events, study groups, school clubs, evening class, etc... and the train moves to 20 minute frequencies at off-peak hours, and it becomes an unreliable means to get from A to B after a 7PM school club lets out, without worrying that you get to the platform on time (or risk sitting for 20 minutes + 40 minute train ride). 

Edited by CLT2014
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11 minutes ago, Matthew.Brendan said:

Too bad we are so far out from even considering Express trains.

Yeah nobody is even talking about express tracks.... Hell we can’t even get to the airport yet. Silver line should have been done before gold IMO. 

Edited by Yeahdoug
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There will never be express tracks, just not enough traffic to warrant the cost. Far better to lay that rail into other parts of town.

If CATS has the willingness to do it they can easily make the ride 8 minutes shorter just by traveling at their original design speed on the BLE.  That would make the trip faster than driving on most days. 

Better off peak frequency would also do a lot for UNCC ridership (for reasons CLT2014 so nicely described). I make the 40 minute train ride everyday because I like the train but lots of other choice riders are deciding that its not worth it. CATS is pissing away ridership with bad policies.

#DoBetterCATS

 

Edited by kermit
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3 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

The problem for the train is it is a 40 minute ride from Dilworth to UNCC, no mater the traffic. Universities have commuters doing less traditional schedules and don't need to all be on campus at 8AM and leave at 5PM, so many commuters avoid the worst traffic times. Hence the train is often competing for riders who have the choice to drive in free flowing traffic on interstates going 70 mph.

If somebody had a 9:30AM class, it is a 20 minute drive right now from Dilworth to UNCC versus 40 minute on the train (+ waiting time on the platform) Even at the worst of rush hour at 5:30PM from UNCC back to Dilworth, Google estimates 25 minute to 40 minutes driving.... so the train at best breaks even with a "long" driving day at the worst time to commute in the metro.

Add in that commuters to a university might linger on campus late for events, study groups, school clubs, evening class, etc... and the train moves to 20 minute frequencies at off-peak hours, and it becomes an unreliable means to get from A to B after a 7PM school club lets out, without worrying that you get to the platform on time (or risk sitting for 20 minutes + 40 minute train ride). 

It's absurd how the frequency goes up to 20 mins during off peak. Really should consider keeping the rush hour frequency until 7pm and 15 mins MAX off peak on weekdays until 10 or 11pm. How can they expect anyone to use the light rail outside of rush hour if the wait times between trains is so long?

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1 hour ago, Matthew.Brendan said:

The operators continue with the lurching speed up/slow down randomly type of driving. It's really ridiculous.

There must be a reason they do this, but I can't always figure it out. I've seen them slow down when there are signaling issues on N. Tryon (crossing gate arms hitting a car, lol) --that makes sense. But they also often slow down on the stretch between Old Concord and Sugar Creek, which can have nothing to do with signaling. 

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Yesterday I said  that ridership to UNCC may have doubled this year. Today I think I have enough of a sample to say that BLE ridership overall has noticeably increased as well (30-50% better than last April / May)

Edited by kermit
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