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monsoon

First City in SC to build Mass Transit?

Which City/Metro in SC will be the first to build fixed rail transit?  

83 members have voted

  1. 1. Which City/Metro in SC will be the first to build fixed rail transit?

    • Charleston
      21
    • Columbia
      10
    • Greenville
      24
    • Myrtle Beach
      5
    • Rock Hill
      12
    • Spartanburg
      0
    • Other (explain)
      1
    • Unlikely to Happen
      10


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I realize there are no concrete plans in most of SC to build transit though I am sure the municipalities above are all considering it on one fashion or another. So which metro do you think will be the first to do so. Please explain your choice.

These are what I know about two of the above metros. Would someone be nice enough to either PM them to me or Spartan for inclusion here?

Myrtle Beach - There are very tentative plans to build a commuter rail/tourist excursion line that would run from the very recently renovated Myrtle Beach Train Depot to the River Walk area in Downtown Conway. This line would run on the abandoned passenger/freight line that used to terminate in Myrtle Beach. Several demonstration runs have already been made to great fanfair.

Rock Hill - There is a very tentative plan to build a commuter rail line from Rock Hill to Charlotte. Most likely the line would terminate at a South LRT station and riders would have to xfer there. Currently this line is not part of Charlotte's plans for rail service and would require complicated negotiations between Charlotte, the NCDOT (who is paying for 25% of Charlotte's system) and similar agencies in SC.

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I'd say Charleston or Myrtle Beach.

Because, they're really the only two where it would make sense. Charleston's by far the densest city in the state and both cities are big time tourist destinations. Any type of rail system, like a streetcar or trolley would just become another tourist attraction, sort of like the streetcar system in Galveston.

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I believe that it will be a very long time before South Carolina develops a light rail sysyem. Look at Charlotte its 3 times the size of any S.C. city and there just starting theres. However if S.C. was smart they would develop this system very quickley before major growth hits the state. S.C. has great untapped potential,now if more industries like BMW would come to the state and more jobs are created then thats when there will be more interestin the lrt.

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I think the Greenville-Spartanburg area would be the first to get it. The MSA were one at one time and will probably be one again by the next census. Plus its on the highly popular 85 corridor between Atlanta and Charlotte. That puts the MSA at approximately 1 million and even more by 2010.

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I know the answer to this, but it is not on the Poll. Clemson will be the first city to do mass transit fixed rail, It is already in the planning stages, they want trains to go from Clemson to Greenville. The CAT system is already the largest free public transportation system.

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First of all, where the hell is Spartanville? :blink:;) (I'll fix that after this post)

I think Charleston will be the first city to have rail transit. The density of downtown is far greater than the other cities for starters. Peopl in DT don't mind walking. Any rail that gets built downtown will almost certainly be a subway. Tourists could utilze this system to get to locations in West Ashley, Mt Pleaseant, and N Charleston without having to drive. There are several destinations around the city that are not necessarily easy to get to, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the area. It would help if I knew where some of the large employment centers were.

You could have several lines:

North-South from West Ashley to DT to Mt Pleasant.

East West can be from DT to N Charleston to Summerville.

From DT there would be two spur lines, the SE and the NE that would connect to Folly Beach and Sullivan's Island respectively

I'll post a concept map of my idea later....

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I think that either Rock Hill (commuter), or Myrtle Beach would stand the best chance. Myrtle is a good location b/c of all the tourist stuff, Rock Hill obviously because it is now Charlottes bedroom community, plus these are the fastest growing metros in the state. Charleston's peninsula I think has the density and tourist attraction but does it have enough going on in the CBD to muster on a daily basis (just asking cause I don't know). Greenville/ Spartanburg/ Anderson, is too spread out and too reliant on the automobile, & Columbia though not spread too thin, has several accessible interstates, and is car heavy as well. Just my thoughts.

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Ah, didn't think about RH. It will probably be the first city to get a rail system with Charlotte nearby.

Columbia has the second most potential in my view. The vista, the CBD, 5 points, etc are all central locations that oculd benefit from a rail transit. There are even existing rail lines that could be used. Columbia just needs more population and more density in the suburbs to make it effective. St Andrews, Forest Acres, and Cayce could all be potential locations so suburban stops.

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Actually, I've already designed Columbia's light rail system. :) Rock Hill makes sense as far as hooking into Charlotte's LRT. Downtown Charleston is possible as is Columbia. I disagree about Charleston having a denser population, though. Don't forget, Columbia has well over 30,000 college students mostly living downtown that don't get counted in census figures and over 50,000 downtown commuters everyday, many more than downtown Charleston has. There are also many dense in-town neighborhoods, which were served well by the streetcars prior to 1936. How I wish they had never been removed in so many cities.

Columbia%20trolley%20map.jpg

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USC's resident population is alot closer to 10k. However, there are about 20k more students and thousands of faculty that commute to the area every day. Rail would help that probalem alot.

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USC's resident population is alot closer to 10k. However, there are about 20k more students and thousands of faculty that commute to the area every day.  Rail would help that probalem alot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What I really meant are there are over 30,000 college students in town and most of them live in the downtown area. Not just USC, but Allen, Benedict, Columbia College and the Lutheran Seminary are all either downtown or nearby. As far as USC is concerned, even though only about 10,000 students live on campus, many more live off campus, but still close to downtown. I should have elaborated earlier.

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I really believe that at this point any one of the major metro areas in the state is likely to see LRT happen fairly soon. Plans are currently in the works, and from the info I've gathered in my spare time, it appears that Greenville metro is well on the way to bringing the long-discussed concept into reality, as major development continues across this region. :)

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Columbia_Rail01.jpg

This is my layout for Columbia's rail system:

Uses mostly existing rail- above ground

Requires underground rail

My setup would have Two central transfer stations: Vista Station, and Downtown, which are shaded with black centers. DOwntown would have to be located on Sumter St. and Vista Station on Lady

Northwest Line Stops: (NW to SE)

NW5 Irmo/Columbiana Centre

NW4 Seven Oaks

NW3 St Andrews [explained: Office buildings in that area could use a pedestian bridge to access it)

NW2 Zoo [explained: hotels would need to some sort of direct srevice)

NW1 CanalSide

Vista Station

SE1 Colonial Center

SE2A Rice Street/ USC South Campus

SE2B Stadium (only operational around football games- requires transfer at Colonial Center to)

SE3/SW1 Five Points/ USC North Campus

Northeast Line Stops: (NE to SW)

NE5 Dentsville/Columbia Place Mall

NE4 Farrow Rd

NE3 Columbia College

NW2 Earlewood

NE1 Courthouse

Downtown

SW1/SE3 Five Points/USC North Campus

SW2 Ft Jackson Blvd/Devine St/Rosewood Dr

Central Line Stops: (East to West)

Downtown

Vista Station

C1 New Brookland

C2 Triangle City

Proposed by me:

(Xx)Cayce

(Xx) Springdale

C(x) Lexington

C(x) Richland Mall

(Xx) Ft Jackson

(Xx) Garner's Ferry Rd

(Xx) Upper Two Noth Rd/ Village at Sandhill

Ideally Richland Mall should be included too, and Forest Acres, but the wealthy tend to not want these types of projects, so I didn't include those areas.

Charleston_rail1.jpg

Uses mostly existing rail- above ground

Requires underground rail

This is my layout for Charleston's Rail system. It does not include Mt Pleasant for hte same reasons Columbia doesn't include Forest Acres. The wealthy don't like these kinds of projects. However, some proposed stops could be Patriot's Point, Shem Creek, DT Mt Pleseant, and the "Town Center" Shopping area.

My idea has King St Station as the central transfer point. The lines' names come from the idea of 26 being an east to west interstate and 17 being a north to south hiway, even though their true directions are perpendicular to their labels.

West Line Stops: (North to South)

NW3 Northwoods Mall

NW2 Hanahan

NW1 North Charleston

W3 Airport

W2 Convention Center

W1 Naval Base

King St Station

E1 Broad St/Four Corners

South Line Stops: (West to East)

S3 Citadel Mall

S2 St Andrews/West Ashley

S1 MUSC

King St Station

N1 E Bay St

Proposed by me:

N2 Patriot's Point

N3 Shem Creek

N4 Mt. Pleasant

N5 "Towne Center Shopping Area" (name still under consideration)

NE1 Sullivan's Island

NE1 Isle of Palms

SE1 James Island

SE2 Folly Beach

Additional stops on proposed "existing" lines:

W(x) Upper King St stop

W(x) Neck Area stop

(Xx) Citadel stop

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I really believe that at this point any one of the major metro areas in the state is likely to see LRT happen fairly soon.  Plans are currently in the works, and from the info I've gathered in my spare time, it appears that Greenville metro is well on the way to bringing the long-discussed concept into reality, as major development continues across this region. :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Indeed. Greenville has by far done the most planning towards this end. Buying up old rail lines shows good planning on their part.

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I'm seeing some pretty good ideas in this forum. Maybe one of you should run for mayor in your respective city (especially Columbia), so we can make some plans become reality.

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Yes, I'm showing my bias again, but I do believe that my hometown of Charleston would probably get a light rail first in this state. Charleston is already contemplating light rail transit for a route from the Visitors Center on Meeting Street, through the Neck area, and ending at Chas. Int'l. Airport. Other routes would be across the new Cooper River bridge to Mt. Pleasant Town Center, across the Ashley River to Citadel Mall, and possibly to James Island and Folly Beach...all coming from a downtown or Neck area hub. But I do think that Myrtle Beach and Greenville are also excellent candidates for this concept.

MB needs it primarily because many tourists and locals would need to get someplace faster than it normally takes in the city. To get from 1 hotel to, let's say the new (and beautiful I might add) mall takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on the insane traffic. A monorail could decrease that time to 10 minutes.

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I think the acutal feasablity of rail of any sort for Columbia is almost non-existant. Columbia is simply doesn't have the numbers to warrent a rail system. Charleston can't even agree on funding for its bus sytem, so rail is even less feasable there. Greenville seems to be the most feasable, but I htink itlacks the central density that the other cities have.

I know that Charlotte's usage is something like 46,000 per day

I think Greenville is somewhere in the 10,000 range

Does anyone know of a site that these statistics could be gathered from?

I think Columbia would be a good candidate for BRT.

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I'm seeing some pretty good ideas in this forum. Maybe one of you should run for mayor in your respective city (especially Columbia), so we can make some plans become reality.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

B) It's funny that you say that. I've been told numerous times by my friends and family that I should run for mayor. I've actually thought about it, and if I get into law school, I think I might consider the possibility of running for mayor in Charleston.

BUT, I'm not a big fan of being political, so we'll see what happens...

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Yes, I'm showing my bias again, but I do believe that my hometown of Charleston would probably get a light rail first in this state. Charleston is already contemplating light rail transit for a route from the Visitors Center on Meeting Street, through the Neck area, and ending at Chas. Int'l. Airport. Other routes would be across the new Cooper River bridge to Mt. Pleasant Town Center, across the Ashley River to Citadel Mall, and possibly to James Island and Folly Beach...all coming from a downtown or Neck area hub. But I do think that Myrtle Beach and Greenville are also excellent candidates for this concept.

MB needs it primarily because many tourists and locals would need to get someplace faster than it normally takes in the city. To get from 1 hotel to, let's say the new (and beautiful I might add) mall takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on the insane traffic. A monorail could decrease that time to 10 minutes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Any links to that LRT plan? I know that Charleston had a proposal for a monorail or something way back. monsoon mentioned this once....

The MB-Conway link would be benificial to those not wanting to stay in MB, but sitll have access to it. The hotels could build in Conway with links to the rail system.

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Any links to that LRT plan? I know that Charleston had a proposal for a monorail or something way back. monsoon mentioned this once....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The original plan was for a monorail to be built in the median of the new Cooper River Bridge, and the bridge has been built with the plan in mind. Another proposal was to build the rail underneath the bridge. I can't remember how long ago I read that, but it was in the Post and Courier. Those links Sandlapper provided should give an idea of what's being looked at currently.

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BRT is Bus Rapid Transit: BRT

Basicly, it is a dedicated busway (no cars allowed). It can take many forms, including a completely separate roadway that essentially allows the bus to act as train would.

Brisbanededicatedlanes.jpg

Civis_1.jpg

Londonguidephoto.jpg

Civis3.jpg

bostonsilver1.jpg

Charlotte's mass transit plants include a BRT for its eas-west service line:

http://www.gobrt.org/charlotte.pdf

I'm sure the Charlotte peeps could enlighten us more on it :)

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Basicly, it is a dedicated busway (no cars allowed). It can take many forms, including a completely separate roadway that essentially allows the bus to act as train would.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually, I remember riding on those in Denver, CO. They're like modern day trolleys...the one I rode on went from a parking lot to the downtown shopping district of 16th Street. Some are still on rails, but others are actual buses that look like trains.

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Exactly. The flexibility of these things is what makes them great.

Columbia's extra wide streets mean that there is plenty of room for expansion or modification by removing some parking. Assembly St would work well- you could remove the centerline parking to install these lines.

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i'm not saying that spartanburg would be the first, mainly b/c of population size, but being the old hub city that it is, it seems that there would be plenty of old rails to renovate. it seems that they might have the easiest time b/c there are so many rail lines.

on another note, i heard a rumor that spartanburg might create another trolley car system. has anyone heard anything about plans? the lines used to run all the way from downtown to glendale off of country club rd. you can still see where the lines used to be. it's pretty cool.

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