Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Linkfest: 10/13

Transit in the news, of late:

  • Vancouver to get streetcars
    Brussels has donated two trams to the city of Vancouver to use during the Olympics. The trams will run on a demonstration line along False Creek. Vancouver eventually hopes to extend the "Olympic Line" up Main Street to downtown. Full story: The Vancouver Sun.
  • Preserving the Thomas Viaduct
    Baltimore-area preservationists are calling for a visitor park at the Thomas Viaduct. The 174-year old span crosses the Patapsco River just south of Baltimore and is the oldest operational mainline railroad bridge in the United States. CSX is worried about trespassers. Full story: The Baltimore Sun.
  • Amtrak sees second-highest ridership year
    Amtrak saw a 5% reduction in passengers from last year, but still had its second-highest ridership year ever during the 12-month period ending Sept. 30. Trains carried 27.2 million passengers this fiscal year. While ridership is down overall, several trains saw increases, including: (Full story: Amtrak)
  • Amtrak releases Pioneer feasibility report
    Amtrak released a preliminary feasibility study on restoration of the Pioneer. Idaho Senator Crapo has published the report on his website. It appears that the service would cost around $30-40 million annually, with fares covering about one-third of the cost. Initial capital costs are around $400 million.
  • Chicago looks at raising fares
    Chicago is facing a major budget crunch. CTA released a proposal on Monday to raise fares 33% to $3.00 while reducing rail and bus service. This fare would make Chicago among the most expensive transit systems in the country. However, other cities have been raising fares as well. Full story: AP.
  • Commuter rail for Kansas City?
    Kansas City, well known for shooting down light rail plans, is now looking at a commuter rail system. The Jackson County Executive recently released a plan for a 144 mile rail system centered on KC Union Station. The proposal calls for seven radial corridors, including one serving the Airport. Full story: Kansas City Star. The plan (PDF).
  • Hawaii LRT moves into PE
    Honolulu's light rail system got the green light from FTA to move into preliminary engineering. It's a good sign that the project will likely receive the final go ahead in a few months. Full story: KGMB.


cornbread said...

The proposed commuter rail system for KC area is fatally flawed without a station in Johnson County, KS. Overland Park is the most populous surburb of KC and it deserves and needs a station. I think the MPO or the transit provider can initiate a study to look at the I-35 corridor for some type of rail.

Steven said...

Yes, but Johnson County is across the state line in Kansas and neither Johnson County or the state of Kansas has shown any interest in paying for any form of rail transit.

cornbread said...

If you take a look at the map that was provided with the article summary, it clearly shows a line in Wyandotte County. It looks it could be on State Ave., Quindaro / Leavenworth.

Matt Fisher said...

Yes, well, in Vancouver, the Olympic Line should be good. There is already streetcars over there, and it uses a pair of interurban cars from the BCER. It's seasonal, though, and only mainly a tourist type operation at present.

The BCER once operated both streetcars and interurbans in Vancouver, with some interurbans connecting to New Westminster, which also once had streetcars. They also did in North Vancouver, and last, but not least, in Victoria, the province's capital, all away on Vancouver Island.

Finally, the type of tram to be used will be the Cityrunner, a product of Bombardier. It's been chosen as the model for the new streetcar model in Toronto, and there is an order of 204 streetcars. This has been dubbed the biggest LRV order in North America.

cornbread said...

I was in the KC area last week visiting my Mom who lives in Johnson County. We were driving to the airport and got stuck in the I-35 traffic. KC desperately needs some type of rail service to alleviate some of the traffic on I-35, I-435, US 169 and I-29.