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New Oak Cliff Streetcar

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TzeChiangTW
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New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby TzeChiangTW » 01 Jan 2017 17:10

Can someone tell me why the new streetcars make so much noise clomping down the track?

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electricron
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby electricron » 02 Jan 2017 02:23

Difficult to answer without hearing it.

It could be:
flat spots in the steel wheels,
wheels to rail grinding at curves,
electric motors humming,
arcing at the catenary wires.

It could be just about anything......

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Haretip
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Haretip » 02 Jan 2017 11:04

From my experience, these cars do seem to ride rough and noisy. I would expect better of a modern streetcar. I think it could be things like the springing and shock absorption as well as underfloor insulation and sound deadening practices. I have no knowledge of the design specifics of these cars.
“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!” - Jebediah Springfield

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 03 Jan 2017 15:12

My experiences have been pleasant. Really enjoyed it.

Tnexster
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tnexster » 03 Jan 2017 15:19

All I know is the McKinney Trollies which are noisy and not exactly smooth but are very charming.

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Cbdallas
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Cbdallas » 16 Mar 2017 15:18

I was over in Bishop Arts this last Sunday and It was nice to see how many people were waiting at stations and riding the streetcar from downtown to Bishop Arts. With all of those new dense developments underway it will only get better once that all gets occupied.

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Cbdallas
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Cbdallas » 03 Aug 2017 10:38


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electricron
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby electricron » 03 Aug 2017 19:16

With Young Street removed from the D2 alignment, I believe that makes Young Street the favorite for the streetcar alignment. Otherwise, it'll be redundant on its other three alternatives....

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muncien
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby muncien » 04 Aug 2017 09:42

electricron wrote:With Young Street removed from the D2 alignment, I believe that makes Young Street the favorite for the streetcar alignment. Otherwise, it'll be redundant on its other three alternatives....


No doubt... Farmers Market District needs some love.

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gshelton91
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby gshelton91 » 04 Aug 2017 09:47

I would agree young street could be a great choice... it could also potentially connect in Deep Ellum and the Farmers Market -- but it is going to need a North/south line to cross it so people can get to KW park and all the stuff on the north side of town. years ago Angela Hunt suggested a street car down lamar -- connecting Southside with the new Perot and AAC

lakewoodhobo
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby lakewoodhobo » 04 Aug 2017 11:37

It does seem like Young Street is the best choice when you consider redundancy. It's also a more natural extension of the MATA tracks that currently end at Federal St. Young alignment also flanks Main Street Garden on two sides, which none of the other alignments do.

DPatel304
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby DPatel304 » 04 Aug 2017 12:49

Is redundancy really that bad though? I feel like DART rail will serve more as a commuter line, and the streetcar will serve as intracity transit. I get that the two can be used in conjunction with each other, but the streetcar is free and pretty convenient to hop on and off of.

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electricron
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby electricron » 04 Aug 2017 16:39

DPatel304 wrote:Is redundancy really that bad though? I feel like DART rail will serve more as a commuter line, and the streetcar will serve as intracity transit. I get that the two can be used in conjunction with each other, but the streetcar is free and pretty convenient to hop on and off of.

That's an additional reason for using Young Street for the streetcar, city library, city hall, farmer's market, arts district, and convention center are all great places to run free transit to.

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willyk
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby willyk » 05 Aug 2017 06:15

electricron wrote:That's an additional reason for using Young Street for the streetcar, city library, city hall, farmer's market, arts district, and convention center are all great places to run free transit to.


This seems to be a bit of an If You Build it Scenario. The other routes will serve many more riders from the outset. Cars on this route will run empty for many years, maybe forever. This route runs a risk of leading people in Dallas to conclude that a street car is a waste of money and thereby impairing future expansions.

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tanzoak
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tanzoak » 05 Aug 2017 10:55

The Ross/San Jacinto alternative has the least amount of (and narrowest) split tracking and is the most direct north-south link, so that's what'd get my vote.

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joshua.dodd
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby joshua.dodd » 05 Aug 2017 17:25

willyk wrote:
electricron wrote:That's an additional reason for using Young Street for the streetcar, city library, city hall, farmer's market, arts district, and convention center are all great places to run free transit to.


This seems to be a bit of an If You Build it Scenario. The other routes will serve many more riders from the outset. Cars on this route will run empty for many years, maybe forever. This route runs a risk of leading people in Dallas to conclude that a street car is a waste of money and thereby impairing future expansions.


I can see your point. At the same time, however, when considering all of the developments happening within this area, which has even greater potential, the scenario would pay off. People said the exact same thing about DART rail when they opened the first DART line over twenty years ago. And for a while, the trains did run empty. But now, as has been shown, DART rail has played a pivotal role in the growth of Dallas' economy. I personally think it has potential.

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 05 Aug 2017 18:40

joshua.dodd wrote:People said the exact same thing about DART rail when they opened the first DART line over twenty years ago. And for a while, the trains did run empty. But now, as has been shown, DART rail has played a pivotal role in the growth of Dallas' economy. I personally think it has potential.


Are you referring to the DART rail system that has lost ridership every single year it has been open except for those years where they opened new lines, forcing people off the buses? The one that is so pivotal to the Dallas economy that 85% of regional population growth over the past twenty years has occurred outside of the DART service (and tax) area?

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tnexster » 08 Aug 2017 12:46

Hannibal Lecter wrote:Are you referring to the DART rail system that has lost ridership every single year it has been open except for those years where they opened new lines, forcing people off the buses? The one that is so pivotal to the Dallas economy that 85% of regional population growth over the past twenty years has occurred outside of the DART service (and tax) area?


That is a very interesting statistic, is that backed up somewhere? Not to doubt it I am just curious.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 08 Aug 2017 13:47

Transit works where density resides. Number 1 flaw about dart. Serves areas that aren't dense.

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electricron
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby electricron » 08 Aug 2017 15:08

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:Transit works where density resides. Number 1 flaw about dart. Serves areas that aren't dense.

But the areas DART light rail serves could be much denser. At just about every light rail station, denser redevelopments have occurred, or could be occurring.

100-150 years ago, Central Park in New York City was not surrounded by skyscrapers. You can't place the cart before the horse, mass transit must occur before high density apartments will be zone so they can be built!

You're seeing things half empty instead of half full. Dallas is just at the beginning of this redevelopment process.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 08 Aug 2017 16:57

electricron wrote:
Tivo_Kenevil wrote:Transit works where density resides. Number 1 flaw about dart. Serves areas that aren't dense.

But the areas DART light rail serves could be much denser. At just about every light rail station, denser redevelopments have occurred, or could be occurring.

100-150 years ago, Central Park in New York City was not surrounded by skyscrapers. You can't place the cart before the horse, mass transit must occur before high density apartments will be zone so they can be built!

You're seeing things half empty instead of half full. Dallas is just at the beginning of this redevelopment process.


Building height and added density isn't necessarily true.

That's actually a misconception.

100-150 yrs ago Manhattan was more dense than present day Manhattan. The density back then made transit effective and worthwhile despite the costs (side note: subway building was actually a speculative private venture at the beginning..tracks were laid out were more people would use it).

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012 ... esent.html

My point is that given that Dallas isn't dense it should have started building the rail along dense sectors of the city. This would allow for maximum ridership per mile and then build out from there.

Instead Dart used a defunct rail line path to connect the region ..which as a whole is even less dense than city center. This renders Dart as inefficient.

The half mile radius around a Dart station needs to be dense, not just the land in close proximity to it in order for the stations to really start moving people.

Dart is nothing more than a real estate boon.

With that said, if and only if the Region densifies than maybe DART will become effective. The Bay Area's BART system had the same problems initially, but they grew into it.

DART may be effective if this happens here. But Bay Area Burbs are more dense than our city centers. Hell Garland is more dense than Dallas. So I don't see this happening anytime soon.

Now the streetcar I think will become wildly useful once Bishop Arts / Oak Cliff densifies.

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 08 Aug 2017 19:17

Tnexster wrote:That is a very interesting statistic, is that backed up somewhere? Not to doubt it I am just curious.


I don't recall where I got that number. But I really hate it when folks throw out stats without support, so I did a little research and discovered that the number I quoted was a actually little off. The truth is that for the 2000-2015 period the percentage of DFW population growth outside of the DART service area wasn't 85%.

It was 91%.

Sources:
List of DART member cities: https://www.dart.org/about/dartreferencebookmar16.pdf
DART member city populations 2000 & 2015: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/popcity5.html
DFW 2000 Population: http://www.city-data.com/forum/dallas/1 ... stics.html
DFW 2015 Population: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas%E2 ... _metroplex

Spreadsheet available upon request. :-)

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electricron
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby electricron » 08 Aug 2017 21:19

Let's break those growth numbers down by the 4 largest DFW counties....
Collin County (2K) 500,162 ; (2015) 914,127 ; +82.7% ; +413,965
Dallas County (2K) 2,225,000 ; (2015) 2,553,000 ; +14.7% ; +328,000
Denton County (2K) 438,994 ; (2015) 780,612 ; +77.8% ; +341,818
Tarrant County (2K) 1,454,000 ; (2015) 1,982,000 ; +36.3% ; +528,000
None of Tarrant County, most of Denton County, and much of Collin County, and some of Dallas County aren't in DART.
Why would you expect DART to see higher population growth rates?

You can't have it both ways, expecting DART's service area to become more dense with redeveloping around stations by building shorter rail lines within Dallas city limits, and servicing new growth areas with longer rail lines!
The DFW area isn't confined by mountains or bodies of water; it's surrounded by farm and ranch land on prairies - the easiest and most likely the cheapest land to build upon. Why spend more to build up when you can spend less building out?

Local politicians in Dallas County have little influence over policies in Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties. Neither in the surrounding Hunt, Rockwell, Van Zandt, Kaufman, Ellis, Johnson, Hood, Parker, and Wise Counties.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 09 Aug 2017 00:45

Hannibal Lecter wrote:
Tnexster wrote:That is a very interesting statistic, is that backed up somewhere? Not to doubt it I am just curious.


I quoted was a actually little off. The truth is that for the 2000-2015 period the percentage of DFW population growth outside of the DART service area wasn't 85%.

It was 91%.



What exactly is your point?... that more Land was developed for Housing outside of DART member cities?..OK..Yeah that's obvious. In fact, I'm sure that would be the case for every Transit Agency in a major American Metropolitan area... Also, let's not forget that DFW is more sprawled than most metros..so it makes it tougher for DART to provide coverage for everyone.


DART is imperfect, inefficient and infuriating.. But it does provide transit for parts of the Metropolitan area. You can't say it hasn't helped the economy; look at all the Developments, Relocations and Job accessibility it has helped spur or create.

What DART needs is an ideological shift. They need to improve service and reliability. A major city or region w/o Transit would be an even greater embarrassment than a major city or region w lousy Transit.

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 09 Aug 2017 13:08

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:What exactly is your point?


My point was that the original poster was totally off track (pun intended) when he said "But now, as has been shown, DART rail has played a pivotal role in the growth of Dallas' economy." Because it has not.

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:You can't say it hasn't helped the economy;


Sure I can. And I do. That 1% sales tax is a drain on the economy, and we have pretty much nothing to show for it, except for the periodic muggings and assaults (and the title of "Nation's Least Efficient Transit System"). On the other hand the surrounding cities have taken their 1% and spent it on things that both benefit and attract people and companies. Which is why they're running rings around us. Do you really think Toyota moved to Plano because the dirt was a little cheaper? The population has voted with their feet. It's not that they don't care about DART. It's that they actively avoid it.

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:What DART needs is an ideological shift. They need to improve service and reliability. A major city or region w/o Transit would be an even greater embarrassment than a major city or region w lousy Transit.


The old Dallas Transit System moved a much larger percentage of the population with fares fully paying for operations and for most capital expenditures. That should be our objective.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tnexster » 09 Aug 2017 14:57

I don't necessarily disagree with the point but Plano does have DART and they do pay the penalty for that. Frisco does not have although they do score on business expansions and relocations nobody has scored like Plano has in the past 24 months and Plano does pay the tax.

However, I do think it fascinating that all of those relocations and development occurred between the two DART lines and away from any future planned DART line. There is really no way for DART as it currently operates to keep up with the momentum in this region.

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The_Overdog
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby The_Overdog » 09 Aug 2017 16:07

It's not really all that surprising that most development has not occurred near DART because DART was built where old freight rail lines were rather than where people were. You can see with the new Cottonbelt line, there is no alignment with estimated population growth and DART expansion even in DART tax areas.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tnexster » 10 Aug 2017 09:57

Carrollton is a good example, they signed up early, contributed 300M to DART, waited for decades to see progress only to see Legacy West come to life with a very weak link to DART. Then Frisco comes along, never contributes to DART but will have a direct connection into DFW via air taxi that will fly over Carrollton without laying out a dime for it.

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Alex Rodriguez
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Alex Rodriguez » 11 Aug 2017 09:43

Tnexster wrote:Carrollton is a good example, they signed up early, contributed 300M to DART, waited for decades to see progress only to see Legacy West come to life with a very weak link to DART. Then Frisco comes along, never contributes to DART but will have a direct connection into DFW via air taxi that will fly over Carrollton without laying out a dime for it.


While I mostly agree, DART has not been a negative for Carrollton. The Downtown Carrollton station started booming due to LRT before I-35E construction began. It's stopped for a couple of years, but now that the intersection is finished & improved as more of a train quiet zone, that area is fixing to explode. They've connected their hike&bike trail system to it. Trinity Mills is about to boom as well with the Dickerson connection being built to provide easier access to LRT. And Frankford has had some quiet development with Cyrus One and some multi-use going in.

While its not the 5 Billion Mile, DART does provide some significant dev opportunities. If Addison doesn't bail from DART and Cotton Line gets built, Downtown Carrollton will really explode with development.

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electricron
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby electricron » 11 Aug 2017 11:05

To add to this discussion, DART really doesn't hurt its member cities attract business much. As pointed out earlier, while Frisco doesn't charge a penny sales tax to fund DART like Plano does, it does charge that penny sales tax for other purposes. So the tax rate for attracting businesses is the same. What makes Frisco more attractive than Plano for business is that the rural farmland was cheaper than suburban lots. As more and more people live in Frisco, all demanding more and more services, it will loose its price/cost advantage over its neighboring cities.
That's why sprawl occurs in the first place, it's cheaper to build in rural areas than in urban or suburban areas.

Bringing the discussion back into topic, would the streetcar service be more valued by the general public if it started charging fares? I believe it is a mistake for both the Oak Cliff and McKinney Avenue streetcars to be free to ride. A token low fare is better than no fare at all, because it would place a value of worth on it. What do you think?

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Cord1936
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Cord1936 » 13 Aug 2017 14:55

The Real Reason For the Resurgence of Streetcars in America
(Spoiler: It's Not for Transport)
August 12, 2017 by Suneet Zishan Langar, ArchDaily.com

"In this six-minute-long video, Vox makes the argument that the primary reason behind the recent resurgence of streetcar systems—or proposals for streetcars, at least—in the USA is not because of their contributions to urban mobility, but instead because of the fact that they drive and sustain economic development.

As it uncovers the causes for the popular failure of the streetcar systems in cities such as Washington DC, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City (low speed and limited connectivity, mostly) it asks why an increasing number of American city governments are pushing for streetcars in spite of their dismal record at improving transit. Is it solely due to their positively modern aesthetic? Are streetcars destined to function as mere “attractions” in a city’s urban landscape? Or is the real objective something more complex?"

Full article with video:
http://www.archdaily.com/877521/the-real-reason-for-the-resurgence-of-streetcars-in-america-spoiler-its-not-for-transport?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ArchDaily%20List

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tanzoak
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tanzoak » 14 Aug 2017 02:40

Cord1936 wrote:As it uncovers the causes for the popular failure of the streetcar systems in cities such as Washington DC, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City (low speed and limited connectivity, mostly)


They fail because local governments are too chickenshit to take away car lanes. A streetcar without a dedicated lane is pretty worthless.

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tamtagon
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tamtagon » 14 Aug 2017 10:24

The streetcar in Atlanta should be just fine, transitional neighborhood challenges being the biggest barrier. As it is, governance turns out to be an almost insurmountable barrier. They've tried to make this as much a tourist conveyor and a resident amenity and flubbed the whole deal. The stations are in the wrong place for both residents and tourists.

The haven't managed the money appropriately, it breaks down too often and (apparent) shortcuts have made parts of the route faulty.

Right now, the Atlanta streetcar is about as successful as the Falcon's superbowl bid: Everything looks great coasting home for a blow-out victory... oops!

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tnexster » 14 Aug 2017 10:31

Isn't the MATA system fairly successful? I always see people on it and they may mostly be tourists but it does get used.

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Cbdallas
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Cbdallas » 14 Aug 2017 15:37

I recently spent 10 days in europe and I was amazed how many medium sized cities had a great streetcar system that was packed with people. The obvious cities like Amsterdam and Cologne were great and I used nothing but streetcar to manuever. We are soooooo far behind in this country with trains and urban transit but we must move foward where we can.

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tanzoak
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tanzoak » 14 Aug 2017 17:52

Tnexster wrote:Isn't the MATA system fairly successful? I always see people on it and they may mostly be tourists but it does get used.


No, it has very low ridership. And that's despite being free.

They reported a pace of 380,000 rides in 2015, which was a 38% increase over the previous year. Even if there's continued to be a surge, I'm skeptical it'd be more than 500,000 rides now.
http://www.mata.org/images/McKinney_Ave ... letter.pdf

The Portland streetcar, which does charge for use, had 5.6 million rides in 2014 covering less than twice the distance. Not saying that giving MATA ROW would put it quite in that range, but that's what real ridership looks like.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Tnexster » 14 Aug 2017 22:43

tanzoak wrote:
Tnexster wrote:Isn't the MATA system fairly successful? I always see people on it and they may mostly be tourists but it does get used.


No, it has very low ridership. And that's despite being free.

They reported a pace of 380,000 rides in 2015, which was a 38% increase over the previous year. Even if there's continued to be a surge, I'm skeptical it'd be more than 500,000 rides now.
http://www.mata.org/images/McKinney_Ave ... letter.pdf

The Portland streetcar, which does charge for use, had 5.6 million rides in 2014 covering less than twice the distance. Not saying that giving MATA ROW would put it quite in that range, but that's what real ridership looks like.


Is that a good comparison? Looking at the route maps the Portland system looks much larger than Dallas, more modern and it has three routes not one. When I looked on the website it said MATA saw 635,000 passenger trips in 2015 which was a 26% increase over 2014 and credited to the Arts District expansion. I would be curious to know where they are now. That doesn't seem that bad considering what they are and how they operate.

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muncien
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby muncien » 15 Aug 2017 10:15

It's amazing the level some cities go to discourage automobile usage. I just spent three days in Portland last month (my first time there), and it's kinda crazy how few lanes are available for vehicular traffic. LRT and Streetcars dominate. It's also worth noting that they're hardly distinguishable from each other in the city core as the LRT functions almost exactly like a streetcar (very similarly to our transit mall that every loathes).
They're a bit forced into this situation by the fact that their streets are fairly narrow (even their sidewalks aren't all that wide), and going with a car first mentality would no doubt lead to gridlock and a hostile pedestrian environment.
It makes me wonder if cities like Portland, and many in Europe with smaller street ROW have evolved more out of necessity than out of some moral purity. Whatever the motivation, it certainly works... I'm just not sure how much you can force it on places with such an abundance of surface streets such as DTD.

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electricron
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby electricron » 16 Aug 2017 03:44

I believe both the Oak Cliff and McKinney Ave. streetcars could attract more riders if the frequency of service was increased. A tram every 20-30 minutes can not compete in ridership with a tram every 5-10 minutes - even if it's freee.
But then, the costs to provide the more frequent service is higher. MATA is funded by local public and private stakeholders more interested in providing trams to service customers and business along its route at what they consider an acceptable level than it is to increase ridership..... An important fact to remember is that Portland's streetcars are funded differently than both the streetcars in Dallas....

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Haretip
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Haretip » 17 Aug 2017 09:44

tanzoak wrote:
Tnexster wrote:Isn't the MATA system fairly successful? I always see people on it and they may mostly be tourists but it does get used.


No, it has very low ridership. And that's despite being free.

They reported a pace of 380,000 rides in 2015, which was a 38% increase over the previous year. Even if there's continued to be a surge, I'm skeptical it'd be more than 500,000 rides now.
http://www.mata.org/images/McKinney_Ave ... letter.pdf

The Portland streetcar, which does charge for use, had 5.6 million rides in 2014 covering less than twice the distance. Not saying that giving MATA ROW would put it quite in that range, but that's what real ridership looks like.


Not successful? Well, I suppose that depends on your definition of success. For the record, 2016 ridership was just under 650,000 rider trips. I also don't believe Portland is an appropriate comparison. All of the MATA equipment is pre-1960 single unit vehicles. 4 of the cars are 50 feet long and 2 are 28 feet. I have had numerous trips where the cars were packed standing room only and they were still turning people away. Compare that to the capacity of the Portland cars.

Also compare 2016 to the years in the 1990s when MATA annual ridership was in the tens of thousands (literally like just over 10,000 riders in 1993), I'd say by my measure MATA is doing a hell of a job. New carbarn space (M-Line Tower) and more cars coming soon. But, as I have always said, if you want MATA to do more then you need to find more money.
“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!” - Jebediah Springfield

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tamtagon
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tamtagon » 17 Aug 2017 10:50

What started as a neighborhood re-development aid, I think it's fair to say the MATA vintage streetcar system is so successful, the novelty is turning into a viable mobility option.

Maturing DART now seems able to turn primary focus from light rail installation and 'long haul' capability to systemic ridership growth based upon neighborhood integrity. Personally, I want to see more vintage streetcars in service keeping the novelty alive, running on the same tracks as the contemporary vehicles. As a development aid, streetcars may provide more appeal as a novelty than mobility, but the formula has worked in Uptown.

The more downtown area neighborhoods linked to and connected through the CBD the stronger the system becomes. Design District-Victory Park, Knox-Uptown, Deep Ellum-Fair Park, Oak Cliff-Bishop Arts, The Cedars-South Dallas, Love Field-Oak Lawn.

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tanzoak
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tanzoak » 17 Aug 2017 10:51

Tnexster wrote:Is that a good comparison? Looking at the route maps the Portland system looks much larger than Dallas, more modern and it has three routes not one. When I looked on the website it said MATA saw 635,000 passenger trips in 2015 which was a 26% increase over 2014 and credited to the Arts District expansion. I would be curious to know where they are now. That doesn't seem that bad considering what they are and how they operate.


I was wrong about the lengths.. the wikipedia entry for MATA is for round-trip. So yes, Portland's is significantly bigger at 7.2 mi vs 2.3 for MATA. Still, even with that updated length and using the 635k ridership number for MATA, the Portland streetcar get 3X as many riders on a per-mile basis. And remember, that's with MATA being FREE. Free is a huge ridership booster.

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Haretip
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Haretip » 17 Aug 2017 11:00

The question was not, "Is Portland better than MATA?". The question was, "Is MATA successful?" Reiterating my points, I'd still say yes.

And that length is still wrong. When the system opened in 1998, it had 2.8 miles and has been extended since then. I do not know the current length.
Last edited by Haretip on 17 Aug 2017 11:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tanzoak » 17 Aug 2017 11:01

muncien wrote:It's amazing the level some cities go to discourage automobile usage. I just spent three days in Portland last month (my first time there), and it's kinda crazy how few lanes are available for vehicular traffic. LRT and Streetcars dominate.


electricron wrote:I believe both the Oak Cliff and McKinney Ave. streetcars could attract more riders if the frequency of service was increased. A tram every 20-30 minutes can not compete in ridership with a tram every 5-10 minutes - even if it's freee.
But then, the costs to provide the more frequent service is higher.


These are the correct takes. Electricron gets at the reason that all real/decent transit services charge money to ride. You have to have some sort of legitimate income to be able to afford to provide good service. You can't run it on charity alone.

I'm just not sure how much you can force it on places with such an abundance of surface streets such as DTD.


I'd say the opposite of this is true. The presence of wide surface streets makes giving up lanes to transit way easier because you don't have to shut down the street to car traffic and deal with the political backlash or traffic engineering circulation issues.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tanzoak » 17 Aug 2017 11:12

Haretip wrote:The question was not, "Is Portland better than MATA?". The question was, "Is MATA successful?" Reiterating my points, I'd still say yes.


Sure, MATA ridership has been increasing, which is great. It's not some sort of failure or something, and all considered, it's a good omen for the increasing acceptance and usage of transit in core Dallas. But 700pax/day/mi is not actually anywhere close to high ridership, especially for a free service.

Sometimes with streetcar discussions in Dallas, an overhyping of the actual success of MATA results in following its example way more than we should. Like, choosing free+low frequency instead of providing something that people will actually pay for, and being totally okay with a split line route with mixed-traffic lanes.

As for the car capacity issue, you said you've seen riders turned away due to cars being over capacity? How often does that happen? I feel like I would have heard something about that if it was anything close to a regular occurrence.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tanzoak » 17 Aug 2017 11:15

Haretip wrote:And that length is still wrong. When the system opened in 1998, it had 2.8 miles and has been extended since then. I do not know the current length.


It's currently 4.6 miles if you count the miles of literal track (aka round-trip, which is not how transit system lengths are measured). The actual route is 2.3 miles.

(Regardless, a longer length would mean the ridership numbers are worse)

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby muncien » 17 Aug 2017 11:31

I'd say the opposite of this is true. The presence of wide surface streets makes giving up lanes to transit way easier because you don't have to shut down the street to car traffic and deal with the political backlash or traffic engineering circulation issues.

I agree that wider roads will make implementing streetcar in Dallas easier, but it won't improve usage. So long as users can get from point A to point Z easily/quickly in one trip in their car, there is no incentive to take the streetcar (which also stops at B, C, D... and likely won't make it all the way to Z).
This is why I say some of these are successful simply out of necessity. Driving through Downtown Portland is far more cumbersome than Downtown Dallas. European cities even more so, as many of their 'streets' evolved hundreds of years before cars even existed.
I'm not saying we shouldn't try... We should! But achieving a comparable level of success will be much more difficult. Autonomous ride sharing won't help that cause at all. Seems the only viable purpose of streetcar in Dallas future is novelty and developer incentive due to that novelty. But hey, that's still something.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tanzoak » 17 Aug 2017 11:57

muncien wrote:I agree that wider roads will make implementing streetcar in Dallas easier, but it won't improve usage. So long as users can get from point A to point Z easily/quickly in one trip in their car, there is no incentive to take the streetcar (which also stops at B, C, D... and likely won't make it all the way to Z).
This is why I say some of these are successful simply out of necessity. Driving through Downtown Portland is far more cumbersome than Downtown Dallas.


Totally agree that a huge determinant is how easy it is to drive (though really, it's not so much the ease of driving itself as it is ease/cost of parking).

However, I think your impressions of the relative widths of Downtown Portland v Downtown Dallas streets may be mistaken. Looking at Streetview, most Portland N-S streets are 5 lanes, and E-W streets are 4 (with some variation towards the narrower end for E-W). Dallas isn't as nicely standardized, but the modal width is definitely 3 lanes, with also a decent number of 4 laners.

I think Portland probably feels narrower because it has solid rows of tall buildings instead of the surface parking lots we have in Dallas. Their transit lanes, striping, and bulb-outs also make the streets feel narrower than they actually are.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby tamtagon » 17 Aug 2017 12:19

Hopefully the MATA-OCTA connecting route through the CBD is being guided by the potential of redeveloping street level activity. Every building along this route should have potential to turn into something of a promenade.

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Re: New Oak Cliff Streetcar

Postby Haretip » 17 Aug 2017 15:29

tanzoak wrote:As for the car capacity issue, you said you've seen riders turned away due to cars being over capacity? How often does that happen? I feel like I would have heard something about that if it was anything close to a regular occurrence.


The overcrowding is usually more prevalent in the spring and fall when the weather is tolerable. FWIW, I am a 26 year volunteer motorman for MATA. My opinions and comments here are my own and do not reflect official MATA positions.

I am not suggesting that future streetcar plans follow the MATA example, but I guarantee you that farebox recovery rates will not pay for the equipment and staff to operate high-frequency service with modern cars. You have to secure additional funding commitments and I personally do not know where you would get that. Also keep in mind that there are no modern cars being built today that can fit on the northeast of Bowen Street.

I would be curious to see the cost per rider stats for MATA. Perhaps I'll ask the COO next time I see him.
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