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the Cotton Belt line

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 11 Oct 2017 11:17

Alex Rodriguez wrote:DART can't afford to lose its #2 and #8 cities, period, end of story. Cash, influence, potential for other cities to leave, if Addison were to leave it would rock the foundation of a relatively fragile organization. Plano would be emboldened to do the same. You are correct, Plano does get the shaft right now, and they know it. There isn't a whole lot to lose for the 73 Million they've put in, what 2 stations? Bus service would be relatively easy to replace. They could join DCTA for half the cost, others could do it on a contract basis. If Plano leaves, DART is finished. Phillip Kingston's mighty Dallas cape flapping in the wind isn't big enough to save DART if Plano says C-ya.

Sure, Plano knows it is being screwed over. They expected it being a second ring suburban city, just like Carrollton and Rowlett. The one suburban city making out receiving far more services comparable to what they pay in is Irving. Of course, Irving was asked and did deliver more funds for the Orange line to get built quickly out to DFW airport. Addison is a first ring suburban city, and surely expects more than what they are getting.
Last edited by electricron on 11 Oct 2017 15:48, edited 1 time in total.

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ericthegardener
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby ericthegardener » 11 Oct 2017 12:39

electricron wrote:Rowlett is a first ring suburban city, and surely expects more than what they are getting.


Rowlett is a "first ring" suburban city?!

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 11 Oct 2017 15:47

ericthegardener wrote:
electricron wrote:Rowlett is a first ring suburban city, and surely expects more than what they are getting.


Rowlett is a "first ring" suburban city?!

Sorry, I meant Addison. I’ll correct my earlier reply.

There are other first ring suburban cities of Dallas that aren’t member cities yet. Addison could be considered a test case for them on how quickly DART might get trains to them. Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Duncanville, Balch Springs, and Lancaster are watching. Do you really believe DART could ever convince them to join as long as Addison lacks trains?

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The_Overdog
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby The_Overdog » 11 Oct 2017 22:06

What are you all talking about? Plano is a 'first ring' suburb of Dallas. Dallas and Plano share a border. That's what 'first ring' means. And Plano has not been screwed over by DART. They have empty lots next to their existing rail station (the TOD argument falls flat), no need to build more stations within 1 mile, and buses are transit, of which Plano has 2 large bus park & rides. DCTA hasn't managed to bring reliable bus service to any other DFW suburb - I think you are overstating its abilities. Or why did Allen, McKinney and others enter into contracts with TAPS instead?

I don't think Plano even wants the Cotton Belt line that much and would greatly prefer the Red Line to be extended to their northern border.

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tanzoak
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby tanzoak » 13 Oct 2017 17:11

The_Overdog wrote:I don't think Plano even wants the Cotton Belt line that much and would greatly prefer the Red Line to be extended to their northern border.


North of the Parker Rd terminus is a whole bunch of nothing.

What I would want if I was Plano is high-quality bus service to Legacy.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 14 Oct 2017 10:52

What I would want if I were Plano would be train stations in or near the western neighborhoods of Plano. That could be accomplished the following ways:
(A) commuter (regional) rail along the BNSF Madill corridor towards Frisco from Carrollton. This requires a commuter rail platform near the downtown Carrollton light rail station so passengers can transfer. It doesn’t mean building the Cotton Belt first, but building it first will certainly give these riders more choices.
(B) a rail line up either the DNT or Preston Road corridors, either above or below the toll road, or at grade on Preston Road. If the rail line is over or under the toll road, it doesn’t have to be restricted to light rail, it could be heavy rail using a powered third rail instead of a catenary.

That’s what citizens of western Plano would want, citizens of eastern Plano want the Cotton Belt built.

DART has a major problem that needs to be faced fairly soon, what’s next after the Cotton Belt and D2? What about a line up DNT? What about a line to Grand Prairie? What about a line to Mesquite? What about a line to Duncanville? What about a circulator line along Loop 12? There’s no vision
for the future of DART once the initial lines are finished! DART is not going to attract new member cities and new revenue streams without a new vision of what is next.

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tanzoak
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby tanzoak » 14 Oct 2017 11:42

electricron wrote:(B) a rail line up either the DNT or Preston Road corridors, either above or below the toll road, or at grade on Preston Road. If the rail line is over or under the toll road, it doesn’t have to be restricted to light rail, it could be heavy rail using a powered third rail instead of a catenary.


Well, sure. That is what I would want if I could just snap my fingers. But there's the small problem of the actual delivery/support of the project, unless there's been a sudden acceptance of taking lanes in N Dallas and at TxDOT and running rail through Preston Hollow that I'm unaware of.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 14 Oct 2017 12:24

tanzoak wrote:Well, sure. That is what I would want if I could just snap my fingers. But there's the small problem of the actual delivery/support of the project, unless there's been a sudden acceptance of taking lanes in N Dallas and at TxDOT and running rail through Preston Hollow that I'm unaware of.

Preston Hollow wouldn’t be the only neighborhood not friendly to a rail line. Which means option A is the more likely solution, monetary and politically; which brings us back to a transfer station of one form or another in downtown Carrollton. There’s a reason why I posted it first. ;)
If you check out the DEIS for the Cotton Belt, and specifically at the downtown Carrollton station location, note the extra platform in the design for the Madill corridor.

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muncien
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby muncien » 16 Oct 2017 09:02

electricron wrote:What I would want if I were Plano would be train stations in or near the western neighborhoods of Plano. That could be accomplished the following ways:
(A) commuter (regional) rail along the BNSF Madill corridor towards Frisco from Carrollton. This requires a commuter rail platform near the downtown Carrollton light rail station so passengers can transfer. It doesn’t mean building the Cotton Belt first, but building it first will certainly give these riders more choices.
(B) a rail line up either the DNT or Preston Road corridors, either above or below the toll road, or at grade on Preston Road. If the rail line is over or under the toll road, it doesn’t have to be restricted to light rail, it could be heavy rail using a powered third rail instead of a catenary.

That’s what citizens of western Plano would want, citizens of eastern Plano want the Cotton Belt built.

DART has a major problem that needs to be faced fairly soon, what’s next after the Cotton Belt and D2? What about a line up DNT? What about a line to Grand Prairie? What about a line to Mesquite? What about a line to Duncanville? What about a circulator line along Loop 12? There’s no vision
for the future of DART once the initial lines are finished! DART is not going to attract new member cities and new revenue streams without a new vision of what is next.


I agree with much of this, but the DNT/Preston thing, while needed, just seems so unlikely.
Aside from D2, most focus should be shifted toward commuter rail along existing rail lines. Cotton belt and BNSF are the next logical phase. The latter removes some of the need for something along the DNT/Preston, although still leaves Midtown high and dry. The creation of a commuter rail network should be done with shared funding by areas served outside of DART (similar to TRE and A-train), but that means it would also require some cost discipline on the part of DART. That is something they have showed some improvement on, yet still remains much of a challenge.
Meanwhile, I've always thought the entire Loop 12 route would be served well by BRT. It could easily be built out over phases and by connecting to all rail lines outside of the core, help with redundancy and make the entire system more efficient.

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tanzoak
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby tanzoak » 16 Oct 2017 10:13

electricron wrote:Preston Hollow wouldn’t be the only neighborhood not friendly to a rail line. Which means option A is the more likely solution, monetary and politically; which brings us back to a transfer station of one form or another in downtown Carrollton. There’s a reason why I posted it first. ;)
If you check out the DEIS for the Cotton Belt, and specifically at the downtown Carrollton station location, note the extra platform in the design for the Madill corridor.


Maybe I'm missing something, but I guess I just don't see the value of a short, unconnected (without transfer) line from one low-density suburb that'll only run a couple of times a day.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 16 Oct 2017 18:34

tanzoak wrote:Maybe I'm missing something, but I guess I just don't see the value of a short, unconnected (without transfer) line from one low-density suburb that'll only run a couple of times a day.


You’re missing the Legacy Business Park in Northwest Plano. Believe it or not, Plano Business Park employs about half the number of workers today as downtown Dallas. And it is still growing....
Data:
Downtown Dallas employment
2000 130,473
2005 135,148
2010 138,224
2015 140,961
2020 149,936
2025 155,966
2030 160,733
Source https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downtown_Dallas
Legacy Business Park employment
Over 60,000
Source http://www.planotexas.org/147/Legacy

I guess you do not think it is important to provide public transit of any type to places or hubs of employment, i.e. getting workers to their jobs. I would suggest that’s precisely what DART should be doing as their number one priority.

This is where Plano needs a new train station, not in far north Plano along an extension of the Red line.

There’s other ways to get trains to near the Legacy area, both involving running trains along the SH 121 Tollway right-of-way, from either the Southwest or northeast, but both of those routes involve running trains through non member DART cities, so those routes are very unlikely to be acceptable to DART. At least the BNSF corridor, as far as Legacy is concerned, route is within DART member city boundaries.
Last edited by electricron on 16 Oct 2017 18:51, edited 1 time in total.

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tanzoak
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby tanzoak » 16 Oct 2017 18:48

electricron wrote:I guess you do not think it is important to provide public transit of any type to places or hubs of employment, i.e. getting workers to their jobs.


Huh?

Obviously Legacy is the key place here... that's what the entire conversation has been about.. serving Legacy/Plano more broadly

My comment questioned the value of a line that would just go between downtown Carrollton and Legacy. Just because you have a piece of transit infrastructure with a terminus in (well.. near, at least) a place people want to go doesn't mean it's inherently a good idea.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 16 Oct 2017 19:08

The line going up DNT is not even feasible, there's no ROW going northbound. You're going to have tunnel your way from the orange / red line just to get there. Expensive. Lastly, is it even legal? I don't think NTTA will allow it. I believe the toll companies have clauses that prohibit Freeways / Rail transit from being built along their ROW. $$$$$

Good luck purchasing ROW from private owners.

Best bet is BRT. But Some cities don't even want that. You could even get more bang for your buck too.

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Tucy
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Tucy » 19 Oct 2017 14:31

electricron wrote:
tanzoak wrote:Maybe I'm missing something, but I guess I just don't see the value of a short, unconnected (without transfer) line from one low-density suburb that'll only run a couple of times a day.


You’re missing the Legacy Business Park in Northwest Plano. Believe it or not, Plano Business Park employs about half the number of workers today as downtown Dallas. And it is still growing....
Data:
Downtown Dallas employment
2000 130,473
2005 135,148
2010 138,224
2015 140,961
2020 149,936
2025 155,966
2030 160,733
Source https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downtown_Dallas
Legacy Business Park employment
Over 60,000
Source http://www.planotexas.org/147/Legacy

I guess you do not think it is important to provide public transit of any type to places or hubs of employment, i.e. getting workers to their jobs. I would suggest that’s precisely what DART should be doing as their number one priority.

This is where Plano needs a new train station, not in far north Plano along an extension of the Red line.

There’s other ways to get trains to near the Legacy area, both involving running trains along the SH 121 Tollway right-of-way, from either the Southwest or northeast, but both of those routes involve running trains through non member DART cities, so those routes are very unlikely to be acceptable to DART. At least the BNSF corridor, as far as Legacy is concerned, route is within DART member city boundaries.


Legacy is doing even better than you think, when compared to downtown Dallas. I don't know where those Wikipedia numbers for the Dallas CBD came from, According to the US Census, as of 2015, there were about 70,000 people working in downtown Dallas (CBD), not almost 141,000.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 19 Oct 2017 19:56

I post a link or report where I find the data. I can not attest to either the US Census or Wiki website’s accuracy. Maybe someone should look for another independent website to bounce the data off. ;)

Accuracy of the data aside, Legacy needs more transit than it has today. The BNSF Madill corridor runs very close to it. It is just one option. More transit to Legacy benefits not just Plano, but every other neighborhood within the DART service area with transit as well. That is, if you believe getting employees to work and back home every day is an important goal.

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tanzoak
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby tanzoak » 19 Oct 2017 22:14

electricron wrote:I post a link or report where I find the data. I can not attest to either the US Census or Wiki website’s accuracy. Maybe someone should look for another independent website to bounce the data off. ;)


Boom! 2015 LEHD data says 100,000.

Accuracy of the data aside, Legacy needs more transit than it has today. The BNSF Madill corridor runs very close to it. It is just one option. More transit to Legacy benefits not just Plano, but every other neighborhood within the DART service area with transit as well. That is, if you believe getting employees to work and back home every day is an important goal.


Absolutely needs more transit, but I'm skeptical of the value of BNSF Madill, at least if you're solely using that ROW. Too far away. People are unlikely to drive to downtown Carrollton to catch a train to then have to still take an additional shuttle to get to work. That travel time and hassle starts to get prohibitive. Might as well just keep driving. That barely flies in San Francisco, highly unlikely to work well in the surburbs of Dallas.

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Alex Rodriguez
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Alex Rodriguez » 20 Oct 2017 08:39

If you don't build Cotton Belt, aside from the fact that you likely lose Addison and maybe Plano and DART falls apart after that, you likely don't see any additional rail be built in our lifetimes.

Without Cotton Belt you have a 100% chance that rail is never built on Madill corridor. You have 100% chance that DCTA doesn't extend A-Train to Downtown Carrollton. You have 100% chance that you have no way to grow DART.

I agree that DART sucks at running Bus. But they always have, and will always suck at running Bus. They suck as an operational organization, the only thing they excel at is engineering rail lines. For a one sentence recap of how bad DART sucks at running a business here it is: Ice Storm, Cotton Bowl, Paid Parking, Terrible communiation during outages, terrible pedestrian connections to stations, terrible bus system.

So if you think cutting off DARTs ability to build more rail will force them to be better at bus operations, you will be dead and never see it happen. So don't cut them off, let them at least do what they are good at. Rail is benefiting the region, abeit slowly. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
Last edited by Alex Rodriguez on 20 Oct 2017 12:25, edited 1 time in total.

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The_Overdog
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby The_Overdog » 20 Oct 2017 10:44

More of this Legacy nonsense? You don't need to build a rail line from east Plano to DFW airport to serve Legacy. And again, the cost of the Cotton Belt makes the extension to Legacy a 2040 project at the earliest. It's work numbers for 2017 are irrelevant.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 21 Oct 2017 19:56

While it is true DART will not have the funds to fully fund the Cotton Belt by itself for another 10-15-20 years, it could have the funds much sooner if the Cotton Belt corridor qualify for FTA funding. Even sooner if the D2 Line also qualified for FTA funding. There’s no guarantee either will, but It surely will not if you don’t try to get those funds.

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tamtagon
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby tamtagon » 21 Oct 2017 23:18

^what is the state's share?

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 22 Oct 2017 08:25

tamtagon wrote:^what is the state's share?

The State of Texas until very, very recently, hasn’t contributed any funds what-so-ever to transit. Not for construction, not for operations, not for anything at all. Recently, TXDOT distributed thinly around a $Half Billion$ throughout the State for transit agencies, for streetcars for El Paso, for buses in the Valley, for commuter vans in rural towns. And that was being generous with the amount, it was probably much less. They did that as a one time allocation from just one legislative session. What the next legislators will do is up to them, no program was establish for continuous funding purposes.

The State allows DART to charge a penny sales tax, so should we consider every penny contributed by DART comes from the State?

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PonyUp13
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby PonyUp13 » 03 Dec 2017 13:40

Not sure if others saw this DMN piece from earlier this week, but the DART board is considering cutting Far North Dallas stations to improve the overall travel time on Cotton Belt.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dart/20 ... hs-options

Seems like a win-win for the system if they save money by not building stations that will be lightly used.

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tanzoak
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby tanzoak » 03 Dec 2017 18:37

Lol, $80k+ per weekday rider is abjectly terrible. For comparison, the original street-level D2 was quite economical at around $33k. Not sure what the D2 subway will be, but guessing around $50k.

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 04 Dec 2017 00:16

^ Projections for new riders -- not cannibalized from the existing line -- on the D2 line are in the range of three to four dozen a day. So cost per new rider will be astronomical.

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Alex Rodriguez
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Alex Rodriguez » 04 Dec 2017 09:30

The justification for the entire Light Rail system has never been low cost per rider, so I don't get the point. If DART can build both, build both. Why wouldn't you expand your rail system if you have an opportunity? Plus I've already mentioned the political implications of refusing to build a part of your system that has been promised to your northern suburbs for 35 years. What's the value in sticking it to Addison except to possibly have them vote to leave DART? Who does that serve? Virtually nobody but some dorks in Dallas City Hall.

Sticking it to Addison (and Plano for that matter) is not going to make DART magically become this awesome bus system operator. They suck at it either way, they will have to fix that either way.

Build the dang thing already, (and D2) and get off this ridiculous City vs. Suburb garbage, it's self defeating.

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The_Overdog
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby The_Overdog » 04 Dec 2017 14:28

The traffic counts for this useless line for 2040, not when built. 20 years from now:

DFW: 1170
North DFW: 1320
Cypress W: 910
Downtown Carrollton: 1970
Addison: 1690
Knoll Trail: 530
Preston: 400
Coit: 760
UT Dallas: 850
CityLine: 1380
12th Street: 370
Shiloh: 680
I'm sure Plano is going to drop DART over 1050 people taking the train to the airport 20 years from now. LOL. If they do good riddance.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 04 Dec 2017 14:44

The facts remain the same. The numbers will remain low for this choo choo train now matter how many stations are dropped. The reality is most people will not use this because it will take passengers more than double to get there as opposed to driving. Simple.

This should just be a BRT line, until, the numbers justify building it.

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joshua.dodd
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby joshua.dodd » 04 Dec 2017 21:31

Now show me the projected traffic numbers on 635/George Bush Turnpike. Inevitably these corridors will only grow worse with congestion.

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The_Overdog
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby The_Overdog » 05 Dec 2017 11:05

If they somehow didn't take auto congestion on the DFW turnpike to the airport into account (outside of rush hour, there is none on the G Bush), then they are bad at projecting and shouldn't be moving any farther. Build this line in 2040, when those numbers would be fine for a starting line, and use the money to build a line that people will actually ride *now* somewhere else. Or build the part that has ridership (DFW to Addison), and use the rest of the money to build a line people will ride somewhere else.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 13 Dec 2017 17:56

The_Overdog wrote:The traffic counts for this useless line for 2040, not when built. 20 years from now:

DFW: 1170
North DFW: 1320
Cypress W: 910
Downtown Carrollton: 1970
Addison: 1690
Knoll Trail: 530
Preston: 400
Coit: 760
UT Dallas: 850
CityLine: 1380
12th Street: 370
Shiloh: 680
I'm sure Plano is going to drop DART over 1050 people taking the train to the airport 20 years from now. LOL. If they do good riddance.


Using your criteria for unacceptable station usage, many of DART light rail stations should be shut down too.
Latest figures I could find after a quick google search:
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/transpo ... hey-opened
Green Line Stations
N. Carrollton/Frankford Station 593
Trinity Mills Station 292
Downtown Carrollton Station 210
Farmers Branch Station 281
Royal Lane Station 206
Walnut Hill Station 153
Bachman Station 471
Burbank Station 191
Inwood/Love Field Station 393
Southwestern Medical District/Parkland Station 743
Market Center Station 131
Victory Station 480
Deep Ellum Station 111
Baylor Station 363
Fair Park Station 296
MLK Station 444
Hatcher Station 223
Lawnview Station 462
Lake June Station 534
Buckner Station 621
Total 7,199

The total Cotton Belt Line above was 12,030 ----yes almost 5,000 more daily than the Green Line actually had in 2011. Of course, predicted and measured data can vary significantly, and I have no idea how accurate DART Cotton Belt projections will be.

But if you argue the Cotton Belt shouldn't be built, may I suggest we should also tear down the Green Line?

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dukemeredith
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby dukemeredith » 13 Dec 2017 22:16

Are these numbers individual people?!

Those green line numbers are appallingly low.

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electricron
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby electricron » 14 Dec 2017 01:40

dukemeredith wrote:Are these numbers individual people?!

Those green line numbers are appallingly low.

Read the morning news article linked, it should answer all your questions. :)
I didn't invent them out of thin air!

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The_Overdog
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby The_Overdog » 14 Dec 2017 09:58

But if you argue the Cotton Belt shouldn't be built, may I suggest we should also tear down the Green Line?


Again, the numbers presented weren't for the original buildout. They were 2040 numbers, or about 20 years after the line has been in service. They are the max. If they were for the original buildout, I probably wouldn't have a problem with them but would still recommend building a shorter line or choosing an alternate location for higher priority.

And yes, we talk here all the time that certain existing stations shouldn't have been built or should have been placed better. Bottom line: build raillines where people are or if you want to build new, then zone up for high density.
OR DON'T BUILD THEM.

Also: the lastest DART numbers are here:https://www.dart.org/about/dartreferencebookmar17.pdf

And includes ridership by station. The Green Line carries 25k per weekday, which makes it the 2nd busiest line.

DPatel304
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby DPatel304 » 14 Dec 2017 10:34

Even with those numbers in mind, I'm still against the Cotton Belt and for the Green Line. My problem with the Cotton Belt is not just the numbers, it's the fact that it doesn't really focus on the dense parts of the metroplex.

I'd really like to see Downtown be more of a focal point and center of the metroplex. Right now, there is way too much growth up north for that to be the case, and the Cotton Belt just encourages northern development. I realize this ship sailed decades ago, but this line just pulls the focal point away from Downtown, and it services an area that isn't all that dense.

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Cbdallas
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby Cbdallas » 14 Dec 2017 11:23

Agreed DART needs to serve density not build it and they will come going forward.

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muncien
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Re: the Cotton Belt line

Postby muncien » 14 Dec 2017 13:41

Over the weekend I was up at Legacy & Preston and I needed to get to Valley Ranch. The DART options given would get me there in exactly Three hours and Forty-Two minutes. That is quite sad... I understand what you are saying about serving the city center, but this isn't a one or the other proposition. DARTs purpose is to provide service to it's members, and at this time, East/West service is severely lacking in the north.

Oh, and the Uber ended up costing me $41... ouch!


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