Dallas Fort Worth Urban Forum

DART D2 Subway

User avatar
tanzoak
Posts: 455
Joined: 18 Dec 2016 19:15

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby tanzoak » 08 May 2018 01:19

xen0blue wrote:
Matt777 wrote:Any news on D2? Is construction starting soon?


They got full funding for both the D2 and Cotton Belt, so i'm guessing they are going to be built at the same time


No they didn't. They submitted an LPA for D2 but still need to do environmental review. DART is anticipating a decision on D2 in Sep 2019 and a full funding agreement (roughly when construction would start) in June 2021, for completion in 2024.

Cotton Belt is further along, with a published DEIR and currently under review for the RRIF loans used to pay for most of the project. Construction would begin in 2019, for completion in December 2022.

User avatar
Matt777
Posts: 424
Joined: 28 Oct 2016 09:10

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Matt777 » 08 May 2018 09:45

tanzoak wrote:
xen0blue wrote:
Matt777 wrote:Any news on D2? Is construction starting soon?


They got full funding for both the D2 and Cotton Belt, so i'm guessing they are going to be built at the same time


No they didn't. They submitted an LPA for D2 but still need to do environmental review. DART is anticipating a decision on D2 in Sep 2019 and a full funding agreement (roughly when construction would start) in June 2021, for completion in 2024.

Cotton Belt is further along, with a published DEIR and currently under review for the RRIF loans used to pay for most of the project. Construction would begin in 2019, for completion in December 2022.



I wish it was the opposite. D2 being completed in 2022 and Cotton Belt in 2024 (or never haha). We need massive change in DART leadership.

User avatar
TNWE
Posts: 82
Joined: 03 May 2017 09:42

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 11 May 2018 14:57

Matt777 wrote:
tanzoak wrote:
xen0blue wrote:
They got full funding for both the D2 and Cotton Belt, so i'm guessing they are going to be built at the same time


No they didn't. They submitted an LPA for D2 but still need to do environmental review. DART is anticipating a decision on D2 in Sep 2019 and a full funding agreement (roughly when construction would start) in June 2021, for completion in 2024.

Cotton Belt is further along, with a published DEIR and currently under review for the RRIF loans used to pay for most of the project. Construction would begin in 2019, for completion in December 2022.



I wish it was the opposite. D2 being completed in 2022 and Cotton Belt in 2024 (or never haha). We need massive change in DART leadership.


D2 is starting later because the same folks who only want D2 were demanding a massive redesign to put D2 underground through the eastern portion of downtown, never mind the cost or engineering challenges. Blaming DART leadership for delays that came from their acquiescing to the demands of a bunch of self-appointed transit "experts" is inane.

lakewoodhobo
Posts: 652
Joined: 20 Oct 2016 13:49
Location: Elmwood, Oak Cliff

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby lakewoodhobo » 14 May 2018 10:54

I don't think it's accurate to say that Dallas folks demanded a "massive redesign" of D2. A subway alignment was one of the options from day one.

User avatar
Matt777
Posts: 424
Joined: 28 Oct 2016 09:10

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Matt777 » 14 May 2018 12:13

TNWE wrote:
Matt777 wrote:
tanzoak wrote:
No they didn't. They submitted an LPA for D2 but still need to do environmental review. DART is anticipating a decision on D2 in Sep 2019 and a full funding agreement (roughly when construction would start) in June 2021, for completion in 2024.

Cotton Belt is further along, with a published DEIR and currently under review for the RRIF loans used to pay for most of the project. Construction would begin in 2019, for completion in December 2022.



I wish it was the opposite. D2 being completed in 2022 and Cotton Belt in 2024 (or never haha). We need massive change in DART leadership.


D2 is starting later because the same folks who only want D2 were demanding a massive redesign to put D2 underground through the eastern portion of downtown, never mind the cost or engineering challenges. Blaming DART leadership for delays that came from their acquiescing to the demands of a bunch of self-appointed transit "experts" is inane.


Putting it underground is effective transit design, meaning it will increase capacity for the system while minimizing traffic obstruction on the surface streets. The cotton belt line, and the idea of another surface level light rail line Downtown is just "Look at Dallas we have a transit line" type development and not effective. Therefore, yes, DART leadership is to blame. I would love for them to travel around the country showing the cotton belt plans, ridership estimates, and cost estimates to the leadership of EFFECTIVE transit systems in other US cities and have them laughed out of the room. It's embarrassing.

NO more suburban rail growth until we have an effective transit system to get people around the urban core!!!

--

User avatar
tamtagon
Site Admin
Posts: 1354
Joined: 16 Oct 2016 12:04

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby tamtagon » 14 May 2018 13:40

Hopefully the Pacific Corridor will be replaced by a subway, eventually.

User avatar
xen0blue
Posts: 49
Joined: 14 Nov 2016 13:36

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby xen0blue » 14 May 2018 21:42

I think you people will eventually realize the CB and D2 are both equally important transit services. We need *both*.

DPatel304
Posts: 1036
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 18:49

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby DPatel304 » 14 May 2018 22:06

xen0blue wrote:I think you people will eventually realize the CB and D2 are both equally important transit services. We need *both*.


Strongly disagree with you here. I'm curious as to why you think the Cotton Belt is equally as important as the D2?

User avatar
muncien
Posts: 705
Joined: 25 Oct 2016 08:46
Location: Cypress Waters

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby muncien » 15 May 2018 09:00

I feel like this discussion has gone on forever... and I am sure that it will continue to.

I understand the need for more core service, and I also understand the need for regional service. The answer to the question of 'which is needed' is in the name of the agency itself. Dallas AREA Rapid Transit... This is NOT a CBD Transit agency (as some cities do have...). DART's job is to service the entire area of it's member cities. Forcing every rail line through the core to access other member cities is not an effective means of moving people around.
You can disagree with this model, and that is fair, but you can't deny what it is. DART, as it exists today, should not be specifically for the core, nor specifically for the poor. It's also NOT specifically a commuter system. They are obligated to wear many hats, and as any organization that does so, they don't tend to do any particular thing very well, but instead have to simply do all things to a degree of acceptability.
This is not an optimal model, and it makes sense to try to change it. I think many of us here have come up with quite good suggestions about how to improve service, and hopefully someone can get some changes going. But as long as DART exists in the way it does, they need to do their best to meet that objective... which includes running a rail line through other member cities.
Ridership is another catch 22... If the vast majority of your daily commuter population has no business going downtown, how do you expect to get people to take transit? The Cotton Belt itself won't accomplish this, but as part of a regional commuter network, it can certainly get us going in that direction.
"He doesn't know how to use the three seashells..."

User avatar
TNWE
Posts: 82
Joined: 03 May 2017 09:42

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 15 May 2018 09:23

Matt777 wrote:
Putting it underground is effective transit design, meaning it will increase capacity for the system while minimizing traffic obstruction on the surface streets. The cotton belt line, and the idea of another surface level light rail line Downtown is just "Look at Dallas we have a transit line" type development and not effective. Therefore, yes, DART leadership is to blame. I would love for them to travel around the country showing the cotton belt plans, ridership estimates, and cost estimates to the leadership of EFFECTIVE transit systems in other US cities and have them laughed out of the room. It's embarrassing.

NO more suburban rail growth until we have an effective transit system to get people around the urban core!!!

--

How does D2 effectively get people around the urban core? It's just a different and slightly faster route for the Orange/Green lines to go through downtown. What few new stations there are aren't exactly far from existing stations. No one is seeing a dramatic improvement in trip time because their train will travel under Commerce instead of along Pacific.

Compare that to Plano/Richardson, Addison, and Carrolton, where the only effective transit is north/south, constraining the user base to people who either work downtown, or somewhere before downtown along their respective lines. DART is already getting laughed out of the room with their "every train transfer happens downtown" approach that *maybe* works if you live inside NW Hwy, and having a slightly different path through downtown does nothing to fix that fundamental flaw.

User avatar
Hannibal Lecter
Posts: 282
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 19:57

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 15 May 2018 10:56

DPatel304 wrote:
xen0blue wrote:I think you people will eventually realize the CB and D2 are both equally important transit services. We need *both*.


Strongly disagree with you here. I'm curious as to why you think the Cotton Belt is equally as important as the D2?


Both are useless money pits. The Cotton Belt makes a little more sense in that it will attract more new riders (D2 pretty much attracts zero), but it's really a case of whether you want that stack of hundred dollar bills incinerated or flushed down the toilet.

cowboyeagle05
Posts: 1400
Joined: 21 Oct 2016 08:45

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 15 May 2018 11:28

D2 can make the system overall more efficient and increase capacity and with the right structural changes and policy changes at DART, the trains we have can see an increase in ridership and use. Currently, DART's bad management of the trains and ignorance of the bus system is the biggest fault in play. That and dependency on building new lines all the time to keep their ribbon cutting schedule in perpetuity. Cotton Belt is the most expendable between the two projects. Hell if they were pursuing expanded streetcar routes to other areas I would almost be willing to drop D2. Creating dedicated Express Bus routes would also be a plus they could do first and I would be happy.

DART has shown no innovation in the last 30yrs of its existence in transportation planning, strategy, and goals. They continue to operate like TXDOT like what they are doing if they keeping going without hurdles will solve traffic and move people. TXDOT at least has a good cover story for their mismanagement.

User avatar
Matt777
Posts: 424
Joined: 28 Oct 2016 09:10

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Matt777 » 15 May 2018 13:53

TNWE wrote:
Matt777 wrote:
Putting it underground is effective transit design, meaning it will increase capacity for the system while minimizing traffic obstruction on the surface streets. The cotton belt line, and the idea of another surface level light rail line Downtown is just "Look at Dallas we have a transit line" type development and not effective. Therefore, yes, DART leadership is to blame. I would love for them to travel around the country showing the cotton belt plans, ridership estimates, and cost estimates to the leadership of EFFECTIVE transit systems in other US cities and have them laughed out of the room. It's embarrassing.

NO more suburban rail growth until we have an effective transit system to get people around the urban core!!!

--

How does D2 effectively get people around the urban core? It's just a different and slightly faster route for the Orange/Green lines to go through downtown. What few new stations there are aren't exactly far from existing stations. No one is seeing a dramatic improvement in trip time because their train will travel under Commerce instead of along Pacific.

Compare that to Plano/Richardson, Addison, and Carrolton, where the only effective transit is north/south, constraining the user base to people who either work downtown, or somewhere before downtown along their respective lines. DART is already getting laughed out of the room with their "every train transfer happens downtown" approach that *maybe* works if you live inside NW Hwy, and having a slightly different path through downtown does nothing to fix that fundamental flaw.


I never said that all transfers should happen downtown. In other posts, I have said that a train (underground/surface level mix) loop should be built in the urban neighborhoods AROUND downtown as roughly this: Love Field -> Oak Lawn (1-2 stations) -> Uptown (1-2 stations) -> Cityplace (connection) -> East Dallas -> Cedars (connection) -> Oak Cliff -> West Dallas/Trinity Groves -> Design District and then back to Love Field. Of course this would be very expensive but so is the Cotton Belt Line, and the CB Line is going to add very little ridership. The D2 subway line is needed to increase frequency on the current lines, which is necessary for the system to be more useful. Current frequency is just too low to be useful and reliable to all but the most desperate for transit. The current convenience is not pulling people out of their cars.

Cotton Belt is another massive Dallas boondoggle. Embarrassing. People in those areas think trains are icky. Nothing is drastically going to change that. They moved to Plano, Frisco, etc to get away from the "public transit people," will not use the trains, and the laughably low ridership estimates prove that. It is almost criminally negligent to spend that much money for that little of an increase in ridership.

User avatar
The_Overdog
Posts: 350
Joined: 21 Oct 2016 14:55

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby The_Overdog » 15 May 2018 14:02

If 'frequency of trains' is a demand driver, then we should see the US75/Red Line core increasing in ridership and adding density, because the train frequency there is great most of the day and even into the early night.

User avatar
jeffbrown2002
Posts: 32
Joined: 03 Nov 2016 01:28

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby jeffbrown2002 » 15 May 2018 21:37

D2 is absolutely needed regardless of whether it adds more ridership, simply because it creates the necessary redundancy downtown. This has likely been mentioned before, but the current transit mall setup (having all four rail lines along one path and countless bus routes intersecting those rail lines) breeds congestion and delays. An at-grade design works sufficiently enough in a place like say Las Colinas (which has a similar setup) because only one rail line has to navigate and transect the urban center, so if there are any accidents or blockages the effects can be contained to that one line. Contrast that with Downtown Dallas where if there is such an incident then all four lines radiating out are affected. With D2 in place not only would the Green and Orange lines be grade-separated permanently, but the Red and Blue lines could also be rerouted underground when any events affect the street level grid downtown.

User avatar
Hannibal Lecter
Posts: 282
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 19:57

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 16 May 2018 13:38

^ So you want to spend a billion dollars to add redundancy for the few hours a year the line is blocked? So would you support converting Greenville Avenue into an 8 lane freeway for when NCX is blocked?

User avatar
Hannibal Lecter
Posts: 282
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 19:57

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 16 May 2018 13:43

Matt777 wrote:Of course this would be very expensive but so is the Cotton Belt Line, and the CB Line is going to add very little ridership.


Matt777 wrote:Cotton Belt is another massive Dallas boondoggle. Embarrassing. People in those areas think trains are icky. Nothing is drastically going to change that. They moved to Plano, Frisco, etc to get away from the "public transit people," will not use the trains, and the laughably low ridership estimates prove that. It is almost criminally negligent to spend that much money for that little of an increase in ridership.


You pretty much contradict yourself. Since the projected change in system ridership for the D2 line is even lower than the CB, how can you honestly support D2 while calling the CB "criminally negligent"?

User avatar
Hannibal Lecter
Posts: 282
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 19:57

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 16 May 2018 13:47

cowboyeagle05 wrote:D2 can make the system overall more efficient and increase capacity and with the right structural changes and policy changes at DART, the trains we have can see an increase in ridership and use. Currently, DART's bad management of the trains and ignorance of the bus system is the biggest fault in play


Questions:

- How is spending $1 billion dollars for almost no change in ridership "efficient"?

- Why increase capacity on a system where ridership has declined every single year since opening except years where they forced people from buses to trains?

- If DART's policies are the problem, and they having changed in 30 years, what rational basis is there to think they're going to change anytime soon? And even if the do change, what evidence is there that they will actually improve things?

DPatel304
Posts: 1036
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 18:49

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby DPatel304 » 16 May 2018 13:50

Hannibal Lecter wrote:^ So you want to spend a billion dollars to add redundancy for the few hours a year the line is blocked? So would you support converting Greenville Avenue into an 8 lane freeway for when NCX is blocked?


In addition to redundancy, doesn't it also increase the frequency of trains as well.

For me, it's all about future expansions. I don't know the hard numbers for the D2 line or the Cotton Belt line. Perhaps neither of them, on their own, add that much ridership. However, there will be more expansions after both the D2 line and Cotton Belt in the future, and, with that in mind, I believe D2 is a step in the right direction. Cotton Belt might make sense eventually, but I'd rather see it prioritized lower for the time being.

User avatar
TNWE
Posts: 82
Joined: 03 May 2017 09:42

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 16 May 2018 15:04

DPatel304 wrote:
Hannibal Lecter wrote:^ So you want to spend a billion dollars to add redundancy for the few hours a year the line is blocked? So would you support converting Greenville Avenue into an 8 lane freeway for when NCX is blocked?


In addition to redundancy, doesn't it also increase the frequency of trains as well.

For me, it's all about future expansions. I don't know the hard numbers for the D2 line or the Cotton Belt line. Perhaps neither of them, on their own, add that much ridership. However, there will be more expansions after both the D2 line and Cotton Belt in the future, and, with that in mind, I believe D2 is a step in the right direction. Cotton Belt might make sense eventually, but I'd rather see it prioritized lower for the time being.


The *trigger* for D2 was the Bryan-Pacific transit mall reaching capacity (4 lines @ 15 min headways= 16tph). With static service levels, D2 would cut that back to 8 tph on the mall and 8 tph underground. While this theoretically frees up additional capacity for new rush-period services, you can only add so many trains on the D2 alignment before it gets maxed out, and then you'd be adding trains back to the transit mall alignment and we'd be back where we started.

A better idea is to split each line in downtown, create new stations with bay platforms to accommodate turn-back service in the directions where there is actual demand, and reduce the number of "through" services. There are so many downtown-bound AM trains are full-up till they hit the transit mall, then leave downtown almost completely empty and run mostly empty all the way to the terminus. DART already does this with a handful of Orange line trains terminating at Fair Park, and Red Line trains terminating at Cedars or 8th, but those trains go out of service rather than turning back.

We could have had an underground Orange line station near the Convention center, allowing for additional frequencies to the airports without consuming capacity on the red line alignment north of downtown, but the "DART needs new ideas" geniuses really struggled with the idea of a line *ending* in downtown and quashed that in favor of an expensive solution to the wrong problem.

User avatar
jeffbrown2002
Posts: 32
Joined: 03 Nov 2016 01:28

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby jeffbrown2002 » 16 May 2018 17:14

Hannibal Lecter wrote:^ So you want to spend a billion dollars to add redundancy for the few hours a year the line is blocked? So would you support converting Greenville Avenue into an 8 lane freeway for when NCX is blocked?


The comparison is fundamentally unsound. You're attempting to compare a rail line that potentially carries 198 passenger capacity trains (594 with three car consists) with a road for single-person automobiles. The single-person automobiles can navigate around any accidents, the trains cannot.

Ultimately good transit costs money, cheaping out on it gets you the situation we currently have at Love Field where it was deemed necessary to build yet another parking garage because of exploding demand even after a costly renovation, something that would have been greatly relieved with a direct subway stop underneath the terminal as was originally envisioned.

Or perhaps you'd like to see DART fail? I'm reminded of the massive funding shortages for our public schools and how the resulting (unsurprising) poor performance is providing fuel for certain political forces to push private education and charter schools on the masses, but I digress.

User avatar
TNWE
Posts: 82
Joined: 03 May 2017 09:42

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 17 May 2018 10:07

jeffbrown2002 wrote:
Ultimately good transit costs money, cheaping out on it gets you the situation we currently have at Love Field where it was deemed necessary to build yet another parking garage because of exploding demand even after a costly renovation, something that would have been greatly relieved with a direct subway stop underneath the terminal as was originally envisioned.


The majority of passengers using Love field would not use DART even if there was a subway station in the basement of the terminal. The Love Link bus isn't the hurdle -they are timed such that there's pretty much always one there to meet arriving trains - it's getting airport users from where they live/work to Inwood station in a timely manner. Even when I lived steps from DART downtown, it really only made sense from a cost perspective. The frequency limitations and "bunching" of Orange and Green line trains (where green & orange are 3-5 minutes apart, then nothing for 10 or 15 minutes if you miss those) mean having to build in extra time for getting me + my luggage to the platform. If someone is coming from somewhere up 75 or an area only served by bus, that required safety margin gets bigger.

If DART was architected in such a way that they could offer a consistent 5 min headway between Downtown and Love, and a 10 min headway to DFW, more people might be willing to take transit to the airports. Absent that, any discussion about how they *should* have built the green line is academic, because it's not a viable option from the hub of the system. We could have spent $200M+ to deliver the same handful of customers to the basement of Love field, which is why they nixed the idea- it would have sunk the entire Green line funding plan.

User avatar
jeffbrown2002
Posts: 32
Joined: 03 Nov 2016 01:28

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby jeffbrown2002 » 17 May 2018 17:33

TNWE wrote:The majority of passengers using Love field would not use DART even if there was a subway station in the basement of the terminal. The Love Link bus isn't the hurdle -they are timed such that there's pretty much always one there to meet arriving trains - it's getting airport users from where they live/work to Inwood station in a timely manner. Even when I lived steps from DART downtown, it really only made sense from a cost perspective. The frequency limitations and "bunching" of Orange and Green line trains (where green & orange are 3-5 minutes apart, then nothing for 10 or 15 minutes if you miss those) mean having to build in extra time for getting me + my luggage to the platform. If someone is coming from somewhere up 75 or an area only served by bus, that required safety margin gets bigger.

If DART was architected in such a way that they could offer a consistent 5 min headway between Downtown and Love, and a 10 min headway to DFW, more people might be willing to take transit to the airports. Absent that, any discussion about how they *should* have built the green line is academic, because it's not a viable option from the hub of the system. We could have spent $200M+ to deliver the same handful of customers to the basement of Love field, which is why they nixed the idea- it would have sunk the entire Green line funding plan.


It's true that unfortunately at this point all we have is speculation as to how well a direct stop at Love Field *would* have been, but the example I always point to is the annual State Fair of Texas and its surrounding events. I highly doubt the trains would get as full as they do (to capacity many times on three car trains) if the stop was even just a couple of blocks away from where Fair Park Station was wisely placed at the front door to the park. Whether it's right or not (it's not), many people will only choose public transit if it's exceedingly convenient, i.e. drops you off right where your destination is, even if there is bus shuttle transfer offered to them that does just that. Again, no concrete way to prove one way or the other what the situation would've been at Love but I'd say the Fair Park example is a pretty good illustration of what DART did right and should seek to replicate at major destinations. Convenience is everything to many casual transit riders.

User avatar
xen0blue
Posts: 49
Joined: 14 Nov 2016 13:36

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby xen0blue » 17 May 2018 19:49

tamtagon wrote:Hopefully the Pacific Corridor will be replaced by a subway, eventually.


Amen, this NEEDS to happen eventually

User avatar
tanzoak
Posts: 455
Joined: 18 Dec 2016 19:15

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby tanzoak » 18 May 2018 01:44

I don't want to get into the weeds with this recurring argument, but a few points:

1. While overall project costs between the two are similar, the feds will likely be picking up the tab for half of D2 v less than 10% for Cotton Belt (though the rest is financed by very low interest loans from the feds).

2. While projected new ridership from the D2 project is less than for the CB, it's still more than half, not basically zero (I mean, you can say they're both basically zero, but that's another discussion). The Commerce alignment of the old at-grade proposal was estimated at 6,600 net new rail riders.

3. Regardless, new ridership isn't so much the point of D2, whereas it is the sole reason for CB. Resilience/redundancy, operational flexibility, decreased travel times for existing riders, increased potential capacity.. D2 is pretty good at improving what it's meant to improve, while CB (with new ridership as primary goal) is not. Also, CB is exactly the kind of project (low-density, auto-oriented, brand new line) where ridership models tend to drastically over-estimate ridership.

4. The snark implying that redundancy isn't that valuable because US-75 doesn't have redundancy is bizarre. It has huge, totally underutilized arterials running parallel on both sides of it, not to mention another limited-access highway running parallel to it less than 3 miles to the west.
Here's what Greenville looks like for its entire length north of Mockingbird:
Image
And on the other side, here's what Hillcrest looks like north of Northwest Hwy:
Image
And then there's Preston, and Skillman, and Abrams..

User avatar
electricron
Posts: 209
Joined: 29 Oct 2016 11:07

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby electricron » 18 May 2018 08:06

Arguments based upon getting federal funds, and by what percentages, is slightly jumping the gun because neither project is guaranteed matching federal transit funding or low cost federal loans.
And projects can change to get them, like the Green Line Love Field subway station being dropped during the EIS process. Let's stop counting chickens until after the eggs hatch.

User avatar
tanzoak
Posts: 455
Joined: 18 Dec 2016 19:15

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby tanzoak » 18 May 2018 09:21

electricron wrote:Arguments based upon getting federal funds, and by what percentages, is slightly jumping the gun because neither project is guaranteed matching federal transit funding or low cost federal loans.
And projects can change to get them, like the Green Line Love Field subway station being dropped during the EIS process. Let's stop counting chickens until after the eggs hatch.


For sure. But is either project going ahead if they don’t secure the federal support they’re seeking?

User avatar
Tucy
Posts: 436
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 12:50

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Tucy » 18 May 2018 10:13

tanzoak wrote:
3. Regardless, new ridership isn't so much the point of D2, whereas it is the sole reason for CB. Resilience/redundancy, operational flexibility, decreased travel times for existing riders, increased potential capacity.. D2 is pretty good at improving what it's meant to improve, while CB (with new ridership as primary goal) is not. Also, CB is exactly the kind of project (low-density, auto-oriented, brand new line) where ridership models tend to drastically over-estimate ridership.


But ridership is the purpose of transit, is it not? The point of all these other improvements (resilience/redundancy, operational flexibility, decreased travel times, increased potential capacity) is to increase ridership. And yet, by their own estimation, D2 barely moves the needle.

User avatar
I45Tex
Posts: 130
Joined: 26 Jan 2017 05:52

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby I45Tex » 18 May 2018 10:37

But surely you do understand, Tucy, that raising the ceiling that has to be raised before any other central transit projects can raise ridership directly, is also indirectly just as necessary.

User avatar
Tucy
Posts: 436
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 12:50

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Tucy » 18 May 2018 10:51

I45Tex wrote:But surely you do understand, Tucy, that raising the ceiling that has to be raised before any other central transit projects can raise ridership directly, is also indirectly just as necessary.


What central transit projects are going to raise ridership?

DPatel304
Posts: 1036
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 18:49

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby DPatel304 » 18 May 2018 11:33

Tucy wrote:But ridership is the purpose of transit, is it not? The point of all these other improvements (resilience/redundancy, operational flexibility, decreased travel times, increased potential capacity) is to increase ridership. And yet, by their own estimation, D2 barely moves the needle.


D2 is more of a case of DART being pro-active about problems in the system, which is a good thing. Sure we could not address the bottleneck Downtown and continue to add more stations and lines to the system, but this is something that would eventually need to be addressed, and I would think the sooner we do it the better.

It creates a more reliable and more frequent overall system, which gives people more confidence overall in the system.

I haven't seen the ridership estimates for the D2, but, from what I'm hearing they are not good, which I'm okay with. I think DART is way too sprawled out as it is, so I like that D2 focusing on improving what is (mostly) already there. Hopefully, while the D2 is being built, we can get way more dense development around existing DART stations, as well.

User avatar
Tucy
Posts: 436
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 12:50

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Tucy » 18 May 2018 11:50

DPatel304 wrote:
Tucy wrote:But ridership is the purpose of transit, is it not? The point of all these other improvements (resilience/redundancy, operational flexibility, decreased travel times, increased potential capacity) is to increase ridership. And yet, by their own estimation, D2 barely moves the needle.


D2 is more of a case of DART being pro-active about problems in the system, which is a good thing. Sure we could not address the bottleneck Downtown and continue to add more stations and lines to the system, but this is something that would eventually need to be addressed, and I would think the sooner we do it the better.

It creates a more reliable and more frequent overall system, which gives people more confidence overall in the system.

I haven't seen the ridership estimates for the D2, but, from what I'm hearing they are not good, which I'm okay with. I think DART is way too sprawled out as it is, so I like that D2 focusing on improving what is (mostly) already there. Hopefully, while the D2 is being built, we can get way more dense development around existing DART stations, as well.


What are the plans for more stations and more lines on the system?

As to current operations, by their own numbers, it is apparent this "bottleneck" is not having any significant negative effect on their ridership (if it was, then ridership would be expected to increase significantly when the "bottleneck" is removed; they don't expect any such thing.

DPatel304
Posts: 1036
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 18:49

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby DPatel304 » 18 May 2018 11:55

There are no plans, currently. But it's safe to say there will be plans for more eventually.

This is just a case of DART being pro-active rather than re-active. Why wait until the bottleneck is actually a problem to scramble and try and get D2 built. Adding something like the D2 takes a lot of time, so, if there is a known problem with the system, doesn't it make sense to address it in the next 5 years, rather than waiting until it's an actual problem and trying to get D2 done as quickly as possible?

User avatar
Tucy
Posts: 436
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 12:50

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Tucy » 18 May 2018 11:58

DPatel304 wrote:There are no plans, currently. But it's safe to say there will be plans for more eventually.

This is just a case of DART being pro-active rather than re-active. Why wait until the bottleneck is actually a problem to scramble and try and get D2 built. Adding something like the D2 takes a lot of time, so, if there is a known problem with the system, doesn't it make sense to address it in the next 5 years, rather than waiting until it's an actual problem and trying to get D2 done as quickly as possible?


It seems to only be a "problem" in some theoretical sense. It's not a problem that is causing a loss of ridership. How about we address it if/when we make plans for additional lines, stations, or service, when an actual problem might be on some reasonable time horizon?
Last edited by Tucy on 18 May 2018 12:07, edited 1 time in total.

DPatel304
Posts: 1036
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 18:49

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby DPatel304 » 18 May 2018 12:03

Tucy wrote:It seems to only be a "problem" in some theoretical sense. It's not a problem that is causing a loss of ridership. How about we address it if/when we make plans for additional lines and stations, when it might actually present a real problem?


Yeah, I don't really disagree with what you're saying. I do think D2 could wait, if needed, but I also don't mind it being done earlier as well.

My concern about waiting until it is a problem is that these things take a long time, as we have seen so far. In an ideal world, yes, D2 would be completed around the time it is needed, but that seems like a pretty difficult thing to predict seeing as how we can only do things like estimate how long it will take to build and also estimate ridership until then.

So, I'm curious, what is the benefit of waiting to build the D2? Would we save money doing so? I'm genuinely curious, because perhaps there is some big factor I'm missing here. Assuming it costs the same to do it now as it would later, then I don't see the benefit of delaying it, when the benefits could be realized earlier for the same cost.

User avatar
tanzoak
Posts: 455
Joined: 18 Dec 2016 19:15

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby tanzoak » 18 May 2018 12:18

Tucy wrote:
tanzoak wrote:
3. Regardless, new ridership isn't so much the point of D2, whereas it is the sole reason for CB. Resilience/redundancy, operational flexibility, decreased travel times for existing riders, increased potential capacity.. D2 is pretty good at improving what it's meant to improve, while CB (with new ridership as primary goal) is not. Also, CB is exactly the kind of project (low-density, auto-oriented, brand new line) where ridership models tend to drastically over-estimate ridership.


But ridership is the purpose of transit, is it not? The point of all these other improvements (resilience/redundancy, operational flexibility, decreased travel times, increased potential capacity) is to increase ridership. And yet, by their own estimation, D2 barely moves the needle.


Ridership is the purpose, yes. But not all projects have to increase ridership to be valuable. They can also improve the service to existing riders, such as by improving reliability, convenience, or travel times. Or improve operational efficiency for the transit agency. You’d hope that these improvements for would also induce additional ridership, but it doesn’t have to to still provide value.

User avatar
tanzoak
Posts: 455
Joined: 18 Dec 2016 19:15

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby tanzoak » 18 May 2018 12:27

The 2nd Avenue subway is a good example. The net new ridership is probably minimal (a few fewer taxi rides from Yorkville), with most of the ridership simply diverted from the 4/5/6. But the benefit is massive, with reduced crowding on the 4/5/6 (which helps with delays as well as comfort), reduced travel times, and redundancy if one of the lines goes out of service (either for regular repairs or due to an accident).

Of course, 2av is the single most valuable US transit project in a long long time (though absurdly too expensive compared to comparable projects in other countries), and D2 is nowhere near as needed or valuable. But still, it goes to show that increasing ridership is not the only metric when assessing “in-fill” transit lines serving existing areas (rather than “greenfield” lines like the CB, where the primary purpose is to reach new markets).

User avatar
Tucy
Posts: 436
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 12:50

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Tucy » 18 May 2018 13:13

tanzoak wrote:The 2nd Avenue subway is a good example. The net new ridership is probably minimal (a few fewer taxi rides from Yorkville), with most of the ridership simply diverted from the 4/5/6. But the benefit is massive, with reduced crowding on the 4/5/6 (which helps with delays as well as comfort), reduced travel times, and redundancy if one of the lines goes out of service (either for regular repairs or due to an accident).

Of course, 2av is the single most valuable US transit project in a long long time (though absurdly too expensive compared to comparable projects in other countries), and D2 is nowhere near as needed or valuable. But still, it goes to show that increasing ridership is not the only metric when assessing “in-fill” transit lines serving existing areas (rather than “greenfield” lines like the CB, where the primary purpose is to reach new markets).


Fair enough. But, as you suggested, D2 could just as well be on a different planet when it comes to those metrics, just as it is regarding ridership. For example, redundancy is vital in NYC, where the city is absolutely dependent on its transit system. In Dallas, not so much. In NYC, overcrowded trains and stations on the Lexington Ave line (4,5,6) was a big problem that needed to be addressed...

User avatar
The_Overdog
Posts: 350
Joined: 21 Oct 2016 14:55

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby The_Overdog » 18 May 2018 13:41

So, I'm curious, what is the benefit of waiting to build the D2? Would we save money doing so?


There is no benefit in waiting - there is actual dollar benefit in doing in now as you are paying the current prices for real estate vs the future price (assuming that the land will be more dense and as such more expensive). The 2nd Ave subway mentioned above for example is 50% land acquisition costs. The engineering also gets more difficult (all borne by public costs) too as it becomes more dense. If it's built, then private companies bear some of the cost of engineering around it.

User avatar
muncien
Posts: 705
Joined: 25 Oct 2016 08:46
Location: Cypress Waters

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby muncien » 18 May 2018 14:14

I don't know of anyone here advocating the delay of construction of D2. There may be some that don't think it should be built at all (not me), and some that think it should be done differently (definitely ME), but nobody wants to delay it just for the sake of other projects.

DART doesn't view this, or Cotton Belt as competing projects (at least, not anymore). They are actively pursuing both of them. But, I take issue when other continue to say Cotton Belt should NOT be built.

As a transit agency, it is DART's duty to move people in its service area. One of these lines moves more people than the other. I was actually a strong supporter of the Young Street alternative for D2, as it provided service to an under-served area of downtown, increased ridership, provided redundancy, and cost significantly less than what we have now.

Saying that another surface line is a 'look at me' approach, as some had suggested, is ridiculous. I would argue that building a subway line to add almost no ridership is more of a 'look at me, I'm a big city with a subway' approach, and does little to actually improve DART. We probably could have gotten both the original D2, and the streetcar loop for the price we are paying for this subway.

It's also worth mentioning that disruptions through the transit mall are more detriment to those travelling THROUGH downtown, than those travelling TO downtown. Most disruptions mean you have to get off at either West End station or Pearl/Arts District. A bit longer walk... sure, but not the end of the world.

We really missed out on a great importunity to expand service in downtown. And I have a had time justifying the two main reasons this happened.
1. The type of grant we were going for.
2. Business Owners were upset we would disrupt vehicular traffic in DE.
"He doesn't know how to use the three seashells..."

User avatar
tanzoak
Posts: 455
Joined: 18 Dec 2016 19:15

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby tanzoak » 18 May 2018 20:34

muncien wrote:
As a transit agency, it is DART's duty to move people in its service area. One of these lines moves more people than the other.


Well, yeah. D2 moves way more people than CB.. Not only in terms of people using the stations, but there’s also the through-rides that CB doesn’t have.

If what you’re talking about is attracting new riders to the system, then, sure, CB has more. But it’s a little silly to tout the new ridership of CB while saying that D2 has “next to none,” when it’s 12,000 for CB vs 6,600 for (old, surface) D2. New D2 doesn't have details yet, but looking at the system ridership projections from the LPA process, it would be over 10,000 net new LRT riders (assuming the Pacific D2 alignment produced 0 net new).

And just again, I want to point out that improvements benefiting existing riders count for something, too!

User avatar
tanzoak
Posts: 455
Joined: 18 Dec 2016 19:15

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby tanzoak » 18 May 2018 21:54

I've mentioned this a few times, but I want to describe a bit more why the CB ridership projections are likely to be overstated. Travel models work by looking at how everyone is currently traveling, developing formulas from that based on demographic characteristics (age, income) and travel characteristics (time, cost, mode), and then using those formulas to predict how travel patterns will change through time or after changes to the transportation network.

This works well so long as everyone in a particular demographic group assesses their transportation options in terms of travel characteristics in a similar way. In auto-oriented settings, however, this assumption is particularly bad. People who take transit in the Dallas area are "weird" in some way. They're more likely to be urbanist transit enthusiasts (on the higher income side), or have had some calamity that makes them not have a car (on the lower income side).

The models use these weirdos to figure out when people take transit, but when you're talking about new ridership, you're only looking to capture people who don't currently take transit. If non-transit riders don't have the same preferences as transit riders, but simply don't take it because of home/work location, then no problem. But if they wouldn't take transit even when faced with the same time/cost trade-offs as transit riders, the model will overestimate ridership.

The more "weird" it is to take transit (typically meaning the more auto-oriented, and just in general lower-ridership places that don't have as many normies balancing out the weirdos), the larger this effect will be. Rail ridership through low-density suburbs in North Dallas (which would also require a transfer to get to the primary destination) has a very high likelihood of being overestimated.

User avatar
electricron
Posts: 209
Joined: 29 Oct 2016 11:07

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby electricron » 19 May 2018 01:12

tanzoak wrote: Rail ridership through low-density suburbs in North Dallas (which would also require a transfer to get to the primary destination) has a very high likelihood of being overestimated.

How may ridership estimations has DARt made in the past, and how many of them actually overestimated ridership significantly?
Let's count the projections; Red Line twice, Blue Line four times, Green Line twice, Orange Line twice, Oak Cliff streetcar twice, and now soon the D2 and Cotton Belt. Over-estimations zero......

You can't be serious suggesting DART will over estimate the Cotton Belt and not D2 considering their past history of getting the estimations were close to being absolutely correct !!!!

User avatar
TNWE
Posts: 82
Joined: 03 May 2017 09:42

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 21 May 2018 09:22

tanzoak wrote:
muncien wrote:
As a transit agency, it is DART's duty to move people in its service area. One of these lines moves more people than the other.


Well, yeah. D2 moves way more people than CB.. Not only in terms of people using the stations, but there’s also the through-rides that CB doesn’t have.


DART's biggest shortcoming (as far as LRT) is that the system is extremely hub-centric. Unless your destination is on the same line as your residence (or Downtown), DART rail is an extremely inefficient form of transit. Touting the increase in "through-rides" that D2 offers is declaring victory in the wrong war.

DART should be building track & lines to reduce the number of trips that require traveling through downtown (regardless of whether they are at street level or underground), not shifting two lines to a different alignment so they can double-count a Pearl-> Bachman commuter who now takes Red from Pearl-> West End, then changes to Orange or Green at Metro Center. That isn't a new rider, but someone who lives in Addison and works at Cityline is (and if they're no longer spending money on gas & tolls every day, they may spend that windfall on other taxable goods and services in DART member cities - including Dallas - as a result).

Seems like that scenario does more to remove cars and traffic from the roads than sending people who were already riding the train to Akard through a tunnel to a stop a couple blocks over from Akard, but hey, I'm not a self-appointed transit expert who's conned the city of Dallas into a seat on the DART board, so what do I know?

User avatar
The_Overdog
Posts: 350
Joined: 21 Oct 2016 14:55

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby The_Overdog » 21 May 2018 09:33

That isn't a new rider, but someone who lives in Addison and works at Cityline is (and if they're no longer spending money on gas & tolls every day, they may spend that windfall on other taxable goods and services in DART member cities - including Dallas - as a result).


Nobody is going to take the Cotton Belt from Addison to CityLine because they are like 15 minutes apart driving down Beltline. - No taxes, no tolls. Also the cost of housing is the same between Addison and Richardson, so there is no reason to live in Addison and travel to CityLine. Parking is ample in both places and the customer base is affluent enough to afford cars. Who is your customer here?

User avatar
TNWE
Posts: 82
Joined: 03 May 2017 09:42

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 21 May 2018 11:23

The_Overdog wrote:
That isn't a new rider, but someone who lives in Addison and works at Cityline is (and if they're no longer spending money on gas & tolls every day, they may spend that windfall on other taxable goods and services in DART member cities - including Dallas - as a result).


Nobody is going to take the Cotton Belt from Addison to CityLine because they are like 15 minutes apart driving down Beltline. - No taxes, no tolls. Also the cost of housing is the same between Addison and Richardson, so there is no reason to live in Addison and travel to CityLine. Parking is ample in both places and the customer base is affluent enough to afford cars. Who is your customer here?


You waaaay underestimate drive times between those two points, especially at rush hour with numerous school zones along the way on the surface streets. 20 minutes is a best-case scenario, but any route - highway or surface street - can hit 45 minutes at worst. Relative cost of housing is irrelevant, as people don't relocate every time they get a new job, and there are hundreds of factors that influence someone's decision about where to live beyond dollars and cents.

Parking and car ownership are non-factors as well- plenty of people who commute on DART to jobs downtown make more than enough money to drive to work and pay for parking, but prefer not to (and who can blame them?). Conversely, a lot of people working service industry jobs in Addison (someone has to feed, water, and clean up after the affluent crowd, after all) either have a car out of necessity or are relegated to multiple bus transfers to get to their jobs. Writing off that entire population in an attempt to discredit the value of the Cotton Belt says a lot about the pro-D2 crowd- more concerned with having a "Me-Too" subway like bigger cities than actually developing a transit system that effectively serves populations besides the people who can afford a trendy downtown loft.

User avatar
The_Overdog
Posts: 350
Joined: 21 Oct 2016 14:55

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby The_Overdog » 21 May 2018 12:11

You waaaay underestimate drive times between those two points, especially at rush hour with numerous school zones along the way on the surface streets. 20 minutes is a best-case scenario, but any route - highway or surface street - can hit 45 minutes at worst.


Even if I am, there are another 22 hours of the day and the Cotton Belt is being built as a commuter rail with 30 minute headways - so it's barely faster than driving during rush hour, and it's not built for anything other than those 2 hours a day. As for the concern for the poor, well they get there now with no issue and live close by actually, so they won't be riding the Cotton Belt to get there.

It's interesting that you want to re-create the downtown line you disparage in the suburbs. If you want to help the poor get to their jobs, then build a line up Preston to Addison, not the Cotton Belt.

User avatar
Tivo_Kenevil
Posts: 1046
Joined: 20 Oct 2016 12:24

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 21 May 2018 14:17

Can we just agree that dart sucks? they would be better off devoting these funds (D2 and cB) to making the world's best BRT system.

User avatar
TNWE
Posts: 82
Joined: 03 May 2017 09:42

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby TNWE » 21 May 2018 14:55

The_Overdog wrote:
You waaaay underestimate drive times between those two points, especially at rush hour with numerous school zones along the way on the surface streets. 20 minutes is a best-case scenario, but any route - highway or surface street - can hit 45 minutes at worst.


Even if I am, there are another 22 hours of the day and the Cotton Belt is being built as a commuter rail with 30 minute headways - so it's barely faster than driving during rush hour, and it's not built for anything other than those 2 hours a day. As for the concern for the poor, well they get there now with no issue and live close by actually, so they won't be riding the Cotton Belt to get there.

It's interesting that you want to re-create the downtown line you disparage in the suburbs. If you want to help the poor get to their jobs, then build a line up Preston to Addison, not the Cotton Belt.


Your arguments have gone completely off the rails- everyone in Addison is rich, so they'd just drive their cars everywhere, but the poor also live in Addison, so they don't need transit to get to their jobs, and if we *really* wanted to improve mobility for the poor, we'd build a line through the least dense and most expensive real estate in Dallas county. What?!?

I've never said that D2 shouldn't happen - only that it should not be the priority given limited funds, and that as designed, it fails to materially improve the DART network beyond some limited redundancy when the transit mall is blocked. People living in and close to downtown already have the best access to transit because they sit at the nexus of every line & mode of transit, so their wishes are secondary to the huge swaths of the metroplex for which that is not the case because their only rail or express service is to/from downtown. Poor east/west connectivity means some DART users have 2 and 3 hour commutes assuming no missed connections, and yet the D2 absolutists are demanding that DART continue to not effectively serve the vast majority of its service area because the "New Urbanist" crowd wants to pretend they're New Yorkers with a "real" subway that doesn't actually serve new riders or connect previously unconnected parts of the city.

DPatel304
Posts: 1036
Joined: 19 Oct 2016 18:49

Re: DART D2 Subway

Postby DPatel304 » 21 May 2018 15:14

TNWE wrote:Poor east/west connectivity means some DART users have 2 and 3 hour commutes assuming no missed connections, and yet the D2 absolutists are demanding that DART continue to not effectively serve the vast majority of its service area because the "New Urbanist" crowd wants to pretend they're New Yorkers with a "real" subway that doesn't actually serve new riders or connect previously unconnected parts of the city.


If commutes are this bad for some people, maybe, going forward, companies could consider proximity to DART rail when locating to the metroplex. Maybe we can develop smarter in the future and make areas more walkable, bikeable, and more dense.

I guess I'm hoping that traffic and commutes will become so much of a problem that we will have no choice but to rethink where and how we build future developments. I think a line like the Cotton Belt is a step backwards in developing DFW more smartly.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Login