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Dallas Area Rapid Transit

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dukemeredith
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Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dukemeredith » 26 Oct 2016 10:09

Big news from the DART meeting last night:

It was standing room only as the DART board voted 12-3 to fund both the Cotton Belt rail line and the subway version of a second downtown light rail, known as the D2 subway, as part of their 2017 20-year financial plan.


http://www.dallasnews.com/news/dart/201 ... urban-rail

Seems like many think this is not a win for Downtown, as the subway is more likely to get delayed if federal funding doesn't come through.

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muncien
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 26 Oct 2016 10:54

It really shouldn't be considered an 'us vs them' debate. Downtown won due to the fact that the 'at-grade' D2 has been effectively killed off. That alternative had been so heavily influenced by special interests that it became inefficient and needed to be eliminated. It's true that the subway will face challenges that the Cotton Belt won't, but that's a given. Had Addison insisted the Cotton Belt be a subway as well, they'd face the same challenges (uh... more).
So the question is... What is the eventual 'subway' route? Commerce?
"He doesn't know how to use the three seashells..."

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dollaztx
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dollaztx » 26 Oct 2016 11:54

It's a big win. It's a quantity vs quality type of scenario for downtown. It will certainly take longer to get the project finished, but the end result is another route without slicing off two neighborhoods once again. Not to mention that it can also run faster due to it not being at grade-level.

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The_Overdog
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby The_Overdog » 26 Oct 2016 12:18

Not sure I agree it's a win.

The only reason this was contentious to begin with is because DART was ready to basically pay $1b of their own money for the Cotton Belt and $400m for D2 with mostly Fed money.

The only thing that has changed after this vote is now they are now willing to pay $1.2b for the Cotton Belt (still mostly their own money) with Fed coughing up $1b for D2. If the Fed money doesn't pan out correctly (and DART hasn't been clear about priority) then you are not kidding that it may take a long time (2035ish) for D2 to actually start construction.

Since Cotton Belt is their own money (and they haven't been clear about priority), its construction can start immediately. BTW, DART says they can do both and have them done by 2024. We'll see. Plenty of people who have looked at their finances disagree.

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dukemeredith
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dukemeredith » 26 Oct 2016 13:15

dollaztx wrote:It's a big win. It's a quantity vs quality type of scenario for downtown. It will certainly take longer to get the project finished, but the end result is another route without slicing off two neighborhoods once again. Not to mention that it can also run faster due to it not being at grade-level.



This is what is most problematic about the existing downtown line. Not that it cuts off neighborhoods (living right next to it, I don't think it's that big of an impediment), but that those trains move so slowly.

They have to stop for traffic, and sometimes wait for people who cross the tracks.

I've read this someone before, but why wouldn't DART consider burying the existing line. That alone would make the downtown log-jam more efficient, one would think.

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muncien
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 26 Oct 2016 13:25

The_Overdog wrote:Not sure I agree it's a win.

The only reason this was contentious to begin with is because DART was ready to basically pay $1b of their own money for the Cotton Belt and $400m for D2 with mostly Fed money.

The only thing that has changed after this vote is now they are now willing to pay $1.2b for the Cotton Belt (still mostly their own money) with Fed coughing up $1b for D2. If the Fed money doesn't pan out correctly (and DART hasn't been clear about priority) then you are not kidding that it may take a long time (2035ish) for D2 to actually start construction.

Since Cotton Belt is their own money (and they haven't been clear about priority), its construction can start immediately. BTW, DART says they can do both and have them done by 2024. We'll see. Plenty of people who have looked at their finances disagree.


D2 has always been a 50/50 split with the feds for spending. The only difference is whether it's 50% of $750mil (at-grade) or $1.2bil (underground). The likelihood of getting the feds to approve one or the other probably isn't that different between the two. Bigger factors were feds appetite (likely brighter with HC about to get elected), and DART financial future. Cutting Cotton Belt down to size ($2.3 bil to $1bil) was a huge factor. Scrounging up the additional $225mil now needed for the underground D2 is the sticking point. But I trust bus service will be the looser here.

What the downtown/DE groups should be concerned about is what the 'underground' alternative actually is. I haven't seen a single proposed route that addresses the Deep Ellum concerns. Anything below grade through DE would cost a helluva lot more than $1.2bil.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 26 Oct 2016 14:00

muncien wrote:But I trust bus service will be the looser here.


Seems to be the case. Personally I'd take improved bus service over Cotton Belt, but if they can get both D2 and Cotton Belt going at the same time, I'd be very happy with that.

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The_Overdog
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby The_Overdog » 26 Oct 2016 14:14

I don't see how the bus service can't be redone using the existing budget (or a minor increase for some new buses and drivers), but I don't know much about their plans.

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tamtagon
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 26 Oct 2016 22:21

How does a seamless connection to the train to Houston fit into all of this? If I recall correctly, NCTCOG (with others) identified something like $400 million for a sunken spur to meet the HSR.... that may have been only one of the possibilities, but I thought something had been set-up to make sure the LRT/HSR connection happened. Of course, it's helpful the land behind the ConvCtr is owned by the city -- after swapping it for former Reunion Arena land with The Hunt Family of companies...

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 27 Oct 2016 12:33

Dart is sucha mess. Cotton Belt is such a waste at 1b dollars... They need to focus on improving their system rather than expanding it. What a joke of a Transit Agency.

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tamtagon
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 27 Oct 2016 12:52

I'm all for the Cotton Belt, but D2 subway & HSR nexus simply must come first. Cotton Belt is a great start to passenger service to Greenville.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 10 Nov 2016 15:53

With the GOP now in full control over every branch of government.. how will that effect funding for these projects?

Republicans seem adverse to Transit funding. This may force DART to pick a project. In which case, there would be a tremendous fallout between the burbs and Dallas.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby art_suckz » 10 Nov 2016 16:26

I am a little sad.

I am definitely not opposed to federal help but this is what happens when you wait for the school bus to show up and rescue you from the hurricane.

DART will be forced to figure out how to make money fast.

There are other models they can use and this will set them back a bit for sure.

Look to Japan, all the answers are there.
To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.

DPatel304
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 10 Nov 2016 20:29

I never thought of that, but that would certainly be a shame to see the current plan affected. I really, really hope the subway doesn't get nixed somehow.

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jeffbrown2002
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby jeffbrown2002 » 11 Nov 2016 03:11

DPatel304 wrote:I never thought of that, but that would certainly be a shame to see the current plan affected. I really, really hope the subway doesn't get nixed somehow.


I'd honestly be surprised if it isn't affected, I think that was even one of DART's stated reasons for pushing for a D2 alignment approval so quickly last year, they were worried of changes to transit funding.
People forget one of the biggest reasons we don't have direct rail access via a station underneath Love Field right now is because the FTA under the Bush Administration would not have helped fund the construction of the Green Line if there was any tunneling to the airport due to the cost.

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tamtagon
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 11 Nov 2016 08:52

Cotton Belt proponents may have to wait or be satisfied with BRT.

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gshelton91
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby gshelton91 » 14 Nov 2016 09:24

If public transit ends up taking a back seat over the next few years to roads and cars perhaps this will be a good opportunity to seek funding to submerge the above ground highway connecting I45 to I75.

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 15 Nov 2016 00:34

There's a new GOP leader in D.C., who happens to like transit and infrastructure projects.
A $Trillion infrastructure program over 10 years is $100 Billion per year for 10 years. That's an increase in funding for transportation than what is present today.
And by the way, the FTA "New Starts" program extension passed a year or so ago was a multi-year extension for the program.
US budgets programs for multiple years, although some adjustments can be made from year to year. But Congress doesn't have the time to look specifically at every program every year. The "New Starts" program will not be looked at again for several more years. If DART can get the D2 approved before the recent renewal of the program expires, the money will be there.

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 15 Nov 2016 09:32

gshelton91 wrote:If public transit ends up taking a back seat over the next few years to roads and cars perhaps this will be a good opportunity to seek funding to submerge the above ground highway connecting I45 to I75.
I'd hate to see the construction bids for a 900 mile long tunnel. What's wrong with I-20 as is?

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby gshelton91 » 18 Nov 2016 15:13

/\ sorry you were not able to figure out what i was talking about -- I should have been more specific but could not think of the name... it's I-345 -- its a shot in the dark but I don't see the Trump Administration supporting public transit (i could be wrong who knows what they will do)

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dukemeredith
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby dukemeredith » 18 Nov 2016 15:56

gshelton91 wrote:/\ sorry you were not able to figure out what i was talking about -- I should have been more specific but could not think of the name... it's I-345 -- its a shot in the dark but I don't see the Trump Administration supporting public transit (i could be wrong who knows what they will do)



It remains to be seen how the Trump Administration will come up with the funding (and I, too, remain doubtful), but here's an article that comes to the opposite conclusion of you (and I) and that mass public transit will be a priority.

http://fortune.com/2016/11/12/trump-tra ... riorities/

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 18 Nov 2016 19:50

gshelton91 wrote:/\ sorry you were not able to figure out what i was talking about -- I should have been more specific but could not think of the name... it's I-345 -- its a shot in the dark but I don't see the Trump Administration supporting public transit (i could be wrong who knows what they will do)


What does I-345 have to do with connecting I-45 to I-75? The closest I-75 comes to I-345 is Atlanta...and I don't mean Atlanta, Texas.

:lol:

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 22 Nov 2016 00:51

Hannibal Lecter wrote:[What does I-345 have to do with connecting I-45 to I-75? The closest I-75 comes to I-345 is Atlanta...and I don't mean Atlanta, Texas.
:lol:

It's not I-75, it's US 75. :o

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby lakewoodhobo » 23 Feb 2017 11:09

New proposal to use one-eighth of the city's DART sales tax for fixing the pension crisis. Assume this threatens D2 and expanded bus service.

DART pulled into Dallas Police and Fire Pension debate as some target transit agency's budget
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/dallas-c ... cys-budget

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 23 Feb 2017 13:37

lakewoodhobo wrote:New proposal to use one-eighth of the city's DART sales tax for fixing the pension crisis. Assume this threatens D2 and expanded bus service.

DART pulled into Dallas Police and Fire Pension debate as some target transit agency's budget
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/dallas-c ... cys-budget


Say what? That doesn't make any sense.

BTW... I thought the whole purpose of a pension system, and having them in instead of other retirement plans and SSN was for it to be self funded in order to provide a better benefit. At the point it is unwilling or unable to fund itself, shouldn't it cease to exist, and everyone move to 401k and SS like the rest of us?

I have nothing against police and fire folks... I have many family members in both. But the pension benefits they have are a luxury few people have available to them. It's up to them to find a way to keep that luxury functioning by making necessary changes, or come down to earth with everyone else.

I never understood why this is anybody's problem but the pension itself, and it's beneficiaries.
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 23 Feb 2017 14:43

muncien wrote:I never understood why this is anybody's problem but the pension itself, and it's beneficiaries.


Probably because they vote, are a generally sympathetic class, and have money to throw around for campaigning. All three are particularly important in low-turnout, low-interest elections like Dallas'.

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 23 Feb 2017 14:49

There's also the issue of wanting to continue to be able to hire and retain cops and firefighters, which becomes more difficult if it appears that you're willing to let them totally eat it if the finances go south.

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muncien
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 23 Feb 2017 15:01

Throwing more money towards a broken process isn't a solution. If the city is to spend any money to remedy this situation, the last place it should go is toward the pension system itself. Instead, take the amount being thrown around now and lob 75% off of it. Then direct those funds to actual salaries under the precondition that the pension fund gets replaced with more traditional means that everybody else has to live with.

Will you loose years of experienced officers, and have greater turn over? Almost certainly... But that isn't always a bad thing.

Companies everywhere do it when looking to downsize, and they do it based on salary alone and not luxury retirement benefits. The first people offered severance packages are those who have been there the most and make the most.
"He doesn't know how to use the three seashells..."

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 23 Feb 2017 16:27

I agree ^^.. It needs to be reformed. The problem is that we are offering the wrong type of retirement package to our officers.

It needs to be a 401k instrument. This will empower our officers to take control of their retirement future as it will let the individuals decide how much risk they want to take on with their retirement own money. Right now our future / young officers will be facing years of pension turmoil if things are kept the same. The returns promised in the pension are not feasible and were based on high risk real estate Investments panning out...

Throwing money at this is not the way it should be done. Needs to go asap.

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txdore
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby txdore » 13 Mar 2017 15:04

Slightly off topic, how many years is rolling stock (LTR or trolleys) depreciated over? Assuming it is a private corporation.

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Tucy
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tucy » 13 Mar 2017 15:38

txdore wrote:Slightly off topic, how many years is rolling stock (LTR or trolleys) depreciated over? Assuming it is a private corporation.


It looks like it would be 7 years (for tax purposes).

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The_Overdog
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby The_Overdog » 14 Mar 2017 09:01

So for the St Patricks Parade, they ran red line trains from Parker Road to Victory Park and back, which meant there were legitimately short waits for trains between Victory & Lovers most of the day. I wonder if they could do that in the interim while awaiting the D2 project to decrease wait times for downtown travelers.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tnexster » 20 Mar 2017 14:59

Riding Transit Takes Almost Twice as Long as Driving

http://www.governing.com/topics/transpo ... times.html

Governing compiled the most recent Census survey data measuring total commute times, including travel to stations and the time spent waiting for buses or trains. In the 25 metro areas where public transportation accounts for the largest share of all commuting, riders reported commute times an average of 1.9 times greater than those who drove alone. Similar gaps exist in regions where public transportation isn’t as prevalent. College towns are about the only areas where public transportation commute times mirror those for auto commuters.

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The_Overdog
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby The_Overdog » 26 Jun 2017 17:28

https://plano.novusagenda.com/agendapub ... tingID=116

It's always difficult to find numbers on DART rail usage, so here's some numbers to compare against. DART has provided numbers for Plano (not 'boardings', these are essentially tickets sold called 'Farebox data' based on past presentations).
1st quarter: 2017: 428k 2016: 422k
2nd quarter: 2017: 392k 2016: 372k

The same presentation also has the ridiculous bus routes through Plano, which is square but somehow bus routes aren't (and apparently there is not a bus line dedicated to Preston Road even though it's the busiest in the city) and the bus transit numbers:
1st quarter: 2017: 214k 2016: 237k
2nd quarter: 2017: 211k 2016: 225k

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Tucy
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tucy » 27 Jun 2017 11:29

^ I think the numbers you are looking for can be found here: https://www.dart.org/about/dartreferencebookmar17.pdf

Average Weekday Ridership:
Parker Road
2016: 3,286
2015: 3,222
2014: 3,024

Downtown Plano
2016: 597
2015: 607
2014: 648

Cityline/Bush Turnpike
2016: 1,354
2015: 1,282
2014: 1,442

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The_Overdog
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby The_Overdog » 28 Jun 2017 17:22

Those numbers are fine but they smooth a lot of quarterly variance that DART should try to find the cause of and they completely discount the weekends, which if you are going to build suburban rail to many of the attractions in Dallas you should probably keep a count on.
1st quarter 2016: 422k
2nd quarter 2016: 372k

Just as an example, you have 5237 average weekday ridership, which is 5237 * approx 65 weekdays per quarter: 340,405 of 422k (80k weekend riders for 25 days) = 60% of your average weekday traffic on weekends in the 1st quarter vs 25% in the second quarter. Is that a St Patricks bump or something else? Do all the 'office workers' who ride really spend that much time downtown on the weekends?

I know these are just averages so they may be completely wrong, but I'm just saying that somebody needs to be looking more closely at stuff like this if fixing the system is ever going to happen.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 28 Jun 2017 18:41

The_Overdog wrote:I know these are just averages so they may be completely wrong, but I'm just saying that somebody needs to be looking more closely at stuff like this if fixing the system is ever going to happen.


No Need. Status Quo is DART's forte. As long as Cities give them 1% they don't care what the numbers are.

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 29 Jun 2017 00:33

The_Overdog wrote:Those numbers are fine but they smooth a lot of quarterly variance that DART should try to find the cause of and they completely discount the weekends, which if you are going to build suburban rail to many of the attractions in Dallas you should probably keep a count on.
1st quarter 2016: 422k
2nd quarter 2016: 372k

Just as an example, you have 5237 average weekday ridership, which is 5237 * approx 65 weekdays per quarter: 340,405 of 422k (80k weekend riders for 25 days) = 60% of your average weekday traffic on weekends in the 1st quarter vs 25% in the second quarter. Is that a St Patricks bump or something else? Do all the 'office workers' who ride really spend that much time downtown on the weekends?

I know these are just averages so they may be completely wrong, but I'm just saying that somebody needs to be looking more closely at stuff like this if fixing the system is ever going to happen.


I believe the 1st quarter is Oct - Nov - Dec the previous year, much like accounting fiscal years. So the bump in ridership was during the holidays, not the much colder 2nd quarter of Jan - Feb - Mar.
But I could be wrong? Anyone know for sure what DART considers as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters?

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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 29 Jun 2017 08:53

Maybe, perhaps, by chance, conceivably, weather permitting this refreshing of the DART board membership comes with the shift in operational function and focus away from how to build it bigger and toward how to use it better.

https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2 ... d-suburbs/

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tanzoak
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tanzoak » 29 Jun 2017 09:45

tamtagon wrote:Maybe, perhaps, by chance, conceivably, weather permitting this refreshing of the DART board membership comes with the shift in operational function and focus away from how to build it bigger and toward how to use it better.

https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2 ... d-suburbs/


DFW has so many massively wide streets that are basically highways, there should be BRT everywhere. Of course, that most likely won't happen because of the DEY TUK ARE CAR LAYNES! factor.

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 29 Jun 2017 09:47

tanzoak wrote:
tamtagon wrote:Maybe, perhaps, by chance, conceivably, weather permitting this refreshing of the DART board membership comes with the shift in operational function and focus away from how to build it bigger and toward how to use it better.

https://www.dmagazine.com/frontburner/2 ... d-suburbs/


DFW has so many massively wide streets that are basically highways, there should be BRT everywhere. Of course, that most likely won't happen because of the DEY TUK ARE CAR LAYNES! factor.


South Park reference?! You win!!

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Matt777
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Matt777 » 29 Jun 2017 10:38

BRT, BRT, BRT! Fast, fewer stops. One should run straight up Preston Road with stops only near major intersections (from Downtown, going north through Oak Lawn). Another line should run from Love Field along Cedar Springs, through the Gayborhood, and then down towards Downtown and into the Cedars, meeting up with the HSR site. Another line should connect East Dallas to Downtown and to DART Rail Stations. Make the Cotton Belt a super BRT with dedicated right of way. If these BRT lines become successful and prove themselves, the heavier used ones can be converted to rail/subway in the future. So smart, so much easier, so much cheaper, and that's why they haven't been done.

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muncien
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 29 Jun 2017 11:10

DART needs to get away from the idea that service is determined by being within 1/4 mile of a stop. I realize that is the commonly accepted service radius, but in sprawling cities such as our own, it simply leads to inefficient routes and excessive wait times. Besides, we could all use a bit more of a walk anyway.
Simply changing to a half mile radius, straightening out our routes, and thus increasing service on those routes, would lead to a much more efficient system... and I think many users would take that trade off. Slightly longer walk... faster A-Z travel times, and much reduced intervals between buses.
"He doesn't know how to use the three seashells..."

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tamtagon
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby tamtagon » 29 Jun 2017 11:25

muncien wrote:DART needs to get away from the idea that service is determined by being within 1/4 mile of a stop. I realize that is the commonly accepted service radius, but in sprawling cities such as our own, it simply leads to inefficient routes and excessive wait times. Besides, we could all use a bit more of a walk anyway.
Simply changing to a half mile radius, straightening out our routes, and thus increasing service on those routes, would lead to a much more efficient system... and I think many users would take that trade off. Slightly longer walk... faster A-Z travel times, and much reduced intervals between buses.


That would also require efficient sidewalks and adequate bus stops...

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Tivo_Kenevil
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby Tivo_Kenevil » 29 Jun 2017 13:09

tamtagon wrote:
muncien wrote:DART needs to get away from the idea that service is determined by being within 1/4 mile of a stop. I realize that is the commonly accepted service radius, but in sprawling cities such as our own, it simply leads to inefficient routes and excessive wait times. Besides, we could all use a bit more of a walk anyway.
Simply changing to a half mile radius, straightening out our routes, and thus increasing service on those routes, would lead to a much more efficient system... and I think many users would take that trade off. Slightly longer walk... faster A-Z travel times, and much reduced intervals between buses.


That would also require efficient sidewalks and adequate bus stops...



Multi modal transit it was DART needs. BRT is desperately needed on NW HWY.

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muncien
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 29 Jun 2017 13:34

Tivo_Kenevil wrote:
tamtagon wrote:
muncien wrote:DART needs to get away from the idea that service is determined by being within 1/4 mile of a stop. I realize that is the commonly accepted service radius, but in sprawling cities such as our own, it simply leads to inefficient routes and excessive wait times. Besides, we could all use a bit more of a walk anyway.
Simply changing to a half mile radius, straightening out our routes, and thus increasing service on those routes, would lead to a much more efficient system... and I think many users would take that trade off. Slightly longer walk... faster A-Z travel times, and much reduced intervals between buses.


That would also require efficient sidewalks and adequate bus stops...



Multi modal transit it was DART needs. BRT is desperately needed on NW HWY.


Absolutely! NW Highway is perfectly suited for BRT. In fact, with LRT routes reaching our perpendicularly from the downtown core, BRT would be well suited for parallel routes encircling the core (NW Hwy/Loop 12, and Beltline as general routes), and linking the various LRT routes without having to traverse the core as is required now.

BRT should be a consideration for that NCTCOG plan that is evaluating rework of E/W vehicular routes to the North of the city core. Two birds with one stone...

But when it comes to Cotton Belt corridor, it doesn't make sense to remove existing rail infrastructure to put bus infrastructure. When LA's Metro did that for their Orange Line, there was a lot of regret for that decision. In their case, the tracks were in poor condition... but in the case of Cotton Belt, much of the track is still in use and most of it is in good working order. May as well use it...
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DPatel304
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby DPatel304 » 29 Jun 2017 14:51

muncien wrote:But when it comes to Cotton Belt corridor, it doesn't make sense to remove existing rail infrastructure to put bus infrastructure. When LA's Metro did that for their Orange Line, there was a lot of regret for that decision. In their case, the tracks were in poor condition... but in the case of Cotton Belt, much of the track is still in use and most of it is in good working order. May as well use it...


I'm pretty sure I heard the existing rail infrastructure is not compatible with DART LRT. Meaning, even if we go with rail, we would still have to tear up the rail line and build a new one.

I have no idea if that's true or not, and I'm not sure if it would require a full tear-down, or if we could partially use the existing infrastructure. With the huge price tag of the project, I'd imagine we would basically have to start from scratch.

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 29 Jun 2017 21:00

DPatel304 wrote:I'm pretty sure I heard the existing rail infrastructure is not compatible with DART LRT. Meaning, even if we go with rail, we would still have to tear up the rail line and build a new one.

I have no idea if that's true or not, and I'm not sure if it would require a full tear-down, or if we could partially use the existing infrastructure. With the huge price tag of the project, I'd imagine we would basically have to start from scratch.

Using rail on the Cotton Belt doesn't always mean using DART SLRVs. The rolling stock could be commuter rail, like DCTA and TRE are using, or what FWTA will be using. Commuter rail could use all the existing bridges, railbed, and signals the freight railroad DGNO is using.

Running BRT on the Cotton Belt means removing DGNO and affecting many industries using the railroad in Carrolton. BRT will not be able to reuse any of the existing structures within the corridor. Installing BRT will require two 10-12 feet lanes for the through lanes, and possibly another two 10-12 feet lanes at the bus stops/stations. That's 40-48 feet of payment just for the bus lanes that needs to be laid in the 100 feet wide corridor, vs a single track 10 feet wide train in most of the corridor, expanding to 50 feet or so wide rail AND the platform infrastructure only at the stations.

BRT will be far noisier than the trains in far north Dallas. Buses can be just as noisy as trains, except for the train's horns which could be silenced with quiet zones.

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electricron
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby electricron » 29 Jun 2017 21:03

electricron wrote:
DPatel304 wrote:I'm pretty sure I heard the existing rail infrastructure is not compatible with DART LRT. Meaning, even if we go with rail, we would still have to tear up the rail line and build a new one.

I have no idea if that's true or not, and I'm not sure if it would require a full tear-down, or if we could partially use the existing infrastructure. With the huge price tag of the project, I'd imagine we would basically have to start from scratch.

Using rail on the Cotton Belt doesn't always mean using DART SLRVs. The rolling stock could be commuter rail, like DCTA and TRE are using, or what FWTA will be using. Commuter rail could use all the existing bridges, railbed, and signals the freight railroad DGNO is using. But they will probably replace all the rails and ties to facilitate higher train speeds. The existing tracks will probably only allow maximum speeds of 25 mph.

Running BRT on the Cotton Belt means removing DGNO and affecting many industries using the railroad in Carrolton. BRT will not be able to reuse any of the existing structures within the corridor. Installing BRT will require two 10-12 feet lanes for the through lanes, and possibly another two 10-12 feet lanes at the bus stops/stations. That's 40-48 feet of payment just for the bus lanes that needs to be laid in the 100 feet wide corridor, vs a single track 10 feet wide train in most of the corridor, expanding to 50 feet or so wide rail AND the platform infrastructure only at the stations.

BRT will be far noisier than the trains in far north Dallas because they would closer to the edges of the corridor. Buses can be just as noisy as trains, except for the train's horns which could be silenced with quiet zones.

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muncien
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Re: Dallas Area Rapid Transit

Postby muncien » 30 Jun 2017 10:39

Some of the initial Cotton Belt proposals wanted to use the SLRV's to keep it compatible with existing rail lines, and would have cost a fortune. The later proposals seem to all be entertaining commuter rail as Electricron states, and should be part of a growing commuter network. That is certainly the right way to go as it reuses existing infrastructure. DART is heading in the right direction by downsizing this project, but they still have a ways to go.
I'm still thinking this may be better operated by a non-DART entity, that DART can partner with. There are sections of this route that will not have a stop where it should, simply because they are in non-member cities (ex: Coppell), or will be rerouted off the existing corridor at great cost, simply to tuck a station into a member city (ex: Dallas' Cypress Waters station).
This really doesn't make sense. A larger entity partnered with dart could help build a more complete network that also services non-member cities. The BNSF route all the way up through Colony, Frisco, and into Prosper is a good candidate as well. But, I totally understand why DART member cities wouldn't be on board with that as it would service non-member cities. But, jurisdiction aside, these routes (as well as others) make a lot of practical sense, and should be explored.
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