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Everything posted by JamesL

  1. These Siemens cars were bought using an option that the Utah Transit Authority wasn't going to exercise. They are intended to expand capacity on the Red Line. CAF was the Spanish company involved with the improper procurement that had to be rebid. They were going to build a few of the cars in Spain and the rest in the US, but that wasn't good enough to satisfy FTA Buy America requirements. The ended up winning the contract anyway, albeit with a different vehicle than they proposed initially.
  2. Unless the toll revenue funds an endowment for operations and maintenance they will never "pay for themselves." Operating and maintaining a highway is not cheap.
  3. Here's what's going on with the downtown crossing construction. They have to avoid Texans weekends. http://ridemetro.org/AboutUs/Board/working_meetings/2012/Presentations/082312/Main-Street-Interline082312.pdf
  4. Guess where Greyhound is headquartered! Coincidence?
  5. Much lower than these guys! http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/several-curb-side-bus-companies-shut-down-by-federal-authorities/2012/05/31/gJQA8Mge4U_story_1.html Megabus is operated by Coach USA which is a part of Stagecoach Group, a global transportation company. So they know what they're doing.
  6. Most of their buses are Van Hool double deckers with 81 seats, though they do have some regular motorcoaches that they might use while the routes are catching on. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megabus_%28North_America%29 I just completed a trip on a few of their routes in the southeast and northeast. All the buses were pretty full. As long as your seatmate isn't too fat it's comfortable enough. Very comparable to an airplane, but the seats recline more. The wifi is spotty, as someone noted. Greyhound Express gives you more leg room, but you have to deal with their crappy terminals. On a rainy day this might be an advantage, though.
  7. http://www.ridemetro.org/METROVision/PDFs/InnerKaty_Screenline-111910.pdf
  8. http://www.chron.com/news/gallery/GREENLINK-to-hit-the-streets-in-May-2012-31351/photo-1659875.php
  9. Not the only one! http://g.co/maps/b4wnn But yeah, it was a very misguided idea.
  10. The stop after EaDo/Stadium is Leeland/Third Ward. Some of the concrete for the split side platforms is going in already.
  11. Greanias made the point that the tree would already be dead if METRO hadn't watered it during the drought.
  12. According to METRO on Facebook: Phenomenal day for METRORail yesterday, setting a new single-day ridership record with 70, 611 boardings! This beats rail’s previous high in 2007 when Beyonce took the stage at the rodeo. Last night, The Band Perry performed at the rodeo. Thanks to all for riding, and helping METRO set a new record.
  13. Or not adjusted for land value. I recall hearing (sorry, not sure where) that land prices in Midtown increased tenfold when the light rail line came in, and the slow pace of redevelopment has been a result of land owners holding out for ever higher prices. I think it will be interesting to see if the new lines burst that bubble because light rail access will no longer be an exclusive amenity.
  14. Embedded track is more expensive up front but virtually maintenance-free. Ballasted track requires periodic resurfacing to realign it, and keeping the embedded street crossings aligned with track floating in ballast is a challenge. Since it's a light rail application where the rail itself isn't ever going to wear out I guess they decided embedding it was the way to go. Pixxs (you might have to be friends with METRO on facebook):
  15. One of the agency's goals for this fiscal year is to examine the funding options and determine the path forward for the University Line. So hopefully there will be news in the next few months.
  16. SOVs won't be allowed if the lane falls under 50mph. http://ridemetro.org/Services/HOV_HOTLanes.aspx
  17. Greanias has said that one of the goals for 2012 is to chart the path forward for University and Uptown funding, so hopefully they'll have a revised schedule in the next 6 months.
  18. The way they've gained the support of the airlines is by promising stops at the airports and keeping open the possibility of allowing them to operate the trains. By diverting short-hop flights to rail they can open up landing slots for more profitable, long-haul flights. This is also part of the idea behind the California HSR and HS2 in England. Shifting those flights to rail will cut congestion at the airports and save billions on airport expansion that would otherwise be necessary.
  19. That's a good idea since they will probably be losing part of their current showroom when the University Line is built.
  20. Just speculating, but could they be anticipating some property takings when the rail line is built?
  21. The only ones they have been talking about recently are El Dorado in Clear Lake, the new Missouri City lot, and another new one along South Freeway.
  22. As someone who spends most of his time on city streets on foot, I couldn't be happier. People have been running lights with impunity since the cameras were turned off since they know there's a 0% chance of getting caught.
  23. The Q card should not charge again for any of the transfers you describe. Only doubling back on the same route will cause it to charge again. As for drivers failing to adhere to the schedule, have her get the bus number and/or block number at the bottom of the windshield and file an online complaint with the appropriate details (route, time, direction).
  24. Something that invasive? There is no right to privacy when you're operating a vehicle on public roads, let alone when you're breaking the law and endangering the lives of others.
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