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Everything posted by JamesL

  1. That's correct. I actually don't think it will be a big deal. They will have plenty of both types around when they need to double up. It would be extremely difficult for two manufacturers to build completely compatible cars since the propulsion, braking, and electronic systems will all be different. The CAF vehicles have a top speed of 45, for instance, rather that the S70's 66.
  2. Actually, now that I reread that, it makes me think the new Red Line and East End cars may not be held up since the Notice to Proceed was already issued and those lines aren't in the FTA process.
  3. METRO is not buying any more Siemens cars. The CAF vehicles won't be compatible within the same train, but they will have no problem running on the same line. CAF was to build more cars for the red line as well as for the expansion. http://blogs.ridemetro.org/blogs/write_on/archive/2009/03/05/New-Trains-to-be-Nation_2700_s-First-Low_2D00_Floor-Model.aspx "Our initial "Notice to Proceed" - a notice we give to the train manufacturer indicating we are ready to order - calls for 29 cars. Ten will be used for the East End line, and 19 for the Main Street line."
  4. The new Red Line cars, I'm pretty sure, were wrapped into the contract for the new lines, which now has to be rebid.
  5. And it will definitely mean a delay in getting some more cars on the Red Line.
  6. I like the creative thinking, but they should absolutely not cut frequency. It would up the average wait from 3 to 4.5 minutes, making everyone's trip longer and making it harder to plan connections. Most times of day the crowding isn't all that bad. We can hang on until new cars start arriving, hopefully late next year. They could, however, try to dispatch so that there's more like 7 minutes in front on double trains and 5 in front of singles so that loads match the available space slightly better.
  7. METRO's budget includes a police force and debt service on capital projects. Does your passenger vehicle figure include state and local police or national, state, and local capital expenditures necessitated by motor vehicles? How about the cost to society of the thousands of deaths they cause each month?
  8. JamesL

    Inner Katy LRT

    Trams in Amsterdam have a booth with person selling tickets on board. But I agree that's not the way to go on a new system.
  9. Regarding how far west the tracks will go, last I heard trains will turn back on a new bridge over Buffalo Bayou.
  10. JamesL

    Inner Katy LRT

    Streetcar construction is cheaper and faster than light rail because it's a much simpler process. Instead of relocating all utilities like they are for the light rail lines, streetcars are generally built right over them with the understanding that service may sometimes be interrupted if utility work is needed. Since substituting buses often can provide service that is just as fast and capacious, the transit network isn't crippled when the streetcar is taken out of service. Also, because the vehicles are lighter, the track slab doesn't need to be as deep. So, rather than tear up the entire street to move utilities and make room for the guideway, streetcar construction just requires excavating one foot or so of the lane with the track.
  11. There's a sign up next to Main St. just south of the tunnel saying they've applied for a variance. I didn't get a good look, but I think it's to waive a setback requirement. And there is heavy machinery on site.
  12. The University line FEIS is right on the top of the METRO Solutions page: http://www.metrosolutions.org/go/doc/1068/112145/ Environmental Impact Statements for the Uptown and East End lines did not have to be published since they didn't go through the federal funding process. Engineering drawings for EE are available at the East End Corridor office.
  13. To further recap, it appears there in fact may not be any story at all. It did not escape the FTA's attention that a recession has occurred, so revised sales tax revenue projections have been created and submitted. I know this has been linked to already, but I have a feeling most people didn't read it. http://blogs.chron.com/houstonpolitics/2010/04/metro_city_officials_deny_effo.html
  14. METRO has issued a statement in response to the KHOU report: http://www.ridemetro.org It alternates with the service interruption announcement, so refresh the page until it comes up. I don't know about y'all, but I trust the agency - which was just reviewed top-to-bottom by the mayor's team - over the allegations of an outside critic who has been wrong plenty of times before.
  15. Do it on a bike. That's how I took these in September. http://picasaweb.goo...dors21Sept2009# Construction is obviously much further along now. Among all three lines there are HUNDREDS of workers on the ground every day.
  16. If the wires have to be deenergized and the work goes on all night then trains can't make it back to the maintenance and cleaning facility. That's my guess. You can still ride the shuttle buses. They will be running more often than the trains would so total travel time should be similar.
  17. While it won't be easy or cheap to convert, TXDOT did reinforce the bridges underneath the center lanes for future rail service.
  18. My two main complaints with feeder roads (aesthetics aside): 1) The resulting development is exceedingly hard to serve with transit. 2) They make crossing the freeway corridor by bike or on foot difficult and dangerous.
  19. Christof always has very good points. Here's a post from his blog that gives an idea of the issues he sees. http://www.ctchouston.org/intermodality/2009/12/30/lets-talk-about-service/ '“We need commuter rail” is an incomplete statement. So is “we need commuter rail to Galveston.” “We need rail transit from Houston to Galveston that runs every 20 minutes all day every day, makes the trip in about an hour, and connects conveniently to UTMB, NASA, Downtown Houston, UH, the Texas Medical Center, and Uptown Houston” is the kind of statement you can design a line around.'
  20. A well thought out look at the issue here by an outsider (albeit a knowledgeable one): http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2010/04/05/rallying-against-rail-in-southeast-houston/
  21. And they're latecomers to the party. METRO has stakeholder meetings every month and that would seem to be the sensible forum for their concerns. I also don't understand the safety argument. If kids can manage to stay out of the way of cars then the train shouldn't be a problem at all.
  22. Anyone who is genuinely interested and not just out to rail against METRO can check out the construction plans at the East End Corridor office at Harrisburg & the railroad tracks. I think it's fairly obvious they are just going to close the crossing of the tracks and not right in/right out movements. There is no logical reason to do that.
  23. Yeah, this was big news a few weeks ago. The algorithm is supposed to take into account bike path and lanes, hills, and speed limits. It's a work in progress, though. There are issues like when it gives directions along the SW Freeway HOV.
  24. LRV 116 was back in service today. I didn't get a close look, but I bet they've fixed it so you could never tell it was in an accident.
  25. Montrose between 59 and Bissonett has some of the worst pavement in Houston. Sampson or York or whatever it is over in the East End there is the only place I can think of that comes close. That part of Montrose will rattle your brains something awful. I recommend Mandell. Here's the bikeways map, btw: http://documents.pub...map_network.pdf
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