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  #51  
Old November 1st, 2006, 09:45 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

How long is the MAX system from end to end? I think a true measure of expensive or not for fares should be computed by price of a gallon of gas locally multiplied by mpg of personal car + estimated cost of wear and tear of car + any additional parking fees. Given that gas is around $2.78 a gallon on Oahu recently and my car gets about 30 mpg, $1.95 to travel the full 28 miles of the proposed rail ain't expensive at all.

Even though tying the bus and the rail systems together may affect rail ticket prices, I hope they do this for Oahu because an integrated system can really make public transportation convenient. If the rail is built, I envision all the East-West bus routes being eliminated along the 28 mile corridor. All those buses can be freed up to run makai to mauka loops to feed the rail. For instance, you can have a rail station right by Pearlridge and have buses run weaving courses up into Aiea and Pearl City. The same for each respective rail station.
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  #52  
Old November 1st, 2006, 10:55 PM
Bard Bard is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Good point. If you ride the longest MAX line (blue) from end to end, it's approximately 32 miles (that's just Google Earth as the crow flies distance, I'm not sure what the actual number is). Downtown is in the middle of that. There is also a branch going to the airport, and another that heads north along I-5. They are adding a new line that will go south along I-205. So the total is probably going to be quite substantial, and you can ride as far as your ticket and your 2 hours allows. The bus and train tickets are interchangable, and they can also be used on the downtown street car (which is not owned by the same group, but they cooperate). You can transfer freely between all of those on one ticket, again as long as you are within your time and zone limit.

Bikes can be taken on both buses and trains here as well, for "hybrid transit".

My wife and I once got all-zone tickets and just rode the blue line all the way out to Hillsboro (the western terminus). It's kind of a fun trip, 'cause once you get out to the suburbs, about half the time the train is just flying 65MPH through wooded areas with not much in the way of development (and not much in the way of roads paralleling it).

Edit: Forgot to answer your second half of your post. They are doing something similar with the downtown "bus mall" when they bring in the new green line. The current lines all run through downtown east-west, while the new one is going to cut in from the north and head south, from the Amtrak station down to PSU. I think they are probably going to be doing some bus rearranging after that.

Last edited by Bard; November 1st, 2006 at 10:57 PM. Reason: Added
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  #53  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 01:46 AM
Composite 2992 Composite 2992 is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

People need to re-think transit.

The main point is to move people. Not cars.

Getting more cars efficiently into downtown still means these cars need to end up somewhere.

A rail transit system would cost a fortune but considering what happens when the freeway gets shut down, then having a backup "people mover" would be well worth the investment.

And if energy efficiency rail is a lot more efficient than a horde of questionably maintained POV's.
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  #54  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 05:05 AM
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mapen mapen is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Yes, the main point is to move people, not cars. But cars do a much better job of moving people where they want to go than rail ever will.

Rail supporters seem to think that everybody will be working within walking distance of the rail. That is simply not the case. Not everybody works downtown. Not everybody works in a line between downtown and Ala Moana.

With regard to reliability, a train breaking down and blocking the track will cause more havoc than one of the, as you put it, "horde of questionably maintained POVs" breaking down and blocking a lane of traffic.

With regard to energy efficiency, its true that during peaks hour when trains are crowded, there is much efficiency. But during off peak hours when trains are mostly empty, trains are horribly inefficient compared with private autos.

TheBus is a better mass transit option than the rail because it can pick you up at more places and drop you off in more places than rail, and if you use express routes it can be fast.

Others have mentioned how good the rail system in Europe is. Guess what? Less than 10% of miles traveled by European citizens is by rail. Cars are still the overwhelming transportation method of choice even in Europe, where there are such excellent rail and mass transit options.
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  #55  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:05 PM
Bard Bard is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

You raise some good points, mapen. I can only answer them for Portland but maybe it translates somewhat:

I've seen all of these things happen here. If a train gets stuck somewhere, the entire line has to stop until they get it fixed. Or if there's a wreck across some of the tracks, or whatever. I've found that to be a pretty rare circumstance compared to the two or three a day wrecks on the freeways, but it does happen.

We also have a lot of problems here (by "a lot" I mean 3-4 a year ) with things like ice forming on the electrical wires and preventing the trains from running. There have been a few days since I've lived here where they had to run trains all night to prevent them from freezing up. Somehow I doubt you guys would have that particular problem though

There are two things about buses vs trains that make trains attractive, and these are usually the things that people focus on as unattractive as well:

1) The trains don't run on the same tracks/street as buses and cars. If it's rush hour and everyone and their dog is driving home, the bus is immediately sunk to that lowest common denominator. There's no where for it to go. If you make separate bus lanes then you might as well have just put in a train, as it has many of the same issues. I've seen it quite often here where I'm on the train and zooming past a totally gridlocked highway.

2) Trains have a fixed route. This encourages dense and walkable development along the rail line(s) because once people have paid for the thing they want to make the most of it. A bus theoretically has the same sorts of advantages, but there's this psychology of previous investment that makes it stick better with a train. It's seen as more permanent and so people are more willing to invest along the stops. So it's not just a transportation option, it's an urban shaping/development tool. Maybe with where you live now it wouldn't be workable, but it becomes really attractive both hassle and money wise to live in a place right at a train stop, walk to get groceries, and take the train to your job and the beach or whatever. That's how it worked for us -- we actually bought a house because of its proximity to a MAX stop, and stuff is slowly building up in the neighborhood.

It's also worth pointing out that if trains came in, the buses wouldn't go away. As you say they go more places and stop more often. The train is more like an express line that can ignore any other traffic issues.

Sorry for going on and on about this I just love the trains here, and my wife's working in transportation, so I hear about it all the time. Actually that's the reason I'm here (she went to Waikiki for a conference).
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  #56  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 12:41 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Hi Bard, so do you think the zoning methods work well with Max? I suppose it's an honor system too where there are no gates to check your tickets but maybe the occassional officier patrolling?

I've used the rail system in Hong Kong before and although you would have to implement gates and smart card readers, I think that might be a better choice because it eliminates zones. You use your smart card to check in at a gate of departure. Fares are then only calculated and deducted from your smart card when you check out of the leaving gate. So it will compute the fares based on number of stations travelled. If on the bus, then only a flat fare rate is deducted when you board and scan your smart card. I think this is more fare because what happens if you literally live in the station at the end of zone A and want to get to the next station which is the start of zone B? And I don't believe in the honor system. A nice gesture but let's face reality, people in today's society will try to get a free ride whenver they can. I've seen that happen too many times on the VTA in San Jose and the MetroRail in LA.
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  #57  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 01:19 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Hi Mapen, you do have good points but I think people are looking too hard at the rail as just a stand alone infrastruture. In that sense, yes, it will only serve a niche group that works along that straight line between Kapolei and Ala Moana. But if the planning is done right, buses are supposed to work in conjunction with the rail. The buses would run the feeder lines, going through your neighborhood so it actually is closer to your home. Of course, it will never take you right to your doorstep for most folks but have we as a society become so lazy that we won't even take a brisk walk? Heck, that brisk commute walk would be the exercise we all need to reduce all the health problems we hear about today.

Yes, trains may break down but their reliablity factor is so high these days, it's very rare. In fact, the only train breakdowns I had ever seen when I used the VTA in San Jose were due to collisions with cars. But this issue will not exist with the proposed rail for Oahu because it's not light rail, it's really rapid rail with its own dedicated grade separated line. That's also why the price tag is so hefty. I think Bard mentioned cold weather as another reason but again, we're lucky in not having to worry about that too.

You are right that a train can be less energy efficient if it's an empty train compared to a car. But look at how energy inefficient we are with cars right now. How many cars do you see on that daily commute where it's just one occupant? And more often than not, it's a gas guzzling SUV too. At least the train runs on electricity which has the potential to be environmentally friendly if the power plant happens to be green (solar, wind, water).

TheBus is good but it's weakest link is that it is still subjected to road factors. And because it is not a permanent fixture, here lies a weakness too. A bus route can easily disappear. The BRT lines by Harris came and went. That was money wasted. With something permanent, people will be more dedicated to making it work because failing won't mean it will go away.

As for Europe, how many miles was the total? Even 10% of that is a good figure because that means 10% less competing on the road. Rail and public transportation isn't meant to replace cars. It's to help alleviate and offer an alternate means of getting from A to B.
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  #58  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

The thing is, we need a dedicated line for transit. Since TheBus runs on the same road as the cars, it too can be stuck in traffic like the rest of them. However, if we have a dedicated line, then if a "car" gets stuck or breaks down, then it'll snaggle the rest of the line.

What we need, is atleast two alternatives to the road: one being either an elevated road or rail (or a combo) and a waterline system aka ferry. People can just take a bus or taxi down to the pier and hop onto a ferry, then 5 minutes later, be in Kapolei or Waipahu.
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  #59  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 04:27 PM
Bard Bard is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
Hi Bard, so do you think the zoning methods work well with Max? I suppose it's an honor system too where there are no gates to check your tickets but maybe the occassional officier patrolling?
It depends on the line. I used to live along the blue line, at 60th (NE). Between there and fareless square (where it's free anyway) was a total of one stop. I believe I got my ticket checked *once* and I found out later they were being very thorough because they had heard some sort of threat.

I live on the yellow now and I get my fare checked almost literally every trip. And almost every trip they do pull someone off who's trying to get away with a free ride. I hear farther out in the suburbs they are more careful too.

The zone thing is kind of a bummer in some ways because there's a situation where I could live one mile from fareless square and have to pay $1.70 for that ride. Someone else could live 6-7 miles out and pay the same fare. And the people who live 20 miles out are paying $1.95 or so (can't remember exactly what the all-zone is right now).

But I was in Tokyo for a week and dealt with all their gates and micro-managed per-stop rates, and I'd rather have the zones any day. So much simpler. Figure out approximately how far you want to go for the fare you need, then just walk up to the train and get on. Makes the infrastructure a heck of a lot cheaper too because they don't have to enclose the stops so much.

I did hear (from some study) that Tri-Met could probably recoup their costs by eliminating fares entirely, which sounds wacky.. but they spend a lot of money on all the ticket machines and enforcement. I suspect they don't do it because they don't want it to become one big homeless shelter.
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  #60  
Old November 2nd, 2006, 07:45 PM
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Fat Jeff Fat Jeff is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

I thought the train was a bad idea when it was Fasi's idea and I still think it's a bad idea today. For the train to be a success it needs to go from where people live to where they work/go to school. In my old neighborhood in Chicago, there was a train station only a 10 minute walk from our family home. The proposed route is over 5 miles from our home in Ewa. No where near our home.

Another obsticle to more people using the trian is the issue of getting the keiki to school. Every day I drop our nephew off at Campbell, our baby at the sitter, and then drive past no less than three schools. Each has a line of cars going in and out to drop off keiki. And in the afternoon the process is reversed. Unless they are all somehow going to be suddenly put on buses, I see no train users among these parents.

Finally the cost...it seems to grow every couple months 1 billion, then 3.6 billion, then 4 billion+, next stop? Perhaps the local politicos see it like the H3 (a 30 year job with lots of high paying UNION jobs). I firmly believe it would be the equivalent of Honolulu's own "Money Pit".
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  #61  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:12 AM
Bard Bard is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

The keiki are a good point actually. I see huge groups of kids here (30+) quite often in the spring, taking the MAX downtown to the zoo or Chinese gardens, or what have you. No school bus needed. Just pile 'em in and pity the other riders
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  #62  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

In 50 years, SEVERAL trains will be a small piece of an overall transit solution that will include buses, more roads for cars, higher density nodal living environments, and zoning practice rooted in social science, not political gain.

Of course the train is a good idea. So is a ferry system on the South Shore, and the West Side of Big Island. So is a road over/under Pearl to Ewa. If you think a shortage of gasoline will eliminate the POV, you are incorrect. ALL roads will need to be widened or DECKED in the coming 50 years to accomodate the inevitable increase in usage. There needs to be a MAJOR increase in large-scale, ocean-access infrastucture in the State of Hawaii.

Do not be so shortsighted as the think that this or that solution is the whole story. They must ALL be utilized.
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  #63  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 02:37 AM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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I'm not so sure about a bridge or a tunnel cutting across Pearl Harbor. First of all, I really doubt the US Navy's about to approve of that, especially post 9/11 mentality. Even if somehow approval is obtained, a bridge high enough (think Golden Gate), so that naval ships can still navigate under it will be such an eyesore. And remember, this is Hawaii, where everyone is extra sensitive to eyesores.

So the other option is a tunnel. I don't think Pearl Harbor's that deep so the easiest tunnel method of digging a trench and dropping in prefab concrete segments won't work. Which means actually having to bore beneath the harbor. Do people who support the concept of a tunnel/bridge really think that will be cheap? And how many entrances and exits can you really have? This means it really only serves best the two endpoints. All neighborhoods in between get bypassed.
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  #64  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 03:51 AM
Karen Karen is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

NO to the rail! I am not going to use it and don't want to pay for it. Everytime they tell us what something on this island will cost, it costs way more, probably cuz of the sometimes absurd union wages.

Building highways above all already existing highways is the way to go, it clutters less of the island and we all get to still use our cars.

No one but one bus rider that I know has said that they are going to use the rail. Where to park to meet the rail, then get back to their car, then stop at the store, and do errands on the way home, nope.....what is going to happen years from now is we may have a very expensive rail system and they'll be begging us to use it.

Most of us like our cars, the privacy and freedom they afford us to do things on our schedules, not the system's, and we are not going to park our cars and stop using them.

To hell with rail....
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  #65  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 04:11 AM
Composite 2992 Composite 2992 is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

When I attended UH and rode the bus from Pearl City I sorely wished for an alternative.

Those who claim the bus will work just fine haven't really used it much. If they did, they'd soon find out that to get from Leeward Oahu to Manoa takes about 2 hours each way.

Imagine spending 4 hours of each day just commuting!

When working near downtown I often rode my bike 17 miles from the office to home near Crestview. Took just over an hour. Add well-designed bikeways, lanes and paths to the list.

If we intend to allow more people to live on Oahu, mass transit isn't just an option. It's a must-have. Along with other means of transit.
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  #66  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

People here are too lazy to use a rail system. Rail involves a lot of walking, which people in Hawaii simply refuse to do.

"Cripes, I gotta walk eight blocks to the station, then another five to work?"

When I lived in Japan, I walked 20 minutes from home to the station, rode an hour in a cramped train, then walked another 25 minutes to my office. Lather, rinse, repeat at night... And that was a "pleasant" commute.

I think something like that would be too healthy for the average Hawaii commuter who is addicted to his/her car.
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  #67  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 08:08 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen View Post
NO to the rail! I am not going to use it and don't want to pay for it. Everytime they tell us what something on this island will cost, it costs way more, probably cuz of the sometimes absurd union wages.

Building highways above all already existing highways is the way to go, it clutters less of the island and we all get to still use our cars.

No one but one bus rider that I know has said that they are going to use the rail. Where to park to meet the rail, then get back to their car, then stop at the store, and do errands on the way home, nope.....what is going to happen years from now is we may have a very expensive rail system and they'll be begging us to use it.

Most of us like our cars, the privacy and freedom they afford us to do things on our schedules, not the system's, and we are not going to park our cars and stop using them.

To hell with rail....
Thanks Karen. Best post in this thread.

To add to the cost estimate, this item appeared at HonoluluTraffic.com:

Quote:

The Mayor gives a whole new meaning to the word 'frugal.' And judging from the reactions we have heard in the past 24 hours, the public is not buying it.

That is because the public knows that elected officials will not be satisfied until they build the entire $4.7 billion rail line.

In addition, the public knows that there are going to be significant cost overruns of somewhere between 25 and 50 percent — now we are up to $6 to $8 billion.

That is before we get to the interest since the City does not have much cash and will have to borrow all but the $500 million in federal money. This will come from the sale of bonds. If we just pay the 5.5 percent interest on the bonds, that will be $385 million annually.

Only paying the interest would not be too wise since at 25 years out the bills for extensive multi billion rebuild and refurbishing will start coming due. Best we pay off the capital by 25 years out. Let's see, $7 billion paid off with interest at 5.5 percent will take $520 million annually. To that we have to add $75 million annually in additional operating losses over and above the $100+ million for TheBus. Altogether that is about $600 million annually or four times what the ˝ percent tax hike will bring in.
The taxpayers cannot afford this.

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  #68  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen View Post
Building highways above all already existing highways is the way to go, it clutters less of the island and we all get to still use our cars.
I work in transportation and believe me double-decking is very expensive. Not that it won't ultimately happen but it's not a complete solution in any case. I think if you can't make rail work on an island you can't make it work anywhere.
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  #69  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Rail Transit

I grew up using Golden Gate Transit & BART in the SF Bay Area. Could get from my house in Sonoma County to a Giants or Raiders Game in under 2 hours easy. My home town had the "Schooner Buses" which held about 26 people each. A whole fleet of them ran "out & back" from the center of town to all the suburbs. The Ferry System on SF Bay is most excellent. Cal Train will get you to San Jose. You should see the TransBay Terminal in the heart of San Francisco !!! Got Buses, Subway's, Trains, Taxi's, you name it. With a real close freeway on & off ramp, and lot's of parking nearby.

The essential problem is the preference for low density growth (subdivisions) by the majority of a woefully miseducated, yet literate and vociferous crowd of "do-gooders".

"Tall structures are an eyesore."
"We must protect the view."
"Who want's to live in a rabbit hutch?"
"Zoning won't allow it."


Sit down kiddies, and let ol' Unco Tim tell you a story. A long time ago, about 112 years or so, there was no such thing as the automobile. Without the automobile, there was no such thing as subdivisions. Everybody lived in buildings up to 5 or 6 stories tall, and the buildings were very close together. Public Transit systems were wide-spread on the micro & macro level. New York & Chicago had world class train systems that carried nearly everybody. And when you looked out to the country, you saw orchards & livestock, instead of concrete and latchkey children.

The separation of CITY and Country was clear and well defined. People who know would tell you that it's not the car that is the villain. It is the subdivision, or low-density growth in general. You can protect the view, or you can protect the land. It's time to realize which is the better choice. Most especially for those who cling desperately to their suburbs and SUV's.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 11:58 AM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by dick View Post
People here are too lazy to use a rail system. Rail involves a lot of walking, which people in Hawaii simply refuse to do.

"Cripes, I gotta walk eight blocks to the station, then another five to work?"

When I lived in Japan, I walked 20 minutes from home to the station, rode an hour in a cramped train, then walked another 25 minutes to my office. Lather, rinse, repeat at night... And that was a "pleasant" commute.

I think something like that would be too healthy for the average Hawaii commuter who is addicted to his/her car.
People rather pay expensive gym fees to get their workouts.
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  #71  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 04:06 PM
Bard Bard is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinjin View Post
I work in transportation and believe me double-decking is very expensive. Not that it won't ultimately happen but it's not a complete solution in any case. I think if you can't make rail work on an island you can't make it work anywhere.
Hey sinjin, I'm curious, did you go to the western district transportation conference that happened at the Royal Hawaiian back at the end of June?

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel
To add to the cost estimate, this item appeared at HonoluluTraffic.com
I love the bulletin on there about the Portland light rail's security issues. I've used the thing almost every day since we moved here, which was over 3 years ago, and very rarely have I ever had any issues. My wife uses it at all hours of the day by herself and never has any problems. Much less than when I used buses previously. And yeah, I go/have gone past some pretty "bad" spots, including the listed Holladay Park. It attracts its share of odd people, but then so do all the bus transit centers.

The funny thing too is what they are leaving out of that report: The "worst" spots are the transit centers that meet up with bus lines, like Lombard TC, and the zone barrier stops. Most of the stops on the MAX are incredibly tame. Holladay Park/Lloyd Center is the last stop in fareless square, where the freebies have to get off or get tickets. 82nd is the last stop before Zone 3. And those areas were pretty bad even before they put MAX stops in.

You want to talk about crime attraction, take a look at PortlandMaps.com some time, at the overall crime levels map. There's a nice red (aka high crime) line going right along I-84, which includes both Lloyd Center and 82nd. Those red areas follow a lot of major streets/highways. Oooo it must be the evil cars causing it!

Last edited by Bard; November 3rd, 2006 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Added
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  #72  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 07:26 PM
Karen Karen is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Sinjin.....very expensive? you pay for it one time...to build. Rail? Oh, the maintenace, the repairs! the energy to make the thing RUN!! and it will clutter even more of the island, and people will not use it, sorry but I am not being a smart aleck, it will not catch on, plus our having the bus people, not happening. We all are short for time, rush rush, and so when out, we need to make several stops, redeeming our time. Rail is not going to catch on, I am one of many that won't even bother trying to use it, and maybe, once....I will ride it for pure fun, and then.....I'll know why I am not bothering to use it.

Double decker highways, then we just have to keep them paved, big deal....and we all get to keep using our own private autos, less germs, no privacy intrusion, Much more time usage, and look, twice the highways! and much less congestion.

I like Mufi a lot, glad I voted for him, and have contacted him to let him know that in all respect, kindness etc....

I am not going to use rail and this is what I am haering from most that I know. Just fact...
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  #73  
Old November 3rd, 2006, 10:17 PM
joshuatree joshuatree is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

Karen, to build the rail is also a one time cost. If you want to count the cost of maintenance, repairs, and energy bill, then you need to count the cost of your car ownership - maintenance, repairs, gas, insurance.

To simply just repave a highway is the same as just maintaining a rail line, you only need to occasionally replace a rail or two. Repaving of highways is usually paid for by the taxes on the gas you buy. So that's a cost people pay but don't usually notice. And Oahu has/had for the longest time, the problem of potholes on the roads. We can't even address them properly, what happens when the number of potholes double due to a double decker highway?

If you don't want more clutter on the island, why would you want more roads? Why would you want to encourage the trend of more car ownership? More paved asphalt means more heat island effect, making the area feel hotter cuz the black asphalt act as giant heat sinks. I don't know your schedule personally so maybe your lifestyle doesn't fit rail but for every person that uses rail, that's one less person you have to deal with on the road so it still benefits you. What stops do you need to make on your car commute? To pay bills? To buy groceries? What if over time, stores pop up around rail stations that provide these services to you? Would that not replace the stops you need to make by car right now?
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Old November 4th, 2006, 04:39 AM
Composite 2992 Composite 2992 is offline
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Default Re: Rail Transit

At a projected cost of $6 billion, rail is not cheap. But let's compare real costs.l=

We pay about 45 cents per mile to operate a car, according to Edmunds. At 10,000 miles per year, that's $4,500 a year per car, plus the cost of the car. In five years that comes to about $50,000, depending on how much is paid for the car. There are 987,598 vehicles registered in Hawaii. Which means in the past five years we spent $49.37 billion (more or less) owning and operating our cars, trucks and motorcycles.

According to state and county tax data, in 2005 we used approximately 39 million gallons of gas a month at a cost of about $2.90 a gallon. Or 468 million gallons of gas. That's $1.35 billion a year just for gas. Of course this is included in the operation costs, but it gives you an idea of how much gas we're burning in our little island state.

All this doesn't take into account the costs of inevitable accidents along with the property damage and injuries they cause, the insurance overhead, and the projected loss of productivity due to people being temporarily incapacitated.

Rail costs a fraction of what we spend on cars and trucks. It is a lot more efficient with fuel. It's not zero emissions as it still gets electricity from a powerplant. But that powerplant is heavily filtered and the emissions are cleaner than the average car. If carbon dioxide emissions are important factors in choosing how we move around this town, then rail transit is an important part of that total plan. We won't eliminate cars. And buses will still play a key role in the total system.

Rail and bus transportation isn't for everyone. But a lot of people will come to depend on it. I'm willing to place bets that it'll be well-used and money well-spent. There's no way additional lanes or multiple decks of highways will solve our traffic problems. There's only so many cars that you can cram into central Honolulu. And as anyone can attest, the cost of parking in downtown always goes up. At $4 a day where I worked, I toyed with the idea of riding a motorscooter to work to get free parking. But then I started working at home and that changed everything. Shorter commute. Free parking. Flexible lunch break :-)

Not everyone can or will give up their cars. But there's a lot who can and will. And there's a lot of people who can't drive and can't afford taxis but still need to get into and out of town.

Sure, the system can't service everyone. But it will service a huge chunk of the population on Oahu. Just stand on any of the overpasses overlooking H1 near Aiea every morning and afternoon and you'll see how many people could use an alternative means of transportation. And as bad as it is now, it will get worse. In all the years I've lived on this side of the island, it always has. And it's always worse than any other district on Oahu because that's where most of the available land is for development.

Rail isn't THE answer, but it's a better option than trying to squeeze another highway into a city that can't even afford the few feet needed to stripe a bike lane on existing roads.

Last edited by Composite 2992; November 4th, 2006 at 04:44 AM.
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  #75  
Old November 4th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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TuNnL TuNnL is offline
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Lightbulb Re: Rail Transit

Quote:
Originally Posted by timkona View Post
Of course the train is a good idea. So is a ferry system on the South Shore, and the West Side of Big Island. So is a road over/under Pearl to Ewa. If you think a shortage of gasoline will eliminate the POV, you are incorrect. ALL roads will need to be widened or DECKED in the coming 50 years to accomodate the inevitable increase in usage. There needs to be a MAJOR increase in large-scale, ocean-access infrastucture in the State of Hawaii.

Do not be so shortsighted as the think that this or that solution is the whole story. They must ALL be utilized.
Thanks, Tim. This is what Mel and his gang of NIMBYs just can’t seem to understand. They are so stuck on this either/or mentality, they fail to realize that there is no one solution that will improve our traffic situation, based on population growth alone. Even the so-called honolulutraffic.com peeps conceded this point in a televised debate on the subject. We need rail and everything else being proposed.
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