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Thread: Streetcar

  1. #9101

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by AP View Post
    This should be taken with a grain of salt. Randal O'Toole of the Cato Institute is one of the biggest anti-transit advocates out there. That blog exists to advocate against traditional cities and city planning. That article first appeared on a website called The Antiplanner: Dedicated to the sunset of government planning. Very unbiased work here.
    Yeah I am aware and the same is said for transportation blogs like streetsblog, Vox, and citylab which constantly posts every anti car news, recycled articles like “wasteful freeway projects” and constantly spreading the induced demand argument which is plagued with flaws, lack of variables, and is an outright irrational theory against road construction. Other than news relating to a specific project it’s hard to find articles pushing for data supporting transportation initiatives that aren’t biased in some way.

    That said the article I posted makes valid points and provides a different perspective on the constant myth pushed around that roads don’t pay for themselves or that cars aren’t paying their fare share. It can easily cost someone north of 30k to own a new car and at least 5k for a used car which comes with more maintenance and likely lower fuel economy.

    For this small rail project it costs north of 150 million. For those that will complain about the massive cost of road projects let’s compare not just ADT but each individual person since that’s how ridership on this route is shown. Those results also don’t include freight little if any of which is moved on this streetcar.

  2. Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    This is not remotely true. Cars are the least subsidized form of transportation that exists.

    https://opportunityurbanism.org/2019...idies-by-mode/
    "But wait — highways produced more than just passenger travel. According to table 1-50 of National Transportation Statistics, they also produced 2.0 trillion ton-miles of freight shipments. For the purpose of allocating highway subsidies to passengers and freight, I decided to use the value of passenger miles and freight ton-miles. We know passenger miles are worth 23.8 cents to users, while freight revenues per ton-mile are shown in National Transportation Statistics table 3-21.

    Unfortunately, table 3-21 only has data through 2007, when shippers were spending an average of 16.54 cents per ton-mile. Between 1990 and 2007, shipping costs grew at 88 percent of the rate of inflation. Assuming that rate continued, I calculate that shipping cost 17.1 cents per ton-mile in 2017. That means 1.39 ton-miles is equal to 1 passenger mile, so highway subsidies average 0.8 cents a passenger mile and 0.6 cents a ton-mile.

    In short, Americans personally spend about 23.8 cents per passenger mile on driving and receive subsidies of 0.8 cents a passenger mile, mostly from local governments. "

    Why does he decide to use 23.8 cents per mile (IRS allowance)? And does that *really* mean people spend 23.8 cents per mile when driving?

    And I think AP meant to say "biased" instead of "unbiased", because after reading it, things don't really add up to a completely logical picture with real math being used.

  3. #9103

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    And I think AP meant to say "biased" instead of "unbiased", because after reading it, things don't really add up to a completely logical picture with real math being used.
    I think that was sarcasm on AP's point...

  4. #9104

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Why don't we cover the streetcars in advertisements, inside and out. Since so many of them are driving around with hardly anyone inside, it might as well earn ad revenue whilst doing so. Look at the ridership numbers for every weekend in December for evidence.

    I have a lot of friends who have never tried it because when you have a group of 4-6 people, an Uber/Lyft split between them is less than the cost of everyone to buy a ticket. Plus the vehicle is coming to and dropping off at an exact location and you can track its arrival on a map.

    Make the streetcar free by whatever means possible and you remove a huge entry barrier.

  5. #9105

    Default Re: Streetcar

    I would like to point out a few things-

    1. Advertising has been added to the exterior of the streetcars on occasion and the interior of the vehicles now have multiple flat panels that display advertising sponsorships that subsequently generate revenue.

    2. Delivery times have improved from as high as 22 minutes down to 8 - 11 minutes (the target of the original design). I completely agree with everything that has been said about first impressions. You can directly blame some specific city staff members and some specific MAPS implementers for the "wait and see approach" which was disastrous to those citizens who had bad experiences. FWIW, EMBARK is not to blame for this.)

    3. The streetcar was meant to be an a circulator for not just tourists, but commuters arriving on trains and express bus to downtown as part of a Regional Transit System. Some of the reason that the route was designed as it was (only in part) was due to the location of Santa Fe Station and the EMBARK bus transfer center. Eleven years ago, nearly everyone originally involved in the project honestly believed that in the ten year period there would be at least one major commuter line of some mode connected to the streetcar. That didn't happen. Combined with the direct impact of UBER, Lyft, scooters, and lack of dense housing projects on the line, its pretty amazing that it is doing as well as it is on its own. It would be interesting to determine if there is a way to factor those new modes of local micro-transport against the streetcar's ridership.

    The best way to significantly boost streetcar ridership numbers is to-

    1. Resolve the parking blockage problem through the elimination of parking in trouble spots or through aggressive towing. (Numbers have been added to every parking spot to collect data on each location where blockages are occurring to determine if there are specific problematic locations. That data started being collected a month or so ago and is now being aggregated.)

    2. Make the streetcar free to ride and treat it as a economic development tool to generate sales tax revenue.

    3. Implement the RTA legs to feed the system riders.

    4. Build more high-density housing near streetcar stops.


    There are plenty of things to be critical about but the service has tremendously improved with the implementation of automated signals. Right now a real-time map of locations available to the public is wrapping up beta testing. The should help people better plan when to start walking to the stop. As a beta tester myself, I have found it completely reliable so far.

    Hope this information is helpful.

  6. #9106

    Default Re: Streetcar

    I still prefer the streetcar and buses over Lyft/Uber personal vehicles. But I am a sucker for public transit and always enjoy getting to walk between my destination and the transit stops. This goes for just about any place I am in, I only hope for better connections to downtown from my residence and workplace in the near future rather than waiting 10+ years for this RTA thing to happen.

  7. #9107

    Default Re: Streetcar

    It is and has taken far too long. Fortunately, they just ripped it away from ACOG and it is now truly independent.

  8. #9108

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    3. The streetcar was meant to be an a circulator for not just tourists, but commuters arriving on trains and express bus to downtown as part of a Regional Transit System. Some of the reason that the route was designed as it was (only in part) was due to the location of Santa Fe Station and the EMBARK bus transfer center. Eleven years ago, nearly everyone originally involved in the project honestly believed that in the ten year period there would be at least one major commuter line of some mode connected to the streetcar. That didn't happen. Combined with the direct impact of UBER, Lyft, scooters, and lack of dense housing projects on the line, its pretty amazing that it is doing as well as it is on its own. It would be interesting to determine if there is a way to factor those new modes of local micro-transport against the streetcar's ridership.
    This is insane to me. With all due respect to you and your efforts, this seems like a colossal failure. How did OKC proceed with this route when it was and has been clear that the RTA is still little more than a pipe dream? I'm actually shocked that we have this mostly useless route based on the dreams of other transit coming downtown.

  9. #9109

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    This is insane to me. With all due respect to you and your efforts, this seems like a colossal failure. How did OKC proceed with this route when it was and has been clear that the RTA is still little more than a pipe dream? I'm actually shocked that we have this mostly useless route based on the dreams of other transit coming downtown.
    The RTA isn't a pipe dream. In fact all of the cities have committed to the RTA and it actually exists with a budget of several million dollars a year that each city council collectively budgets towards it. Legislation was passed to make it possible from a governance standpoint.

    OKC took it on itself to fund the most expensive part of the RTA Master Plan which was the streetcar and Santa Fe Station improvements.

    I think I am being completely honest when I state that most of the people eleven years ago thought we would be adding a rapid transit line to the system right now. What is coming is BRT which isn't even technically part of the RTA but funded through MAPS 4.

    The RTA itself needs to get it in gear.

  10. Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by LakeEffect View Post
    I think that was sarcasm on AP's point...
    Yes. sorry. That was sarcasm on my part.

  11. #9111

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    This is insane to me. With all due respect to you and your efforts, this seems like a colossal failure. How did OKC proceed with this route when it was and has been clear that the RTA is still little more than a pipe dream? I'm actually shocked that we have this mostly useless route based on the dreams of other transit coming downtown.
    I think you need to take yourself a decade in the past and remember the energy and momentum the city had. I think 2010-2014 was a peak time for civic engagement, public attentiveness, and a cohesive unified push towards a more livable city. It seemed as if OKC was on a trajectory for explosive growth where the sky was the limit. Civic pride was high due to the success of the Thunder and the attention of the national and global spotlight, the Devon Tower was a symbol of what was to come for OKC, and no idea seemed too large for OKC. Every month we were getting announcement of new corporate relocation or offices. Chesapeake was hiring people faster than their campus could be built. It really did seem like some of these "next steps" were seriously within reach. It seemed as if OKC was inches away from the tipping point of being the next Dallas, Charlotte, or Austin. Perhaps some of it was overzealous, but the 2010-2014 time frame was the first time OKC had really been in the national spotlight since 1995 - and for once it was for something positive. It really was an exciting time.

    I think this has largely waned over the past few years. People still care, but I think many have realized OKC will not be "going viral" anytime soon. That's not a bad thing, but the times certainly change just as we see here. I think this lessening of interest has caused things to slow down such as the RTD, rail to Tulsa, etc. I think people's interest have changed somewhat where maybe the overall level of excitement is there, it is just too spread out and not focused on one individual thing. I think Holt has something to do with that with how spread out MAPS4 is. There just doesn't seem to be a cohesive vision of what OKC wants to be now. I would say in 2010-2014 OKC wanted to be the next Dallas. Now I don't really see the direction OKC wants to go.

  12. #9112

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    I think you need to take yourself a decade in the past and remember the energy and momentum the city had. I think 2010-2014 was a peak time for civic engagement, public attentiveness, and a cohesive unified push towards a more livable city. It seemed as if OKC was on a trajectory for explosive growth where the sky was the limit. Civic pride was high due to the success of the Thunder and the attention of the national and global spotlight, the Devon Tower was a symbol of what was to come for OKC, and no idea seemed too large for OKC. Every month we were getting announcement of new corporate relocation or offices. Chesapeake was hiring people faster than their campus could be built. It really did seem like some of these "next steps" were seriously within reach. It seemed as if OKC was inches away from the tipping point of being the next Dallas, Charlotte, or Austin. Perhaps some of it was overzealous, but the 2010-2014 time frame was the first time OKC had really been in the national spotlight since 1995 - and for once it was for something positive. It really was an exciting time.

    I think this has largely waned over the past few years. People still care, but I think many have realized OKC will not be "going viral" anytime soon. That's not a bad thing, but the times certainly change just as we see here. I think this lessening of interest has caused things to slow down such as the RTD, rail to Tulsa, etc. I think people's interest have changed somewhat where maybe the overall level of excitement is there, it is just too spread out and not focused on one individual thing. I think Holt has something to do with that with how spread out MAPS4 is. There just doesn't seem to be a cohesive vision of what OKC wants to be now. I would say in 2010-2014 OKC wanted to be the next Dallas. Now I don't really see the direction OKC wants to go.
    This is spot-on. The streetcar was planned during peak euphoria. But it can still be used in the grand scheme. An extension to 23rd, perhaps Wheeler, the research park across 235, and along Classen. The SC's current route isn't the final product by any means.

  13. Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous. View Post
    This is spot-on. The streetcar was planned during peak euphoria. But it can still be used in the grand scheme. An extension to 23rd, perhaps Wheeler, the research park across 235, and along Classen. The SC's current route isn't the final product by any means.
    the RTA calls for street car up classen all the way to 63rd which would be great

  14. #9114

    Default Re: Streetcar

    I didn't know the RTA called for SC up Classen, that would be great!

  15. #9115

    Default Re: Streetcar

    While this is not set in stone and locations and routes are absolutely subject to change, here's the corridors that were studied in the 2014 CentralOK!go Commuter Corridors Study; this was done in the lead-up to the launch of the RTA organization. The blue line is commuter rail (like Metra in Chicago or TRE in DFW), and the purple line is streetcar. Read more (with full size pictures!) here: http://www.acogok.org/commuter-corri...nsit-rail-mpo/

    North Corridor:


    East Corridor:


    South Corridor:

  16. #9116

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Is SC up Classen still on the table given the federal funding for BRT up Classen?

  17. #9117

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    This is not remotely true. Cars are the least subsidized form of transportation that exists.

    https://opportunityurbanism.org/2019...idies-by-mode/
    I didn't know much about this site, but it doesn't take much searching to figure out it's sketchy... an "urbanist" organization based out of Houston... where there just so happens to be the largest oil and gas pro-car advocates? Moreover, the way the guy who runs this site uses the web it seems like he's planting his stuff across sites to get web traffic and gain credibility. Glad someone else pointed out that it's straight ideology. And, don't worry, this guy also posts tons of partisan political articles just like this... he's running his own web of ideological information and it seems you got caught in it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    Yeah I am aware and the same is said for transportation blogs like streetsblog, Vox, and citylab which constantly posts every anti car news, recycled articles like “wasteful freeway projects” and constantly spreading the induced demand argument which is plagued with flaws, lack of variables, and is an outright irrational theory against road construction. Other than news relating to a specific project it’s hard to find articles pushing for data supporting transportation initiatives that aren’t biased in some way.
    Your reasoning is classic whataboutism. All websites and organizations are not equal just because they come to different conclusion. If you want to disagree with a point in a CityLab article that's fine, but it doesn't justify using sketchy sites with different opinions (which are way less credible). This is comparable to saying, "I don't agree with the cigarettes-cause-cancer articles in Time magazine so I'm going to read this blog post written by Marlboro Man on CigarettesAreHealthy.com."

  18. #9118

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    While this is not set in stone and locations and routes are absolutely subject to change, here's the corridors that were studied in the 2014 CentralOK!go Commuter Corridors Study; this was done in the lead-up to the launch of the RTA organization. The blue line is commuter rail (like Metra in Chicago or TRE in DFW), and the purple line is streetcar. Read more (with full size pictures!) here: http://www.acogok.org/commuter-corri...nsit-rail-mpo/
    I wonder why there's not a West route on that study, esp. something along the old streetcar route to Linwood (and further out to the airport?)

  19. #9119

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by zefferoni View Post
    I wonder why there's not a West route on that study, esp. something along the old streetcar route to Linwood (and further out to the airport?)
    They've done multiple studies on commuter corridors and apparently they don't think the ridership potential is as great going west towards Yukon, despite Union Pacific's relatively low-traffic OKC Sub rail line going right through some dense areas of the west Metro. I also seem to recall that Mustang and Yukon were both originally invited to the RTA table but they declined to join - but I'm not certain on that.

  20. #9120

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    "But wait — highways produced more than just passenger travel. According to table 1-50 of National Transportation Statistics, they also produced 2.0 trillion ton-miles of freight shipments. For the purpose of allocating highway subsidies to passengers and freight, I decided to use the value of passenger miles and freight ton-miles. We know passenger miles are worth 23.8 cents to users, while freight revenues per ton-mile are shown in National Transportation Statistics table 3-21.

    Unfortunately, table 3-21 only has data through 2007, when shippers were spending an average of 16.54 cents per ton-mile. Between 1990 and 2007, shipping costs grew at 88 percent of the rate of inflation. Assuming that rate continued, I calculate that shipping cost 17.1 cents per ton-mile in 2017. That means 1.39 ton-miles is equal to 1 passenger mile, so highway subsidies average 0.8 cents a passenger mile and 0.6 cents a ton-mile.

    In short, Americans personally spend about 23.8 cents per passenger mile on driving and receive subsidies of 0.8 cents a passenger mile, mostly from local governments. "

    Why does he decide to use 23.8 cents per mile (IRS allowance)? And does that *really* mean people spend 23.8 cents per mile when driving?

    And I think AP meant to say "biased" instead of "unbiased", because after reading it, things don't really add up to a completely logical picture with real math being used.
    I'd like to see your metrics. I understood what AP meant and I responded to that. I pretty much said all I can say about that article and its perceived bias. I guess we should just stick to citylab, curbed, and streetsblog idk.

  21. #9121

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    he's running his own web of ideological information and it seems you got caught in it.
    I am only quoting this because I already responded to this in my other post responding to AP. I am not "caught" into anything. Someone posted here that cars and its infrastructure do not pay anything and I posted an article that contrasts that widely spread myth. Apart from having the highest personal capital costs of any form of transit, car drivers pay tons of user fees which I have already pointed out APART from any tolls. Freight by truck is also the largest source of movement in the industry. They pay scores of money for their use of the roads. Not mention all the other taxes car drivers pay from their income, ad valorum, property taxes, etc. all are paid from the largest group of commuters whom drive solo in their car.

    Regardless of how biased that article is, point out individual discrepancies in it and site sources that dispel those in the article. Otherwise I've seen countless citylab articles or those like it posted here and other urban forum that just spew the same pro-transit/ RE/T propaganda and no one ever questions it. It's funded by the same interests that seek to build that type of transport as is those who lobby for freeway construction. There is no difference.

  22. #9122

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    Your reasoning is classic whataboutism. All websites and organizations are not equal just because they come to different conclusion. If you want to disagree with a point in a CityLab article that's fine, but it doesn't justify using sketchy sites with different opinions (which are way less credible). This is comparable to saying, "I don't agree with the cigarettes-cause-cancer articles in Time magazine so I'm going to read this blog post written by Marlboro Man on CigarettesAreHealthy.com."
    Never once did I state all websites are equal for any reason. Keep this in context. A poster made a claim and provided evidence that points to the contrary. Virtually every article that is posted about induced demand, cars and their infrastructure don't pay for themselves, etc. can be traced to the same sources that those contesting the one I provided do just on the opposite end of the spectrum. It is no different.

  23. #9123

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Pioneer View Post
    The best way to significantly boost streetcar ridership numbers is to-

    1. Resolve the parking blockage problem through the elimination of parking in trouble spots or through aggressive towing. (Numbers have been added to every parking spot to collect data on each location where blockages are occurring to determine if there are specific problematic locations. That data started being collected a month or so ago and is now being aggregated.)

    2. Make the streetcar free to ride and treat it as a economic development tool to generate sales tax revenue.

    3. Implement the RTA legs to feed the system riders.

    4. Build more high-density housing near streetcar stops.
    .
    A couple questions. I was already irritated with the original timeline of the RTA implementation to actual rail service being started in 10 years but now I would love for to have been a reality. Is the current timeline still on track or has it been pushed back another ten years?

    For ridership, have their been any studies showing that if the things you suggested be implemented become a reality detail the numbers of increased riders?

    My plan for the streetcar would be this:

    1. Eliminate all parking adjacent to streetcar line and convert it to a protected two way bike lane.

    2. Provide incentives to high density housing built along streetcar route with removed parking minimums and vouchers for residents to access free transit usage in lieu of a parking space.

    3. Ban all private car usage on 4th st. from Classen to Lincoln Blvd. This allows for the streetcar to flow unimpeded and allow buses, bicycles, and streetcar ONLY to use this street. It is perfect because a new large bus station with a relocated Greyhound station can be built on the existing site, it is a great spot for buses using I-35, Lincoln, and NWE BRT lines to move without being impeded by cars.

    4. Ban cars from using Sheridan Ave. from EK Gaylord to Joe Carter Ave. Allow only buses and bicycles to use the lanes.

    5. Narrow Reno, Thunder Dr., Robinson, Sheridan(front of Cox Center), to allow for streetcar only usage of that lane and ban right turns crossing streetcar tracks.

    6. Extend system to Innovation District, OCU, Paseo, Capitol Hill, and Plaza District(DOUBLE TRACK).

    7. Increase frequencies to 3-4 minutes peak and 7-10 minutes off peak.

    8. Run 7 days a week from 4am-3am.

    9. Make service free for seniors, students, disabled, veterans, government staff, and anyone under 18.

    Do these things and I bet you ridership goes up.

    The RTA will indeed be important but if we really want to ensure a proper system, transit investment HAS to be increased in communities that the RTA connects to including buses, streetcar in those communities, and protected bike corridors. Park and ride also has to be big. A quality rail system being mostly if not entirely grade separated should be sought. Quality over quantity should be encouraged. Invest in a proper line to Norman. Edmond should do fine with Amtrak and BRT. Run BRT on new lanes along Broadway that cars can use for a higher toll and overpasses at intersections. Let buses use inner shoulders of Broadway extension like many cities do.

  24. Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    I'd like to see your metrics. I understood what AP meant and I responded to that. I pretty much said all I can say about that article and its perceived bias. I guess we should just stick to citylab, curbed, and streetsblog idk.
    I don't understand your question to me, I don't have any metrics, the first three paragraphs were quoted from your article and I was asking how he arrived at 23.8 cents per passenger mile (From the article - "We know passenger miles are worth 23.8 cents to users,..." (emphasis mine)).

  25. #9125

    Default Re: Streetcar

    ^^^^ I don’t know. I’ll reread it.

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