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Thread: Streetcar

  1. Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by GoGators View Post
    People were yelling this from the rooftops from the moment the loop route was proposed. It was never designed to be public transportation, it was designed to be an amusement park ride.
    No, it was designed to be a real estate/business development tool.

  2. #9452
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    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Just the facts View Post
    I'll give you this, there certainly were people who had influence over the system that shouldn't have simply because of who they were. The Transit Subcommittee should have told them to stay in their lane.
    I agree with the othersÖ good to have you back posting jtf. Itís good to have you back speaking from fact not emotion.

  3. #9453

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    The route sucks and, based on prior experiences, I don't trust the times. Walking is faster in most cases, even if you're right on the route and it goes the right direction. It's just really poorly designed... as was pointed out when it was happening.
    It is also a pain to pay for it. Last time I paid for it, I missed the street car because the kiosk was so bad. Now I'll only ride when it's free, because like you said, I can walk faster.

    Really street cars are the worst parts of buses mixed with the worst part of rail. I enjoy riding it in KC, but it still pretty slow, but it actually connects things together.

  4. #9454

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Another street car fail more me. Got on at 2:30 rode it to midtown went to the Garage Burger to watch the first half of the TCU/Michigan game than I was off to the thunder game. Thanks for the suggestion by the way garage was great to watch the game. Car was little more than half full if you go by the seats. Anyway around 4:45 I started to check to see how long it would talk me to get to the arena open the app and I only see one street car going at that is bricktown. Clicked on wait times and it says Downtown no Service. WHAT? Maybe a glitch. I check 5 pm same thing. So then about 5:15 I walked to the stop it's also showing no street cars on the map but it does say 15 minutes. At which point I just called an uber from the collective. I wasn't going to chance sitting there forever. When the uber got there the street car went by. I was like really Couldn't of been no more than 7 minutes not no 15. For a good 30 minutes might of even been longer the app was showing no service. How will you ever get people to ride it you can't trust it.

  5. #9455

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    It is also a pain to pay for it. Last time I paid for it, I missed the street car because the kiosk was so bad. Now I'll only ride when it's free, because like you said, I can walk faster.

    Really street cars are the worst parts of buses mixed with the worst part of rail. I enjoy riding it in KC, but it still pretty slow, but it actually connects things together.
    Yep. I took it a few months ago, could barely see the screen in the sun, and it kept giving me an error. I think we wound up downloading the app and doing it that way (and of course the tickets weren't checked). I reported the error and they eventually got back to me saying they saw nothing wrong when they checked it out. The timing was also way, way off -- it wasn't counting down at all. Last time I went to take it we wound up driving instead because after waiting for 5 minutes it was stuck at 18 minutes away. For all the issues with route design, etc. I think at least having accurate wait time estimates and interval frequency would go a long way toward making it useful.

  6. Default Re: Streetcar

    Two of things most annoying for me as a rider are the dwell time at the Dewey Ave stop, and stopping at every station even no one is getting on or off.

    Neither make any sense and priortize people "that might want to ride" over people that actually are riding.

    I assume it is being done to keep the vehicles spaced out, but to what end? All that ends up being accomplished is that everyone waits longer than they should to get to their destination.

    There are three possible solutions to this problem.
    1). Don't have streetcars stop unless someone wants on or off. If streetcars stack up then have the lead streetcar bypass people waiting to be picked up and let the trailing streetcar stop.

    2). Shorten the route. The Bricktown leg of the Downtown line needs to removed. This will shorten the headways for everyone on the Downtown loop and those whose destination is Bricktown can transfer to the Bricktown loop or simply walk from Santa Fe.

    3). Buy more streetcars.

    One of things most noticable about the New Orleans system is that they are flooded with ride vehicles - sometimes with 2 or 3 running mere seconds apart.

  7. #9457

    Default Re: Streetcar

    To be fair, I rode the streetcar from 10th & Robinson to the Century Center stop on New Years Eve. It was on time, easy, and full. It wasn’t super fast, but faster than I could have walked.

  8. #9458

    Default Re: Streetcar

    I rode it on NYE from Scissortail to Dewey. It was free, full, and much better than walking all that way. Everyone was courteous and very excited. Loved every bit of it!

  9. #9459

    Default Re: Streetcar

    On NYE I parked at BassPro and rode to and from the arena starting at Joe Carter Ave. I truly believe that if the route had been extended just a bit further to have a platform adjacent to the BassPro parking lot the ridership would have a large increase. The parking lot is always packed with people then walking to other areas of Bricktown and DownTown. Anyone have an answers as to why this was not included? Hard to imagine it at least wasn't considered.

  10. Default Re: Streetcar

    common point of the last two posts and what I and others have argued from day 1 that should have been the case here - the streetcar was full and functioned well with FREE fare. Larry pointed recently that we need to make it free until it's expanded and/or more transit comes into downtown and I couldn't agree more or say this again. Why have an empty system "charge" fare, stop at every empty stop, and dwell just to have a system? I know the underlying goal was initally for the streetcar to be a development catalyst, but the development is now there/done and it was a missed opportunity to not have a free system to encourage ridership in a city like OKC that last had rail transit 50+ years ago.

    And give me a break about the argument "well, we can't have free streetcar because the buses aren't free". WFT? KC doesn't seem to have that issue and last I saw, OKC Streetcar was not part of Embark (it's not featured on Embark website, has it's own/system). Furthermore, DOKC could sponsor it (with dues from downtown businesses/landowners) to build ridership and encourage use. Combine this with the wonderful suggestions from Kerry (as has been said, welcome back fellow OG OKC poster); no-stops if no pax + redesign the "downtown to Midtown" route (eliminating Bricktown). Even better, have 3 routes: 1) the current full route, 2) a trimmed downtown-midtown route, and 3) downtown-bricktown route; run the full route during shoulder and late night periods.

    Who do we need to get these ideas to? The streetcar isn't a failure but it is failing to live up as a viable transit option and this is not its fault but that of the operator/system. If it were free, had 3 routes, and didn't stop so much - it'd be a hit even in its current configuration. Then, we can fix the spine with dual track (my idea is Sheridan and Robinson (until it's one way then switch to Broadway) - then eventually expand it from these spines into OHC, Capital Hill, and Plaza/Asia District/ect. Start charging once critical mass of riders has been reached and/or when other transit modes are functional.

    Kerry and Larry's ideas are a rather easy fix and 'honestly' should have been part of MAPS 4. But instead we'll have BRT-lite, with likely empty buses running a basically normal local route as the fare will be far above reason. (not against BRT but at least should have been done with capacity in mind).
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  11. Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by HOT ROD View Post
    common point of the last two posts and what I and others have argued from day 1 that should have been the case here - the streetcar was full and functioned well with FREE fare. Larry pointed recently that we need to make it free until it's expanded and/or more transit comes into downtown and I couldn't agree more or say this again. Why have an empty system "charge" fare, stop at every empty stop, and dwell just to have a system? I know the underlying goal was initally for the streetcar to be a development catalyst, but the development is now there/done and it was a missed opportunity to not have a free system to encourage ridership in a city like OKC that last had rail transit 50+ years ago.

    And give me a break about the argument "well, we can't have free streetcar because the buses aren't free". WFT? KC doesn't seem to have that issue and last I saw, OKC Streetcar was not part of Embark (it's not featured on Embark website, has it's own/system). Furthermore, DOKC could sponsor it (with dues from downtown businesses/landowners) to build ridership and encourage use. Combine this with the wonderful suggestions from Kerry (as has been said, welcome back fellow OG OKC poster); no-stops if no pax + redesign the "downtown to Midtown" route (eliminating Bricktown). Even better, have 3 routes: 1) the current full route, 2) a trimmed downtown-midtown route, and 3) downtown-bricktown route; run the full route during shoulder and late night periods.

    Who do we need to get these ideas to? The streetcar isn't a failure but it is failing to live up as a viable transit option and this is not its fault but that of the operator/system. If it were free, had 3 routes, and didn't stop so much - it'd be a hit even in its current configuration. Then, we can fix the spine with dual track (my idea is Sheridan and Robinson (until it's one way then switch to Broadway) - then eventually expand it from these spines into OHC, Capital Hill, and Plaza/Asia District/ect. Start charging once critical mass of riders has been reached and/or when other transit modes are functional.

    Kerry and Larry's ideas are a rather easy fix and 'honestly' should have been part of MAPS 4. But instead we'll have BRT-lite, with likely empty buses running a basically normal local route as the fare will be far above reason. (not against BRT but at least should have been done with capacity in mind).
    okc streetcar is part of embark and embark leadership is opposed to having the streetcar be free .. (even if it had sponsorships to be free) except for a few times a year

  12. #9462

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    okc streetcar is part of embark and embark leadership is opposed to having the streetcar be free .. (even if it had sponsorships to be free) except for a few times a year
    Embark obviously doesn't care too much or they would enforce the fare...

  13. #9463

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    So there is no honor supporting the honor system?
    No fare honor here.

    I have several tokens purchased through the app. But they are designed that you 'activate' the token. So basically just always have a token ready to activate in the [rare] scenario you are asked to present a fare.

    If they truly wanted to collect fares, an easy remedy would be to add expiration time onto purchased tokens. My tokens have gone unused for literal years.

  14. #9464

    Default Re: Streetcar

    The bus and the streetcar should be free. Fares only make up $2.1M of Embark's $41.4M operating budget (5%). $2M is nothing in comparison to what is gained by having a fare free system.

  15. #9465

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Absolutely agreed. Public transit should be considered a public service that is free at the point of consumption.

  16. #9466

    Default Re: Streetcar

    I do the same thing with having tokens in my phone. I’ve only been asked to present fare once, and I’ve been on it about a dozen times.

  17. #9467

    Default Re: Streetcar

    I do the same thing with having tokens in my phone. Iíve only been asked to present fare once, and Iíve been on it about a dozen times.

  18. #9468

    Default Re: Streetcar

    My push for the streetcar to be free for at least one full year will allow ridership to get familiar with established routes. It's not going to affect Embark bus system because both serve totally different functions and routes.

    The system was designed to spur development along the routes. You want development--then make the system free since IMO it doesn't make sense to have the streetcars running with less than 15% capacity.

    As Hot Rod mentioned, the system isn't a failure, however no matter what you do, there's always room for improvement. It's not going to hurt having to walk a block or two to get to a stop--we all could use the exercise.

  19. #9469

    Default Re: Streetcar

    I've lived outside of OK ever since the streetcar opened so I'm not well versed on it, but just read this on Lackmeyer's blog. I know ridership has been low but can someone give me a brief answer on what Steve is talking about here? What difference does the dual track thing make, and what did our city choose?

    Do you think that the expansion of bus rapid transit to northeast OKC and Capitol Hill will limit future growth of the street car?

    A: I suspect it is the failed design of the streetcar that will limit any future growth. Kansas City showed us, as we were designing our system, how linear dual tracks are the best approach to using streetcars as public transit. But our city fell for the urging of an out-of-state consultant to instead create the equivalent of an amusement park ride downtown. It would be great to see chunks of our system turned into dual tracks. But I don't know if the political will to spend more money to fix this past decision will exist to make it happen.

  20. Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by iMAX386 View Post
    I've lived outside of OK ever since the streetcar opened so I'm not well versed on it, but just read this on Lackmeyer's blog. I know ridership has been low but can someone give me a brief answer on what Steve is talking about here? What difference does the dual track thing make, and what did our city choose?
    our city choose a system that had to go certain places to be politically viable

    steve doesn't really know what he is talking about the "out-of-state" consultant did NOT drive the process ... political reality did ..

    the system was built with expansion in mind ... but the biggest single issue with it is the IT IS NOT FREE like it should be ..

  21. #9471

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Not knowing much about it, is the thinking that a dual track system would have allowed service in both directions and increased usability/convenience?

    I do agree that the streetcar system is more valuable and likely to be used (and positively impact downtown traffic) if it was free.

  22. #9472

    Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrywall View Post
    Not knowing much about it, is the thinking that a dual track system would have allowed service in both directions and increased usability/convenience?

    I do agree that the streetcar system is more valuable and likely to be used (and positively impact downtown traffic) if it was free.
    I think so? So you don't have to take the loop to go the other way.

    The KC streetcar is great. I loved it when I was there and their expansion project passed by a good amount. And it is free so I took it probably at least 3-4x/month.

    I will say that I think OKC has better placement of the streetcar stops than KC does. Many of the stops in KC are immediately following an intersection. So light goes green, streetcar just exits the intersection and stops for riders while cars are behind, stopped for a green light. In OKC, the stops are mostly spaced away from the intersection a bit.

  23. #9473

    Default Re: Streetcar

    What Steve is referencing is each stop should have the option to take a streetcar in either direction. Instead, if you jump on the streetcar in Auto Alley, you have to ride the streetcar through Midtown and Downtown just to get to Bricktown which might take 30-45 minutes. So what might be a 5 minutes ride to get somewhere is a 40 minute ride to get back. A very impractical model. It's faster and more efficient to walk.

    In realty, the Streetcar was not designed for OKC residents. It's not meant to replace a car and be someone's means to commute. its meant to be for out-of-towners staying at the Omni or First National to have a fun way to get around town.

  24. Default Re: Streetcar

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes14 View Post
    In realty, the Streetcar was not designed for OKC residents. It's not meant to replace a car and be someone's means to commute. its meant to be for out-of-towners staying at the Omni or First National to have a fun way to get around town.
    this is pretty much correct ..

    and it was also designed to be a phase 1 and to work with the future regional transit system .

  25. #9475

    Default Re: Streetcar

    @BoulderSooner,

    I worry OKC residents seeing it not be for them will stall any movement for expansion. Even if it is Phase 1 and there's a bigger vision - most people I talk to view the Streetcar as a giant waste of MAPS money. It's more often than not, driving around empty from Mon-Thurs. I don't know how there would be enough public support for expansion.

    IMO - the more likely and needed rail project that would actually benefit locals would be a rail system that connects Edmond, Downtown, Tinker, Norman, and WRWA.

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