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  1. #76

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    Are you sure about that? Public transit will increase density particularly around stations but most people will still drive regardless so traffic will increase.
    I think there ise validity to this statement. Look at the huge, dense uban centers being built around rail stops in Dallas. Denver is a ways behind but traffic is far worse in Denver than it was 1p years ago but with significant light rail AND a good bus system.

  2. #77

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    City populations will continue to increase. At least, they will if your city doesn't suck. The question is, how do you deal with the increased population and the traffic that it generates?

    As long as roads are clear and traffic is fast, people will choose to drive. Why wouldn't you? It's fun to drive when you can get where you're going quickly, without a bunch of morons getting in your way. People will only want to use mass transit when traffic is bad and they spend their whole trip cussing the idiot in front of them. Then mass transit sounds good.

    Even if you don't have really bad traffic today, as long as your city is growing, it will be a problem that you're going to have to face at some point. You can prepare for future traffic problems in two ways: you can widen your streets and build more freeways, or you can build a mass transit system. Generally mass transit is a lot cheaper in the long run. It's more effective in more dense areas, but it also leads to the development of more dense areas, so that's okay. Now, people are still only going to use it when traffic is bad. Mass transit won't make all your traffic problems go away -- you'll still be irritated at all the morons on the road. Because as soon as the driving experience is pleasant again, those morons will jump in their cars and screw it up for you. They only use the train when the traffic gets too frustrating for them. So it won't make your driving experience better, it just may prevent it from getting worse.

    Self-driving cars aren't going to fix anything as far as the need for mass transit goes. You'll still have the same number of cars on the road when you're trying to get to work. You're still going to be mad even if "someone else" is driving. You might be able to play on your phone during the trip, but it won't solve congestion at all. Now it might detract from ridership during off-peak times. If your reason for using mass transit is because you had too much to drink and you need a ride home, a self-driving car might work just fine for you. But if it does anything, it's only going to make your Monday morning drive worse.

  3. #78

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Quote Originally Posted by catch22 View Post
    Does OKC or the State own the rail to the Adventure District?

    [...]

    Just some late evening thoughts...
    The former Katy line, from just NE of the intersection of NE 10th and Eastern, to the end of the line in the Adventure District, is owned by the City through COTPA, so this could be a possibility; however, it's important to note that the Oklahoma Railway Museum, just south of NE 36th and Grand, leases the line for museum operations. If the line were converted to streetcar use, ORM would be forced to relocate operations as their equipment would no longer be able to use those rails. Additionally, the former Katy line is further away from rooftops that could ensure sufficient, regular ridership. I'd argue that the former Katy line would be better used as access to the Turner Turnpike corridor for an eventual passenger line to Tulsa (without the twists and turns of the current Sooner Sub line, so trains can go much faster).

    Personally, for a NE side streetcar line to the Adventure District, I think the area would be better served by the following routing:

    Begin NW 4th and Broadway; continue east under the BNSF viaduct to Harrison Ave. Follow Harrison across I-235, as it turns into NE 8th, to the intersection of NE 8th and Phillips Ave. Continue north on Phillips Ave to NE 13th St, then follow NE 13th St east to Lottie Ave. Continue north on Lottie Ave to NE 23rd St, then follow NE 23rd St east to Eastern/MLK Ave; from there, continue North to NE Grand/Remington Pl. The line would end in this area.

    Such a line would serve the following destinations:
    • Research Park/GE Global Research/OSSM
    • OU Med Center/Children's Hospital/VA/OUHSC
    • Jeltz/McGuire Senior Centers
    • 23rd Street Retail Corridor
    • Ralph Ellison Library/Kings Crossing Retail Development
    • State Offices (Dept of Corrections, OK Turnpike Authority, Dept of Public Safety, Dept of Wildlife Conservation)
    • MetroTech Springlake Campus
    • Adventure District (Science Museum Oklahoma, OKC Zoo, Zoo Ampitheatre, Remington Park, ASA Hall of Fame Stadium Complex (depending on exact location of terminus))

    This route would also come closer to the neighborhoods such a line would be intended to serve, resulting in higher potential ridership, and would serve multiple significant destinations along the line.

  4. #79

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Do street cars use the same gauge as regular rail?

  5. #80

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    I'm really glad there are knowledgeable folks on this board in regards to transit and all things rail. Fascinating to me. Thank you all.

  6. #81

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Quote Originally Posted by d-usa View Post
    Do street cars use the same gauge as regular rail?
    Most rail-based transportation systems in the US follow US Standard Gauge, which spaces the rails 4' 8" apart; a few notable exceptions are the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system at 5' 6" spacing, and both the New Orleans Streetcar system and SEPTA's (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) trolley and subway lines at 5' 2" spacing.

    Although our streetcar system shares the same standard gauge spacing with freight rails like the Adventure District line, we would not be able to run both freight operations and streetcar operations over the same line due to Federal Railroad Administration rules. Streetcars are considered light rail vehicles, and as such they are not FRA-compliant for crashworthiness when mixed with freight traffic. The only way the FRA allows shared use is when there's a significant time separation between operations; for instance, NJ Transit's River Line uses light rail vehicles over freight tracks, but freight operations are only allowed at night when light rail operations are stopped, and vice versa. Such an arrangement would very likely not be an option for ORM.

  7. #82

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    I knew about the “no mixing” rule, but I wasn’t sure if a standard street car could physically drive on standard gauge.

    So for the street car to use the city owned lines, that stretch of rail would have to be physically separated from any freight traffic?

  8. Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    It'd be nice even if they had it running for just special events from downtown (ie WCWS). That probably isn't cost effective though.

  9. #84

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Quote Originally Posted by d-usa View Post
    I knew about the “no mixing” rule, but I wasn’t sure if a standard street car could physically drive on standard gauge.

    So for the street car to use the city owned lines, that stretch of rail would have to be physically separated from any freight traffic?
    Basically, yes - either a physical separation or time separation would be required; the FRA seems to greatly prefer physical separation.

  10. #85
    Join Date
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    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Why not work with the museum to run historic interurban cars with cantenary, from Bricktown to the musuem?

  11. #86

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Quote Originally Posted by Mott View Post
    Why not work with the museum to run historic interurban cars with cantenary, from Bricktown to the musuem?
    I worked on this with others pretty extensively a few years ago. In fact, we (MAPS 3 Subcommittee) paid for a formal study of the alignment. Our idea was to connect the "Adventure Line" into the main streetcar system and have Rapid Streetcar service to Remmington Park, the Zoo, etc.

    It is remotely possible to mix uses with the rail museum but that exception would really only become possible by adding Positive Train Control. The alternative would be to double track this city-owned alignment.

    Assuming that the City could not get Union Pacific to abandon the segment of track in Bricktown that they control and the right to bypass UP railyard, the only way to bypass their infrastructure is to connect via 4th street. Harrison or 8th might be better but it definitely would cost more.

    The fact that there is a city-owned Right-of-Way makes the Adventure Line very attractive from a cost perspective. But as was noted earlier, the impacts along the way are also minimal because it traverses through areas without a great deal of density and activity.

    Other issues include the fact that the Adventure Line would really need to be extended from the Katy alignment across the dam on 50th street to directly connect with the end destinations.

    I thought we would have the Rial Museum folks pretty enthusiastic about spending money on the corridor but they never took up the cause even with the study. Their silence really surprised me as this is something that a MAPS surplus could easily accommodate and easily extend the reach of the streetcar. John Pettis somewhat dropped the cause in lieu of advocating for the line going through Health Sciences up to 23rd proper. A noble cause but one that would require a significantly bigger amount of money.

    Hope that helps. I should state the Mineral Oil Company would have to be bypassed or accommodated to reuse the southern portion of this alignment. They still ship in and out of that track section down to the railyard.

  12. #87

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Overview of the Adventure Line (AV) and how it can be connected to Santa Fe Station by way of the Union Pacific (UP) Bricktown Spur (BS)

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    Detail of the AV-BS intersection and how the two lines can be separated

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    Detail of BS and connection to Santa Fe

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    Property and right-of-way overview of AV and BS

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    Property and right-of-way detail showing how AV and BS can be separated from Harter Yard, allowing for acquisition of BS from UP

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #88

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    There is another very viable option for the Adventure Line, as well as the line to Will Rogers, MWC/Tinker and even the lines to Edmond and Norman. The Stadler Rail "Flirt" DMU (Diesel-Electric Multi-Unit) is being put into service in a number of cities as a replacement for older, more traditional commuter rail trains. These vehicles provide many of the design and operational benefits of a light rail vehicle, such as lighter weight, faster acceleration, low floor and lower emissions, but are FRA certified to operate on existing track in mixed traffic, resulting in much lower development and operational costs.

    Here are a few of those:

    Metrorail - Austin

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    BART - San Francisco

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    TexRail - Ft. Worth

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    Here's a link to information on the Flirt:

    Stadler Flirt DMU

  14. #89

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Can they also run on city streets, or would they require a transfer station?

  15. #90

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Quote Originally Posted by d-usa View Post
    Can they also run on city streets, or would they require a transfer station?
    You bet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #91

  17. #92

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Excellent article, thanks for posting! The RTA committee wants to hit the ground running and that is super exciting to me, even if the timeline is getting stretched out a bit further than I originally thought it would be. Still, I'm excited - and the sooner the better, I say!

  18. #93

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    i'm just really hoping it is call the Metro of Oklahoma Rapid (or Regional) Transit... so it's the MORT!!!

  19. #94

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Still plugging my idea for the Greater Oklahoma County/City Area Regional/Rapid Transit.

    Gotta ride the GOCART.

  20. Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    yes, GOCART goes way back. ..

    and it's Oklahoma City area not county, regional not rapid. ..
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  21. #96

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    My original idea was city, but I figured some of the other cities involved might be more receptive to county.

  22. #97

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    Excellent article, thanks for posting! The RTA committee wants to hit the ground running and that is super exciting to me, even if the timeline is getting stretched out a bit further than I originally thought it would be. Still, I'm excited - and the sooner the better, I say!
    Having worked on this issue for more than a decade, it was both remarkable and historic to witness the mayors, council members, city managers, city attorneys and city staff from the OKC, Norman, Edmond, Moore, Midwest City and Del City all seated at last month's RTA Task Force meeting and cooperatively working together to finalize the draft trust indenture that will officially create a regional transit authority for the OKC metro area.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the real deal. If everything goes as planned, in the next few months the trust indenture will be approved by the city councils of the initial participating cities and the OKC metro area will have its own regional transit authority. At that time, those cities will appoint qualified individuals to serve as the initial board of directors for the RTA, which will be funded for the next few years from monies already committed and budgeted from the various cities for RTA development. The initial work of the RTA will involve development of a comprehensive transit system plan, as well as feasibility studies and cost determinations for implementing that system. In addition, the RTA will coordinate planning and marketing efforts with the participating cities and chambers of commerce when the time comes to seek a public vote on funding for development of the regional transit system. Until such time as that vote is held and approved, the RTA will not manage or operate any transit systems or services within the OKC metro area.

    For everyone who supports development of a regional transit system for OKC, this is the next critical step in getting there. In the coming months, it's important that you watch for news and information concerning the date that your city council will meet to consider approval of the trust indenture, and if at all possible, that you contact your city council members and attend your city's council meeting to voice your support for approval of the RTA.

  23. #98

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Hutch, do you know if cities that have their own bus services will continue to operate those sevices separate from any new bus service started by the new RTA?

  24. #99
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    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Why more studies? The work acog has already had done seems quite good

  25. #100

    Default Re: OKC Regional Transit System

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    Hutch, do you know if cities that have their own bus services will continue to operate those sevices separate from any new bus service started by the new RTA?
    While the RTA trust indenture allows for the RTA to operate all transit modes, the final decisions on integrating existing transit services into the new regional transit system will be made at a later date. Our consultant has provided us with numerous options in that regard, and it's clear from looking at the various other systems around the country that there are varying operational models.

    One option is that the RTA will directly operate all transit services and that existing bus services will be fully-absorbed into the new system, which would be similar to the way DART, Denver-RTD and UTA operate. The primary benefit for the all-in-one option is operational efficiency. The ultimate measure of the success of any transit system is ridership. And the number one way to ensure ridership is system efficiency. In a multi-modal system, one of the keys to system efficiency is ensuring reliable connection times between modes. That means bus system operations must be integrated with rail system operations to ensure that buses consistently arrive on time at rail stops to provide efficient transfer times for transit system passengers. It would seem advantageous to have the RTA directly manage all modes in the regional transit system to ensure optimal efficiency.

    Another alternative that is seen in some cites is based on the RTA directly operating certain new transit modes, such as rail and BRT, while existing bus services continue to be operated by their original operating agency in coordination with the RTA. In situations like ours, where a new RTA is being formed and there are multiple existing bus systems, it may be advantageous in the beginning for those systems to continue to be operated by their existing providers, but under the management umbrella of the RTA.

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