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So uh..Austin Subway*, Light Rail Expansions and $3.2 - $10.2 Billion

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9 hours ago, Texas Jeff said:
On 1/28/2020 at 9:14 PM, TexasEd said:

Washington DC Metro Area.  Don't laugh.  They have some of the worst traffic in the nation but...

They have significant commuter traffic on metro rail (subway) and buses.  In addition the HOV strategy that in some areas consists of dedicated direction changing lanes that are not tolled also created an informal ride sharing program at certain parking lots to fill cars to the 3 person requirement to use HOV.  People or SLUGs (Self Loading Uninvited Guests) line up at parking lot and get into the next car that lines up only asking which dropoff they are going to (Pentagon, Crystal City, etc.) and in the evening they pick people up from bus lines going the other way.

This is a great idea.  Think about our current single car commuter situation like this -- we are probably using 25% of the available seats to move people up and down Mopac.  The other 75% of the seats are mostly empty.

If there was an economic incentive to fill those seats, we could dramatically reduce traffic tomorrow without spending a dime.  

 

Economic incentive is the key here.

You can tell a lot about the motives of a project by what they are incentivizing.

In the HOV model you give special treatment to cars that have multiple passengers.  The incentive is to carpool to get special treatment this shows a commitment to reducing traffic and emissions.

The current projects and plans do nothing to create incentive for ride share (maybe a little if tolls are very high) but a car with 3 passengers has no advantage over a car with 1.  They all crawl at the same pace in the toll lanes. The trade is $ for a faster lane/route and if the toll is not high enough it may be the same pace as regular traffic.  The incentive is revenue not reducing traffic.

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22 minutes ago, TexasEd said:

Economic incentive is the key here.

You can tell a lot about the motives of a project by what they are incentivizing.

In the HOV model you give special treatment to cars that have multiple passengers.  The incentive is to carpool to get special treatment this shows a commitment to reducing traffic and emissions.

The current projects and plans do nothing to create incentive for ride share (maybe a little if tolls are very high) but a car with 3 passengers has no advantage over a car with 1.  They all crawl at the same pace in the toll lanes. The trade is $ for a faster lane/route and if the toll is not high enough it may be the same pace as regular traffic.  The incentive is revenue not reducing traffic.

Uh, yeah, I'm gonna have to go ahead and sorta disagree with you there Bob (or Ed) about tolls.  

High tolls/taxes are the best way to encourage ride sharing and buses.  Congestion arises because demand for roadway exceeds supply at peak times and there is no price mechanism to discourage single passenger trips.  We can't pay a higher price, so we are forced to pay with our time, by waiting, like soviets in line for bread.  

If the government placed a high tax/toll on all lanes during rush hour (e.g., $100), commuters would start taking buses, trains, private van ride-shares, etc. en masse.  Sure, the uber-wealthly would still commute in their Mercedes, but they would have a negligible impact on congestion.  

Of course, this is a logistical and economic solution to congestion, but not a political one.  Voters/drivers wouldn't stand for it.  We'd rather pay with our time than our wallet.  

Edited by bschoolprof

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48 minutes ago, TexasEd said:

The current projects and plans do nothing to create incentive for ride share (maybe a little if tolls are very high) but a car with 3 passengers has no advantage over a car with 1.  They all crawl at the same pace in the toll lanes. 

It seems like eliminating 75% of the cars on the road, by switching from single occupant to single occupant + 3 passengers, would be an incentive.

I do see what you are saying, though.

CTRMA is not going to offer HOV discounts, because it cuts into their profits. If everyone in the toll lane decided to start ride sharing, the demand on the toll lane would decrease, and those tolls/profits are set by demand. So it is counter intuitive to their corporate goal to actually reduce demand.

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CTRMA CEO, Mike H. just resigned yesterday.  He's saying he's moving on to explore other opportunities.  

Stay tuned for why he's full of shit.  

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15 minutes ago, Lobo said:

CTRMA CEO, Mike H. just resigned yesterday.  He's saying he's moving on to explore other opportunities.  

Stay tuned for why he's full of shit.  

That's a bummer. Their last 2 projects, 45 SW and 183 South have gone really well. 

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Btw, what’s the timeline for 183 South? Am getting tired of using 130 to get down to the airport from Brushy Creek. I don’t mind paying the tolls for the convenience either.

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2 hours ago, Armybrat said:

Btw, what’s the timeline for 183 South? Am getting tired of using 130 to get down to the airport from Brushy Creek. I don’t mind paying the tolls for the convenience either.

The south section should be open by September. The last major pieces that they are currently all working on are the rebuild of the SB frontage bridge over the Colorado, overpass bridge by the strip club, and new mainlane bridge over Boggy Creek. The boggy creek bridge is what could possibly hold them up since they are still demolishing the old one.  That being said, I don't think the work will be done on the 71 section until the end of the year because they have a lot of bridge work still to do.

 

I know a lot of you guys aren't this Far East but if you do checkout 183 South I hope you realize that CTRMA has learned how to build highways after the mopac mess and Austin is in good hands if they are handling the project.  I forgot to mention that one of the 290/130 ramps opened 6 months ahead of schedule.

Edited by Pasken

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I have read that the contractors on the project have been working like gangbusters over there.

Hope the same goes for the 130 expansion project - which I think is already going to be inadequate. That region will be the next to grow exponentially just because of the cheaper raw land prices.

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12 minutes ago, Armybrat said:

I have read that the contractors on the project have been working like gangbusters over there.

Hope the same goes for the 130 expansion project - which I think is already going to be inadequate. That region will be the next to grow exponentially just because of the cheaper raw land prices.

The 130 widening is overseen by Txdot so I don't know how that is going. CTRMA is just doing to the 3 elevated ramps connecting 290 and 130. CTRMA changed it's philosophy after the Mopac debacle to offer financial incentives for finishing early instead of penalties for being late. They learned that the contractor will just be late and let you sue them. They also changed the requirements for reporting from their contractors to make sure they are staying on schedule which is why 45 SW, 183 South and the 290/130 direct connectors have gone so well.  TxDot is not going to offer the same incentives for finishing early unless it's a high profile project.

Also, they can only widen 130 so much because the median is reserved for future high speed rail connecting Dallas,Ft. Worth, Hillsboro, Waco, Temple, Taylor, Austin, San Antonio with the Valley.   Time from Dallas to San Antonio would be 2 hours. There is no funding for that but the ROW is there. The goal is for the high speed rail line to connect to regular diesel trains running up to Oklahoma City and down to Monterrey Mexico.

Edited by Pasken

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10 hours ago, bschoolprof said:

Uh, yeah, I'm gonna have to go ahead and sorta disagree with you there Bob (or Ed) about tolls.  

High tolls/taxes are the best way to encourage ride sharing and buses.  Congestion arises because demand for roadway exceeds supply at peak times and there is no price mechanism to discourage single passenger trips.  We can't pay a higher price, so we are forced to pay with our time, by waiting, like soviets in line for bread.  

If the government placed a high tax/toll on all lanes during rush hour (e.g., $100), commuters would start taking buses, trains, private van ride-shares, etc. en masse.  Sure, the uber-wealthly would still commute in their Mercedes, but they would have a negligible impact on congestion.  

Of course, this is a logistical and economic solution to congestion, but not a political one.  Voters/drivers wouldn't stand for it.  We'd rather pay with our time than our wallet.  

What this man said. 

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7 hours ago, Pasken said:

Also, they can only widen 130 so much because the median is reserved for future high speed rail connecting Dallas,Ft. Worth, Hillsboro, Waco, Temple, Taylor, Austin, San Antonio with the Valley.   Time from Dallas to San Antonio would be 2 hours. There is no funding for that but the ROW is there. The goal is for the high speed rail line to connect to regular diesel trains running up to Oklahoma City and down to Monterrey Mexico.

IRwbaiS.gif

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1 hour ago, Biff Tannen said:

Well I’m stuck on 35 north because there is a car on fire and the upper deck is closed. Where’s my damn gondola?

i understand the physics of how a car can catch on fire, but, how the fuck does a car catch on fire?  it's 2020!

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On 2/13/2020 at 7:11 PM, elfenix said:

i understand the physics of how a car can catch on fire, but, how the fuck does a car catch on fire?  it's 2020!

Used refurbished Galaxy Note batteries

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I’m confident that there will be no corruption, skimming, kickbacks, and etc when considering the quality of the city leaders that Austin consistently votes for.

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Looking to invest in some Austin area real estate (not involving Nate Paul).
Anyone know where to look to see where the politically connected have recently concentrated property purchases?

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“Other recommendations include a new line: the Gold Line. This will take riders from Austin Community College’s Highland campus through downtown with a stop at the Convention Center and Republic Square. It would be a Bus Rapid Transit line.

The Bus Rapid Transit line will run on a dedicated transit-only lane free from street traffic.

CapMetro is also expanding its Commuter Rail Service and adding new service. 

The first phase of the Red Line would add two new stations at the Austin FC soccer stadium, adjacent to the Domain. The second phase of the project would improve bus frequency and hours of service and add longer station platforms for increased train capacity.

A new commuter rail line would operate on existing freight track, the Green Line will connect neighborhoods throughout East Austin. The first phase would run from Downtown to Colony Park. The next phases would go further east to Manor and possibly Elgin.

The plan also includes seven new MetroRapid routes, expanding the service and 14 new Park & Rides as well as a new neighborhood bus service known as a Circulator. 

Phase 1 of the new MetroRapid routes would include the Expo Center and Pleasant Valley routes, as well as the southern extension of the 803 to Oak Hill and Menchaca. Phase 2 would include the Crosstown, MLK and ACC to Tech Ridge routes. Phase 3 would include the Parmer route.”

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2 hours ago, Pasken said:

This is what it would look like:

Proj-Connect.jpg

Any plans to bring back the Dillo or something similar that people can use to get around the downtown surface streets once they arrive?

If they do that, eliminate street parking, they could really force adoption of the transit system.  But fuck it, those that survive the coronavirus will be unemployed or working from home anyway.

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3 hours ago, Steel Shank said:

Got any more pics of the chick in the short dress? Wheelhouse!

I saw some pics of her penis, you’ll be impressed

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7 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:

It looks so pretty

https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/capmetro-president-discusses-project-connects-future/
 

spacer.png

The underground station looks so nice

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Sharing traffic controls with cars sucks, though I suppose it’s unavoidable. 

I hope there are smarter, more efficient methods for fare collection than slowly funneling all riders through the front door to tap their card on the driver’s fare machine. 

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1 hour ago, The People’s Elbow said:

Sharing traffic controls with cars sucks, though I suppose it’s unavoidable. 

I hope there are smarter, more efficient methods for fare collection than slowly funneling all riders through the front door to tap their card on the driver’s fare machine. 

They can just use those card scanning devices the criminals steal your info with as they walk by. One swoop of the whole bus load.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, clapclapclap said:

https://i.ibb.co/k8YcZNw/document-8110-A6-A7-03-E8-C563-6-EEBE2060-F6-A9-BB5-Page-27.jpg

Welp, it was a good plan, but look like the funding choices and bad luck timing will insure this vote fails spectacularly.

Might be better off postponing it a couple of years.

 

I don't think so. I think this is going to be the friendliest electorate for transit for 4 years.

Edited by Pasken

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Tax rate that includes new revenue above 3.5% growth rate?  Their words, not mine.  Thats not quite illegal to say, but it’s pretty fucking misleading. 

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30 minutes ago, Lobo said:

Tax rate that includes new revenue above 3.5% growth rate?  Their words, not mine.  Thats not quite illegal to say, but it’s pretty fucking misleading. 

Come on dude. Can't you also say 1 nice thing about the proposal as well? There is a lot of good here.

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There is lots of good.  I want it built, and I’ll pay my fair share particularly if we can get the matching funds and agree to stick to budget.  It’s the paper we’re floating to get there that worries me.  

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3 minutes ago, Lobo said:

There is lots of good.  I want it built, and I’ll pay my fair share particularly if we can get the matching funds and agree to stick to budget.  It’s the paper we’re floating to get there that worries me.  

That's fair. It's 40% federal funding. I think it's smart they are going with the 10 cent tax but it would be nice if we could go with something higher to get the damn thing built but it's easier to say that now than it a couple years when you see that on. your tax bill.

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I say let's fucking go for it.  This is light years better than the last proposal where they wanted Riverside to Highland Mall.

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3 hours ago, Biff Tannen said:

I say let's fucking go for it.  This is light years better than the last proposal where they wanted Riverside to Highland Mall.

Yes. This. LFG.

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Looks pretty great.  The thought of Austin with a transit system like this blows my mind.

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Name one single instance that CapMetro came even remotely close to a ridership estimate? If memory servers, the Red Line was going to be hauling 5k people a day. They currently see 2600 boardings a day (1300 people to/from work per day)

Name a single instance when CapMetro came within even double of a cost estimate.

If by their own current projections they are saying that this will cost every single household in the City $27/month, I can't imagine how this will pass when fewer than 5% of the homes in town will be within a reasonable distance of the network.

They also promised that the Red Line would receive 50% federal funding and it ended up with fucking ZERO. The whispers and undertones at the time were that they knew in advance they were not eligible for the funding but mislead the voters by continuing to repeat it.

CapMetro was ripped to d shreds on their last Sunset Review for :

The Sunset report had multiple criticisms, grouped into four general categories:
• Failure to responsibly manage finances
• Excessive and unsustainable in-house costs
• A need to enhance the safety of its existing commuter rail line before expanding the rail system further
• Failure to effectively engage stakeholders

But yeah, we should totally trust them with a few billion fucking dollars.

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4 hours ago, Pasken said:

Come on dude. Can't you also say 1 nice thing about the proposal as well? There is a lot of good here.

It's going to be a great place for all the homeless to hangout.

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$24 to $27 per month on a $325,000 home will likely end up costing double or triple whatever is estimated.

Also, where in the fuck are these $325,000 homes located that represent the median?  I looked up my $125,000 3/2 starter house that we built back in the 90s off Davis Lane in Oak Hill and it is now valued at 400k.

i call shenanigans.

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2 hours ago, Orange&White said:

Name one single instance that CapMetro came even remotely close to a ridership estimate? If memory servers, the Red Line was going to be hauling 5k people a day. They currently see 2600 boardings a day (1300 people to/from work per day)

Name a single instance when CapMetro came within even double of a cost estimate.

If by their own current projections they are saying that this will cost every single household in the City $27/month, I can't imagine how this will pass when fewer than 5% of the homes in town will be within a reasonable distance of the network.

They also promised that the Red Line would receive 50% federal funding and it ended up with fucking ZERO. The whispers and undertones at the time were that they knew in advance they were not eligible for the funding but mislead the voters by continuing to repeat it.

CapMetro was ripped to d shreds on their last Sunset Review for :

The Sunset report had multiple criticisms, grouped into four general categories:
• Failure to responsibly manage finances
• Excessive and unsustainable in-house costs
• A need to enhance the safety of its existing commuter rail line before expanding the rail system further
• Failure to effectively engage stakeholders

But yeah, we should totally trust them with a few billion fucking dollars.

That 10 year old study under a completely different management team is super relevant. Thanks!

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On 1/15/2020 at 12:44 PM, J.R. Juniors Junior Jr. said:

They might get rid of the DWI industrial complex, so there's that.

Bullshit.  They’ll start issuing tickets just for being in any vehicle intoxicated.  The PublicIntox industrial complex will takeover. 

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I wish this has been built years ago.  Some good areas to hole up in with a bunch of friends to wait out the corona zombie apocalypse.  

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3 hours ago, Mappable said:

$24 to $27 per month on a $325,000 home will likely end up costing double or triple whatever is estimated.

Also, where in the fuck are these $325,000 homes located that represent the median?  I looked up my $125,000 3/2 starter house that we built back in the 90s off Davis Lane in Oak Hill and it is now valued at 400k.

i call shenanigans.

Wait until we inform renters that they, too, pay property taxes.  That's the best kept lie in the history of government.  And we've told some doozies.  

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