Other People's Rail: Amtrak, commuter rail, rapid transit news & views outside New England

Arlington

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I can see where DC would make the buses free (and the city-sponsored DC Circulators have been actively testing/offering fareless), but unfortunately DC Metrorail is a hybrid RUR (high-income suburbanites making long trips during rush hour) and local transit (low income making short trips). It always did my heart good to see people waiting for Metrorail's 7pm-fare-drop (a big swing for suburban fares) outside the faregates during the evening rush. Giving suburban trips at rush hour away free seems like a terrible sprawl-producing idea (for trans-jurisdictional systems). For LA and NYCTA, though, "free within city limits" seems like a great idea, and It seems to me that doing so on MBTA rapid (but not CR/RUR) would be good too.
 

Arlington

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The LV monorail has the problem that it never went the last mile to the airport terminals via UNLV -- which (mono)railfans always portrayed as due to opposition from the taxi companies
 

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The LV monorail has the problem that it never went the last mile to the airport terminals via UNLV -- which (mono)railfans always portrayed as due to opposition from the taxi companies
Putting it in under the auspices of the Convention Authority seems like the absolute worst possible option for trying to correct the problems with it not being functional-enough city transit, as the conflicting biz interests there have no institutional will but to slavishly chase quick bucks. Worse than ever now as the gaming industry catapults itself into Level VIII panic attack over the city's one-trick-pony economy taking a fatal COVID dump with no end in sight. It doesn't matter if a year ago saner heads would've prevailed. They're going to follow the medallion racket like a weathervane first, make all kinds of nose-spiting shortsighted decisions next instead of trying to think rationally about what they can do to build the asset out to more solid footing. Witness them...holy shitballs!...buying Boring Co.'s snake oil pitch hook/line/sinker. Talk about short attention-span theatre. Even some of the early bandwagoners have gotten wise to the fact that Musk is an anti-transit nutter...but not Vegas!

There's a nonzero chance "take a wrecking ball to the whole fucker" catches fire as conventional wisdom if it falls into the wrong hands. As if all manner of Vegas business and lifegiving H2O sustainability weren't already burning existential questions. Arsoning what few building blocks of functional transit they possess at all is surely going to help them at sparing the fate of becoming the 21st century's first betting-odds metropolitan ghost town when the well--literally and figuratively--runs dry.
 
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VTrans completes downtown rail tunnel grade separation with ceremonial Amtrak crew-qualifying run from Rutland to Burlington. This was the biggest remaining construction prerequisite for the Ethan Allen Express Burlington extension, still on-track for a Fall 2021 service start when the new intermediate stations at Middlebury and Vergennes are complete (Burlington using existing downtown Union Station, whose platform is in active service for Green Mountain RR passenger excursions).
 

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https://www.masstransitmag.com/bus/...proves-plan-for-allelectric-bus-fleet-by-2040

Perhaps illustrative of how long a complete changeover to Battery Electric Buses is likely to take, San Diego just released their blueprint for a 2040 target of 100% adoption...with all the steps therein to be taken. We will probably see a lot of these same bullet items in the T's adoption plan, such as the facilities modernization, fleet expansion space for accommodating charging downtown, in-wire quick charging on Key Routes, prioritization of rollout to Environmental Justice communities first, and targeted %'s for the initial rollout so the BEB "slow walk" while other propulsion (hybrid, CNG, TT) is still renewed for 1-2 more vehicle generations has some actionable numbers attached to it (i.e. San Diego's not stacking everything to the end of the 2040 timetable, but will start portioning 25% of all planned procurements to BEB's starting right now and gradually accumulate).
 

JeffDowntown

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https://www.masstransitmag.com/bus/...proves-plan-for-allelectric-bus-fleet-by-2040

Perhaps illustrative of how long a complete changeover to Battery Electric Buses is likely to take, San Diego just released their blueprint for a 2040 target of 100% adoption...with all the steps therein to be taken. We will probably see a lot of these same bullet items in the T's adoption plan, such as the facilities modernization, fleet expansion space for accommodating charging downtown, in-wire quick charging on Key Routes, prioritization of rollout to Environmental Justice communities first, and targeted %'s for the initial rollout so the BEB "slow walk" while other propulsion (hybrid, CNG, TT) is still renewed for 1-2 more vehicle generations has some actionable numbers attached to it (i.e. San Diego's not stacking everything to the end of the 2040 timetable, but will start portioning 25% of all planned procurements to BEB's starting right now and gradually accumulate).
Wow, and San Diego is about the friendliest climate condition for BEB.

We really won't tolerate the compromises China is experiencing? I mean it is not like our current bus service is stellar, on-time, dependable.
 

Riverside

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^ I haven't read the link about the situation in SD, but that was my first thought as well (about the climate). If you look at the MBTA BEB testing results, the impact of cold weather is astounding. (I mean, obviously not if you're in that field, but still.) If Boston goes through three or four more mild winters like the one we had this year, maybe that will shift the calculus, but those cold-weather performance stats really were damning up here. (And very discouraging.)
 

Arlington

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How many BEBs use heat pumps for heat which uses about 1/4 the electricity that traditional resistive heat might?
 

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Wow, and San Diego is about the friendliest climate condition for BEB.

We really won't tolerate the compromises China is experiencing? I mean it is not like our current bus service is stellar, on-time, dependable.
If by "compromises" you mean budget blowouts so bad that Shenzhen has still never completed their full intented BEB fleet rollout because they got too deep just as federal spending to bail out their miscalculation was being jerked back....then yeah, not tolerating that is why San Diego published a written-decree manifesto about avoiding those pitfalls in the first place. Because if you don't have the fleet reserves to account for the extra charging time and don't have the armada of field quick-charge units at stations for in-route charging...your service levels are going to DECREASE with a 100.00% lateral flip to BEB fleet simply from lacking enough bodies-with-uptime to run the incumbent schedules you were running all along. The technology requires more than that. Shenzhen and Moscow absolutely impaled themselves on their underestimates of fleet requirements, and impaled themselves despite that information being readily available to planners. You're damn right every other city on the planet is going to be trying to distance themselves from the uninformed headlong leaps those two cities ill-advisedly took for the sake of 'first' bragging rights. If the "compromise" for adoption is immediate punitive service reductions because your procurement heads were too stubborn to count up the correct number of vehicles to budget and order for a network refactored vs. charging ranges and not 1:1 drop-in replacements for fossil-fuel vehicles...damn straight that's dumbassery no sanely-planned transition would consider tolerable.
 

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How many BEBs use heat pumps for heat which uses about 1/4 the electricity that traditional resistive heat might?
Not enough to matter. The thing with transit HVAC is not how cold/hot it is outside...it's how often the interior climate control has to kick into full-power because of air outside getting in through the open doors. On your average bus route that's every few blocks...heating or A/C is drawing a hard load for almost the entire schedule when outdoor temps are at any sort of seasonal extremes. Even moreso if the bus is running at/near crowding capacity and still making all-doors-open stops every few blocks. The difference in additional energy transport efficiency for heating or air conditioning is little more than nipping at the fringes when very high frequency of full-load climate control adjustments is endemic to the bus mode. Our wildly weather-changeable summers unfortunately clobber the electricity budget almost as hard as the cold/damp winters. "Dry heat" climates where it's consistently hot and dry every day probably fare much better on that front than our wild day-to-day humidity crapshoot coupled with our weekly temps that can swing a 20+ degree range from cool to oppressive June to Sept. in tandem with schizo daily humidity readings.
 
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Arlington

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No neighborhood without wires is going to let you string them "immediately"

(shouldn't this lovely recent bus discussion be in the Bus & BRT thread ?)
 

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No neighborhood without wires is going to let you string them "immediately"

(shouldn't this lovely recent bus discussion be in the Bus & BRT thread ?)
Well, it's spurred by the San Diego BEB mission statement and how other cities are probably going to be templating that. So I'd still say this is a tangent rooted in the original SD news, because the T seems to be taking the same tact as they work towards issuing the same manifesto-level gameplan by next year that SD just did last week.

We've already gotten far enough into our own BEB assessment that the original over-rosy projections that the TT wires could just come down as first order of business has been proven thoroughly bunk. That's functionally a dead issue. If anything, we'll be looking to the TT network as the springboard for in-wire charging ranges on routes like the full Arlington Heights 77 and others like maybe the 74 & 75 (or even 57 if the 71 gets BRT'd to Newton Corner with a wire extension) that have enough overlap with the 600V DC network to hit a reference BEB target range schlepping some on-route charge off their trolley wire route overlaps. Same infrastructure doesn't necessarily correspond to most all-new BEB installations. Those quick-charge stations are more the realm of inductive plates in the middle of the road or "reverse pantographs" where a charging overhang at a bus stop drops a pantograph onto a set of static roof-mount collectors and charges during a station dwell (only good at major-ridership stations where the stop dwell is going to last upwards of minute-plus). A blended system that starts out with incumbent TT territory would thus work all those angles in-tandem.
 

jass

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No neighborhood without wires is going to let you string them "immediately"

(shouldn't this lovely recent bus discussion be in the Bus & BRT thread ?)
Immediately in terms of the tech being available.

The Design Center part of the SL route not being wired has always baffled me. Theres no one to NIMBY!
 

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Immediately in terms of the tech being available.

The Design Center part of the SL route not being wired has always baffled me. Theres no one to NIMBY!
*Possible* that Massport might be a little nervous about heavy-machinery moves to the docks if they need to fish an imperiled vessel out of water. But that's a weak argument because the machinery route to the Seaport in the first place is Haul Road @ Haul Road vertical clearances (i.e. tractor-trailer). Default TT wire height is already plenty high for that.

More likely it's not actual NIMBY's just everyone going on default precedent that Menino--who killed wires over SL-Washington on own personal preference--still haunts City Hall and is liable to launch another spittle-soaked screed about obstructed views of Venus like the old days. For SL2 at least I would think that complete wire-up would check out just fine if they pursued it to the community input stage of design.
 

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