Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

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Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby renf » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:02 pm

What are the passenger counts on the new light rail line in DC? Are they above or below predictions? Is there any evidence thus far that the services is a success or disappointing? Thanks.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby JDC » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:29 pm

Living in Alexandria, Fairfax County; Working at Half & L
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby MCL1981 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:30 am

$200,000,000 (two hundred million dollars), and it goes 2.4 miles down one road, and still has no fare collection system. The answer to your question is "not enough people". And I don't think there will ever be enough people to justify this outrageous boondoggle.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:56 am

Not quite a bomb, actually. A Dec 15, 2016 article: DC Streetcar ridership is growing, and people are still riding the X2 and X9 buses, too

In short: It's serving as a local circulator route, which apparently was desperately needed. The X2 and X9 buses are serving commuters to/from jobs, and the patterns show it. That may change when the line is extended, but for now it's doing great.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby MCL1981 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:04 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:Not quite a bomb, actually. A Dec 15, 2016 article: DC Streetcar ridership is growing, and people are still riding the X2 and X9 buses, too

In short: It's serving as a local circulator route, which apparently was desperately needed. The X2 and X9 buses are serving commuters to/from jobs, and the patterns show it. That may change when the line is extended, but for now it's doing great.


I wonder what the cost would have been for 2 or 3 circulator buses to do what this thing is doing? It doesn't make me feel better that tax dollars just purchased a $200,000,000 local bus.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:32 pm

MCL1981 wrote:I wonder what the cost would have been for 2 or 3 circulator buses to do what this thing is doing? It doesn't make me feel better that tax dollars just purchased a $200,000,000 local bus.


DC Circulator uses older VanHool (unknown model) and newer New Flyer XDE40 buses. SEPTA ordered 550 new XDE40's at a cost of $411.8 Million over five years. That's roughly $750 thousand per bus. Assume three new circulator buses are needed. That's $2.25 Mil there.

Then you have to pay for fuel, operators ($28/hr is the max last time I read a CBA from MTA, oh and don't forget benefits if it's a union, and if it's subcontracted expect that to be more), and you're talking about $1M+ a year on top of that, and those buses barely last 15 years.

Meanwhile, you got heavy investment, but the vehicles have a 25+15 year life span, expanding is cheaper than the initial outlay, plus you get to recreate all those crashes that happened in Houston when they got light rail! $200M to see how stupid people are? A BARGAIN! :D

But in all due respects, from a pure cost perspective, this is a short and expensive line. I think expanding it out will make the cost worth while, when it actually starts to eat into the X2/X9 bus line.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby Sand Box John » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:54 pm

"MCL1981"
I wonder what the cost would have been for 2 or 3 circulator buses to do what this thing is doing? It doesn't make me feel better that tax dollars just purchased a $200,000,000 local bus.


The H Street Benning Road streetcar line is the first part of a 8 line 59 mile streetcar network.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby MCL1981 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:48 pm

STrRedWolf wrote:Then you have to pay for fuel, operators ($28/hr is the max last time I read a CBA from MTA, oh and don't forget benefits if it's a union, and if it's subcontracted expect that to be more), and you're talking about $1M+ a year on top of that, and those buses barely last 15 years.

Meanwhile, you got heavy investment, but the vehicles have a 25+15 year life span, expanding is cheaper than the initial outlay, plus you get to recreate all those crashes that happened in Houston when they got light rail! $200M to see how stupid people are? A BARGAIN! :D

But in all due respects, from a pure cost perspective, this is a short and expensive line. I think expanding it out will make the cost worth while, when it actually starts to eat into the X2/X9 bus line.


Your say all this as if the street car operates for zero cost. Somehow I don't think the cost of operating and maintaining a few buses comes even close to the cost of operating and maintaining a light rail. So this cost $197,000,000 more expensive than purchasing some buses. And it will cost more to operate than some buses. Expanding the rail will cost orders of magnitude more than expanding some bus routes. Based on DC's history with this boondoggle, I have no faith in it ever being substantially expanded. In fact, that've done the opposite. Built and abandoned other parts. This is and has been the poster perfect example of the word boondoggle.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby schmod » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:33 pm

No argument from me that DC managed the project poorly and spent way too much.

However, during peak hours, H St is completely saturated with buses. Even with articulated (double-length) buses, there wasn't any room to add additional capacity.

From a long-term capacity perspective, Streetcar/LRT is the only way to meet the capacity demands of this growing corridor. (Also, speaking of growth, it's also worth mentioning that the development of the streetcar coincided with a ton of transit-friendly growth and development along this corridor.)

We need to get costs down, but the $200 million wasn't exactly flushed down the drain either.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby STrRedWolf » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:10 pm

schmod wrote:However, during peak hours, H St is completely saturated with buses. Even with articulated (double-length) buses, there wasn't any room to add additional capacity.

From a long-term capacity perspective, Streetcar/LRT is the only way to meet the capacity demands of this growing corridor.


eep!

If it's THAT bad, yes, forget adding buses, you're passed that. Your mass transit needs to be a lot more MASSIVE, and that means laying down rail.
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Re: Passenger counts on new DC light rail line

Postby SemperFidelis » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:31 pm

Some info on ridership, both trolley and bus, new riders and existing, that is worth reading:

https://planitmetro.com/tag/bus-ridership/
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