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