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Rubber tire trolley - bridge the gap before light rail

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Rubber tire trolley – bridge the gap before light rail

This topic contains 74 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  InnerCore 1 year, 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 78 total)
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  • #529752

    InnerCore
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    Walker said:
    I’m just saying in the bigger picture, if we’re going to work to drum up a strong base of grassroots support, I’d rather we go for the real deal with rail-based transit than the stopgap.

    Snarf said:
    rubber tire trolley = lipstick on a pig

    I don’t think you understand what stop gap means. It’s a temporary substitute. You’re argument assumes that you have to choose one or the other. Were talking about something that could be done in a matter of months. Sure it’s lip stick on a pig, but when you’re already kissing that pig a little lip stick is better than none.

    Espcially when you read things like this:

    Central Ohio Transit Authority’s new CEO Curtis Stitt has said that the service needs to grow into a rapid transit system and eventually light rail, but that it is still about a decade off.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2012/04/26/report-columbus-public-transit-ranks.html

    Why would you not encourage grass roots support for something that could be implemented in 2013 or 2014 for something you want that probably wont be here until 2024?

    #529753
    Snarf
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    Because we should stop aspiring for mediocrity. I think, like Walker, that we should have our cake and eat it too – not these gluten free cupcake bandaids – yucky.

    #529754

    InnerCore
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    mrmann said:
    Hypothetically speaking, how far would the rubber tire trolley run? I am assuming Fulton to 5th Ave on High St. Running to the SN Kroger might appeal to downtown residents though and might garner a little subsidy from Kroger and the developers downtown. Kroger could also act as a turnaround spot (though that parking lot is tough to navigate).

    I can see it starting off as running popular weekend hours and then growing service hours from there.

    I agree that a distinctive bus would be fine for this.

    I think that depends on how quickly you could operate the system. Ideally you’d need the bus to to hit stops every 10 – 15 mins. So I’d expand the system as far as you could between Brewery District and Campus Gateway while still maintaining fast efficient service.

    #529755

    Polis
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    Rubber trolleys work to move people but promote little development potential due to lack of a permanent street presence. However, if street presence was improved, say with permanent, robust stations, on street markers indicating line alignment, real-time information and center lane boarding options then the gap could diminish, by how much I have no idea. Personally, I would ride a bus and rail trolley through downtown and what not.

    Additionally, trolleys generally need to be free or extraordinarily inexpensive to use. Luckily, if a private trolley is operated it can be done so fairly inexpensively. If COTA operates a trolley, a public-private partnership could cover the fare-box fees.

    Take a look at this bus, though. I think it’s pretty neat and if there were both rear and front boarding, on both sides of the bus, it could work.

    I do have to mention that a huge problem with High St. is the lack of street width. At least one lane of metered parking would have to be ditched and off-street public parking increased.

    Another potential issue, and this may sound ridiculous, but pedi-cabs and cab drivers could file state and potentially federal complaints against a free trolley if it is ran by a public entity.

    Oh as a note, someone was talking about implementation time-frame, bus purchases typically take over a year to complete. Buses are built to spec, so it’s not a quick process.

    Additional note, the new transportation bill, MAP-21, favors heavily increased discretionary funding for new BRT’s and an inclusion of BRT’s as core capacity (I think, as I read it).

    #529756
    Walker Evans
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    InnerCore said:
    Why would you not encourage grass roots support for something that could be implemented in 2013 or 2014 for something you want that probably wont be here until 2024?

    No offense at all meant to Mr. Stitt, as he’s a good guy, but as rapidly as leadership seems to change in most public or quasi-public offices, I doubt he’ll still be CEO of COTA in 2024. The next CEO may have a completely different vision. And it’s no secret that our Mayor wants a streetcar, and he was plenty loud enough about pushing that idea in the past regardless of what the previous CEO of COTA had to say on the topic. If Coleman were to dust off the plans anytime soon, there’s no reason it would take a decade to execute.

    Again, I’m not necessarily opposed to the bus trolley idea. Feel free to rally the support base for a bus trolley and I’ll sign the petition. But I’d rather put any energy I have for advocacy today into rail-based transit support first. Sallimsayin’.

    #529757
    Walker Evans
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    Snarf said:
    Because we should stop aspiring for mediocrity. I think, like Walker, that we should have our cake and eat it too – not these gluten free cupcake bandaids – yucky.

    Heh. Honestly, aspiring for a single streetcar or light rail line is pretty mediocre, but I think it’s something realistically achievable in a short amount of time with the right public and private leadership and support. If Coleman, City Council, the Franklin County Commissioners and the Columbus Partnership help a press conference to announce a Streetcar tomorrow, it would be up and running within two years. I don’t even think Kasich could stop it. ;)

    If we want to talk bold and visionary, we can talk about planning a trillion dollar 30-route regional system with state of the art maglev trains. But that’s really something best left to China these days, and not America. ;)

    #529758

    geoyui
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    Walker said:
    Heh. Honestly, aspiring for a single streetcar or light rail line is pretty mediocre, but I think it’s something realistically achievable in a short amount of time with the right public and private leadership and support. If Coleman, City Council, the Franklin County Commissioners and the Columbus Partnership help a press conference to announce a Streetcar tomorrow, it would be up and running within two years. I don’t even think Kasich could stop it. ;)

    If we want to talk bold and visionary, we can talk about planning a trillion dollar 30-route regional system with state of the art maglev trains. But that’s really something best left to China these days, and not America. ;)

    Why can’t Columbus have multiple options for transit? Walking, cab, bus, bike, trolley, rail, plane, etc. Couldn’t having a trolley that serves a specific area/passenger be a step towards justifying and ultimately obtaining a rail system? Isn’t a comprehensive transit system the goal, because not everyone may use rail.

    And would adding a single trolley/route set back any plans to have a rail system? I would assume there would be little affect Since a rail system could be decades away.

    #529759
    scorpcmh
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    As a pragmatist I would have to agree with InnerCore. Downtown used to have a circulator Trolly bus pre City Center. It was either free or about $.25. My co workers and I used it all the time to get from Nationwide to Lazarus and other stores/restaurants. We otherwise would have just skipped the visits(much as I do now when confronted with our spread out downtown and limited time)

    I live downtown now, and watch hotel guests/tourists and others hiking through long stretches of nothing…vacant buildings, parking lots,etc to get to the Convention Center or Short North or even a downtown restaurant/bar. I hope there is a time soon when there will be something interesting to see all over downtown, but for now, lets link those areas that are actually active and give a positive visit, not negative.

    I have used similar forms of transport in other cities, and quite frankly, avoided buses with the complicated schedules etc for the most part. I have used light rail, steet cars often, since they are quite easy to navigate. The point is, most tourist do not want to educate themselves on the detailed local bus schedules, even if WE know to take the #2. And no matter what we wish, streetcars are YEARS away.

    #529760
    Walker Evans
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    geoyui said:
    Why can’t Columbus have multiple options for transit? Walking, cab, bus, bike, trolley, rail, plane, etc. Couldn’t having a trolley that serves a specific area/passenger be a step towards justifying and ultimately obtaining a rail system? Isn’t a comprehensive transit system the goal, because not everyone may use rail.

    And would adding a single trolley/route set back any plans to have a rail system? I would assume there would be little affect Since a rail system could be decades away.

    I thought we were talking about the idea of identical routes being upgraded over time. Taking a route that is pretty much similar to what the #21 currently runs (at night) and replacing it with a trolley bus (all day) with the thought that it would eventually be replaced by a rail-based mode in the future.

    I’m not at all against multiple types of modes/options co-existing and serving different routes.

    #529761

    lifeontwowheels
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    scorpcmh said:
    As a pragmatist I would have to agree with InnerCore. Downtown used to have a circulator Trolly bus pre City Center. It was either free or about $.25. My co workers and I used it all the time to get from Nationwide to Lazarus and other stores/restaurants. We otherwise would have just skipped the visits(much as I do now when confronted with our spread out downtown and limited time)

    I live downtown now, and watch hotel guests/tourists and others hiking through long stretches of nothing…vacant buildings, parking lots,etc to get to the Convention Center or Short North or even a downtown restaurant/bar. I hope there is a time soon when there will be something interesting to see all over downtown, but for now, lets link those areas that are actually active and give a positive visit, not negative.

    I have used similar forms of transport in other cities, and quite frankly, avoided buses with the complicated schedules etc for the most part. I have used light rail, steet cars often, since they are quite easy to navigate. The point is, most tourist do not want to educate themselves on the detailed local bus schedules, even if WE know to take the #2. And no matter what we wish, streetcars are YEARS away.

    The counterpoint being that google maps on a smart phone makes transit incredibly easy. Input your start and end, customize your departure or arrival time and get easy directions on where to go. No different than renting a car at the airport with GPS.

    #529762

    ehill27
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    While I see the value in these branded lines, and even more value in fixed rail, Smartphones with Google maps does take the complication out of busing. For those who have Internet access, there’s simply no need to interpret “complicated schedules”.

    EDIT: ^ Hmm… what are the chances of that.

    #529763

    lifeontwowheels
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    ehill27 said:
    While I see the value in these branded lines, and even more value in fixed rail, Smartphones with Google maps does take the complication out of busing. For those who have Internet access, there’s simply no need to interpret “complicated schedules”.

    EDIT: ^ Hmm… what are the chances of that.

    And we’re talking the #2 downtown to campus, probably the easiest route in town.

    The issue, for both local and tourist alike, is the built environment and culture. Driving is way too easy and cheap in the downtown area for transit to be competitive. Adding a free connector isn’t really going to change that.

    #529764

    buckette13
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    lifeontwowheels said:
    And we’re talking the #2 downtown to campus, probably the easiest route in town.

    The issue, for both local and tourist alike, is the built environment and culture. Driving is way too easy and cheap in the downtown area for transit to be competitive. Adding a free connector isn’t really going to change that.

    I think part of this conversation is also getting people to move around from business to business for economic reasons. If you go to more places you are going to probably spend more money. From my experience with my friends we find parking and stay within a couple of blocks of that. If there was a free distinctive shuttle going up and down the strip we would probably use it. Instead of hanging out for an hour, it could easily become an evening ($$$).

    #529765
    scorpcmh
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    Disagree totally. These are used in many cities….simple and easy. Most people are not going to look up google maps despite what we wish they would do. I am trying to be realistic for the short term future.

    #529766
    scorpcmh
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    scorpcmh said:
    Disagree totally. These are used in many cities….simple and easy. Most people are not going to look up google maps despite what we wish they would do. I am trying to be realistic for the short term future.

    This was response to lifeontowheels.

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