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Austin Streetcar, Rail and BRT - News & Updates

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Transportation Austin Streetcar, Rail and BRT – News & Updates

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  • #74546
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    statesman.com wrote $600 million streetcar plan offered for Austin

    By Ben Wear

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Central Austin should have a 15.3-mile streetcar system, consultants hired by the Austin City Council told members Thursday, a slight refinement of a proposal that the ROMA Design Group unveiled in April.

    The proposal, similar in many respects to downtown rail plans that have been circulating for about three years, remains well short of a finished product. And the proposal lacks what is perhaps the most critical information: how the city or Capital Metro, or some entity to be named later, would pay for it.

    The plan, when it does take final shape in a few months, is likely to be reviewed by a “transit working group” formed by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board, the principal transportation planning group in Central Texas. Finding a workable way to pay for a rail plan, officials have made clear, is critical to taking it from back burner to serious debate.

    READ MORE

    #216327
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    #216328

    somertimeoh
    Participant

    Woo hoo, that’s awesome! Cabs in Austin are stupid expensive so getting from the airport to downtown and back was almost as expensive as a rental. Looks like I’ll never have to do that again :)

    #216329
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    somertimeoh wrote Woo hoo, that’s awesome! Cabs in Austin are stupid expensive so getting from the airport to downtown and back was almost as expensive as a rental. Looks like I’ll never have to do that again :)

    This is just a proposal. It’s not moving forward just yet.

    Props to them if they can get it passed, but without any funding plan in place yet, it might be a hard sell.

    #216330

    somertimeoh
    Participant

    Well, yes Walker, I get overly excited about things!!

    Keep us posted.

    We need a big spreadsheet or something to track cities with existing streetcars and LRT, those with proposals on the tables, those doing the engineering reports and things, and then a way to keep track of how many get approved and get going. Could be more powerful to see how behind we’re getting if you see it in one collective place.

    #216331
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    statesman.com wrote Streetcar line is great, but who pays?

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    The latest proposal for a streetcar line connecting downtown Austin with the airport, the University of Texas and the Mueller redevelopment has the same problem as previous proposals: Who is going to pay for it?

    A report in April that recommended a similar route was roundly criticized for lacking specificity. Last week’s report by the ROMA Design Group was clearer on the cost — about $600 million to build the 15.3 mile line and about $22 million a year to operate it. But there is still no decision on how it will be funded or who will pay for it.

    Until those issues are nailed down, there should be no vote to authorize the line. It makes no sense to approve construction of such a massive project without having the means to pay for it clearly understood.

    READ MORE

    #216332
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    austin.about.com wrote Light Rail and Commuter Rail in Austin — Will It Serve You?

    Monday July 28, 2008

    I hate driving down Guadalupe during the day. The lanes are narrow and I’m always caught off-guard at that point where the lanes shift over to accommodate the parking along The Drag.

    The number of pedestrians, the stop-n-go buses, the bikes, the people pulling in and out of those parallel parking spots all makes it a nerve-wracking (and often slow, tedious) drive for me. A lot of UT students are in favor of streetcars in that area. But as Mike points out in his blog entry The lane is as important as the route, “a streetcar on the ‘right route’ (Guadalupe) that doesn’t have its own lane will be even worse than the existing bus service there.”

    It would take a major disruptive overhaul of Guadalupe to even begin to accommodate a dedicated streetcar lane. So the planners are looking at other routes (like San Jacinto) which may or may not help alleviate some of the current congestion on Guadalupe. People are creatures of habit. I don’t like driving on Guadalupe but I tend to do so out of habit. Will those who regularly travel (by bike, bus, car, or on foot) along Guadalupe easily alter their habits? Just wondering out loud…

    READ MORE

    #216333

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    Austin KXAN News wrote Austin holds street car community meetings

    Posted: Sep 3, 2008 01:02 PM

    Updated: Sep 3, 2008 05:16 PM

    AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — , Texas (KXAN) — A much debated streetcar proposal goes before the public once during September.

    City planners and architects are holding community meetings talking about the multi-million dollar streetcar proposal that would run from Austin Bergstrom International Airport through Downtown Austin and to the Mueller Neighborhood in East Austin.

    The meetings take place along three segments of the proposed system.

    At a community meeting Wednesday, neighbors and citizens met at the Rosewood Recreation Center to voice their concerns and questions.

    Ora Houston lives near Manor Road and said a streetcar along Manor Road would hurt the community.

    “Regardless of what the city says, that’s going to be a significant divide that wasn’t there before,” said Houston.

    Houston’s worked with her neighborhood association to bring together the historically black and white neighborhoods on each side of Manor. Houston said the streetcar would further hinder pedestrian’s abilities to reach nearby grocery and retail stores.

    “It’s going to be very sad,” said Houston. “The quality of our lives will be diminished significantly.”

    READ MORE

    Ora Houston sounds pretty nuts to me.

    #216334

    lifeontwowheels
    Participant

    Not to take this too far off.

    I had a group at work today of tourists, by the accent German, who asked for a city map. I grabbed the nifty Experience Columbus booklet and showed them the maps. They pointed to the map at Westerville and asked about a bus or subway to downtown if they got a hotel in Westerville.

    I’m surprised I didn’t break out laughing.

    It’s good to see cities having the debate and considering it. I hope Columbus sees the value soon enough.

    #216335

    ZHC
    Member

    KXAN wrote Houston said the streetcar would further hinder pedestrian’s abilities to reach nearby grocery and retail stores.

    Am I missing something? How does a streetcar hinder pedestrians? I didn’t think the tracks were an impassable barrier… That’s a new one to me.

    #216336
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Austin ‘rapid bus’ program revived
    By Ben Wear
    AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
    Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010

    Capital Metro’s “bus rapid transit” program, delayed for years by lack of funding and the transit agency’s focus on commuter rail, may become reality by 2013 .

    The total project would cost $47.6 million and is contingent on the Federal Transit Administration covering 80 percent , which Todd Hemingson, the agency’s vice president of strategic planning and development, called “highly likely.”

    READ MORE: http://www.statesman.com/news/local/austin-rapid-bus-program-revived-1038582.html

    #216337

    KyleEzell
    Member

    BRT and rail. Not that Columbus is in competition with Austin, but they have officially smoked us– surpassed us in population and just about everything else. Congrats, Austin, you deserve it.

    #216338

    News
    Participant

    Austin’s urban rail plan could wrap up in early 2014
    by Amy Denney
    May 14, 2013

    Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell told members of the Transit Working Group on May 10 that the urban rail plan could be completed in early 2014 and potentially put before voters in a 2014 election.

    “We talked about setting a tentative wrap-up date of mid-February, which would enable the City of Austin, if it choses to do so, to put this on the ballot in May election,” he said. “It’s not necessarily my preference. … November is the other option, and I know that gives us a lot more flexibility. I think it would be good to set that target and timetable to achieve that target.”

    READ MORE: http://impactnews.com/articles/austin%27s-urban-rail-plan-could-wrap-up-in-early-2014/

    #216339

    News
    Participant

    Feb 25, 2014, 2:56pm CST
    Mayor: Austin either gets more rails or fails
    Robert Grattan
    Staff Writer – Austin Business Journal

    Austin’s Mayor Lee Leffingwell cleared up any confusion about who is spearheading the push for a downtown rail system at his Tuesday state of the city address when he coined the catchy, ballot-ready phrase “Rail or Fail.”

    READ MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/at-the-watercooler/2014/02/mayor-austin-either-gets-more-rails-or-fails.html

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