flexo
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Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:21 pm

Hi All,

Having lived in several large cities in Germany I noticed almost all of them have a tram service. So basically a subway running above ground.

I have always wondered if that is actually an efficient way to organize public transport or if it is politically motivated.

Building tram tracks on the roads requires expensive work applied to otherwise perfectly good streets. Also electrification of the tracks is very expensive.
Couldn't busses do the job just as well as trams? They could use regular roads which seems a lot cheaper. They could also drive around a blocked road if necessary.

I'm really not trying to bash trams just trying to understand why they are used! Thanks!
 
JRadier
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:53 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):

Building tram tracks on the roads requires expensive work applied to otherwise perfectly good streets. Also electrification of the tracks is very expensive.

Try digging a tunnel...  Wink

Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
Couldn't busses do the job just as well as trams? They could use regular roads which seems a lot cheaper. They could also drive around a blocked road if necessary.

It is all about Capacity. A tram (in this case the Combino trams which run in Amsterdam) can take 180 passengers, a normal citybus takes around 67 (the most used bus in Amsterdam). Another advantage of the tram is that runs on electricity and does not contaminate the air in the city.
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Rj111
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:55 pm

Trams are far more efficient than busses.

Firstly they can draw all their power from electricity created at a very large power station. This probably halves the effective fuel consumption.

Secondly, metal on metal has a much lower rolling resistance than rubber on tarmac.

Thirdly they can form longer consists than buses because the track guides them round. So 3 cars is feasible. This creates more economy of scale and allows for more effective passenger movement.

So i'd imagine reasonably high start up costs, (though low compared to underground trains) but very low op costs.
 
Rara
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:55 pm

Buses use more fuel and are less efficient. They are noisier and smellier than an electrified car. They are also more likely to be stuck in traffic. Besides, trams are perceived as more comfortable by passengers.

Trams are better understood as competing with subways rather than buses. Trams are slower, but a lot cheaper to build. For that reason, there were especially popular in the Communist block.

Berlin is a good example; while the city was divided, East Berlin mainly developed its tram system while West Berlin abolished the tram altogether and built many new subway and bus lines.
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A342
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:58 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
So basically a subway running above ground.

A subway is WAY more expensive than a tram, but also much more capable. Also, buses and trams tend to have a shorter distance between stops than underground systems.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
flexo
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:21 pm

Thanks for your replies guys

Quoting JRadier (Reply 1):
A tram (in this case the Combino trams which run in Amsterdam) can take 180 passengers, a normal citybus takes around 67

True, trams are larger, but wouldn't it be possible to build larger busses if you agreed to the same limitations as trams (only go on certain routes where the streets are wide enough)

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 2):
Firstly they can draw all their power from electricity created at a very large power station. This probably halves the effective fuel consumption.

Are you sure this is true? Power plant efficiency isn't all that great if not combined with heat generation (I believe somewhere around 20%)

Quoting Rara (Reply 3):
They are noisier and smellier than an electrified car.

While electric motors are certainly quieter, a tram going with steel wheels on steel tracks doesn't seem much quieter to my ears.

Quoting Rara (Reply 3):
They are also more likely to be stuck in traffic.

This is only true because trams tend to run on dedicated tracks. If you allowed that same luxury to busses, they wouldn't be more affected by traffic than trams.
 
JRadier
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:33 pm



Quoting Flexo (Reply 5):
True, trams are larger, but wouldn't it be possible to build larger busses if you agreed to the same limitations as trams (only go on certain routes where the streets are wide enough)

There is a reason the Aussies run their road-trains in the outback and not in the cities..... too dangerous.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:33 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
Also electrification of the tracks is very expensive.

-
If the electrification of the network already is in place, an additional route no longer is expensive

Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
Couldn't busses do the job just as well as trams?

-
No, neither from the capacity nor from the comfort. And costs of electrical trolley buses interestingly are higher
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:43 pm

Trams have some advantages over buses. Here in San Francisco, we have an extensive tram system and an extensive system of caternary-wire electric buses.

Trams are light rail. Light rail is very useful because it combines the speed and safety of heavy rail with a degree of integration into city infrastructure that you can't get with heavy rail. Trams can be boarded from the street or from platforms.

Our trams sometimes run on the street at grade with the traffic and sometimes go on their own rights-of-way.

In San Francisco, a lot of the buses also use the overhead caternary wires, so the trams and buses can share those.

Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):

Couldn't busses do the job just as well as trams? They could use regular roads which seems a lot cheaper. They could also drive around a blocked road if necessary.

Well, to some degree they can do the job just as well, especially if they're electric-overhead buses like ours in SF. In some cities, they are starting to use a system called Bus Rapid Transit, which is where special roads are built for the buses to drive on, but no other traffic is allowed on those buses. If you think about it, the reason why buses are so slow is because of traffic. In Manhattan, the average speed of a city bus is 6 MPH. Yes, SIX miles per hour. In most cities, the average speed for a bus is 13-15 MPH. So if you could build special rights-of-way just for the buses, you would eliminate that disadvantage at much lower cost than building rail.

However, as JRadier pointed out, you can only make a bus so long before it becomes impossible to drive. You can add as many cars to a tram as you like.
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LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:51 pm

What is the business case for any public transport?


I'd love to know of any transit systems that run at a profit. Seems subways/trams/busses are nothing more then government sinking huge sums of tax payer money down a sewer.

I'd rather see monies collected from things such as gasoline taxes and such go straight back by supporting infrastructure such as roads, bridges, then subsidizing loss making transit systems.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:59 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):

I'd love to know of any transit systems that run at a profit

-
The idea of a public transport system is NOT to make profits, the only requirement is to cover costs. It is just as with education and public health and electricity and waste-disposal. Public duties which are to be paid.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:13 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 10):
The idea of a public transport system is NOT to make profits, the only requirement is to cover costs

Show me some systems that cover their cost then?

At least here in the US government funnel billions into various metropolitan transit systems with fares only covering a small portion of the operating expenses.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 10):
Public duties which are to be paid.

I strongly disagree.

Use of tax monnies on busses/subways is a collosal waste for the tax payer. Basically a terrible ROI for the cost involved.

If private companies want to run busses, shared ride vans, or taxis etc.. that is great, but not the government jobs. And for those other examples like electricy, trash disposal, health insurance I happily pay for those on a monthly basis via fees and are provided by private companies not the government either.
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flexo
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:14 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 8):
In Manhattan, the average speed of a city bus is 6 MPH. Yes, SIX miles per hour. In most cities, the average speed for a bus is 13-15 MPH. So if you could build special rights-of-way just for the buses, you would eliminate that disadvantage at much lower cost than building rail.

My point exactly, Manhattan's mass transit speed wouldn't grow if you switched the busses for trams because they'd be stuck in the same traffic. Sure, you could put more people in the trams but would that justify the cost of constructing rails and electrification for miles and miles?
 
flexo
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:17 pm



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 10):
The idea of a public transport system is NOT to make profits

True, but I'd still like them to go with the cheapest option that does the job for the city and not the "fanciest", hence my question about the tram business case.

Unfortunately when public money is involved that is sometimes forgotten.
 
JRadier
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:25 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):

I'd love to know of any transit systems that run at a profit. Seems subways/trams/busses are nothing more then government sinking huge sums of tax payer money down a sewer.

The point is not making money, it is providing transport to the masses. Imagine not having public transport and everyone taking a car (although a lot of people won't be able to afford it). A tipical rushhour bus carries 30+ people in the space of 2-3 cars. If those people would drive themselves that would mean at least 15 cars. See the traffic gridlocks appearing? Ever wondered how much that costs?
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LTU932
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:27 pm

Of course, there are also people who will lobby for an inefficient system, just to avoid having to build or operate a tram. We see it in Hamburg all the time.

In Hamburg, which has shut down the tram in 1977, we desperately need it back again, as we're facing constant overfilling of buses, plus expanding our U- and S-Bahn-System is simply too expensive. One of the examples of failed U-Bahn-Expansion is the old U4, which should have connected the Airport, and then through Sengelmannstraße, go on a north-south route to Central Station, Jungfernstieg and Altona, and from there to Lurup. Part of that infrastructure (specifically the empty platforms at Jungfernstieg), will now be used for the new U4, which will share lines with the U2 (once the U3 has been restored as the ring line) between Billstedt and Jungfernstieg, and from Jungfernstieg take a 270 turn to head down to the HafenCity.

Take a look at the Metrobus line 5 in Hamburg. It's one of the busiest public bus routes in all of Europe, and no matter how many double-articulated buses are offered, it still doesn't cover all capacity needs. A tram would help ease those capacity shortcomings, even if it means using a tram in triple-traction, plus it will be a much cleaner alternative. Sure, you could build an U-Bahn there, and there were plans for a possible line, that would go from Stephansplatz (connecting with the U1 and Dammtor station) to Niendorf-Markt (connecting with the U2), but it's too expensive to build at this stage, even though the passenger figures would justify such a move. In any case, the tram would help de-congest the roads, by employing buses only as re-inforcement for it and restricting buses only to places the tram can't reach and where a tram can't be justified.

The Greens in Hamburg (I'm by no means a supporter of those treehuggers, but I do agree with them on this subject) have been pressing for the re-introduction of the tram, however it gets either lost in all their internal disputes, or it's major coalition partner does little if anything to stick to its commitment to the tram. Plus there is the anti-tram lobby, which will do anything to stop its construction. Construction of the "new" tram in Hamburg should start in 2012 for a first line that will connect Bramfeld with the U1 station Lattenkamp, however chances are slim that it's going to happen.

One of the biggest opponents of the tram in Hamburg has always been the SPD, they are also suspected to have been historically influenced by an anti-tram lobby led by Daimler-Benz, while OTOH the CDU has been indifferent on the matter. Even the head of the Hochbahn (the operator of the U-Bahn and previous operator of the tram), Mr Günter Elste (a member of the SPD), opposes a single system tram and would rather prefer that the existing U-Bahn be expanded in the form of a lightrail system named U-Stadtbahn (aka Elste-Bahn), a mixed metro and tram, which would directly connect to the U-Bahn system. The Elste-Bahn is no solution for us, because Hamburg's U-Bahn has been established as a single metro system, and the low-floor tram would prove to be more effective if it was run as a single system tram as well.

Personally, if Hamburg should get a tram, I'm all for it. We simply can't afford interim solutions that will become permanent no matter what.
 
withak
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:45 pm



Quoting Flexo (Reply 11):
My point exactly, Manhattan's mass transit speed wouldn't grow if you switched the busses for trams because they'd be stuck in the same traffic. Sure, you could put more people in the trams but would that justify the cost of constructing rails and electrification for miles and miles?

It all depends on the infrastructure that is put in place. If you set up a tram system where traffic and tram didn't meet the trams would run quite fast. Same as if dedicated roads were set up for buses. In a city such as Manhattan this wouldn't be practical though. Unless appropriate infrastructure is in place any public transport system is useless whether it be heavy rail, light rail or buses.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):

I don't think it is as simple as fares not covering the cost of implementing and running a public transport system. What also has to be taken into account is the worth of moving a group of people from point a to point b. For instance getting the masses from their suburban homes to the CBD of a city. The more people that can easily get to work the more business that can be done generating more taxes for the government.

Kris
 
flexo
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:46 pm



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 15):
A tram would help ease those capacity shortcomings, even if it means using a tram in triple-traction, plus it will be a much cleaner alternative

So from what I gathered sort of between the lines of your post, you would think of a tram as a system that offers greater capacity than busses and should be built where the speed and cost of a subway would still be unjustified but busses can't cope?

How about simply offering more busses in quick succession to keep up with demand? I'm not sure what costs more, the extra pay for the additional bus drivers or the cost of constructing tracks but my gut says tracks are more expensive even in the long run.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:53 pm



Quoting Flexo (Reply 11):

My point exactly, Manhattan's mass transit speed wouldn't grow if you switched the busses for trams because they'd be stuck in the same traffic. Sure, you could put more people in the trams but would that justify the cost of constructing rails and electrification for miles and miles?

Manhattan's solution was to build a North-South subway line down 2nd avenue with poor connectivity to the rest of the system. Then they have essentially decided that the NYC transit system is "complete" and requires no further construction.

Of course, there is still no cross-town service above Central Park (or through it), but that's OK. You can do that on a bus. In about one hour. I can actually walk across Central Park faster than a bus will take me. Pathetic, really.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:58 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
The idea of a public transport system is NOT to make profits, the only requirement is to cover costs

Show me some systems that cover their cost then?

ZVV, VBZ, SBB/CFF/FFS and many others here in Switzerland HAVE to cover their costs, and generally DO so. And I think many of the railways-companies in Europe also HAVE to cover their costs and like SBB/CFF/FFS even are modestly profitable. And much the same applies to companies in the Arab World, in Africa and Asia, which do NOT get money from the state but rather have to give money TO the state.
-

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
I strongly disagree.
-
Use of tax monnies on busses/subways is a collosal waste for the tax payer

-
you can DISagree as strongly as you want. You in this may find majorities in the USA, but not in the world. People understand that decent public transport not only is good for the environment and positive for the development of the cities and to solve the traffic problems but also a social way to help young and elderly and poor people.
-

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
If private companies want to run busses, shared ride vans, or taxis etc.. that is great

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Taxis are for exceptional requirements but not for normal daily transportation, and why should companies run buses at acceptable tariffs with low profits ? If you run a bus at highly profitable tariffs, it is of zero-value for the community.
-

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
I happily pay for those on a monthly basis via fees and are provided by private companies not the government either.

-
You are free to be happy when paying taxes and fees, the point is that all over the world, fairly often the duties I mentioned ARE carried out by private companies under licence of the public administration. The private companies make their bills to the village, or town or city or Canton or the Union, depending on the service they provide.
-

Quoting Flexo (Reply 13):
True, but I'd still like them to go with the cheapest option that does the job for the city and not the "fanciest", hence my question about the tram business case.

-
Trams in the end ARE the cheapest option, not fancy but boring in a way. But clearly THE cheapest and most efficient option available
-
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:04 pm



Quoting JRadier (Reply 14):
Imagine not having public transport and everyone taking a car

I'm all for cars. - provides much more flexibility then a static bus/train network.

Quoting JRadier (Reply 14):
. If those people would drive themselves that would mean at least 15 cars. See the traffic gridlocks appearing? Ever wondered how much that costs?

The billions that go into transit systems can be much better spent on actual road infrastructure then sunk into endless loss making transit systems.

The transit authority here has figured out that dollar for dollar each mile of concrete poured in new or expanded roads is far cheaper over its lifespan then running a transit system over that same mile.
For instance we are constantly having roads expanded from 3 to 4 lanes, freeways from 6 to 8 lanes in each direction etc.. those are all worthwhile projects along with bridges, tunnels, new traffic signal systems etc. And most of these cost are self funded via gasoline taxes from its users, and not a financial burden on others.

And for those that cant afford cars if there are enough of them free enterprise will undoubtably come up with private bus, shared ride van services that can transport these people.

I just see not justification for the need to burden all citizens to subsidize endless loss making transit systems into infinidum.
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DocLightning
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:11 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):

Use of tax monnies on busses/subways is a collosal waste for the tax payer. Basically a terrible ROI for the cost involved.

The ROI on roads is FAR worse. Do you know what France's SNCF makes in a year?
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flexo
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:12 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
For instance we are constantly having roads expanded from 3 to 4 lanes, freeways from 6 to 8 lanes in each direction etc.. those are all worthwhile projects

Well, you do realize that this is simply not an option for cities such as New York City, Chicago and the like, right?
Maybe in the midwest in medium sized cities like Kansas City, Tulsa or St. Louis that might work but not for really large cities.
 
JRadier
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:15 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):

The transit authority here has figured out that dollar for dollar each mile of concrete poured in new or expanded roads is far cheaper over its lifespan then running a transit system over that same mile.

the word 'here' is the clue. Not every place on earth is SoCal. In general cities and their surroundings are a lot more compact in Europe changing the whole equation. While I'm for more highway lanes, there is just no space in a lot of places to upgrade the whole infrastructure.
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ME AVN FAN
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:19 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
Imagine not having public transport and everyone taking a car
-
I'm all for cars. -

-
Sure, but places would be OVERfilled without decent public transport
-

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
we are constantly having roads expanded from 3 to 4 lanes

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If you have space for additional lanes still, well, nice for you. But in older cities there is no space for such expansions.
-

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
The transit authority here has figured out that dollar for dollar each mile of concrete poured in new or expanded roads is far cheaper over its lifespan then running a transit system over that same mile.

-
Not least as they in case of the roads only calculate the construction costs, and so their figuring simply is wrong
-

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
for those that cant afford cars if there are enough of them free enterprise will undoubtably come up with private bus, shared ride van services that can transport these people.

-
No, there undoubtedly is NOT .....................
-

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
subsidize endless loss making transit systems

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the transit systems, if operated seriously, are NOT "endless loss making"
-

Quoting Flexo (Reply 22):
in medium sized cities like Kansas City, Tulsa or St. Louis that might work but not for really large cities.

-
it may still work in parts of Greater Los Angeles which in a strange way is NOT a "city" but a conurbation, but I fail to see it in downtown San Francisco, for example
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:43 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):

The transit authority here has figured out that dollar for dollar each mile of concrete poured in new or expanded roads is far cheaper over its lifespan then running a transit system over that same mile.

 rotfl  Have you TRIED to drive anywhere in LA lately?

I got caught in a traffic jam at 9:30 on a Saturday morning! I got caught in a traffic jam at 10:30 on a Sunday night!

If you study urban planning, you learn that building more roads causes more traffic. The solution is mass transit with appropriately placed nodes to encourage alternative means of transport.

The transit systems may run at a loss, but they run at a net gain when you take into account the economic stimulus that they provide. On top of the companies that must be hired to care for these, they make it easier and faster for goods and people to move around, thus improving the economy.

The ONLY reason that LA still has a functioning economy is because of the climate. LA's two major industries are cinema and tourism. If LA were in a colder place then it would be a city with no real public transport.

It would be Detroit. A city of all roads and no rail. And we see how well Detroit has done.
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LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:21 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):
Have you TRIED to drive anywhere in LA lately?

Do it every day without complaints actually.

If you know your way around there are often dozens of alternate routes, with other roads paralleling your intended route. LA for the most part is incredibly easy to navigate as its pretty much all set up in square grids.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):
The ONLY reason that LA still has a functioning economy is because of the climate. LA's two major industries are cinema and tourism.

Climate??

LA has much more going for it then climate. Its a leading global business, trade and culture center.

For the record the top 5 industries in Southern California are;
1) Manufacturing - Los Angeles is the largest manufacturing center in the US with everything from apparel, electronic products, aerospace, metals, chemicals, food products.
2) Trade related - Los Angeles has the nation's largest seaport
3) Banking and Finance
4) Entertainment media
5) Tourism

Other industries such as health services, education, high-tech r&d and professional fields such as architecture and engineering are also big.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 24):
the transit systems, if operated seriously, are NOT "endless loss making"

Well here in Los Angeles we have the nations largest public bus network with rather token fare levels.

However the system is used only by mere 5.5% of all residents, but subsidized off the backs of 100% of residents. These monies including my gas taxes could be used much better for other things.

Quoting JRadier (Reply 23):
the word 'here' is the clue.

I have lived and worked across the globe. While I agree some older cities have terrible traffic and space issues with some commitment these can be dealth with also. Look at Japan which has done a great job of adding roadway capacity by double decking inner city roads in many of their cities.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
AverageUser
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:41 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
I'd love to know of any transit systems that run at a profit.

If you're referring to the operator level, at least VR Group (Finland, State-owned) posted a net profit of EUR 66.4 million in 2007.

http://www.vrgroup.fi/index/VRGroup/Financialinformation.html

The infrastructure administration and managing maintenance is organized as a separate company, in accordance with the EU regulations:

http://www.rhk.fi/in_english/
 
sr117
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 26):
Look at Japan which has done a great job of adding roadway capacity by double decking inner city roads in many of their cities.

Japan also has a signifiant amount of it's population moving by public transport. There is absolutely no way that roads by themselves could meet Japan's transportation needs. The same will be true for China and is also true in the US (however given the exponential rate of growth in Chinese cities, it is much more obvious there).

The reason why public transport in LA is so inefficient is that the city itself is poorly laid out. With everything so spread out, it is very difficult for public transport to take you where you want to go in a competitive time frame. That is not the case in Hong Kong, Tokyo or Seoul, where taking the subway/tram in many cases is much faster than hopping on your car and dealing with parking/etc.
 
JRadier
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:56 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 26):
Look at Japan which has done a great job of adding roadway capacity by double decking inner city roads in many of their cities.

Although I haven't been to Japan (I will next month) I'd like to say you are contradicting yourself. Sure, there has been a lot of road construction in Japanese cities, but in addition to a public transport network. The Tokyo subway is vast and from what I read and see, it's damn busy. In addition to that, there is light rail, trains, busses etc.

You said:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):

I just see not justification for the need to burden all citizens to subsidize endless loss making transit systems into infinidum.

and

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
I'd love to know of any transit systems that run at a profit. Seems subways/trams/busses are nothing more then government sinking huge sums of tax payer money down a sewer.

The Tokyo Subway (Tokyo Metro & Toei) transports 7.8 million passengers a day with the busiest station being Ikebukuro Station at 492,000 passengers daily. That is not even counting all the other forms of public transport. Can you imagine what happens when everyone would get in a car? It is just not feasible.

Oh and about the cost aspect... although Toei keeps making a loss, Tokyo Metro had a yearly profit (2005) of 43.5 billion yens, which is $460 million at current exchange rates.

To wrap this up, I still think your point about public transport is moot. And by the way, Japan wasn't really a smart pick  Wink.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Metro
http://archive.japantoday.com/jp/feature/1055
http://www.xe.com
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:15 pm



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 26):

However the system is used only by mere 5.5% of all residents, but subsidized off the backs of 100% of residents. These monies including my gas taxes could be used much better for other things.

That's not because public transport is a bad idea. Public transport is a GREAT idea. Public transport LA-style is a bad idea.

The way you do it is you build mass transit between major centers in the city. And you do it WITHOUT referendums and popular votes because that's not how an efficient government works. You don't need consensus, you need expert city planners.

Once you have the transit there, transit-centered development will occur, leading to a feed-forward process by which transit encourages development, which encourages transit. This how Madrid did MetroSur, for example.

The big problem is that LA is very poorly laid out. The density is abysmally low for a city of that size. Everyone wants his own house with his own lawn and that's just not consistent with living in a city the size of LA.

Now, while you're busy trashing government support of public transport, may I ask you who you think should be running the national ATC system? Should it be totally free-market? I can see that leading to some serious climate change in the form of a vastly increased frequency of aluminum showers.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 26):
Look at Japan which has done a great job of adding roadway capacity by double decking inner city roads in many of their cities.

Tokyo also has one of the world's largest and busiest subway systems. Japan also has a national network of high-speed trains. All government-run.

Go ahead, pick another example of a major economic power that has as little spending per-capita on public transport as the U.S.

Spain? Nope.
Germany? Nope.
UK? Nope.
Netherlands? Nope.
Belgium? Nope.
France? Nope.

Even Canada and Australia invest more in public transport per capita than the U.S. does.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
JRadier
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:25 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
I can see that leading to some serious climate change in the form of a vastly increased frequency of aluminum showers.

I have to admit, you had me laughing!
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
rwsea
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:03 am



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
The billions that go into transit systems can be much better spent on actual road infrastructure then sunk into endless loss making transit systems.

The transit authority here has figured out that dollar for dollar each mile of concrete poured in new or expanded roads is far cheaper over its lifespan then running a transit system over that same mile.
For instance we are constantly having roads expanded from 3 to 4 lanes, freeways from 6 to 8 lanes in each direction etc.. those are all worthwhile projects along with bridges, tunnels, new traffic signal systems etc. And most of these cost are self funded via gasoline taxes from its users, and not a financial burden on others.

And for those that cant afford cars if there are enough of them free enterprise will undoubtably come up with private bus, shared ride van services that can transport these people.

I just see not justification for the need to burden all citizens to subsidize endless loss making transit systems into infinidum.

Why are transit systems supposed to pay for themselves, yet roads aren't? Are you suggesting that all roads are tolled in order to ensure that they turn a profit?
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:22 am



Quoting JRadier (Reply 29):
To wrap this up, I still think your point about public transport is moot

Not really.

As much as you guys want to espouse the point that the government as part of social responsibility needs to provide busses/subways etc.., I'm totally against that.

If private firms want to run busses, ride share van's etc -- that is great. Just not something government needs to pour money into.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
Everyone wants his own house with his own lawn

That's right. We don't want to live in concrete/steel high rise city.

We enjoy our space.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
And you do it WITHOUT referendums and popular votes because that's not how an efficient government works. You don't need consensus, you need expert city planners.

Speaking of votes, my vote is a big NO against the proposed California high speed rail network on this years ballot. Again something that should not have public financing.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
Now, while you're busy trashing government support of public transport, may I ask you who you think should be running the national ATC system?

As I have posted prior in a few threads here on A.net, I am a strong proponent of privatizing US ATC. -- that comes from my 20+ years experience in dealing with the current system.

Privatization has worked well in dozens of counties including Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, Switzerland etc...

Not only can we manage a more modern system, we can have one that works more efficiently and is better focused on the users instead of mired in government bureaucracy.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:27 am



Quoting RwSEA (Reply 32):
Why are transit systems supposed to pay for themselves, yet roads aren't? Are you suggesting that all roads are tolled in order to ensure that they turn a profit?

Funding for transportation infrastructure is directly from things such as gasoline taxes, state vehicle registrations etc.. So in essance, the end users do pay for them.

If you want to throw in more toll roads or bridges that is certainly OK to help finance or kick start new projects.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:35 am



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 33):

Speaking of votes, my vote is a big NO against the proposed California high speed rail network on this years ballot. Again something that should not have public financing.

What do you propose as an alternative?

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 33):

As I have posted prior in a few threads here on A.net, I am a strong proponent of privatizing US ATC. -- that comes from my 20+ years experience in dealing with the current system.

You misunderstand the difference between privatization and free market. Private ATC systems exist, but the government oversees everything. There is no market in private ATC management. You have no competition because competition between different private ATC companies would lead to mid-air collisions.

I'm a proponent of privatization, too. BUT not a completely free market. The government still built the Canadian ATC system and then handed it over to NAV CANADA. Similar histories exist in other privatized ATC systems. The remaining infrastructure, (airports) is still public.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 33):

As much as you guys want to espouse the point that the government as part of social responsibility needs to provide busses/subways etc.., I'm totally against that.

Again, you haven't stated why it's OK for roads, airports, and seaports to be provided by the government, but not rail. Why is rail getting singled out?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:03 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
What do you propose as an alternative?

Planes, cars work just fine for me to get around the state.

Don't need $80-90 Billion public debt to replicate a North-South connection which Southwest Airlines amongst others already provides quite satisfactorily

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
Again, you haven't stated why it's OK for roads, airports, and seaports to be provided by the government, but not rail. Why is rail getting singled out?

I have said it but maybe you have not caught it.

Airports are self sufficient - they charge users fees and cover their operating cost.

Roadways infrastructure for the most part is also similar - they get funding for gas taxes, vehicle registrations, or tolls.

Sure public bonds might be involved in the development, but those are paid off via the fees they generate.

Public transport however such as bus or subways are never ending budget blackholes that require constant financial support as the fees generated dont come close to covering the system cost.

So in other words the of users of airports, seaports, roadways pay their way, while for the bus subway lines it ends up burdening entire society for the benefit of a small percentage.
Now if you can charge something that would bring the system to breakeven or better then I would have no qualms.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 35):
There is no market in private ATC management.

Sure there is. I guess you dont know of the many private towers in the US.

At the end of the day, sure the FAA would have to regulate a system, but there is no reason why big companies like Boeing, Lockheed could not run the ATC system.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
BA
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:04 am



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 9):
What is the business case for any public transport?


I'd love to know of any transit systems that run at a profit. Seems subways/trams/busses are nothing more then government sinking huge sums of tax payer money down a sewer.

I'd rather see monies collected from things such as gasoline taxes and such go straight back by supporting infrastructure such as roads, bridges, then subsidizing loss making transit systems.

Since you're from So Cal, I can see why you have such a negative and pessimistic attitude towards public transit.

Unfortunately, the Greater LA area is probably one of the worst examples of city planning in this country with massive sprawl and a very high dependency on automobiles creating high congestion, energy consumption, and pollution. All this combined with the fact that the Greater LA area has one of the worst public transit systems in the country with an extremely limited subway and light-rail network making it almost worthless. Public transit in LA relies almost entirely on transit buses, as do most US cities outside the Northeast.

Hope I wasn't too harsh... On a positive note, the beaches south of LA in Orange County are pretty nice.  Smile

Having said all that, I strongly disagree with your views on public transport. Public transit systems are not supposed to be profit-making institutions and like any public infrastructure (roads included) requires public funding which comes from taxes. Having said that, an efficiently built and operated public transit system that is well utilized can be very cost efficient by coming close to covering its costs. Examples exist in Europe and I think ME AVN FAN is absolutely correct in regards to the public transit agencies in Switzerland which are among the best run in the world.

You criticize public transit systems for being loss making and yet forget that roads and bridges are also loss making. They require tax revenue to maintain them just as public transit systems require tax revenue. If they're not funded by taxes, they're funded by tolls.

Rail travel is significantly more efficient than road travel and is also much more reliable and consistent.

A two track commuter rail line can provide sufficient capacity for decades. As the population of a city grows and thus demand for transport grows, larger train consists can be used and frequencies can be increased with no to very few infrastructure changes (platform extensions). On the other hand, adding additional lanes to a freeway, which is extremely costly and sometimes not possible, provides little relative increase in capacity which is often reached within a few years of completion.

To give you an example, here in southeast Denver, I-25 was widened by one to two lanes in each direction back in 2006 after nearly six years of construction. While this section of the freeway is now much safer and more open, it was only a very short-term solution when it came to congestion as the congestion during rush hour can be pretty bad, only two years after construction was completed. During a winter storm or if there is an accident, rush hour congestion can become a nightmare.

A rail line on the other hand is unlikely to be affected by weather and the chance of facing any disruption is extremely low when compared to a freeway where a single car accident during rush hour can lead to massive gridlock. Going back to my southeast Denver example, the new light-rail line which runs parallel to the newly widened I-25 is virtually unaffected by weather and travel times are almost identical whether there is a winter blizzard or if it's a bright and sunny day. Usually, commute times during a winter blizzard may increase only a couple of minutes due to slightly earlier braking (in which sand is dispensed on the tracks to increase adhesion) and slightly slower acceleration. On the other hand, the commute on I-25 can be increased by a couple of hours with constant stop and go traffic averaging a speed between 10 and 20 mph.

The very automobile centric attitude of North America is unique in the developed world and it's also very inefficient. Many significantly less developed countries have superior public transit systems that are extremely efficient and convenient to use, Chile being a perfect example with its excellent subway system in Santiago.

Even our northern neighbor, Canada, invests more on public transport than we do. Vancouver has one of the best public transit systems in North America with its extremely efficient bus network and its automated rapid transit rail system called SkyTrain which is being expanded.

Europe and Japan have the best examples of public transport in the world, both intracity and intercity transport.

You claim to be well traveled, so I don't think I need to explain. You should know what I'm talking about.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:12 am



Quoting BA (Reply 36):
Since you're from So Cal

For the record I am not. I was born overseas and lived many years in various places including a decade in 4 European countries

I do however very much love the SoCal lifestyle including its urban sprawl and open spaces. Even with homes in other places, I doubt I could ever give this up.

Quoting BA (Reply 36):
Having said all that, I strongly disagree with your views on public transport

Which is totaly fine, and the beauty of being able to express our views on a site like this.

We each espouse to different things and live and vote according to those.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:12 am



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 33):

*First to say: no pun intended and
Second to say: maybe I would think differently living in greater LA*

What your way of seeing things is not considering is:

1) the social aspect
2) the environmental impact
3) sunken cost
4) the reality outside of the young US cities (despite your claim to have seen so much else)
5) the reality outside of your relatively rich living

to 1)

Don't really know why I repeat my foreposters but there definitely is a need for people with fewer money to be able to go from A to B. That is NOT done by having a car they cannot afford, not by taking a cab they cannot not afford, not by the sheer possibility of eventually growing private business for public transport after having built all roads to 6 or 8 lanes.

Not having public transport for reasonable prices will change the equation of social equity considerably for the benefit of the (relatively) wealthy.
Those poorer people NEED the public transport to go to work, to school, to do their shoppings and have their entertainment.
There is no way that not spending any money in public transport will by any means balance the negative impact on the total economy by making people unflexible and unmobile! (What is, just besides, the greatest asset of your times)

2)Not any problem on the planet is solved by constructing more lanes. As others have pointed out, more roads create more traffic rather than distribute it smarter. More traffic --> more pollution. I am by no means a "green" but if you've been to Europe, Asia or other places with more than thousands of years of history (as you claim you have been) you can see the cultural treasures literally rott in disgust of air pollution, sour rain and so on.
More lanes on highways are NOT the way to counter this. Nor will your lungs be happy.

3)Roads have the inherent weakness of not getting paid for directly in most of the cases. While I certainly appreciate it in every day life it is an economic, traffic organization and city planning disaster. The worst thing to happen to count the economic viability of anything is if you cannot dedicate the cost directly to the "product" (the consumer) for that matter.
After all, how can you be sure that with the (very low) gas tax in the US the cost, and I mean all of them, can be covered? How on contrary can you then argument any public transport should cover ALL their cost? Isn't road transportation one of the most subsidized fields of society?

4) As some have stated, the way of expanding the roads is by NO means the way to counter all traffic increase. Yes, in Japan two level roads have been built. Besides that it doesn't make the cities pittoresque, it just the only way to keep the traffic going, rather than to be a solution to it.
Ever been to Florence, by the way? Ever tried to add some lanes to the 2000 year old città vecchia? Or try Paris, London, or should I say every city in Europe and Asia?

5) I agree that if you have enough money, driving your car is the most comfortable way to transport yourself.
I myself love driving. Still, there are not just those who CAN afford. To be blunt I would venture to say there are more people NOT able to take their chic car everywhere everyday.
Those are people with needs after all, aren't they? Transportation is one of it. And I can tell you, nothing better than take every train, bus, ferry, subway in whole Hamburg for the price of 40€ monthly. Have used my car only twice per month recently. Certainly not because I love going by bus, but because its the most economic and free-of-stress way of getting anywhere in this beautiful city, whether I am drunk, going to work, for sports, just for every situation likewise.
 
FruteBrute
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:16 am



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
I'm all for cars. - provides much more flexibility then a static bus/train network.



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 20):
I just see not justification for the need to burden all citizens to subsidize endless loss making transit systems into infinidum.



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 12):
At least here in the US government funnel billions into various metropolitan transit systems with fares only covering a small portion of the operating expenses.


LMAO! And some wonder why LA has become a smog covered shit hole.

Gasoline taxes and fees don't go to mass transit. Sorry but gasoline taxes don't even cover the highways that need to be built and get built. It's subsidized by the govt. Give me a break. Building more and more highways to be ever more clogged so people can move to the middle of nowhere to buy some cookie cutter McCrapbox-house on 1/3 of an acre is unsustainable. Gas taxes would need to raise at least another $ .40 per gallon to begin to pay for the road work we do, and then rise 5 to 8 cents per gallon each year thereafter. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1954266/posts

So show me this "ROI" on roads you seem to be such a big proponent of measuring other transit systems by.

Lemme guess, you are voting against the ballot initiative for high-speed rail this election.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:46 am



Quoting FruteBrute (Reply 40):
And some wonder why LA has become a smog covered shit hole.

Maybe shit hole for you - but paradise to many. I could say the same about NYC which I detest after working there for 5 years, but many others love.

And smog -- its actualy less smog in LA today, then there was 25 years ago even with a near doubling of the population (and all their cars).

The air actualy has improved so much thats since 2004 there has not be a single day where a Stage 1 air qaulity health advisory was issued -- for referece in 1998 there were 12, 1988 - 77, 1978 - 116!

Quoting FruteBrute (Reply 40):
Lemme guess, you are voting against the ballot initiative for high-speed rail this election.

You got it.  bigthumbsup  NO.

Dont need $80-90Bil in added public debt for something that is well served by airlines, or reachable by car already. (you dying for a train experience? Amtrak can connect you up and down the State already)
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 1:53 am



Quoting FruteBrute (Reply 40):
Lemme guess, you are voting against the ballot initiative for high-speed rail this election.

Yes, he stated that somewhere above Big grin
 
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LTU932
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:23 am



Quoting Flexo (Reply 16):
So from what I gathered sort of between the lines of your post, you would think of a tram as a system that offers greater capacity than busses and should be built where the speed and cost of a subway would still be unjustified but busses can't cope?

A tram would be, capacity wise, more flexible than a bus, this is an advantage that it got from the heavy-rail S-Bahn and the tram's non-roadbound sister U-Bahn. Just like with the S-Bahn and U-Bahn, you can use a certain amount of cars during certain times of day, including multitraction cars during the rush hour. That would simply be impossible with buses. Thus you can combine the convenience of a rail system with the road infrastructure which is usually easier to modify.

And also, I never said that the costs of an U-Bahn or S-Bahn are not justifiable, all I'm saying is that it's simply too expensive, especially if you build tunnels for it, even though more U-Bahn lines would do a lot of good to Hamburg, as long as they are not lines that do lots of linesharing all the time. And since Hamburg is chronically out of money and yet barely afford things such as the Elbphilharmonie and the U4 (which is more of a prestige object, because from Jungfernstieg on heading east, it shares lines with the U2), a cheaper solution (which does NOT include the Elste-Bahn) can, if properly planned, be better, but as I said, the biggest obstacle for a tram in Hamburg is both SPD, people such as Günter Elste, and in the past also Daimler. If Hamburg can afford an oddball route such as the U4, why the hell can't it afford a low-floor single system tram?
 
aviationmaster
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:34 am



Quoting BA (Reply 36):
The very automobile centric attitude of North America is unique in the developed world and it's also very inefficient.

 checkmark   checkmark  and again  checkmark 

Couldn't have said it better myself.

IMO we wouldn't be having this discussion right now, if there had always been a constant investment in a functioning public transportation system in most major US cities. The longer you neglect PT infrastructure, the more its going to cost and the harder it will be to implement once a real necessity for it were to arise down the road.
 
FruteBrute
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:54 am



Quoting AviationMaster (Reply 44):
IMO we wouldn't be having this discussion right now, if there had always been a constant investment in a functioning public transportation system in most major US cities. The longer you neglect PT infrastructure, the more its going to cost and the harder it will be to implement once a real necessity for it were to arise down the road.

I couldn't agree more. Eisenhower got the highway spending enacted by calling it a "defense project", much like Reagan got our GPS system funded by calling it a defense project. Americans and especially those of the radical right wing sickness, can be hoodwinked into paying for anything, and any amount if you badge it as a defense spending measure and "patriotic" via rhetoric and spin.

As I mentioned before our Federal gas taxes need to raise by at least $ .40 per gallon to cover the costs of highways, much less state taxes. However, what really needs to be taken into account is the hundreds of billions we have to spend in the middle east on our defense budget, just to keep the flow of oil coming. Gas prices really should have a defense tax added onto them. Most estimates are anywhere from a few cents to well over a dollar with a rough median around $ .15 per gallon. Again even this doesn't cover the costs of higher health care and respiratory issues due to smog caused by vehicles. So the true costs of a gallon of gasoline adding all of these things in should be $1 per gallon higher in taxes just to break even, and raise by $ .10 per annum.

We saw what $4.50 a gallon gasoline did to BFE LA suburbs. The economy collapses. Now, add another $1 per gallon to that.


http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Oil_watch/RealCost_GallonGas.html

http://www.rff.org/Publications/WPC/...ctingOil_PersianGulf_Delucchi.aspx

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...5=5de3030fa1a24c988a3c2b7074322098

http://www.countercurrents.org/klare090508.htm
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:04 am



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 41):

Dont need $80-90Bil in added public debt for something that is well served by airlines, or reachable by car already. (you dying for a train experience? Amtrak can connect you up and down the State already)

When was the last time you flew up and down the coast?

The last time I did the flight was delayed for 90 minutes both ways because of air traffic.

When was the last time you drove the I-5? I did in August. It was congested.

The population of California is going to grow by at least 10 million in the next 20 years. What do you propose to ease that congestion?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:23 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 46):
When was the last time you flew up and down the coast?

Couple weeks back. Do it again next week.

Generaly I've had very good experiences except into SFO during winter months when its raining. But OAK, SJC, SMF no real issues.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 46):
When was the last time you drove the I-5? I did in August. It was congested.

In September. Again would not say it was any worse then I expected.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 46):
The population of California is going to grow by at least 10 million in the next 20 years. What do you propose to ease that congestion?

If you recall only last year voters approved Arnold's $200bil 10 year broad transportation infrastructure plan and bond measure.

We dont need this additional huge money project that only buys a train line that will only be used by a small minority of Californians. (and that is per their own ridership estimates)
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:37 am



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 47):


We dont need this additional huge money project that only buys a train line that will only be used by a small minority of Californians. (and that is per their own ridership estimates)

I think the ridership is horribly underestimated. It will REPLACE air travel between SF and LA. It will be on time >99% of the time. And it will be far more pleasant and cheaper than air travel.

High-Speed Rail is in service or is being installed in just about every other industrialized nation. And in ZERO of those nations has it been a private venture.

Why is the U.S. so special? We neither invented democracy nor capitalism, so get off that horse. Fact is that California has a population density similar to that of any European country with a similar number of metropolitan centers. And to make our situation even easier, they're all lined up in two nice rows, one down the Central Valley and the other down the coast. We're the IDEAL set-up for HSR.

But you're more into your ideology than doing something that's actually going to take us through this century. I voted for it.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
LAXintl
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RE: Trams - What Is The Business Case?

Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:33 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 48):
I think the ridership is horribly underestimated. It will REPLACE air travel between SF and LA. It will be on time >99% of the time. And it will be far more pleasant and cheaper than air travel.

Well the ridership estimates are what they are an I suppose determined by lots of smart folks that look at things such as this.

For replacing or hurting air travel much -- I dont think that will quite happen and here is why. (Much of my info is based on a very well respected Texas based airline who did a study last year)

1) LAX-SFO airline distance is 337 miles. Normally highspeed rail is optimum and can successfully reduce air services in markets <250miles. The proposed routing of the service is closer to 425 miles in distance due to a wavering route in the Central Valley and a East vs West Bay conundrum. This adds critical time.

2) Consumer air to rail switch experience in Europe is different then what expected in CA primarily due to the cost of fares of the two services. Intercity trains in Europe very much faced high fare and often inflexible state airlines, not the type of price flexible and market responsive carriers such as SWA for instance.
Current proposed rail SF to LA economy fare is $110/rt -- this is not much different then today airlines while rail takes almost exactly 3hrs. Its also estimate airline pricing particuarly discount fares will not rise much while rail pricing will surely be more in 10 years if its ever built.

So based on the estimate for this airline - the CA high speed train will neither much appeal to the cost conscious traveler as airfares can be had for the same price not providing any huge savings if at all, nor to particularly the business traveler as the time in transit is just a little too long to overcome airport wait times, neutralizing rails incentive also. With large urban sprawl in places like LA, odds are the person will need some travel time to either get to the airport or train station so any benefits of city-city/door-door appeal is equalized leaving only the airport wait time and transit time whcih for air is quicker.

Lastly dont under estimate the marketing abilities of airlines in a dynamic market such as California. Between all types of poential fare incentives, they can throw out all types of carrots to FF'ers to keep them coming back.

Also since we're talking about this and I've heard some people refer to Amtrak in the Northeast. On needs to remember that the Acela experience is amongst two much closer cities 184 and 214 miles from NYC. LA-SF is double those thanks to the non direct route.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California

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