from David Nunez’ site:
(in response to the typical “we have to pass this now, it’s our only hope for light rail in the future” argument):
Commuter rail PRECLUDES light rail.
It’s a nice fantasy that if we get commuter rail passed, we can go back and get light rail down Lamar/Guadalupe. The problem is that even CM isn’t hinting at that anymore because they know it’s not practical.
- You couldn’t put LRT on its original ’00 alignment (up Guadalupe/Lamar to Airport and then following existing track to the northwest) because commuter rail is ALREADY THERE.
- You couldn’t CROSS these tracks without turning Lamar/Airport into a nightmare. Thus, you aren’t going to be able to run light rail further up Lamar.
- If you run LRT from JUST Lamar/Airport to the downtown area, you’re losing 1/2 of the residential component of the ’00 line (FOLKS, LISTEN TO ME: MOST CAR DRIVERS WILL _NOT_ ACCEPT A TRANSIT TRIP IF IT INVOLVES TRANSFERS – NOT EVEN TO OTHER RAIL LINES). You also lose the connection between the two UT campuses which would have provided an automatic hundreds-of-passengers-per-day.
I can’t be any more clear here: Vote on ASG. Don’t vote on phantom light-rail which Capital Metro won’t even hint at anymore – they originally called Rapid Bus a “placeholder” for rail, but they have since removed this language.
ALL you will get with this vote is the starter line – running from Leander to the Convention Center. NO STREETCARS. NO RAIL DOWN MOPAC. This is IT.
(now, in response to a section which talked about Dallas’ combination of commuter rail from Fort Worth, DART light rail, and a heritage streetcar):
Your example, Dallas:
- They built DART _FIRST_. It ran from suburbs into downtown and stopped within walking distance of most riders’ final destinations.
- They had a streetcar running for other purposes; and only AFTER building DART did anybody use the streetcar for anything other than tourism; even then it’s an extension to a part of town which isn’t traditionally office-oriented.
- Commuter rail was added AFTER the light-rail urban spine.
Compare and contrast to Austin.
We’re contemplating building the commuter line first, and requiring that people get on shuttle buses to get to their offices. Not to go to bars, or football games, as with the Dallas lines.
Dallas commuters get on light-rail to go to work; very few daily workers use commuter rail there. The same will be true here – people who can drive will be willing to hop on a shuttle bus if it’s to a UT game or to 6th St., but if you have to do that as part of your DAILY WORK COMMUTE, it’s a deal-killer.
This is not conjecture, folks. This is what happened in South Florida with a system that couldn’t be any more identical to Capital Metro’s proposal.