On Mon, 8 Nov 2004, John Birrenbach wrote:
LRT is very nice idea to bring people in and get them off the Interstates. But you have to do it smartly kinda like Chicago does. Pick a point (Union Station) and have all your communter trains from the burbs converge there, then it's just a matter of picking up either another train or a bus to reach your local destination. No where do Trolly's fit into a picture of a ever changing transit system needs.

John, there's always the possibility that the larger number of people (thanks, Charlie!) that a streetcar carries, plus some big savings in operational costs since they are electric, would be justified once the main commuter rail was up and operating. Certainly, we should get things going with buses and learn a bit what has happened to the patterns of people moving first. But eventually streetcars may be a good idea. And if someone could convince me that they were a draw in and of themsevles as a novelty, that could also be another point.

But yes, anytime people say, "Here a technology that will solve your transportation needs!" it's important to ask, "What problem does this actually solve?" To me, nothing is more important than to meet the needs of the passengers. That will require trying things much more than the eternal planning we do, and trying things out means that we have to keep the costs low so we can afford some level of failure, IMHO.

Erik Hare      [EMAIL PROTECTED]      http://home.comcast.net/~wabbitoid/
Irvine Park, West End, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, North America, Earth

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