> Of all that was posted, why would rail specifically > be needed to handle them? > What are the roadblocks for the current bus system to satisfying all those > situations?
I think we are all in the prelimiary stages of considering this alternative for some key areas - I am personally holding open the possibility that a streetcar is not always the best solution. Which is I'm glad we're able to spell out both sides - pro and con, and let neighborhoods come to terms with the possibilities themselves. That said, you raise a key question: why rail, and not bus? Based on what I know from other cities, there is a dramatically larger preference for rail transit over bus service. When rail service is added to bus service in specific corridors, ridership clearly increases, even if it roughly mirrors past bus service. It's still early, but the Hiawatha line provides some guidance. Whether it is the smooth ride, faster service, or some simple cultural attitude, the evidence I have seen is that people just prefer rail. Further, streetcars can carry more riders per employee, and thus has operational efficiencies. And though the initial capital costs are greater than for busses, rail cars are designed to last decades - often fifty or more years, whereas busses last only about a decade. Charlie touched on these points in an earlier post. I think it is fair to say that current transit service in my hypothetical corrdior doesn't live up to its potential. Namely, the #63 that serves Grand Avenue runs only every half hour at night and every half hour to hour on weekends. As a result, bars run separate shuttles along the same route to the Xcel Center. And as a result, many people along the line just don't get into the routine of using transit for evening entertainment-related trips. Once you get to the point where you have rides every 10 minutes or so, and don't need a schedule, ridership goes up dramatically. People come to expect that service from rail, which is probably part of its draw. And as my last post described, the potential is huge. Anyway I think the conversation has begun, and that's great! Just my opinion, Bob Spaulding Downtown Resident _____________________________________________ To Join: St. Paul Issues Forum Rules Discussion Email: [EMAIL PROTECTED] _____________________________________________ St. Paul Topics - This Week: Light Rail http://www.mnforum.org/mailman/listinfo/stpaul-topics _____________________________________________ NEW ADDRESS FOR LIST: [EMAIL PROTECTED] To subscribe, modify subscription, or get your password - visit: http://www.mnforum.org/mailman/listinfo/stpaul Archive Address: http://www.mnforum.org/mailman/private/stpaul/