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arbeiter Nov 16, 2007 1:19 AM

ACTIVITY OVERVIEW
September 2007

Passenger Activity: Total passenger traffic for September 2007 was 704,861, up 5.5% compared to September 2006. September 2007 enplanements totaled 359,359, up 6.5%. Southwest Airlines passengers totaled 233,385, down 0.2% compared to September 2006; American Airlines passengers totaled 190,733, up 3%; Continental Airlines passengers totaled 79,146, down 8%; Delta Air Lines (including SkyWest Airlines, Shuttle America, and Atlantic Southeast Airlines) passengers totaled 57,974, up 15.5%; United Airlines (including SkyWest and Mesa) passengers totaled 37,759, down 11%; ExpressJet totaled 22,506; Northwest Airlines (including Pinnacle Airlines) passengers totaled 22,337, up 15.5%; U.S. Airways (including Mesa) passengers totaled 22,078, up 10%; JetBlue Airways passengers totaled 19,607, up 11%; Frontier Airlines passengers totaled 15,988, up 21%; Aeromexico totaled 1,582.

September 2007 air cargo totaled 18,441,931 lbs., down 3.5% compared to September 2006. International air cargo totaled 382,443 lbs., up 20%. Federal Express carried 9 million lbs., down 12%; ABX Air, Inc. carried 3.4 million lbs., up 18.5%; and United Parcel Service carried 2.6 million lbs., down 2%.

Air Services transferred 445,512 lbs. of mail, down 0.80%; and 1.8 million lbs. of belly freight, down 17%.

Aircraft Operations: General Aviation operations totaled 7,233, down .80%. Combined operations (including Commercial and military) totaled 19,574, down 8.5%.

January – September 2007 Year-to-Date

Passenger Activity: Total passenger traffic for January – September YTD was 6,637,365, up 7.5% compared to January – September 2006. January – September 2007 enplanements totaled 3,399,273, up 8%. Southwest Airlines passengers totaled 2,253,799, up 3.5%; American Airlines (including Trans States Airlines) passengers totaled 1,800,912, up 5%; Continental Airlines passengers totaled 769,180, up 3%; Delta Air Lines (including SkyWest Airlines, Shuttle America, and Atlantic Southeast Airlines) passengers 617,518, up 31%; United Airlines (including SkyWest, and Mesa) passengers totaled 321,083, down 12%; U.S. Airways (including Mesa) passengers totaled 211,978, up 6%; Northwest Airlines (including Pinnacle Airlines) passengers totaled 184,342, up 0.8%; JetBlue Airways passengers totaled 180,117, up 10%; Frontier Airlines passengers totaled 164,922, up 21%. ExpressJet totaled 108,356 passengers. Aeromexico totaled 20,754 passengers.

September YTD (January – September 2007) air cargo totaled 155,408,166 lbs., down 9%. International air cargo totaled 3,640,627 lbs., up 17%. Federal Express carried 78.7 million lbs., down 13%; ABX Air, Inc. carried 26 million lbs., down 0.1%; and United Parcel Service carried 24.2 million lbs., up 7%.

Air Services transferred 3,243,778 lbs., of mail, down 38% and 17,457,737 million lbs., of belly freight, up .35%.

Aircraft Operations: General Aviation operations totaled 54,823 for January – September YTD, down 9%. Combined operations (including Commercial and military) totaled 157,803, down .57%.

JAM Nov 16, 2007 2:08 PM

Transportation Department plans major cutbacks
 
Agency says federal cuts, lagging revenue provide barely enough cash to keep current projects going.


By Ben Wear
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Friday, November 16, 2007

No, really, we're running out of money, Texas Department of Transportation officials said Thursday. And to address the situation and prove the point, Deputy Executive Director Steve Simmons told the Texas Transportation Commission he has five steps in mind:

Reduce the agency's fiscal 2008 consulting engineering budget by 57 percent, or about $250 million. "I suspect the engineering community will react negatively" to this, Simmons told the commission at its monthly meeting. Which might have the effect of getting engineers, who have some stroke at the Capitol, to pressure the Legislature for more money.

Cut the budget for right-of-way purchases from $500 million to $275 million. If you have no money to build future projects, Simmons said, why buy land for them?

Require approval at the Austin state headquarters of all purchases by the department's regional districts, "from dump trucks to asphalt to paper clips," Simmons said.

Reduce the agency's research budget by 50 percent in fiscal 2009. This could affect the Texas Transportation Institute, which is at Texas A&M. State Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, the Senate Finance Committee chairman and thus one of two legislators with the greatest influence on the Transportation Department's budget, is an Aggie.

Institute a hiring freeze, with exceptions to be granted only with the personal approval of Executive Director Amadeo Saenz. Saenz was not at the commission meeting Thursday because of knee surgery.

James Bass, the agency's chief financial officer, speaking before Simmons, continued a recurrent theme by agency officials in recent months, arguing that despite a flood of cash in recent years from a bump in federal transportation money, more than $9 billion borrowed through two new debt funds and a $3.3 billion check soon to come from the North Texas Tollway Authority, the agency is barely meeting its daily and monthly cash-flow needs.

Basically, Bass said, all but a smidgen of the $9 billion has been committed to projects either under way or soon to start. The $3.3 billion, money the toll authority is giving the state for the right to build and operate the Texas 121 tollway, can be used only for projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And virtually all of the agency's normal cash flow from gas taxes and fees, Bass said, is being used up on current needs. The U.S. government, which has already taken back $666 million in promised funds for Texas, is eying another $1 billion over the next year or two.

The bottom line, as the agency said a couple of months ago, is that there will be no new money for adding lanes and new highways starting next year, though projects under way would continue. There have even been months recently, Bass said, when the agency would have gone in the red if it didn't have the authority to borrow short term to plug cash-flow holes.

It is unclear which projects in Central Texas might be affected.


Find this article at:
http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...1116txdot.html

JAM Nov 25, 2007 9:07 PM

On-time, on-budget' claim for rail questionable
 
Cap Metro not counting many expenses related to commuter system, and originally, opening in 2008 was set a half-year earlier.

By Ben Wear
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Sunday, November 25, 2007

Is Capital Metro's commuter rail project on time and on budget, as agency officials have said repeatedly over the past several months?

On time, maybe. Capital Metro's estimated opening date of fall 2008 is about a half-year after the original estimate. And hitting the current target date depends on a couple of late-starting stations getting under way soon and the Federal Railroad Administration approving a key permit allowing freight and passenger trains to share the track.

Whether it's on budget depends on who is doing the counting and what they count. Capital Metro estimates that the project will come in right at $90 million, which is the sum of the $60 million project cost trumpeted to voters in 2004 and another $30 million that Capital Metro said at the time it would spend on six rail cars.

But Capital Metro, in hitting that $90 million target for the 32-mile line from Leander to downtown Austin, is not counting as project costs significant expenditures that either grew out of the commuter rail project or will directly benefit the operation.

Taken together, these off-book costs — for items such as park-and-ride lots at stations, consultants advising the agency on "commuter rail startup," shuttle buses devoted to ferrying customers to and from the stations and other sizable items — total more than $33 million.

And on the revenue side, Capital Metro fell another $30 million short when it decided not to seek federal grants that it had told voters would be part of the funding package. Seeking the money would have delayed the project, and such grants have become much harder to land in recent years. That money instead had to come out of local taxes and fares.

"So they're already $30 million in the hole," said John Lewis, an Austin real estate investor who supported the commuter rail initiative in 2004 after opposing a light rail plan in 2000. "They're trying to lay off all the cost of the park-and-rides. And that's not realistic or being honest with the taxpayers."

Not so, say top Capital Metro officials.

Some of the expenditures in question, including two of the park-and-ride lots that currently serve bus riders, began before the 2004 election. Other items they charge wholly or mostly to the freight rail operation that has run for years on the same tracks where passenger trains will be. In other cases, they say that because the original $90 million estimate did not include a particular type of expenditure — the shuttle buses, for instance — it is not legitimate to include it in the accounting now.

"If we didn't get rail, we were going to build the park-and-ride lots anyway," said Fred Gilliam, Capital Metro's CEO and general manager. "When we developed the budget (for building commuter rail), it did not include the buses. At that point, there was not a perceived need to include all those things."

Austin City Council Member Brewster McCracken, who has filled one of the city's two spots on the Capital Metro board since June 2006, said the agency has had what he considers an excessive focus on staying at or below $90 million for the project.

"At times it seems that Capital Metro engages in accounting gymnastics to try to say that something is not a commuter rail expense," McCracken said. "But these are investments that are extremely necessary to make the commuter rail system succeed."

Less expensive rail plan won favor

To understand the significance of the $60 million-plus-the-train-cars figure, you have to go back to 2000.

That year, Capital Metro put a 52-mile light rail system before voters at a cost of $1.9 billion. Many of those miles would have been on city streets, taking away car lanes or sharing them with vehicles. The ballot issue failed by a couple of thousand votes.

Then Capital Metro came back four years later and said it could build a 32-mile line on existing off-street rail for what seemed, in contrast, a negligible cost: $60 million.

That number — just 3.1 percent of the 2000 estimate — was much publicized, while the $30 million cost of the cars was typically grouped in as annual lease payments that would be part of operating expenses. Politically, $60 million was a potent number — combine it with the cars, and you're still dealing with eight figures, not nine — and the commuter rail initiative passed with 62 percent of the vote.

Most people probably had no idea what components were wrapped up in that $60 million.

Asked now for a copy of the $60 million cost estimate, Capital Metro provided a 2004 document with just five categories: track work, a rail car maintenance facility, right of way, stations and program management. The five items add up to $60 million. There was no money set aside as a contingency.

But, as typically happens in any government project that takes four years from estimate to fruition, there were unexpected costs for commuter rail: an extra $5 million for the Swiss-manufactured cars, some of that due to the falling value of the dollar versus the euro; $6.9 million for an overpass at the intersecting Union Pacific rail line to avoid delays for commuters; about $10 million for management and environmental work rather than the $6 million program management estimate; $6.5 million for a permanent maintenance facility (and another $2.1 million for related materials) rather than the $2.4 million temporary facility in the pre-election estimate.

And construction costs in general have seen double-digit inflation each year since 2004.

With no contingency, and those unexpected costs as well as others, hitting the $60 million/$90 million target would have required either extraordinary cost cutting or, some say, creative accounting.

"If you're both smart and honest, you build a contingency into your budget because you're going to have unexpected and unintended costs," said Peck Young, a retired Austin political consultant who advised many governments seeking to pass bonds for projects and who now serves on a committee overseeing the Austin school district's 2005 bond program.

If the costs do exceed the target on a project, Young said, that can be difficult in subsequent elections. But "fudging your numbers," he said, is even worse.

"Pretending that an overrun isn't an overrun, if it's sound and it's publicized, is a death knell," Young said. "To me, it's not only dishonest, which it is obviously; it's also stupid."

Some costs shifted to freight lines

Gilliam, asked why several items are not in the agency's list of commuter rail expenditures, defended each decision. He said the agency had no intention to mislead anyone about the project's cost.

Among the items at issue:

Park-and-ride lots. When the rail line opens in fall 2008, there will be large parking lots at the three most outlying stations: Leander, Lakeline and Howard/MoPac.

The Lakeline lot opened in January 2004, months before the commuter rail election but long after the agency had made it clear it would like to have passenger rail running on the existing freight line. The lot was built far away from any development at the time but right by the railroad. However, the lot has now been in use for almost four years by bus commuters, giving credence to the agency's decision not to allocate its $8 million cost to the rail project.

As for the Leander park-and-ride — price tag: $7.4 million — Capital Metro bought the land and then awarded the construction contract two months before the 2004 election, all of this occurring during planning for commuter rail.

And the Leander lot, when it opened this spring, replaced a rental lot at a church on Crystal Falls Parkway, two miles closer to Austin, meaning some bus commuters now have to go in the opposite direction from their ultimate destination to get to it.

The 600-space lot, which on a recent Tuesday midmorning was less than 20 percent full, is right alongside the railroad at the station on the line's northernmost point. Capital Metro in 2004 said it probably would cancel several express bus routes in the area when commuter rail began, meaning that the lot would then almost exclusively serve train passengers.

Randy Hume, the agency's chief financial officer, now says that is not necessarily the case. "We'll still run some express buses, but I don't know the exact number," he said.

As for the Howard/MoPac lot, Capital Metro is still in negotiations to acquire the land at the corner of Howard Lane and the Loop 1 tollway, McCracken said.

Even in that case, Gilliam and Hume said, the $3.5 million cost should not be assigned to the commuter rail project because it will also serve bus routes.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit, which has numerous park-and-ride lots alongside light rail stations on the 11-year-old system, includes the entire expense of the lots in its rail projects, spokesman Jeff Hampton said. And Houston Metro likewise included the cost of its huge Fannin park-and-ride lot in the $324 million construction cost of the project, said spokeswoman Raequel Roberts.

"The cost includes the tracks, the stations and the parking," Hampton said. "The stations and lots were planned as part of the big picture, and we knew before construction which ones were going to be part of it."

Transit-oriented development. The agency has spent or budgeted more than $6 million to encourage development of shops, offices and multifamily residences adjacent to the commuter rail stations, including hiring several staff members and consultants.

Such developments, rail advocates routinely assert, can sprout up only near rail stations, not bus stops, because then the developer can be assured that the transit option will not move later.

Gilliam said this isn't a commuter rail cost.

"In the early part of 2004, (transit-oriented development) was not nearly the buzz word it is today," Gilliam said. "It was only after the election that a lot of this started picking up."

But the agency in the months before the election hired Hank Dittmar, author of a book on transit-oriented development, to advise it on the subject, paid part of consultant (and former Capital Metro board member) Scott Polikov's fee for advising Leander on transit-oriented development and named staff member John Hodges as interim manager of transit-oriented development. The City of Austin, working with Capital Metro, before the election began development of an ordinance for such "transit villages."

The agency this year, in its fiscal 2008 capital budget, set aside $1.7 million for "commuter rail startup." Despite being listed as capital, that $1.7 million is an operating cost, not a commuter rail project cost, Capital Metro said.

Agency officials earlier this fall recommended building several miles of chain-link fence alongside the rail line for about $380,000, saying that the fast, relatively quiet commuter trains would be more dangerous for pedestrians than stodgier freight trains that already use the tracks. They raised the specter of iPod-wearing schoolkids, earphones in place, crossing the tracks and failing to perceive the new trains approaching.

Not a commuter cost, Gilliam said in an interview. "I think it's more for the freight because of the speed of the freight is increasing," he said. "On the commuter, they can stop faster."

North Austin Operations and Maintenance Center. The agency had originally intended to put a temporary rail maintenance center on its property by the track in Cedar Park, estimating it would cost $2.4 million. Midstream, Capital Metro decided to put it instead on a new facility it was building for bus maintenance off Burnet Road north of U.S. 183.

The agency spent about $19 million buying that land, knocking down existing buildings and altering nearby roads, and the rail operation will use more than 11 percent of the land area. The agency is allocating none of those costs to commuter rail.

Freight allocations. Capital Metro is allocating to commuter rail 25 percent of $6.8 million spent on traffic control devices on the line, a system meant to keep trains — freight or passenger — from crashing into each other.

On a typical weekday, there will be about 20 commuter train runs a day on the line. Right now, no more than six freight trains a day run on any given stretch of the 32-mile run. That will increase soon to eight a day, the agency said.

Asked about allocating 75 percent of this cost to freight, Hume said that the freight trains are much longer — 100 cars or more — and much heavier than the single-car commuter trains.

The agency also is attributing to commuter rail just $178,000 of the $5.4 million it is spending on so-called quad gates, which are considered safer because they have four arms that come down to block traffic rather than the typical two. Quad gates also, under federal law, can allow engineers to pass a street crossing without blowing the train horn. The agency had installed a handful of the special gates in 2004 but will put in many more now.

On a typical day, those gates will come down many more times for a commuter train than they will for a freight train.

Nonetheless, installing the gates, Gilliam said, "benefits freight more it than benefits commuter."

Rail's opening awaits Swiss cars

As it turns out, the on-time claim for the commuter rail project is also open to question.

Capital Metro has been saying for a couple of years that the line will open in the fall of 2008. That's still their estimate.

Capital Metro spokesman Adam Shaivitz acknowledged that before the election, the agency was saying it would take three years after voter approval to begin service. By that measure, the commuter trains should be running right now.

But after the election the agency found that, in particular, getting the cars designed, built, delivered and tested would take longer than thought earlier.

The first two of six cars, built in Switzerland, were delivered only a few weeks ago, and the last of them won't hit Austin for several months. Given that, the opening estimate was moved back to fall 2008.

"From our perspective," Shaivitz said, "that's on time."

Find this article at:
http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...5railcost.html

JAM Nov 27, 2007 4:05 PM

When truck stopped traffic, Austin mayor "spewed a fog of profanity"
 
When truck stopped traffic, Austin mayor "spewed a fog of profanity"
Wynn says he was angry at interruption of morning rush-hour


By Tony Plohetski
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When he saw a construction truck blocking traffic on West Fifth Street one morning last month, Austin Mayor Will Wynn walked to the site, told the work crews who he was — and then let loose.

According to Wynn and tapes from a call to the city's 311 non-emergency number that were released Monday, the mayor told the construction workers at the Monarch apartments site that they had better be obeying city ordinances, have proper work permits and be insured.

He also ordered the project's superintendent not to let the driver of the truck leave until Austin police officers showed up.

"I spewed a fog of profanity that is still floating down Shoal Creek someplace," Wynn said. "I'm sorry if my language offended (the construction workers') sensibilities."

In a call to 311, the construction superintendent described Wynn as "threatening."

Wynn, who has pushed for more housing downtown, said he was upset because "thousands" of motorists were inconvenienced by the Oct. 11 incident at Fifth and West Avenue.

The mayor said he was returning from taking his daughters to school when he encountered the backup but eventually maneuvered through traffic to park at his home in the Austin City Lofts, across from the 29-story Monarch.

He started on foot toward City Hall but stopped at the construction site for about five minutes for the impromptu meeting.

During the City Council meeting that day, Wynn, who has proposed a rail system that would serve downtown to ease traffic congestion, also apologized to drivers who were stuck in traffic and said he would propose an ordinance that would limit the hours that large trucks could enter parts of downtown, particularly during rush hour.

"Had that truck driver waited, perhaps 45 minutes, simply pulled onto West Avenue, cooled his heels for an hour at most, the bulk of traffic would have been dispersed," Wynn said during the meeting.

The driver of the truck could not be reached for comment Monday. The construction site's superintendent declined to comment.

It was unclear how long the truck was blocking traffic or what it was hauling.

The superintendent was identified in a police report only as Tim.

According to the audiotape, he told the 311 operator that he "had an incident with none other than Mayor Will Wynn himself."

"He took exception with us backing a truck on our site and had quite a few words for me," the superintendent said. "And he told me not to let this truck driver leave until the police showed up."

The call-taker transferred him to a 911 dispatcher, who told the superintendent that she saw no record of anyone else calling police.

"Ma'am, could you please send an officer over here so I can tell him my story and I can let this truck driver go?" he asked. "The mayor of Austin told me not to let him go until I talked to a policeman."

The Austin Police Department also received complaints about blocked traffic on Fifth Street that were phoned directly to Chief Art Acevedo's office, but it was unclear from audiotapes and written reports who placed those calls.

Wynn said he had an aide get in touch with police.

Officers eventually showed up and warned the driver that he would be cited if he blocked traffic again.

Wynn said he decided not to propose an ordinance after officials told him that current city laws apply to motorists who block traffic.

tplohetski@statesman.com; 445-3605

Find this article at:
http://www.statesman.com/news/conten.../1127wynn.html

RobDSM Nov 27, 2007 7:39 PM

I heard the superintendent's 311 call this morning on the radio, pretty funny. :haha:

I'm not really familiar with the site. Does anyone know exactly what happened? Is there not enough room on site for a truck to pull in, or did the driver just decide not to and blocked 5th street instead? Like they were saying on the radio, shutting down a major thoroughfare at rush hour due to a traffic fatality is one thing, but because of a construction delivery--man, they need to prevent messes like that. It's hard enough to get in and out of downtown without shutting down one of the primary routes for 45 minutes. They said it backed all the way up onto Mopac. :(

paulsjv Nov 27, 2007 10:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobDSM (Post 3190997)
I heard the superintendent's 311 call this morning on the radio, pretty funny. :haha:

I'm not really familiar with the site. Does anyone know exactly what happened? Is there not enough room on site for a truck to pull in, or did the driver just decide not to and blocked 5th street instead? Like they were saying on the radio, shutting down a major thoroughfare at rush hour due to a traffic fatality is one thing, but because of a construction delivery--man, they need to prevent messes like that. It's hard enough to get in and out of downtown without shutting down one of the primary routes for 45 minutes. They said it backed all the way up onto Mopac. :(

They were blocking it again today around 10:30 this morning. I saw through two cycles of the light at 5th and Bowie. Ss the truck backed into the construction site and then pulled up to straighten out several time. It was very annoying.

Dragonfire Nov 27, 2007 11:06 PM

I think they should still go through with the ordinance that would prohibit large trucks/semis from entering the downtown area at rush hour... That would probably solve a lot of traffic problems. Not only do they block traffic, but they're dangerous on the narrow streets.

Mopacs Nov 27, 2007 11:14 PM

Relevant news in this thread....

-----------------------------------------------------

http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin...ml?jst=b_ln_hl

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 - 4:25 PM CST

Krusee won't seek re-election in '09

Austin Business Journal

State Rep. Mike Krusse, Round Rock, has announced that he won't seek re-election next year after his term ends in January 2009.
In a release from his office, Krusee didn't address the reason behind his decision, but says he intends to remain active in transportation and new urbanism issues both in Texas and nationwide.

Krusee has served eight terms in the House and serves as chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and been a vocal proponent of transportation growth in the region, including commuter rail and toll roads.

"I am proud that Texas has taken bold, visionary steps toward our looming infrastructure problems," Krusee says. "There is no silver bullet to infrastructure needs, but we've taken the issue off the back burner and made it a priority....time will show that we were right to take bold steps on transportation policy."

DrewDizzle Nov 28, 2007 9:19 PM

The mayor gets props from me on this. :tup:

jordan Dec 2, 2007 4:40 AM

:banana: Yeah I would have to go with the Mayor on this on. But at 10:30 am it should be ok! to Move trucks in and out of there. Most office hrs downtown start about 7:00 to 10:am. I know here in Downtown Dallas. Traffic is running smoothly by this time. Remember there should be around 20 to 25 thousand people in downtown Austin. The buildings will have to be built.:banana:

Saddle Man Dec 21, 2007 6:47 PM

Has anyone gone to see the trains being tested?

Mikey711MN Jan 6, 2008 6:28 PM

A bit of an ASA update from Impact News, which includes the first mentions of station locations in the north metro:

http://www.impactnewspaper.com/image...1.RailSide.gif

Three stations with three distinct approaches. The Georgetown location is in the middle of BFN, so development would be brand new and ostensibly transit-oriented. The Round Rock location caters almost explicitly to the historical part of town. And the North Austin location is consistent with docs I've seen to serve the North Burnet/Gateway area.

M1EK Jan 6, 2008 7:21 PM

Don't get excited about ASA rail
 
This is just a continuation of a budget-less power-less planning exercise from a bunch of well-meaning but naive fools. (I have an open steak-dinner bet with Jeb Boyt that they won't start service in the next few years).

UP has to be convinced to move - they won't be able to just do time-of-day separation as Cap Metro pulled off on their line because there's a lot more freight coming through; so the commuter rail service either has to run with full FRA-complaint vehicles (which they're not talking about) or they have to get the UP freight to relocate. And if they did start running with full FRA-compliant vehicles (like Amtrak does), they'll be stuck with the extremely poor performance Amtrak suffers, thanks to numerous and unpredictable freight delays.

The huge milestone most recently achieved was the creation of, but not actual FUNDING of, a fund to pay UP to relocate their freight traffic. Note that somebody has to approve some money to go into that fund next, during a time when TXDOT doesn't have enough gas tax money to even maintain the current system, and no, they can't tax the railroad to do it (the railroad is about the one entity in this state that TXDOT doesn't have any power over). Then, once you've got that money, you have to go build the new tracks out in the country - and that's not going to be quick or painless - lots of condemnation required. Then and only then can you start some sort of passenger service here that might be worth running.

This effort so far has, as far as I've been able to tell, a complete waste of time - basically a way for TXDOT to get rail advocates to stop bugging them by giving them a sandbox to play in with a bunch of toys that have convinced them they're working on something real.

DrewDizzle Jan 6, 2008 8:15 PM

Jesus, why can't the ASA rail die?! Those UP tracks could be used for much better things than connecting two, generally non-transit-friendly cities. Why would I hope a rail in Austin, ride to S.A., only to catch a bus or cab?

Saddle Man Jan 6, 2008 11:37 PM

Are you kidding?

DrewDizzle Jan 7, 2008 2:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingkirbythegreat (Post 3264310)
Are you kidding?

Who, me?

Saddle Man Jan 7, 2008 2:36 PM

Yes, you.

DrewDizzle Jan 8, 2008 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingkirbythegreat (Post 3265353)
Yes, you.

Do you think the ASA commuter rail is the best and most effective use of the UP tracks? I don't - that's my point.

DrewDizzle Jan 10, 2008 8:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrewDizzle (Post 3267805)
Do you think the ASA commuter rail is the best and most effective use of the UP tracks? I don't - that's my point.

I was seriously asking, Kirb. If you do, I'm all ears... just curious. :)

alexjon Jan 10, 2008 9:22 PM

I think the best use of the UP tracks would be to tear them out and build more roads.


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