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  #6741  
Old Posted May 24, 2020, 2:30 PM
wwmiv wwmiv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
CapMetro loses money on every passenger. why is it a benefit for them to have more?
If 96%-98% of all Brandywine customers and workers get their by private transportation requiring parking places, why is it a benefit for them, CapMetro, and the City to have less parking spaces?
We are not playing Cities Skylines, reality is far different!
Cities:Skylines is my favorite game. When heavily modded, it can actually be quite realistic.
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Metropolitan Central Texas 2018: 5,672,404 (+19.98% over 2010):
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  #6742  
Old Posted May 24, 2020, 4:15 PM
Echostatic Echostatic is offline
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Haha, If you want to talk about Cities:Skylines you're on the right subforum, I have 1,328 hours ingame and dozens of cities at this point. wwmiv is right, the game can be quite realistic, especially with regards to traffic below a certain population. The game's hard cap on the number of vehicles in a save results in traffic actually getting better once your city gets quite large.

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  #6743  
Old Posted May 24, 2020, 6:58 PM
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Unless I missed a post about it, I35 between Riverside and 290/71 has finally opened up to 4 lanes on each side. Will be interesting to see how much the traffic backs up heading into DT but southbound should be an improvement at least for a time. Lots of space for a 5th lane in each direction once the rest of the expansion is completed.
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  #6744  
Old Posted May 24, 2020, 8:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
Unless I missed a post about it, I35 between Riverside and 290/71 has finally opened up to 4 lanes on each side. Will be interesting to see how much the traffic backs up heading into DT but southbound should be an improvement at least for a time. Lots of space for a 5th lane in each direction once the rest of the expansion is completed.
Coming into downtown it is a problem already. The 4th lane starts at the Oltorf exit and suddenly ends before Riverside. That merge point is already bad and will be an accident creator when traffic returns to normal.
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  #6745  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 12:43 AM
wwmiv wwmiv is offline
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My current Cities:Skylines project is meant to combine features from some of my favorite cities. Overall I am calling the project Waterloo, but all of the current small towns have other names.

https://imgur.com/a/cvO1vg2

Houston (the types of foliage)
Miami (the road network and patchy development patterns)
Portland (the topography - and eventually the transportation networks)
Austin (the commercial vibe - and eventually multifamily architectural styles)
Chicago (the single family home and smaller scale multifamily residential architectural styles)
Office styles will just be whatever looks good on the asset workshop.
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Metropolitan Central Texas 2018: 5,672,404 (+19.98% over 2010):
San Antonio: 1,532,233 (+15.43%) + Metro Suburbs: 985,803 (+20.94%)
Austin: 964,254 (+22.00%) + Metro Suburbs: 1,204,062 (+30.04%)
Killeen/Temple Metro: 451,679 (+11.44%) + Waco Metro: 271,942 (+15.77%) + Bryan/College Station Metro: 262,431 (+14.77%)
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  #6746  
Old Posted May 25, 2020, 7:41 PM
We vs us We vs us is online now
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Thanks for mentioning Citiies: Skyline. I have it for Switch but had forgotten I’d bought it way back when. I just pulled it out of mothballed and have been nicely surprised so far. Wwmiv, you’ve got some great pics there.
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  #6747  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 1:26 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
CapMetro loses money on every passenger. why is it a benefit for them to have more?
There's a lot of misunderstanding wrapped up in this one sentence.


As noted by atxsnail, CapMetro _makes_ money on every passenger (ignoring for now the month of free fares, which is a covid exception). In business/financial terms, the marginal cost to them of providing a ride is near $0. Maybe slightly increased fuel consumption or increased costs of cleaning the bus, but that's in the noise.

It's the large up front costs, running a bunch of routes for a year, that cost them.

But even that analysis doesn't even really make sense. CapMetro is not in the business of making money. They're not even a business. They're a public good.

If they were a business, the only rational thing to do would be to shut down all routes. Maybe keep around some UT shuttles. That would also allow them to shut down most/all of the MetroAccess service area (where they really do lose money on every ride).

Of course then they'd really need a good answer for why they should get hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year.


So it's less a question of CapMetro benefitting from more riders, and more that all of us (the general public) benefit from more riders. We've decided that's something we value, and provide tax dollars to support that outcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
If 96%-98% of all Brandywine customers and workers get their by private transportation requiring parking places, why is it a benefit for them, CapMetro, and the City to have less parking spaces?

As previously noted, if the rail station doesn't happen, Brandywine has less customers. Not 2% less customers, but 50% less customers. 80%. 100% less?
The project simply doesn't happen without it. The benefits to them are manifest.

So maybe your question is really "what is the benefit to the city to put that requirement in the zoning"? Why not just let Brandywine build whatever they want in sprawling, auto-dependent form?

Because the city (haltingly, gradually) is beginning to recognize that it's to all of our benefit to move away from the model of "96%-98%" of trips taking place by private auto.
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  #6748  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 11:24 PM
freerover freerover is offline
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I believe we'll see an official unveiling of the Austin FC red line station soon.
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  #6749  
Old Posted May 27, 2020, 5:15 AM
JustColossus JustColossus is offline
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
But even that analysis doesn't even really make sense. CapMetro is not in the business of making money. They're not even a business. They're a public good.

If they were a business, the only rational thing to do would be to shut down all routes. Maybe keep around some UT shuttles. That would also allow them to shut down most/all of the MetroAccess service area (where they really do lose money on every ride).

Of course then they'd really need a good answer for why they should get hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year.
Great example of why this board is a great place to find updates about construction projects in Austin...and not much else.

On one hand I'm reading someone arguing CapMetro operates as a public good..turning a profit not a primary motivating factor, right. On the other hand if CapMetro were transformed into a business "the only rational thing to do would be to shut down all routes." I guess implying that as a business CapMetro wouldn't have the ability to modify their business model, including fare structure, types of vehicles operated, etc. in order to improve profitability?

Sorry to parachute on y'alls conversation. As someone who lives easy walking distance to a RedLine stop and who will have Austin FC season tickets, I'm in the select company that will disproportionately benefit from enhanced light rail coverage in this town therefore following this thread.
To that end, I'm also hoping the "general public" decides to "provide tax dollars to support that outcome."
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  #6750  
Old Posted May 27, 2020, 1:41 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by JustColossus View Post
Great example of why this board is a great place to find updates about construction projects in Austin...and not much else.

On one hand I'm reading someone arguing CapMetro operates as a public good..turning a profit not a primary motivating factor, right. On the other hand if CapMetro were transformed into a business "the only rational thing to do would be to shut down all routes." I guess implying that as a business CapMetro wouldn't have the ability to modify their business model, including fare structure, types of vehicles operated, etc. in order to improve profitability?
This is dangerously close to getting off topic, but it is both "Austin" and "Transportation" (even if hypothetical) so I'll play for now.

I stand by my statement.

CapMetro's current fare recovery ratio (FRR) is about 10%. To operate "profitably" as a business, they'd need to not only "improve" profitability, they'd need to increase it by an order of magnitude. This is not something where small tweaks to their model could eek them into profitability. And this isn't because Clarke (capmetro CEO) sucks at his job or anything. No US transit agency turns a profit. NYC I think may be the closest, but that may only because they were deferring decades of maintenance and upkeep, like DC was (I haven't followed them too closely).

Capmetro has tried increasing its fare rates to increase it's FRR. And this has shown that you get into a ridership death spiral. Increasing end user costs means riders (especially in auto-focused Austin) stop riding, so you lose their fares, which means you'd need to increase rates even more to compensate, rinse and repeat.

CapMetro already has freedom over its vehicle type, and uses the types it finds appropriate. All the way from the huge bendy buses down to the Pickup service. But the former is closer to "profitable".

You could (as a private business) pivot entirely to chasing ridership, and avoid all services for coverage or equity purposes. That doesn't get you 10X.
The best ridership routes in the system(ignoring the UT shuttles) still only get about 15% FRR.
http://connections2025.org/wp-conten...ice-Review.pdf
Page 44
That's the ~2017 analysis, but nothing's fundamentally changed.
And that's also assuming cutting coverage routes doesn't decrease ridership on your best performing routes from transfers. It does.


Again, I'm confident CM will never be "profitable". But that's okay, the dirty secret is almost no one makes money on transportation. Uber doesn't, even with offloading a bunch of costs onto its "contractors" and needs billions from private investors. Airlines pretend to for a while, until they need their next bailout.

But we need transportation, so we subsidize it, in various forms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustColossus View Post
Sorry to parachute on y'alls conversation. As someone who lives easy walking distance to a RedLine stop and who will have Austin FC season tickets, I'm in the select company that will disproportionately benefit from enhanced light rail coverage in this town therefore following this thread.
To that end, I'm also hoping the "general public" decides to "provide tax dollars to support that outcome."
Any ridership the stadium brings will be happy bonus. And transit connectivity is one of the benefits to that location (over some of the others considered). But the real benefits of rail improvements will be to those to ride it 250 times a year for work, not 17 times a year (at most) for games.
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  #6751  
Old Posted May 28, 2020, 2:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
There's a lot of misunderstanding wrapped up in this one sentence.


As noted by atxsnail, CapMetro _makes_ money on every passenger (ignoring for now the month of free fares, which is a covid exception). In business/financial terms, the marginal cost to them of providing a ride is near $0. Maybe slightly increased fuel consumption or increased costs of cleaning the bus, but that's in the noise.

It's the large up front costs, running a bunch of routes for a year, that cost them.

But even that analysis doesn't even really make sense. CapMetro is not in the business of making money. They're not even a business. They're a public good.

If they were a business, the only rational thing to do would be to shut down all routes. Maybe keep around some UT shuttles. That would also allow them to shut down most/all of the MetroAccess service area (where they really do lose money on every ride).

Of course then they'd really need a good answer for why they should get hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year.


So it's less a question of CapMetro benefitting from more riders, and more that all of us (the general public) benefit from more riders. We've decided that's something we value, and provide tax dollars to support that outcome.




As previously noted, if the rail station doesn't happen, Brandywine has less customers. Not 2% less customers, but 50% less customers. 80%. 100% less?
The project simply doesn't happen without it. The benefits to them are manifest.

So maybe your question is really "what is the benefit to the city to put that requirement in the zoning"? Why not just let Brandywine build whatever they want in sprawling, auto-dependent form?

Because the city (haltingly, gradually) is beginning to recognize that it's to all of our benefit to move away from the model of "96%-98%" of trips taking place by private auto.
You were the only one to reply to my earlier post that understood what I wrote and replied in a good debate. CapMetro really does not care how much more money they raise in fares from increase ridership. Easily proven when you consider how quickly how many people can qualify for free rides.

Which brings up the following question, why do they even bother to count the number of passengers? They count passengers to determine how good they are at providing a service for those who fund it. Which allows them the argument to ask for more funding when they lose more money providing a service to more passengers.
They are happy subsidizing a service at 80%-90% because that is what those who fund it expects. They would be just as happy subsidizing at 100% if those who fund it would accept that result. We recently debated having free fares on this forum.

Austin is at least decades away from a public transportation system that could provide a service that could handle more than 10% of the needs. Can you imagine every bus being packed full all the time and at the same time three times more buses on the streets of Austin? I can't. It is just not dense enough.
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  #6752  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2020, 5:25 PM
freerover freerover is offline
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Work on the Broadmore station is suppose to start in August according to Randy Clark.
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  #6753  
Old Posted Yesterday, 5:21 PM
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Sign me! https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/...bicycle-lanes/

Imagine Congress Avenue not being so horrible... A six-lane road through the center of our city serving primarily single occupant vehicles is such a waste. This is our chance!
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  #6754  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 427MM View Post
Sign me! https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/...bicycle-lanes/

Imagine Congress Avenue not being so horrible... A six-lane road through the center of our city serving primarily single occupant vehicles is such a waste. This is our chance!
The city already had prelim designs for this. What they don’t have is money.
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  #6755  
Old Posted Yesterday, 9:16 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by freerover View Post
The city already had prelim designs for this. What they don’t have is money.
And the will to give up vehicle lanes (permanently). At least historically they haven't, we'll see if temporary closures can build momentum to permanent changes.
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  #6756  
Old Posted Today, 4:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
And the will to give up vehicle lanes (permanently). At least historically they haven't, we'll see if temporary closures can build momentum to permanent changes.
You do not need to give up vehicle lanes for building a great public transit system. You could build dedicated lanes for transit; above, below, or adjacent to existing vehicle lanes. Of course, it is much cheaper to take general vehicle lanes and reassign them to public transit only.
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  #6757  
Old Posted Today, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JustColossus View Post
As someone who lives easy walking distance to a RedLine stop and who will have Austin FC season tickets, I'm in the select company that will disproportionately benefit from enhanced light rail coverage in this town therefore following this thread.
To that end, I'm also hoping the "general public" decides to "provide tax dollars to support that outcome."
They already provide tax dollars to support public transit. A one penny sales tax. Last year, that amounted to $245 million in revenues.

https://www.capmetro.org/uploadedFil...-March2019.pdf

Revenues (in millions)
Sales Tax 245.8
Passenger Fares 22.5
Freight Railroad Revenue 4.5
Other Revenue 4.2 (Investment income above budget)
Operating Contributions and Grants 30.1
Capital Contributions and Grants 28.5
Total $335.6 million

Operating Expenses (in millions)
Salaries and Benefits 44.4
Professional Services 27.2
Materials and Supplies 1.1
Fuel and Fluids 12.8
Utilities 3.2
Insurance 0.9
Purchased Transportation 165.4
Lease/Rentals 3.0
Other Expenses 8.0
Total $266.1 million

Capital Projects (in thousands)
Commuter Rail $22,380 Positive Train Control
Vehicles 29,623 28 Commuter Coaches; 24 Transit Buses
Information Technology 11,665 Enterprise Asset Management System; Data Center Modernization
Facilities 37,295 TIGER Grant Project; Westgate Transit Center; MetroRapid Stations
Freight Railroad 1,907
Property and Asset Mgmt 2,430 Plaza Saltillo - Plaza Revitalization
Contingency 2,000
Strategic Planning 6,472
Security 757
Total $114.530 million

Capital Projects (in thousands)
Commuter Rail 22,380 Positive Train Control
Vehicles 29,623 28 Commuter Coaches; 24 Transit Buses
Information Technology 11,665 Enterprise Asset Management System; Data Center Modernization
Facilities 37,295 TIGER Grant Project; Westgate Transit Center; MetroRapid Stations
Freight Railroad 1,907
Property and Asset Mgmt 2,430 Plaza Saltillo - Plaza Revitalization
Strategic Planning 6,472
Security 757
Total $114.530 million

So, roughly speaking and not trying to exact, about 2/3rds of CapMetro's budget is spent on daily operations and about 1/3rd is spent on capital projects and consultants.

Per Wiki, the City of Austin estimated population is 978,908; keeping the math easier later on, let's round the data point up to 1 million.
On average, every person in Austin is taxed $245 per year to fund CapMetro. Additionally, on average, every person in Austin pays $22 in fares over a year.

The question that needs to be answered, is how much "more" do you wish to tax yourself for better public transit?
The existing budget's revenues barely keeps pace with a $114.5 million capital budget. Can existing revenue streams keep pace with a 10 times larger capital budget? Just about each of the light rail lines projected capital costs is around $1 billion. The answer is yes it can, over 10 years. But that's dedicating all the capital funds into light rail, there would be no money left for buses and other transit projects. To keep them fully funded, that 10 years is now 20 years. Is anyone really wanting light rail willing to wait 20 years for it? So there will be a cry to increase taxes in one form or another to fund light rail.

Last edited by electricron; Today at 1:03 PM.
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  #6758  
Old Posted Today, 1:12 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
You do not need to give up vehicle lanes for building a great public transit system. You could build dedicated lanes for transit; above, below, or adjacent to existing vehicle lanes. Of course, it is much cheaper to take general vehicle lanes and reassign them to public transit only.
Transit, potentially. For reallocation to bike/pedestrian, in all but the most extreme cases that's going to remain at ground level.
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  #6759  
Old Posted Today, 1:16 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post

Per Wiki, the City of Austin estimated population is 978,908; keeping the math easier later on, let's round the data point up to 1 million.
On average, every person in Austin is taxed $245 per year to fund CapMetro. Additionally, on average, every person in Austin pays $22 in fares over a year.
Capmetro is larger than just the city of Austin. Austin's the majority, but you're leaving out a big chunk (20% or so).

Quote:
Originally Posted by electricron View Post
The question that needs to be answered, is how much "more" do you wish to tax yourself for better public transit?
The existing budget's revenues barely keeps pace with a $114.5 million capital budget. Can existing revenue streams keep pace with a 10 times larger capital budget? Just about each of the light rail lines projected capital costs is around $1 billion. The answer is yes it can, over 10 years. But that's dedicating all the capital funds into light rail, there would be no money left for buses and other transit projects. To keep them fully funded, that 10 years is now 20 years. Is anyone really wanting light rail willing to wait 20 years for it? So there will be a cry to increase taxes in one form or another to fund light rail.
Uh, have you not been following the conversation from CapMetro or the city? A bond or tax rate election has been discussed pretty thoroughly.

Edit to add more details:
https://capmetro.org/uploadedFiles/N...esentation.pdf

Pages 25 or so on.

CapMetro projects it might have ~$60M per year about a decade out*. But yes that's not enough for the proposed system, this entire process has been predicated on a city election to provide additional funds (though still far less than what's spent on cars).

*Pre-covid, so who knows. But I expect the long term trajectory is fairly unchanged.
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