Browsing Tag: transit

    Miami-Dade Minute – Transit Launches Contactless Payment
    Articles, Blog

    Miami-Dade Minute – Transit Launches Contactless Payment

    April 5, 2020


    This is your Miami-Dade Minute. One, two, three… We’re very excited that we’re bringing new payment options to make it very, very easy to use transit. Starting today, riders can pay fares directly with their bank cards or digital wallets. They no longer will have to buy an EASY card or an EASY ticket, although we will continue to accept these forms of payment. With this new system, Metrorail will now accept Visa, MasterCard, and yes we will even accept American Express – that have been enabled for contactless use. The
    digital wallet options include pay systems offered by Apple, Google, Samsung, and Fitbit. Right now we have something called fare capping. So let’s say you’re going to ride the Metrorail 3-4 times in one day, well your first tap will be $2.25, your second tap will be $2.25 but after that you’ll only be charged the daily rate, and then you can ride for free the whole rest of the day. Somebody could just tap, go, and not deal with the hassles of messing with
    machines and whatnot. We’re making it easier for people to use our system, and
    my understanding is that while today we’re talking about our train system in
    the near future we’ll also be talking about our bus system. This project is funded partially by the People’s Transportation Plan, our half-cent sales tax. We’re always looking for ways to improve the experience of our customers
    here in Miami-Dade County and this is one of the ways.

    The Future of Rapid Transit in Portland
    Articles, Blog

    The Future of Rapid Transit in Portland

    April 1, 2020


    Hey guys, welcome back to the channel! Since
    you all enjoyed our recent videos on Seattle and Vancouver, we’re travelling down the
    west coast yet again to complete the Pacific Northwest Trifecta, and checking out the past,
    present, and future of rapid transit in Portland, Oregon. Portland is the largest and most populous
    city in the state of Oregon, and with around 3 million residents in the Portland metropolitan
    area, the region needs a great transit system to transport its residents safely to every
    corner of the area. Let’s get started! [Intro] Before we get to the video, we want to give
    a quick shoutout to our newest patrons Raymond and Gregory. Thanks so much for your support!
    Supporting us on Patreon is the best way to help us keep bringing new content to you guys
    frequently, and you’ll also be able to access our exclusive community Discord server for
    a direct channel of communication to us. You can also support us by giving a one-time donation,
    which you can do through our Ko-fi page. And furthermore, we wanted to quickly remind
    everyone to practice social distancing in this difficult time, please stay home and
    keep yourself and your community safe. Alright, time to get back to the main content
    of the day. We’ll first take a look at the intercity
    rail services available here in Portland. Amtrak provides somewhat limited service to
    the city’s Union Station, an intermodal transit hub in the Old Town Chinatown area
    of the city, on the west bank of the Willamette river. Three Amtrak lines pass through the
    city: Cascades, which runs from Vancouver, British Columbia down to Eugene, Oregon; Coast
    Starlight, which runs from Seattle down to Los Angeles; as well as the Empire Builder,
    which runs from Portland over to Chicago. These services may not be the most frequent,
    but there is also a well-connected intercity bus network, offering services to nearby cities
    in the region. The public transit here in the Portland metropolitan
    area is managed by TriMet. Short for the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon,
    the agency was formed in 1969 to replace existing bus companies in the region, and has since
    grown to have 85 bus lines, 5 light rail lines, and one commuter rail line. The different
    systems serve more than 300 thousand riders daily, and although ridership growth has slowed
    down in the recent years, there’s still lots of extensions planned for the systems
    that will connect more and more people within the region. We’ll start by looking at the
    lines currently in the system. First up is WES Commuter Rail. Short for Westside
    Express Service, this is the lone commuter rail service in the region, serving a north-south
    corridor parallel to Oregon Highway 217 and Interstate 5. The line has 5 stations along
    its 14.7 mile, or 23.7 kilometer route, with termini located in Beaverton and Wilsonville,
    and it receives a very modest number of riders at around 1600 daily. Riders are able to transfer
    onto Portland’s light rail system at Beaverton, while bus routes and parking facilities are
    available at other stations. Speaking of light rail, it’s finally time
    to talk about the highlight of rapid transit here in Portland, the MAX Light Rail system.
    First opened in 1986, the system started from one single line and has now developed into
    5 whole lines of light rail service, with around 95 stations in total, and 59.7 miles,
    or 96.1 kilometers of trackage, serving more than 120 thousand riders per day. Many of
    the lines do overlap in the centre of the city, especially near Pioneer Square, the
    centre of the system, as well as the Portland Transit Mall, a transit-priority corridor
    that serves light rail and buses. The first line in the system to be built was
    the Blue Line, a 33 mile, or 53 kilometer long line that cuts across the region horizontally.
    This line is definitely one of the main services of the system, with its 49 stations serving
    more than 55000 riders daily, as well as connecting nearby cities and neighbourhoods of Hillsboro,
    Beaverton, and Gresham, with a transfer at Beaverton Transit Centre to the WES commuter
    rail line. The next line that started service is the
    Red Line, which shares a lot of its tracks with the Blue Line, although diverting north
    at Gateway Transit Center to travel to Portland International
    Airport in an odd single tracked looping route. Opened in 2001, this route has 26 stations,
    with 5.5 miles, or 8.9 kilometers of extra trackage for the airport segment, and it serves
    around 22500 passengers daily. Next up, we have the Yellow Line, which runs
    down the middle of the city through the Transit Mall. Opened in 2004, this line has 14 stations,
    and it serves about 13000 passengers daily, connecting Portland State University through
    downtown to the Expo Center. The next line we’ll look at shares trackage
    with the yellow line, the red line, and the blue line. The Green line is shaped like a
    U, and it diverts from the red and blue line trackage to head south, terminating at Clackamas
    Town Center. The line has 30 stations over 15 miles, or 24.1 kilometers of track, and
    serves more than 20000 riders daily. Finally, we have the Orange Line. This line
    extends further south from where the yellow line terminates, lengthening service from
    downtown Portland to the city of Milwaukie. This is the newest line in the system opened
    in 2015, with 7.5 miles and 11.7 kilometers of track and 17 stations serving around 12000
    riders daily. The Orange Line also shares a major transit only bridge called the Tillicum
    crossing with the Portland streetcar in a very interesting service pattern. Alright, so these are the current rail rapid
    transit services owned and operated by TriMet in the Portland area. We’ll now move onto
    taking a look at the future extensions these systems are getting, so you guys will be able
    to get an idea of what’s to come in the near future. First up, we’ll take a look at a possible
    extension of the WES commuter rail line down to Salem. There’s been a few proposals to
    extend the service along existing P&W tracks down to Salem in order to help with congestion
    along the I-5, but due to the low ridership of the line, none of these proposals were
    able to be passed and actually put on the roadmap. Salem is the second-largest city
    in Oregon, and this extension will no doubt help increase ridership of the line and help
    spur transit-oriented development along the route, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem
    to be happening anytime soon despite the persistent lobbying from Rep. Mitch Greenlick. Hats off
    to you, Mr. Greenlick. Now, we’ll move onto looking at the future
    of the MAX system. Although none of the extensions we will be talking about are currently under
    construction, a few of them are already underway in being designed and studied, with the rest
    on the table as proposals. As the MAX system is used quite extensively, the case for expansion
    of the system is strong, and we look forward to seeing all of these implemented in the
    future in some form or another. The first expansion project we’ll look at
    is the Red Line Improvements project. This project will extend the red line along the
    current blue line trackage all the way west to Hillsboro, so that a fast rail link can
    be created between the airports in the two cities. Existing parts of the route on the
    Portland Airport branch that are currently single-tracked are also getting a second track
    to help with more ridership growth, and TriMet is planning to purchase up to 8 more light
    rail vehicles to accommodate that along with increased frequency. The project is currently
    in the preliminary design stage, and the expected completion date is 2023 to 2024. Next up, we have the Southwest Corridor project,
    an extension to the Green Line. This 12 mile, or 19 kilometer extension will bring the green
    line from its western terminus southwest to connect with WES at Tigard station, and then
    turning to terminate at Bridgeport Village, with 12 new stations added to the route. Although
    there is still a shortfall in the budget, a new budget measure will be voted on this
    year to cover that gap, and if approved the extension could open as early as 2027. The next project currently in the works is
    the Downtown Tunnel project. This project aims to convert the current at-grade corridor
    between Goose Hollow and Lloyd Center into a tunnel, in order to facilitate a grade separated
    fast rail connection through downtown, as well as to provide a much better solution
    to cross the Willamette river than the current 100-year old steel bridge. The exact routing
    of the project has not been determined, but it will be around 3.5 miles, or 5.6 kilometers
    long, and it’ll cost around 4 billion dollars. Currently, the project is still at the feasibility
    study stage, but we think this is a really important project for the city, as it’ll
    cut down travel times, improve ridership, and bring more possibilities of growth to
    the system as well as giving trains more options to get through the congested core of the city
    where trains currently hum along at a charming pace. There’s also quite a few other extensions
    that have been proposed, but these have not been put on the schedule to be developed just
    yet, and we’re not sure if they’ll be light rail or some other form of transit such
    as bus rapid transit. Nonetheless, these will be valuable additions to the system, and we
    hope to see them sometime in the future. These other extensions will connect forest Grove,
    Oregon City, Bridgeport Village, Hillsboro, and Vancouver Washington to the system. Alright, so this is what the future of the
    TriMet rail rapid transit systems will look like. Lots of improved connectivity in the
    works right now, with even more potentially coming in the future. The next part of this video will focus on
    more local rail transit within the city of Portland itself, namely the Portland Streetcar.
    Owned by the city of Portland and managed by TriMet, the streetcar system serves the
    city centre as a more local and lighter alternative to MAX. There are three different routes in
    the system, namely the A Loop, B Loop, and the North-South Line, and they have served
    the areas surrounding downtown Portland since 2001. The Portland Streetcar is by far the largest new streetcar system in the US. That being said though, it does pale in comparison to our favourite streetcar system. The two loop lines combine to become a circle
    line, with the A loop travelling clockwise and the B loop travelling counterclockwise,
    surrounding the urban core of Portland and connecting the neighbourhoods of Pearl District,
    South Waterfront, and Lloyd District. This service is roughly 4.4 miles, or 7.1 kilometers
    long, serving 52 stations along the way, and around 3500 riders daily for each direction.
    The Portland streetcar is by far the largest new streetcar system in the US. That being
    said the system pales in comparison to our favorite streetcar system. The other line is the north south line, which
    travels along the western border of the loop service, heading a bit further to Northwest
    23rd & Marshall as well as Southwest Lowell & Bond at either end. With 39 stations on
    the route over 4 miles or 6.4 kilometers of track, the line serves around 9000 riders
    daily, with the numbers slowly rising. And finally, one last bit of rapid transit
    in Portland is the Aerial Tram. One of only two commuter aerial tramways in the whole
    country, this cute little aerial tram service connects the Oregon Health and Science University
    campus with the south waterfront, where riders can connect with the North South Line of the
    streetcar to their final destinations. Opened in 2006, the service receives nearly 10000
    riders every weekday, and a ride will take about 3 minutes over 3300 feet or 1 kilometer
    of horizontal distance, and 500 feet or 152 meters of vertical distance. A very similar
    connection is proposed in Vancouver British Columbia for Simon Fraser University. We’ll now take a look at the extensions
    coming to the streetcar system, as our final topic in this video. These are more for the
    longer term and nothing is in stone yet, but it’s still exciting to see what could be
    coming to the streetcar system in the future. The first project in the works right now is
    the Lake Oswego project. This project has been considered since 2004, and would have
    extended the streetcar south by 6 miles or 10 kilometers, but unfortunately the city
    officials in Lake Oswego ended up changing their mind about the extension, and the project
    was officially shelved in 2012. The project would have had 10 or 11 stations, and would
    have terminated near a shopping center at N State Street and North Shore Blvd. Hopefully,
    with some more time, the city would change its mind and we’ll see the extension officially
    happening. Next up, we have an extension to Montgomery
    Park in Northwest Industrial District, west of the northern terminus on the river shore.
    Currently, two different alignments have been proposed, and the Federal Transit Administration
    has recently approved a one million dollar fund to continue studies into the extension. And finally, the last possible project in
    the works is the Hollywood District project. This project will extend the streetcar system
    into the Hollywood District in Northeast Portland, just east of where the system currently reaches
    at the north end. This probably won’t materialize for a while, but will be a worthwhile addition
    to the system, extending service to a busy neighbourhood of the city. Alright guys, so this is what the future of
    rail rapid transit in Portland looks like. Portland’s current systems are already quite
    good in serving different parts of the city, and we can’t wait to see where it’ll be
    able to reach in the future, with perhaps even more commuter rail possibilities as well. Like, subscribe, and comment down below to
    tell us what you are most excited for in Portland’s transit future. Follow us on twitter and Instagram,
    and support us on Patreon and Ko-fi if you would like to help us keep making great videos
    for you guys. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you in the next one! [Music]

    Miami-Dade Minute – 836 Express Metrobus Launch
    Articles, Blog

    Miami-Dade Minute – 836 Express Metrobus Launch

    March 8, 2020


    This is your Miami-Dade Minute… ((countdown)) We’re inaugurating our brand-new 836 Express bus service. It starts out here at our
    Dolphin Park & Ride Lot located at 120th Avenue and NW 12th Street. We
    have over 800 parking spaces here and basically during peak hour you can catch
    our Express bus every 10 minutes. It’ll take you down 836 on the shoulder which,
    has been painted red. People in western parts of Miami-Dade can come here, park their cars and be able to get into downtown. The 836 – they have dedicated
    lines for these express buses so they’re gonna bypass all of the traffic and a
    ride that may take you an hour in your car is going to be cut in half with
    these express buses. It’s our commitment to the SMART plan so we want to give
    different transportation options to the people of Miami-Dade. Finally, we have an
    east-to-west transportation hub on the west side of Miami-Dade. It’s called the
    Dolphin Park & Ride. And so many people worked on it. It’s been a dream of mine
    for so many years and today it is a reality in Miami-Dade County. This is
    part of your half penny at work – a fulfillment of promises that were made.
    You know our hope is that we ultimately give a future generation options on
    transportation.

    2020 Bike To Work Day
    Articles, Blog

    2020 Bike To Work Day

    March 7, 2020


    This is your Miami-Dade Minute… Every year we celebrate Bike Month in March and we kick it off with Bike to Work Day.
    This is a special day. We want more people to get out and ride their bikes.
    We want to create a culture of safe bike riding every place in the community. People are waking up to the fact that bicycling gets you where you need to go
    sometimes quicker than using your car. You can put it on transit on the train –
    Metrorail or on a bus, if you’re using it for commuting. It’s a good last mile
    alternative and of course it’s wonderful for your health as well, so we want to
    encourage everybody to bike to work. This is Bike to Work Month and Bike305 is an
    initiative we started some years ago. We got about six cities join us, I
    think there’s like 27 cities already are part of this initiative. Really we’re
    trying to highlight all the trails and the great, you know, biking
    opportunities we have in Miami-Dade County. You know, take your bike to work
    every once in a while. Get your, get out of your car and be healthier. It’s a
    healthier lifestyle and then also you get, you get to decongest the roads.
    And so it’s, you know, we encourage everybody to do that every once in a while.

    Introducing MTA Construction & Development
    Articles, Blog

    Introducing MTA Construction & Development

    March 6, 2020


    People always say the Mass Transit System is the lifeblood of New York. But it’s even more than that. It determines our pattern of development. New York’s business model is organized around the idea that we take lots of smart people, we bring them together, so that they can create economic value. The only way you can do that is with mass transit. and that’s what makes New York work. The MTA has great engineers, but it’s
    tended to be broken up by disciplines, people who are experts in signals, or communications, or other aspects of the transit system. We’re trying to build an organization around the principle of project management. MTA construction and development is a single new organization that’s going to combine the capital operations in the New York City Transit, Long Island Railroad, Metro North and
    Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority. We’re going to combine them into a single project management organization that’s going to be responsible for delivering all of the capital program across the agencies. Right now we’re at the beginning of a massive new capital program that includes several priorities that are really hugely important to the region’s future. one is that we’re re-signaling huge chunks of the New York City Subway System so that we can run more trains more frequently and run them safely closer together. That’s going to be transformation. Second is that we’re going to make 70 stations in the New York City Subway System ADA-accessible. Then we’re going to also completely transform many neighborhoods access to mass transit. The Penn Station Access Project, with four new stations in the East Bronx, is going to provide connectivity for people who now ride a bus an hour and a quarter, an hour and a half an hour and 45 minutes. It’s going to allow them to get to Penn Station in 30 or 40 minutes. We’re going to complete the East Side Access Project which will bring Long Island Railroad service to Grand Central Station. And together with the Third Track Project, is going to let us increase Long Island Railroad service in the peak hour by 45 percent. We’re going to complete the Second Avenue Subway second phase, providing mass transit service to East Harlem and Central Harlem, service that was promised almost a hundred years ago. when they started knocking down the
    elevated trains. And we’re gonna keep making all of the investments in the railroads and New York City Transit and our bridges and tunnels which will bring the system closer to a state of good repair, so every day there will be fewer delays, fewer breakdowns and more predictable service, at a greater pace. We’ve been handed a mission to really fundamentally transform mass transit in the region. We’re being given the resources to do it. We’re being given the kind of money that will allow us to increase service, to make it much more reliable with some of the new technologies, to serve new areas of the region. And that is a tremendous opportunity

    Capitol/I-10 West Presentation
    Articles, Blog

    Capitol/I-10 West Presentation

    February 27, 2020


    Welcome to the online public meeting for
    the capital I-10 west extension project. This presentation provides an overview
    of the project including project history, current status, and next steps. Display
    boards and maps from the in-person public meetings are available to view or
    download under the resources tab on the project website at valleymetro.org/capital. This is a map of a high-capacity transit system in the
    current regional transportation plan approved by voters in 2004. It shows the
    currently operating twenty-eight mile light rail system along with planned future
    extensions that expand the system to 50 miles.
    Phase one of the capital I-10 West project is shown as a dashed dark blue
    line in phase two as a dashed gray line it extends from downtown Phoenix to the
    Arizona State Capitol then west along I-10 to the 79th Avenue park-and-ride
    the project is designed to help meet travel demand in the West Valley and
    improve connections to important activity areas like government centers
    and entertainment facilities. Transit was envisioned along I-10 West of the
    Capitol as far back as 1978 when the freeway median was designated for future
    high-capacity transit in federally approved I-10 planning documents. The
    last section of I-10 was completed in 1990 and included that reserved median
    which runs entirely through the Capitol I-10 West study area. And in 2000 the
    Capitol I-10 West study area was identified as a future high-capacity
    transit corridor in the voter-approved Phoenix transit plan known as transit
    2000. Then in 2005 the project was included in the regional transportation
    plan approved by voters as proposition 400. In 2005 projects who
    were expected to being completed by the years shown on the map many of those
    completion years were impacted by funding shortfalls from the economic
    downturn known as the Great Recession that began in 2008. In 2012 the Phoenix
    City Council approved this route as the preferred light rail route for the
    capital I-10 West extension the route is defined in sections the downtown section
    from downtown to I-17 and the mainline section from I-17 to 79th Avenue
    specific station locations in the downtown sections were not yet
    identified but target areas were identified and are
    shown on the map as the tan colored circles. Along I-10 stations were planned
    as shown on the map at 35th Avenue in the freeway median and as the route then
    transitions to the north side of the freeway stations are identified on the
    north side at 51st 59th 67 and 79th avenues.
    This map shows all of the options that were evaluated in the mainline section
    of the project. The orange routes were not selected primarily because they had
    slower travel times, greater property impacts, and presented challenges in
    crossing the railroad tracks. The blue line shows the route that was selected.
    The route running along I-10. Numerous routes and route combinations were
    evaluated in the downtown section of the project. Again the orange routes are the
    routes that were not selected primarily because they did not provide good
    connections between the Capitol and downtown, and had significant property
    and traffic impacts and higher costs to build. The blue line shows the route that
    was selected. One way along Washington and Jefferson to 7th Avenue, then
    two way along Jefferson, north on either 18th Avenue or 19th
    Avenue, which depends on additional analysis, then west on Van Buren to I-17
    and north to I-10. In 2016 Phoenix voters approved the
    transportation 2050 program. Providing an opportunity to reevaluate the schedule
    of projects scheduled changes included phasing the capital I-10 West project.
    Phase 1 from downtown Phoenix to the capital, with the completion date of 2023.
    And phase 2 from the capital to 79th Avenue, to be completed by 2030.
    Other changes included advancing the completion dates for the South Central
    and Northwest Phase two extension projects. In 2017 the downtown hub was
    added to the South Central extension project which expanded it into the
    capital I-10 West project area this provided the opportunity to take a fresh
    look at the downtown connection and extension to the state capital and in
    particular to reevaluate Washington Street as the route from downtown to the
    Capitol area as compared to the 2012 approved route shown here that runs
    primarily along Jefferson Street. This map shows a closer view of the downtown
    section of the 2012 approved route. Note the dashed lines on the west side of the
    map. When this route was approved it was
    uncertain how it would connect from Jefferson to Van Buren.
    Therefore both options were shown as possible routes. The 2012 approved route
    serves as the baseline for comparing potential options using Washington
    Street. Key considerations for this option, as compared to other options
    include putting both tracks on Jefferson will likely have greater impact on
    traffic and properties and challenging connection to phase 2 of the project. In
    reevaluating Washington Street, three concepts have emerged. Concept A, shown
    here, puts both eastbound and westbound light rail on Washington Street west of
    7th Avenue. Key considerations for this concept include: One putting both tracks
    on Washington will likely have greater impact on traffic properties and the
    existing streetscape. And two, narrow right-of-way on Adams Street curve near
    Wesley Bolin Park. Concept B puts westbound light rail on washington and
    eastbound on jefferson between 15th Avenue in downtown with both tracks on
    Washington and Adams streets from 15th Avenue, west to the Capitol. Key
    considerations for this concept include: One light rail will take less space in
    the roadway in the section where there is one track each on Washington and
    Jefferson. And two, narrow right-of-way on Adams Street curve near Wesley Bolin
    Park. In concept C westbound light rail is on Washington and Adams
    streets in eastbound on Jefferson between downtown and 17th Avenue with
    multiple options west of 17th Avenue to connect to 19th Avenue and Van Buren.
    Key considerations for this concept include: One, potential impacts to state
    properties. Two, with only one track in each on Washington and Jefferson light rail
    will take less space in the roadway. And three less difficulty to fit in the
    narrow right-of-way on Adams Street curve near Wesley Bolin Park with only
    one track being necessary in this section. In addition to reevaluating
    Washington Street as a route option the project team is looking at other types
    of transit for the segment along I-10, funding options, and a possible extension
    to Desert Sky Mall, with community and stakeholder
    engagement occurring throughout the study process. An extension to Desert Sky
    Mall shown on the map here connects to several schools and activity centers
    increasing the project ridership and could help achieve development goals in
    the area. This extension could also increase the overall project cost. The
    project team is also looking at ways to complete the project sooner. Four
    scenarios are being evaluated. Scenario A would build light rail in one
    construction phase this is how the project was originally approved in 2012.
    Scenario B is the phase project approved by City Council in 2016. That is building
    light rail in two phases. First from downtown to the State Capitol, then from
    the Capitol to 79th Avenue. Scenario C would build light rail in three
    construction phases. First from downtown to the Capitol, then from the capital to
    59th Avenue, and a third phase from 59th Avenue to 79th Avenue. Scenario D would
    build light rail from downtown to the Capitol in one phase and then build
    exclusive busway from downtown to 79th Avenue in the second phase. Each of these
    scenarios also includes the option of extending to Desert Sky Mall. Key
    considerations in evaluating the scenarios include how quickly
    construction could be completed, the type of transit that would be implemented,
    whether or not transfers would be needed, and the overall cost to build. In the
    mainline section of the project along I-10 transit would run in the median of
    the freeway from I-17 to about 49th Avenue, where it would transition
    to the north side of the freeway. This photo simulation shows light rail
    along the north side at 67th Avenue between the auto travel lanes in the
    large drainage channel within the freeway right-of-way this photo simulation shows the same
    area but with transit operating as an exclusive busway, a high quality bus
    based transit service being considered for the mainline section of the project
    to potentially complete the project more quickly. The team will continue technical
    analysis and community engagement and will present the results and seek
    additional input in the next few months including another round of public
    meetings. Results and recommendations from the study will be presented to
    Phoenix City Council this summer. Jesus Chaparro is Valley Metros community
    relations coordinator for this project if you have any questions or comments
    please contact Jesus, or visit the project website at valleymetro.org/capitol.
    Again all public meeting materials including a feedback form are
    available on the project website. Thank you for your interest in the project.

    The Future of Rapid Transit in Vancouver [CC]
    Articles, Blog

    The Future of Rapid Transit in Vancouver [CC]

    February 25, 2020


    Hey guys, welcome back to the channel! Today,
    for a return to our Transit Future series, we are heading west, and taking a look at
    rapid transit from the past into the future for our second home of Metro Vancouver. Being a region of about 2.5 million people,
    Metro Vancouver’s rapid transit has evolved with the region as it has grown, and it now
    consists of three SkyTrain lines, a Seabus route, 5 RapidBus express bus routes, as well
    as the commuter railway the West Coast Express. Let’s go and take a look at the city’s
    mass transit history, and its future as the system continues to expand and develop along
    with the city. [Intro] Our first order of business is to take a trip
    down memory lane, and explore the history that has led us to the rapid transit system
    we love today. The first line in the current system to begin
    operation is the Seabus, all the way back in 1977. This is a passenger ferry service that crosses
    the Burrard Inlet to connect the city of Vancouver with North Vancouver, between the terminals
    of Waterfront and Lonsdale Quay. The 3.24 km, or 2 mile long route is served
    by 3 ferries, and it takes about 10-12 minutes to make its journey, carrying around 18 thousand
    passengers every single day. After the SeaBus came the 80s, and with the
    80s came the first iteration of the SkyTrain, which, as a lot of you may know, is the main
    transit service in the system. The first SkyTrain line to open was the Expo
    Line, with its first phase opening in 1985 just before Expo 86. The 21.4 km, or 13.3
    mile long route consisted of 15 stations, and it connected Downtown Vancouver at Waterfront
    to New Westminster towards the eastern end of the region. The line was extended with two more stations
    Columbia and Scott Road in 1989 finally bringing rapid transit South of the Fraser River. The
    Expo line was further extended to Surrey City Centre in 1994 with 3 more stations and 4
    Kilometers or 2.5 miles of track. The next SkyTrain line to be built was the
    Millenium line, which opened its first substantial phase in 2002, from Commercial Drive horizontally
    across to the east then turning Southwest to connect with the Expo Line at Columbia. The arrival of the Millennium line also brought
    with it a weird service pattern, with the line starting at Waterfront station, sharing
    tracks with the Expo Line, then travelling all the way around the loop to Commercial
    Drive, where the line terminated after phase two was finished late in the same year. Lake City Way station opened in the following
    year due to delays, and the line was then extended from Commercial drive to VCC-Clark
    in 2006, which meant that the line passed by the combined Commercial-Broadway station
    twice on the same route stopping on different platforms, and creating an interesting pretzel
    setup. The most recent line to open was the Canada
    Line, which was constructed and opened in anticipation of the Winter Olympic Games in
    2009. This line finally filled the void that is
    a north-south connector down to the suburb of Richmond, and more importantly, it also
    connects to Vancouver International Airport Canada’s most important Airport west of Toronto. The 19.2 km, or 11.9 mile long route consists
    of 16 stations, and it forks just past Bridgeport to go to both the Airport and further into
    Richmond. After the Canada Line opened, the Millennium
    Line was extended to Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam with the Evergreen extension in 2016. As part of this extension, service of the
    Millennium and Expo lines was finally adjusted to get rid of the nasty loop, with the Millennium
    line now continuing past Lougheed Town Centre station onto the Evergreen extension, and
    the expo line taking over Braid and Sapperton stations as one of its branches. Besides these lines, there is, of course,
    also the West Coast Express, but we won’t be including it in our discussions much today,
    as it is only a commuter service that doesn’t run for the whole day, and doesn’t quite
    fit our definition of rapid transit. And there you have it, the current structure
    of rapid transit service in the Metro Vancouver Area. The SkyTrain lines alone carry more
    than 500 thousand people daily, with rapid year over year ridership growth driven by
    smart development around stations. Now that we have gone through the current
    system in place, let’s take a look at what the future will bring to the region in terms
    of improvements and extensions. We’ll first look at the extensions that
    are the furthest along – most, if not all of the planning and studies have been done
    for these two extensions, the funding has been secured, and they are currently in procurement,
    with construction scheduled to start in the coming years. First up, we have the Fleetwood Expo Line
    extension, extending the line from King George to Fleetwood in Surrey. This line started out as a light rail project
    that would have connected the system to Newton and Guildford, but that idea has since been
    scrapped, and the funding that would have been enough for that whole line will instead
    go to this extension, which will be a full Skytrain extension. This means that the funding initially enough
    for the light rail line wouldn’t be enough to finish the whole extension to Langley,
    and so this first phase will only have 4 stations, terminating at 166 Street in the Fleetwood
    area of Surrey. The business case for the full Langley extension
    will be completed very soon in early 2020, with construction possibly starting in 2022,
    and revenue service to Fleetwood beginning in late 2025. The other line currently set to start construction
    is the Broadway extension to Arbutus, which extends the Millennium line west from VCC-Clark
    to Arbutus street along Broadway. This is the first step to completing the eventual
    UBC extension of the SkyTrain, which we’ll talk about in more detail later in the video. The Arbutus extension will include 6 stations,
    including an upgraded Broadway-City Hall station at the interchange with the Canada Line, which
    was originally designed with knockout panels in place for this eventual extension. The planning has been completed for the line,
    and they are looking to select a contractor by April 2020, with construction to begin
    late this year, for an expected completion date by 2025. One extra addition to the system that is not
    an extension, but has already been funded and will be commencing construction soon is
    the Capstan Way SkyTrain Station. This is an infill station on the Canada Line,
    located at No.3 road and Capstan Way in Richmond, right between Bridgeport and Aberdeen stations. The way this station was funded is quite unique:
    the city of Richmond collected funds from apartment developers that were building nearby,
    and now that the city has the funding necessary, they are able to finally build the station. The project is still in the design stage,
    and the station should be constructed and begin operating within the next few years. The next few proposed projects are currently
    under study by Translink, and funding isn’t in place just yet, but they are very likely
    to happen in some shape or form in the future. First up, we have the Burnaby Mountain Gondola.
    The main campus of Simon Fraser University is located on top of the mountain, and has
    a significant demand for transit from students. The business case is strong with this project,
    considering the significant development on the mountain, the surprisingly low cost of
    a gondola, the removal of polluting diesel buses, and creating a reliable and rapid connection
    up the mountain, which the buses are not right now particularly in snowy weather. The project is currently under study, with
    3 possible routes being studied, but we think the best route would be direct from Production
    Way-University station to the transit exchange at the top of the mountain. Next up, we are following up the Fleetwood
    Expo Line extension with the full Expo line extension to Langley. As we mentioned before,
    there currently isn’t enough funding for the whole extension to be built, with another
    2 billion dollars needed to build the whole line. However, it will be studied and planned
    alongside the Fleetwood extension, and it’ll be ready to be built when the funding does
    materialize. The next extension is probably the most anticipated
    future extension of the SkyTrain system, the Broadway extension to UBC. As we mentioned
    earlier, the extension has been approved, but the funding has not yet been secured. UBC is one of the largest transit destinations
    in Vancouver, and the university itself is advocating for the line very hard, and is
    even willing to pay for some portion of it, but the logistics for the long extension haven’t
    been sorted out yet. Hopefully we’ll be able to see more progress
    on it in the near future. And finally, the last project under study
    right now is the YVR International terminal station on the Canada Line. With the expansion of the International terminal
    of the airport (you can check out more details on that in our future of YVR video), the airport
    will be extended far enough to the east to warrant the construction of a new station. This project is being studied right now, and
    is very likely to happen in conjunction with the airport expansion. The next few extensions we’ll talk about
    are likely to happen, but they are not currently under study, and there aren’t any plans
    for them to happen just yet, but they still make a lot of sense and would be valuable
    additions to the system. The first of these is the Millenium line extension
    to Port Coquitlam. When Coquitlam Central station was initially built, a spur in the
    tracks was put in in order to facilitate future development, and this extension would utilize
    that exact spur to extend further east into Port Coquitlam, with a possible stop at Kingsway
    in the middle. Beyond that, an extension to Maple Ridge is
    also possible as well, but that’ll be a long way into the future. The next possible extension, or extensions
    rather, is extending the Expo line down to Guildford or Newton. Either of these could
    happen as skytrain lines or light rail lines depending on the situation, and these two
    urban centers are both good places to connect to the network. The SeaBus route might also get an upgrade
    in the form of what we’d propose to call the Burrard line to Lonsdale Quay, which would
    be a high capacity underground rail shuttle to replace the SeaBus. This would be constructed in a tunnel under
    the Burrard Inlet, and the depth means that they won’t actually be able to cut straight
    across, and instead it’ll have to take a more circuitous route to the other side. And finally, the last route in this category
    is the Arbutus Light Rail. This is a possible line along the Arbutus Greenway, which is
    a historic rail corridor converted into public space for walking and cycling, and it would
    make a great north-south connector through the city, connecting with the Arbutus station
    on the Millennium line extension. The last category of possible lines we’ll
    be looking at are really just fantasy lines, and they are based on the current routes served
    by RapidBus. The three lines in question are the Hastings
    line, the Marine Main line, and the 41 Ave line with a potential connection to Hastings. These will probably not happen too soon as
    the ridership isn’t currently there on these routes, but it’ll be a good way to bring
    even more capacity and comfort to these corridors, especially as major developments such as those
    at Oakridge come online. Alright guys, so this is what the future of
    rapid transit in Metro Vancouver could look like, with all of these being either SkyTrain
    or Light rail lines, tying the region together
    efficiently. We’re really excited to see what the future
    will bring to the region, and we’ll be there along the way to give you guys updates on
    these new developments in the system. If you enjoyed this video, make sure to like,
    subscribe, and tell us down in the comments which new line or extension you are most excited
    for, and if we missed anything important in the future of the system. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and support
    us on Patreon or Ko-fi if you’d like to help us keep making great videos for you guys.
    Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you in the next one! [Outro]

    Valley Metro Streetcar Safety for Motorists
    Articles, Blog

    Valley Metro Streetcar Safety for Motorists

    February 18, 2020


    Tempe streetcar and vehicle share lanes
    during parts of the ride so be patient. Think of the streetcar like any large
    vehicle, don’t follow too closely and when in front, avoid any sudden braking.
    When parking along the streetcar route make sure your entire vehicle is inside
    the striping on the road. Watch behind you when opening doors as bikes, vehicles, or streetcars may be approaching. Never park your vehicle on the tracks even
    temporarily and respect all posted signs, signals, and markings. Now your streetcar
    smart.

    METRO RIDESPONSOR TESTIMONIAL VIDEO
    Articles, Blog

    METRO RIDESPONSOR TESTIMONIAL VIDEO

    February 16, 2020


    METRO Park and Ride service is a
    great way for commuters to relax and avoid the rigors of rush-hour traffic. Our mission is to make travel simple by connecting commuters with high quality bus service. That’s safe reliable and affordable. METRO offers 27 Park and Ride locations
    throughout the service area. Plus, 21 strategically placed transit
    centers provide convenient connections to even more destinations through
    our local bus and light rail network. To find the park and ride or transit center near
    you, just visit RideMETRO.org to get started. There’s a long list of benefits to riding METRO
    versus driving and saving money is right at the top. One thing I love about the METRO
    experience is the money that I save and the time that it gives me to think and follow up on personal tasks. One thing I really like about METRO that it is 100% ADA accessible. You can get in and out of the
    bus and the train in no time. I’ve been in public transit all of my life and coming to Houston, METRO buses and trains get me to where I need to go. According to AAA, the national average commute
    costs approximately nine thousand nine hundred dollars a year…which includes ownership
    costs, maintenance, fuel and parking. The cost to ride a METRO Park and Ride bus
    ranges between $2.50 and $4.50 per trip. Need to transfer to another bus or
    train to complete your trip? METRO offers free transfers good for up
    to three hours of travel in any direction. when paying with your Metro queue fare card. Saving money is great; however, riding METRO also gives you the opportunity to:
    Catch up on work. Send texts or emails. Or just relax and read on the way to work. Plus, every time you ride, that’s one less vehicle on our roadways, which translates to less congestion and
    improved air quality across the region. When I drive, there’s too much uncertainty
    whether it be a wreck on the freeway… What will I have to deal with? But, when I ride
    METRO, all I have to worry about is getting on and off the bus. METRO Park &Ride buses feature comfortable seats. Cool AC. Reading lights. and some vehicles come equipped with charging outlets for your mobile device. Riding Metro is not only great for getting to work,
    ut employers can also benefit like the ability to attract and maintain new talent. Employers can also offer a tax-free transit or vanpool subsidy of up to two hundred and sixty dollars a month Employers can learn more about becoming a Metro corporate commute partner by visiting RideMETRO.org or by contacting us at client.services
    at RideMETRO.org. At METRO, our goal is to keep Houston moving, but we can’t do it without you. METRO is safe. METRO is convenient. And, of course, they are affordable. Come on and make the change. Drive less and travel more. The Ride Way…on METRO. METRO is MY ride.