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Tlcooper93

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
339
Location
Boston
My dad just forwarded me an interesting article (and website overall).
I will admit, I don’t quite have the body of knowledge to comment on whether or not I agree with what is written, so I wanted to bring it here and see what the consensus (or perhaps lack thereof) will be.


 

Willbridge

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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Mar 30, 2019
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1,055
Location
Denver
I've been a reader and occasional commenter in Alon Levy's blog for some time. He is worth reading.

I had just read that post and was thinking about it. I've had to deal with the phenomenon that he describes. For example, the W-Line (Denver - Lakewood - Golden) needed pre-pandemic an extra all-day train (2 or 3 LRV's) due to Quiet Crossings agreed to after construction began, as well as some speed restrictions. The slower runtime therefore had not been included in the ridership modeling or the budget for rolling stock nor the projected labor costs. But, it may have made the neighbors happier.

Levy did not get into the worse similar situation on bus routes. In our meetings with other big system operations planners there evolved a consensus that a bus system that is not growing in hours of service by 1 to 2 percent a year must make minor service reductions to pay for increased costs elsewhere in the system. Every year new traffic signals are added, congestion increases, businesses relocate, access to restrooms for drivers is suddenly revoked, etc.

That happened repeatedly in Denver with no-growth budgets. For example, against my advice, the City of Wheat Ridge rebuilt West 38th Avenue with bus pull-outs at every stop. We didn't object to pull-outs where buses had long dwell times but there was a 10% increase in running time as a result of doing it at every stop. That had to be paid for somehow with a no-growth budget.

Ironically, one of the reasons to build rail lines is to get out of that sort of thing. It sabotages that function when slowdowns are imposed on rail systems without considering other solutions or even compromises.
 

Tlcooper93

Lead Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
339
Location
Boston

I found this post to be particularly interesting. I personally don’t agree with his overall premise of “destroy Amtrak and a better Phoenix will rise from the ashes,” but he makes some good points.

His assumption that intercity rail service would continue in this country without Amtrak, IMO is presumptuous.
 
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