Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Transportation topics in KC

What route should the third phase of streetcar expansion follow?

Linwood: Main to Michigan(71 Highway)
7
8%
Country Club ROW: UMKC to Brookside/Waldo
20
24%
Country Club ROW: UMKC through Brookside/Waldo to Prospect
12
14%
Linwood: Main to Emanuel Cleaver 2
8
9%
City/County Wide Rail Project
31
36%
Other
7
8%
 
Total votes: 85

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TheLastGentleman
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by TheLastGentleman »

flyingember wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:36 pm
There's already more than two buildings and has been for some time. It will be at five before the end of the year.

Union: two
BarK: one
CORE: two more under construction since July
Oh boy five whole buildings

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by alejandro46 »

normalthings wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:23 pm
alejandro46 wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:11 pm
My opinion has always been to run the Streetcar across the river to NKC with the eventual goal of connecting to Metro North ( Clay ) + Zona Rosa + KCI (Platte) in the coming decades in order to net as much funding possible from those areas for the regional system. PortKC has put a ton of money into the Berkley park and understandably wants to leverage the Streetcar to help spur development as well as connect to the Casino. It's short sighted, but it relies on a separate source of funding so it doesn't impact regional growth except to make a somewhat confusing short spur.

It boils down to what the KCATA/Streetcar board cook up as the most likely funding solution for expansion of rail and making the bus system work. I think having a regional rail plan that is shovel ready, somewhat designed and scoped out can help developers, utilities and municipalities prepare better so they don't invest in improving local roads to the extent they are going to have to be replaced when rails are installed anyways and, most importantly, that voters can see what they are getting in exchange for their tax dollars. Our network will be stronger when Clay, Platte, Jackson, Wyandotte and JOCO all vote together for the transit plan.
Streetcar is not a mod meant for the suburbs. The vehicles top out at what 35-40mph? We need tram-train or LRT for real suburban coverage.
This is not the right way of thinking. The streetcar wouldn't be competing directly with roads really. Free carless transit to spur development amongst a select number of hubs/neighborhoods in KCMO wouldn't need trains to go 60-70mph. Amtrack doesn't even go that fast. Look at the distances were are talking here. See my post from earlier - RM to KCI is a whopping 18miles. In addition, the Urbos 3 can be configured to have bogies undercarriage like a traditional light rail type train. Also increases top speed to 56mph. But for distances we are talking, a center running train with synced green lights I think the current trains would work, plus cost effectiveness to not have larger or more expensive trains.
alejandro46 wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:14 am
normalthings wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:13 pm
alejandro46 wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:40 pm


Speaking exclusively Streetcar, how can the region push down capital costs long term? Unlike STL, we definitely don't want to bite off more than we can afford to run. For example, Burlington or on Linwood to TSC seem like a good reach goals, although we may end up with BRT to Truman. Bulk purchasing, stretching out train frequency (not buying as many), combining re-surfacing work with expansion, private sector partners, adding fares for expanded routes.



https://www.metro-magazine.com/10002957 ... rtnerships
Riverfront is $50 million per mile. UMKC is $100 million. Tampa streetcar P3 is around $70 million per mile with iirc 25% elevated. I suspect that we (KC and as a nation) over-engineer our transit projects. Professional service fees are a big chunk of the UMKC extension's budget.

In the 1970s, the Feds tried to standardize mass transit so that economies of scale would come into play. Boeing and Lockheed factories switched from producing Vietnam War machines to light rail vehicles. Unfortunately, the Fed's vehicle design was flawed.
Just for some fun (?) Sim City type napkin math, here are some sample distances throughout the city (either existing, studied, or proposed lines, or routes using surface 4-lane streets) set out matrix style with average cost/mile from Troost Max, RiverMarket (which looks like $20m not $50m?), Main Street I and Main Street II, and the average 70m per mile. Total adds up to just under 100 miles.

Image
Main should total $4.1bln. Please disregard typos.

We're thinking big in this thread, I like that. I am not as concerned about density. I think once it is known an area will actually receive usable transit, it will get more dense. Isn't that how Portland expanded their system? Look at the Phoenix South Mountain line that just got $500m. Bunch of SFH and stip malls down there.

I know rail or BRT transit will probably never make it to KCI/Olathe, wherever within my lifetime or ever, and it might not from a ROI perspective go there either. I know that KC will not punch as high as Austin, Nash or more major cities like Phx or Seattle, but just wanted to run some numbers for reference, comparison and discussion.

Austin Capital Transit - 27mi $5.8bln, 214/mi. Combined w bus sytem for $7.1bln total initiative passage. Local match covered by 19.6% property tax hike (.53/$100) Passed
Lets Move Nashville - 26 mile, $5.4bln, $204/mi. Rail + BRT from outlying regions. Funded by .5% sales tax hike, bringing total to 10.25%. Rejected by voters.

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KCPowercat
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by KCPowercat »

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:55 pm
flyingember wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:36 pm
There's already more than two buildings and has been for some time. It will be at five before the end of the year.

Union: two
BarK: one
CORE: two more under construction since July
Oh boy five whole buildings
How about all the flood control buildings too. Is that in this count?

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

alejandro46 wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:27 pm

This is not the right way of thinking. The streetcar wouldn't be competing directly with roads really. Free carless transit to spur development amongst a select number of hubs/neighborhoods in KCMO wouldn't need trains to go 60-70mph. Amtrack doesn't even go that fast. Look at the distances were are talking here. See my post from earlier - RM to KCI is a whopping 18miles. In addition, the Urbos 3 can be configured to have bogies undercarriage like a traditional light rail type train. Also increases top speed to 56mph. But for distances we are talking, a center running train with synced green lights I think the current trains would work, plus cost effectiveness to not have larger or more expensive trains.
Amtrak can go 110mph where upgraded

https://altdriver.com/gearhead/amtrak-train-110-mph/

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:55 pm
flyingember wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:36 pm
There's already more than two buildings and has been for some time. It will be at five before the end of the year.

Union: two
BarK: one
CORE: two more under construction since July
Oh boy five whole buildings
More accurate than using wrong information to try and make a negative point based on the number of buildings.

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TheLastGentleman
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by TheLastGentleman »

flyingember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:14 pm
More accurate than using wrong information to try and make a negative point based on the number of buildings.
If you say so

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

TheLastGentleman wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:15 pm
flyingember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:14 pm
More accurate than using wrong information to try and make a negative point based on the number of buildings.
If you say so
Lazy non-responses doesn’t make it not true.

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normalthings
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by normalthings »

flyingember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:13 pm
alejandro46 wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:27 pm
Free carless transit to spur development amongst a select number of hubs/neighborhoods in KCMO wouldn't need trains to go 60-70mph.
Amtrak can go 110mph where upgraded

https://altdriver.com/gearhead/amtrak-train-110-mph/
I think what you are describing is a bus. A regional rail system at 30mph max is useless for regional connectivity.

STL Metrolink hits around 70mph. Amtrak Midwest Corridor service officially hits 110mph. Long distance trains around 90-100mph.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by kas1 »

Acceleration/deceleration is more important than max speed for systems that have stops close together (ie, almost any local transit service). But regardless, I thought I remembered the KC streetcar vehicles having a top speed of around 55 mph?

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by earthling »

About 45mph has been mentioned as top speed in other posts. Streetcar isn't particularly intended for long haul commuter lines, more suited for local service. KC's use leans more local service but as routes go from NKC to UMKC and potentially longer, at some point it may make sense to also overlay (or add nearby) a true express MAX line that reaches further out.

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beautyfromashes
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by beautyfromashes »

earthling wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:11 am
About 45mph has been mentioned as top speed in other posts. Streetcar isn't particularly intended for long haul commuter lines, more suited for local service. KC's use leans more local service but as routes go from NKC to UMKC and potentially longer, at some point it may make sense to also overlay (or add nearby) a true express MAX line that reaches further out.
Why would there be a top speed on the cars at all? It seems like with an electric motor the current itself would be the only limit and how fast you alternate the AC would determine max speed.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by alejandro46 »

normalthings wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:47 pm
flyingember wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:13 pm
alejandro46 wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:27 pm
Free carless transit to spur development amongst a select number of hubs/neighborhoods in KCMO wouldn't need trains to go 60-70mph.
Amtrak can go 110mph where upgraded

https://altdriver.com/gearhead/amtrak-train-110-mph/
I think what you are describing is a bus. A regional rail system at 30mph max is useless for regional connectivity.

STL Metrolink hits around 70mph. Amtrak Midwest Corridor service officially hits 110mph. Long distance trains around 90-100mph.
I don't know if you guys are thinking we would run rails out to Excelsior Springs, St. Joe or some thing. Top speed may be higher, but the the average speed of the MO River Runner is a wopping 50mph. Same with Metrolink- the average speed is 24.7 miles per hour! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MetroLink_(St._Louis). Using the same rolling stock type and center running rails makes sense from a cost savings perspective because no need to acquire a ton of new ROW or a completely new maintenance facility.

For example, an actual commuter rail like the 63 mile long Union Station to Crystal Like IL ("UP-NW") line that has 23 stations, 38k people ride daily (2nd busiest in the city) and average speed is 50mph.

As I figured earlier, longer distances an actually functional BRT is more efficient and probably better suited but we aren't talking huge distances here.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by mykn »

beautyfromashes wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:53 am
earthling wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:11 am
About 45mph has been mentioned as top speed in other posts. Streetcar isn't particularly intended for long haul commuter lines, more suited for local service. KC's use leans more local service but as routes go from NKC to UMKC and potentially longer, at some point it may make sense to also overlay (or add nearby) a true express MAX line that reaches further out.
Why would there be a top speed on the cars at all? It seems like with an electric motor the current itself would be the only limit and how fast you alternate the AC would determine max speed.
I have no understanding of the streetcar specifically, but voltage is typically the factor that limits the speed of an electric motor (kv rating). That being said, it’s not just the motor that limits the top speed of a vehicle: braking capacity, heat generation, suspension, wear, etc are all things that have to be factored into the design and would probably cause our existing cars to be unsafe to use at higher than rated speeds as well as cause maintenance costs to increase.

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DaveKCMO
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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

Voltage not an issue here. The main difference between the CAF Urbos in KC/Cincy versus CAF Urbos anywhere else is how the gearing is configured. US streetcars are generally slower top speeds with stops spaced closer so they're geared that way and max out at 45mph. The same vehicle type could be geared for higher speeds with stops spaced farther apart.

Similar (but not identical) for pairing vehicles. If we wanted longer vehicles (after we built longer platforms) we would just buy vehicles with more segments (Zaragoza) rather than pairing them (Houston). We actually had that option when another CAF project was cancelled, but it didn't make sense at the time because of the platform expense and the location of some stops that would have vehicles blocking intersections briefly. That's how this particular vehicle is designed -- modular, open-gangway -- but it's up to the agency to decide when they make their orders. Some agencies really want to be able to pair vehicles to size up/down consists to demand (common in the US light rail context).

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

It also seems like double trains are popular when the system made an investment in trains and they don't want to replace them all at once.

I can see doing this down the line where the plan is to buy new longer vehicles and run the current ones coupled at the same time.
Then as they're retired their replacements are only single vehicles.

We're going to end up with what, $20 million+ in vehicles in a few years?

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by normalthings »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:32 am
Voltage not an issue here. The main difference between the CAF Urbos in KC/Cincy versus CAF Urbos anywhere else is how the gearing is configured. US streetcars are generally slower top speeds with stops spaced closer so they're geared that way and max out at 45mph. The same vehicle type could be geared for higher speeds with stops spaced farther apart.

Similar (but not identical) for pairing vehicles. If we wanted longer vehicles (after we built longer platforms) we would just buy vehicles with more segments (Zaragoza) rather than pairing them (Houston). We actually had that option when another CAF project was cancelled, but it didn't make sense at the time because of the platform expense and the location of some stops that would have vehicles blocking intersections briefly. That's how this particular vehicle is designed -- modular, open-gangway -- but it's up to the agency to decide when they make their orders. Some agencies really want to be able to pair vehicles to size up/down consists to demand (common in the US light rail context).
Edmonton just went with longer vehicles on their new LRT line. their thought was that its more space efficient vs lashing up 2-3 double ended units.

Are longer platforms a consideration at all on Mainstreet if prices come in below expected? Or is the emphasis more on spending extra funds on more vehicles

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

normalthings wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:13 pm
Are longer platforms a consideration at all on Mainstreet if prices come in below expected? Or is the emphasis more on spending extra funds on more vehicles
No. Just run more service. This region has no idea what high frequency transit can really be like. There are bus routes in larger cities with 3-5 minute headways. Streetcar topped out at 8m when running four vehicles and the most frequent MAX route was 10m (and that won't return for awhile until sales tax revenue improves -- max is 15m now).

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by beautyfromashes »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:32 am
Voltage not an issue here. The main difference between the CAF Urbos in KC/Cincy versus CAF Urbos anywhere else is how the gearing is configured. US streetcars are generally slower top speeds with stops spaced closer so they're geared that way and max out at 45mph. The same vehicle type could be geared for higher speeds with stops spaced farther apart.

Similar (but not identical) for pairing vehicles. If we wanted longer vehicles (after we built longer platforms) we would just buy vehicles with more segments (Zaragoza) rather than pairing them (Houston). We actually had that option when another CAF project was cancelled, but it didn't make sense at the time because of the platform expense and the location of some stops that would have vehicles blocking intersections briefly. That's how this particular vehicle is designed -- modular, open-gangway -- but it's up to the agency to decide when they make their orders. Some agencies really want to be able to pair vehicles to size up/down consists to demand (common in the US light rail context).
Thanks. That makes a lot of sense. I suppose we could also purchase these trains configured for higher speeds for dedicated lines to the northland that would be spaced further apart? Obviously, you'd have to not use those trains on the current, shorter stop line and people would have to transfer (which will likely be the case anyway).

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by DaveKCMO »

You could run them shared, I think, but the components might not last as long. I'm not a vehicle expert though.

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Re: Phase Three Streetcar Expansion

Post by flyingember »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:24 pm
normalthings wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:13 pm
Are longer platforms a consideration at all on Mainstreet if prices come in below expected? Or is the emphasis more on spending extra funds on more vehicles
No. Just run more service. This region has no idea what high frequency transit can really be like. There are bus routes in larger cities with 3-5 minute headways. Streetcar topped out at 8m when running four vehicles and the most frequent MAX route was 10m (and that won't return for awhile until sales tax revenue improves -- max is 15m now).
I would much rather see more vehicles myself.

People hate waiting in the weather. If you know the next train is 5 minutes away it seems far more likely someone will decide they're happy to wait on the next train if they get unlucky and miss one.

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