Public Transportation

Atlanta Decides On Big City Transit

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2008/08/25/daily61.html :

A board of metro Atlanta political and transportation leaders Thursday adopted an ambitious plan for a network of bus and passenger rail lines that would criss-cross the region by 2030.

At full build-out, [the plan] calls for more than 500 miles of rail, including 322 miles for commuter trains and 116 miles of light rail. Another 849 miles of highway would be traveled by various bus systems. The projected capital costs of the full network would be $26.8 billion, with annual operating expenses of $1.1 billion.

[The plan] is contingent upon voter approval of a one-cent regional sales tax dedicated to transportation improvements. A telephone survey conducted for the board last March showed 58 percent support for the tax if it is tied to a specific list of projects.

We Did It!

CART Members Help Run Futuristic Transit System!

Historic inspection of system by Jefferson, Hardin, and Meade county officials to occur on November 8th. Thanks to the generous contributions of CART members and other concerned citizens, we now have enough money to run an inspection train and inspection bus along the Dixie Highway corridor. For three glorious hours, Louisville will have something resembling a commuter system along Dixie Highway, out to Fort Knox, and south to Elizabethtown.

This day will not have been possible without the generous contributions of the following entitites:

  • All our donors! Thank you!
  • The Paducah & Louisville Railroad, for operating the train and providing the crews
  • Miller Transportation, for giving us a great deal on charter motor coaches
  • Louisville Metro Council for agreeing to match private donations 1:1
  • The councils of Muldraugh, West Point, and Radcliff for taking a chance on us early
  • Project leader John Owen for dusting off the old KIRA plan, and sticking to his vision
  • Our friends out at TARC, TACK, and KIPDA for advice and support

 


Photo
courtesy Brian Wiggins
www.pbase.com/savethewave

If you're only now learning of this fundraising drive, but you still want to contribute, rest assured the CART General Fund has been greatly depleted from jump-starting this venture. By joining CART today, you'll ensure CART has the funds to seize future opportunities to promote public transportation.

The Streetcar Boom

The New York Times did a big piece on the rising tide of popularity for streetcars:"Downtowns Across the U.S. see Streetcars in Their Future"

Commuter Rail Cars & Culture in Chicago

I was up in the 'burbs of Chicago this weekend, and I spent a lot of time on Metra, the commuter rail system there.


Metra Car
Photograph John Kenna
railroadpix.com

Why does this matter? It was "worn out" Metra cars that the Music City Star bought for $1 each to get Nashville's commuter rail system up and running, and I think Louisville would be lucky to get the same deal today, should it decide to do something similar along the P&L tracks.

Map of P&L Commuter Rail Line

View Larger Map

This line would basically replace the TARC 50 express bus. We could maybe see 8 runs a day within Jefferson County, which would include 4 runs a day all the way out to Elizabeth town. Running speed could potentially be 50mph.

 


Fund the inspection train! We're almost half way there!

Louisville needs watermelon-shaped bus shelters!


Photo through
Wacky Archives. Check them all out!

Don't you wish Louisville had more watermelon-shaped bus shelters?

Yeah, I do too.

David Hawpe pines for more interesting bus shelters in his column in today's Courier-Journal.  But, really, what he wants is more comfortable bus stops; he especially dislikes the "shelters" in the Bardstown Road corridor which are pretty useless, whether it's raining (no sides), windy (ditto), snowing (ditto) or sunny:

Long C-J piece on Transit and TARC

Marcus Green has a long piece detailing the state of public transit in Louisville. It covers the service cuts, the fuel crunch, the T2 light rail plan, the proposed line along the Paducah & Louisville, CART, and much more.

Also at the C-J online is a reader forum where users can ask questions of Barry Barker, executive director of TARC.

Furthermore, TARC has settled on a price for diesel for the next year: $3.97/gallon. Sounds good to me!

Lastly, it appears the family of a man who died protecting a stranger has decided to sue TARC for failure to maintain control of the bus situation. This man sounds like a hero.

Commuter Rail is a Real Possibility - the P&L Railway Inspection Train

If you attended the CART Annual meeting on Wednesday, July 23, you heard the discussion of an exciting proposal to demonstrate that commuter rail is a real possibility in Louisville. 

CART is partnering with KIRA, the Kentucky and Indiana Rail Advocates, to sponsor an “inspection train” down Dixie Highway toward Fort Knox, using the Paducah & Louisville Railway.  It will be a trip for various city officials to see the railway and imagine what the corridor could become. A similar inspection train led to the creation of the Music City Star on the Nashville & Eastern railroad. 

McConnell transit earmarks: great but ... huh? no Louisville?

Dear Senator McConnell,
The appropriations committee has passed the FY 09 spending bill for Transportation and HUD. Thanks to you there were over $9 million in earmarks for public transit in Kentucky:

CART Defers TARC Ballot Initiative

We all know that public transit has been in the news.  More than ever, we have a climate that will support public transit if we can build a base and momentum.  Thanks to you long time, committed advocates, CART has successfully raised awareness of the need for increased funding for transit. Now is the time for all of you to take you energies and recruit others.

CART, along with the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, Kentuckyians for the Commonwealth, AARP, the Center for Accessible Living, and other friends, is developing education and advocacy tools for you to use.  We want to have people and organizations show their commitment to increased public transit by signing onto some basic principles.  If you are interested in this phase, let us know.

This does redirect our energy from the petition for the August 16 deadline to add a transit funding initiative to the 2008 ballot.  But we know that educating the public and growing the base of supporters is the most important way to use our time.

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