Rails are forever.

August 13th, 2013

I made this one bite-sized.

Cincinnati Streetcar postcard design

Looks like a post card; I know some people I’d like to mail it to.

And even ignoring Cincinnati Streetcars and Cincinnati Subways, hows that Amtrak service doing? Three trips a week down from more than 100 a day? That’s some “permanent signal” of transit right there. Where’s all the vibrant, walkable TOD around Union Terminal’s active rail transit?

Or does rail have nothing at all to do with the quality of service that actually matters to people, the quality of service that connects people, building cities and economies along the way?

Operating Money > Capital Money, almost always. Tell your leaders.

One response to “Rails are forever.”

  1. James Braye says:

    I have really mixed feelings about the streetcar. I understand that developers like the “certainty”, but the route doesn’t make terribly much sense in the scheme of the current system. The CBD to uptown has PLENTY of service, so much so that I don’t think I’ve ever needed to wait more than 5 minutes during a weekday at gov square.

    On the point of operating money, I believe that’s tied into how the highway bills work. It’s a hell of a lot easier to get capital than operating money.

    For example, hybrid buses cost a bit more per operational hour over their life on average routes than diesels. HOWEVER, once you factor in that the increased purchase cost is usually ~80% covered by the feds, it starts to make more sense. Take the free capital money and conserve precious operating funds.

    I feel comparing union terminal to this project is a pretty poor analogy (sorry). I’m sure the Streetcar system would get pretty poor usage if another Eisenhower half a trillion dollars building whatever the equivalent of the interstate highway system would be today.