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#1 2008-06-04 07:53:31

From: NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-31
Posts: 13

Rail use surges

According to this report, even the much-maligned "Tri-Rail" system in S. Florida has standing room only on its trains. I can't help but think this bodes well for our very own commuter rail line, scheduled to open later this year. It is surprising to me that $4 gas is the tipping point. This may be a short-lived surge once people figure out they can just sell that Hummer for scrap metal then go out and buy a used Corolla for 8 grand. In the meantime, it sure looks like these rail systems around the country - even the ones that do not carry people door to door - are operating at or well beyond capacity. … b.16Ss0NUE

Phil Hallmark


#2 2008-07-05 20:00:43

Registered: 2008-06-05
Posts: 4

Re: Rail use surges

yeah, it'll be interesting to see what happens in rail over the next few years.

i'm curious how folks feel about 'high speed rail', too - like the ongoing debate in California. it's just that question of priorities - a high speed rail line sounds great, but what about maybe fixing the existing infrastructure, first, and making it first rate?


#3 2008-07-05 20:09:46

Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Rail use surges

The link you gave expired Phil.


#4 2008-07-09 15:11:46

Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 153

Re: Rail use surges

Tri-Rail has built up a pretty paltry 15-20,000/day ridership over 20 years, now, which is still far less than what Minneapolis or Houston pulled in their very first year - despite running a much longer distance through a much more heavily populated area full of people who moved to Florida from places like New York and Boston and are thus much more likely to give transit a whirl.

The best-case scenario in Austin is 2000 riders/day (the trains can't handle any more). I'd expect, instead, a much higher use of the 98x series express buses which are a far better option for people working at UT and the Capitol in particular, and that's, anectdotally, what's already happening.

Last edited by m1ek (2008-07-09 15:12:35)


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