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What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Seattle Center City Streetcar Workshop July 20, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Seattle Center City Streetcar Workshop July 20, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Seattle Center City Streetcar Workshop July 20, 2007

2 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates What Makes Streetcars Work? Modern Streetcar Applications

3 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Project Goals Understand key issues Identify potential streetcar network and implementation priorities Understand that streetcars are only one mode in a major multi-modal system Realize that once a route is constructed it can not be altered

4 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Transit Plan - Goal … Transit every 15 minutes … 18 hours a day … 7 days a week …

5 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Existing Transit 2006

6 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Next Phase

7 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Seattle Connections 2030

8 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates 2006 Next2030

9 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates South Lake Union Streetcar Under construction Begins operation in fall 2007 Local Improvement District funding

10 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Actions to Build on Center City Circulation Report Seattle Streetcar Network and Feasibility Analysis Westlake Transportation Hub Study Seattle Transit Plan -2005

11 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Actions to Build On Center City Action Strategy Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement Sound Transit First Hill Transit Connections Streetcar Alliance

12 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Why Consider More Streetcars in Seattle? Attracts up to 40% more riders than bus, all conditions held equal. New rail lines replacing buses doubled previous bus ridership. Attracts “choice” markets.

13 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates What Explains the Difference? Riders Perspective: Predictable routes and stops More stability Greater ride comfort Electric – low noise and no fumes Nostalgia

14 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates What’s Different about Streetcars? Local circulation system Covers shorter distances Can operate in mixed traffic More frequent stops Rapid and less costly construction Catalyzes pedestrian- friendly development

15 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Factors Influencing Ridership Intensity of land use Mix of land use Travel time Frequency Fares Connectivity to transit network Legibility and information Comfort

16 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Why Not Just Add Nice Buses? Streetcars: Organize development Often generate private financing Attract tourists and occasional riders Offer “legibility” Operate better in pedestrian environments.

17 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Streetcars do have their drawbacks Less flexible Less maneuverable Higher maintenance Once in place it has to succeed Higher capital investment Overhead wires

18 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Main differences between streetcar and light rail CharacteristicsStreetcarLight Rail Right-of-WayCan operate in mixed trafficMostly exclusive ROW Stop SpacingShort, every few blocksWide, often 1/2 mile to 1 mile or more VehiclesOften shorter (~60 ft); lower capacity (~120 passengers/vehicle) Longer vehicles (~90 ft); higher capacity (~180 passenger/vehicle) Route DistanceUsually short, less than 5 miles Usually long, more than 10 miles Functions / MarketsSupplement or replace local circulation Regional, long-haul commuter service Overhead WireUsually single wireCatenary

19 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates But it’s a fine line… Streetcar line in Pittsburgh (1976)

20 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates But it’s a fine line… Same line using modern LRT vehicles (1999) Required some track and power upgrades

21 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Streetcar Vehicle Technologies Modern Vehicles –Portland, Tacoma, Toronto Restored Vintage Cars –Often PCC cars (San Francisco, Philadelphia) –Nearly exhausted supply –Non-ADA accessible –Cost to acquire, transport and restore New “Replica” Cars –Built from blueprints of old cars (Charlotte, Memphis) –Can be made ADA accessible

22 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Advantages of Modern Streetcar Technology Lower maintenance Low floor and ADA accessible Higher total capacity Improved comfort and quieter Easier to acquire fleet

23 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates North American Streetcar Examples Existing Systems (modern technology) Portland One streetcar line, serves as local circulation in downtown Promotes economic development Integrated with buses and LRT

24 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates North American Streetcar Examples Existing Systems (modern technology) Tacoma One streetcar line Provides local circulation in downtown Designed to enhance economic development.

25 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Toronto 11 lines, 10 pass through downtown (both old and new technology) Integrated with buses and subway North American Streetcar Examples Existing Systems (modern technology)

26 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates North American Streetcar Examples Existing Systems (heritage) Many examples San Francisco Philadelphia Memphis New Orleans Little Rock Tampa Tucson Dallas Kenosha Seattle Charlotte Others… Tampa Memphis San Francisco “F” Line

27 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Streetcar Systems Planned or Under Development Cities considering streetcars: Madison Spokane Detroit Sacramento Vancouver, BC Atlanta Boston Others… Vancouver, BC

28 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Streetcars as an Economic Engine Portland - more than $3B in economic development Public  private investment Capture funding from new development/investments

29 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Capturing the Economic Engine Portland Streetcar After Property values increased 40% on route Condos on route sell for $275-$350/sf 43% of employees use transit

30 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Keys to a Successful Streetcar Corridor High frequency without LRT capacity demands Pedestrian- and transit-friendly Short trips, local access needs and shorter stop spacing Corridor to serve a variety of markets Lack of extreme congestion Integration with broader transit network Minimal utility conflicts Geography

31 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates How to Integrate Streetcars with Existing Transit Services Let each system do what it does best! Ensure visible and legible connections Frequent service rather than timed connections Integrated fare media High quality rider information and way-finding

32 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates How Much do Streetcar Lines Cost? Capital Costs –Estimates using current unit costs –Utility and other variable costs Operating Costs –Based on a realistic operating plan –Closely coordinated with King County Metro –Validated against peer systems

33 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Streetcar Costs Operating Costs –Portland experience: $3.7 million annual, $140/ revenue hour Capital Costs –Cost/mile: Portland ($23.7 to 26.3 million/mile) –Modern vehicles: $2.5 – $4.2 million / vehicle (average $2.9 million) What drives up the cost? –Geography, turning movements, etc. –Utility relocation

34 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Potential Funding Sources Federal: –New Starts/Small Starts Focuses on streetcar, trolley and bus rapid transit Projects less than $75 million federal share Total costs cannot exceed $250 million Goal is expedited review process Expect significant competition for funds State/Regional funding City general funds King County Metro Tax increment financing Parking revenues Local improvement district Endowment funds

35 What Makes Streetcars Work? Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Candidate Corridors Center City “Seattle Connections” routes are initial candidates for streetcar service. Today: Criteria Evaluation Mapping Exercise


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