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Jon Calon

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Everything posted by Jon Calon

  1. A very good idea. I've got pictures of downtown Ottawa (where they use a lot of the Articulated busses) on a particularly bad weather day and bus service in the downtown (and elsewhere I'm sure) was completely crippled by several of the artics being jack-knifed at a terminal at the east end of the downtown transitway. On the other hand, it'd be good if the middle pair of wheels were also driven too, but I think that's only realistic on the articulated trolley busses. Jon
  2. Actually, I doubt the platform will be on an incline. The local topography around the AMA building does rise up towards 45th Street, so the line will very likely remain level. In fact, one of the GEC guys I talked to at one of the open houses last December (IIRC) said the push for trenching/keeping the line buried to after 45th would work better because the tracks wouldn't have to come up and then go back down again. What I wonder though is why the City didn't approach the AMA, offer to buy out the AMA's location at 17th and 45th, give them some land over at Westbrook for a new building and then provide a park and ride lot for 45th? Jon
  3. I was reading about that in the Herald this afternoon. I got the impression it wasn't a done deal just yet. Did Council actually make that decision today to do that? Jon
  4. And not really even that. It's three times a week in each direction, so there's two days between trains in the same direction each week. And even then, the two lines would require separate stations as it's pretty difficult to get from the CP line between Edmonton and Calgary to the east-west transcon on CN. Lastly, there's the real issue about why the service got axed in 1986. Despite having a city-centre to city-centre-ish schedule that ran 3h30m, the train was killed off primarily, though not entirely, due to all the level crossing accidents. The RDC's needed to do something close to 90mph to meet the schedule (the tracks veer over to Wetaskiwin, adding extra distance the bus and private car don't need to do) required and at that speed, grade crossing accidents are just waiting to happen because people are too impatient to wait the couple moments. And today, where would the train stop near Red Deer? The entire corridor through the city centre is gone and the tracks are way over on the west side of the city... Don't get me wrong, I'd rather take the train than a bus or my car to Edmonton...train would be far more comfortable and fast compared to a bus, far less boring than driving myself, and I really hate flying, especially for such a short distance. Alas...not in the cards yet. Jon
  5. Hey Evan, Here's a few thoughts I had: 1) iPhone is great. It's what I'm planning to get when I replace my POS cellphone. 2) Intelligent route planning. I'm not afraid to walk a little more to catch a bus that gets me to LRT faster than a bus that goes closer to the house. 3) Program in the stops that I frequent and get information for the next bus based on those stops. 4) The ability to track on a longer-term basis how on-time the bus is and how long the commute is (GPS is good to determine when I get on the bus and off, waiting at layover points, etc.) 5) Better transit route maps than what the city provides (Calgary's maps suck) 6) When picking out what time to catch a bus, a Next schedule/Previous schedule works nicely in case the system doesn't spit out the right arrival/departure times. I'm sure I could come up with more, but I've gotta run...my bus is going to leave without me if I'm not at the stop in time! Cheers, Jon
  6. In addition to the ground-breaking at Saddletowne Circle, I've also seen a lot of earthmoving around in the right of way through Martindale and at Saddletowne Circle. I'll try to grab some pics soon for posterity's sake. Jon
  7. Because of the bend in the bus, the Artics can make tighter turns than a lot of the 40 foot busses. And when you have crush loads on Artics, you call the city Ottawa. Been out there a few times and yes, the transitway is nice, but OMFG, the run down Albert or Slater is SLOW. One could get off at the one end and walk to the other end and then board the same bus or heck, potentially get on the prior bus. Jon
  8. Are these park and ride lots going to carry the same $3/day parking fee that the LRT station lots have? Jon
  9. From what I gather, the North-Central line is supposed to spur off the NE line and head north along the CP right of way. As to the SE line, the corridor for that south of Glenmore at Shepard road has long been reserved. A few years ago, the planning started on how to connect that corridor to the core, and the routes which spurred off at the Zoo were taken out of consideration pretty quickly. What we have now for the 302 BRT line is pretty close to the plan for the SE line. What I'd like the SE line to do downtown is somehow route itself such that it can go up Centre Street underground and save the North Central line from going up Nose Creek. Be hugely expensive, but serve the area much better than what they're envisioning now. Jon
  10. Actually, you're two blocks north. The "subway" is intended to go underneath 8th Avenue. And as far as I'm aware, the plan would be to put the 201 line underground when the 5 car trains become necessary and to leave the 202 (Saddletowne-69th Street West) line on 7th Avenue. Separating the two lines will allow for frequency improvements on both lines because these days, 7th gets pretty packed with trains during the rush. As for the bus crash...At least it proves the LRT platforms are pretty rock solid. Appears there's no damage whatsoever to the platform. The bus I'm thinking though is a write-off. I too hope the driver and passengers make a quick recovery. Jon
  11. Finally. We've been seeing the "Brite signs" all over Taradale, Martindale and Saddleridge about the work starting this month. Earthworks, soundwall, etc. going this fall and likely into the winter and more work on the underground stuff. Sadly, it would appear that we're definitely not going to be riding trains from these two stations until 2012... Jon
  12. Yeah, progress seems to be going pretty well there (as well it should. It was supposed to be open last summer!) and I've seen several trains (U2's) being parked inside. It's amazing how sharp some of those curves are in there too! From what I've heard, the C-Train system has so many cars on the property and ordered that it's already at capacity for storage space, thus why the expansion is being built. As to the question of whether one facility handles only one type of car (Anderson takes the U2's, OBMF takes the SD's or vice-versa), I don't think that'll be really all that possible given the changing numbers of cars, and the fact the trains are still rather mixed on both lines. Jon
  13. This was always an idea which seemed to have promise in theory, but in reality, never really caught on. I'd imagine with the limited space available in those spaces that the chances of the operator making any sort of profit are slim-to-nil.... I wish any operator of these things the best of luck... Jon
  14. I'm agreeing with Peter here. I heard the sounds and they're friction between wood and steel. Jon
  15. Not only that, but if one takes a look along 17th Avenue SW on the north side of the street, the Mac's and Husky gas station on the corner of 37th Street was shut down. Scotiabank is also moving a couple blocks away from their current location just west of 37th to the corner of 33rd and 17th on the south side of the street. Would certainly appear that the City's getting ready to do a cut-and-cover for the construction of the underground portion of the line. Jon
  16. Interesting that this route follows most of what the SE LRT alignment is... Thanks for posting! Jon
  17. What's the value of those things these days? Couple million each? And I'd presume that Siemens will try their best to reuse all the parts on the car once it makes it down to Sacramento? Jon
  18. I think a lot of people will hate the idea of having nothing but standing room only cars. I'd hate to be someone getting on at Crowfoot for a ride down to the end of the line and having to sit sideways the entire time. Or worse, be forced to stand since the seating capacity has been reduced. Sitting sideways to a moving vehicle leads to lots of people leaning right and left as the train starts and stops moving and not entirely comfortable. Seniors will probably hate it too. What's everyone else think of this? Jon
  19. Ahh...So that would explain why the passengers at MW are forced to walk the extra carlength. I too wish that the operators stopping at MW would take the train to the 4 car marker so the passengers don't have to walk as far. Tis a sad thing when you're walking to the train and mere seconds before you reach the door, the doors lock and you're left waiting for the next train. Jon
  20. I'm on the CCC for the NE extension to Martindale and Saddletowne stations, and we've been told much the same thing. The funding in total is secure, but like the XRT, the NE extension is being delayed as well due to those funding issues. Remember that we were supposed to have the stations open in 2010 originally (IIRC), then to 2011 and now to 2012. At least we don't have massive stations being involved up here. Jon
  21. On the drive into work this morning, finally noticed a three car train (U2's I believe) sitting in the yard there. Any further updates as to when phase 1 of the facility will be completed? Jon
  22. Jon Calon

    Park Plus

    So it's been a few months since the Pay Parking has been implemented at most stations. I know a few of you are transit operators, and wondering what you're seeing in terms of increased ridership on the feeder routes, how much parking is available in the lots mid-day, etc. I'm in favour of the pay to park system, for a few reasons: 1) I'm a supporter of Transit Oriented Development. If the station grounds are nothing but parking lots, it does very little to help those who choose to live adjacent to the stations and not own or use a vehicle that much. If it's TOD, then the station has to be almost right next door...not across a massive parking lot. 2) The feeder bus system needs to have increased frequency to encourage those who could've taken a feeder bus but decided to drive due to the 15/30 minute frequency of the feeder busses. If the parking fees allow for the additional bus frequencies, so much the better. After all, they're called Feeder Busses for a reason! 3) A lot of people will drive in from outside of Calgary (like Cochrane, Okotoks and High River for example) to park at the LRT stations. Other than their Calgary Transit fares, these guys are getting the service without paying for it through municipal taxes. The park and ride fee helps pay their share of taxes they should already be paying to support the transit system. And a lot of people would be pretty daft to think that they could get parking downtown for less than transit pass and the $3 parking fee...Yes, it's extra money if they continue to use the luxury service, but then again, a lot of people are worried about their cars out in the open at a parking lot for the entire day. The increased security is a good thing. Jon
  23. I was wondering what that bit of trackage was for. Appeared to be just a little too neatly placed in the ballast to be "just dumped there". I've also heard that even on opening day, the OBMF is going to be at capacity...The storage and tail tracks around the system are still going to be used... Jon
  24. I firmly believe that with the Airport Trail tunnel being left an allowance for 2 LRT tracks, the connection of the Airport to the station immediately beyond the Saddletowne Station is much more doable than waiting for the station to arrive at the Airport from the west. Yes, it's just less than twice as long by my reckoning on Google Earth, but sure beats waiting for a line that hasn't even had station locations marked out by the City. Jon
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