Transit Action Network (TAN)

Advocates for Improved and Expanded Transit in the Kansas City Region.

Archive for February, 2012

Enhanced Streetcar/DMU/BRT Combinations Are Discussed

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 24, 2012


The Partnership Team and consultants added eight additional alternatives to the Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis (JCCCAA).  In the final interview of this series, Lisa Koch, senior planner with the lead consulting team Parsons Brinckerhoff, discusses these alternatives which include various combinations of three transit modes; Enhanced Streetcar, Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Maps of all the combinations are available below.

Lisa also describes the traffic control elements being planned for an Enhanced Streetcar to travel on the streets and how these elements differ from the ones used by the Regional Rail DMU alternative discussed in the previous interview.

For a closer look at the display board Lisa uses during the interview, see JCCCAA display-board-nov 2011 or print page 11 of the second open house display boards. JCCCAA-open-house-display-boards-nov 2011

Summary of JCCCAA Streetcar/DMU/BRT combinations being studied

Click to enlarge

Maps of all the Streetcar/DMU/BRT Combinations

A. Enhanced Streetcar/DMU – Linwood Alternative

B. Enhanced Streetcar (ALL) – Linwood Alternative

C. Enhanced Streetcar/DMU – Truman Road Alternative

D. Enhanced Streetcar (ALL) – Truman Road Alternative

E. BRT/DMU – Linwood Alternative

F. BRT (ALL) – LinwoodAlternative

G. BRT/DMU – Truman Road Alternative

H. BRT (ALL) – Truman Road Alternative

An alternatives analysis requires a substantial amount of work to evaluate the possible transit solutions for a corridor. The analysis includes a complex comparison process to decide which alternative is the best fit for our region at this time. Lisa has agreed to visit with TAN again to update us on status of the study and provide insight into the FTA process used to rate the alternatives.

TAN appreciates Tom Gerend of MARC and Lisa Koch of Parsons Brinckerhoff, along with Shockey Consulting and TranSystems, for making all of this information available to our viewers.

The next open house is March 13 -15 going to be re-scheduled.

Traffic Control Elements for RAIL on Streets in the JCCCAA

Link to the first interview: MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

Link to the second interview: Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultant Discusses Three Alternatives In The JCCCAA

Link to the third interview: Discussion About The Regional Rail Alternative for the JCCCAA

Project website:  KCSmartMoves

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Discussion About The Regional Rail Alternative for the JCCCAA

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 20, 2012


In the third of our four interviews, Lisa Koch, senior planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff, discusses the Regional Rail alternatives for the Southeast Corridor (the unused Rock Island line through Raytown and Lee’s Summit) and the Eastern I-70 Corridor (the underutilized Kansas City Southern line through Blue Springs).

Diesel Multiple Unit -DMU

Lisa describes the routes being considered, along with traffic control elements that would be required by the Federal Railroad Administration for a Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train to use new rail on the streets of Kansas City and Independence to reach a commuter rail terminal in the Freight House District, north of Union Station.

For a closer look at the display board Lisa uses during the interview, see JCCCAA display-board-nov2011 or print page 11 of the second open house display boards. JCCCAA-Open-House-Display-Boards-Nov2011


Following is the proposed map for the Regional Rail system being studied in the Southeastern and Eastern Corridors of Jackson County. MP (Mile Point) is the distance in miles from Union Station.

Click To Enlarge


Details of all the alternatives are changing as the study continues.

The Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis is scheduled for completion in late Spring 2012.

Our fourth interview, covering combinations of streetcars, DMU and BRT, will be posted later this week.

Link to the first interview: MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

Link to the second interview: Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultant Discusses Three Alternatives In The JCCCAA

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Parsons Brinckerhoff Consultant Discusses Three Alternatives In The JCCCAA

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 17, 2012


Lisa Koch, a senior planner with the lead consulting firm for the study, Parsons Brinckerhoff,  discusses three of the alternatives being studied in the Jackson County Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis (JCCCAA) with Transit Action Network.

No Build

Transportation Systems Management

Enhanced Express Bus (part of TSM)

Lisa also describes the travel demand model used to estimate ridership for each mode in the study’s forecast year of 2035.

The study is in the second phase, called Tier Two, where a detailed analysis of the remaining alternatives is conducted and the alternatives are narrowed down to come up with a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). The study is scheduled to be completed in late Spring 2012.

http://vimeo.com/36946225

This map is the current proposed map of the Enhanced Express Bus System. It has different colors to represent the different express bus services being considered. Some services are new. PR stands for Park and Ride lots. The map is subject to change.

In 2007 there was an I-70 Commuter Corridor Alternatives Analysis (AA).  In the Summary Report the consultant’s near-term recommendation was to improve the Express Bus system. The AA also studied the underutilized Kansas City Southern (KCS) Railroad line. In that study, the KCS line traveled to the Knoche Rail Yard and then new rail  was needed from there (near the Missouri River) up to Third St. and Grand.  In another variation the KCS line connected to the Trench, the Kansas City Terminal Railroad tracks that run past Union Station. Neither of those rail alternatives were recommended in 2007 and both of those options were eliminated from the current study in the Tier One evaluation.

Link to the first interview: MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

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MARC And Parsons Brinckerhoff Discuss The Current Status Of The Commuter Corridors Altenatives Analysis

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 15, 2012


Last week Transit Action Network sat down with Tom Gerend, Assistant Director of Transportation and Project Manager at Mid-America Regional Council (MARC), and Lisa Koch, Senior Planner with Parsons Brinckerhoff,  in a series of four video interviews to discuss the Commuter Corridors Alternatives Analysis currently underway in Jackson County.

MARC is on the Partnership Team overseeing the study and Parsons Brinckerhoff is the lead consulting firm conducting the study.

Transit Action Network believes this is a good time to bring everyone up to date since the last public open house was the end of November 2011. The next open house won’t be held until after the Stakeholders Advisory Panel on March 6. (update-the third open house will be March 13-15 rescheduled)

These interviews provide background on the study as well as the current information about the three corridors and the multitude of alternatives being studied.

Keep in mind that none of the alternatives have been chosen to implement at this point and the situation changes as new information becomes available and decisions are made. Since the last open house, more analysis has been done and another alternative has been eliminated. Consultants and engineers continue to look for the best solutions to challenges presented by the options.

Join us on this first interview with Tom for an introduction to the series and background on the study.

The study website is KCSmartMoves.org

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Don’t Let Congress Destroy Public Transit! Please call your Congressman Now!

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 12, 2012


H.R. 7, the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act,” would all but destroy public transit.  Debate starts in the House Monday, February 13.  Please call your Representative to oppose this bill unless significant changes are made.

Missouri:

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (202) 225-4535

Rep. Sam Graves (202) 225-7041

Rep. Vicki Hartzler (202) 225-2876

 Kansas: 

Rep. Kevin Yoder (202) 225-2865

The proposed new federal transportation bill currently in the House of Representatives, H.R. 7, is a disaster for public transit.

  1. It de-funds public transit by removing it from the Highway Trust Fund, leaving public transit without the dedicated funding source it has had since the Reagan administration. This bill would force public transit to compete for money from General Revenue.
  2. Funding for bike and pedestrian safety are eliminated. Bicycle and pedestrian deaths make up 14% of all traffic fatalities.
  3. The bill gives transit providers incentives to begin privatizing public transit. Public goods like transit are not well served by privatization. England’s experience with privatization of transit was a failure.

H.R. 7 would dash any hope the Kansas City region has of upgrading its transit system in the future. Even maintaining the transit service we have today would be difficult because money for new buses, maintenance, and infrastructure needs would be harder to get.

Call your member of Congress now. You will be able to leave your concerns with either a staff person or a voicemail.

If you speak with a staff person, ask them how the Representative plans to vote.

a.   If they are in favor of H.R. 7, ask them to please reconsider or make the changes to the bill listed below.

b.   If they are against it, ask them to help change H.R. 7 or try to defeat it.

Ask them to oppose H.R. 7 unless these changes are made:

  1. Fully restore dedicated public transit funding to the Highway Trust Fund (most important)
  2. Include money for bike and pedestrian safety
  3. Eliminate proposed incentives for privatization

Tell them that public transit is critical for getting people to jobs, and also to job training.

Tell them that a recent study by the Economic Development Research Group, Inc., reported that investing $1 billion in public transit created 41,000 jobs, compared to 24,000 for capital and maintenance.

 Missouri:

Rep. Cleaver (202) 225-4535

Rep. Graves (202) 225-7041  

Rep. Hartzler (202) 225-2876

Kansans: 

Rep. Yoder (202) 225-2865

Get Contact Forms to email your representative.

You can also call the Capital Switchboard 220-224-3121 and ask to be connected to representatives.

Even if all of these issues are submitted as amendments to the bill, the House has to be convinced to accept them. A vote is expected this week.

The Senate’s version of a new transportation bill is very reasonable, so please focus on the House version.

For additional information:

Read the legislative briefing from David Warm, Executive Director of MARC, that was sent to our Congressional delegation.

Read DC.StreetsBlog: Why the House Transportation Bill Hits Bus Riders Especially Hard

The future of Public Transit is at risk. Please help spread the word!

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Action Alert!!! House GOP Moves to Eliminate Dedicated Transit Funding

Posted by Transit Action Network on February 2, 2012


Call your member of Congress immediately. The House Ways and Means Committee is attempting to eliminate gas tax revenue from funding transit and instead give all the money to roads. Transit gets about 20% of the fuel tax receipts. Today’s announcement provides only one day of warning before the bill is marked up starting Friday, February 3rd at 9 am.

H.R. 3864, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Financing Act of 2012, threatens to eliminate three decades of successful investments in public transit by ending the guarantee for dedicated funding for public transportation that has been in place since Ronald Reagan. This money is essential to help states and local communities advance critical transit projects.  The House GOP wants any funding for public  transit to come from general revenue therefore making transit fight for every dollar against all the other government expenditures.

Read APTA.com  House Ways and Means Committee Would Eliminate Historical Funding Source 

Read DC.StreetsBlog   House GOP Moves to Decimate Dedicated Transit Funding

Call your member of Congress now:

Missourians: Rep. Cleaver (202) 225-4535 or Rep. Graves (202) 225-7041

Kansans:  Rep. Yoder (202) 225-2865

    • Tell them that you are aware that H.R. 3864 proposes to terminate all dedicated federal funding for public transit.
    • Tell them that you support retaining funding for public transit at the full 2.86 cents per gallon of the federal gas tax.
    • Ask them to do what they can to make sure that H.R. 3864 maintains full funding for public transit.

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