Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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HiawathaGuy
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » June 4th, 2015, 2:13 pm

go4guy wrote:Quick question. What is the cost of the maintenance facility for this extension? And why is it needed? Doesnt the line already have one? Why does there need to be 2?
Pretty sure the OMS facility in downtown St. Paul wouldn't be able to handle all the train sets for the entire line. Just the same as the OMS facility in Minneapolis for the Blue Line probably couldn't handle all the train sets for that extension. It's sort of the chicken and the egg scenario. Building a bigger facility, with anticipation for an extension that's likely 10 - 20 years out doesn't seem to ever register as "wise" when funding these projects. Even though, in the long run, it probably would be far cheaper.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby FISHMANPET » June 4th, 2015, 2:20 pm

Lowertown and Cedar Riverside are probably space constrained as well. I don't think all told it's that hard to throw up another bay on the side of your maintenance building, but you need the space for that first.

HiawathaGuy
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » June 4th, 2015, 2:21 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Lowertown and Cedar Riverside are probably space constrained as well. I don't think all told it's that hard to throw up another bay on the side of your maintenance building, but you need the space for that first.
And they did that with the Blue Line facility already, just for the extra cars needed to run 3-car trains on the existing line.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby HuskyGrad » June 5th, 2015, 9:16 am

HiawathaGuy wrote:
go4guy wrote:Quick question. What is the cost of the maintenance facility for this extension? And why is it needed? Doesnt the line already have one? Why does there need to be 2?
Pretty sure the OMS facility in downtown St. Paul wouldn't be able to handle all the train sets for the entire line. Just the same as the OMS facility in Minneapolis for the Blue Line probably couldn't handle all the train sets for that extension. It's sort of the chicken and the egg scenario. Building a bigger facility, with anticipation for an extension that's likely 10 - 20 years out doesn't seem to ever register as "wise" when funding these projects. Even though, in the long run, it probably would be far cheaper.
Operationally it saves costs having the OMF to the midpoint of the segments as possible since you limit the length required for dead heading and recovering disabled vehicles.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mulad » June 5th, 2015, 11:51 am

Yeah, it's pretty common in other metro areas for maintenance facilities to be located out toward the far end of the line. I suspect the Franklin Avenue facility is unusually close to downtown. I don't really like having OMFs set too far out, though, since then it becomes necessary for transit workers to drive there (though sometimes that's unavoidable given how some workers need to travel to/from these places in the middle of the night). I'm sure some places set up employee shuttles, though.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Chava » June 9th, 2015, 7:32 pm

"Southwest LRT: It's not too late to back away"
Enjoy.
http://m.startribune.com/opinion/commen ... n=/opinion

grant1simons2
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » June 11th, 2015, 11:02 am


David Greene
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » June 11th, 2015, 1:51 pm

Much of that was also shown at the special CAC meeting on Tuesday. The CMC has eliminated options A and B entirely. Cutting Royalston was also eliminated, meaning there's a gap to be made up with options C and D.

The difference between options C and D is whether Town Center station is relocated. Option D relocates it, which makes it much more difficult to extend the line in the future due to topography. In my mind that makes D a non-starter. All four plans were simply scenarios presented by staff. Of course we can always do a la carte cutting and come up with an entirely different plan. I expect in the end we'll go with a modified option C.

There was a great amount of pushback by the CAC about this cutting. Lots of questions about why $341MM is the magic number. Politics, of course, because the east metro doesn't want more money going to this project which they see as taking money from their projects (which is true, assuming a relatively static pot of money, which will be true at least until 2017).

One thing I gleaned from Tuesday's meeting that I did not fully grasp before: the feds are NOT driving this cost reduction. As far as I can make out from Q&A, the project at $2.1 billion still makes the federal cut. It is literally our own region that is shouting for cost reductions.

There is some thought that with enough push we can reduce that $341MM number and avoid some cutting. It won't disappear entirely but we should lobby to reduce it.

I also asked about the scenario where we pass a sales tax in 2017. We could increase the project budget and add things back in. It didn't sound like it would be much of a problem because the (S)DEIS has everything included. It would mean picking up the design work left off at whatever point the cut was made. Obviously if that were too late it would delay the project which is a big no-no.

Several people reiterated the point that anything cut now will not qualify for federal funds if we implement it after the line opens. So that $341MM number represents a much bigger hit to local revenue than it appears. It will cost us at least twice as much local funding to do things later rather than now and that's not even counting inflation. Remember, the $341MM is only $170.5MM of local funds. That's less than the cost of a short streetcar segment. Now, that's several aBRT lines if Snelling is any guide so there's certainly a tradeoff to be made. But let's not kid ourselves that that money will all go to urban aBRT and streetcars. It seems penny-wise and pound-foolish to cut this much money from the SWLRT budget.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » June 11th, 2015, 3:32 pm

If we cut it short, and had another project to extend it in the future big enough for New Starts ($250m, right?) then how would it be compromising potential federal funds?

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » June 11th, 2015, 8:22 pm

That's a gigantic "and."

Unless we get a massive infusion of transit funds (beyond the Move MN proposal) such an extension isn't going to be approved by CTIB.

mattaudio
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » June 11th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Well it may be different in a decade or two when Eden Prairie actually develops station areas in a way that is friendly to transit.

acs
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby acs » June 15th, 2015, 5:02 pm

http://finance-commerce.com/2015/06/leg ... hwest-lrt/

Looks like even getting the state to cover it's 10% share is going to be a major challenge.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » June 15th, 2015, 9:16 pm

Thank David Hann and Jennifer Loon for that.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » June 16th, 2015, 12:47 pm

More SDEIS open houses. Reaching. Open. House. Fatigue.

http://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/ ... rings.aspx

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » June 16th, 2015, 1:54 pm

Minneapolis one could be interesting, as it's likely the last public opportunity for 'LRT Done Right' (or are they the Lakes & Park Alliance now?) for a while. Assuming things proceed without any more major bumps in the road, 2016 will be about finalizing the funding agreement with the feds and continuing to work towards 100% engineering, with an eye toward heavy construction in 2017-18. I'm not sure what further opportunities there will be for public hearings and the like during that time...it could be quiet for a while after this SDEIS.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » June 16th, 2015, 2:00 pm

Public hearings and the like aren't really where people go when they want something. There are lots of levers.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » June 16th, 2015, 2:06 pm

You're right of course, but I meant more so their ability to join a crowd, show up with their cute signs, use their kids as political props, etc.

While there are many levers, it's not like there are a bunch of politicians up and down the line who are against it (Eden Prairie legislators excepted). This project has unanimous support at the local & county level. While someone might lend these folks an ear, no one important is coming out against it. Once the budget issue is solved, I'm sure the project will have the full support of Mark Dayton next bonding session.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » June 16th, 2015, 2:12 pm

I believe that's correct.

Really, the CIDNA/Kenwood people got what they wanted. Not the die-hards with their unrealistic expectations of course, but I have no doubt that we ended up in a place where most of the folks there are quite satisfied. No reasonable negotiator expects to get everything they want and a $300MM tunnel is a pretty huge gift. I don't see much real opposition in the way.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby trigonalmayhem » June 16th, 2015, 4:04 pm

I will go to my grave thinking the Kenwood alignment was a huge mistake pushed through under false pretenses and bad assumptions to reach a preordained decision.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby trigonalmayhem » June 16th, 2015, 4:05 pm

And I wouldn't call all the people like me who think the Minneapolis alignment is terrible but are resigned to the fact that this is the best we'll get supporters of it.


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