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Contrasts between NFTA and Rochester RGTA Fare Hike needs

 
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Dieseljim
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Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:38 am    Post subject: Contrasts between NFTA and Rochester RGTA Fare Hike needs Reply with quote

Recently on WGRZ TV-2, the question of why the Rochester Genesee Regional Transit Authority was able to lower their fares on their bus system while the NFTA had to raise theirs came up. I think what NFTA's Larry Meckler said on the subject made a good deal of sense. the NFTA system, ever since the Light Rail line was added is a different beast from the Rochester system in that sense, plus the fact that the NFTA has its own police force for patrolling both the subway/light rail line and the buses while the Rochester Authority relies on city police or sheriff's deputies in event of a problem aboard any of their buses. What makes this even more interesting is that New York City, too, had its own separate Transit Police department until it was merged into the NYPD as was the Housing Authority Police, which would seem to make sense in eliminating unnecessary fiefdoms. I cannot help but wonder if the NFTA force, too could not be merged into the Erie and Niagara County Sheriff's departments since they have the same police powers and authorities as any other law enforcement officers.
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt the police expense is a major factor. The expense of maintaining and operating the light rail line, on the other hand, undoubtedly is hurting the NFTA. The powers-that-be perpetuated a major error in never expanding the line beyond the south campus of the university. An extension to the much-larger north campus makes too much sense not to happen and would yield a significant ridership increase at all hours. Instead, they are stuck with the higher operating expense of electric rail transit without the ridership to take advantage of the mode's higher passenger capacity. Even with 23,000 riders per day, the line still does poorly in recovering its operating expenses from the farebox - the 2007 cost per passenger trip was $3.98, which is barely better than the NFTA's bus system and compares poorly to San Diego's light rail expense of $1.59 per trip.
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Dieseljim
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Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Location: Perry, NY

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Buffalo's Light Rail Line Possible Extension Reply with quote

Since a turnout for the Tonawanda extension was built right into the line near the LaSalle station, that could easily be done since NFTA owns the Erie Railroad trackage that is still in place north of Main Street and a branch to the North Campus could be built off the Tonawanda Extension. Now that we at last have a pro-rail/transit administration in power, maybe the Federal Transit Administration will look more favorably on this extension of the Light Rail Line. For a time, there was a small bus company whose vintage transit buses were both very reliable and popular with the riders that connected the North Campus with the NFTA system including the light rail. It was Buffalo Motor Bus. I am not sure who ran them out of business, but they operated the only "fishbowls" still active in the Buffalo area. They also had GM "old look" buses as well as the fishies and these were more reliable than much of what NFTA has in operation now. While Buffalo Motor Bus primarily served students reliant on transit attending the North Campus, since none of the buses were lift equipped I cannot help but wonder of the ADA whinies ran them out of business. A real shame.
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HwyHaulier




Joined: 16 Dec 2007
Posts: 932
Location: Harford County, MD

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: Buffalo's Light Rail Line Possible Extension Reply with quote

Dieseljim -

Ah, Light Rail! It introduces a dilemma: Do the taxpayers want efficient, low cost transit operations, where clearly needed? Or, do they
want to add (Trendy?) Light Rail to the mix?

From the little data we have right here, the Light Rail apparently requires at least somewhere around $60,000 each day, in the form of
"a little help from taxpayer friends" over and above daily farebox receipts. On an annual basis, that's about $20MM. IIRC, there have
been long held, and most vocal protests; grievances of Niagara Frontier locals that they already give more than their share of (involuntary)
help to endless projects of benefit to others...

Besides that, it is not especially amenable to lower costs by the strategy of building more to it. Rather a shame we see so little of much
of any common sense these days...

......................Vern...................
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RailBus63
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Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:53 am    Post subject: Re: Buffalo's Light Rail Line Possible Extension Reply with quote

Dieseljim wrote:
For a time, there was a small bus company whose vintage transit buses were both very reliable and popular with the riders that connected the North Campus with the NFTA system including the light rail. It was Buffalo Motor Bus. I am not sure who ran them out of business, but they operated the only "fishbowls" still active in the Buffalo area. They also had GM "old look" buses as well as the fishies and these were more reliable than much of what NFTA has in operation now. While Buffalo Motor Bus primarily served students reliant on transit attending the North Campus, since none of the buses were lift equipped I cannot help but wonder of the ADA whinies ran them out of business. A real shame.


'Whinies'? C'mon, Jim, it's 2009 - handicapped access to transit vehicles is a fact of life now. It's nice that this company ran old buses that us bus fans love, but any operation serving a college campus should expect to have passengers who rely on a wheelchair for mobility. They really shouldn't have had any problem finding good second-hand transit buses with operating wheelchair lifts, and we are now seeing low-floor buses from the mid-1990's hitting the market as well.

All of this is probably moot anyways - I suspect that the fact that UB now runs their own shuttle buses between the north and south campuses is likely the reason why Buffalo Motor Bus is gone.
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timecruncher



Age: 68
Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 456
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim -- Repeatedly I have reminded you that the Americans with Disabilities Act is a CIVIL RIGHTS LAW, and it applies to all transportation providers. It is enforced differently for private carriers, to be sure, but it isn't something that public transit can be selective about.

I personally love to see light rail success stories, and would love to have it here in Louisville (we actually have a couple of corridors that would support 'enhanced' transit) -- but the massive cost of construction and operation is far beyond what even the most liberal taxpayers will happily pay for a public service nowadays.

timecruncher
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