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View Diary: Good news from Portland on urban transit! (115 comments)

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  •  new route (6+ / 0-)

    Good to hear about the new route. When possible, I use the street cars after driving up from Eugene. It's easier to park the car once and use public transportation to run around. Unlike even ten years ago, parking spots are hard to come by, so street cars and walking are a better way to day-trip.

    •  Next year on Amtrak (12+ / 0-)

      New Talgo trainsets (funded by the stimulus) are coming soon to the Cascades route. They will add two more trips each way from Eugene to Portland and Seattle. With any luck, you'll be able to leave your car at home.

      Intercity rail complements intracity rail.

      •  Yea! More secret Obama accomplishments (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cartoon Peril, Woody

        In Seattle we hear arguments against using public money for ferries. Incredible. As if the ferry riders could support ferries - as if highway drivers pay for even trip in their cars. Public means we all pay for the public commons whether you use concrete highways or ferry marine highways or not, or never or sometimes. I hate the complaining.

        But I love Portland & Seattle.

        “My first choice is a strong consumer agency,” she said. “My second choice is no agency at all and plenty of blood and teeth left on the floor.”

        by mrobinson on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:22:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Cascades cost less and less and less (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cartoon Peril

          The Cascades trains have been running for about 15 years. With on-going investments by the State of Washington, Amtrak, and Oregon, they have slowly been getting better and better and better.

          In recent years, four Talgo trains a day each way Portland-Seattle, plus Amtrak's Coast Starlight long distance train from L.A.. Every year ridership has increased, to over 850,000 a year now. With such good patronage, the service has been moving ever closer to break-even.

          Next year will see six Talgo tilting trains Portland-Seattle plus the Starlight. Down the Willamette Valley to Eugene it'll be four daily Talgo runs, up from two.

          (Yeah, a secret Obama accomplishment. A foul-up in failing to specify wi-fi delayed delivery of the first trains from before Election Day to early next year. Damn, damn, damn.)

          Added frequencies attract many more riders. It's the convenience of departures when you want to go, not having to wait another couple of hours for the next train, or booking another train close enuff to what you want when the best-timed one is sold out. When they increased the number of trains by 67% St Louis-Chicago, ridership went up 100%.

          Conservatively, Amtrak's Cascades ridership should break 1 million next year, and continue growing, with every added passenger reducing the operating loss.

          Not too far down the line, a couple of projects to reduce congestion and improve reliability will greatly improve their on-time performance.

          Then the Cascades route could use another billion or more in upgrades to cut the travel time. We can hope that Obama and a Democratic house will get us more infrastructure investments next year.

          And hold onto your ferries. That's a great way to travel.

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