Thursday, November 1, 2012

Growing a Transit Network

As far as I can tell, building a good rapid transit system is pretty simple: Good planning and incremental investment. That seems to be why San Diego has done well, Salt Lake has done well, and Denver's Fast-Track is a bit of a boondoggle. Doing it incrementally makes it possible to apply 'lessons learned' to subsequent expansions. It could be argued that SLC's last expansion (4 lines at once) 'overdid it', but I don't think so. While it was funded as a package, UTA has been pretty clever in phasing the construction time of the different lines so that everything hasn't been happening all at once. The South Jordan and West Valley lines started service on the same day, but neither the Airport nor Draper lines have completed construction. I suspect that made it possible to re-use construction equipment/staff time on the different lines.