Metro Magazine

JUL 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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12 < m ETRO m AGAZINE JULY 2014 Dallas Area Rapid Transit Whether it is maintaining and growing ridership on public transportation or taking advantage of new project delivery methods, many believe it is important to embrace today's more modern approach to living, working and playing. BY ALEX ROMAN, Managing Editor Leading the Charge to Capitalize As the public transportation industry continues to struggle with funding, many agencies are looking for ways to deliver projects differently, with the consultant industry helping to lead the way. METRO spoke with several consul- tants to not only discuss best practices for utilizing alternative project delivery, but the factors that are fueling public transportation's growth, including the way millennials approach their trans- portation choices. ALAN WULKAN HDR|InfraConsult Sr. VP DISCUSS THE REASONS BEHIND THE RESURGENCE OF THE STREETCAR. Streetcar systems are good distributors and have a little more permanence than bus lines, so the development communi- ty likes them. It is kind of like going back to the future — streetcars were very popular in the past. As we see more of the gentrif- cation of America and more people look- ing for options in the urban area, street- cars make a lot of sense. Also, there are some communities that have a very difcult time in today's environment raising federal or local monies for more expensive transit so- lutions, and the streetcar, although it doesn't provide a lot of relief for conges- tion in certain areas, is a lot cheaper to build than light rail for some transit-trip purposes. Certainly in some commu- nities, the modern streetcar has been looked at as an alternative to light rail, not necessarily a replacement. Te main reason for that is it fits the urban envi- ronment really well. CONSULTANT ROUNDTABLE: WHAT OTHER TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING? Land use, or transit oriented develop- ment, in coordination with public transit, is very popular and a hot topic almost ev- erywhere you go. For years and years, we talked about it, now we're actually seeing some really good planning taking place in urban areas, both old and new, where rail is being developed or is already in place. Te concept today that public transit is an investment as well as a transportation option, to me, is a huge trend happening in this country — that's a cultural shift. This is my 41st year in the public transit industry. When I frst started, it was a pri- mary way of moving people, particularly in the new start communities where tran- sit had been mainly for the transit depen- dent. Trying to attract new riders over the last 40 years has been the mantra of the New Starts program, but it has really been focused at the rider — both the transit de- pendent and new riders — in competition

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