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Posts Tagged ‘Anaheim’

ARTIC Disaster

Anaheim’s new ARTIC train station was built on the wrong side of the freeway, putting visitors further away from Disneyland. And whereas the old station had easy access to buses and parking, the new one forces passengers to walk long distances.

It is also a financial disaster:

The bulk of the $185 million ARTIC project cost was paid for by Orange County taxpayers with a special half-percent sales tax known as Measure M2.

But it’s Anaheim’s taxpayers that will shoulder the annual operating and maintenance expenses for ARTIC, which is several times over the cost to run train stations in other nearby cities.

For example, the Irvine train station saw 1,900 boardings a day in fiscal year 2013-14, according to city provided figures. That’s well over twice as many as ARTIC.

The cost to operate and maintain the Irvine train station annually is $485,000.

That cost for ARTIC is expected to be $4.7 million, nearly 10 times what it costs to run the Irvine station.

Oh, and rail ridership at Anaheim is down 32.2% over the past two years.

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ARTIC Platform Fail

$188 million was just spent building a new train station for Anaheim — including new platforms.

Those new platforms will allow for level-platform boarding right?

No, of course not. But the planners did publish a helpful Powerpoint presentation explaining why the new station doesn’t have level-platform boarding. It reads like a confession from the planners, describing all the reasons why they suck.

artic_platform

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Question: How big a train station is required to handle bidirectional 4 trains/hr?

Most railway planners would give an answer something like this:

But in Anaheim, the solution for handling for their measly 4 trains/hr (2030 projection!) is this $180 million palatial megacomplex, the Grand Central of Orange County, otherwise known as Artic:

artic2

The “Leed(TM) Platinum-Certified sustainable building” will provide over 1255 parking spaces.

Unfortunately, the station is not an anomaly. Many cities view train stations as a form of monument building. All over California there are similar stations either being planned or already built. It would be one thing if these were “Grand Central” station stops with tens of millions of annual trips. But they aren’t — even with most optimistic travel forecasts they will always be just minor suburban stops.

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