Following the release of the draft environmental assessment for the Loop Trolley project back in May, did you submit a question or comment at the open house or during the comment period? If you did, the draft EA has been updated showing everybody’s comments and responses for each and every one. Awesome! You can download the EA from the link above.
One of my major concerns was that the project’s over dependence on single tracking might forever doom the Loop Trolley to headways in excess of 12 minutes, that headways of 10 minutes or less would never be attainable and thus severely limiting the trolley’s expansion potential. It turns out I was right. From the EA (emphasis added):
The analysis in Draft EA Appendix 4.3 was to identify opening year operating scenarios. From this analysis, the 20 minute headway was determined as appropriate for the opening year of service. Table 3.1-2 on page 3-4 of the Draft EA shows a potential future ridership scenario if 10 minute headways were used. This would require additional track to be placed beyond what would be constructed for opening year operations. The actual future operation scenario will be demand driven. See Draft EA Section 4.2 for the Operations and Maintenance Plan.
At the very least, a drawing included in the updated EA seems to indicate that the double track section has been extended to just east of the trolley’s MetroLink station stop. This should help eliminate any possibility of eastbound trolleys blocking Delmar while waiting for westbound trolleys to clear the MetroLink station stop.
My other other major concern was that the Loop Trolley was being developed as a form of public transit independent of the existing Metro system and that the two systems should be in some way integrated for the benefit of all transit users. Alas, according to officials with the Loop Trolley, “integrating fares/providing transfers with Metro would make the Trolley project financially infeasible.”