Saturday, December 8, 2007

The train study proposal.

Thanks to an anonymous contributor, here is the current train study proposal.

(I regret that the proposal, which had been posted earlier, is now gone. Sorry, not my doing. The link is now gone.)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Getting on track

Some details that I think need to be addressed regarding the potential Phoenixville–Great Valley train line:

Is the plan to run just between Phoenixville and Great Valley, or to have a connection to the R5 line?

Where will the stations in Phoenixville, Great Valley, and elsewhere be located?

What is the projected service area at each end or station (i.e., from what distance around each station are riders expected to originate or end their trips)?

How are riders at each station expected to travel between the station and their ultimate starting or ending points?

Who (i.e., what entity) will operate the train?

Is the line between Phoenixville and Great Valley single, double, or multiple track? How does that affect operations and schedules?

Is the line between Phoenixville and Great Valley electrified or not?

What sort of rolling stock (cars, locomotives) will be needed, how many of each?

Will the rolling stock be compatible or interchangeable with other commuter lines (such as SEPTA Regional Rail)?

What is the expected ridership, in terms of distinct persons and trips per workday, nonworkday?

What is the projected operating schedule?

What is the projected staffing (positions and numbers of persons in each) to run the train?

Will the existing track need to be rehabilitated? At what cost?

What physical facilities will be needed: stations, parking lots, turnarounds, maintenance yards or sheds, offices, etc.? At what cost?

What are the projected operating costs? To what extent will they be covered by fares?

What are the projected capital costs? What is the source of capital funds? To what extent will the capital costs be covered by fares?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Budget Mysteries

According to The Phoenix, the scaling up of a rental inspector position from three-quarter time to full time is among the costs that would boost the announced tax increase for 2008.

Why the rental inspector’s costs should have any effect on taxes is a mystery that Council and the Manager should have to explain. Rental inspections are a regulatory program whose costs should be borne by fees imposed on the applicable properties.

In fact, the projected rental license revenue for 2007 is $167,500 and the budgeted amount for 2008 is $167,000, a mere $500 less. Could it be that $167,000 isn’t enough to cover the costs of one full-time inspector? What is the inspector being paid? Go to the first comment for an answer.

Council Member Wagner is right, Council is not micromanaging the budget. In order to micromanage you must first manage.