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Thread: Trams. Oh, those Trams

  1. #11
    I studied the Tram routes (again) this year and I would suggest they do away with the switching of trams at the south end of the yellow route (at the Hanger Cafe) and simply make it a continuous run, combining the Blue and the Yellow tram lines into one. This new line would run from Tram Central (behind the Control Tower) along both the current Yellow and Blue routes and terminate at the South 40 where everyone would be required to depart the tram and wait for the next tram to return them north.
    I realize the Hanger Cafe stop is a point in the system where drivers and conductors switch out from time to time, and that could continue, but eliminating two sets of 180 degree turns would not only be safer for everyone but staying on Wittman Road would be much more efficient moving people from north to south and back again.
    I would also suggest putting signs on the trams (yea, more signs) that say "Please do not ask the driver or conductor for information or directions. They are busy enough and don't need the distractions." There are ground personnel who can handle that task.
    Lastly, but most importantly, "Thank You" to the tram folks for all you do for the rest of us. It's truly appreciated.
    Last edited by Ronald Franck; 08-02-2019 at 10:30 PM.

  2. #12

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    Hi Ronald,

    Actually the tram service using two 'terminals', one at the Tower and the other at the Hangar Café, improves our efficiency and allows more unique people to take advantage of the service overall. A 'terminal point-to-terminal point' system like we employ allows us to empty the trams at each end and give others a chance to ride. Those who use the trams just for a nice 'ride' rather than go to a specific area at AirVenture can always re-enter at the back of the line of people waiting at our terminals for their 'turn'.

    If end point tram emptying were eliminated, as few as 40 people per hour would get to ride them, because I guarantee you that the seats would be filled with the same group from start to finish, who got on at the Tower and went all the way to Ultralights before 'de-tramming' and vice versa. I guarantee it. If you think some are unhappy a full tram didn't allow them to get on at one stop now? Multiply that by 2 miles of stops. It would be chaotic.

    I have mentioned in another post the mathematical/logistical challenge of trying to conveniently and expediently moving some 70,000+ potential wanna-be riders on vehicles that can carry just 40 at a time. I think the tram service as designed and operated is doing an amazing job of people moving, considering the operational realities of a finite number of trams and more importantly the finite resource of volunteers to keep them running for 12 hours a day.

    I think some would agree that AirVenture can occasionally seem like a victim of its own success and relatively short overall duration of just a week. Kinda hard to float funding for massive infrastructure improvements across the huge acreage for a private party that lasts only 7 days. Disney can do it because its parks are open year round and they charge a small fortune to visit.
    Last edited by CHICAGORANDY; 08-03-2019 at 09:30 AM.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by CHICAGORANDY View Post
    If end point tram emptying were eliminated, as few as 40 people per hour would get to ride them, because I guarantee you that the seats would be filled with the same group from start to finish, who got on at the Tower and went all the way to Ultralights before 'de-tramming' and vice versa. I guarantee it.
    Re-read my orginal post, Randy. I never suggested nor implied that point emptying be eliminated. What I suggested is that it be moved from the Hangar Café to the end of the South 40 route. Most southbound riders would have gotten off by the time the tram has passed Tall Pines Cafe. Upon arriving at the South 40 the remaining few riders would disembark and then, if wanting to return north would be required to wait for the next tram, even if that now departing tram is nearly empty.
    I understand the emptying of the trams behind the Control Tower because the bulk of your riders scatter to the four winds from there, going to all points on the compass. That situation doesn't apply to the Hangar Cafe location.
    While the concessionaire at the Hangar Cafe may appreciate you delivering hundreds of potential customers on his doorstep what other purpose is there to dumping everyone off at the Hanger Café? What is the central attraction at that location that would entice everyone to disembark? There is none. 90+% of those riders are there simply because they wish to continue on in the same direction, either toward the Ultralight area or toward Tram Central behind the Control Tower. The only reason there are hundreds of people waiting at the Hangar Cafe location is because the trams gods deemed it so. The powers-that-be have created havoc for no other reason than for havoc's sake. That makes no sense. Having the Yellow and Blue Trams do their criss-crossing, 180 degree turn-round dance is the antipathy of efficiency and less than safe. My plan would simply eliminate that mess at the Hanger Café and keep people moving. Try it, you might just like it.
    As for the trams being full at every other location along the routes, that falls again on the tram powers-that-be. They insist that the trams be filled to capacity at each end of their respective runs, even if it means waiting to fill each and every seat while there is another empty tram waiting right behind them.
    Last edited by Ronald Franck; 08-03-2019 at 03:47 PM.

  4. #14
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    It's still unworkable Ronald. The bulk of the traffic is the yellow line tram. Not emptying them at the ends of the central area will make them largely disfunctional.

  5. #15

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    I agree with Ron, that i'd prefer to be able to ride all the way to ultralights as choice without a mandatory stop at the café.

  6. #16

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    "i'd prefer to be able to ride all the way to ultralights as choice without a mandatory stop at the café. "

    THANK YOU Bill, for making my point. Purt near EVERYONE who gets on at the Tower IS of your preference. Which makes for exactly 40 'happy riders' from the Tower ALL THE WAY to the Ultralight flightline….. and immediately makes multiples of that 40 P.O'd would-be passengers who that tram passed by because it was full.

    Mandatory mid and end-point tram emptying (for now) is about the only 'kinda fair' way to try and serve as many unique people as possible who ALL want to not have to walk for a little while. I also support trying to save at least one empty row on the tram when we leave a station to provide that ride opportunity to folks at our first stop. Remember that trams were created way back when simply only to serve the elderly and infirm who NEED to ride. Mobility scooters eliminate that need, at least for those who can afford them.

    IF a bazzillionaire donated a blank check to EAA to build an autonomous monorail loop with 10 trains of twenty cars each that ran 24/7 during AirVenture….and it WOULD take a mighty BIG check….. there would STILL be hundreds who got upset because the train was full and they had to wait or walk. Some 80,000+ came through the gates daily. 80,000! Trams or buses can only hold 40 at a time.

    ***edited to correct my math. Per the recent EAA e-mail 640,000 people came through the gates. Presuming that meant over the 7 days? That would be 91,428 people per day. If it meant over 9 days? That's still 71,000 bodies per day.
    Last edited by CHICAGORANDY; 08-05-2019 at 09:53 AM.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by CHICAGORANDY View Post


    THANK YOU Bill, for making my point. Purt near EVERYONE who gets on at the Tower IS of your preference. Which makes for exactly 40 'happy riders' from the Tower ALL THE WAY to the Ultralight flightline….. and immediately makes multiples of that 40 P.O'd would-be passengers who that tram passed by because it was full.

    Mandatory mid and end-point tram emptying (for now) is about the only 'kinda fair' way to try and serve as many unique people as possible
    .
    Randy, you miss the point completely. There are very, very few "unique" riders at the Hangar Café terminal. That throng of humanity was artificially placed here by forcing everyone off.
    Thinking 71,000 bodies come daily to ride the tram is, well, one of your better jokes.

  8. #18

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    I think it appropriate to suggest that we agree to disagree. Granted, I've only spent over a decade in the tram service, so I gladly bow to your expertise in the matter. My experience has brought me to the opinions I currently hold on the subject, as yours does you. And that's fine by me. At the end of each day, it's only free tram rides for the tired masses under discussion, it ain't like we're curing world hunger or creating world peace ner nuthin'.
    Last edited by CHICAGORANDY; 08-05-2019 at 01:50 PM.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Franck View Post
    Randy, you miss the point completely. There are very, very few "unique" riders at the Hangar Café terminal.
    How ‘bout all those airplane campers within a quarter mile N-S of the cafe, where i’ve parked many years? How ‘bout me, though I parked farther south this year, who walked to the Hangar Cafe to catch a tram five times in four days? How ‘bout those people just north of there who choose to walk to the Hangar Cafe to get on a tram because they know it’ll probably be full if they try to get on at Vintage? Randy’s got it right.
    Mike E

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MEdwards View Post
    How ‘bout all those airplane campers within a quarter mile N-S of the cafe, where i’ve parked many years? How ‘bout me, though I parked farther south this year, who walked to the Hangar Cafe to catch a tram five times in four days? How ‘bout those people just north of there who choose to walk to the Hangar Cafe to get on a tram because they know it’ll probably be full if they try to get on at Vintage? Randy’s got it right.
    Mike E
    OK, I'm completely worn out from all this walking ! I'm just going to stay home and watch it on tv.
    Bob

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