There seems to be a bit of news in the media at the moment, about rising property values along LUAS lines. According to our newspaper media at least, it seems to be a simple cause and effect relationship. Wherever the line goes, the land values will rise accordingly. Prices rises from 300,000 to 1 million not being uncommon.
I just find it interesting, from a train operators point of view - to make the line profitable, they are often forced to come up with some innovative solutions. Here is a quote from a recent Nicholas G. Carr article at Business and Strategy web site. Expect, this sort of venture to become commonplace in Dublin in the near future. Things like Dublin Zoo, out of fashion for a long number of years, might find a way to re-invent themselves and prove popular again as destinations for off-peak commuters on the LUAS rail lines. It is not all about rising land values, and residential price hikes. That is the point that newspaper media seems to miss, at the moment.
Brian O' Hanlon.
the operators of streetcar systems in U.S. cities were struggling with a different challenge: earning a decent return on their capital-intensive rail networks. Although many people traveled on the lines during weekday rush hours, commuting back and forth to work, few rode them at other times. The imbalance in demand undermined the profitability of the operators. They had to build their systems to accommodate the peaks in usage, but most of the time their expensive systems generated little revenue.
Realizing that they needed to boost ridership during nonpeak hours, the streetcar operators hit on a brilliant idea: Build amusement parks outside city centers. In the summer of 1897, for example, Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue Street Railway opened Norumbega Park, complete with a zoo, a theater, and a carousel, at the end of its line in the suburb of Newton. By 1901, according to historian David Nye, more than half of the country’s urban transit companies had opened such “trolley parks” — and they proved a great complement to streetcar service. They not only increased the lines’ passenger load during nights and weekends, but they enabled the companies to operate much more efficiently. Since at the time transit companies owned the electricity generators that powered their trains, they were able to significantly increase the capacity utilization of those power plants, making their businesses much more capital-efficient. And a side benefit would later emerge: The technological innovations required to build safe roller-coasters and other rides could be used to improve the rail lines themselves.