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2030 Mobility Plan Presentation

The following presentation provides a brief overview of the 2030 Mobility Plan and was the focal point of Tuesday's Jacksonville City Council and Planning Commission's Joint Mobility Plan Workshop. If adopted, this work could become a ground breaking point in transforming the quality of life in Jacksonville.

Published December 15, 2010 in Transit      45 Comments    Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article


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Source: City of Jacksonville Planning and Development Department







45 Comments

Hurricane

December 15, 2010, 07:04:54 AM
I look forward to riding my bike to work one day, that would be great!  The intersections are currently WAY too dangerous for this to happen right now though. 

Just adding a 2 foot shoulder and saying it is a bike lane is a start, but that is still extremely dangerous for the biker.  There needs to be a barrier of some sort between the bike lane and the car lane. 

Talk to anyone who has biked more than 200 miles in these bike lanes and every rider will have a story of a very close call.  I had one, and I know I'm not alone.  I was training for the MS150, had on all of the safety gear, and even had 2 lights on the back of the bike.  Some driver still clipped my handle bar and I went into the ditch...

Ocklawaha

December 15, 2010, 08:36:33 AM
It can happen in cars too! When daughter Trilby was about 7 years old we were talking to a Santa Fe train crew in Wheatland, Oklahoma. They decided it would be fun to bring her up into the engine for a short ride.

Wheatland is an old prairie town on the SW edge of Oklahoma City today, with the requisite old concrete highway right alongside the tracks. The engineer seated her on his seat IN THE WINDOW, and told her which handles to operate while he was sitting behind her out of sight. the conductor and I had a perfect view. As it happened one of our neighbors was sailing down the highway next to the train. He glanced at the engine - looked away - then back at the engine with a face of terror... RIGHT OFF INTO THE DITCH!  Realizing he wasn't hurt the crew, Trilby and I, just about died laughing.



OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

December 15, 2010, 08:58:11 AM
The Bicycle network plan includes a series of multiuse paths.  Here is an article we ran a few months back on the bicycle network:

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-apr-2030-mobility-plan-bicycle-network

dougskiles

December 15, 2010, 01:22:37 PM
Lakelander, do you know if the Mobility Plan includes credits for an existing use on a property that will be redeveloped?  I did a quick search for the word 'credit' in the documents posted on the city website and nothing came up relating to this.  Surely there would be some mechanism to promote redevelopment as opposed to greenfield development.

thelakelander

December 15, 2010, 01:42:00 PM
I would have to go back and look through the report to see what it actually states but it does account for and recognize the difference between redevelopment and greenfield development.

urbaknight

December 15, 2010, 02:01:32 PM
Is greenfield development suburban development? (strip malls, condos complexes, huge surface parking lots and no walkablity)

thelakelander

December 15, 2010, 02:05:05 PM
A greenfield development can be either sustainable or sprawl based.  In Jax, they tend to be suburban strip malls, gated subdivisions, and horizontal structures with huge surface parking lots.

In many disciplines a greenfield is a project that lacks any constraints imposed by prior work. The analogy is to that of construction on greenfield land where there is no need to remodel or demolish an existing structure.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenfield_project

daveindesmoines1

December 15, 2010, 06:13:26 PM
I have an elderly parent living in Jacksonville. Her eyes are going bad. She should drive as little as possible. We have a huge amount of baby boomers soon will not be able to drive, by 2020 as well as 2030. Many other drivers should not be on the road as well. Retirees will need to get to grocery stores, pharmacy stores, doctors offices, and regional specialists.
Your city should do marketing research to find people and the times they need to get around. They should ask what times would it be useful for mini buses and vans to be available for people to use. Filling a survey could be awarded with prescriptions discounts, food coupons, and restaurant meals. This way better bus services could be developed from these surveys.
Perhaps school buses could be utilized for regional transportation for people at other times than school mornings and afternoons. This way schools and the Department of the Elderly could share the bus costs.
Many people who should not drive for various reasons, the following is proposed.
First, there needs to be transportation for people to get to work as well as places mentioned above. This will reduce temptation for people to drive when they should not. Perhaps people who lose their driver’s license could be handed pamphlets and surveys for your much improved bus services.
Second, is there also a way that before one fills the tank with gas, they need to swipe their driver’s license at the gas pumps? This would be required before paying in cash or credit card. New special gas pump readers would have to be installed that can read driver’s licenses. If they have no valid driver’s license – no gas! Perhaps eventually, your credit card could also have current driver’s license info. This way you will only need to swipe one card to get gas. Your driver’s license database would need to be connected to your banks database.
We have a huge amount of baby boomers soon will not be able to drive, by 2020 as well as 2030. Many other drivers should not be on the road as well. Cities need to look for better transportation between now and 2030 – when many baby boomers will not be able to get around.

tufsu1

December 15, 2010, 09:22:20 PM
Lakelander, do you know if the Mobility Plan includes credits for an existing use on a property that will be redeveloped?  I did a quick search for the word 'credit' in the documents posted on the city website and nothing came up relating to this.  Surely there would be some mechanism to promote redevelopment as opposed to greenfield development.

I believe the plan is set up for fees to only be paid for net new trips....so credits for pass-by and internal capture would help.

As for redevelopment, state statutes require that 110% of the previous development's trips be credited automatically to the new development.

tufsu1

December 15, 2010, 09:23:48 PM
Is greenfield development suburban development? (strip malls, condos complexes, huge surface parking lots and no walkablity)

greenfields are new development sites...brownfields are redevelopments w/ contaminated land...greyfields are redevelopments w/ no contamination

spuwho

December 15, 2010, 10:56:09 PM
Understand that COJ is funding this so it will be Duval centric, but it ignores traffic patterns from North Clay & St John's Counties into South Duval.

I support Mobility Planning for Jacksonville proper and it does need to move forward, also am a firm believer that any long term solutions be regional in scope.

Since baby steps are needed before the big ones, it's time to put some shoes on.

thelakelander

December 15, 2010, 10:59:47 PM
What traffic patterns from surrounding counties does it ignore? It recognizes that there are committed road projects throughout South Duval and includes transit projects such as commuter rail along Philips and Roosevelt to assist with that regional movement.

dougskiles

December 16, 2010, 07:03:16 AM
A little off-topic, but after the workshop, we were talking to Bill about the commuter rail and he said that the new owner of the FEC lines is very interested in a passenger service.  I got the impression that this company may even consider operating it privately.  Anyone know more about this?

spuwho

December 16, 2010, 08:23:35 PM
What traffic patterns from surrounding counties does it ignore? It recognizes that there are committed road projects throughout South Duval and includes transit projects such as commuter rail along Philips and Roosevelt to assist with that regional movement.

I was looking at the traffic density analysis graphic. It shows only Duval. I was trying to relate density patterns coming out of Clay, over the Buckman and into Duval primarily. As a compare, I also wanted to see the density coming in from St John's County. Small, medium, large? 

That was it.

Ocklawaha

December 16, 2010, 10:20:26 PM
A little off-topic, but after the workshop, we were talking to Bill about the commuter rail and he said that the new owner of the FEC lines is very interested in a passenger service.  I got the impression that this company may even consider operating it privately.  Anyone know more about this?

This wouldn't be too great a shock after the Norfolk Southern CEO said in a speech that he would consider operating their own passenger trains as long as their capacity would be increased to accommodate them and the state-federal-local governments would cover the expenses.

Bottom line, railroads are BACK in the business of moving rail cars... and as a certain executive of a Colombian Railroad said just a few years ago: "I don't care if you want to ship carloads of guerrilla's as long as they're a revenue load."



OCKLAWAHA

spuwho

December 18, 2010, 01:23:49 AM

This wouldn't be too great a shock after the Norfolk Southern CEO said in a speech that he would consider operating their own passenger trains as long as their capacity would be increased to accommodate them and the state-federal-local governments would cover the expenses.

Bottom line, railroads are BACK in the business of moving rail cars... and as a certain executive of a Colombian Railroad said just a few years ago: "I don't care if you want to ship carloads of guerrilla's as long as they're a revenue load."



OCKLAWAHA

Yeah, I could run my own passenger rail if the Feds paid for the capacity and covered my expenses. What the CEO is saying I can move any passenger you want as long as the Feds pay for it.

Sell passenger rail franchises to private parties with access to the rails just like airlines have to the air. Let them negotiate trackage rights like any other rail entity.

Rail won't be BACK until they start running scheduled services and stick to them. Then and only then does passenger rail get a chance to be viable, otherwise it will be what it is today, Amtrak sitting on a siding waiting for freights to clear.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

tufsu1

December 18, 2010, 08:58:19 AM
actually spuwho...the only rail line in the U.S. that even operates at a profit is Amtrak's Acela....so for a private company to take on the operating risks of a rail line (HSR or not) is pretty impressive.

dougskiles

January 16, 2011, 05:03:07 AM
Lakelander, any updates on the status of the legislation for the Mobility Plan?  If I remember correctly from the presentation, there are some things that have to happen in Tallahassee with SB360 before we can adopt the plan locally.  But then I remember Bill saying that it may be possible for us to move forward regardless of what the state outcome is.

I'm curious to know what your thoughts are regarding the timing of getting this done before the new mayor and council take office.  My guess is that if it is not enacted prior, that some of the candidates may try to put the axe to it - which would be a shame.  I really like the plan.  Has there been any official reaction from any of the campaigns to the plan?

thelakelander

January 16, 2011, 09:36:45 AM
No word from any of the campaigns yet.  I still doubt that they've paid much attention to it.  Nevertheless, I can't imagine why any candidate would try and take away something the development community is in favor of here.  It's something that saves the community money, is fair (remember, this will replace traffic concurrency) and improves our Quality of Life.  In any event, we'll have a new mayor before everything is official.

tufsu1

January 16, 2011, 09:44:42 AM
there is a Mayoral Forum scheduled for 1/27 at Modis....it is sponsored by several planning & real estate organizations....I'm sure the question will come up there.

Sadly, only Brown, Mullaney, and Moran are scheduled to appear....Mr. Hogan declined!

dougskiles

January 16, 2011, 09:52:32 AM
there is a Mayoral Forum scheduled for 1/27 at Modis....it is sponsored by several planning & real estate organizations....I'm sure the question will come up there.

Sadly, only Brown, Mullaney, and Moran are scheduled to appear....Mr. Hogan declined!

What time on 1/27?  The FDOT Overland Bridge public hearing is scheduled for 4:30 to 6:00 pm and I was hoping to attend that.  But the forum sounds more interesting.

tufsu1

January 16, 2011, 11:45:25 AM
Forum is 5 to 7:30pm....but a few warnings

1. I do not think it is free (there is probably a reception before the actual Q & A)
2. The forum itself probably ends by one, because there is another one down in Mandarin starting at 7:30pm

See below for more info.

https://netforum.uli.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?site=ULIMC&webcode=DCouncilEventInfo&Reg_evt_key=1152ab4f-8e28-4d18-8cc0-68502f2a65cc&RegPath=EventRegFees

thelakelander

January 21, 2011, 06:01:51 AM
Jacksonville planners eye new rules to discourage urban sprawl
They want builders to focus on filling in empty spots in built-up areas.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-01-20/story/jacksonville-planners-eye-new-rules-discourage-urban-sprawl

Kiva

January 21, 2011, 06:56:05 AM
Jacksonville planners eye new rules to discourage urban sprawl
They want builders to focus on filling in empty spots in built-up areas.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-01-20/story/jacksonville-planners-eye-new-rules-discourage-urban-sprawl

Great idea! Shame they didn't think of this 40 years ago!

dougskiles

January 21, 2011, 07:12:38 AM
How accurate are the numbers posted in the TU article?  Those shopping center costs seem a little high - particularly since it is now being shown that it may not be the shopping centers causing as much trip generation as the residential.

Quote
Though St. Johns County hasn't gone the moratorium route, it is doing a study of how its impact fees are calculated for commercial and residential developments. The study shows that impact fees for commercial development could be reduced by as much as 40 percent because updated traffic models show shopping centers, office buildings and other commercial projects have less impact on traffic congestion than previous studies showed.

http://jacksonville.com/business/2011-01-17/story/first-coasts-developers-call-moratorium-impact-fees-boost-jobs

Also, they are publishing fair share costs but those vary widely based on the cost to improve the road link.  Did they use an average?

thelakelander

January 21, 2011, 08:40:31 AM
I don't know what the TU did to come up with those numbers.  However, these are things to keep in mind that the TU examples don't mention.

TU Quote
Quote
Before and after

The main difference between the current concurrency system and the new mobility fee is that all developers will pay the (often-lower) mobility fee rather than some developers paying high fees and others small ones. Here is a sample of what projects paid under the old system and what they would pay under the new system:

- 350,000-square-foot shopping center
Fair share: $832,591
Mobility fee: $2,429,960

- 320,000-square-foot shopping center
Fair share: $7,825,108
Mobility fee: $2,269,964

- 87,600-square-foot shopping center
Fair share: $986,541
Mobility fee: $805,687

- 70,000-square-foot hotel
Fair share: $13,666
Mobility fee: $213,577

- 45,400-square-foot hotel
Fair share: $92,535
Mobility fee: $71,192

- 9,100-square-foot discount store
Fair share: $107,146
Mobility fee: $21,229

- 9,100-square-foot discount store
Fair share: $217,389
Mobility fee: $23,069

- 9,180-square-foot discount store
Fair share: $164,372
Mobility fee: $26,978

What has been omitted which will significantly influence the mobility fee numbers.

1) The city has been divided into five zones.  Downtown, Urban Priority Area, Urban Area, Suburban Area and Rural Area.  The average trip length varies per zone.  The further out your development is (meaning its users put more wear & tear on the streets), the higher the project's mobility fee will be.

2) Unlike fair share, the mobility fee has credit adjustments.  Developments can lower their mobility fee costs by incorporating design features that include higher densities, mix of uses, building adjacent to transit stations, bike/ped mitigation, affordable housing and TDM.

It's not clear if the TU comparisons factor these two important elements in.  However, I'll take a wild guess that they do not.

Here are a few images to help visualize my comments.

The Mobility Fee of a project in the same location can vary.  Design an autocentric development like this and it will be higher:





Design your project with a more multimodal friendly layout that includes a mix of uses in a compact setting to reduce the amount of short vehicle trips it generates and pay less:








Take these same design principles and build your project in an established area where infrastructure is already in place, redevelopment is desired and transit is planned and your cost will be even lower:



In short, the mobility fee/plan is designed to a be fair replacement of traffic concurrency for the development community while also disencouraging the proliferation of sprawl and being a funding mechanism for multimodal transportation improvements that people think can't happen without raising taxes.

stephendare

January 21, 2011, 08:48:01 AM
Very disappointed in the gumchewing analysis of the mobility fee from David Bauerlein in the TU this morning.

Its clear where his sympathy lies, although not so clear what happened to his critical thinking skills on the subject.  Very surprising because hes normally a pretty bright fellow.

The article might as well have been a press release for the Builders.  Apparently the only argument that they could find for the mobility fees goes thusly:  Things suck so badly that it really won't make a difference.

Thats a cogent explanation of the benefits?  Great.

How about, "we can't afford billions of dollars in infrastructure to support Toney's million dollar 'shopping centers'."?

Ocklawaha

January 21, 2011, 09:27:53 AM

This wouldn't be too great a shock after the Norfolk Southern CEO said in a speech that he would consider operating their own passenger trains as long as their capacity would be increased to accommodate them and the state-federal-local governments would cover the expenses.

Bottom line, railroads are BACK in the business of moving rail cars... and as a certain executive of a Colombian Railroad said just a few years ago: "I don't care if you want to ship carloads of guerrilla's as long as they're a revenue load."



OCKLAWAHA

Yeah, I could run my own passenger rail if the Feds paid for the capacity and covered my expenses. What the CEO is saying I can move any passenger you want as long as the Feds pay for it.

Sell passenger rail franchises to private parties with access to the rails just like airlines have to the air. Let them negotiate trackage rights like any other rail entity.

The statement is groundbreaking because until now railroads have said even if you pay for it I'll be damned if we let you use our tracks, passenger trains cause delays to freight. To have someone in his position step forward and say that they'll run the trains is quite refreshing.

Unless there is a ton of government funding involved you'll NEVER see any private parties with whatever access run passenger trains again. EVER! A cool Billion dollars tied up in equipment + a lease on track space + crew and station costs, and you can charge $15 bucks to Orlando...Maybe...   Ain't gonna fly Wilbur.

The government started this when after a wreck in the  northeast caused the ICC to regulate every aspect of the railroad passenger operations in the early 50's. Included in the new rules was an unfunded mandate to put in a state of the art signaling system or restrict all trains to 80 mph.

Next the government funded parallel Interstate Highways which often short hauled the older longer railroad routes, and were open to all.

Then the government pulled the US MAIL off of all of the trains and put them onto airplanes.

Meanwhile they introduced the CAB, FAA, ATC etc... for the Airlines and convinced and funded cities and states to build super airports all over the country.

...and you really think Mr. Joe Lunchbucket with some railroad equipment will make it in that environment?



OCKLAWAHA

tufsu1

January 21, 2011, 09:58:35 AM
I'm just saddened that Sleiman won't be building any new shopping centers in Jax....especially the ones that cost $1 million to build!

fsujax

January 21, 2011, 10:29:51 AM
maybe Sleiman will start building infill projects!

stephendare

January 21, 2011, 10:30:26 AM
I'm just saddened that Sleiman won't be building any new shopping centers in Jax....especially the ones that cost $1 million to build!

Charles Hunter

January 21, 2011, 10:37:40 AM
Does a developer get a "transit station" credit if they set aside space, or even build a station, if a transit line is not funded in that corridor, either "ever" or is (say) 10 years after the development?

urbaknight

January 21, 2011, 02:04:34 PM
there is a Mayoral Forum scheduled for 1/27 at Modis....it is sponsored by several planning & real estate organizations....I'm sure the question will come up there.

Sadly, only Brown, Mullaney, and Moran are scheduled to appear....Mr. Hogan declined!

That's a good thing, it just proves that Hogan is exactly the WRONG choice for mayor!

fieldafm

January 21, 2011, 02:12:23 PM
Quote
Its clear where his sympathy lies

+1

Luckily, the Plan is receiving favorable reviews throughout the various Council channels.

Ocklawaha

January 21, 2011, 04:26:07 PM
Does a developer get a "transit station" credit if they set aside space, or even build a station, if a transit line is not funded in that corridor, either "ever" or is (say) 10 years after the development?

Within a quarter mile on either side of a transit line I believe.

OCKLAWAHA

thelakelander

January 21, 2011, 06:41:35 PM
I'm not sure the exact details of the credit adjustments have been flushed out.  Nevertheless, from my understanding, transit mitigation adjustments would only be available for development located within 1/2 mile of transit projects identified as being a part of the 2030 Mobility Plan.

Ocklawaha

January 21, 2011, 09:12:30 PM
Damn! Missed it by a quarter mile!

OCKLAWAHA

dougskiles

January 21, 2011, 09:17:07 PM
Nevertheless, from my understanding, transit mitigation adjustments would only be available for development located within 1/2 mile of transit projects identified as being a part of the 2030 Mobility Plan.

That is one thing that has me a little puzzled about the plan.  If a developer builds a project within 1/2 mile of a proposed transit stop in the 2030 Mobility Plan and gets a fee reduction for doing that - how will the transit stop in the plan ever get enough funding to be constructed?

It makes sense for someone to get a fee reduction if they develop within a 1/2 mile of an existing transit stop.  Or if they build the transit stop in the development.  Of course that would assume the presence of a transit system.

thelakelander

January 21, 2011, 09:34:28 PM
Its important to make a funding commitment to a system to encourage transit oriented development growth.  Recent history has shown that once that commitment is made, development follows well before lines are actually operational.  Examples to look at include Austin's Capital Metrorail and Charlotte's LRT.  Plus, unless we're going to go the route of asking for a public referendum to raise taxes to get something off the ground (ask Tampa how that worked out), we're going to have to start generating money to pay for it.  The plan does just this.  Also, here are two things to keep in mind.

1. Transit is significantly cheaper than road construction.  For example, the cost to construct a streetcar line from DT to Riverside (over three miles) is cheaper than the cost to construct one typical BJP highway overpass (ex. Kernan/Beach overpass).

2. Mobility improvements are funded by zone, not transit corridors. For every TOD that pops up along a transit line, you'll probably have two or three times as much development take place in that zone away from it.  Nevertheless, all the money compiled in that zone goes to fund that zone's priority project.  In the case of the urban core zones, that money funds alternative forms of mobility (transit, bike, ped).  So lets say EWC expands and the Park View project and the VA Clinic near Shands get underway. They all happen to be in the same zone that has the S-Line being established as a starter commuter rail corridor.  So, their mobility fees would go to help fund that project.  

With all of this said, from the city council presentations I've attended, URBEMIS related credit adjustments will be flushed out in further detail in the upcoming months.

dougskiles

January 21, 2011, 09:43:59 PM
You know I'm 100% behind the plan, I have just been curious about that part of it.  I think that for developers wanting to go in immediately next to a transit stop the opportunity for public/private partnership should also be encouraged.  It seems like it would significantly speed up the process.  And perhaps they wouldn't have to pay anything into the Mobility Plan fund if they paid directly for a portion of the system.  In many cases, their financial contribution to the transit system would be much greater than what they would have paid into the fund - but their return on investment would be sufficient to make that worthwhile.

But, I'll admit I am very new to this - so thanks for the continued explanations of how it works.  And thanks for correcting the errors in my assumptions.  As I continue to promote the concept to people, it is very important to me that I actually know what I'm talking about.  That's what I really like about this forum - the opportunity to learn.

thelakelander

January 21, 2011, 10:23:29 PM
Because everything isn't set in stone, I think the points you made are something definitely worth looking at in further detail for inclusion.  What's been produced to date is something that has never been done before in our sprawl loving state.  Once fine tuned, what Bill Killingsworth has developed could become something that is modeled nation wide by cash strapped municipalities to get multimodal projects off the ground through better utilization of income already being generated. 

I also agree that the opportunity for pooling financial resources exists. Speaking in terms of transit, not only is public/private partnerships worth exploring, mobility plan money could also probably be used as a local match to land additional federal dollars.

dougskiles

January 22, 2011, 06:59:34 AM
I also agree that the opportunity for pooling financial resources exists. Speaking in terms of transit, not only is public/private partnerships worth exploring, mobility plan money could also probably be used as a local match to land additional federal dollars.

Right on target.  With all projects, we need to be looking at how to amplify our investment.  Everything I have heard so far suggests that the greatest opportunity for federal funding is when you already have strong local support (either municipal or private funds - preferably both).

How blessed we really were that the latest round of stimulus money bypassed Jacksonville - it would have gone straight into the monster-modal center and the BRT.

thelakelander

January 22, 2011, 07:26:10 AM
Luckily, the federal government has their eye on projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage sustainable development.  As presented so far, our multimodal center and BRT concepts don't make a strong case for either.  Looking at phase 1, what does a new "non-mixed-use office building with limited pedestrian connectivity do to promote those ideas and concepts?  We would probably get further by investing more money in the transit side of things and purchasing on of the Northbank's many vacant buildings to consolidate office needs.  

At least in this case, we could make the argument of redevelopment, sustainability (the greenest building is one that already exists) and job creation (stick a lot of jobs in the core and existing restaurants and retail would benefit from the connectivity.).  Considering many are adjacent to the skyway, there would also be a direct connection between the JTC and offices, thus promoting transit use from within.

From what I saw in the latest round of Tiger grant applications, our submittal for the transportation center (we lost) was no match for Salt Lake City's Sugarhouse streetcar (one of the big winners).  What I noticed most was that in addition to having minimal application requirements submitted, they also focused on the economic (infill development, job creation, etc.) and environmental (reducing greenhouse gas emissions, VMTs, etc.) benefits that their project would do for the surrounding community.  

spuwho

January 22, 2011, 02:02:31 PM
I would think someone like Mr Sleiman would love mobility based zoning.

- It will increase overall density city wide, which in turn helps him fill space in his strip malls
- If it fills his strip malls completely, he will be able to raise his rents
- Once rent levels go up, he can afford more urban retail formats, which tend to be more expensive psf.

For him, I see nothing but win-win.

The downside of urban infill efforts, they out-price certain neighborhoods.

On rail subsidy issues;

- I never said passenger rail was self supporting, however, if the NS CEO wants the Feds to pay for everything, infra and ops, then yes, I could then start my own.

- Instead treat the private rails with some public slots. Allow NS, CSX, UP, BNSF to create public availability slots which can be auctioned to private rail carriers. Feds can subsidize the infra (just like they do for the airlines and Amtrak) but let those entities cover ops out of the fare box.

Airlines have to auction for air slots in congested or low availability landing zones, so why not allow private carriers to auction for a slot in another type of low availability zone, a rail entrance to a large destination.

Just an option when looking at mobility overall.

Ocklawaha

January 22, 2011, 11:26:09 PM

Because of the Mobility Plan a variation of this type passenger car could become a familiar sight in Jacksonville.

- Instead treat the private rails with some public slots. Allow NS, CSX, UP, BNSF to create public availability slots which can be auctioned to private rail carriers. Feds can subsidize the infra (just like they do for the airlines and Amtrak) but let those entities cover ops out of the fare box.

With the investment in equipment and crews it would be unlikely that any carrier would bid on a slot or stay afloat without unsubsidized fares. Highway carriers, air carriers or water/sea carriers can't move without huge influxes of federal money. If the market had to pay for the roads, air and rail, we'd all be walking.

The sky belongs to everyone, but the rails are private, so it would take the iron heal of big brother to take control of profitable mainlines and then auction off the rights to run on it. What you are talking about is called "open access," and the idea has been around for a long time, but never gained much political will. I think part of that is the federal government nearly crippled the entire national network when it took over America's private railroads in WWI. Several of the railroad's were in such bad shape, or had been stripped of so much equipment, machines, tools and even track that they were forced in abandonment. Other rail lines never recovered from the neglect fostered on it by an inexperienced government operation and by the mid 1930's, with money scarce, they had to trim thousands of miles off their systems.

Railroading is maybe the most cash intensive transportation mode in that retail, manfacturing, even air and highway carriers all work on about the same formula, wholesale being 40% off + 5% for cash, leaving a possible net on retail goods and services of 45%. With railroading those expenditures would equal a wholesale of only 10-20%. Your lucky to pull an operating ratio better then 70%, in fact CSX doing that this year lit up wall street. The difference is the railroad's are not playing the nickle slots, we're talking about an incredible 30% of ten billion dollars. 


Quote
Airlines have to auction for air slots in congested or low availability landing zones, so why not allow private carriers to auction for a slot in another type of low availability zone, a rail entrance to a large destination.

Airlines also get a direct cash subsidy for essential air services for flights to cities in Wyoming, Montana, most of the Dakotas, and anywhere else where the demand is too slight to make a honest profit. Macon Georgia Airport? You bet and over $50 dollars per ticket is paid for by you and me.  The playing field is on a steep and slippery slope. $6.5 Million for Locomotives and $4.5 for cars on the newest Amtrak large fleet "discount" order... Open access or not, you better have the population of Tokyo ready to ride if you think you'll make a profit on that between Jax and Valdosta, or Daytona, or Tampa, or...

OCKLAWAHA
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