Saturday, September 20, 2014
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
 
Join Metro Jacksonville and get in on the conversation today!Already have an account?  Sign In

Author Topic: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service  (Read 6827 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2665
    • MetroJacksonville.com
JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« on: September 23, 2011, 03:19:03 AM »
JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service



In the Summer of 2010, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority expanded the Riverside Trolley from its then current terminus of Five Points to the Shoppes of Avondale. Prior to the relaunch, MetroJacksonville.com Board Members expressed concerns about the headways, route and service periods, and felt the service wouldn't be successful because of these issues. Wednesday, JTA announced that the Riverside Trolley would return to its previous terminus at Five Points, citing the neighborhood's failure to embrace the service.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2011-sep-jta-cutting-riverside-trolley-service

strider

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1653
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 07:36:45 AM »
My non expert opinion, coming from what I have read here as well as what some daily riders of the buses tell me is that to have a successful public transportation system, the routes must cheaply and efficiently provide a service those that must use public transportation can easily use.  The "trolley" (just a bus after all) seems directed towards the more well off who may not want to drive that day.  Seems a bit less likely to succeed, especially if it is not super convenient and easy.  The targeted group of riders will not use a hard to understand system or a slow one unless the destination is really worth it or the experience itself (streetcar?) is part of the appeal.

Metrojax seems to have this right - JTA, it seems, needs schooled on public transportation.  The riders also need to be a bit more organized and have a voice to JTA, who I suspect, has always ignored their primary ridership as that group most often gets put on ignore by public officials.

"My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement." Patrica, Joe VS the Volcano.

fieldafm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3973
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 07:49:27 AM »
Quote
It's been obvious for years that JTA has little interest in listing to the neighborhood's suggestions. This is just another example of that.

I can personally attest to that in a very major way.

Jumpinjack

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 08:13:46 AM »
We rode the trolley mostly during the week days around the 10:00-2:00 time frame. What we saw was that outside of the lunch crowd, the service was very lightly used. MJ is exactly right that there was no effort to market the service to anyone. No promotional stuff for the merchants in Riverside or downtown, the RAM, the hospital, FSCJ. Plus the extended times didn't really fit the community needs.

I'm wondering if JTA will be handling the BRT service in the same half-baked way.

fieldafm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3973
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2011, 08:15:06 AM »
Let me also recap what the neighborhood did do:

-Convinced JTA to do a test run at Art Walk-Ridership went through the roof two out of the three times this was tried.  The third time was cold and rainy. I personally ate dinner at Cafe NOLA that night and there were 6 vendors in all of Hemming Plaza and the streets were bare... meaning, no one showed up at Art Walk that night.

-Convinced JTA to get out in the neighborhood and promote the trolley service and run a free service day-Single biggest ridership day they had

-Made the RAP Home Tour part of the Riverside Trolley route-Ridership spikes to very high levels

-Downtown stakeholders meet with JTA about extending service to Bay Street on weekend nights like the Beaches Trolley system gets(who btw averages LESS riders per hour than Riverside Trolley).  JTA never followsup with a promised second meeting.

-Riverside/Avondale advocates meet with JTA regarding several items:
*Thur-Sat evening hours-response was until ridership improves we won't do that

*Eliminate one of the 7 routes that touch Park Street and extend a secondary RT loop on Park so that the RT reaches more people-we already have ample service along Park Street(which is true as long as you want to go to Rosa Parks or the former Normandy Mall)

*A plan in hand with buy-in from local merchants about extending a direct merchant-based transit program with a bulk ticket program(done in other cities btw, with fantastic results in capturing choice riders)-response union bus drivers would never hand out tickets or validate any type of ticket*  BTW, they turned their back on the beaches merchants in year 2 of the Beaches Trolley service and advertising revenue and rideship drops

*A plan for RT-specific month-long discounted passes-response, yes we want to do that, guess we will be waiting for a very long time now that they are eliminating what was the Riverside Trolley.  BTW, the new plan is to terminate the trolley at the new courthouse, not the Landing. 

-It has been said here and said many, many times to JTA by anyone who would speak up... but the route, headways and the terminus at FSCJ were all mistakes and not convenient to anyone.  That was ignored.

-MetroJacksonville demonstrates a successful project with three months straight of successful trolley pub crawls, in part to demonstrate to JTA that evening service connecting vibrant entertainment/commercial nodes together works(as if you can't go to any city with a functioning transit system and witness this).

But hey, these are the smartest guys in the room... nothing to see here, move along.

There are about 5 senior people at JTA that get it.  Otherwise, the senior leadership team needs to be replaced.  And it needs to happen today. 

CG7

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 173
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2011, 08:34:06 AM »
That blows. My son rides the trolley home from school everyday, now I guess he will have to walk 1.5 miles home.

thelakelander

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22825
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2011, 09:01:57 AM »
What I'm hearing is perhaps instead of trying to be a regional authority, it may be time to focus on getting the basic components right.  Well 2016 will be here before everyone knows it.  With the extension of the gas tax issue hanging over JTA's head, the next few years will be the perfect time to have a public conversation on what to do with our transit agency.

fieldafm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3973
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2011, 09:07:18 AM »
Quote
What I'm hearing is perhaps instead of trying to be a regional authority

Except for Doug Conke, the only people that want to be a regional transportation authority is... JTA.

It seems our new mayor isn't quite pleased with JTA either... well its time for him to be a leader and make things happen.  We're all waiting patiently.

Tacachale

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3948
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 09:13:36 AM »
On the up side it looks like JTA thinks at least the downtown to 5 Points leg is working. Hopefully that would be enough for them to see the streetcar as worthwhile (assuming it's done correctly to make it worthwhile).
Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

fieldafm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3973
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 09:26:23 AM »
I'm an extremely optimistic person... but that's just not how JTA operates.

The bottom line is that the current leadership structure will simply not allow new ideas to come to life.  That's the reality of the situation.

thelakelander

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22825
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 09:43:48 AM »
On the up side it looks like JTA thinks at least the downtown to 5 Points leg is working. Hopefully that would be enough for them to see the streetcar as worthwhile (assuming it's done correctly to make it worthwhile).

The streetcar project doesn't need JTA's involvement to happen and any attempt to tie the success of a poorly operated bus line with a fixed transit route is a mistake.  They aren't apples to apples systems and the fixed transit route has as much to do with stimulating transit oriented development as it does moving people.

Kay

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2011, 10:26:46 AM »
JTA needs to be dismantled, and the sooner the better.

stephendare

  • Metro Jacksonville
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 38552
  • truth beauty art and love
    • MetroJacksonville
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 10:28:12 AM »
JTA needs to be dismantled, and the sooner the better.

+1 million
And now abide faith, hope and love; these three, but the greatest of these is love

fieldafm

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3973
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2011, 10:34:47 AM »
JTA needs to be dismantled, and the sooner the better.

Missed saying hello to you last night Kay.

Thanks for keeping it real RE: JTA  :)

dougskiles

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1659
Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2011, 10:36:27 AM »
JTA needs to be dismantled, and the sooner the better.

Agreed - and we have come to this conclusion a million times on this site.  HOW do we make it happen?