Author Topic: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service  (Read 16982 times)

exnewsman

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2011, 01:13:47 PM »
they have these meetings every month.   I've been to several, and they're for telling us what they plan on doing, not whether or not we agree with it.


JTA doesn't hold Public Hearings every month. Hearings are mandatory before any wholesale changes are made to bus routes. Feedback at these meetings is important.

I remember a year or so ago, JTA was planning some changes at the Beaches and several people came out to the hearing and asked JTA to not change the route they had planned. JTA listened and didn't make the planned adjustment. So its good to get involved in these things and make your voice heard.

A better transit system is within reach. Too often though people complain, but don't act. Maybe your way is better, maybe not. Maybe its not fiscally feasible to do what you want done, maybe it will only take some tweaks to make it happen.

@Westsider - ever ask JTA planners about all those Riverside routes and why they run like you described? It would be interesting to find out. Maybe there's a reason, maybe not. Curious.

Can you tell us more about this new courthouse loop? Where did you hear about it. Where does it go? Why don't you like it?

ChriswUfGator

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2011, 01:17:06 PM »
FYI, JTA is holding a public hearing on November 2 at FSCJ Downtown Campus to discuss the proposed changes to the Riverside Trolley (among other things). If you really want the suits to hear what you have to say about it, show up and let 'em have it!!


Quote
fu·til·i·ty [fyoo-til-i-tee]

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/futility

noun, plural
 
1. the quality of being futile;  ineffectiveness; uselessness.

2. a trifle or frivolity: the large collection of futilities that clutter our minds.

3. a futile  act or event.

4. the act of attending JTA meetings and/or offering input intended to improve JTA


 ;D


Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2011, 01:33:27 PM »
I've spoken to both Kent Stover and Liz Peaks extensively over why this is and why that is.  I've offered several solutions (perceived to me as solutions) to several different routes - ones that I use daily - to no avail.

If they don't know the method to their madness, then how am I supposed to persuade them to do it another way.  I'm pretty sure there are quite a few posters on this forum that have the actual experience and educatation of the subject and haven't been able to crack that nut - I'm just the guy that rides the bus, personally witnesses the redundancy and overlapping and is put off by the lack of options due to poor route management monday through friday - but what do I know.

I was at a couple of the 'public forums' in july and august.  I don't remember the exact loop, but it eliminates the Landing, it eliminates St. Vincent and the Avondale Strip, it eliminates FCCJ Kent campus.  I also believe it eliminates one of the busier stops at Water Street.  But it does go past 4 parking garages and circles around both the front and the back of the new courthouse.  I can't seem to find any renderings on the website or facebook (I'm guessing Lake couldn't either, or he would have posted them)
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Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2011, 01:35:29 PM »
FYI, JTA is holding a public hearing on November 2 at FSCJ Downtown Campus to discuss the proposed changes to the Riverside Trolley (among other things). If you really want the suits to hear what you have to say about it, show up and let 'em have it!!


Quote
fu·til·i·ty [fyoo-til-i-tee]

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/futility

noun, plural
 
1. the quality of being futile;  ineffectiveness; uselessness.

2. a trifle or frivolity: the large collection of futilities that clutter our minds.

3. a futile  act or event.

4. the act of attending JTA meetings and/or offering input intended to improve JTA
Also:  see Insanity

 ;D

Yep.  I keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  At least when you keep banging your head against the wall something will eventually break.   :P
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
-Douglas Adams

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2011, 01:43:14 PM »
I forgot your last question, exnewsman.

Why don't I like the new loop?  Let's see.... 

#1)  I don't have any daily business at the courthouse, hopefully if you do it's because you work there. 

#2)  I don't live in 5pts.  Honestly if you don't live at the condos on Oak St. or behind publix on Riverside, this line isn't coming by your house.  Which, BTW, you can refer back to #1

#3)  They (JTA) is complaining about not having the ridership that was projected.  Now it's not going through a residential area and will be unable to carry people from their homes to retail.  It's great if you want some sushi after you get out of court, but that's about it.   

#4)  According to the driver that I chatted with all the time (he has since been removed from the RST), they are genuinely trying to kill the route.  If they can prove that no one uses it, they won't have to provide the service anymore, and what better way to lower your ridership?

#5)  Have the trolley go from where no one lives to where no one needs or wants to go on a daily basis is just plain assinine, unless...  See the last sentence on #4
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
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thelakelander

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2011, 01:53:03 PM »
2016 = gas tax expiration = 1/3 loss of JTA operating revenue = forced makeover!
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2011, 02:02:30 PM »
2016 = gas tax expiration = 1/3 loss of JTA operating revenue = forced makeover!

A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
-Douglas Adams

ChriswUfGator

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2011, 02:10:31 PM »
2016 = gas tax expiration = 1/3 loss of JTA operating revenue = forced makeover!

Hahaha...

Let me tell you how this is going to play out. In late 2014 or 2015, with as little mention in the media as possible, discussion will start quietly about re-upping the tax, and the effort will backed by the construction lobby. The ballot language will be some misleading garbage, as usual, where most people see it and assume they're saving starving children and orphans, instead of giving handouts to construction firms and perpetuating one of the most severe sprawl problems in the country. We'll whine and cry, but it will pass regardless. Even though, somehow, you won't find a single resident of the county who will admit to supporting it later.



thelakelander

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2011, 02:18:34 PM »
My guess is they don't want this thing to make it to a public referendum stage.  No amount of selling what they do will get the public to vote for extending it in this town.  If that came to pass, I'd bet the house that it would end up worse then Tampa's failed referendum for LRT last year.  Instead, the best thing for JTA would be to quietly get council and the mayor's office to extend it before it expires.  In this economic and political climate, that's not as easy as it would have been five years ago.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

ChriswUfGator

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2011, 02:31:09 PM »
My guess is they don't want this thing to make it to a public referendum stage.  No amount of selling what they do will get the public to vote for extending it in this town.  If that came to pass, I'd bet the house that it would end up worse then Tampa's failed referendum for LRT last year.  Instead, the best thing for JTA would be to quietly get council and the mayor's office to extend it before it expires.  In this economic and political climate, that's not as easy as it would have been five years ago.

Unless COJ has some portion of its constitutionally authorized taxing allowance that it has not yet used, which I don't think it does (we're already at 7%, and already have all the local option levies don't we?) then funding JTA through Duval County revenue and the imposition of a new tax would require voter approval. I guess they could fund it with existing revenue, rob peter to pay paul. But either way, I think you're grossly overestimating the Duval County electorate, Lake. They've voted for every sprawl-producing thing imaginable, I'm not sure why it would be a whole lot different now. I hope it would, I truly do. but I guess I'm a little skeptical.


exnewsman

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2011, 02:39:38 PM »
2016 = gas tax expiration = 1/3 loss of JTA operating revenue = forced makeover!


Why would you fund public transit from a gas tax anyway. You want more people to use public transit which reduces private vehicles usage, which lowers gas tax revenue. Less revenue for public transit. Doesn't seem to make any sense.

thelakelander

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2011, 03:06:59 PM »
Discussion on this issue has already been going on and it doesn't appear that a referendum has to be held.

Quote
‘Not the time to increase taxes or fees’

Mayor Alvin Brown’s Strategic Initiatives Transition Committee took aim at the City’s millage rate and tax structure, calling Jacksonville a “low-tax city.”......

Among its recommendations are to work with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to reorganize transportation funding so that new projects can be financed in the wake of the Better Jacksonville Plan, which encumbered JTA’s principal source of resources temporarily.

“JTA suggests that the half-cent sales tax revenue ($66 million) pledge to BJP roads be restored to JTA, in return for the 6-cent gas tax ($23 million) going back to the City, and JTA retaining responsibility for its 1997 bonds, which will cost about $38 million in 2011-12, and about $8 million each year thereafter until 2023,” it said.
http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=534386


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Mayoral candidates don't all agree with JTA on gas tax extension

Jacksonville mayoral candidates Mike Hogan and Alvin Brown say they would let the city's 6-cent-per-gallon gas tax die when it expires in 2016, but other candidates say they would support extending it for transportation projects.

None of the candidates said they would back increasing the gas tax, which state law allows to be as high as 12 cents per gallon.

The gas tax will be an issue facing the next mayor because the Jacksonville Transportation Authority plans to seek an extension. Last year, the JTA proposed extending the gas tax and increasing it to 11 cents per gallon. JTA later withdrew that request and said it would only ask for an extension.

The tax steers about $30 million each year to JTA, about one-third of its operating budget. The agency says it would have to greatly scale back operations without the money.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-03-20/story/mayoral-candidates-dont-all-agree-jta-gas-tax-extension#ixzz1H8mf2pRC


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JTA to ask council for gas tax increase and extension

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority will ask the City Council in the next few months to extend the local 6-cent gasoline tax that is set to expire in 2016 so it will be in place for another 30 years.

JTA will also ask the council to approve an additional 5-cent gas tax that should generate about $25 million a year over 30 years.

If approved, every motorist who buys gas in Duval County could have an 11-cent local surcharge on a gallon of gasoline.

JTA gets about $30 million a year currently from the local gas tax and says it will have to significantly scale back operations if that money dries up.

In 1986, the City Council approved the tax for 10 years only, but later extended it for 20 more years.

Council President-elect Jack Webb, a lawyer who counts JTA among his former clients, said he's inclined to support both requests - extending the tax again and raising it.

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-06-05/story/jta-ask-council-gas-tax-increase-and-extension


Quote
JTA urges extending gas tax for roadwork

...Extending the local 6-cent-per-gallon tax that drivers pay at Jacksonville gas pump is the most viable way to cover $99 million in cost overruns for Better Jacksonville Plan roadwork, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority's chief financial officer said Tuesday.

The gas tax will expire in 2016 unless the City Council votes to continue the tax.

http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/102704/met_17024435.shtml


« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 03:11:03 PM by thelakelander »
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JHAT76

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2011, 05:58:53 PM »
If they wanted some riders the ycould have had 1 - 2 buses in the AM and afternoon make the trip from the FSCJ point all the way and loop down Jefferson past LaVilla School.  Plenty of kids from the area who could use a ride to school on that route.  3 - 4 on my block alone within walking distance of a current riverside trolley stop.

JTA never really tried to adjust some routes and take advantage of new riders created by the removal of buses for magnet students.

I forgot your last question, exnewsman.

Why don't I like the new loop?  Let's see.... 

#1)  I don't have any daily business at the courthouse, hopefully if you do it's because you work there. 

#2)  I don't live in 5pts.  Honestly if you don't live at the condos on Oak St. or behind publix on Riverside, this line isn't coming by your house.  Which, BTW, you can refer back to #1

#3)  They (JTA) is complaining about not having the ridership that was projected.  Now it's not going through a residential area and will be unable to carry people from their homes to retail.  It's great if you want some sushi after you get out of court, but that's about it.   

#4)  According to the driver that I chatted with all the time (he has since been removed from the RST), they are genuinely trying to kill the route.  If they can prove that no one uses it, they won't have to provide the service anymore, and what better way to lower your ridership?

#5)  Have the trolley go from where no one lives to where no one needs or wants to go on a daily basis is just plain assinine, unless...  See the last sentence on #4

Ocklawaha

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2011, 09:39:43 PM »
2016 = gas tax expiration = 1/3 loss of JTA operating revenue = forced makeover!


Why would you fund public transit from a gas tax anyway. You want more people to use public transit which reduces private vehicles usage, which lowers gas tax revenue. Less revenue for public transit. Doesn't seem to make any sense.


Extra revenue? Let me count the ways.

Quote
Seal Beach, Calif. (May 5, 2011) — Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) has signed long-term agreements with four major airport complexes in four states to design, build, own and operate new compressed natural gas (“CNG”) stations to support ground transport vehicles and off-airport parking shuttles. The new Clean Energy stations, available 24/7 for public access, will be located in Tampa, Florida; New York City, New York; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Seal Beach, CA (April 27, 2011) — Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) has awarded Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (Nasdaq: CLNE) a $40-million contract to design and build four new compressed natural gas (CNG) stations to support the transition of DART’s fixed route and paratransit bus fleet to 100% CNG power. The project will also will include two building modifications for maintenance facilities.

While I agree that such a tax might reduce vehicle usage, the reduction in auto usage would result in less wear and maintenance on the highway system and less air pollution. Thus a single source not only builds and maintains highways, it lowers maintenance costs and promotes cleaner air, all in the process of supporting mass transit. While doubling the ridership of JTA wouldn't make a ding in the perception of the daily traffic jam, 10 million less autos on the roads would certainly give us a bump on the bottom line.

There are many creative ways for JTA to increase it's income, but the city and state's reluctance to pioneer any concept prevents us from hearing it. I've tossed several ideas out that could make JTA self sufficient or close to it, idea's that I doubt they even remember. You know you've made an impact when their faces glaze over and the crickets start chirping.


OCKLAWAHA
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 10:05:56 PM by Ocklawaha »

fieldafm

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Re: JTA Cutting Riverside Trolley Service
« Reply #59 on: October 20, 2011, 09:03:42 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.

Word has come out today that they will not only be reducing service, but INCREASING FARE on the Riverside Trolley(or what should be called the Courthouse Trolley as this will now terminate at the new Courthouse and not the Landing).

There is a public input meeting on November 2nd, but if you read what I've quoted... talking to JTA will frankly get you nowhere.