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Author Topic: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.  (Read 1218 times)

stephendare

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Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« on: December 19, 2012, 10:19:29 PM »
MetroJacksonville will be meeting with Ford tomorrow for a bit of a get acquainted meeting.

Is there anything in particular you guys would like us to ask?
And now abide faith, hope and love; these three, but the greatest of these is love

Mathew1056

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 10:23:30 PM »
When will JTA be available on Google Transit?

fieldafm

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 06:27:37 AM »
When JTA makes their inevitable push to extend the gas tax, will a Riverside/Downtown streetcar be in their list of capital improvement projects to champion?  If so, will you commit money in next year's budget to conduct the engineering study?

Additionally, will you consider substituting light rail in place of the unfunded BRT lines around town (this will have a tremendous effect on economic development especially among land near transit stops, provide jobs and increase the tax base of the city)?

Will you allow a local software developer to finally roll out a mobile app which gives users real time data on transit times?  JTA was shown a working prototype and discarded it over 'concerns about Homeland Security'. Even though places like Chicago have almost a dozen similar apps developed privately using open source.
http://www.citygoround.org/agencies/us/fl/?public=all lists all the cities that do and don't release GTFS files to web/app developers.  If high profile transit organizations in cities like New York and Chicago don't have a fear of 'terrorism', then why can't JTA?

Will you work with the neighborhood groups to implement sensible PCT circulator routes instead of ignoring the community's pleas?  The neighborhood groups want to be a partner with you in attracting choice riders.  Partnerships don't work when you don't accept input from all parties. 

Will you consider a small station extension of the Skyway at grade from the maintenance facility into Brooklyn? 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 10:11:21 AM by fieldafm »

Noone

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 07:11:08 AM »
MetroJacksonville will be meeting with Ford tomorrow for a bit of a get acquainted meeting.

Is there anything in particular you guys would like us to ask?

At least it's not secret like our Waterways FIND subcommittee meeting.
Can I attend the meeting?

Bill Hoff

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 07:58:59 AM »
Our bus system has made local news for being nearly unusable for anyone who needs to be sonewhere on time. How do you plan on changing that?

Our bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure has made national news for being unsafe/unfriendly. How do you plan on changing that?

X city has a relatively inexpensive, but effective street car line. What do you see as the barriers for that in Jacksonville? How do you plan on addressing those?

How does JTA transition from a road builder to a transit operator?

thelakelander

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 10:30:21 AM »
I believe the meeting was at 8:30am.  How did it go?

fsujax

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 10:35:13 AM »
the facebook post a little while ago said it was tonight.

thelakelander

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 10:48:27 AM »
Interesting...

stephendare

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 10:53:47 AM »
fsujax

that was incorrect on facebook.

Ive been trying to log onto the site from the Public Library (where I am sitting with Ocklawaha) and only just succeeded----(thanks all of you guys who hated the idea of public investment in wifi a few years ago, its a good thing that the 'market' took care of all that)

The meeting went really well.

It was more of an informational sit down.

Ford has only been on the job for a couple of weeks and he is in the process of getting his bearings on the community context.  He scheduled the breakfast with us in order to get input, observations and criticisms.

Ock read off the questions from this thread, but he didnt have any answers to give as he hasnt formulated a comprehensive policy.

We did share with him the perennial issues with transit provided by the JTA, including the S Liine, poor design of the Transit Center, the schedules changing every 6 months, the cut backs in service, the policy of not running night time buses to african american neighborhoods after 9pm, the general lack of customer service, the expensive transfer policy etc.

He asked how we felt about the gasoline tax being renewed. Ock was positive and non committal, I was less diplomatic.

Ford is dynamic and energetic, and he seems pretty committed to starting from the basics and making the transit part of the JTA actually work.

He filled us in a bit on his process in San Francisco, which was community based and encouraging.

We told him that we just want to see competent people running a transit system that works.

Ironically, the meeting was at 8:30.

I drove my car downtown from the beaches area, parked in a garage and made my way to the nearest skyway station.  I arrived at 8:23.

But the skyway car was having a problem at the Rosa Parks Station, and the digital sign board kept announcing that the next car would arrive in 50 seconds. 

A skyway car finally did arrive at 8:44.

Instead of sending a car that worked from elsewhere on the line, to pick up people, they decided to make everyone wait until the attendent fixed what was wrong with the original car.  I was 20 minutes late to the breakfast as a result.

Which I think kind of summed up the transit experience pretty nicely.

Im optimistic about this guy, though.  He seems very purposeful and confident.

He's got my support at the moment.

I think Ock will weigh in shortly.
And now abide faith, hope and love; these three, but the greatest of these is love

Ocklawaha

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 05:46:00 PM »
Certainly an upbeat breakfast conversation. It might also be the first time in recorded history that JTA fouling up the schedule (Stephens late arrival due to a broken Skyway car) may have worked to the benefit of the entire transit riding community.

Stephens suggestion that every employee be made to ride the system gained a sympathetic ear. I added that their personal time card schedule will have to have a couple of hours of slack in it to make up for 11 am arrivals at work.

I went into some minor detail on MJ'S proposal for a temporary Skyway station at Riverside and Lelia Street in Brooklyn, who knows besides the office workers nearby, maybe the construction workers would find it useful.

A good round of laughs went around the table after I explained that we had measured the city blocks that would be covered by the JRTC plan and if the new rail yard and JTA bus facility were included it would be slightly larger then the Vatican City a sovereign state. We shared a glimpse of the redesign concepts which were welcomed.

Explaining that the BRT system on the Southbank is duplicating the Skyway raised eyebrows. It appears that we plan to compete with ourselves; perhaps I should have mentioned the 9,000 employees being ignored over at Baptist/Wolfson/Aetna that would be easily connected with a skywalk.

Perhaps most promising was a discussion swirling around two major topics, Skyway extension and STREETCAR.  I'm looking forward to future meetings and walk or drive along's.

More later...

stephendare

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 05:50:09 PM »


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

Ocklawaha

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2012, 08:13:49 PM »
STREETCAR - Mr. Ford is a man with experience in streetcar's, he was in San Francisco then the 'F - Line CASTRO' abandonment was halted and reversed.  He worked with the San Francisco Muni Railways to locate and import streetcars from all around the nation and ultimately the world. This is a man who has seen what streetcars can do in effecting change in a community and he's not bashful about saying so.

In the near future perhaps we can ride around for a couple of hours allowing us a chance to explain projects that we think will work miracles. There is nothing like being there to to give one more of a hands on field experience for those concepts.

SKYWAY - He is going to be 100% absolutely in favor of modest Skyway expansions to make that system viable to East Jacksonville and San Marco.

There was an expressed interest in a new GROUND LEVEL station at the corner of Lelia and Riverside Avenues, as well as the center cars for the Skyway trains.

We spoke at some length about the current systems lack of transfers policy.  I came away from this believing we have a director interested in taking fare collection to the next level using vending machines and C-Stores as outlets for bus passes. He explained that the tickets would be temporal in nature with passengers paying for 3 hours, 3 days, 5 days, month etc.

We at MJ feel like we finally have an advocate for mass transit in the highest office of JTA.

Dog Walker

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2012, 03:03:51 PM »
Thanks to you guys for taking the initiative in talking to him.  Sometimes the people who speak first make the most lasting impression.  You got to him before the road builders did.
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jcjohnpaint

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2012, 04:47:41 PM »
Thanks Guys.  Now they need to pay you for doing their job!

spuwho

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Re: Quiet First Meeting With Nathaniel Ford, the New JTA Director.
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2012, 09:36:18 PM »
Kudos for having a good "calm" sit down with the new CEO.

Stephen, getting held up by the Skyway, was well... ironic in the fact you were meeting the boss!

Him asking you about the gas tax sounds like a left over to do list from Mr. Blaylock. Was he aware of the Mobility Plan?  Just curious.

Glad it went well and hopefully the beginning of some good dialog in the future.