Author Topic: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?  (Read 3872 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« on: February 21, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?



Early BRT meetings led you to believe that commuter rail could not be set up to serve urban core neighborhoods due to station spacing constraints.  Orlando's proposed commuter rail system shows that this theory couldn't be further from the truth.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/652

DemocraticNole

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2008, 03:18:23 PM »
How dare you question JTA!

PROTRANSIT

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 03:37:06 PM »
I think there is some confusion between an accessible rail system and a viable commuter rail system.  A heavy rail train that makes frequent stops will not provide reasonable commute times for customers from St. Augustine or Flemming Island commuting to downtown.  The existing rail lines do not necessarily go where commuters within Jacksonville need to go. 

Lunican

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2008, 03:53:08 PM »
The existing rail lines do not necessarily go where commuters within Jacksonville need to go. 

Then why did JTA plan their BRT routes to parallel the rail lines?

thelakelander

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 04:26:57 PM »
I think there is some confusion between an accessible rail system and a viable commuter rail system.  A heavy rail train that makes frequent stops will not provide reasonable commute times for customers from St. Augustine or Flemming Island commuting to downtown.

Simple solution to this non-issue.  Run a system like Caltrain's commuter rail system.  There's regular trains that actual stop where residents live and express trains that stop at major destinations.  This way someone from St. Augustine can take the train to downtown or the airport with limited stops between AND the couple living in San Marco can walk to their local station and hop a train that connects them to a major destination along the route also. 


This rail system route shows commuter rail (orange line) stations, spaced similar to BART (light blue line) subway station spacing in inner city San Francisco.  Despite several stations spaced within a mile of each other (stations in Jax don't need to be this close), Caltrain is still one of the most well riden commuter rail systems in the US.

To learn more about Caltrain's commuter rail system, click here:  http://www.caltrain.org/

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The existing rail lines do not necessarily go where commuters within Jacksonville need to go. 

Orange Park, NAS Jax, FCCJ Kent, Murray Hill/Avondale/Riverside, Downtown, San Marco, JTB, Baymeadows, Avenues Mall, Flagler Center, Beaver Street Farmer's Market, Edward Waters, Durkeeville, Shands Jacksonville, Springfield, New Springfield, Brentwood, Main Street, Swisher International, Gateway Mall, Panama Park, Trout River, Jax Zoo, Imeson Industrial Park, Busch Brewery, River City Marketplace.  That's a lot of destinations located along just the CSX A, S-Line and FEC corridors.  That's a nice collection of existing built in stops for a rail based trunk line transit system.  With that in place you use bus rapid transit and regular buses to access destinations not served by rail.  These stops would include places like Regency Mall, Orange Park Mall, Southpoint, Tinseltown, UNF and the Beaches. 

This is how it works in most cities, so its hard to make a case for why it would not work here.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

citylaw

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 08:44:51 PM »
Gee. I hate to break it to you about double checking consultant work when it comes to transportation issues in Florida.  Bought and paid for!! 
Regarding rail plans - please.  We are talking California black holes to the earth's core.  Don't fall for that public finance disaster.  There is NO WAY for these systems to come close to paying for themselves.  The ridership estimates generally assume a substitution of bus ridership but lack the flexibility of buses of course.
Lunican is on point - and that applies to Orlando system as well.  The stops in downtown Orlando generally do not connect to any major Orlando employment centers.  (Not Lake Mary/Heathrow, Maitland Center, Disney, UCF, Universal, Sandford Burnham, or ANY established retail shopping)  Only the section noted in the article above re downtown area has nearby employment - and downtown Orlando isn't the location of most of the employment in Orlando.  SunRail serves Mayor Dyer's wish to increase tax base in downtown Orlando, and of course allow huge densities in the TODs within a mile of each train station.

tufsu1

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 08:49:12 PM »
you do know that SunRail serves as the spine of the system right?  Meaning that there are bus routes emanating from the stops...many of which provide great access to employment centers.

spuwho

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 09:30:59 PM »
There is NO WAY for these systems to come close to paying for themselves. 

Compared to what? Expressways? Arterials? Airports? Buses? Name a public transportation system that pays for itself. All of them use tax based support.

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2014, 10:54:45 PM »
SunRail serves Mayor Dyer's wish to increase tax base in downtown Orlando, and of course allow huge densities in the TODs within a mile of each train station.

Sounds like it's paying for itself then!!

Ocklawaha

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Re: Commuter Rail: How close can stations really be?
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2014, 11:23:16 PM »
Gee. I hate to break it to you about double checking consultant work when it comes to transportation issues in Florida.  Bought and paid for!!

Yes, your information from Wendell Cox, and Randal O'Toole was indeed bought and paid for by the automobile interests. Don't believe it? Check out the base of the funding for Cato, Heritage, Liberty etc... It's a who's who of the highway, oil, gas, autos.
 
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Regarding rail plans - please.  We are talking California black holes to the earth's core.  Don't fall for that public finance disaster.  There is NO WAY for these systems to come close to paying for themselves.

You are actually talking to two consultants, one railroad planner/former supervisor for Trailways Bus System, and at least one railroad executive.

How much money did we make last year from the street in front of your house? Want to compare the costs of a new highway with the same passenger capacity, per direction, per hour as a railroad? Be my guest and the USDOT says the railroad is good for M/L 50 years, the highway 10.

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The ridership estimates generally assume a substitution of bus ridership...

No they don't assume a substitution of bus ridership, rail doesn't 'steal bus riders,' it increases mass transit ridership across the board filling coordinated buses with passengers.

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...but lack the flexibility of buses of course.

Yes flexibility is a point, I can run a streetcar on the Jacksonville Monorail elevated structure, on exclusive railroad right-of-way, in a subway, in a median, in a traffic lane, alongside the road, in a transit lane, or even along a sidewalk (Little Rock AR). You flexible bus must stay with the pavement and the pavement is limited as to where it can be located, thus consuming massive amounts of land. Now if we're talking operational flexibility on a system already up and running then it's a 50/50 deal, buses stay on pavement, rail stays on track. Much railroad track is privately owned and maintained and very, very few highways are not in the pocket of the taxpayers.

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Lunican is on point - and that applies to Orlando system as well.  The stops in downtown Orlando generally do not connect to any major Orlando employment centers.  (Not Lake Mary/Heathrow, Maitland Center, Disney, UCF, Universal, Sandford Burnham, or ANY established retail shopping)  Only the section noted in the article above re downtown area has nearby employment - and downtown Orlando isn't the location of most of the employment in Orlando.

Downtown still accounts for one of several large employment centers in Orlando and is rapidly becoming a dense urban area. Sunrail directly serves Lake Mary, Maitland, Sanford, Longwood, Altamonte Springs, Winter Park, Florida Hospital (second largest in the USA), Lynx transit hub, Church Street, Minnesota Ave, Sand Lake, etc... Buses meet each train and complete the last mile of the trip.

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SunRail serves Mayor Dyer's wish to increase tax base in downtown Orlando, and of course allow huge densities in the TODs within a mile of each train station.

Which is totally fantastic to see, in reality Dyer's boost to the bottom line means that down the road, it really doesn't matter if Sunrail carries any passengers, just the illusion has created a land boom. That is something we never seemed to be able to pull off at Trailways!