Author Topic: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!  (Read 6425 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« on: March 12, 2014, 03:00:02 AM »
Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!



Metro Jacksonville's Robert Mann explains what BRT is and highlights why Jacksonville's proposed system will not deliver what advocates are promising to the community.


Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-mar-jacksonville-brt-like-3-card-monte-only-cheaper

jaxlore

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2014, 09:30:15 AM »
Great article. Is there any chance any of this can change with the new JTA head? Or is this more of the same?

thelakelander

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2014, 09:39:37 AM »
Doubt the initial phases change at this point. Construction is scheduled to start later this year.
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Doctor_K

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2014, 09:56:23 AM »
Already scheduled?  So we're stuck with this garbage?
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create."  -- Albert Einstein

thelakelander

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2014, 10:18:57 AM »
They're actually behind schedule.  The Downtown and North corridor phases were approved by the feds well over a year or two ago. I believe the Southeast corridor has been approved as well. 

With that said, it is what it is. It will be an improvement over what we currently have but we're fooling ourselves if we think we're getting real BRT or the economic benefits that fixed transit brings. Essentially what we're going to end up with is a few new reliable bus routes with headways of 10-15 minutes. Better than what we have today, but nothing close to being real "rapid transit". More like, service one would expect in any metropolitan with more than 1 million residents.
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jcjohnpaint

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2014, 10:48:14 AM »
I really feel this is going to really hurt skyway ridership and set us back from serious mass transit for another 20 years.  This is what are bus service should have been initially.  I am really troubled that the lines run over where the proposed rail lines were to go. 

Overstreet

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2014, 10:58:18 AM »
Hurt the skyway?

exnewsman

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 11:23:24 AM »
Everything finally feels back to normal now... Ock bashing JTA and talking about transit in South America.

peestandingup

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 11:33:01 AM »
Here's the official map from JTA's site: http://www.jtafla.com/JTAFuturePlans/Media/Images/BRT_overview_map_large.JPG

I find it funny (or sad really) that the legend has the BRT lanes in yellow, but they're orange on the actual map. Did a grade-schooler make this thing in MS Paint??

thelakelander

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2014, 11:40:48 AM »
I really feel this is going to really hurt skyway ridership and set us back from serious mass transit for another 20 years.  This is what are bus service should have been initially.

I think the Skyway will be fine if these things are done:

1. JTA makes a strong effort at getting TOD at all of the land around their Skyway stations.

2. JTA bite the bullet and pay for a Skyway extension to Brooklyn.

3. JTA/COJ work with adjacent communities to extend the Skyway to areas where it makes sense, like to Atlantic Blvd. in San Marco.

4. Keep the Skyway free fare.

Quote
I am really troubled that the lines run over where the proposed rail lines were to go.

With the Southeast BRT corridor underway and the possibility of Amtrak and AAF along the FEC, I'm starting to question the feasibility of commuter rail along that corridor. It could make sense to attempt to coordinate station locations/services of the other projects in a manner where it's possible for the region to utilize them for commuting as well. Sort of like the Amtrak corridor services work in Southern California. If that can be done, it probably makes sense that start looking at other corridors for local, state and federal funds.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2014, 02:35:58 PM »
BRT normally (again by 'The BRT Standard') should have stations placed about twice as often as commuter rail, and only about half as many as our local bus routes. In reality, JTA has stretched these stops so far apart that the standard score sheet deducts points. Points are deducted on routes like this as they overshoot destination/origination points causing a long (HOT) walk back to or from ones desired location. This is fixable.

Good commuter rail on the other hand should have stations far enough apart that an FEC/AAF/AMTRAK train should be able to sprint, reaching 60-80 mph between stops. IE: Union Terminal, South Jacksonville (Atlantic), JTB (questionable) and Avenues Walks before launching on into St. Johns. Light Rail alongside the FEC could have BRT spaced stations and still reach 70 mph (light rail accelerates MUCH faster then buses, enough that a body can detect some G-Force).

Damage to the Skyway is a more serious threat if they insist on duplicating the stops, otherwise as Lake has said, Kings Avenue, Jacksonville Union Terminal and Rosa Parks shouldn't have anything but a positive effect. This is also time to pull the trigger and get serious about Brooklyn, the stadium and Atlantic, if not Woodstock Park/Farm Market as immediate Skyway expansion areas.

Quote
Posted by: exnewsman
« on: Today at 11:23:24 AM » Insert Quote
Everything finally feels back to normal now... Ock bashing JTA and talking about transit in South America.

This isn't bashing, in fact, hopefully it is teaching a populace and other media to test all things by the standards and give us an accurate snapshot. Deception is only going to cause more Skyway like failures - though today I'd hardly call the Skyway a failure, keeping in mind however that it is now a RAIL system and not a people-mover.

As for South America, Bogota and the 3rd World? Here is what the NY Times had to say about TransMilenio

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/cU6ImWY4IBc?hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/cU6ImWY4IBc?hl=en_US</a>

Ocklawaha

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2014, 03:25:55 PM »
Avenues Walk IS a rail station if they ever build on their parcel south of Mikado.  The initial station near Wal-Mart will be "temporary." Other then Avenues Walk only Atlantic at the FEC makes much sense for rail. JTB would be fantastic given the highway access, amount of real estate, park and ride location etc, unfortunately the mainline is on the westside of a rail yard and shops from the 'station'. We should encourage JTA to build a REAL BRT station at this location, AC/heat, restrooms, fountains, security, information, boarding gates etc.

pwhitford

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2014, 03:55:02 PM »
Anyone know (and can prove) from whom the City buys its gasoline to power these buses?
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thelakelander

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2014, 05:38:25 PM »
BRT normally (again by 'The BRT Standard') should have stations placed about twice as often as commuter rail, and only about half as many as our local bus routes. In reality, JTA has stretched these stops so far apart that the standard score sheet deducts points. Points are deducted on routes like this as they overshoot destination/origination points causing a long (HOT) walk back to or from ones desired location. This is fixable.

Good commuter rail on the other hand should have stations far enough apart that an FEC/AAF/AMTRAK train should be able to sprint, reaching 60-80 mph between stops. IE: Union Terminal, South Jacksonville (Atlantic), JTB (questionable) and Avenues Walks before launching on into St. Johns. Light Rail alongside the FEC could have BRT spaced stations and still reach 70 mph (light rail accelerates MUCH faster then buses, enough that a body can detect some G-Force).

Ock, speaking of commuter rail, how many trains per can we really expect on that corridor? My guess is it would be something closer to four trains/day on M-F with no weekend service than something like Tri-Rail in South Florida. As proven by Nashville's Music City Star, I'm certain that won't be a big stimulant in TOD either and ridership would be lower than what the Skyway generates now because of the low frequency in service. When you add service characteristics of commuter rail on a corridor that could also have BRT, Amtrak, AAF siphoning some of its users, I'm not sure the investment makes sense over considering other underserved corridors in the region first.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Jacksonville BRT - Like 3 Card Monte - Only Cheaper!
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2014, 07:53:05 PM »
I agree that Commuter Rail (NOT THE SAME THING AS LIGHT-RAIL OR STREETCAR) is going to look a lot like the Music City Star, but I would suggest this is one place where our typical minimalism is warranted. Right down to the 120' foot station platforms, the train and it's stations should NOT look any fancier then what they are building on the current so-called 'BRT' (which I think means = 'Better Regional Transit' in Jacksonville). Toss in attractive, well lit, park-and-ride lots.

Commuter rail will not butt heads with Amtrak or AAF, those improvements in the physical plant will certainly benefit all comers. Typically with several more stops then Amtrak and probably a lot more stops then AAF, they will probably only share stations in downtown and St. Augustine. Even with that shared area, Amtrak/AAF fares will be more and usually when it could steal revenue from a local commuter operation they'll be footnoting their schedules with lines like:

AAF does not carry local passengers between Jacksonville and St. Augustine on the 4 PM or 7 PM trains.
AAF does not carry local passengers between St. Augustine and Jacksonville on the 9 AM train.   

Amtrak carries passengers between Jacksonville and St. Augustine that originate or terminate their trips at Savannah or points north thereof or at Deland and points south thereof.

This by the way is quite the normal way it's done.

I believe we could easily match the Music City's numbers on the SE corridor and we should exceed it on the SW corridor. I don't think the north corridor as as suitable for commuter rail as it is a conversion to Light-Rail with nocturnal or limited/restricted midday freight service.

Our investment that they are calling 'BRT' is FAR less then anything needed to reshape a corridor and the long stage lengths on the route make it less then useful as rapid transit. Our immediate focus is how to make those stations into REAL BRT stations, how to get those lanes separated and moving them onto fully exclusive center median lanes with center stations. We probably could add another 2 stations, perhaps 3 and stay well within the international Standards.

Otherwise, our BRT route should include BOTH JTA and SUNSHINE buses running through on a flipped reciprocal schedule. Currently the little SUNSHINE BUS makes the 'purple line' trip 4 times daily each way from St Augustine to the Avenues Mall, opening the busway to them and running JTA to St. Augustine via the BRT lanes would be a HUGE step toward true regional commuter service. These buses should be more 'rail-like' and I'd suggest should include wifi, tables, coffee bar, restrooms, 110 volt outlets, music or TV. Not actually part of our BRT equipment these commuter expresses should be over-the-road motor coaches for ride quality.

BRT like that would be more successful if we had a limited 'last-mile' coverage. IF we had decent stations where human security and information were available, then it's safe to say we could establish a host of 'last mile' solutions all of which are less expensive then reinventing the wheel. Zip-Cars, Bike-Share, grade separated bike paths, LED lit raised crosswalks around the station areas, 3+ carpool/vanpool/company shuttle van's get preferred reserved parking as well as offering coordinated carpool/vanpool services advertised on our ITS signs on the freeways and boulevards.

There is nothing wrong with building up the corridor and then switching to rail, but if the money becomes available, we should already be standing in line.