Author Topic: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership  (Read 6980 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« on: October 13, 2014, 03:00:03 AM »
Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership



The following is a list of all local rail transit systems in Florida, ranked by ridership.  Here's an interesting fact. The Skyway does not come in last place.


Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2014-oct-floridas-fixed-rail-systems-ranked-by-ridership

tufsu1

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 08:07:16 AM »
There seems to be a disturbing ridership trend with SunRail.  It has been dropping monthly and is now hovering around 3500 per day. 

What's really interesting is how our Skyway is held up as a $200 million waste of money.  But a $600+ million rail system with about the same ridership is considered a great success.   

spuwho

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 08:15:53 AM »
There seems to be a disturbing ridership trend with SunRail.  It has been dropping monthly and is now hovering around 3500 per day. 

What's really interesting is how our Skyway is held up as a $200 million waste of money.  But a $600+ million rail system with about the same ridership is considered a great success.

Best to check on the SunRail numbers again when the I-4 rebuild gets going.

jaxlore

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 08:40:42 AM »
4,100 riders a day is not to shabby for the skyway.

Steve

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 09:50:41 AM »
Seriously-not amazing, but not a complete disaster either, especially considering nearly nothing feeds it

Tacachale

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 09:51:09 AM »
How are these numbers measured? Daily or weekly? The first one seems weekly but the others seem daily. This could have been clearer.

My friends in the Tampa area have told me their streetcar is considered a local punchline similar to the Skyway; ie, that it's an expensive tourist shuffler that doesn't go anywhere and that nobody uses. Those numbers do appear to be pretty low.

Similarly, it's kind of a different beast, but friends in Orlando have long expressed skepticism about Sunrail. This isn't entirely due to the assumption that Floridians will never embrace commuter rail (though that's part of it), but also because they think the stations aren't in the best places to be used. I guess we'll see how it develops.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 11:54:57 AM »
Considering Sunrail is really an I-4 construction mitigation project it certainly hasn't reached it's stride. Also, it is going to take some time to get local buses to where they feed the system at a high level. This will take more then buses showing up at stations, it will take remote park-n-ride lots, advertising, close headways and some promotional 'deals'.

Streetcar in Tampa is something of a joke. While there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with the cars, track or overhead, they horribly overbuilt the stations and street furniture that got 'attached' to the streetcar price tag. The thing was done as a tourist attraction and it literally goes from Ybor City (Latino Land) to the cruise terminal (Ship Land). A tiny extension into downtown did little more then allow a few dozen lunch hour folks get to the restaurants in the attractions area; more money spent apparently for no result.

Like the Skyway the streetcar goes from nothing to no place but you can't get anywhere in between. Unlike the Skyway, the system will handle modern streetcars or light-rail vehicles and can be expanded into the surrounding residential/suburbia for a mere fraction of the cost of our concrete wonder. The Skyway connects virtually all of downtown west of Main Street to the South Bank or seldom used Convention Center, it is hardly tied to the bus network at all and the new so-called 'BRT' will compete with it, JTA's 'promises' notwithstanding. The Tampa Streetcar is in a worse position in that it skirts downtown rather then passing through it. Unlike the Skyway, that streetcar can attain exclusive right-of-way and move out at 40 mph on railroad track, completely apart from automobile traffic.

This is the key to the Skyway, be it elevated streetcar or monorail. Decide on the mode and get either single beam monorail (much cheaper) or a streetcar platform (cheaper yet) to the stadium (sell that as the Randolph Eastside Extension) to Forest Street and to San Marco at Atlantic. Then watch the development explode.

Lastly the one thing that hurts the streetcar the most in Tampa is a at-grade crossing of a CSX branchline... CHA CHING! Over $½M in 'insurance' gets added to the costs every year. The fact that this was bungled at the start has seriously hurt the several propositions for area light-rail. "It's another streetcar," shouts the "No Tax For Tracks" bunch, none of which can stop shrieking long enough to take a serious look at the $Billion dollar+ development the streetcar brought with it, or the potential for much, much, more with the further development of modern streetcar/light-rail.

Hopefully the leadership and various other media of Jacksonville will be wise enough to actually study this site as well as sites such as the Facebook Group (please join us) at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/221427744536172/
Or
http://www.lightrailnow.org
Or
The International: http://thecityfix.com
Or
VIA Metropolitan Transit San Antonio, TX
Quote

Results of streetcar economic impact study 
Posted: 6/30/2014
VIA Metropolitan Transit released the results of a study that examined the economic impact a modern streetcar system would have on the local economy, and the conclusions show that the investment of $280 million in the system will see a return of billions over the next 25 years.

The study was conducted by the SABÉR Institute of St. Mary’s University and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce under the supervision of Steve R. Nivin, PhD, who is the director and chief economist for the institute.

“The streetcar project is not a stand-alone project. It’s part of a comprehensive transportation plan that has an economic impact,” said VIA Board Chairman Alexander Briseño. “This is an investment that’s worthwhile. It’s one that’s important for the community and the future.”

According to the study’s report, the construction of the streetcar system itself will support over 4,080 jobs with incomes and benefits totaling $206 million. This will have an overall impact of $489 million on the regional economy. Once the system is built out it will attract seven million square feet of new development with a taxable value of $756 million, and the new businesses in the area will employ almost 8,500 full-time equivalent positions earning wages and benefits of about $387 million.

New businesses along the streetcar corridors will boost the local economy by $1.3 billion, and the construction of these new businesses will have an impact of about $1.8 billion. The property taxes generated from the new developments will amount to $265 million, which will be new revenues helping to support the basic services provided by the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and the San Antonio Independent School District.

In addition to property taxes, sales tax revenues from the new businesses will be nearly $53 million, and the sales taxes generated from the construction of the new developments will be about $4 million.

“We’re not talking about the needs of the people today; we’re talking about the needs of the people of the future,” said Briseño. “We need to provide options and alternatives. This system, as part of that comprehensive transportation plan, provides one of those alternatives.”

There is no question; "BRT lite isn't a good fit in Jacksonville."
We need streetcar's and their development dynamo!
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 12:00:09 PM by Ocklawaha »

thelakelander

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 01:37:52 PM »
Tacachale, the numbers are weekday.
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simms3

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2014, 02:23:01 PM »
Sunrail ridership is why I'm highly skeptical of commuter rail in Jax.  Definitely need something that will be a political success first before going for projects that will result in empty trains and naysayers being able to be correct and win PR arguments.
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IrvAdams

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 03:00:55 PM »
Sunrail ridership is why I'm highly skeptical of commuter rail in Jax.  Definitely need something that will be a political success first before going for projects that will result in empty trains and naysayers being able to be correct and win PR arguments.

Yes, that all-important first leg needs to be in the right place and go from somewhere to somewhere, or the naysayers will jump on it.
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tufsu1

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 04:49:45 PM »
There seems to be a disturbing ridership trend with SunRail.  It has been dropping monthly and is now hovering around 3500 per day. 

What's really interesting is how our Skyway is held up as a $200 million waste of money.  But a $600+ million rail system with about the same ridership is considered a great success.

Best to check on the SunRail numbers again when the I-4 rebuild gets going.

agreed

simms3

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2014, 06:06:59 PM »
^^^And so are people going to revert back to automobiles once I-4 is widened/improved?

Sunrail seems like it was built as a permanent solution and alternative to the car.  It has park n ride and it hits most if not all of the major employment centers.  All systems in the US can see spikes or declines when other forms of transportation improve/recede, so I wouldn't expect that to be different for Orlando.

If Sunrail is effective and works, it will see upwards of 10x the ridership it's seeing  now, sustained, after a certain relatively short time frame (10-20 years?) with or without an improved I-4.

If it's a $600M+ "failure", per se, then it will remain relatively flat, like Nashville's Star or the system in Austin, which has dismal ridership, imo.  Or really a host of other systems that don't have nearly the ridership they should because they truly are trying to "force" a mode into cities not built or planned for them and inhabited by citizenries either over them from living in previous locales, or averse to them to begin with.
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thelakelander

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2014, 06:43:23 PM »
I doubt Sunrail will see 10x in 20 years. Tri-Rail only gets 15k and its been around since the 1980s. Sunrail will be lucky if it can draw 15k/day in 20 years.
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simms3

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2014, 07:06:05 PM »
^^^See, to me, for $600M++ that's a waste.  A $600M road improvement likely benefits more people than a $600M commuter rail system, in this case.  4,000-15,000 people max in the grand scheme of things is not enough cars to take off the highway to benefit the automobile users in a material/noticeable way, so essentially a $600M rail improvement at $40K-$150K per person if Sunrail gets up to 15,000 riders, or at minimum $6K/person for at minimum 100,000 highway users daily (probably double that).

Transit ridership reports for the entire state of FL make me shed a tear :(
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 07:08:11 PM by simms3 »
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thelakelander

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Re: Florida's Fixed Rail Systems Ranked By Ridership
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2014, 09:53:58 PM »
I wouldn't expect any rail system to result in streets carrying less cars if we're not placing a building moratorium around those roads. The major benefit Sunrail brings is its ability to stimulate transit oriented development and dense infill that increases local tax rolls. Sunbelt commuter rail systems don't move that many people because their headways are limited and most don't even run on the weekends.  For all it's faults and bad press, the Skyway probably has higher potential for ridership increases than Sunrail because its headways make it a more reliable mode for those who do use it frequently.
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