Author Topic: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!  (Read 8676 times)

Metro Jacksonville

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
    • MetroJacksonville.com
The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« on: June 03, 2008, 04:00:00 AM »
The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!



A recent online Times Union questionaire appears to confirm what urbanites have been advocating for years.  Yes, if given the opportunity, we will commute by train.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/807

hillary supporter

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2008, 09:47:12 AM »
continue development of urban core skyway. isnt work to be continued on skyway towards brooklyn this fall. a huge majority of jacksonville has no problem with mass transit. im not saying they advocate it, they just dont have problems with it. as in the article, some will be actively against it. this is where the city needs to make that unpopular decision. and us advocates have to be vocal.

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33692
    • Modern Cities
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2008, 12:12:07 PM »
So Lake, how do we publicly express this sentiment?

By continuing to do what we're doing:

A. Keep the local media's attention on the story.  If you hit them over the head with the facts over and over again, they'll get the message.  This method put a halt to the Downtown BRT transit mall plan, revised the parking ordinance and almost got us smart meters downtown.

B. Keep meeting with JTA.  Being oppositional at times has its benefits, but so does meeting behind closed doors.

Quote
Tom, your in Austin..  dont they have a rail there or something?

see this thread for more info on what Austin is doing: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/589/116/
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33692
    • Modern Cities
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2008, 12:22:28 PM »
I wouldn't put any on my vehicles.  Its nothing against the cause, I just like my automobiles clean and clear.

As for Austin:

Austin Commuter
http://austincommuter.com/index2.html

Austin Citizen's for Personal Rapid Transit
http://www.acprt.org/DocumentOfTheDay.cfm?Item=DOD031019

BicycleAustin.Info
http://bicycleaustin.info/rail/
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Seraphs

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2008, 12:50:44 PM »
I wonder if metrojacksonville would print bumper stickers?  That would be ironic, wouldnt it?

"If I had my choice, Id be using commuter rail!"  on the backs of thousands of car windows?

Almost never would you find a bumper sticker on my vehicle, I agree with Lake.  However, Stephendare, I think it's an excellent idea and if the bumper sticker was done in good taste I would apply one.  For instance a little 'square deal' sticker that could be applied to the back window.

Imagine motorist stuck in traffic with nothing to gaze at but your commuter rail sticker.  

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2008, 01:24:57 PM »


Ocklawaha

Lost on DART somewhere between Plano and
Sage Brush Wells Tx... Looking out for those "indians"
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 01:27:55 PM by Ocklawaha »

gatorback

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2336
  • “Know thyself.”
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2008, 01:52:36 PM »
So Lake, how do we publicly express this sentiment?

Tom, your in Austin..  dont they have a rail there or something?



Yes Stephen in a big way.  The people of Austin have voted for and approved a long-range transit plan.

Capital MetroRail is on track for service to begin on the Red Line in the fall of 2008. Sleek, new trains will take you to work in comfort and style, providing you with high-back seats, bicycle and overhead racks, and Wi-Fi connections. Some seating areas will feature tray tables. Capital MetroRail’s initial service will be during morning and afternoon peak hours. Regular and special shuttle buses will whisk you to your final destination.

The Red Line will run on 32-miles of existing freight tracks between Leander and Downtown Austin. It will provide convenient service for suburban and central Austin residents. Future connections are being studied along existing Capital Metro freight tracks from Downtown to Manor and beyond. Future extensions along TxDOT’s abandoned MoKan corridor are also possible.
'As a sinner I am truly conscious of having often offended my Creator and I beg him to forgive me, but as a Queen and Sovereign, I am aware of no fault or offence for which I have to render account to anyone here below.'   Mary, queen of Scots to her jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet; October 1586

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2008, 01:55:40 PM »
Uh... Fella's, lets leave them confused about light rail-vs-commuter rail

I really believe it is JTA and Metro-Jacksonville that is confused here...

ANY rail that carries commuters is in FACT a form of COMMUTER RAIL.
So Light Rail, Streetcars, Trams, Horse Cars, Cable Cars, Locomotive Hauled
Commuter trains, DMU units, RDC cars... The whole batch is really commuter
rail.

The problem comes from our "common use" of Commuter Rail to describe only
big, locomotive hauled commuter trains or giant DMU units that are allowed to
run on the mainline railroads with freight traffic.

The problem gets even worse with the statement that light rail can't run on regular
railroad tracks "BY LAW". This is not a fact. New Jerseys River Line does it all day
long with tiny streetcar like DMU units. New changes have allowed NS to switch
industry while the line is still being worked by Light Rail. Granted great steps in both
signals (available off the shelf) and interlocks are involved to keep the two modes
apart, it none-the-less works. Ditto in San Diego and their San Diego Trolley which
track shares with the old San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad.

BOTTOM LINE:

We could build light-rail on any track that the railroad wants to leave. Further, we could
build Light-Rail on any track in which the railroad can back off of during the day and leave the
freights as a midnight to 5 am window. That CSX "A" line comes to mind for this as the trains
may be shifted over to the "S" down the center of the state. What service is left is Palatka
Coal and Pulp Wood/Paper, these could easily run at night leaving the electrics up for the day.
Ditto any city owned lines such as the old "S" downtown. Even a second or third track alongside
FEC (which might be needed for ANY rail) could be electric and run LRT trains.

Electric with green generation is the wave of the near future. These DART trains are so quiet I'm
not even sure you could pick up the sounds with my video camera. More like a high speed hum
with classic Interurban "nasal Wooooooo Horns" and electric bells. The O&M costs for electric rail
is way less then for other modes, including BRT. Going green with say, methaine generators at an
old land fill or wind units on the Jetties... and we could RIDE the WIND in Jacksonville, Or the SUN
or as usual, we'd ride the garbage... (Can't think of a catchy green phrase for that one!).

Well, the gates are going down and there's a bright yellow and white car in sight.... Hasta la Vista
Ya'll... Next stop?

"Daddy can I just ride forever?"

Ocklawaha

gatorback

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2336
  • “Know thyself.”
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2008, 02:33:36 PM »
so is it about getting it on a city referendum?

In Texas it was.  I think what's cool is how supportive the voters were.
'As a sinner I am truly conscious of having often offended my Creator and I beg him to forgive me, but as a Queen and Sovereign, I am aware of no fault or offence for which I have to render account to anyone here below.'   Mary, queen of Scots to her jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet; October 1586

thelakelander

  • The Jaxson
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33692
    • Modern Cities
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2008, 03:04:50 PM »
Uh... Fella's, lets leave them confused about light rail-vs-commuter rail

I really believe it is JTA and Metro-Jacksonville that is confused here...

ANY rail that carries commuters is in FACT a form of COMMUTER RAIL.
So Light Rail, Streetcars, Trams, Horse Cars, Cable Cars, Locomotive Hauled
Commuter trains, DMU units, RDC cars... The whole batch is really commuter
rail.

In terms of "commuting" people you're right.  However, the real issue is confusing light rail with diesel operated "commuter" rail.  What JTA is studying would be something along the lines of the Nashville Music Star, Orlando commuter rail proposal or Miami's Tri-Rail.  None of these systems are "light rail" and to make the claim only confuses people.

Quote
The problem comes from our "common use" of Commuter Rail to describe only
big, locomotive hauled commuter trains or giant DMU units that are allowed to
run on the mainline railroads with freight traffic.

The problem gets even worse with the statement that light rail can't run on regular
railroad tracks "BY LAW". This is not a fact. New Jerseys River Line does it all day
long with tiny streetcar like DMU units. New changes have allowed NS to switch
industry while the line is still being worked by Light Rail.

New Jersey's RiverLine does not operate with electric catenary.  However, I assume you're classifying it as light rail because of the weight of the vehicles?  Considering Amtrak will still use the CSX "A" Line and potentially expand to the FEC, a New Jersey RiverLine DMU system would probably be a stretch for anything outside of the S-Line heading North from Downtown to the Airport.

Quote
Granted great steps in both signals (available off the shelf) and interlocks are involved to keep the two modes apart, it none-the-less works. Ditto in San Diego and their San Diego Trolley which track shares with the old San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railroad.

BOTTOM LINE:

We could build light-rail on any track that the railroad wants to leave. Further, we could
build Light-Rail on any track in which the railroad can back off of during the day and leave the
freights as a midnight to 5 am window. That CSX "A" line comes to mind for this as the trains
may be shifted over to the "S" down the center of the state. What service is left is Palatka
Coal and Pulp Wood/Paper, these could easily run at night leaving the electrics up for the day.
Ditto any city owned lines such as the old "S" downtown. Even a second or third track alongside
FEC (which might be needed for ANY rail) could be electric and run LRT trains.


Sounds expensive, especially if we can avoid making costly investments initially.  Remember the term "keep it simple".  We'll most likely need to get our feet wet first with an affordable efficient starter line if we want anything done within the next five to ten years.  If we can get away initially without having to raise taxes, lay miles of parallel track on certain corridors or rely on FTA funding and approval for a starter line, we should make every effort to do so.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 03:07:04 PM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10438
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2008, 03:07:36 PM »
This would be a great way to attack it, but I'd FORCE it to fast-track since BJP money is in the bank...
Make them start turning dirt on Skyway improvements the week after the vote, then phase in the rail
and LRT/Streetcar within 24 months... Salt Lake City, Houston and others have done it. Hell, museum groups have put up 1-10 miles of streetcar with all volunteer labor and donations, old stuff, junk, wire and wooden poles within a couple of years. Why can't we go this just a bit better and still keep the streetcar portion within a "museum budget" and time frame????

Are we really this dumb? Someone posted on here they hated TURTLES... Ya know, I kind of agree... Say this is easy, using the sons laptop on a LRT. No smells, no rocking, no click-clack just a hummmmmmmmmmm...


Ocklawaha

Driven1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3301
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2008, 05:24:29 PM »
I wonder how to get a city wide referendum started?

How to get it started?

Get the local business community behind it and then get it publicized.  This is what those who wanted to bring the Navy back to Cecil Field did.  They also requested and received time before the City Council to introduce their measure.  They followed that with a well-attended news conference.

Basically, it boils down to getting the folks that count caring.  And then, publicity.

That's it in a nutshell.

gatorback

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2336
  • “Know thyself.”
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 06:07:55 PM »


Capital Metro was approved in 1985 by the citizens of Austin with a one-cent sales tax. In 1986, the system was launched, taking over the existing city of Austin bus services.

In 1989, public perception was that too many buses were running virtually empty. The MTA tax was cut to 3/4 percent, and Capital Metro attempted to boost ridership by eliminating fares entirely. Although the program was wildly successful in attracting new riders, a perception created by a few in the media was that there were too many "problem riders" using the system. This shallow, baseless idea caught on to some professional hacks looking to write papers on the period.[2] [3] Both of these footnoted references point exclusively to testimony by a former Capital Metro board member turned staffer, Lyndon Henry, whose assertions that ridership only increased by 10 percent of regular fixed-route riders, that operating expenses skyrocketed, and that vagrants drove away normal riders contradict documents from the period.[4]

Market research showed that "In only a couple of isolated instances are on-board safety or less than desirable passengers or anything else negatively attributed to the free fare program cited as reasons for discontinued use of bus service."[5] Despite the facts and widespread support -- general public approval of the fare-free program was 81%, even though 49% of respondents had never used Capital Metro services; among riders, it was 97% -- the political forces fearing the media farces reinstated fares in January 1991.

In response to the new ADA compliance rules passed in 1990, the system eventually became the first bus transit agency to have its entire bus fleet equipped with wheelchair ramps.

In 1993, it took over shuttle bus service for the University of Texas campus and expanded it to run to nearby apartment complexes off-campus that cater to university students. (By 2004, Capital Metro was collecting $5.2 million a year from student fees.[6]

In October 1995, Capital Metro's board of directors increased the MTA sales tax back to its original rate of one percent, promising to set aside the additional quarter percent for future projects. This brought the annual tax burden up to $349 per household.

In 1997, Capital Metro's board of directors was "reorganized" just ahead of a performance review by the Texas Comptroller.[7] The review cited "ongoing criminal investigation" by the FBI, "irresponsible management", "expensive, embarrassing mistakes", "dubious contracting and purchasing practices", $118,000 spent on "food, parties, and presents for its employees" and culminated with "We have never, in all of the performance reviews we have conducted, seen an agency with such a lack of accountability."[8]

In 2000, Capital Metro proposed spending $1.9 billion for a light rail system with 52 miles of track on existing streets. The referendum was narrowly defeated at the polls.[9]

In 2004, Capital Metro added a trip planner to its web site. Riders enter their intended origin and destination, along with optional time, date, and other information, and the trip planner displays itineraries showing the stops, departure and arrival times, and times to get from the origin to the destination.

In 2004, after four years of additional lobbying by Capital Metro, a commuter rail plan — to be built on pre-existing freight rail lines — won voter approval. Capital MetroRail's new rail line will run from Leander through northwest Austin and east Austin before terminating at a station on the southeastern edge of downtown Austin, at the location of the Austin Convention Center. It is scheduled for completion in 2008.

In September 2005 Stadler Rail won a bid to build six diesel-electric rail cars for the system.[10] Those six cars will carry up to 1000 commuters per trip, on five routes in the morning, five in the evening, with a handful of routes running during the midday. The initial cost for this rail line is $90 million dollars
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 06:19:09 PM by gatorback »
'As a sinner I am truly conscious of having often offended my Creator and I beg him to forgive me, but as a Queen and Sovereign, I am aware of no fault or offence for which I have to render account to anyone here below.'   Mary, queen of Scots to her jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet; October 1586

Charles Hunter

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4234
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 11:13:46 PM »
I think the BJP Transit money is limited to purchasing right-of-way, not rolling stock or track.  I also seem to recall (and I think thelakelander confirmed), that the BJP referendum prohibited the use of BJP funds on the Skyway.

Saw an article recently (Sunday paper?) that freight rail traffic is expected to double in the next 10[?] years, requiring current single tracks to be doubled, or tripled.  Might be smart for a rail company to partner with a local government to lay tracks for commuters by day, and freight by night.  Although the article also said that freight companies wanted access to times of day now reserved for commuters in some cities.

Coolyfett

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1953
  • Mike Hogan Destruction Eruption!
Re: The secret is out: Jacksonvillians want rail!
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2008, 03:09:16 AM »
wow. ock.   hilarious.  but what a way to take it 'there'.

lol.

any other ideas?

Yea... How about a sticker with a red background with white letters that say "Driving!! Trains are Better!!" And just slap em on stop signs, right under "STOP" Those would get noticed.
Mike Hogan Destruction Eruption!