Author Topic: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C  (Read 2995 times)

thelakelander

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2021, 03:55:11 PM »
Quote
Skyway conversion costs in downtown Jacksonville rise by 40 percent in two years

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority's estimated cost of converting the downtown Skyway system into a 10-mile transit network using autonomous vehicles has risen by about $123 million over the past two years, resulting in a 40 percent jump in the price tag.

The current $423 million estimate includes $379 million that JTA wants to finance through an increase in the local gas tax that City Council will dig into Wednesday in a public workshop.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2021/04/20/skyway-conversion-cost-rises-jacksonville-considers-gas-tax-hike/7282182002/
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2021, 05:29:29 PM »
Quote
Skyway conversion costs in downtown Jacksonville rise by 40 percent in two years

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority's estimated cost of converting the downtown Skyway system into a 10-mile transit network using autonomous vehicles has risen by about $123 million over the past two years, resulting in a 40 percent jump in the price tag.

The current $423 million estimate includes $379 million that JTA wants to finance through an increase in the local gas tax that City Council will dig into Wednesday in a public workshop.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2021/04/20/skyway-conversion-cost-rises-jacksonville-considers-gas-tax-hike/7282182002/

And then there is this:
Quote
City Council member LeAnna Cumber, who opposes the JTA plan and says it would be better to tear down the Skyway and use the hundreds of millions of dollars on other transportation needs, said the increase in cost is "not a surprise to me because everything I've seen to date on this project has been a moving target."

She said while there probably has been an increase in construction costs over the past two years, a 40 percent increase "is excessive and there doesn't seem to be a solid plan for exactly what the project will look like at the end of the day."

"Without that, it's hard to really estimate project costs with any certainty, and I would expect costs to continue to rise," she said.

Carlucci, who supports the JTA plan but leaves open the possibility that the amount of local gas tax money going toward it could be less than JTA's request, said it's not surprising the cost of the project has risen.

"I don't look at it through a negative lens on JTA and (agency CEO) Nat Ford," Carlucci said. "He's dealing with whatever the numbers are as they get further into the project and into the estimates."....

As I have said before, $379 to $423 (adding in Bay Street already funded) million is the floor on this project.  I could easily see it doubling or more based on past such "public works" projects in Jacksonville.  And, as noted, for what?  Project looks sillier by the day.  Unproven  technology, poor capacity and speed to accomplish "goals,"  putting a square peg in a round hole by trying to use a salvaged Skyway track and mixing elevated with grade as a result, no handle on real costs, bloated promises of usage and TOD, etc.

If Council kills it, as they should, they will once again be doing a favor for those who initially put the proposal forward but weren't willing to put their egos aside and admit to backing down (see Lot J) from a project that would only generate major black eyes.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 05:39:22 PM by jaxlongtimer »

thelakelander

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2021, 05:48:44 PM »
Yeah, $423 million is the floor. It will get more expensive as time goes. Mark my words, it will be cheaper to do a LRT starter or modern streetcar starter from scratch instead of attempting to make the Skyway something it was never intended to be. Because these are common technologies, it also won't take another 15 to 20 years to connect to a nearby community like Springfield or San Marco.
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jaxjags

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2021, 02:31:14 PM »
Yellowstone is essentially closed in winter. In fact most roads finally opened last week. So probably not a test of winter or harsh conditions as summer is pretty dry

jaxjags

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2021, 02:38:38 PM »
My concern is if gas tax increase succeeds the total funding of U2C is a given. That’s why I say vote gas tax down and up general taxes or alternative funding. I am believer in leaving Skyway as is and connecting to street car or LTR for expansion

jaxlongtimer

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2021, 02:43:40 PM »
Yellowstone is essentially closed in winter. In fact most roads finally opened last week. So probably not a test of winter or harsh conditions as summer is pretty dry

Agreed, no way they are going to run these during winter in Yellowstone.  Even a conventional vehicle would have a tough time operating there.  Between the howling winds, snow/ice and subzero temps, it would be the ultimate challenge.  And, as you notice, there is hardly anyone there to ride the things as it is mostly inaccessible to the public during that time.  Now, if the AV's could give a ride to a moose, grey wolf, bison, caribou or grizzly bear...  ;D

Des

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2021, 10:01:45 AM »
Was there a question regarding how fast these things go and their hours of operation?

If I'm going to travel from riverside to downtown at 15 mph in and out of traffic I'd want to punch myself in the face.

Since these don't perform too well during rainy and/or dark conditions does that mean they're going to stop operating early in the evening and not run during a third of the year due to liability?

WAJAS

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2021, 10:11:33 AM »
Was there a question regarding how fast these things go and their hours of operation?

If I'm going to travel from riverside to downtown at 15 mph in and out of traffic I'd want to punch myself in the face.

Since these don't perform too well during rainy and/or dark conditions does that mean they're going to stop operating early in the evening and not run during a third of the year due to liability?
On the rainy side, someone else should clarify, but I'm pretty sure they currently are claiming that the technology will be able to handle those conditions by the time the system is operational. Also, this is harsh weather that would affect the system. Daily ran, like during the summer, isn't the problem.

On the darkness point, most of these systems utilize LIDAR, which isn't affected by the available light outside. They'd be able to operate at any time of day.

thelakelander

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2021, 10:58:47 AM »
Was there a question regarding how fast these things go and their hours of operation?

If I'm going to travel from riverside to downtown at 15 mph in and out of traffic I'd want to punch myself in the face.

Since these don't perform too well during rainy and/or dark conditions does that mean they're going to stop operating early in the evening and not run during a third of the year due to liability?

They'd like to get up to an average operation speed of 15mph or so by 2040. It will piss off human drivers pretty quick if getting caught behind something that slow. In Lake Nona, drivers get frustrated, pull into oncoming traffic, run stop signs, etc. to get around their slow moving AV shuttle pilot. So, there a safety adjustment was made. When the shuttle attendant notices a long line of cars backed up behind them, they take over manually and pull the shuttle over to allow the cars to pass. IMO, this is another reason why 100% transit lane dedication should be pursued to the fullest, despite some stakeholders like FDOT and the DIA being present obstacles.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2021, 11:01:32 AM »
Was there a question regarding how fast these things go and their hours of operation?

If I'm going to travel from riverside to downtown at 15 mph in and out of traffic I'd want to punch myself in the face.

Since these don't perform too well during rainy and/or dark conditions does that mean they're going to stop operating early in the evening and not run during a third of the year due to liability?
On the rainy side, someone else should clarify, but I'm pretty sure they currently are claiming that the technology will be able to handle those conditions by the time the system is operational. Also, this is harsh weather that would affect the system. Daily ran, like during the summer, isn't the problem.

On the darkness point, most of these systems utilize LIDAR, which isn't affected by the available light outside. They'd be able to operate at any time of day.

Although these are issues today, most of what is proposed locally is still 10-15-20 years out. There's confidence that solutions to these issues will be resolved by then.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

fsu813

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2021, 06:20:57 AM »
Lyft selling its autonomous vehicle division to Toyota. More evidence that autonomous vehicles in mixed traffic are farther away than originally hypothesized:

https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/26/22404406/toyota-lyft-autonomous-vehicle-acquisition-amount-deal

marcuscnelson

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #41 on: April 30, 2021, 06:34:19 PM »
JTA invited me to their Test & Learn Facility at Armsdale. I won't lie, it got… a little heated. But there were definitely some interesting defenses of the project.

The team was incredibly passionate about their work, if nothing else. I still don't know if I buy it, but seeing the political attitude around the gas tax in general, I just wish there could be some fallback to only provide the funding for the rest if Bay Street opens and works, and then pass the bill.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2021, 07:14:42 PM »
They are passionate about their plan. I'll definitely give them that. However, no matter the passion, the public shouldn't be on the hook to pay 100% with local funds for the pet project. We have a lot more pressing needs in the community that will benefit a much larger population.
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thelakelander

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #43 on: April 30, 2021, 08:00:11 PM »
JTA invited me to their Test & Learn Facility at Armsdale. I won't lie, it got… a little heated. But there were definitely some interesting defenses of the project.

What did you guys get heated over? What defenses of the project did you find most interesting?

Btw, I was in a Hogan Street Emerald Trail meeting the other day. Lori Boyer mentioned that they can't ramp down Hogan Street. The DIA isn't interested in screwing up that entire block with a ramp. That's probably where the crazy elevator idea comes from.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

marcuscnelson

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Re: The Jaxson asks JTA 12 questions about the U2C
« Reply #44 on: April 30, 2021, 08:53:48 PM »
I was very insistent that although their setup at Armsdale is cool to look at, it doesn't necessarily demonstrate that the technology is capable of mixed-traffic operation on Bay Street. Of course I pointed out the cost issue; now they're claiming that the FTA has informed them that demolishing the Skyway would require payback of all $183 million with interest. There was a particularly heated bit about the virtues of being first. Several of them made speeches about how the program would help underserved communities eventually, and whatever's been done with FSCJ and how it will somehow attract young people downtown (I did respond that as a young person, we need more than AVs, but not sure that meant much).

When I pointed out the Metromover expansion, they said that Miami and Detroit had built out their systems while Jacksonville hadn't, which is why they were successful. And that the federal government would need to see the initial system fully built out before maybe pitching in for an expansion to (I'm pretty sure this was just an example, not an indication of actual future plans) SJTC. There was also some discussion about the platooning feature. Apparently they're dropping the ride hailing via app because it screws up headways. I got dressed down a few times with personal stories of the team members' backgrounds.

At one point near the end I was being repeatedly asked why I wasn't listening to what they were saying about how it all worked. They kept bringing up Waymo and I kept pointing out that Waymo's implementation is a pilot and doesn't necessarily indicate that their implementation would work. At another point I was talking about how I wouldn't mind private companies taking the financial risk, and in return was asked where progress began, and there was a whole thing about how Amazon and others would only seek the profitable routes while JTA would be serving underserved communities with its routes. They seemed to take insult at the idea that JTA wasn't a serious competitor in the industry, and the VP of Automation asked if him going back to Amazon and proposing the same thing somehow made it more worthy. They brought up Nat Ford's record for some reason. When I said that part of my perspective had been informed by people outside of Jacksonville the VP seemed to take offense to that. There's probably other stuff, it was a long three hours.

Apparently some unnamed company coming to Jacksonville is going to have a U2C stop inside their lobby. Not sure how that's going to work with wet tires but they kept bringing it up.

I think in the end we were clearly at somewhat of an impasse but it was an interesting experience nonetheless.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey