Author Topic: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink  (Read 17741 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« on: April 09, 2009, 05:00:00 AM »
A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink



MetroLink is a light rail transit system in the Greater St. Louis area.  The entire system currently consists of two lines (Red Line and Blue Line) connecting Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Shrewsbury, MO with Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, IL through downtown St. Louis. The system features 37 stations and carries an average of 61,573 people each weekday.A second line, the  Cross-County Extension,  now known as the Blue Line, opened to the public August 26, 2006. This 8-mile, 9-station line connects Washington University, Clayton, the popular Saint Louis Galleria shopping center and Shrewsbury to the system.

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http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/1048

GatorShane

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 08:50:41 AM »
Are we the only ones who just don't get it? The French stormed the Bastille, we should storm city hall.

vicupstate

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 08:56:57 AM »
I rode this system sometime in the '90's.  It was spotlessly clean and on schedule.  It made seeing the city MUCH easier.  I did rent a car while I was there, but if I had known, I could have saved that expense. It was easier and less stressful when I was riding the train instead of driving.  The next time I go back, I will get a hotel on the line and not even bother with a car rental.

St. Louis is a great city.  Forest Park and the DT/gateway area are very nicely done.    
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vicupstate

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 08:57:57 AM »
Several of the stations are very basic.  That is no doubt helpful in keeping costs down.
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fsujax

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 08:58:41 AM »
It is a great system, but they are having major shortfalls and are cutting service like crazy, as well as laying off staff.

BridgeTroll

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 09:24:02 AM »
Great article about fsujaxs contention.  Despite huge increases in ridership the system faces budget cutbacks and shortfalls...

http://www.stlcommercemagazine.com/archives/october2008/m.html
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 09:45:03 AM »
Its a sign of the times, as many public agencies are facing tough budget issues.  Like public libraries and parks, transit isn't a money maker.  If the sales tax vote does not pass, they'll either have to get creative to bridge funding gaps or cut service down.  If it were me, I would probably do a mix of both.  The good thing for them is that voters have had 15 years to witness the benefit of fixed mass transit.  As witnessed in other cities, an efficient local example can have a powerful impact on how residents view transit, which influences the outcome of a vote.  If we pushed forward with some sort of sales tax increase for transit, based on what we offer now, I have no doubt that it fail with flying colors (aka. Cincinnati, Louisville, Austin, etc.).  So start small, but logical with money already in hand (ex. Houston, Charlotte,etc.) and work our way up.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

JeffreyS

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2009, 10:25:00 AM »
My in laws live in the north area of St. Louis metro and that area voted against the metrolink coming into their county.  The people there have now seen its success in the other parts of town and are begging for it come now.  The main smear campaign at the time they voted was that it passed though too many undesirable areas to risk it coming to the suburbs now downtown isn't so undesirable and the suburbs(everywhere) are suffering and need this transit.  I have ridden the metrolink several times it is great, easy and goes where you want to go in St. Louis. The St. Louis downtown is fun, bars, clubs, NFL, MLB, Zoo, Museums, Restaurants, young, vibrant, historic and very bright lights at night.
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thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2009, 10:35:34 AM »
Considering Jax is about a decade behind most of our peers, those same tired smear campaigns will be used here.  The best way to kill naysayers is to provide a local example that is efficient, generates decent ridership and is affordable in cost.  If it has worked in Houston, it can 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

Ocklawaha

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2009, 11:29:14 AM »
This is great stuff, but "What if JTB had never been built..." HEE HEE

OCKLAWAHA

David

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2009, 12:33:56 PM »
The main problem getting anyone behind light rail seems to be the fact that we're not that dense and not that large yet. Now would be a great time to start planning for it, but the fact that the city sees no immediate need for it is what holds us back.

An interesting article would be one that compares us to other cities of similar density and size that have light rail/alt transit… if that hasn't been written already.

JeffreyS

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2009, 01:23:42 PM »
Dave you now have Ock and Lake racing to site the many examples they have given us on similar cities and transit. It won't be a short list. 
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Lunican

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2009, 01:45:29 PM »
David, check out the article series, "I'm smaller than Jax and I have rail..." in the transit section.

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2009, 03:23:34 PM »
The main problem getting anyone behind light rail seems to be the fact that we're not that dense and not that large yet. Now would be a great time to start planning for it, but the fact that the city sees no immediate need for it is what holds us back.

I guess it may be time for us to start reposting some of our old rail articles.  Here are a few worth checking out.  When you get done going through the examples, hopefully we will have one more believer that Jax is more than large enough for rail to succeed.

FrontRunner: Salt Lake City gets more Rail

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/781/116/

I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Salt Lake City

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/530/116/


I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Little Rock

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/544/116/

I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Charlotte

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/564/116/

I'm smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Albuquerque

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/604/116/

Rail on a Budget: Nashville's Music City Star

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/588/116/

I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Tacoma

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/section/11/116/10/70/

I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/553/116/

Other than having their own rail systems, all of these cities meet one or more of the descriptions mentioned below.

1. The city's urban area is smaller than Jacksonville's urban area in population.
2. The city's urban area has a lower population density than Jacksonville's.
3. The city's metropolitan area population is lower than Jacksonville's.

In short, the thought that Jacksonville is too small or not dense enough for rail is inaccurate.

Quote
An interesting article would be one that compares us to other cities of similar density and size that have light rail/alt transit… if that hasn't been written already.

We've run them in the past, but I guess its time to drill home the message again.  I'll add this to the list of future articles to run.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

tufsu1

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2009, 08:47:11 PM »
I agree with Lake that Jax. needs to get started sooner rather than later....but it is important to not that many of the systems shown above are commuter rail with limited (often peak hours only) service.....or streetcar/trolley lines that are very short (less thsn 3 miles)....not exactly systems serving an entire metro area.