The Jaxson

Community => Transportation, Mass Transit & Infrastructure => Topic started by: thelakelander on December 26, 2018, 02:56:52 PM

Title: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: thelakelander on December 26, 2018, 02:56:52 PM
(https://photos.moderncities.com/Cities/Jacksonville/Neighborhoods/Riverside/i-cwsRwtm/0/L/870229069_PPoFr-L-L.jpg)

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Streetcars were a common sight in U.S. cities at the beginning of the 20th century, but by the 1960s, they had been wiped out, usually replaced by buses deemed cheaper to operate and more comfortable. More than a half-century after streetcars were abandoned and burned, several U.S. cities are working to revive them. Why? Because of their uncanny ability to rapidly transform once-decrepit neighborhoods into economic powerhouses by attracting billions of dollars of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) within walking distance of their routes.

Full article: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/lost-jacksonville-streetcars/
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: bl8jaxnative on December 26, 2018, 03:44:35 PM
Buses weren't deemed better and cheaper, they __WERE__ considerably less expensive to operate and much more comfortable. 

Can you imagine living in Hartford or Boston and taking an open air trolley in the winter?  Even in the spring and the fall just being inside versus being exposed to the elements would be considerably more comfortable to ride than a trolley.   Most of those operators had fleets largely composed of open-air cars that they ran up until their end.

As for the desire to build them, never underestimate the power of a fad.  It explains a lot in life, the Backstreet Boys, Nickelback and cities building trolleys.   They get built in fashionable areas that have already turned the corner and get a lot of TIFF and other subsidies thrown at development along them.  The marginal difference they make in causing more development is at best small, possibly negative and a shaky claim far too quickly embraced by politicians looking to take credit for things they didn't build.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: thelakelander on December 26, 2018, 05:00:00 PM
Can you imagine living in Hartford or Boston and taking an open air trolley in the winter?  Even in the spring and the fall just being inside versus being exposed to the elements would be considerably more comfortable to ride than a trolley.   Most of those operators had fleets largely composed of open-air cars that they ran up until their end.

The MBTA still operates one of the country's oldest streetcar lines in Boston. It's high speed too!

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Ashmont_Mattapan_streetcar_in_woods.jpg/1920px-Ashmont_Mattapan_streetcar_in_woods.jpg)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashmont%E2%80%93Mattapan_High-Speed_Line

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As for the desire to build them, never underestimate the power of a fad.  It explains a lot in life, the Backstreet Boys, Nickelback and cities building trolleys.   They get built in fashionable areas that have already turned the corner and get a lot of TIFF and other subsidies thrown at development along them.  The marginal difference they make in causing more development is at best small, possibly negative and a shaky claim far too quickly embraced by politicians looking to take credit for things they didn't build.

Sort of like we do with highways like JTB, First Coast Expressway, Wekiva Parkway and SR 9B! Transportation infrastructure coupled with supportive land use policies equals development opportunity. It just depends on what type of development and built form a municipality prefers.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: Snaketoz on December 27, 2018, 05:40:16 PM
My dad talked a lot about riding the street cars in Jacksonville.  He rode a lot on the Main St. route from Panama Park where he attended elementary school, to Fairfield via Main St.  I noticed the old Jacobs Jewelry cast iron clock in the photo.  I've seen that clock all my life.  I have fond memories of shopping downtown in my younger days before the malls.  The downtown area was great back then.  Thanks so much for your flashbacks Ennis.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: bl8jaxnative on December 29, 2018, 03:08:17 PM
  r things they didn't build.

Sort of like we do with highways like JTB, First Coast Expressway, Wekiva Parkway and SR 9B! Transportation infrastructure coupled with supportive land use policies equals development opportunity. 
[/quote]

Do we have a map showing the TIFFs along SR9B?  Is eTown a TIFF?  Towne Center?
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: thelakelander on December 29, 2018, 04:40:56 PM
Why do we need a map showing TIFs?
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: Charles Hunter on December 29, 2018, 04:53:15 PM
My guess, he is trying to prove that these suburban developments are paying for themselves.
I know FDOT did not get any TIFF or other local money for any of the hundreds of millions being spent on expanding I-295 (and upcoming on I-95).  The tolls on those Express Lanes will not even cover operating costs for several years, much less, construction costs.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: thelakelander on December 29, 2018, 05:56:11 PM
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My guess, he is trying to prove that these suburban developments are paying for themselves.

Yeah, I just don't know how that can be proven either way with TIFs. That's not how they work.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: Kerry on January 07, 2019, 10:23:40 AM
Strong Towns recently completed the first comprehensive cost analysis to see if taxes on property and from revenue generated on those properties cover the cost of provided services to them.  Their test city was Lafayette, LA.  Suburban development failed miserably.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/1/9/the-real-reason-your-city-has-no-money
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: acme54321 on January 07, 2019, 01:30:55 PM
the maps shows the Ortega line stopping on Baltic.  I thought at some point in time it extended all the way out to Black Point on what is now NAS Jax?
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: thelakelander on January 07, 2019, 02:50:33 PM
Yes it was for a short while.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: bl8jaxnative on January 09, 2019, 11:15:19 AM
Strong Towns recently completed the first comprehensive cost analysis to see if taxes on property and from revenue generated on those properties cover the cost of provided services to them.  Their test city was Lafayette, LA.  Suburban development failed miserably.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/1/9/the-real-reason-your-city-has-no-money

Has strongtowns ever been scientific about their claims?  Have they ever shared their data and calculations in a way that others could reproduce?  I have never been able to find such a thing.     I would welcome the opportunity to examine it.   But that they haven't made it readily available is a smell.

Another smell is that Charles Mahron, their lead zealot, literally claimed that the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson could've been prevented if the sidewalks were wider.  I'm not shitting you.   Someone making that sort of  claim is a half a gradation away from become a card carrying birther.   All the more reason to be able to see the guts of their number crunching, piece by piece.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: thelakelander on January 09, 2019, 11:22:38 AM
^While I'm not debating some of the points you make, the same should be required from someone who will make a claim that suburban development pays for itself.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: bl8jaxnative on January 13, 2019, 03:00:47 PM

Apples and kiwis.  I'm using heuristics.  This sort of thing if it wasn't sustainable wouldn't exist since the turn of the last century, 1900.  It's been a continuous cycle since thing. 

But you're right, I'm not a professional making a scientific claim. Charles Mahron, a failed civil engineer, repeatedly doesn't just say that it doesn't pay for itself.  He specifically calls it a ponzi scheme.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. 

I would love to better understand what he sees that leads him to believe that.  What little he's shown hasn't demonstrated a ponzi scheme but a basic inability to think things through. 

There's no doubt that there are things that I'm not understanding.  But what about Mahron?  The man's creation myth, his idea of how strongtowns came about is a clear demonstration of a zealot.

Mahron's schpeel is that when he was working to address a leaking storm water pipe, he discovered the whole scheme was set up to spend mad amounts of money on new stuff instead of just right. 

What he to this day does not recognize is that the small town in Aitkin county was in the process of doubling in size.  Not by new housing but annexing already developed residential areas in the county.  They were going to be improving the area and loweing risk by consilidating into the same system.   The old system was not only in the later years of it's life but could never handle such a volume. 

When you look at the expansion, you'll see it appropriate for the new town.   To this day Charles refuses to acknowledge it.  If he can't acknowledge something so obvious, it's hard to imagine he's got it right about Shreveport.

Either way, science is a method of inquiry.  In the spirit of science, Strongtowns should make public all of the work, all the measurements and calculations, they use to arrive at their claims.   After all, they're ones charging for their work.

Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: thelakelander on January 13, 2019, 04:58:44 PM

Apples and kiwis.  I'm using heuristics.  This sort of thing if it wasn't sustainable wouldn't exist since the turn of the last century, 1900.  It's been a continuous cycle since thing. 

But you're right, I'm not a professional making a scientific claim.

So you think the Southside or your housing costs (just using them as an example) would be the same without the highways they congest or if the local municipality/developers had to fund these infrastructure improvements with their own dollars?
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: bl8jaxnative on January 26, 2019, 02:08:36 PM
Charles Mahron repeatedly claims that the current development scheme is a ponzi scheme.  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary to  evidence.   To date, he has not done this.

That's all I'm saying..  Show me the money. 
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: Ocklawaha on January 27, 2019, 09:21:25 PM
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Project costs for recent U.S. streetcar systems have varied from approximately $27.8 million/mile (S Line, Salt Lake City, 2013) to $54.5 million/mile (QLine, Detroit, May 2017). According to 2015 data (most recent available) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the operational cost of streetcar systems is $1.41 per passenger mile (compared to $1.09 for buses and $0.75 for LRT). However, among these modes, streetcars cover a higher percent of costs via farebox (31.8% compared to 25.7% for buses and 27.9% for LRT). Ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M) costs can also vary from system to system. For example, Detroit’s 3.3-mile QLine estimates annual O&M costs approximately $6 million, Cincinnati 3.6-mile Bell Connector estimates O&M at $4.2 million, and Salt Lake City’s 2.0-mile S-Line estimates annual O&M at $1.5 million.

How often does that ‘cheap’ bus engine work? On leaving from a stop? Cruising? Streetcars with virtually no comparable rolling resistance actually only engage their motors in very short spurts, spending perhaps 75% of their time in a flat location like Florida COASTING!
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: bl8jaxnative on January 29, 2019, 02:51:43 PM
???? 

You do realize that trolley's make just as many stops as buses, right?   If the issue is operational efficiency, establish less stops and dedicated lanes.

Buses also have thrice the amount of seating as trams.  Trams are just a roving skateboard on wheels with a roof.   If you're getting on and off handy but if you have any distance to go, not fun.   

And of course, if you're not going far, $100k spent on a fleet of eScooters and eBikes would serve just as well as a $10million on a trolley.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: Ocklawaha on February 01, 2019, 05:49:58 PM
???? 

You do realize that trolley's make just as many stops as buses, right?   If the issue is operational efficiency, establish less stops and dedicated lanes.

Dedicated lanes work for any transit mode, in our case we have the former F&J right-of-way straight north from Maxwell House to King Edward to Gateway Plaza with links directly to North Main above the Trout River. We also have the former 'S Line' running west to Moncrief hence south to the Prime Osborn Station Location. Consider that with Virgin Trains + Amtrak meeting at a privatized Prime Osborn Station and Mixed use project fed by the RAPID STREETCAR (IE: little to no street running) and you've got an easy winner.

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Buses also have thrice the amount of seating as trams.  Trams are just a roving skateboard on wheels with a roof.   If you're getting on and off handy but if you have any distance to go, not fun.


(https://photos.smugmug.com/Transportation/Miscellaneous-Transit/i-CJQdGxp/0/2ae36886/M/Screen%20Shot%202019-02-01%20at%208.58.15%20PM-M.png)
https://www.skoda.cz/en/references/tramcar-forcity-plus-bratislava/?from=prod

In what world do buses have thrice the amount of seating/passenger load as trams/streetcars? Not even close...
The new Skoda Trams have a capacity of 356 passengers.
The new Citadis Trams have a load factor of between 220 to 500 passengers each trip.
The home grown Liberty Streetcar by Brookville can handle 181 Standees + 47 Seated + 1 Operator = 229
Maximum load for an articulated (jointed bus) stands at about 200 passengers. Keep in mind this is PER DRIVER so since streetcars can operate entrain, you could couple 3 356 passenger streetcars into a tram-train with a single operator. 75% of your cost is in employee pay and benefits.
Life span of the bus, per FTA? 12 years or 500K miles, Lifespan of the tram?

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And of course, if you're not going far, $100k spent on a fleet of eScooters and eBikes would serve just as well as a $10million on a trolley.

According to the most up to date research available online, a new Brooklyn Streetcar would incur LESS THAN One-Half (39% – 44%) the operating costs of a NYC Transit Bus. According to the following research, the 2008 operating costs of a new Brooklyn Streetcar would be on average between $48.79/hr and $60.02/hr per streetcar*. The latter figure corresponds perfectly with the circa 2007 hourly operating cost of $59.40/hr per streetcar, on the newly built (2004) Little Rock, AR line.According to the most up to date research available online, a new Brooklyn Streetcar would incur LESS THAN One-Half (39% – 44%) the operating costs of a NYC Transit Bus. According to the following research, the 2008 operating costs of a new Brooklyn Streetcar would be on average between $48.79/hr and $60.02/hr per streetcar*. The latter figure corresponds perfectly with the circa 2007 hourly operating cost of $59.40/hr per streetcar, on the newly built (2004) Little Rock, AR line.

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Transportation/Miscellaneous-Transit/i-Qg8xDjR/0/7e3a7a55/M/Screen%20Shot%202019-01-21%20at%209.02.45%20AM-M.png)
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: Ocklawaha on February 01, 2019, 06:06:08 PM
Let's add that streetcars have much faster acceleration and better/stronger braking, in addition to higher capacity. Figure in 40-45 MPH on exclusive right-of-way and we'd blow the socks off the U2C... But is anyone in Jacksonville paying attention to the facts or are they star struck on yet another pie-in-the-sky scheme.

Here are some numbers from NYC:

METHODOLOGY:

I found the circa 2008 NYC Transit Bus Operator application online here:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcas/downloads/pdf/noes/200808006000.pdf
A NYC bus operator starts at $18.84/hr, and rises in increments after 3 years to $26.92/hr for a 40 hour week. However, this figure does not reflect benefits. So, let's add 66% to the numbers for the actual labor cost, including benefits, as per the 2010 Public Transportation Fact Book, by APTA, pg 21, Table 18:

Bus Operator hourly pay + benefits (66% / hr) = Total labor cost per hour
For vehicle operator starting pay scale, we get a total hourly labor cost of: $18.84/hr + $12.43/hr = $31.27/hr.
For vehicle operator pay scale after three years, we get a total hourly labor cost of: $26.92/hr + $17.77/hr = $44.69/hr
As per SEPTA (Philadelphia Transit Authority) circa 2001 streetcar operating cost breakdown, updated with 2010 data, “Labor” accounts for 77% of the total operating cost of $47.05/hr. "Everything Else" accounts for 23%, or $10.81/hr. Now, lets add $10.81/hr to the actual hourly labor cost for "Power and Everything Else":
   
Total hourly operating cost per Streetcar, w/a newly appointed operator: $31.27/hr + $10.81/hr = $42.08/hr.
Total hourly operating cost per Streetcar w/an operator having 3 years of service: $44.69/hr + $10.81/hr = $55.50/hr.
A noteworthy point, is that the actual current (2008) SEPTA (Philadelphia) streetcar hourly operating cost of $47.05/hr, is almost the exact average of the projected Brooklyn streetcar hourly operating cost, which is ($42.08 + $55.50) / 2 = $48.79/hr.
The current circa 2008, Philadelphia streetcar (Subway-Surface) operating cost of $47.05/hr can be viewed here on page 58: http://www.septa.org/reports/pdf/asp10.pdf

As for the circa 2000 NYC Transit Bus operating cost data, the following is the Manhattan Institute For Policy Research Bus Operating Cost Table, circa 2002, created by:

E. S. Savas
Professor, School of Public Affairs, Baruch College
E. J. McMahonE. J. McMahon
Senior Fellow, The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_30t2.htm http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_30.htm
As we can see in the first row, the circa 2000 operating cost of a NYC Transit Bus, was $90.74/hr.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: jaxjags on February 01, 2019, 06:09:47 PM
Was skiing with some people from the ATL today. Their comment was "where ever the Belt Line goes, infill development follows quickly". Lakelander, I rest your case.
Title: Re: Lost Jacksonville: Streetcars
Post by: bl8jaxnative on February 02, 2019, 03:51:54 PM
Let's add that streetcars have much faster acceleration and better/stronger braking, in addition to higher capacity.

Put down the glue.  It's for crafting, not huffing.