Author Topic: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today  (Read 13046 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« on: December 07, 2015, 12:00:02 AM »
JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today



Since the inception of Metro Jacksonville back in 2006, the concept of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) running on Jacksonville's streets has been a dream of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA). So much of an infatuation that some advocates have gone as far as to call it light rail on rubber wheels. Finally, the talk is over and transit riders will be able to experience the dream for themselves.

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-dec-jta-flyer-brt-service-begins-today

ProjectMaximus

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 01:19:57 AM »
I can see all the TOD popping up any day now  ::)

BenderRodriguez

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 08:59:35 AM »
Absolutely zilch about this is impressive. I'm not usually a negative nancy when it comes to changes and Jax, but I simply cannot turn a blind eye to this. Everyone involved ought to be ashamed of themselves for aggressively pushing this on everyone. With all the existing rail lines that exist in the city already, JTA could've, at the very least, conducted one of those fabulous "studies" that everyone seems to be so gaga about at least to see how viable a metro rail would be. But, woe is me. Who am I but an average citizen.

The new dedicated mobile app, on the other hand, is a step in the right direction. I don't know why they wouldn't talk about that as much. It seems that it has incorporated device NFC into it's bus ticket system which is a fairly big move. That's cause for a little fanfare.

thelakelander

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 09:44:31 AM »
I noticed there are no dedicated lanes along the Green Line. I wonder if they will be added in certain stretches, at a later date? Outside of the green bus shelters at medical facilities and Lem Turner Road shopping centers, it's hard to identify the path without physically walking up to a bus stop. I faced the same issue in Reno with their BRT-lite system. As a visitor, it took me a while to locate its path through downtown.  I eventually found it after coming across a different colored bus stop.

Reno RTC Rapid BRT station


The First Coast Flyer's BRT stations are easier to identify than Reno's because most have two bus shelters and are lime green, with the Flyer text painted on them.


It's basically the Kansas City Max, as we discussed years ago:

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2010-aug-a-look-at-brt-the-kansas-city-max

Both are a step below Cleveland's Health Line, which is BRT operating 24 hours a day with actual stations and dedicated lanes.






Here are these, compared with your average LRT station:






Now, we'll get to see how long it takes for TOD to happen:



« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 09:46:07 AM by thelakelander »
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CCMjax

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 10:12:26 AM »
Absolutely zilch about this is impressive. I'm not usually a negative nancy when it comes to changes and Jax, but I simply cannot turn a blind eye to this. Everyone involved ought to be ashamed of themselves for aggressively pushing this on everyone. With all the existing rail lines that exist in the city already, JTA could've, at the very least, conducted one of those fabulous "studies" that everyone seems to be so gaga about at least to see how viable a metro rail would be. But, woe is me. Who am I but an average citizen.

The new dedicated mobile app, on the other hand, is a step in the right direction. I don't know why they wouldn't talk about that as much. It seems that it has incorporated device NFC into it's bus ticket system which is a fairly big move. That's cause for a little fanfare.

I believe they have done the studies for metro rail but not sure what the conclusions were.  Take baby steps probably with BRT light being one of those baby steps?  I think it would be smart for Jax, over the next year or two, to study some of the successes and failures of the rail systems in Orlando and Charlotte, particularly Orlando since it is similar to what Jax's system would be.  Also, to see what other technologies are coming up.  Jax may actually be in a good position for a future transit system(s) since so many other cities are constructing their systems now or have in the last 10 years so it's a good opportunity to learn from their successes and failures.  These other sprawling sun belt cities trying to implement rail in car centric cities are the guinea pigs for other cities like Jax who are looking down the road.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 10:16:11 AM »
I can see all the TOD popping up any day now  ::)

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thelakelander

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2015, 10:43:45 AM »
I believe they have done the studies for metro rail but not sure what the conclusions were.

I assume you guys are talking about "heavy rail" when you refer to "metro rail"? All of these are different types of rail technologies with different service characteristics. Jax is too small and sprawled for something like "heavy rail" (ex. MARTA in Atlanta, Metrorail in Miami, NYC Subway, Chicago El, etc.). There are no studies taking place in Jax for this type of rail system.

Quote
Take baby steps probably with BRT light being one of those baby steps?

Different technologies and service characteristics. A local bus line with bus shelters and 10 to 15 minute headways can't be considered taking baby steps. At best, it would be a feeder route into a fixed higher capacity transit corridor. Besides, if Jax were to invest in a rail line of any type, Lem Turner would not be a viable 21st century rail corridor.

Quote
I think it would be smart for Jax, over the next year or two, to study some of the successes and failures of the rail systems in Orlando and Charlotte, particularly Orlando since it is similar to what Jax's system would be.

Just keep in mind that even the two systems mentioned above are different and serve a different purpose. Charlotte has a shorter LRT line with frequent headways. Orlando's Sunrail is a longer commuter rail line with infrequent headways that does not operate on weekdays. Sunrail averages less riders than the Skyway, despite costing a billion and stretching 31 miles in a MSA twice the size of Jax. JTA's plans for commuter rail between DT Jax and St. Augustine would be comparable to what Sunrail is. Charlotte's Blue Line is a different animal altogether. Although LRT, like DART in Dallas or the Trolley in San Diego, it operates in a similar fashion to what some would refer to as "metro rail".

Quote
Also, to see what other technologies are coming up.  Jax may actually be in a good position for a future transit system(s) since so many other cities are constructing their systems now or have in the last 10 years so it's a good opportunity to learn from their successes and failures.

I agree. Luckily this is happening now. JTA is currently evaluating the future of the Skyway. This evaluation includes looking retrofits, expansion opportunities and different technologies.

Quote
These other sprawling sun belt cities trying to implement rail in car centric cities are the guinea pigs for other cities like Jax who are looking down the road.

Yes, this issue is definitely not rocket science or as difficult as we make it out to be locally. Jax had rail before....60 miles of it to be exact. It works when properly implemented and integrated with supportive land use policies. However, it's unrealistic to expect such a system to provide citywide service to an 800-square mile county that many continue to equate with being an actual city in a physical sense.
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tufsu1

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2015, 02:22:05 PM »
December 7Th, “A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”.

for more reasons than one ;)

AaroniusLives

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2015, 04:26:32 PM »
What's truly unfortunate about this system is that it's not BRT. "BRT Light" is a polite way to say "nicer bus services." Because it doesn't have dedicated lanes and because it doesn't remotely attempt to mimic rail in any capacity, beyond the "cool" stations, it's not going to change the perception of transit in Jax, unless it acts as a catalyst to cement people around the idea of rail transit.

Contrast this with the recently launched Metroway in Metro DC:
http://metrowayva.com

http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/24029/alexandrias-metroway-brt-open-and-carrying-passengers/

Granted, this is STILL the reduced "American" version of BRT that, at best, mimics a dedicated-track streetcar (in no way could we say that ANY of America's BRT applications are "surface subway," and perhaps only Los Angeles has an "LRT" mime going on,) but dedicated lanes, actual stations (way beyond the "plastic green monsters") and genuine TOD on the corridor.

The limit of thinking here with the Jax system is that while it offers transit riders a nicer version of what they already use via necessity or personal choice/morality, it does next to NOTHING to encourage modal shift for those who DON'T use the bus on a regular basis.

Very sad.


thelakelander

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2015, 05:02:33 PM »
^Pretty much. One of my fears for years about the Flyer was advocates overselling its true impact. In reality, it's about as lite as one can call BRT. It's essentially a local bus line with bus shelters, real time signage and 10-15 minute headways. With all of that said, I could have sworn the Green Line was supposed to have dedicated lanes in significant stretches (ex. north of Riverview, Broad, north of State & Union, etc.). Also, some stops along the route did not have bus shelters, as of this past weekend.  I'll have to do some homework to see if additional work on this line is still in its short term future.
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Tacachale

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2015, 05:25:43 PM »
^Perhaps it's just me but I don't remember the Flyer advocates overselling the service, at least not for several years. I've heard far more of the "like rail but cheaper" line in Ocklawaha's criticisms than anywhere else.
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thelakelander

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2015, 05:38:03 PM »
^Here's an example:

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2015/05/12/state-of-the-jta-its-not-time-for-light-rail-but.html

Some quotes from this particular article (there have been similar quotes over the last 10 years):

"The First Coast Flyer is specifically designed to mimic a light-rail, which the city does not have the density to support at this time."

"The bus rapid transit, however, will run in a light-rail fashion — with less frequent stops and more cross-town access — to set up a future light rail system."

"The four corridors would serve as the bedrock for light rail."


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thelakelander

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2015, 05:42:04 PM »
Here's another...

http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/news/local/jta-secures-grant-help-pay-first-coast-flyer/nkZRx/

"JTA calls the First Coast Flyer a light rail on tires, a premium service with less frequent stops, their newest plan to get many people around."

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thelakelander

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2015, 06:42:59 PM »
More federal money to come for the Southeast corridor:

Quote
Feds chip in $19 million for JTA's new rapid-bus system

An ambitious project to create a faster, more frequent and more environmentally friendly system of sprawling bus routes throughout Jacksonville will receive $19.1 million from the federal government, transportation officials announced Monday.
The news came just hours after Jacksonville Transportation Authority officials kicked off the opening of the first 9-mile phase of faster bus routes — which are branded First Coast Flyer.

“It lays the foundation for a regional transportation network that will boost our economy and enhance the quality of life for our citizens,” JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford said in a statement. “The Flyer connects customers to jobs, education, shopping and health care in a heavily transit-dependent region.

The overall First Coast Flyer effort includes work to install dedicated bus lanes and upgrade shelters along the busiest routes in the north, southeast, east and southwest portions of the city and connect with downtown — a total of 55 miles of routes that JTA hopes to have completed by 2019.

Full article: http://jacksonville.com/news/2015-12-07/story/feds-chip-19-million-jtas-new-rapid-bus-system
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coredumped

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Re: JTA Flyer BRT Service Begins Today
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2015, 06:45:56 PM »
$20 million for a bus route? Seems a bit steep.
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