Author Topic: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa  (Read 219878 times)

Lostwave

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #465 on: September 28, 2023, 09:46:33 AM »
Just put this down the middle of Beach Blvd (and Phillips etc).


jaxlongtimer

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #466 on: September 28, 2023, 11:41:32 AM »
^ We should turn our mass transit agency over to Disney (DeSantis notwithstanding) who could probably build and operate at 25% or less of JTA and FDOT and get things done in 10% of the time and done better.

Consider, too, Disney built the monorail in the early 1970's (and it was probably designed in the 1960's) and it has stood the test of time as a safe and efficient system to move millions of people a year, year after year.

Our Skyway was outdated within about 30 years (and useless from day one) and Disney is still going strong after nearly 55.

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #467 on: September 28, 2023, 05:26:09 PM »
Disney isn't using 55 year old rolling stock. The difference between Disney and JTA is that they actually place a big priority on on-going maintenance. The Skyway isn't outdated. The infrastructure is fine and not in danger of collapse. The bridge over the river is a little over 20 years old now. However, the 30 year rolling stock needs to be replaced. For most of us, this is a part of maintaining something. Not starting over.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #468 on: October 19, 2023, 04:06:19 PM »
On a relevant note, FDOT published a Passenger Rail Corridor Assessment back in January as part of their preparations to apply for the Corridor ID program and some Federal State Partnership grants that conducts some analysis of intercity rail corridors within the state. The analysis does mention Jacksonville and has a lot about Brightline, so it may be of some interest here.

To specifically talk about the thread topic, it is interesting that the map FDOT uses to detail Orlando-Tampa via I-4 seems to include a stretch west of a Tampa station to what looks like the airport:



Brightline is currently working to update the Environmental Impact Statement for Orlando-Tampa, based on the previous EIS for FLHSR, so I wonder if this is perhaps an early sign of still-evolving plans for how to serve Tampa Bay.

I heard a report on the news last night that, during the budget debate,  Council Member Paluso offered an amendment to provide funds for LRT. The JTA rep in attendance said Jax does not have the population to support it, so the amendment was withdrawn. I will see if I can find an article about this.

I wonder when it happened during the meeting. I'd be curious to see it in context but I can't say I want to watch a six hour meeting looking for a small portion.

More than a decade ago, we said that JTA was overselling the product, and that it was not true BRT, or a substitute for LRT (btw, you also don't "grow" into LRT, which is what some try to say also. Instead you intentionally invest in it because you want a certain type of outcome).

I will say it's not unheard of building a BRT system that later gets upgraded into a rail line. Ottawa did so with their Transitway which is becoming a light rail line. Miami was presented that option for the South Dade Busway and simply chose upgraded BRT instead (which I'm not sure they would have done a few years later). San Francisco is talking about it now on Geary Blvd. Baltimore is running an FCF style service as it plans to construct the once-canceled Red Line light rail. A number of the South American systems that purportedly inspired American planners have since begun building metro systems. But, it is true that on most American transit development cycles this doesn't ultimately prove true.
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

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #469 on: October 19, 2023, 04:52:31 PM »
More than a decade ago, we said that JTA was overselling the product, and that it was not true BRT, or a substitute for LRT (btw, you also don't "grow" into LRT, which is what some try to say also. Instead you intentionally invest in it because you want a certain type of outcome).

I will say it's not unheard of building a BRT system that later gets upgraded into a rail line. Ottawa did so with their Transitway which is becoming a light rail line. Miami was presented that option for the South Dade Busway and simply chose upgraded BRT instead (which I'm not sure they would have done a few years later). San Francisco is talking about it now on Geary Blvd. Baltimore is running an FCF style service as it plans to construct the once-canceled Red Line light rail. A number of the South American systems that purportedly inspired American planners have since begun building metro systems. But, it is true that on most American transit development cycles this doesn't ultimately prove true.

I would throw out any system in another country as a good comparable but I also believe there's a difference between "growing into LRT" and replacing a dated transit option with a new one. Did Ottawa really "grow" BRT into LRT? I mean, we're not growing a people mover into smaller autonomous vehicles. To me, it makes no sense to pay 100% for BRT and then pay 100% for LRT to replace it.  The taxpayer is essentially paying double. IMO, that's just another good form of a transit agency lighting tax money on fire.

Nevertheless, I bring JTA's BRT system into the discussion because JTA claimed it was just as good as LRT back in those days and that they would basically serve the same markets and spur economic development. Yet, it doesn't sound like anyone here or in Jax actually feel the same way. Yet, when we have these conversations about doing something different then the U2C, things like LRT tend to come up as alternative solutions.

I wonder what everyone thinks about JTA place a higher priority on upgrading the First Coast Flyer corridors and service, as opposed to the U2C?

Do you think the Skyway (keeping it as a automated people mover) would be better off if the First Coast Flyer system was upgraded to feed it with riders like LRT would?

"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: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #470 on: November 30, 2023, 12:45:00 PM »
From here:

Quote
$50 million proposed to speed up high-speed rail service from Orlando to Tampa

“Advancing structure improvements within the I-4 Corridor will accelerate the passenger rail connection from Tampa to the Orlando International Airport, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura and Miami,” the request form said. “Upon completion of this effort, it will provide access to nearly 16 million Florida citizens and 118 million visitors throughout the service area.”

https://www.theledger.com/story/news/state/2023/11/29/lawmaker-proposes-speeding-up-high-speed-rail-through-polk/71727852007/

The actual filing is located here, and specifies that the funding would be incorporated into the Moving Florida Forward program already approved by the state this year to support early structure work for the future rail corridor along I-4, already set for a $2 billion rebuild project.
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

marcuscnelson

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #471 on: January 04, 2024, 01:24:14 PM »
Another bill, this time filed by Sen. Nick DiCeglie, includes preservation of the I-4 alignment among other legislative changes. However it does require that FDOT charge the costs of the corridor preservation as part of an eventual lease agreement.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/florida-bill-would-preserve-interstate-4-route-for-brightline-extension-to-tampa/
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

CityLife

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #472 on: February 27, 2024, 12:34:05 PM »
Word got out yesterday that Brightline will be building its 7th station in Stuart. They were required to build one in Martin or St. Lucie County due to a settlement agreement from a few years back. A lot of people thought Ft. Pierce was going to be the winner because its downtown has more opportunity and political will for height/density than Stuart. Stuart is no doubt the better place to visit, as it has a really nice little downtown and some charm. Plus you have significantly more middle/upper middle class residents in close proximity. This decision further shows that Brightline is a premium service and that is their core focus. All the places they have put stops outside of the big cities are in affluent areas (Aventura, Boca, and Stuart), though you can also say all three are desirable places to visit/vacation.

Story below

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/martin-county/2024/02/26/brightline-will-build-new-station-in-stuart/72748966007/


thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #473 on: February 27, 2024, 12:40:02 PM »
I've done work down in that area and have spent time in both Stuart and Ft. Pierce. Not really a fan of Stuart (just not my vibe... and the downtown is like two or three full blocks) although there's a lot of old white money there. Nevertheless, glad to see Brightline continuing to expand. Perhaps they are proving the naysayers wrong about Florida's ability to support a premium intercity rail service.
"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

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #474 on: February 27, 2024, 12:51:23 PM »
Reading the article, it appears that Ft. Pierce did not own all of its property, which was a part of the site selection criteria. There was also another competing Ft. Pierce site. Perhaps if they put their resources together, they may have had a more compelling offer.
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Captain Zissou

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #475 on: February 27, 2024, 03:13:31 PM »
Reading the article, it appears that Ft. Pierce did not own all of its property, which was a part of the site selection criteria.
They're going to love Jacksonville.  The city owns 60% of downtown.

Mike D

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #476 on: February 27, 2024, 04:20:29 PM »
My wife and I rode Brightline for the first time last week, Miami to Orlando and back.  In both directions the trains were packed.  A few open seats, but mostly they were full.  We had a very positive experience.  Faster than driving?  Somewhat....or, if traffic is bad...significantly faster.  Mostly, it was just more comfortable and quite enjoyable.  Obviously, this is completely anecdotal, but based on what we saw the demand for this service is there.  We loved it.

thelakelander

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #477 on: February 27, 2024, 04:40:27 PM »
^I've used it before and both trains were mostly full then as well. It's definitely not the bus or even Amtrak. So there's room for all.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #478 on: February 27, 2024, 06:27:58 PM »
^Curious, when on Brightline, what is its typical speed?  And, how smooth is the ride? 

I have been on bullet trains in Japan and if you didn't look out the window you could hardly tell you were moving.  The rails are solid all the way (so no clickety clack), there is no rolling feeling, and the tolerances at the loading platforms are like 1/2 inch which appears to be indicative of the precision used throughout its infrastructure.  Cars are spotless, seats are roomy and comfy and they have attendants that serve snacks and beverages. 

Trains were full when I was there, run like every 30 minutes and go everywhere.  Americans need to see what the rest of the world is up to to see what we are missing out on here.  U.S. isn't always the leader, and, when it comes to mass transit, it is closer to last place than first.

iMarvin

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Re: Brightline ready to expand rail system to Tampa
« Reply #479 on: February 28, 2024, 01:44:31 PM »
Fort Pierce was the much better option imo. I guess they're going with Stuart because of the practically free station but I doubt they'll be able to build anything substantial there. Fort Pierce has more development opportunity.

I'm glad Brightline has proven that rail transit can work in Florida, but there really needs to be a public service running alongside it that's focused more on connecting people and not just profit.