Author Topic: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando  (Read 3024 times)

thelakelander

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Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« on: December 03, 2019, 08:38:25 AM »
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In a race where some cities are placing their image boosting hopes in the hands of emerging technologies, Orlando has become an early leader with the launch of what may be Florida's first autonomous shuttle bus service to be operated as a real first and last mile transit alternative.


Read More: https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/autonomous-shuttle-service-launches-in-orlando/
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Bill Hoff

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2019, 10:05:58 AM »
Any idea as to how long this has been in the works?

Captain Zissou

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 10:13:11 AM »
I just don't see the appeal of going 11 mph with frequent stops.  Maybe if I was ill or otherwise incapacitated, but otherwise I could do this under my own power.  As someone who lives less than a quarter mile from the old St Nicholas train station, it's so upsetting now to see these harebrained schemes and uncoordinated efforts to bring back transit when we tore out a much better system long ago.

thelakelander

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 10:13:29 AM »
Any idea as to how long this has been in the works?

^The planning behind the September 2019 implementation of Move Nona in Orlando or the years long Skyway/U2C conversion talk in Jax?

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Bill Hoff

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 01:02:31 PM »
Any idea as to how long this has been in the works?

^The planning behind the September 2019 implementation of Move Nona in Orlando or the years long Skyway/U2C conversion talk in Jax?

Move Nona.

Wonder how long its taken them to go from idea to implementation.

thelakelander

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 01:55:11 PM »
I'm not sure but Beep (the operator) was established earlier this year. With that said, there's a dramatic difference in what they are running and what JTA is proposing for the U2C.

Move Nona travels down a two-lane street with less than 10,000 cars a day and no traffic signals. The shuttle is basically a driverless minivan.

What JTA is proposing is to replace the rolling stock of a fixed urban transit circulator with a significantly higher max capacity with a collection of these driverless minivans or shuttle buses that will also eventually drop down to grade and mix with traffic within an urbanized setting. That's a different animal altogether, one that has less to do with technology and innovation and more to do with fit related to whatever we expect the urban environment of downtown Jax to become.

A comparable route for Move Nona in Jax would be running in a loop around the Avenues Mall parking lot or connecting the north side of SJTC with the south side of it. What we've proposed is a modern day version of replacing the turn of the century streetcar lines with buses.

So what we have locally is something ambitious, untested and largely unproven. With that in mind, Jax has quite a few hurdles to jump through that Move Nona did not and that could have been avoided if we replaced the rolling stock with something common and proven.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 02:00:16 PM by thelakelander »
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2020, 11:05:03 AM »
There is nothing wrong with the AV Concept as originally conceived. Running from Rosa Parks to VyStar, JRTC to the Courthouse or VA Clinic to UF Hospital is EXACTLY what they were designed for. Connect these little Clown-Cars to a REAL rapid transit system and you’ve solved most of our urban transportation problems. Simply walk out the door, catch the AV and transfer to rapid transit at your favorite station. That’s as close to door to door as has ever been created.

Unfortunately and as usual, JTA has literally run straight off a cliff With another public disinformation campaign designed to convince us that this alone is the future of mass transit. As I’ve stated, it is true that it is part of the future, but 11MPH or 30MPH Clown-Cars are not mass transit nor are they rapid transit. Streetcar is now off the table, not a chirp about Virgin Trains, silence about commuter rail on the largely State owned A-Line. The $200M dollar monorail? The one small piece of what might be, is now “impossible” to fix, even though major manufacturers all around the world could easily repair and restock it.

Imagine Jacksonville with just 3 more miles of Skyway, with new larger trains. We could connect the development-hot Shipyards/Stadium with San Marco, we could run north to UF Health from downtown. How many more riders would be gained by just 500’ feet across State Street for a station at FSCJ? Commuter trains running to Green Cove Springs and Virgin Trains connecting St. Augustine, Daytona and all points south with Amtrak at the so-called Prime Osborn. Virgin? Anyone else realize while we might have the Mojo of South Florida, we are situated almost EXACTLY ½
Way between Miami and Atlanta on the rail route through Valdosta and Macon?

Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. Is no fool, he has worked to bring streetcar, elevated/subway, commuter rail, BRT, heritage streetcar, cable car and better buses to traffic constrained San Francisco (which BTW, is smaller than Jacksonville). Okay our SMA is approaching 2 Million and San Francisco’s is about 4 Million if you consider all 14 counties! So why? Why Jacksonville? What is it behind the scenes killing truly great ideas and opportunities?

thelakelander

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2020, 11:15:48 AM »
Hi Ock! What's your thoughts on Amtrak these days and how Jax can or can't play a role with its future?
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Kerry

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2020, 04:25:06 PM »
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development-hot Shipyards/Stadium
Huh?

The 9 county San Francisco Bay Area has 8.7 million people, which is more than Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa/St. Pete metro areas combined.
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tufsu1

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2020, 06:53:16 PM »
^ Nat Ford worked at MUNI and was responsible for transit services only within the City of San Francisco. In pure population figures, Ock is correct - Jax is roughly 2x larger than SF

Kerry

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2020, 09:54:03 PM »
^ Nat Ford worked at MUNI and was responsible for transit services only within the City of San Francisco. In pure population figures, Ock is correct - Jax is roughly 2x larger than SF

City of San Francisco: ~880,000 (daytime population is ~950,000)
City of Jacksonville: ~903,000

The difference is SF is 47 sq miles and Jax is 875 sq miles.  Put that in perspective, image the entire population of Jax living within 4 miles of the Main St Bridge.  When it comes to mass transit, population density is everything.  The area of highest density in metro-Jax is Orange Park.  Let that sink in.

Even if we had a commuter rail the only place that has walkability is downtown which means that all the outlying stations would have to be park and rides which have limited benefits.

I really wish we could have rail here in Jax but I think the reality is we are so auto-centric that any rail system is at least 2 generations away if we started building pockets of walkable urbanism today.  You have to crawl before you can walk and Jax isn't even crawling yet.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2020, 10:06:21 PM by Kerry »
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thelakelander

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2020, 10:50:00 PM »
Jax had rail (streetcar) and took it away in 1936. As small as the Skyway is, it still technically qualifies as a fixed rail system although JTA is doing their best to make sure to end that. Jax will never have heavy rail in our lifetime. That's a system we don't have the density to support that San Francisco certain can and has for a long time. I doubt JTA ever moves forward on commuter rail anytime soon either. The best bet for anything rail based here is Amtrak or Virgin Trains USA. However, both of those are intercity.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2020, 12:26:52 PM »
Hi Ock! What's your thoughts on Amtrak these days and how Jax can or can't play a role with its future?

Racing through Maryland on a passenger train 60 years ago a businessman commented to the Conductor; “My what a sea or trains and tracks, is the whole line like this?”
The Conductor laughed and replied; “No, not all all, after we leave Washington we’ll not see any more big-time railroading until Jacksonville!”


We have two major obstacles to reclaiming our status as even a moderate surface transportation hub.
1. The Prime Osborn needs to be vacated, the convention center ‘box’ west of the old terminal removed and the lot cleaned up from McCoys Creek to Bay Street. Keeping the stunning historic elements this would permit an RFP for a Denver style mixed use remake with a hard sell to Virgin Trains.
2. The Lee Street/Park Street viaduct where the new bike trail is set to be built needs to be replaced with a higher span. While not absolutely required it would permit Virgin/Amtrak and any distant future JTA/FDOT operations space for 4-6 tracks. Without removal any future passenger train operations in downtown would be limited to 1-2 tracks, hardly more than DeLand.

Amtrak is determined to kill the remaining 15 long-distance routes and shift to a collection of disconnected short haul lines. It is unknown if Congress under either party will allow such wholesale slaughter. In any case with just a slight effort we might convince them to terminate the NYC-Savannah ‘Palmetto’’ in downtown Jacksonville. Otherwise we actually sit on several short distance corridors we could sell to Amtrak in a City/State/Amtrak cooperative venture to test their short-haul theory here. JAX-Savannah-Atlanta, JAX-Valdosta-Macon-Atlanta (Virgin is likely eyeing this route), JAX-Orlando-Tampa, JAX-Ocala-Villages-Tampa, JAX-Daytona-West Palm-Miami.

Virgin as you know is more real estate than rail but with the Prime out of the way we’d have a diamond-in-the-rough property that could spawn new high-rise towers and a restored 1919 Penn-Station clone would be hard to ignore. Even if we merely had Virgin schedules that matched/connected to Amtrak’s that’s a potential 3 Virgin trains south and 3 north daily. Now toss in 2-3 additional round trips and they’d have the hottest real estate in town. Atlanta? Just imagine. Roll in any future Amtrak trains and we’d be Florida’s Gateway City once again.

The key? Site and prep!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 12:30:46 PM by Ocklawaha »

Kerry

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2020, 02:54:05 PM »
While I admire the optimism, VirginTrains hasn't even left South Florida yet and any expansion beyond the initial Miami/Orlando route will have to compete with their recently acquired LA/Las Vegas venture for company funds.
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thelakelander

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Re: Autonomous shuttle service launches in Orlando
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2020, 03:17:35 PM »
Virgin and Amtrak are Jax's best chance at seeing any type of passenger rail enhancements locally before 2030. JTA did a commuter rail study over a decade ago but nothing since. Whenever it gets around to it again, not likely anytime soon, it will be starting over from scratch.
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