Author Topic: Skyway Conversion Begins  (Read 5682 times)

bl8jaxnative

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Skyway Conversion Begins
« on: May 30, 2020, 11:12:46 AM »

Looks likle JTA's lined up money to start getting ready for the robobuses.

https://floridapolitics.com/archives/336518-jacksonville-feds-finalize-funding-for-autonomous-vehicle-system

The accord allows JTA to begin using $12.5 million in discretionary grant funds to start the transition of the existing Skyway Express rail people mover into a public autonomous vehicle system. The JTA will begin planning and requests for proposals for contractors by the end of this year and start work on the system in 2021.

<snip>

The conversion of the rail system for the people mover will involve removing a concrete “track” or tongue in the middle of the raised platforms and turning the pathway into what essentially will become an elevated roadway.

thelakelander

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2020, 02:30:54 PM »
Pretty sure it will take more than $62 million to convert the 2.5 miles of dual skyway decks and more than 12 to 15 driverless minivans will be needed. No need for pedestrian signals on grade separated infrastructure. This sounds like running autonomous vehicles at grade on Bay Street to the stadium.
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thelakelander

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2020, 03:44:16 PM »
12 vehicles filled to capacity means you could move a maximum of 120 passengers at once. God forbid if someone rolled in there with a wheelchair or bike. One articulated city bus can carry up to 200 passengers. This isn't reliable mass transit to support a vibrant urban environment. At best, it's a demonstration project to explore the pros and cons of integrating various technologies into a real life urban environment.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

blizz01

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2020, 04:54:21 PM »
Aren't they extending the skyway to Brooklyn?

thelakelander

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 05:10:00 PM »
^Yes, that's separate from this.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2020, 05:47:54 PM »
Title for this project should be:  "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  (George Santayana)

We are about to waste more taxpayer dollars on another doomed-to-fail "pie-in'the-sky," politically sexy, ego boosting project to salvage/save face regarding the total failure of the Skyway to achieve its mission.

Just one example is that the low passenger capacity is also a big problem with the Skyway.  Consultants prostituting their traffic projections to justify the project for their paying client, JTA, will be another repeated mistake.  Accepting up-front Federal dollars for construction and then saddling local taxpayers with years of subsequent operating losses will be another.  Examples among many of not learning from the past.

Admitting failure and starting over just isn't something Jax leaders honorably do.  JTA should learn from Jeff Bezos:  It's alright to fail, learn from it, and try to not repeat the same mistake.  Bad enough that JTA failed with the Skyway,  But compounding that disaster is JTA's weakness to not learn from, and not repeat, these poorly concieved projects.  The autonomous vehicles appear to be much like the Skyway vehicles with only a different "track" and appearance. They are no faster, carry no more people, or will greatly widen the unappealing route network.  Add, that this is also, initially, going down Bay Street to the Stadium, gives me the idea this might be another bone being thrown toward Mr. Kahn's interests.  But, here we go again...

To put the odds of success in perspective, consider that Google, Tesla, Uber and others have spent billions of dollars and years of time plus run millions of miles trying to perfect autonomous vehicles and are still at it.  So, I am at a loss as to how JTA is going to leap frog their efforts with this project.  Wonder what happens after the first accident?

« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 10:07:54 PM by jaxlongtimer »

Ken_FSU

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2020, 06:33:08 PM »
Pretty sure it will take more than $62 million to convert the 2.5 miles of dual skyway decks and more than 12 to 15 driverless minivans will be needed. No need for pedestrian signals on grade separated infrastructure. This sounds like running autonomous vehicles at grade on Bay Street to the stadium.

Correct.

$44 million to build a 3-mile loop at grade between Julia Street/Central Station and TIAA Bank Field.

~$20 million for the “proof of concept” test track between the JRTC and Jefferson Station.

Full conversion is estimated to cost $350 to $400 million by JTA.


thelakelander

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2020, 07:10:49 PM »
Do you feel like you've been bamboozled yet? When this started, this was supposed to dramactically be cheaper than all other options under consideration. Now we're up to $20 million to convert four blocks of infrastructure.  That's light rail from scratch type numbers. The price will increase as more unknown factors are identified. The one saving grace may be that technology changes so fast, what's planned with the skyway will become less logical as time goes on.
"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: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2020, 07:16:21 PM »
Full conversion is estimated to cost $350 to $400 million by JTA.

So double the amount that it cost to build the skyway but with less capacity. Only in Jax can something so silly be taken so seriously.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Captain Zissou

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2020, 09:16:24 AM »
Do these still only move at like 7 mph?  Why does our city embrace such awful plans with such gusto, but totally fail at maintaining or incrementally improving the systems we already have.  Across the board we would rather shoot for the moon than maintain what exists.  JEA, JTA, COJ, The Port Authority, etc..

icarus

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2020, 09:45:08 AM »
This has to be the worst idea Ive ever heard.  I thought we were looking for effective mass transportation that integrates nearby communities and links underprivileged areas (i.e. no cars) to jobs and services.

I feel like somebody's parents are out of town and left their kid (JTA) with a credit card.

Worst idea ever.  SMH  ???

thelakelander

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Re: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2020, 09:52:14 AM »
Do these still only move at like 7 mph?  Why does our city embrace such awful plans with such gusto, but totally fail at maintaining or incrementally improving the systems we already have.  Across the board we would rather shoot for the moon than maintain what exists.  JEA, JTA, COJ, The Port Authority, etc..

Up to 11mph or so, as long as you sit down and buckle your seatbelt. Staff reacts to boards and most board members are politically appointed. A downfall of that is that many may be great people, but necessarily experts at the details. That makes it easier for the "sexy" George Jetson type things to gain steam instead of placing top priority on how to accomplish and excel at the basics. Nevertheless, there's nothing wrong with demos. The problem arises when you start overselling them as some sort of transformational gamechanger or solution to our basic end user mobility needs.
"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: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2020, 09:55:43 AM »
This has to be the worst idea Ive ever heard.  I thought we were looking for effective mass transportation that integrates nearby communities and links underprivileged areas (i.e. no cars) to jobs and services.

Things started that way. Somewhere along the way, it turned to forcing AVs as the desired solution, even if things like cost, capacity, land use integration, dedicated ROW, etc. haven't been sufficiently vetted.
"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: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2020, 10:22:30 AM »
Full conversion is estimated to cost $350 to $400 million by JTA.

Oh, good lord. And chances are that number won't be accurate. So half a billion dollars to fill downtown with little pods that barely outrun someone who's good at running, hold fewer people than the existing system, and haven't actually been proven to work at this scale. My God.

It really boggles the mind. Even with all the talk here, I don't get how they could have screwed this up this badly. How is it that this entire agency is just barreling ahead with this on our dime, reason be damned? Whose bright idea even was this? When was the meeting where someone stood up and said, "let's do robot clown cars" and everyone started clapping?
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: Skyway Conversion Begins
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2020, 10:46:19 AM »
The idea of putting small AVs on fixed Skyway infrastructure is already obsolete on arrival. Minus the technology aspect, you essentially have a taxi, Uber or Lyft situation at hand. You can get around with these now. Whether the service is driverless or not really doesn't matter. Your service of limiting them to fixed guideway makes you a loser right off the start. The best benefit of fixed and dedicated infrastructure is the ability to build density around stations and efficiently move large masses of people between them. Right now, we're proposing less capacity than what's already in place and not agressively coordinating and working to densify the 1/4 walkshed around all existing Skyway stations.

We don't need JTA or any public entity in the business of trying to figure out the AV world. The private sector will figure it out. No matter how much money we light on fire, we're not going to out Uber...Uber or be better than Tesla, trying to be Tesla. Take that out of the equation and we're back to making sure we resolve the most important issues regarding transit and being end user friendly. Designing for adaquate capacity, making sure transit is coordinated with surrounding land uses, having rolling stock that can carry multiple bikes, mass crowds, reliable service, decent frequencies and taking people to were they want to go. If we place a higher priority on resolving those basics, without preselecting the rolling stock, I'd think we'd end up with a dramatically different plan.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 10:50:16 AM by thelakelander »
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali