Author Topic: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?  (Read 51714 times)

vicupstate

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2021, 05:01:08 PM »
More then a third for the Skyway. No Thanks. Negotiate a deal with the Feds to scrap the whole thing once and for all for about half that.
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Ken_FSU

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2021, 05:07:31 PM »
Semi-retired from caring and trying really hard to just appreciate Jacksonville for what it is and not be too negative, but this one takes the cake.

Curry floats the idea to double the gas tax through 2046 to offload infrastructure work from the general budget and free up more space to fullfill the broken promises of consolidation.

FANTASTIC idea on the surface. Love it. It's probably the most painless way to raise taxes, even though I've got some personal issues with how equitable it is and how it's going to disproportionately effect those lower on the income scale who often have to travel further to job centers and don't have the work-from-home flexibility of others.

Proceeds will be split equally with JTA? Again, great idea on the surface.

Then you see the details.

THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS for the clown cars.

A fully 85% of JTA's cut of the revenues over the next 25 years.

You can't make this shit up if you tried.

In a city with 800 square miles of transportation needs, we're diverting a full 85% of JTA's cut of the new gas tax into developing an autonomous first-mile/last-mile system that is going to be made redundent at best by the private sector in less than a decade.

Spoiler to JTA: Uber/Lyft already exist, and driverless rideshare is right around the corner.

How's it working for the taxi industry, or your own ReddiRide service, when you try to compete with big rideshare?

Our tiny fleet of clown shuttles will NEVER be able to match the efficiencies of scale and pricepoint of a national competitor, and by the time JTA actually figures this thing out and gets it up and running, they'll already have been left behind.

Why would anyone share a plodding roboshuttle with four other passengers in a post-pandemic world when tomorrow's rideshare will be able to quickly, cheaply, and privately whisk you from door to door for pennies on the dollar absent the labor cost of drivers.

This is what drives me fucking bonkers about this city.

We ignore what's logical and what's worked literally, LITERALLY everywhere and instead choose to jump in headfirst with some alternative hairbrained scheme to prove how much smarter we are than everyone else.

It kills me.

Cities all over the country are expanding their fixed transit and reaping the benefits and vibrancy of the TOD that has followed.

And we're talking about tossing a $3 million PD&E for fixed transit into a 25-year budget while directing $380 million toward an unproven, semi-secretive network of clown cars.

You cannot make this stuff up.

This gas tax plan is predicated on the idea that upcoming necessary transportation projects can be offloaded from the CIP to free up the general fund for these septic tank/sewer projects. Was the city planning on allocating $400 million from the general fund for this U2C lemon? If not, then the gas tax isn't found revenue for the septic tanks. It's found revenue for the clowns.

I only take solace in the fact that the Skyway has so much negative stigma attached to it already that this thing is gonna be DOA in the court of public opinion before it ever gets off the ground.

icarus

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2021, 05:35:44 PM »

THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS for the clown cars.

A fully 85% of JTA's cut of the revenues over the next 25 years.

You can't make this shit up if you tried.


Preach it!  I mean come on ... Really, actually, truthfully ... what the actual F***?


Charles Hunter

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2021, 05:36:56 PM »
It will be up to the taxpayers to put pressure on their Council members, as these taxes can be implemented with a "majority plus one" vote of the City Council (10 votes).  A referendum is not needed.

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2021, 05:50:57 PM »
^ It's multiple times the original cost of the system.  This is a huge waste of resources as the ROI will be very small if not negative.  It will fail both because the Skyway has never produced due to numerous design and operating cost issues and, as discussed often here, the JTA version of AV is nonstarter.  Adding the two together will get you a great big minus.

For a fraction of that money we could abandon the Skyway and tear it down (see Mayor Curry, he knows how to get that done!)/make it into the Jacksonville version of NYC's Highline and start over with trolleys or most anything else in mass transit, dedicated bike/pedestrian ways, 2 way streets, road diets, road maintenance/upgrades in the NW quadrant, etc.  It's time to spread these dollars out and not concentrate them in a single proven boondoggle that, at best, will never serve a decent percentage of the population.

Next, we will find out a chunk of the proceeds are for Khan's projects.  I hope this is not a wolf in sheep's clothing.

My worst fears confirmed.  The amount for the Skyway represents about 41% of the total funds raised.  As with the Better Jacksonville Plan and the River City Renaissance Plan, everyone gets a few trinkets (note the breakdown by Council district) in return for paying for one or more big projects almost nobody would agree to otherwise pay for.  This is that MO on steroids.

I hope this isn't another one of Curry's schemes he thinks is baked and done behind closed doors.  I see another Lot J controversy.  Monroe is right that Curry is out of touch with reality.


marcuscnelson

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2021, 05:56:17 PM »
More then a third for the Skyway. No Thanks. Negotiate a deal with the Feds to scrap the whole thing once and for all for about half that.

I really hate to say it, but if that's what they're going to spend the money on, yeah.


THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS for the clown cars.

A fully 85% of JTA's cut of the revenues over the next 25 years.

You can't make this shit up if you tried.


Preach it!  I mean come on ... Really, actually, truthfully ... what the actual F***?

I genuinely want to know what is going through the minds of Nat Ford and the JTA Board. Like, what is happening up there that makes this seem like a reasonable and logical ask of taxpayers? More importantly, I thought half the point of these was that they were supposed to be cheap. For this amount of money, we could (and should) do basically anything else.

Just for posterity, here's JTA's technology report from 6 years ago on the various options they looked at, including streetcars.

And for convenience, here's the breakdown JTA has on the sheet, so we don't have to click over to the document:

LOGT ProjectEstimated CostProject Scope
Skyway Rehabilitation & Downtown Service Expansion ‐ Neighborhood Extensions$131,890,000Downtown service expansion of Skyway providing neighborhood Circulators through use of autonomous vehicle network to five (5)  key areas: (1) West Corridor ‐ access to the Riverside and Five Points neighborhoods, as well as the popular Riverside Arts Market  and growing Brooklyn neighborhood; (2) East Corridor - extending eastward along Bay Street, these stations will annex the burgeoning Shipyards district and the popular Sports Complex with the downtown core; (3) North Corridor - serving the revitalizing historic Springfield area, UF Health Center and VA Outpatient Clinic, the North Corridor would provide more access to integral health‐related resources and services; (4) South/Medical Complex Corridor ‐ Historic San Marco, which has long been a destination for those seeking a live/work/play location; and (5) Southbank Corridor - the Southbank Corridor which has some of the greatest growth potential and expanded service will meet the transportation needs of future employees, residents and visitors.
Skyway Rehabilitation & Downtown Service Expansion ‐ Fleet$6,875,000Vehicle Fleet to support Skyway rehabilitation, downtown service expansion, and neighborhood extensions.
Skyway Rehabilitation & Downtown Service Expansion ‐ Capital (Infrastructure, Systems)$240,075,000Includes rehabilitation of the Skyway infrastructure, systems and IT network and expansion of services to support transition to autonomous vehicles.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 06:04:02 PM by marcuscnelson »
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thelakelander

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2021, 07:40:19 PM »
The Daily Record finally posted a list of projects.

Skyway/U2C projects total $378,840,000.

However, there's also $3.3 million marked for "JRTC Rail Terminal Project Development," which includes:

Quote
Coordinate and request the Federal Transit Administration to enter into the Project Development Phase
Complete PD&E/NEPA analysis and documentation
Produce 35 percent design plans for the track and associated infrastructure to support the PD&E/NEPA
Obtain commitments on the right‐of‐way required for the station
Develop defined capital cost estimates

LOL huh? Put $25-50 million into getting that JRTC rail terminal actually built, replace the Skyway cars and call it a day. That's one I can definitely see the public tar and feather this thing. If they're so sold on having untested technology, wait for it become commonplace enough for it to run on the existing streets. No need to spend hundreds of millions retrofitting the Skyway at the cost of traditional LRT system construction numbers. If it's that much, I'd then fall on the side of scrapping the Skyway, Harbor Island Peoplemover style and building something proven from scratch.
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Tacachale

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2021, 08:25:21 PM »
Really seems like something that would have come up already if they'd sought public input.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2021, 09:41:31 PM »
The Daily Record finally posted a list of projects.

Skyway/U2C projects total $378,840,000.

However, there's also $3.3 million marked for "JRTC Rail Terminal Project Development," which includes:

Quote
Coordinate and request the Federal Transit Administration to enter into the Project Development Phase
Complete PD&E/NEPA analysis and documentation
Produce 35 percent design plans for the track and associated infrastructure to support the PD&E/NEPA
Obtain commitments on the right‐of‐way required for the station
Develop defined capital cost estimates

LOL huh? Put $25-50 million into getting that JRTC rail terminal actually built, replace the Skyway cars and call it a day. That's one I can definitely see the public tar and feather this thing. If they're so sold on having untested technology, wait for it become commonplace enough for it to run on the existing streets. No need to spend hundreds of millions retrofitting the Skyway at the cost of traditional LRT system construction numbers. If it's that much, I'd then fall on the side of scrapping the Skyway, Harbor Island Peoplemover style and building something proven from scratch.

According to the Technology Assessment Report, replacement vehicles would cost about $170 million on the high end, and I don't think that includes extension. Supposing we added 3 miles at $30 million per mile, we could then spend $40 million on a new rail terminal and still end up with $78 million in the bank, that could be used for anything else, or even to let them play with the AVs for other reasons.

I wonder, could we somehow draft up an alternative plan for that money, either for the thing I just said or streetcar or something else, and start campaigning for them to do that instead?
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: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2021, 11:26:52 PM »
What is the timeline for the projects identified? I do wonder how we can collect nearly $1 billion but can only fund a PD&E for relocating the rail station back downtown?

Also, keep in mind, no one wants elevated Skyway track penetrating into their neighborhoods. So other than an extension to San Marco, which could be dropped to grade after it crosses the FEC, you're not getting into Riverside or Springfield with elevated track. So, you'll need something like an AV or streetcar that can operate on both. However, as identified in the Technology Assessment Report, most of your rail based systems have rolling stock that can't run on the lightweight Skyway infrastructure. Now you're down to AV, a few heritage streetcar vehicles and something like a tram that you see in Europe, moreso than here.

I did notice that the Haskell team does include 2getthere as a subcontractor. I recall that they have an AV that is a bit larger than the minivans being driven in a parking lot at Metropolitan Park. What would be your view on the U2C if larger vehicles and 100% dedicated ROW for the system became a thing?

What do you think about this? Almost double the size and three times as fast as the things tested locally to date:

Quote
2getthere’s GRT vehicles are automated minibuses accommodating 22 passengers (8 seated, 14 standing). The maximum speed is 60km/hr and are unique as they are the only autonomous vehicles that are bi-directional and feature doors on both sides. The GRT vehicle allows for easy access through accurate docking at the stations, enabled by the ‘crabbing’ capability of the front and rear wheel steering.

https://www.2getthere.eu//technology/vehicle-types/grt-vehicle-automated-minibus/
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 11:36:21 PM by thelakelander »
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2021, 11:42:55 PM »
Nate Monroe appears to be all in on Curry's gas tax increase and is unusually effusive about Curry in this column.  Hope he isn't getting sucker punched.  He does allude to possible push back on the Skyway proposal but, overall, whitewashes over it.

Someone needs to reach out to him and better educate him on some of the issues herein and convince him that the Skyway portion, at about $380 million (41% of funds raised), is way out of line and needs a reallocation to better projects - or this proposal risks going down in flames.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/columns/nate-monroe/2021/03/10/nate-monroe-one-jacksonville-mayors-lenny-curry-final-acts-gas-tax-proposal-might-turn-out-his-best/6937340002/

Quote
...There might be some debate about JTA's modernization of the Skyway, but the agency is also set to piggyback on the city roadwork by upgrading more than 100 bus stops in Northwest Jacksonville and ensuring 800 more throughout the city are brought into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act standards....

thelakelander

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2021, 11:45:17 PM »
I wonder, could we somehow draft up an alternative plan for that money, either for the thing I just said or streetcar or something else, and start campaigning for them to do that instead?

This is what we suggested six years ago, based off the findings of the Technology Assessment Report:

https://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-nov-9-reasons-to-expand-the-skywayas-a-streetcar
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2021, 12:17:08 AM »
What is the timeline for the projects identified? I do wonder how we can collect nearly $1 billion but can only fund a PD&E for relocating the rail station back downtown?

Also, keep in mind, no one wants elevated Skyway track penetrating into their neighborhoods. So other than an extension to San Marco, which could be dropped to grade after it crosses the FEC, you're not getting into Riverside or Springfield with elevated track. So, you'll need something like an AV or streetcar that can operate on both. However, as identified in the Technology Assessment Report, most of your rail based systems have rolling stock that can't run on the lightweight Skyway infrastructure. Now you're down to AV, a few heritage streetcar vehicles and something like a tram that you see in Europe, moreso than here.

It's not clear what the proposed timeline is for the U2C yet, some of the other infrastructure projects could be funded as soon as this year. And yeah, disappointing that JTA apparently prioritized U2C to such a blatant extent over existing passenger rail.

The Report also indicates that demolishing the existing system would only cost $25 million. At which point, building a few stronger ramps at key points like the JRTC (assuming you'd even put a streetcar stop at that platform level), the FEC, and the Acosta approaches could be possible, with the remaining portions at grade. (Although, this doesn't account for whatever federal payback requirements could exist, whatever they are. Frankly, I'm surprised replacing the fixed vehicles with AVs would still count from that point of view.)

I did notice that the Haskell team does include 2getthere as a subcontractor. I recall that they have an AV that is a bit larger than the minivans being driven in a parking lot at Metropolitan Park. What would be your view on the U2C if larger vehicles and 100% dedicated ROW for the system became a thing?

What do you think about this? Almost double the size and three times as fast as the things tested locally to date:

Quote
2getthere’s GRT vehicles are automated minibuses accommodating 22 passengers (8 seated, 14 standing). The maximum speed is 60km/hr and are unique as they are the only autonomous vehicles that are bi-directional and feature doors on both sides. The GRT vehicle allows for easy access through accurate docking at the stations, enabled by the ‘crabbing’ capability of the front and rear wheel steering.

https://www.2getthere.eu//technology/vehicle-types/grt-vehicle-automated-minibus/

That would still introduce several questions regarding the capacity issue you mentioned in that article, and things like their ability to couple (I recognize that it's larger than what's currently out there, but it's still not as good as the existing system). I suppose dedicated ROW technically fixes the larger autonomy and TOD challenges, although at that point you're speeding towards basically rail anyway. And seeing as JTA has been very insistent that they're not dedicating ROW beyond elevated portions, and haven't shown any renderings of such since like 2018, it's probably not a realistic factor. Not to mention that it's still something like $38 million per mile, which is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on that. And probably some other issues that other people will bring up.

And another thing: aren't the platforms too high? They were designed for vehicles that are pretty tall:



And their monorail replacements have the beam above the height of the original guideway:



How is something like this:



supposed to reach that?
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thelakelander

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2021, 12:43:50 AM »
It's not clear what the proposed timeline is for the U2C yet, some of the other infrastructure projects could be funded as soon as this year.

I suspect that it's a timeline not completely controlled by JTA. We're asking a lot of things that just haven't been figured out yet. I was thinking timeline more so of the projects on the overall list. My view with the rail station at the JRTC is if we're getting this much money for transportation, why are we not funding the rail station? That's much more critical from a long term economic perspective, IMO. So if we're only funding a study, are we saying we're not bringing rail back downtown until sometime well after 2030, 2035? That's pretty crazy.

Quote
The Report also indicates that demolishing the existing system would only cost $25 million.

The report is pretty limited. For the streetcar part, they only evaluated one model that most in the industry already knew could not operate on the existing Skyway infrastructure for various technical reasons. I think the costs are off too. If it only cost $25 million to take the Skyway down, then that is something that needs to be considered. That would suggest, even going with the U2C, if the entire thing was at-grade, we'd save a pretty penny not attempting an expensive retrofit of the Skyway infrastructure, that will only serve to limit the flexibility of a driverless car that some hope will mix with regular traffic.

Quote
I did notice that the Haskell team does include 2getthere as a subcontractor. I recall that they have an AV that is a bit larger than the minivans being driven in a parking lot at Metropolitan Park. What would be your view on the U2C if larger vehicles and 100% dedicated ROW for the system became a thing?

What do you think about this? Almost double the size and three times as fast as the things tested locally to date:

Quote
2getthere’s GRT vehicles are automated minibuses accommodating 22 passengers (8 seated, 14 standing). The maximum speed is 60km/hr and are unique as they are the only autonomous vehicles that are bi-directional and feature doors on both sides. The GRT vehicle allows for easy access through accurate docking at the stations, enabled by the ‘crabbing’ capability of the front and rear wheel steering.

https://www.2getthere.eu//technology/vehicle-types/grt-vehicle-automated-minibus/

That would still introduce several questions regarding the capacity issue you mentioned in that article, and things like their ability to couple (I recognize that it's larger than what's currently out there, but it's still not as good as the existing system). I suppose dedicated ROW technically fixes the larger autonomy and TOD challenges, although at that point you're speeding towards basically rail anyway. And seeing as JTA has been very insistent that they're not dedicating ROW beyond elevated portions, and haven't shown any renderings of such since like 2018, it's probably not a realistic factor. Not to mention that it's still something like $38 million per mile, which is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on that. And probably some other issues that other people will bring up.

No matter what the solution is, it's going to be at a cost per mile that's just expensive as various forms of rail. I don't see a way around that.  However, I would not accept a price of $38 million per mile at face value. There's likely some bells and whistles in those numbers that could be taken out. Capacity wise 22 passengers per vehicle gets you much closer to what's out there today than 8 to 12 passengers per vehicle. The larger model also suggest that the industry will evolve to include much larger vehicles than the things we've considered to date. At a minimum, the U2C should be designed with much larger vehicles in mind.

Quote
And another thing: aren't the platforms too high? They were designed for vehicles that are pretty tall:

They will have to modify the platforms to accommodate new vehicles. That's something that will have to happen regardless of the technology selected. That's one of the reasons a Skyway retrofit will be expensive.


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WAJAS

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Re: Underfunded Jacksonville? Time to fix?
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2021, 03:42:47 AM »
This is a rare opportunity to increase city revenues. This guy evidently has seen from behind the scenes that Jax is struggling to fulfill the needs of the community within the current revenues. I'm all for it.

It's not ideal, but Jax needs to deal with better solutions because the perfect one never arrives.

On one point, they should include full funding for the Emerald Trail in the plan as well. Take one of those proposed Skyway extension routes and instead invest in something that will get near universal support. Either way, I don't know Jax politics, but I doubt this doesn't pass.