Author Topic: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....  (Read 123485 times)

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #255 on: March 22, 2023, 11:12:37 PM »
^ I might add money is fungible.  If the gas tax dollars were used to pay for "transportation projects" that are already being funded by the City budget, that would free up City budget money for other needs in the City.

Is it a "transportation project" to maintain, clean and repave City streets?  Can some dollars be used to reduce any City subsidies for the Skyway, bus system, Mayport ferry, river taxi, etc.?  Could some dollars be used to complete the full Emerald Trail (a pedestrian and bike transit project) instead of using dollars from the City budget?  Or used to pay for buses used during Jaguar games?  Toward improving the cruise terminal, a boat ramp, electric vehicle stations, the Downtown scooters?  Converting Downtown streets into two ways, increasing the number of road diets, landscaping roadways, adding or repairing sidewalks, installing intelligent transportation systems or adding roundabouts in the City?  Being used as the City match for transportation grants from the State or Feds?  Basically, how much could be used to fund much of the Public Works budget for awhile?

All the mayoral candidates talked about investing in infrastructure... here is a nice chunk of change to get that going.

Yup, this was a big advertised selling point of the LOGT in the first place. They can't use the funds for septic tank removals, but they could free up funds for that by reallocating general fund revenues no longer needed for transit by virtue of the LOGT funding as a replacement.

As I understand it, pretty much everything else you listed would qualify as a transportation project, but not all of it would fall under JTA's share of the revenue split.

I'm just now wondering--is there anything in that LOGT legislation that specifies the order in which projects are funded? I know the resurfacing funds were spread out...how do the remaining projects get funded? Pro rata wouldn't make sense. Is that up to administrative/agency discretion?

marcuscnelson

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #256 on: March 23, 2023, 01:37:59 AM »
^ I might add money is fungible.  If the gas tax dollars were used to pay for "transportation projects" that are already being funded by the City budget, that would free up City budget money for other needs in the City.

Is it a "transportation project" to maintain, clean and repave City streets?  Can some dollars be used to reduce any City subsidies for the Skyway, bus system, Mayport ferry, river taxi, etc.?  Could some dollars be used to complete the full Emerald Trail (a pedestrian and bike transit project) instead of using dollars from the City budget?  Or used to pay for buses used during Jaguar games?  Toward improving the cruise terminal, a boat ramp, electric vehicle stations, the Downtown scooters?  Converting Downtown streets into two ways, increasing the number of road diets, landscaping roadways, adding or repairing sidewalks, installing intelligent transportation systems or adding roundabouts in the City?  Being used as the City match for transportation grants from the State or Feds?  Basically, how much could be used to fund much of the Public Works budget for awhile?

All the mayoral candidates talked about investing in infrastructure... here is a nice chunk of change to get that going.

jaxoNOLE is pretty much correct, much of what you said would probably be something than can be covered under the LOGT, although like the debate over the Emerald Trail it'd need to be confirmed for sure.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that since it's unlikely we'll get another sales tax soon and a lot of the smaller projects like 2-way streets, landscaping, etc. can be covered by other funding sources over time, we're best served using these LOGT funds for some of the bigger ticket projects that require either a lot of money upfront or for a local match to federal & state funding. The new ferry the LOGT will eventually fund is a good example. So are the funds that were directed to the Emerald Trail.

We spend quite a bit of money on roadway construction and expansion already, and FDOT doesn't seem interested in stopping. Meanwhile, being able to make a generational investment in regional transit would be incredibly valuable for a city that's so sorely lacking it. Save for San Antonio, every city larger than Jacksonville has developed some kind of substantial rail transportation system. If we're going to claim the big leagues, we should leverage the rare opportunity to really look like it. Not with a moonshot gadgetbahn (again), but with real, proven solutions for our mobility challenges.

Look at the nearly $250 million JTA dedicated to the Skyway conversion. If you took that and decided to leverage it, FDOT is often willing to give a 1:1 match. Now imagine you go to the FTA and ask for a match on that. All together that's a billion dollars. What would a one billion dollar transit project look like in Jacksonville? We're about to see a billion-dollar highway, in the form of the I-95 widenings, but imagine what a billion dollars would look like in giving us real options. That's the opportunity cost JTA is losing out on because they've married the U2C.
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: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #257 on: March 29, 2023, 09:47:42 PM »
Beep (one of the contractors for the U2C) is partnering with the North Carolina Department of Transportation on another pilot program.

https://www.masstransitmag.com/alt-mobility/autonomous-vehicles/press-release/53028825/beep-beep-partnering-with-ncdot-to-expand-ncdots-cassi-program

But of course, autonomous driving is totally ready for prime time and it is very responsible to spend over $300 million in taxpayer money on it.
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

Jax_Developer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #258 on: March 30, 2023, 08:10:03 AM »
Beep (one of the contractors for the U2C) is partnering with the North Carolina Department of Transportation on another pilot program.

https://www.masstransitmag.com/alt-mobility/autonomous-vehicles/press-release/53028825/beep-beep-partnering-with-ncdot-to-expand-ncdots-cassi-program

But of course, autonomous driving is totally ready for prime time and it is very responsible to spend over $300 million in taxpayer money on it.

This pilot program is also a 2-mile route, in a 310-acre park nowhere near DT. In fact that is likely the best environment for this type of use... meanwhile we are creating a 'robust' expanded DT transportation network with these things... LOL.

Here is a great video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2rcr5gBL_Q

Nothing gives me more confidence than listening to JTA & how they are on the cutting edge of this great technology/solution. Just saying, my family comes from High-Tech and the number of times I have heard similar said.. for it to end up being a huge failure is just haunting me a little much with this video. I mean.. to get a non-profitable European company to open a US factory and begin production here in 2025-2026 is absurd. The risks are just insane here to pull this off. And we wonder why timelines are never hit! This is also the 8th vendor?? More wasted time and resources. Odds it reaches 10+ are almost for certain.

fsu813

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #259 on: March 30, 2023, 05:39:52 PM »
Was in a meeting with Ford and Schmidt today. They are still saying phase 1 in 2025. Asked about why it's important for JTA to be on the bleeding edge on this, with all the challenges that come with that. Answer: if not us, who?

jaxoNOLE

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #260 on: March 30, 2023, 08:13:51 PM »
Was in a meeting with Ford and Schmidt today. They are still saying phase 1 in 2025. Asked about why it's important for JTA to be on the bleeding edge on this, with all the challenges that come with that. Answer: if not us, who?

Literally anybody else. It's a smarta$$ answer, but also correct.  I'm not opposed in principle to the test & learn as preparation for the future,  but as a TRANSIT authority, the job is to facilitate efficient, cost effective transportation for your populace. AVs are neither at the moment.   Let private entities  spend their billions chasing a payday; meanwhile, do the damn job. ::)

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #261 on: March 31, 2023, 06:46:04 AM »
The only thing they can possibly do by 2025 (better hurry), is run a couple of AVs on an existing street. Basically a pilot project like what has being running in Lake Nona for years. However, it's a stretch to consider that as real mass transit.
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Jax_Developer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #262 on: March 31, 2023, 07:14:55 AM »
Was in a meeting with Ford and Schmidt today. They are still saying phase 1 in 2025. Asked about why it's important for JTA to be on the bleeding edge on this, with all the challenges that come with that. Answer: if not us, who?

Didn't know it was the job of a transportation org to identify and fully implement untested technology. Just saying, there are people with advanced degrees that have dedicated most of their working lives to this.. and they don't have the rosy outlook I have basically only seen from JTA. Not to be a pessimist, but Beep won't be the company to all of a sudden break the barrier.. nor any of these other small AV businesses. Probably will be a massive tech giant like google or tesla that ultimately brings the tech to the masses. Probably licensed.

The only thing they can possibly do by 2025 (better hurry), is run a couple of AVs on an existing street. Basically a pilot project like what has being running in Lake Nona for years. However, it's a stretch to consider that as real mass transit.

If it is not grade/lane separate I don't consider it as 'real' public transit. More like a fancy bus network DT. Oh and cool because there's nobody driving it!

fsu813

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #263 on: March 31, 2023, 11:20:36 AM »
I think the project/system once fully functional will be an effective tool in moving people around part of the urban core, and eventually the full urban core. But fully functional is well over a decade away. So, not unlike the original Skyway, we'll be using an incomplete system/service for many years (before the tech and $ is in place to see the full version functional, hopefully).
« Last Edit: March 31, 2023, 04:22:41 PM by fsu813 »

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #264 on: March 31, 2023, 02:42:55 PM »
Expect to see this type of cost overruns on the U2C, and, eventually, any stadium upgrades:

    Medical Examiner's New Office Building*:
    Original approved 2022-2023 budget: $48.5 million
    Just months later, new budget: $88.81 million
    Percent change in less than a year: +83%

The City loves low balling projects or practicing deliberate gross incompetence to get approval and then exploits time constraints and progress-to-date to get millions more to finish them.  City Council plays along even though experience dictates this game is being played.  Look for it, big time, for the U2C and stadium projects (which have previously performed this way, including when the Gator Bowl was rebuilt into today's stadium).

* https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/news/2023/mar/31/city-officials-reviewing-permit-more-money-for-new-medical-examiners-office/

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #265 on: March 31, 2023, 03:16:26 PM »
I think the project/system once fully functional will be an effective tool in moving people around part of the urban core, and eventually the full urban core. But fully functional is well over a decade away. So, not unlike the original Skyway, we'll be using an incomplete system/service for many years (before the tech and $ is I'm place to see the full version functional, hopefully).

It won't, if ever fully functional. It has less passenger capacity than the Skyway. It's just an expensive toy that will only have the ability to carry a fraction of the people that the Skyway does today. At its best, we'll still need buses or something else to move large amounts of people.
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fsu813

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #266 on: March 31, 2023, 04:25:28 PM »
For sure buses, etc will still be used. Actually one version of the vehicle being considered appears to be shuttle van that's had its mechanical/technical guts replaced to become autonomous.

thelakelander

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #267 on: March 31, 2023, 04:40:05 PM »
The skyway is already driverless or automated. To move large sums of people (assuming we're planning for a vibrant downtown with thousands of more people), we'll need something with larger rolling stock and dedicated ROW. Right now, we're going in the opposite direction. Really, what's proposed on Bay Street is more of a gimmick. Great, in terms of testing or being an experiment for operation in real life conditions. There's not much it can be outside of that, without hundreds of millions in totally retrofitting what's planned. To be real mass transit, a system will have to be designed to accommodate larger rolling stock and adequate infrastructure to support it. What's planned now, will always be restricted on this end if the instance is to use the existing elevated Skyway structure or mix with on-street human controlled vehicles. It's a situation where we can't squeeze blood out of a turnip. No matter how innovative we want to be.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2023, 04:42:52 PM by thelakelander »
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simms3

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #268 on: March 31, 2023, 06:59:34 PM »
Was in a meeting with Ford and Schmidt today. They are still saying phase 1 in 2025. Asked about why it's important for JTA to be on the bleeding edge on this, with all the challenges that come with that. Answer: if not us, who?

It's INSANE to me that with limited funds for public transit and obviously limited public political will (see implementation of transit in any sunbelt city, and even see taxpayer fatigue with Second Ave subway in NYC), that they are choosing to go with this stupid thing.

Good freakin' luck getting taxpayers to foot the bill for rail when we want it, and when the obvious to the rest of us becomes obvious to the people actually leading our transportation authority now.

I have recently read the TOD bill passed last October.  They are calling BRT premium and fixed and trying to figure out a way to create TOD overlays around existing JTA version of BRT ("dedicated lanes").  There are a few people I have interacted with in the real estate/development and law communities who seem new to the term TOD.  Not only that, JTA will be calling the shots on creating the TOD overlays.  They will essentially be master planning now around their version of "transit".

I have to say, they have really stepped up our bus system over the years and I do see more and more people riding it.  But I don't have any faith in them to successfully do anything beyond what they've done.

This is just where Jax is at right now, very far behind other cities.  And running the opposite direction with Nat Ford at the helm steering us down the "path NOT traveled [for a reason]".  I will bite my tongue further as I see Nat Ford at an event coming up and maybe he will be reassuring...I'm so cynical at this point.  Jax is so amateur hour
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Charles Hunter

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Re: Is U2C serious? Help me make it make sense....
« Reply #269 on: March 31, 2023, 10:34:07 PM »
Interestingly, I just got a notice from linkdin that "Nat Ford just posted something you might be interested in."
His post and three responses.

Quote
Nat Ford •  Transportation Innovator and Leader. Enhancing mobility in Jacksonville, Florida as the CEO of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Transportation Innovator and Leader.

JTA and JAXUSA Partnership - Aundra Wallace spent time at Lake Nona, FL at Beep, Inc. headquarters talking with HOLON leadership about the automated shuttle that could soon be running the streets of Jacksonville.  HOLON’s people mover is the world's first autonomous mover built to automotive standards. They designed these vehicles with the JTA project in mind and JTA has been identified as a leading agency to put these vehicles on the street in the U.S.  This multi-billion dollar international firm is one of two counting on the success of the Bay Street Innovation Corridor. Now, we need to collectively address the need for advanced manufacturing facilities in the U.S. to build the vehicle.  Take an exclusive look at the vehicle prototypes at https://bit.ly/jta-av


Steve Kuciemba Deputy Executive Director/CTO at ITE
Continuing to lead the way forward, JTA is doing it right! Can't wait to see this play out and put all the doubters to rest.



Eric Brimm  Manager of Communication Systems Equipment Maintenance & Computer Maintenance - Office of Rail Car Maintenance at MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority)
Congrats JTA Team…Leading the way with newest transit horizon.



Mark Dundovich  Public Transit and Municipal Consultant
JTA is leading the industry with your guidance,
Congratulations