Author Topic: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement  (Read 27730 times)

thelakelander

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #120 on: November 02, 2023, 02:23:30 PM »
It is literally a pilot, in that the push here is largely centered around being the first to put AVs into transit revenue service. Once you take the "first" away from the decision making process, nothing else makes sense from a logic and financial perspective, IF the core purpose is serving transit riders. You literally are better off running a bus or PCT down these routes and addressing the Skyway's future separately.
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marcuscnelson

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #121 on: November 03, 2023, 01:46:17 PM »
The New York Times reporting today on Cruise's challenges in getting self driving to work after $9 billion spent:

Quote
G.M. has spent an average of $588 million a quarter on Cruise over the past year, a 42 percent increase from a year ago. Each Chevrolet Bolt that Cruise operates costs $150,000 to $200,000, according to a person familiar with its operations.

Half of Cruise’s 400 cars were in San Francisco when the driverless operations were stopped. Those vehicles were supported by a vast operations staff, with 1.5 workers per vehicle. The workers intervened to assist the company’s vehicles every 2.5 to 5 miles, according to two people familiar with is operations. In other words, they frequently had to do something to remotely control a car after receiving a cellular signal that it was having problems.
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thelakelander

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #122 on: November 03, 2023, 01:58:42 PM »
Big mess but don't worry, JTA has it figured out! GM.....Shmee...em.

Those guys and their billions burned have nothing on what what's being cooked up off Armsdale Road. Stay tuned!
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jaxoNOLE

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #123 on: November 03, 2023, 04:12:49 PM »
The New York Times reporting today on Cruise's challenges in getting self driving to work after $9 billion spent:

Quote
G.M. has spent an average of $588 million a quarter on Cruise over the past year, a 42 percent increase from a year ago. Each Chevrolet Bolt that Cruise operates costs $150,000 to $200,000, according to a person familiar with its operations.

Half of Cruise’s 400 cars were in San Francisco when the driverless operations were stopped. Those vehicles were supported by a vast operations staff, with 1.5 workers per vehicle. The workers intervened to assist the company’s vehicles every 2.5 to 5 miles, according to two people familiar with is operations. In other words, they frequently had to do something to remotely control a car after receiving a cellular signal that it was having problems.

So on average, every loop driven around the Bay Street corridor route will require a human interaction. That's some bleeding-edge autonomy!

It would be massively ironic, yet bitterly satisfying, if the autonomous, driverless* U2C had to be scaled back or rethought because of staffing shortages. What is the staff-to-passenger capacity ratio of a bus, even including O&M? Sorry, I'm trying to stop beating dead horses.

*Feature release date unknown, but definitely going to happen, we swear

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #124 on: November 05, 2023, 11:57:05 AM »
To add another log on this fire, here is CNBC's take on AV's in San Francisco not working out.  Includes a video:
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....But the launch has been plagued by problems. The cars have driven into firefighting scenes, caused construction delays, impeded ambulances and even meandered into active crime scenes.

“There have been 75 plus incidents,” said San Francisco fire chief Jeanine Nicholson. “It’s like playing Russian roulette. It’s impacting public safety and that’s what we need to fix.”

San Francisco city attorney David Chiu said, “there are still some glitches that need to be worked out.”

“And this is with only a few hundred vehicles,” Chiu said. “The idea that thousands of vehicles could be hitting our streets in short order is what gives us concern.”...

....Cruise had been quickly expanding to other cities, including Phoenix, Austin, Dallas, Houston and Miami, but the company paused driverless operations nationwide following the California suspension. Waymo is still operating robotaxis in San Francisco....

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/04/why-san-franciscos-robotaxi-rollout-has-been-such-a-mess.html

marcuscnelson

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #125 on: November 19, 2023, 09:57:51 PM »
Kyle Vogt, the CEO of Cruise, has resigned.
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jaxlongtimer

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #126 on: November 19, 2023, 10:48:01 PM »
Kyle Vogt, the CEO of Cruise, has resigned.

I posted this on another thread this week but want to add to this one too:

JTA COO now departing and, apparently, taking a pay cut to do so.  Rats off a sinking ship?

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JTA COO leaving post to become chief at Chattanooga transit authority

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is losing its chief operating officer, as Charles Frazier has been hired as executive director job of the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority in Tennessee.

This is the third departure of a JTA leader in recent months. Bernard Schmidt left as vice president of automation and innovation in July, and former Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes departed his position in September.

Frazier joined JTA in 2021, taking on the responsibility for “the safety, productivity, and accountability of transit operations” related to JTA’s transit systems. He came to the Jacksonville agency after four years as the CEO of the Rock Region Metropolitan Transit Authority, which provides public transportation in Pulaski County, Arkansas.

According to Chattanoogan.com, Frazier was unanimously selected for the position, which he'll take over in January. The position pays $235,000, with a relocation budget of $26,000. He'll be eligible for an annual performance-based bonus, along with a car allowance. He presently makes $255,000 annually at JTA.

During his time at JTA, Frazier headed up oversight and strategic planning for the First Coast Flyer network, the St. Johns River Ferry, fixed bus routes, paratransit, regional and alternative mobility services, and the agency’s service planning and vehicle maintenance departments.

One of the notable accomplishments during Frazier's time at JTA was assisting with the development of MOVE 2027, with the acronym standing for Mobility Optimization through Vision and Excellence.

"It's a bold, strategic plan, (spread over) five years," Frazier said. "There's seven initiative, 39 strategies and 100 tactics. That working document was a huge accomplishment, just working with the community and the board and our employees."

He also noted several programs and partnerships from the perspective of community impact.

"One of those is called Read USA," Frazier said. "They're a nonprofit, and they hire tutors and seniors in high school to tutor elementary school students, and they utilize the JTA's ReadiRide service to get those students to and from the elementary schools, and then home. That's a project I'm really proud of. It's a pilot program that we're about 10 weeks into."

Among efforts he won't be able to see through to completion is everything going into the Ultimate Urban Circulator, including the Bay Street Innovation Corridor.

"It really has put Jacksonville on an international stage, and so I wish I could be here to see that," Frazier said.

JTA announced in September the hiring of former Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority CFO Raj Srinath to fill the role left by Hayes, while Kiet Dinh, who came to Jacksonville after being the project delivery manager with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, is the new vice president of automation and innovation.

https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2023/11/17/frazier-jta-coo-leaving.html?utm_source=st&utm_medium=en&utm_campaign=me&utm_content=JA&ana=e_JA_me&j=33403147&senddate=2023-11-17&empos=p4

marcuscnelson

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #127 on: November 29, 2023, 01:32:42 PM »
The plug on Cruise is starting to pull.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/sf/article/cruise-gm-investments-mary-barra-18521623.php

GM's CEO told investors this morning that spending on the autonomous vehicle startup would be "substantially lower" in 2024 than 2023. It does appear that billions of dollars in previous investment have not borne the anticipated fruit in safety on the road, requiring the company to "rebuild trust with regulators at the local, state and federal levels, as well as with the first responders and the communities in which Cruise will operate."

This comes after Cruise suspended operations following an incident where the company failed to disclose one of its vehicles dragging a pedestrian.
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

jaxjaguar

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #128 on: November 29, 2023, 08:03:37 PM »
We recently took the Brightline from Orlando to Ft Lauderdale and man Jax just keeps slipping further and further down the list of "top" cities in the state. It's been said countless times on this site, but the leadership in Jacksonville hasn't been fit for office for decades. It's truly astounding how bad and stagnant things have been up there.

Anyyyways, back on topic... Ft Lauderdale, West Palm, Boca, Miami, etc, etc have teamed up with "Circuit". The easiest way to describe it is a driver-based EV version of what U2C was proposed to be. Immediately after you step out of the train station they have customer service agents there who explain that it's a free-to-use service funded by the city and there are no strings attached. They will take you anywhere within a 5 mile radius. Once you enter one of the vehicles (they're kind of like mini bus golf carts), the driver will explain how it works, where you can go, and give you info about the city, things to do, and events happening. The best part about it is you can use their app to schedule pick-up in advance OR you can just wave one of them down like a NYC cab. The app is stupid simple to use and the only limiting factor we faced was weekday hours (we're night owls).

Someone needs to throw all of JTA's leadership into one of their outdated buses and force them to take notes on the entire trip via bus to Orlando. Hold their hands to get them through the "super-advanced" train station and settle them into their seat on the train with some prune juice and Ritz crackers. Once they get to South Florida and are helped to the exit, Circuit can drive them around the cities to their hearts content. HOPEFULLY they write competent legible notes for the interns who change their diapers and actually make the decisions back home.

It's not that hard. The city doesn't need to swing for the fences. There are working solutions out there that require 0 multimillion dollar "studies", extremely limited changes to infrastructure, are easy for even the technological uninclined to use, gives visitors some usable info, and makes it safe for them to get from point a-b without having to walk through 10 homeless encampments and past 6 blocks of empty and closed store fronts.

If that fails at least it's not $100's of millions flushed down the drain from conception to implementation. In the 8 years that they've accomplished literally nothing, they could have implemented something like that for the same amount that's been wasted on countless studies, travel, meetings, etc and at least they'd have something to say, "see we did something semi useful during our term".

It's not rocket science that if you do something like that and it's successful, THEN, maybe then, you can justify spending a little more on the next thing. Once you get some real-world data on hot routes, expected vs provided radius, peak hour usage, etc you'll have some real-world evidence of where to put that extra money. That is the logical thing to do over lighting millions on fire for an money grubbing firm to give you a new paper weight book full of useless, outdated info that probably recommends you use their partners expensive services.

If anyone responsible for managing anything at JTA has made read this far please, for the love of God, just use some common sense and look at what other cities around Jax are doing. Just stop whatever you're doing and take a few weeks to vacation in other Florida cities. Force yourself to use their public transit. If you like something, note it. If you don't like something, note it. Take those notes and attempt to put some time on the other cities Transit Authority's calendars. Revisit them, even the ones you don't like. Talk to the people who pay for the system, maintain the system and people who actually use the system. I'm sure they all can tell you what they did right, what they would've done different, and what's on the table for the next discussion about improvements.

No city is perfect and shooting for the stars sounds great, but it means nothing if you can't even afford to pull the trigger.

Yours Truly,
Born and Raised, Long Time Jax (former) Resident Who Cares Way Too Much About Their Old Home Town

Charles Hunter

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #129 on: November 29, 2023, 08:23:21 PM »
^ Excellent!

thelakelander

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #130 on: November 29, 2023, 08:41:49 PM »
In the meantime....

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.”

Quote
Among the other big-ticket proposals already submitted:

A $43 million proposal (House Form 2447), filed by Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-Jacksonville, to develop a riverfront plaza project in Jacksonville.

A $40.2 million proposal (House Form 1862), filed by Duggan, for a construction project at the University of North Florida.

A $40 million proposal, filed by Rep. Chase Tramont, R-Port Orange, for a project on West International Speedway Boulevard in Volusia County.

A pair of $36 million proposals (Senate Form 1116 and House Form 1998), filed by Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, and Rep. David Smith, R-Winter Springs, to build a new workforce training building at Seminole State College of Florida.

A $25.65 million proposal (Senate Form 1112), filed by Sen. Shevrin Jones, D-Miami Gardens, that would help Florida Atlantic University with issues such as increasing enrollment at its medical school.

A $25 million proposal (Senate Form 1186) by Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa, to help Tampa General Hospital with the cost of a 160-unit housing development for health-care workers.

A $20 million proposal (Senate Form 1145) by Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, for land acquisition and development at SeaPort Manatee.

https://www.theledger.com/story/news/state/2023/11/29/lawmaker-proposes-speeding-up-high-speed-rail-through-polk/71727852007/
« Last Edit: November 29, 2023, 08:44:10 PM by thelakelander »
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Captain Zissou

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #131 on: November 30, 2023, 10:41:48 AM »
Quote
It's not that hard. The city doesn't need to swing for the fences. There are working solutions out there that require 0 multimillion dollar "studies", extremely limited changes to infrastructure, are easy for even the technological uninclined to use, gives visitors some usable info, and makes it safe for them to get from point a-b without having to walk through 10 homeless encampments and past 6 blocks of empty and closed store fronts.

Just build the Brooklyn Skyway station... That could have been finished 3 years ago.  Will it transform the entire NEFL area? No.  Is it less than a million dollars, easy to do, and a marked improvement over the current system. YES.  Just do it.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #132 on: November 30, 2023, 01:29:15 PM »
I've been looking back the last few weeks over the history of the U2C program and it really reinforces what has been said repeatedly: the goal has not been to deliver an effective mass transit system for a long time, if ever even. It's immensely frustrating how an obsession with chasing the future has spiraled into sucking all the oxygen out of the city's transit development.

Anyyyways, back on topic... Ft Lauderdale, West Palm, Boca, Miami, etc, etc have teamed up with "Circuit". The easiest way to describe it is a driver-based EV version of what U2C was proposed to be. Immediately after you step out of the train station they have customer service agents there who explain that it's a free-to-use service funded by the city and there are no strings attached. They will take you anywhere within a 5 mile radius. Once you enter one of the vehicles (they're kind of like mini bus golf carts), the driver will explain how it works, where you can go, and give you info about the city, things to do, and events happening. The best part about it is you can use their app to schedule pick-up in advance OR you can just wave one of them down like a NYC cab. The app is stupid simple to use and the only limiting factor we faced was weekday hours (we're night owls).

This is just Go Tuk’n. We already have this. JTA already sponsors it. It also doesn't run late enough, in part because you need economy of scale to make transit cheap to run and small vehicles that go door to door are incredibly bad at doing that at scale, which is why JTA and others have chased autonomous vehicles as a cheat code to the geometry problem.

Someone needs to throw all of JTA's leadership into one of their outdated buses and force them to take notes on the entire trip via bus to Orlando. Hold their hands to get them through the "super-advanced" train station and settle them into their seat on the train with some prune juice and Ritz crackers. Once they get to South Florida and are helped to the exit, Circuit can drive them around the cities to their hearts content. HOPEFULLY they write competent legible notes for the interns who change their diapers and actually make the decisions back home.

This is an issue very similar to the discussions of Nat Ford's compensation. It would not be considered a big deal for him and other city/city-adjacent officials (like those at the Chamber) to receive substantial compensation for their work and travel if it demonstrated results. But we've seen these officials jet off for other cities, other states, other continents for decades now and bring little, if any, practical knowledge back to actually implement, which is what gets people upset. Even the rare wins we do see (such as the Emerald Trail) end up being led by people outside those spheres of influence anyway.

If anyone responsible for managing anything at JTA has made read this far please, for the love of God, just use some common sense and look at what other cities around Jax are doing. Just stop whatever you're doing and take a few weeks to vacation in other Florida cities. Force yourself to use their public transit. If you like something, note it. If you don't like something, note it. Take those notes and attempt to put some time on the other cities Transit Authority's calendars. Revisit them, even the ones you don't like. Talk to the people who pay for the system, maintain the system and people who actually use the system. I'm sure they all can tell you what they did right, what they would've done different, and what's on the table for the next discussion about improvements.

Anyone reasonable enough to be reading this isn't allowed to be in JTA management. The video segment rebuffing detractors of the U2C and declaring it the future of transportation based on their own experience is proof of that. Unfortunately, we are far past the point where JTA is going to turn to common sense by itself, which is where city leadership has to step up. The fact that JTA has spent seven years chasing autonomous vehicles as the industry burns to the ground is proof of that.

Quote
It's not that hard. The city doesn't need to swing for the fences. There are working solutions out there that require 0 multimillion dollar "studies", extremely limited changes to infrastructure, are easy for even the technological uninclined to use, gives visitors some usable info, and makes it safe for them to get from point a-b without having to walk through 10 homeless encampments and past 6 blocks of empty and closed store fronts.

Just build the Brooklyn Skyway station... That could have been finished 3 years ago.  Will it transform the entire NEFL area? No.  Is it less than a million dollars, easy to do, and a marked improvement over the current system. YES.  Just do it.

What appears to have happened at this point is that costs went up during the pandemic and once they got LOGT funding in hand for the Skyway Conversion (which includes AVs to Brooklyn) they decided to not bother expanding the existing system.
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: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #133 on: November 30, 2023, 01:41:32 PM »
"Let's rezone Brooklyn for High Density Mixed-Use Residential and we'll justify it because we are building a skyway station"

- Builds 100du/acre High Density Mixed-Use
- Doesn't build the station

Classic.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #134 on: November 30, 2023, 02:11:52 PM »
In related news, New Zealand-based autonomous vehicle firm Ohmio, which earlier this year made an unsolicited bid to JTA for a lease of its Lift shuttles, has announced that it will relocate its global headquarters to Riverside, California. This is after the city of Riverside planned to spend just $2.5 million both leasing Lift shuttles and buying the supplies and staff to operate them.

This represents another loss for JTA's promises of the U2C program, in which reports from the authority had claimed that the program would attract firms to locate operations and manufacturing in Jacksonville. Yet JTA is still struggling to convince the FTA to allow them to use foreign-built shuttles or more conventional vans to operate the Bay Street Innovation Corridor, with a federally-imposed deadline now less than two years away.

"Let's rezone Brooklyn for High Density Mixed-Use Residential and we'll justify it because we are building a skyway station"

- Builds 100du/acre High Density Mixed-Use
- Doesn't build the station

Classic.

I mean there is the Flyer Orange Line on Park Street. But I guess a bus every 30 minutes isn't particularly inspiring from a TOD standpoint.
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