Author Topic: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement  (Read 32319 times)

Charles Hunter

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2023, 09:44:26 PM »
I saw where the Mayor is proposing some new members to the JTA. Any idea where they stand on boondoggles?

thelakelander

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2023, 11:32:11 PM »
Hoping they will at least clear out the big amount of rubber stamping on these boards. That alone will be a huge benefit for Jacksonville as a whole.
"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: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2023, 03:06:48 PM »
I saw where the Mayor is proposing some new members to the JTA. Any idea where they stand on boondoggles?

I hadn't heard of the picks until some responses to my thread on Twitter about this whole mess. I'm curious which current board members these two would be replacing. And it seems notable, perhaps questionable, that the current board decided to approve the Bay Street budget increase knowing that there might be replacements soon.

Someone noted that Megan Hayward was a Cumber backer, which might indicate agreement with Hussein Cumber's known stance on the project. Pat Gillum Sams I frankly have no idea about, but I'd be careful knowing that JTA has attempted to argue before that AVs are the only way to provide transportation equity for minorities in underserved communities. Obviously that's not true, but they'd probably try to keep pushing that point.
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: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2023, 08:48:01 PM »
Obviously, that's a lie. It seems like some are allowing people to believe whatever they want, as long as that belief makes them support blowing public money on this project.
"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: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2023, 10:16:02 PM »
This article has been significantly edited since the original version. I'm sure JTA must have called to do a bit of damage control with the first one. However, just when you think this plan can get any crazier, they find a way to up the ante!

If they can't get the clown cars they seek before 2025, the Plan B is spending $65 million for a fleet of vans (being driven by humans).

What exactly are we trying to prove with this again? It has to be more than simply being the first.

Quote
"Made in America" requirement constrains vehicle choices

The model of automated vehicle most commonly associated with the U2C is shaped like a toaster with big windows for viewing and doors that open in the manner of an elevator for passengers. That might not be what's in place when the system starts, however, because the federal grant has a "Buy American" requirement and those kinds of vehicles are made abroad. The "plan B" is an American-made vehicle that looks more like an extended van that doesn't stand out more than any other vehicle in traffic.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/news/local/2023/09/14/automated-shuttle-transit-corridor-will-cost-more-to-build-by-2025/70836746007/
« Last Edit: September 15, 2023, 10:21:57 PM 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

Charles Hunter

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2023, 08:17:44 AM »
FIrst, what kind of, and how many, "vans" are they buying for $65 million?

Second, has JTA ever claimed the U2C - either small AVs or driven vans - operate for special events in the Sports Complex? Is there any credibility there?

Charles Hunter

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2023, 09:56:47 AM »
The Jacksonville Business Journal has an op-ed endorsing AVs and Innovation. Probably behind a paywall: https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2023/09/15/outside-voices-chang.html?ana=e_JA_me&j=32744717&senddate=2023-09-18

There are so many buzzwords in that op-ed I was afraid of getting stung.

The author is not a disinterested third party, having done work for JTA on the U2C
Quote
Matthew Chang is a professional engineer and founder of robotic systems engineering firm Chang Industrial and the Jacksonville Venture Competition. He served the JTA as the first team member of the autonomous vehicle practice.

thelakelander

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2023, 11:07:51 AM »
^Can't take any op-ed that's written by someone that personally benefits from taxpayers spending money on AVs.

We don't have to blow $500 million (lion's share of local tax money) to play with AVs and Innovation. They (AVs, Skyway and public transit needs in Jax) are separate issues that are intentionally being linked to keep the gravy train growing.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ken_FSU

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2023, 01:06:37 PM »
Second, has JTA ever claimed the U2C - either small AVs or driven vans - operate for special events in the Sports Complex? Is there any credibility there?

JTA's claims aside, the very idea seems to stretch credibility.

Using what we know about the system, and what we know about the existing technology, I think it's safe to assume that the Bay Street Corridor will employ:

- Approximately 10 AV clown cars
- With a capacity of approximately 10 clowns/car
- Going a max speed in mixed traffic of 10 mph

We also know that the loop is 3.2 miles long.

Which means that, with stops for loading and unloading, the U2C will probably average around 2 full loops per hour.

By my math, that gives the U2C as planned the ability to transport a scant 200 riders per hour, in a sports district that routinely hosts crowds of 65,000+.

By contrast, four standard JTA buses (65 capacity with standing room) doing the same loop at 30 mph, would probably average around 6 full loops per hour.

So, in the amount of time that it would take a fleet of clown cars to transport 200 people, four basic JTA buses could transport 1,560 passengers.

By my back of the napkin math, that's 680% more passengers moved per hour with four buses than with 10 clown cars.

If JTA were to run a SINGLE bus on the same 3.2 loop on gameday, it would take less than 20 minutes to fully move more passengers than an entire fleet of clown cars.

And that doesn't even account for the fact that the average bus costs around $500k, versus a network of clown cars tapped to cost literally one thousand times more ($500m+).

The very IDEA that this goofy system of microbuses classifies as "mass transportation" worthy of mass-transportation-like investment is utterly harebrained and delusional.

This system as designed couldn't even efficiently move attendees of a mid-sized conference at the Hyatt to the Sports District.

Everyone involved needs to be fired, and possibly institutionalized.

In that UNIVERSE does a quarter billion dollars in gas taxes come out of commuters pockets and go into funding a gaggle of half-baked JTA golf carts plodding between the brownfields, surface lots, grass fields, coffee factory, and prison.

In what fantasyland does this quote from JTA pass any kind of sanity test?

Quote
"That's why everyone is looking at us because when we make this work —and we will — all the other transit agencies will say, 'Okay, JTA wrote the playbook, we know how to put these into revenue service for ourselves.'"

Revenue service???

Who's downloading an app, attaching their credit card, figuring out how to hail a clown car, waiting up to 20 minutes for it to plod down the street, climbing atop the drug dealer's lap, trudging down Bay Street at 10 mph while angry vehicles sharing the road honk at them, and paying $5+ for the experience? When they've already got Uber and Lyft on their phones. Where are these FIFTY MILLION RIDES necessary for this thing to make economic sense coming from?

Seriously, who is the end user? I don't think I've ever seen JTA directly address this. Where is the demand for this 3.2 mile clown car loop coming from? What problem is it trying to solve?

The whole thing is just so clearly and empirically stupid that it blows my mind that sanity hasn’t won out yet and the U2C hasn’t been scrapped.

Doesn’t take a transportation expert to recognize that this is a historic boondoggle in the making. 
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 01:27:03 PM by Ken_FSU »

marcuscnelson

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2023, 01:25:02 PM »
The Jacksonville Business Journal has an op-ed endorsing AVs and Innovation. Probably behind a paywall: https://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2023/09/15/outside-voices-chang.html?ana=e_JA_me&j=32744717&senddate=2023-09-18

There are so many buzzwords in that op-ed I was afraid of getting stung.

The author is not a disinterested third party, having done work for JTA on the U2C
Quote
Matthew Chang is a professional engineer and founder of robotic systems engineering firm Chang Industrial and the Jacksonville Venture Competition. He served the JTA as the first team member of the autonomous vehicle practice.

JTA trotted out this guy two and a half years ago during the gas tax debate to say basically this same spiel.

https://www.jacksonville.com/story/opinion/2021/05/15/guest-column-jobs-jax-investment-city/5081601001/
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 #40 on: September 18, 2023, 01:43:32 PM »
At this point, JTA needs to have a JEA-like fallout. Charges need to be seriously considered.

1). The TECHNOLOGY DOES NOT EXIST in 2018, and still in 2023. They claim it “does” (LOL).
2). The program has literally done zero. There is not a single deliverable from this project. Zero. The pilot program has had how much taxpayer $ flooded to it?
3). Is it “legal” to allow a public authority to employ individuals who are not qualified? (Not a single person in leadership at JTA with a real tech background let alone EV’s).
4). All those studies to connected firms to Ford.
5). Absolutely zero progression on TOD’s which was one of the original “goals” JTA had for the U2C.
6). Unable to procure a f’ing VEHICLE to utilize in more than 5 years (no, I dont care that companies went under in a VC space lololol not an excuse either)

Again, this is our transit authority.. lmfao. Take the BRT out of the equation, what has been actually done the last decade?

Jax_Developer

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2023, 01:46:30 PM »
Before people say the technology exists, I don’t count a 75% AV driving on a fixed course. That tech has been feasible for years.

Ken_FSU

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2023, 02:19:30 PM »
Would love to see a cost and capacity analysis of the EXACT same proposed urban circulator system, only instead of using slow driverless AVs, it used a fleet of traditional shuttles/vans with salaried drivers and 5 minute headways.

Even if you had to pay like $2 million a year in driver salary, the overall cost and capacity would still have to be magnitudes cheaper.

Jax_Developer

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2023, 02:34:06 PM »
Spot on Ken. Simple math proves your point, and I think they know it too on some level.

marcuscnelson

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Re: Time to cut bait on JTA's driverless Skyway replacement
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2023, 02:37:55 PM »
Would love to see a cost and capacity analysis of the EXACT same proposed urban circulator system, only instead of using slow driverless AVs, it used a fleet of traditional shuttles/vans with salaried drivers and 5 minute headways.

Even if you had to pay like $2 million a year in driver salary, the overall cost and capacity would still have to be magnitudes cheaper.

Remember, this system will require attendants for the foreseeable future. And these require more staff per passenger than a regular bus. So you still have to pay that cost, but instead you'd go slower and pay for more salaries.

At this point, JTA needs to have a JEA-like fallout. Charges need to be seriously considered.

1). The TECHNOLOGY DOES NOT EXIST in 2018, and still in 2023. They claim it “does” (LOL).
2). The program has literally done zero. There is not a single deliverable from this project. Zero. The pilot program has had how much taxpayer $ flooded to it?
3). Is it “legal” to allow a public authority to employ individuals who are not qualified? (Not a single person in leadership at JTA with a real tech background let alone EV’s).
4). All those studies to connected firms to Ford.
5). Absolutely zero progression on TOD’s which was one of the original “goals” JTA had for the U2C.
6). Unable to procure a f’ing VEHICLE to utilize in more than 5 years (no, I dont care that companies went under in a VC space lololol not an excuse either)

Again, this is our transit authority.. lmfao. Take the BRT out of the equation, what has been actually done the last decade?

Y'know I recall jaxlongtimer saying a lot of this a while ago. Interesting to see perhaps a growing consensus.
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