Author Topic: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink  (Read 68061 times)

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2009, 09:17:16 PM »
^That's the key.  We can't build Rome overnight.  Start small (less than 10 miles) and work your way up, giving residents an immediate choice in the process.  In this respect, Salt Lake City is a great example.  15 years ago, they had nothing.  Now they have +19 miles of light rail, 44 miles of commuter rail and aggressive plans in place for more.
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mtraininjax

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2009, 12:31:45 AM »
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Start small (less than 10 miles)

All due respect oh great one, start with 2 miles in congested areas, and see if the trolley is sustainable. Then grow to rail and expand. No sense throwing more money at the people mover, without results first.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2009, 12:49:33 AM »
I'm all for an affordable demonstration project.  Even two miles can be a success if it efficiently serves the area its set up in.  Houston, Charlotte and Buffalo all have relatively short rapid transit lines that attract over 20,000 riders a day.  Even BRT Capitol Ottawa, has a 5 mile demonstration rail project averaging nearly 10,000 riders a day.
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mtraininjax

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2009, 12:52:27 AM »
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Houston, Charlotte and Buffalo all have relatively short rapid transit lines that attract over 20,000 riders a day.

Oh great one, Houston is one of the top 5 most populous cities. San Antonio is next behind Houston in size in Texas, and they are building more roadways, instead of rail. Not sure on Charlotte or Buffalo pop, so sticking to what I know. Houston is not the best argument here. We don't have 20,000 people going ANYWHERE within a 2 mile distance, so far in Jax.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2009, 01:08:08 AM »
Well, I never did say that a two mile line would attract 20,000 riders.  All I said was that I would be in favor of a short affordable demonstration project.  Then I gave you a few examples of cities with short lines averaging decent ridership.

As for the examples, Houston works.  There's no need talking about it being one of the 5 most populous cities, since the rail line only serves a small portion of the inner city.  Like Jacksonville, its a sprawling hellhole.  Yet, the 7 mile starter line constructed a few years ago attracts roughly 40,000 riders a day.  Not because the city is dense, but because it connects the city's major employment districts (DT & TMC) with decent reliable service.  As for Charlotte, our urban area is larger and more compact.  Like Jax, naysayers said it would not work there but its been exceeding ridership estimates since day one.  If it can work there, it can work here.  Imo, what keeps us 10 years behind our peers is a lack of vision, negativity and a huge inferiority complex.

Btw, there are plans for a commuter rail system between San Antonio and Austin.  So they are considering more than roads.  Here is a link to the site: http://asarail.org/
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mtraininjax

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2009, 01:12:00 AM »
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Btw, there are plans for a commuter rail system between San Antonio and Austin.

With all due respect, oh great one, there are plans for a new county courthouse in downtown Jacksonville, but not much has been done yet...and this is the same city you want to look at rail transit.... :'(
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2009, 01:18:34 AM »
Thanks for the reverence, I'll sleep better tonight knowing you believe I'm the great one. :o

Unfortunately, your Jax courthouse is an apples and oranges comparison.  Nevertheless, sooner or later Jax has to grow up.  It might as well be sooner.  Even if we have to pull a few kicking and screaming.

"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

mtraininjax

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2009, 01:23:22 AM »
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It might as well be sooner.

The school system would probably be in line for the funding for a rail system. At the end of the day, what is more important, 10 extra minutes on the road, or 10 more kids who can read, write, and contribute to society?

Tough questions indeed.  :-\
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2009, 01:32:42 AM »
Actually, its pretty simple since the funding sources are different.  If we pass rail by, the money will just flow to another city.  Orlando is still kicking themselves today for bypassing rail money earmarked to them in the late 1990s (it was sent to Charlotte).  Now with Orlando's funds, Charlotte is enjoying the type of economic development Central and North Florida can only dream about. 

Also, at the end of the day, community development and schools are both important and should be improved at the same time.  Its no secret that communities with good mass transit options have a tendency to attract better paying companies and the educated workforce that goes with them.  Students with educated parents tend to fare better off than those without them.  We can throw all the money we can at the school board, but if we don't invest in changing the neighborhoods, community and homes feeding them, its useless.
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mtraininjax

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #24 on: April 11, 2009, 01:41:10 AM »
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Now Charlotte is enjoying the type of economic development Central and North Florida can only dream about.

That is a bit of a stretch, in a state where Charlotte is by far the largest city. In Florida, Jacksonville struggles to compete for dollars behind bigger brothers in Miami, Tampa/St. Pete, and Orlando areas. When you look at dollars though, Florida gets a larger proportion due to the fact that it is the 3rd largest state in the Union, with a GNP that rivals most nations on the globe. I don't see us missing out on anything we don't need in the North Florida region.

We could stand to use the Sun Pass cards on new roadways and at the airport, but that would require planning and brain "thingies" by the current leaders....The former head of the Rebublican Party told me that all new major roads in Florida would have to be paid for by tolls (Sun Pass), and rightly so, pay to use it. We should have that along I-95 when you enter and leave jax. JTA would reap the money, use it on the rail.

I have no problem using rail, I just have a problem sacrificing needs today, for something not proven for tomorrow. There is no rail study that can prove we need to spend the same 180 million that the schools need NOW, for a rail system.

The best way to prove that rail can survive is the extend the JTA bus trolleys into the neighborhoods, that could use the rail now. Downtown to San Marco, Up and down 3rd street at the beach, Riverside/Avondale to downtown. Springfield to downtown. Have the residents prove that the rail system would be used. Good ness knows we could use the money for the school systems now.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2009, 01:55:20 AM »
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Now Charlotte is enjoying the type of economic development Central and North Florida can only dream about.

That is a bit of a stretch, in a state where Charlotte is by far the largest city. In Florida, Jacksonville struggles to compete for dollars behind bigger brothers in Miami, Tampa/St. Pete, and Orlando areas. When you look at dollars though, Florida gets a larger proportion due to the fact that it is the 3rd largest state in the Union, with a GNP that rivals most nations on the globe. I don't see us missing out on anything we don't need in the North Florida region.

The size of the community is irrelevant in this situation.  Its a well known fact that the money Orlando passed, ended up constructing Charlotte's light rail line.  Its also a well known fact that the city is enjoying hundreds of millions of investment along that line, despite today's economic conditions.  If the Sunrail deal goes through, expect to see the same happen in Orlando, despite it being the third largest MSA in Florida.

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We could stand to use the Sun Pass cards on new roadways and at the airport, but that would require planning and brain "thingies" by the current leaders....The former head of the Rebublican Party told me that all new major roads in Florida would have to be paid for by tolls (Sun Pass), and rightly so, pay to use it. We should have that along I-95 when you enter and leave jax. JTA would reap the money, use it on the rail.

If it goes to rail or not, I'm one of the few around here who would have no problem seeing tolls return in Jax.  Its about the only way to generate additional funds for massive road infrastructure and maintenance projects.

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I have no problem using rail, I just have a problem sacrificing needs today, for something not proven for tomorrow. There is no rail study that can prove we need to spend the same 180 million that the schools need NOW, for a rail system.

I understand your view, but money for schools and transit come from two totally different funding pots. So, unfortunately for your position, until the federal government changes their funding strategies, it will never become a fund transit or schools only situation.

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The best way to prove that rail can survive is the extend the JTA bus trolleys into the neighborhoods, that could use the rail now. Downtown to San Marco, Up and down 3rd street at the beach, Riverside/Avondale to downtown. Springfield to downtown. Have the residents prove that the rail system would be used. Good ness knows we could use the money for the school systems now.

Unfortunately, buses can't dictate potential rail ridership.  Rail has the ability effectively draw choice riders.  I'll let one of the transit guys fill you in on the details and provide links to case studies.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 01:56:57 AM by thelakelander »
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mtraininjax

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2009, 02:00:55 AM »
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I understand your view, but money for schools and transit come from two totally different funding pots.

The fact that they do today, does not mean they have to in the future. You want leaders to think outside the box? You have to give them the crayons to get them to pencil to pen. If the taxpayers want to use funds from the gas tax for something other than roads, it should be up to the citizens to decide. After all, it was not up to the citizens to let AIU payout bonuses, or was it?

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buses can't dictate potential rail ridership.
Buses dictate public use of transportation. Forget rail, you and the others here have to prove that rail is needed over buses, that density is great enough to afford spending millions per mile, and then having a system that sustains itself, rather than sucking quality of life resources from citizens.

Roads are paid for by gas taxes, so buses are already funded. It is a great, low cost solution, where you only need to pay for the bus expenses. Try the buses out, see if you can convince people to give up their cars, it is the same principle (bus or rail) you are asking people to give up the freedom of a car for purposes of transportation.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

thelakelander

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2009, 02:11:24 AM »
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I understand your view, but money for schools and transit come from two totally different funding pots.

The fact that they do today, does not mean they have to in the future. You want leaders to think outside the box? You have to give them the crayons to get them to pencil to pen. If the taxpayers want to use funds from the gas tax for something other than roads, it should be up to the citizens to decide. After all, it was not up to the citizens to let AIU payout bonuses, or was it?

I don't see thinking out of the box as ignoring one portion of community development to focus on another segment.  I believe they all go hand-in-hand.  My hope would be that we can find a way to multi-task and fund improvement to schools, transit, parks and a host of other things.

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buses can't dictate potential rail ridership.
Buses dictate public use of transportation. Forget rail, you and the others here have to prove that rail is needed over buses, that density is great enough to afford spending millions per mile, and then having a system that sustains itself, rather than sucking quality of life resources from citizens.

My push for rail revolves around economic development.  Rail has the ability to change regional growth patterns and promote development that will not happen with buses.  Its also an environmental friendly solution that is more afforable than constructing busways and expanding roads along congested corridors like Blanding and Roosevelt.  Regardless of how you may feel about rail, you can't deny the results well planned systems are bringing to places like Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Austin, St. Louis, Houston and Phoenix.  Its also difficult to make an argument that its not a cost effective transportation solution, considering its cheaper than building roads.  At this point, I fail to see why Jax should not do what's necessary to take advantage of these benefits as well.

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Roads are paid for by gas taxes, so buses are already funded. It is a great, low cost solution, where you only need to pay for the bus expenses. Try the buses out, see if you can convince people to give up their cars, it is the same principle (bus or rail) you are asking people to give up the freedom of a car for purposes of transportation.

Rail O&M costs are generally lower than buses.  This is also well proven.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 02:15:18 AM by thelakelander »
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mtraininjax

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2009, 02:15:54 AM »
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Regardless of how you may feel about rail, you can't deny the results well planned systems are bringing to places like Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Austin, St. Louis, Houston and Phoenix.  Its also difficult to make an argument that its not a cost effective transportation solution, considering its cheaper than building roads.

You need to win over 2 sets of the population. The leaders who have to re-write the taxes to fund rail, and the people who need to give up their cars. Go ahead and plan for the next 10, 20, 30 years, until you win the minds of the leaders, and the hearts of the users, this will always be a plan.

Once you add trains to tracks, it is cheaper, less maintenance, but right now, today, the roads are built, the buses are purchased, and public transportation has YET to prove that it can successfully be used (successfully) in Jacksonville (minus Jags games of course). I would hope you would throw me that crumb, oh great one.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

ProjectMaximus

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Re: A Lesson for Jacksonville: The St. Louis Metrolink
« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2009, 03:15:12 AM »
I would hope you would throw me that crumb, oh great one.

you're really annoying. Lake has never spoken in a condescending manner, why do you treat him like that?