Author Topic: America Rediscovers The Streetcar  (Read 12085 times)

Ocklawaha

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2009, 12:32:13 AM »


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Hey mtrain, care to explain why its cool to spend millions of dollars to build roads without any expectation of a profit yet any form of public transportation has to be profitable?

184 million dollars for a system that 2200 people ride a month. That is the form of public transportation that resonates with voters as a FAILURE. Call it a monorail, people mover, trolley upside down, it does not matter. The fact is that for the 2.5 mile FAILURE, it cost 184 million dollars, in 2000 funds, and is still a failure.

How do you propose to get past this as problem? Who will run rail in jacksonville, since JTA controlls all transportation in a large public form? I'd much rather have the JTA lose a little money, than fork over another 100 million per mile for something that is 1) Not needed according to the JCCI, and 2) would drain 1/3 of the City budget if built.

Imaging police officers for hire to the highest bidder, imaging firemen who go to fires based on who can write them a check. It will happen if we boondoggle the city with uneeded transportation projects. The police and fire suck up most of the budget now, imaging taking half of theirs to pay for a rail system?

Its OK to dream, but dream with someone elses money.

Looks like MTrain has his Mar's Light On and it's bouncing all over the board to make a point of light.

Sure the Skyway is a failure, so would a hockey club with one skate per player. How about the Magic playing with a half of a ball? Why not quarter the baseballs at the Suns games because we could stretch the dollars farther with 4 pieces per game, rather then the whole ball.

This is exactly the same thing you are asking the Skyway to do. Play with a broken unfinished system. I hated the stupid idea from the get-go, but now that we've sunk $200 Million in it, it's time to see where every dollar went. Fact is the lines and stations didn't cost anywhere near what you think, in fact I'd guess over half is in the shops in Brooklyn. Suddenly people that fought the system along with me, shifted their attacks to the $100 Million a mile fantasy. I have spoken to several monorail builders that claim they can extend it along the lines of a Disney style track for about $20 Million a mile. Add in the $200 Million already spent and 5 miles of extensions to get the lines into both Collector and Distributor neighborhoods drops the overall price to $40 Million per mile for a 7.5.

Had they gone ahead and finished the project back in 2000 we wouldn't need this discussion. My attack on the system was based on the FACT that at that time we could have built 20 miles of LIGHT RAIL for the same $200 Million. But now that we've spent the money on the hard part, IE the O&M center, equipment, automation and stations, it would be downright stupid to quit... Which says a mouthful about Jacksonville's planning. The worst thing we could have done is build a half a system, Skyway, Streetcar, Commuter Rail, Amtrak etc...

Amtrak Auto Train has an operating ratio of 150+ %, So by your logic we should terminate it at the St. Marys River?

Streetcars will NOT depend 100% on locals and business travelers, as we have imagineered a system using VINTAGE, REPRODUCTION and HISTORIC streetcars. Based on World figures we should pull in several thousand per month to make this a real tourist attraction + transit system + development tool. $1,250 dollars returned in new development for every dollar spent on streetcar is nothing we should sneeze at.

Amtrak is where we will score the biggest coup as long as we get the terminal reopened and the micro convention center out of the way. Regional corridor train service based on Florida route performance tells us they should be able to hit an operations ratio of 100% fairly quickly.

But then some of you would have nothing to cry about. I can hear the arguments in Duval and in Tallahassee already - "Okay, so the roof caves in on the students and the school has all these little bodies scattered all over the place, WHY? Because we spent money on rail! " ...Don't make me laugh, RAIL and SCHOOLS do NOT come out of the same pocket, and one has nothing to do with the other.


OCKLAWAHA

mtraininjax

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #31 on: May 13, 2009, 05:43:13 PM »
We can agree to disagree. The fact remains that the city spend 184 million dollars on something that only 2200 people ride per month. 38000 in contrast ride the bus. So where do you think people will and should put their faith?

Does the JTA break even, nope, but at least with buses, and if someone at JTA would take the energy from all this rail talk and compress it, they would create enough Compressed Natural Gas to run CNG buses for 100+ years, and would take care of all of our transportation issues, that do not exist because 2/3 of residents, according to the JCCI have 25 minute or less commutes.

You are wrong about rail and schools. We all pay for them out of OUR OWN POCKETS, one way or another. We all pay, and we all pay for stupid rail ideas that are not needed in our great city!
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mtraininjax

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2009, 05:50:58 PM »
I liken this to the future of streetcars in Jacksonville...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP-Potb1LmI

Or even better, and this is with the BELOVED streetcars... OUCH

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq9Fu2w4rfc
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thelakelander

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2009, 05:59:43 PM »
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We can agree to disagree. The fact remains that the city spend 184 million dollars on something that only 2200 people ride per month. 38000 in contrast ride the bus.

Its not rail and I'm not crazy about the Skyway but we might as well lay the truth out there.  

The city did not spend $184 million for the people mover system.  It was a federal demonstration project funded by the federal government.  What the city has been spending money on is the annual operations and maintainence costs, which is what critics said would happen.  Also, ridership is somewhere around 2200 riders a day, not a month, even though that's nothing to brag about.

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So where do you think people will and should put their faith?

If we're talking about rail, should we put our faith in tall tales and opposition arguments that are easily defeated by real life examples popping up all across the country?  Or should our faith be in implementing proven successful transportation techniques that have been established across the US?  I believe if you frame the argument in this angle, easily defeated tall tales to educated individuals would come up on the short end of the stick.

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You are wrong about rail and schools. We all pay for them out of OUR OWN POCKETS, one way or another. We all pay, and we all pay for stupid rail ideas that are not needed in our great city!

We can chose to take advantage of dedicated transit funding for local rail improvements or we can pay for Charlotte's, Houston's, Cincinnati's and Minneapolis'.  Either way, regardless of how you may feel about it, it will be spent on transportation somewhere in America.  
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Ocklawaha

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2009, 12:21:30 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/m5YQsdvA5JI&amp;hl" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/m5YQsdvA5JI&amp;hl</a>
Light Rail only if you absolutely, positively, have to be there on time.

We can agree to disagree. The fact remains that the city spend 184 million dollars on something that only 2200 people ride per month. 38000 in contrast ride the bus. So where do you think people will and should put their faith?

Does the JTA break even, nope, but at least with buses, and if someone at JTA would take the energy from all this rail talk and compress it, they would create enough Compressed Natural Gas to run CNG buses for 100+ years, and would take care of all of our transportation issues, that do not exist because 2/3 of residents, according to the JCCI have 25 minute or less commutes.

You are wrong about rail and schools. We all pay for them out of OUR OWN POCKETS, one way or another. We all pay, and we all pay for stupid rail ideas that are not needed in our great city!

So when we point out that the Skyway was built by the Federal Government and NOT the City of Jacksonville, you simply switch your argument to ridership. So lets look at that ridership.

38,000 daily bus riders on 60 routes = 633 per route per day.
2,200 daily Skyway riders on 2 routes = 1,100 per route per day.

Performance would be even worse for the bus if compaired to the Skyway in Passenger Miles per direction, per hour. So looks like your in for a religious conversion - Putting your faith in fixed route transit.

This would indicate that the skyway is nearly TWICE as attractive to the Jacksonville resident as is the JTA bus, (the same low performing buses you prefer to spend all our transit money on).

So does JTA break even? Nope. But acting on this rail talk will certainly bring more development, which will equal a growing population, more meals served, more tires changed, more seats occupied at the Jags games.  We also don't break even on the road system, which you seem to think is perfectly okay. Frankly I don't know why I have to pay for the road in front of your house either.

2/3 RDS of our residents have a commute of 25 minutes? Really? Wow, let's see MTrain, that would mean with 1.2 million people in our MSA, a full 400,000 of them have a commute over 25 minutes. Imagine nearly a half million a day as a potential Transit market. Damn! We could fill a subway as big as New York City's system. We also have the #1, #5 and #8 worst commutes in the state of Florida. It must be these folks that the state found waste 66,000,000 hours a year on our local roads. So if nearly a half million Jaxsons are stuck for 66 Million hours yearly, please tell me when the volume equals enough for Commuter Rail or Streetcars?



I liken this to the future of streetcars in Jacksonville...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pP-Potb1LmI

Or even better, and this is with the BELOVED streetcars... OUCH

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq9Fu2w4rfc

You liken a wreck on the mainline of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe,  in Kismet, California, to a Jacksonville Streetcar? Please tell us your hobby isn't terrorism and can you explain how a mixed freight hitting head-on with another is funny. I have property out there and quite a bit of my family in the area so I didn't find the reference funny.

Your next video was of a 2 car tram in a European City. A large group of people DIED in this derailment, one of the deadliest crashes in streetcar history, your video shows people being killed so you can make a silly point. The rules for rail are very different there and our vintage equipment is more then equal to theirs. Streetcars were an American invention, (Richmond, Virginia by Mr. Frank Sprague, in 1880, to be exact). European safety standards are much more lax then US and Canadian rules, Asia, Africa, South America and such pay almost no attention to safety or rules. If this is entertainment for you, you'll need more professional help then I can offer. So again how does this translate to Jacksonville?

Oh I get it, it was a Joke, the train and the streetcar wrecked just like the Amtrak Trains and the Streetcars are going to wreck the city of Jacksonville? Did I win the prize for getting the answer right? I'm very worried for a city populated by people with the stupid ideal that $50 Million for an overpass at Beach and Kernan is an investment, but a train from Jacksonville to Chicago, or a streetcar from 5-Points to the stadium are an unacceptable expense.

We agree to disagree? Is that what you want? I could agree with you on that but you obviously have me confused with someone that gives a damn.


OCKLAWAHA

mtraininjax

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2009, 10:07:27 AM »
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Either way, regardless of how you may feel about it, it will be spent on transportation somewhere in America. 

Good, let someone else be the brunt of late night jokes for misguided use of "light rail". We don't need it here now, and it is questionable that we need it in the future.

Why don't you and Ock tell us how many pounds of carbon light rail will use? How does your light rail receive its power? Electricty from coal burning power plants? Why not just feed them diesel and we are no better than the current power systems for buses?

Why not think clean with CNG. More fuel efficient and much better on the environment. Plus lower cost per mile, and when you are building a 100 million dollar rail line, you need to count your pennies. I might be more convinced of the "future need" if it was constructed using energy from natural gas plants or if they ran on CNG themselves.

So far in Jax, we have NO CNG filling stations, closest one is near Pensacola.
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mtraininjax

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2009, 10:08:30 AM »
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could agree with you on that but you obviously have me confused with someone that gives a damn.

Then run for office, put your mouth and opinions to work. I did not mean to get you all riled up...
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: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2009, 10:16:19 AM »
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Either way, regardless of how you may feel about it, it will be spent on transportation somewhere in America. 

Good, let someone else be the brunt of late night jokes for misguided use of "light rail". We don't need it here now, and it is questionable that we need it in the future.

You're right, Portland, Denver, San Diego and Charlotte are all the subject of backwater Waffle House and Hooters jokes. 

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Why don't you and Ock tell us how many pounds of carbon light rail will use? How does your light rail receive its power? Electricty from coal burning power plants? Why not just feed them diesel and we are no better than the current power systems for buses?

Why not think clean with CNG. More fuel efficient and much better on the environment. Plus lower cost per mile, and when you are building a 100 million dollar rail line, you need to count your pennies. I might be more convinced of the "future need" if it was constructed using energy from natural gas plants or if they ran on CNG themselves.

So far in Jax, we have NO CNG filling stations, closest one is near Pensacola.

What makes you think electric rail's energy has to be produced by coal?  Our old landfills are producing a ton of methane.  Why not take advantage of this and other alternative resource to produce energy?
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Charles Hunter

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2009, 10:30:05 AM »
Also, it is easier to control the emissions from a single (or small number of) stack at a coal plant, than from hundreds of thousands of cars.

Lunican

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2009, 10:33:52 AM »
Not to mention the energy efficiency of an internal combustion engine is much lower than that of a power plant. Most of the fuel burned by an engine is converted to heat and wasted.

mtraininjax

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #40 on: May 14, 2009, 10:39:42 AM »
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What makes you think electric rail's energy has to be produced by coal?

Where do you plan your "light rail" line will get power here in Jax? JEA uses coal, the plant that feeds most of Jax consumer power in Georgia uses coal. Will we be using the methane from Trail Ridge? JEA has that slated to be used for consumers. What about the wind farm that JEA owns 8% of in Kansas? Transmission costs make that worthless.

So again, where does your power come from for the choo-choo?
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

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Lunican

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2009, 10:46:40 AM »
Are you really suggesting that rail or light rail would not work in Jacksonville because we won't be able to figure out how to power it?

mtraininjax

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #42 on: May 15, 2009, 04:45:26 PM »
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Are you really suggesting that rail or light rail would not work in Jacksonville because we won't be able to figure out how to power it?

Uh, no, but if you were going to run light rail in 5-10 years, why would you have dirty fossil fuel power running something that could be run with a cleaner source of energy. Because the whole premise of using light rail is to take people out of autos and into a more economical form of transportation per person. By the time we get to rail, I predict our ozone rating will be in the dangerously unhealthy category. So burning more dirty fossil fuel will be a step backward.
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

Charles Hunter

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2009, 10:08:36 PM »
What is the relative pollution to move 150 people in 100 automobiles, or in one streetcar?  My guess (and only a guess) is that, even with JEA's coal-fired plants, the 100 cars are more polluting.

Do you also view plug-in hybrids as polluters since they plug into coal powered electricity?

Ocklawaha

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Re: America Rediscovers The Streetcar
« Reply #44 on: May 17, 2009, 09:39:54 PM »
MTrain, Yeah, I'm still nuts... Different day, same old nut.

Charles is more on track with what he is saying then what you suggest with Streetcars. One of the best selling points of TROLLEYS of all types, IE: streetcar, vintage streetcar, Light Rail Transit, Trolley Bus or articulated trolley bus, is that they are fuel flexible.

A quick glance at rail transit around the continent shows some powered by bunker oil, diesel, gasoline, hydroelectric, cng, png, solar, wind, solid waste, and tidal power is coming. Now I know the reply is "Sure, but in Jacksonville, JEA uses....." Maybe they do, but the streetcars won't, in fact power generation is one of the many ways to PAY FOR the streetcars and make them fare free.

Has anyone ever done a study of constant winds on the North Jetties? Did y'all know that in Edmondton the Light Rail System uses and is branded by it's slogan, "RIDE THE WIND."

As for the useless wind farm in Kansas? it's not at all useless. Apparently the function of "The Grid" alludes MTrain. Not unlike the spaghetti of wires under a good model railroad make a great example. Certainly any modeler worth his salt is running a series of main bus wires under that track. Every so many feet, a feed wire runs from the bus to the track. Along with insulated rail joints and toggle switches one can quickly create a complex power grid of their own. With DPDT switches controller 1 might operate segment 1 or segment 1 and 7 or segment 1-7 etc... Controller two might operate segment 1 or segment 1-7 etc... In effect doing the same thing the national electric grid does on a much, much larger scale.

JEA owning a wind farm in Kansas or Oklahoma, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Texas Panhandle or the prairies of Wyoming, Colorado or New Mexico, makes perfect sense. Power in = Power out. Georgia Power with a hand in a new dam in Northern California? FPL working with coal in Wyoming? JEA windfarm in Kansas? TECO working on a geothermal well in the desert? Yep, happens all the time and not only will it benefit us, it could in fact finance and build our streetcar system.


OCKLAWAHA
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 09:53:21 PM by Ocklawaha »