Author Topic: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line  (Read 27085 times)

AaroniusLives

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2010, 11:10:11 AM »
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Even if it's cheap and affordable to build, a 1-ish mile streetcar line that little-to-nobody uses is a failure. It shows as a failure and can be used to demonstrate the futility of trying for projects such as these in the future (see: Skytrain.)
Salt Lake City - 45,200 riders/day - 19 mile system

Houston - 31,100 riders/day - 7.5 mile system

Buffalo - 22,300 riders/day - 6.4 mile system

Charlotte - 20,000 riders/day - 9.6 mile system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_light_rail_systems_by_ridership

I think these communities are real life examples that prove the theory mentioned above flat out wrong.  Ultimate success of mass transit has more to do with creating systems that take people where they want to go in a reliable, attractive, timely and cost efficient manner moreso than what a region's suburbanites may think.

...except that you're proposing a much, MUCH smaller system, about 1.5 miles in a suburban oriented MSA. Like it or not, you need their buy-in to get a system running. Lest we forget that something like 92% of the country's metro development is suburban to begin with, and that most people prefer suburbia paired to individual vehicular travel.

From the same article, you could also find the more appropriate:
TECO Streetcar in Tampa - 2.3 miles - 700 passengers
Tacoma Link - 1.6 miles - 3,200 passengers
South Lake Union in Seattle - 1.3 miles - 1,700 passengers
River Rail Streetcar in Little Rock - 2.5 miles - 340 passengers

Moreover, "ultimate success of mass transit" comes from a combination of moving people, land redevelopment (so that the people moved have something to do/places to work with no need for a car when they get there,) and political will. Tampa's streetcar, for example, is being looked upon as a "success." They're expanding the system by another couple of miles or so. Part of the reason it's viewed as a "success" is that it helped to gentrify the Channelside District, and move in higher incomes to the once maligned (yet "clubby,") area. It also helped that the streetcar was one component of a massive private-public redevelopment project with a true, organized vision and goal.

But at 700 passengers a day, it's hardly taking anyone "where they want to go." At the same time, the people of Tampa like it, appreciate it (if not actually use it,) and are expanding it. Hence, political will. The "success" of the TECO streetcar has enabled the region to finally begin pursuing actual LRT with some political hope of surviving.

Which was my main point, really. I heart mass transit in all its forms. I sold my car years ago and haven't driven since. I like bike lanes and paths, buses and trams...even fancy automated people movers at the airport. I'm a transit/urban geek. As are all of us on this site, really. But if you really want a transit-oriented metropolis en masse, you need to activate the political will of the people and get there. I'd argue that you're a step back from that: you need to discover if there's enough of a critical mass of Jacksonvillians who even have this desire. And you have to convince these folks to get politically active and push this agenda forward.

How many are merely happy to look at the pretty pictures and demographic breakdowns on this site, only to go back to their car-centric life again, keeping the dream couched in apathy? How many are willing to rally, fund-raise and the rest to make the transit dream in Jacksonville a reality? Get the numbers and you get your system.   

Which brings me back to my original query, and now applies to all the examples you and I listed above, as well as Vancouver:
They have the political desire to have transit. Does Jacksonville?

Ocklawaha, I got my wires crossed. Skytrain in Vancouver is very successful. Skyway in JAX is not. 

thelakelander

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2010, 12:03:55 PM »
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Even if it's cheap and affordable to build, a 1-ish mile streetcar line that little-to-nobody uses is a failure. It shows as a failure and can be used to demonstrate the futility of trying for projects such as these in the future (see: Skytrain.)
Salt Lake City - 45,200 riders/day - 19 mile system

Houston - 31,100 riders/day - 7.5 mile system

Buffalo - 22,300 riders/day - 6.4 mile system

Charlotte - 20,000 riders/day - 9.6 mile system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_light_rail_systems_by_ridership

I think these communities are real life examples that prove the theory mentioned above flat out wrong.  Ultimate success of mass transit has more to do with creating systems that take people where they want to go in a reliable, attractive, timely and cost efficient manner moreso than what a region's suburbanites may think.

...except that you're proposing a much, MUCH smaller system, about 1.5 miles in a suburban oriented MSA.

Not exactly.  What I am proposing is the coordinated and phased implementation of a 7.5 mile streetcar system in the urbanized core of a suburban oriented MSA.  This is no different from proposing a rail line in DC or Chicagoland, both of which are also suburban oriented (just at a much larger scale).

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Like it or not, you need their buy-in to get a system running. Lest we forget that something like 92% of the country's metro development is suburban to begin with, and that most people prefer suburbia paired to individual vehicular travel.

Yes, this is why I would not suggest a streetcar starter in Mandarin or Argyle.  Focus on an area where support can be gained and where it has the best chance of working.

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From the same article, you could also find the more appropriate:
TECO Streetcar in Tampa - 2.3 miles - 700 passengers
Tacoma Link - 1.6 miles - 3,200 passengers
South Lake Union in Seattle - 1.3 miles - 1,700 passengers
River Rail Streetcar in Little Rock - 2.5 miles - 340 passengers

I think these numbers reveal something, which I mentioned before.  If you want transit to move people in high volumes, you design a system that has certain characteristics.  For example, the Tampa and Little Rock streetcar systems are obviously designed to serve tourist since they don't penetrate any dense residential areas.

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Moreover, "ultimate success of mass transit" comes from a combination of moving people, land redevelopment (so that the people moved have something to do/places to work with no need for a car when they get there,) and political will. Tampa's streetcar, for example, is being looked upon as a "success." They're expanding the system by another couple of miles or so. Part of the reason it's viewed as a "success" is that it helped to gentrify the Channelside District, and move in higher incomes to the once maligned (yet "clubby,") area. It also helped that the streetcar was one component of a massive private-public redevelopment project with a true, organized vision and goal.

But at 700 passengers a day, it's hardly taking anyone "where they want to go." At the same time, the people of Tampa like it, appreciate it (if not actually use it,) and are expanding it. Hence, political will. The "success" of the TECO streetcar has enabled the region to finally begin pursuing actual LRT with some political hope of surviving.

I agree, however, the Tampa streetcar's ridership is a reflection of route planning.

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Which was my main point, really. I heart mass transit in all its forms. I sold my car years ago and haven't driven since. I like bike lanes and paths, buses and trams...even fancy automated people movers at the airport. I'm a transit/urban geek. As are all of us on this site, really. But if you really want a transit-oriented metropolis en masse, you need to activate the political will of the people and get there.

Jax will never be a transit oriented metropolis.  However, I do believe it is realistic to bring transit back to the urban core transit is responsible for developing in the first place.  From what I've seen take place in this state and country the last few years, the political will is just about there.

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I'd argue that you're a step back from that: you need to discover if there's enough of a critical mass of Jacksonvillians who even have this desire. And you have to convince these folks to get politically active and push this agenda forward.

This is where I believe it makes sense to take a look at and get familiar with the paths of sunbelt sprawlers like Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, etc.  There is nothing new under the sun and Jax is not an island unto itself.  All we need to do is learn and follow the examples.

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How many are merely happy to look at the pretty pictures and demographic breakdowns on this site, only to go back to their car-centric life again, keeping the dream couched in apathy? How many are willing to rally, fund-raise and the rest to make the transit dream in Jacksonville a reality? Get the numbers and you get your system.

So far the pretty pictures and dialogue raised on the site has resulted in eliminating a BRT only transit mall from the heart of downtown and caused JTA to move forward with commuter rail and streetcar studies over the last four years.  Now many of the concepts discussed here have become a part of the city's visioning plan and TPO's adopted 2035 LRTP.  Now the city is currently looking at modifying its land uses to support mass transit and a mobility plan to help fund some of the solutions .  All of this may not seem like much to those looking for the final improvement to be implemented.  However, it does suggest that a degree of public will is there.  Now with these things in place and a new Mayor coming in 2011, we have the ability and position to finally launch something significant.  Btw, I don't think a raise in taxes is needed to pull this off.  Only a change in how we spend and allocate taxes already coming in.

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Which brings me back to my original query, and now applies to all the examples you and I listed above, as well as Vancouver:

They have the political desire to have transit. Does Jacksonville?

We used Vancouver as a cost example of how to develop rail transit in an affordable manner.  What you're using Vancouver as an example to move or not move forward with something does not really equate to what is being discussed in the article.  If we want to talk political will, the comparisons should be other sunbelt sprawlers that have similar demographics and history with Jax.

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Ocklawaha, I got my wires crossed. Skytrain in Vancouver is very successful. Skyway in JAX is not.  

Now lets take it to the next level.  There is a cause and effect with everything we do.  Why is the skyway not successful but Charlotte's, Houston's and Memphis' rail rollouts were?  Does it have more to do with "political will" (Houston had none btw) or more to do with route planning (connecting people to where they want to go in an efficient and reliable manner).
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 12:19:30 PM by thelakelander »
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AaroniusLives

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2010, 02:54:55 PM »
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...except that you're proposing a much, MUCH smaller system, about 1.5 miles in a suburban oriented MSA.

Not exactly.  What I am proposing is the coordinated and phased implementation of a 7.5 mile streetcar system in the urbanized core of a suburban oriented MSA.  This is no different from proposing a rail line in DC or Chicagoland, both of which are also suburban oriented (just at a much larger scale).

I applaud the implementation of the streetcar, and now understand that the 1.5ish mile section is the first step.

I've enjoyed a good laugh over the "no different" claim between DC or Chicagoland. Yes, all three have suburban oriented MSAs. But both DC and Chicagoland have true, actual urbanized cores (and, of course, heaps of mass transit, as the #2 and #3 most used subways in the country. Moreover, both DC and Chicagoland's inner ring of suburbs have become TODs with transit, density and then some. Hardly an apt comparison, but a great chuckle, all the same.

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Like it or not, you need their buy-in to get a system running. Lest we forget that something like 92% of the country's metro development is suburban to begin with, and that most people prefer suburbia paired to individual vehicular travel.

Yes, this is why I would not suggest a streetcar starter in Mandarin or Argyle.  Focus on an area where support can be gained and where it has the best chance of working.

Agreed. However, people living in "downtown," "urban" areas in the Sunbelt are really living in "suburbia in the sky." There's a retraining of mentality that has to occur.

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For example, the Tampa and Little Rock streetcar systems are obviously designed to serve tourist since they don't penetrate any dense residential areas.

...except for Channeside, Westshore and Ybor, possibly the densest areas of residential population in both the city proper and the county and the MSA.

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Tampa streetcar's ridership is a reflection of route planning.

...and that it's more of a tourist train. And that people in the metro area would rather just drive, and have door-to-door convenience. That's just a clear, unvarnished truth. 

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We used Vancouver as a cost example of how to develop rail transit in an affordable manner.  What you're using Vancouver as an example to move or not move forward with something does not really equate to what is being discussed in the article.  If we want to talk political will, the comparisons should be other sunbelt sprawlers that have similar demographics and history with Jax.

Oh, the issues are entirely related. Vancouver built a low-cost streetcar line because the political will and the desire for both urban core and suburban ring transit is there. One without the other is a recipe for disaster.

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Why is the skyway not successful but Charlotte's, Houston's and Memphis' rail rollouts were?  Does it have more to do with "political will" (Houston had none btw) or more to do with route planning (connecting people to where they want to go in an efficient and reliable manner).

It has much, MUCH more to do with political will. Houston's system has plenty of political will on both sides (for and against.) From newspapers to politicos to people, the ongoing fight over METROrail is the direct result of political will. [And the detractors of the system have a point: in a city of 2.2 million people, not including the mega-MSA region, 40,000 people a day use the streetcar? As a more balanced and muted person, I'll reserve judgement until they open up the other lines...but I can "get" the critique.]

Furthermore, Charlotte's rail roll-out has not exactly been stellar (Memphis' is rather like Tampa: heritage streetcars with less than 2500 riders a day.) From wiki:
 
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The response following the system's opening has been mixed. In the months following opening, the line was averaging 80% over initial ridership projections, leading Light Rail Now to proclaim the line a "huge success".[43] Jim Puckett, former Mecklenburg County Commissioner and a leader of the campaign to repeal the transit tax, said in the Charlotte Observer: "I have to admit, they are doing better than I expected... Our concern was whether we would have a white elephant, and it doesn't seem we do."[29]

In August 2008, the Carolina Journal reported that taxpayers were subsidizing more than 90% of a rider's trip on what the Journal calls "a lightly used line," and that low ridership estimates did not take into account increasing gasoline costs resulting in higher transit ridership. UNCC transportation studies professor David Hartgen states that the line did not displace car traffic significantly as about half the ridership is prior bus riders. Also, Hartgen dismisses a city report's claims concerning increased land use as a result, stating: "In short, the big winners are about 4,000 prior bus riders, 4,000 commuters living close to the line, and 400 South Carolina drivers."





 






thelakelander

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2010, 05:16:17 PM »
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I applaud the implementation of the streetcar, and now understand that the 1.5ish mile section is the first step.

I've enjoyed a good laugh over the "no different" claim between DC or Chicagoland. Yes, all three have suburban oriented MSAs. But both DC and Chicagoland have true, actual urbanized cores (and, of course, heaps of mass transit, as the #2 and #3 most used subways in the country. Moreover, both DC and Chicagoland's inner ring of suburbs have become TODs with transit, density and then some. Hardly an apt comparison, but a great chuckle, all the same.

Its all about scale.  No matter how the numbers are spent, at the end of the day most people in even the largest MSAs still travel by car.  However, this doesn't mean rail transit can't be a viable option for a certain percentage of the population regardless of MSA size or density.

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Like it or not, you need their buy-in to get a system running. Lest we forget that something like 92% of the country's metro development is suburban to begin with, and that most people prefer suburbia paired to individual vehicular travel.

Yes, this is why I would not suggest a streetcar starter in Mandarin or Argyle.  Focus on an area where support can be gained and where it has the best chance of working.

Agreed. However, people living in "downtown," "urban" areas in the Sunbelt are really living in "suburbia in the sky." There's a retraining of mentality that has to occur.

Again, what's occurring in places like Dallas, Houston and Charlotte prove that mass transit can work in the sunbelt.  It would be to the benefit of Jax to follow those successful examples and learn what not to do from the bad ones.

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For example, the Tampa and Little Rock streetcar systems are obviously designed to serve tourist since they don't penetrate any dense residential areas.

...except for Channeside, Westshore and Ybor, possibly the densest areas of residential population in both the city proper and the county and the MSA.

The streetcar does not go any where near Westshore.  Right now, it doesn't even go into downtown Tampa.  Ybor is primarily an entertainment zone after urban renewal and I-4 took out most of the residential portions.  Furthermore, Channelside's development is a result of the streetcar.  Most of the stuff there was not there when the streetcar opened in 2002.  Nevertheless, Channelside proves that these systems spur dense development and that dense development isn't a requirement before hand.  What's happened in Channelside could happen in Jax's Brooklyn and LaVilla with the implementation of a starter line that connects DT with Five Points.

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Tampa streetcar's ridership is a reflection of route planning.

...and that it's more of a tourist train. And that people in the metro area would rather just drive, and have door-to-door convenience. That's just a clear, unvarnished truth.

We'll have to agree to diagree with this one.  I'm from that area and know it quite well before and after the streetcar.  I'm also pretty familiar with the complaints of the system from urban core residents down there that don't use it.  If that line accessed DT, Tampa Heights, West Tampa, UT, SOHO and Hyde Park, ridership would increase overnight big time.

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We used Vancouver as a cost example of how to develop rail transit in an affordable manner.  What you're using Vancouver as an example to move or not move forward with something does not really equate to what is being discussed in the article.  If we want to talk political will, the comparisons should be other sunbelt sprawlers that have similar demographics and history with Jax.

Oh, the issues are entirely related. Vancouver built a low-cost streetcar line because the political will and the desire for both urban core and suburban ring transit is there. One without the other is a recipe for disaster.

So what about Memphis?  Locally, we've arrived to the point where the public will is there.  This is reflected in the policy changes in the works since 2006.  This stuff doesn't happen without public will.  Now we have an opportunity for the political side to jump on board with a new mayor in the next year.  Opportunity is knocking locally.  We should not make further excuses to not push the agenda.

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Why is the skyway not successful but Charlotte's, Houston's and Memphis' rail rollouts were?  Does it have more to do with "political will" (Houston had none btw) or more to do with route planning (connecting people to where they want to go in an efficient and reliable manner).

It has much, MUCH more to do with political will. Houston's system has plenty of political will on both sides (for and against.) From newspapers to politicos to people, the ongoing fight over METROrail is the direct result of political will. [And the detractors of the system have a point: in a city of 2.2 million people, not including the mega-MSA region, 40,000 people a day use the streetcar? As a more balanced and muted person, I'll reserve judgement until they open up the other lines...but I can "get" the critique.]

Furthermore, Charlotte's rail roll-out has not exactly been stellar (Memphis' is rather like Tampa: heritage streetcars with less than 2500 riders a day.) From wiki:

Charlotte's ridership is already over projected estimates and TOD worth billions has been stimulated along the route.  The Memphis system began as a tourist oriented line but has now been expanded down Madison and has 4,100 riders a day.  Like Charlotte, Memphis has also benefited from tons of TOD infill development around their streetcar line.  If these guys are considered failures or shaky, the future for efficient mass transit in Jax is a good one.  Btw, both are seeking to expand their systems.
 
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The response following the system's opening has been mixed. In the months following opening, the line was averaging 80% over initial ridership projections, leading Light Rail Now to proclaim the line a "huge success".[43] Jim Puckett, former Mecklenburg County Commissioner and a leader of the campaign to repeal the transit tax, said in the Charlotte Observer: "I have to admit, they are doing better than I expected... Our concern was whether we would have a white elephant, and it doesn't seem we do."[29]

In August 2008, the Carolina Journal reported that taxpayers were subsidizing more than 90% of a rider's trip on what the Journal calls "a lightly used line," and that low ridership estimates did not take into account increasing gasoline costs resulting in higher transit ridership. UNCC transportation studies professor David Hartgen states that the line did not displace car traffic significantly as about half the ridership is prior bus riders. Also, Hartgen dismisses a city report's claims concerning increased land use as a result, stating: "In short, the big winners are about 4,000 prior bus riders, 4,000 commuters living close to the line, and 400 South Carolina drivers."


The big winner is the City of Charlotte's tax rolls.  The amount of redevelopment along that rail corridor has been staggering.  As for rail taking cars off the road, nothing does that.  The roads in NYC, Chicago and DC are some of the worst I've ever seen and they have large transit systems in place.  However, it does give residents a different option to get around the community. 




 

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JeffreyS

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2010, 10:01:14 PM »
Lake keep preaching someday people will get it. 
Lenny Smash

thelakelander

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2010, 12:09:06 AM »
People are getting it now.  There are a lot of things going on behind closed doors.  However, if all you're waiting for is construction to break ground, it seems like nothing has been done.  I just had a passionate discussion at Three Layers about this tonight, when the claim that it would take 20 years to get it done was stated.  My response was in the past four years since we started this fight in 2006, the following has been done:

1. We saved taxpayers $1 billion by getting a horrible dedicated busway plan eliminated.

2. A commuter rail feasibility study has been funded and completed, which states rail is viable in Jax.

3. The S-Line corridor has been added as a part of future rail plans, which means the Northside will greatly benefit from economic revitalization when that corridor is implemented.

4. A streetcar prefeasibility study has been funded and completed.

5. Several commuter rail and streetcar routes have been added to the TPO's adopted LRTP, which helps set them up for federal funding opportunities.

6. COJ is currently modifying their comp plan to allow for denser pedestrian friendly development to occur along future transit corridors and station locations.

7. COJ is in the process of implementing a Mobility Plan that includes 38 miles of commuter rail and 4 miles of streetcar lines.  Several of which have been included in the five year priority list.

8. COJ is working on implementing a Mobility Fee that will replace concurrency.  However, unlike concurrency, the local money gained will be used to fund multimodal improvements instead of just highways.  The five year priority list also includes 100% local funding to implement a starter streetcar line between Riverside and Downtown.  If it passes council later this year, we could have something up and running sooner rather than later and use that investment to land future federal dollars for extension into other areas like Springfield.

9. The Federal position on rail has done a 180 since Obama entered office.  If we can get our act together, we should be able to land some federal assistance before he leaves office.

Since 2006, we've gone from having nothing on the table to laying a strong foundation for the implementation of alternative transit solutions.  Imo, the ground work has been laid and the process has already started.  We'll have a new mayor next year.  If that mayor can back the idea of transit, we will have the ability to implement a starter line quicker than most anticipate.  Also, once the plan is committed to, if its anything like what happened in other cities, developers will come in and start doing infill along transit corridors before the system is up and running.  So to say that nothing has been done or that its hopeless to continue to fight is foolish at best.
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Ocklawaha

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2010, 01:17:00 AM »

What would it look like? Because preservationist want to know! By the way this stop was served by JACKSONVILLE STREETCARS, spending their last years in Valdosta.

Gee I feel better already Lake! Yeah, well...  Meanwhile to friend AaroniusLives, consider this:

Before we can brush off a couple thousand passengers per day, on a heritage streetcar in Memphis, Little Rock, Fort Smith, Fort Collins, El Reno, Savannah, etc... or even the lowly SKYWAY, one should look at the numbers from THAT cities transit buses to compiare apples to apples. Even here, do we have a downtown shuttle route that carrys 1,600 per day? (I'm not saying we don't, but where are they and which routes?)

The beauty of Heritage Streetcar is:

You still get the streetcar infrastructure
You CAN still build to Light Rail Standards if that is your goal
Under the hood, it is the EXACT SAME vehicle as modern streetcar and a kissing cousin to electric HSR
Heritage Streetcars cost about 1/3 to 1/2 of what a modern streetcars does
Heritage Streetcars are streetcars and CAN hold up under regular transit use for 100 years (unlike PCT "Trolleys")
Heritage Streetcars have the advantage of opening the door for a downtown traveling museum with the ability in Jacksonville to attract 6 Superbowl's worth of tourists in a single year (actual market study)
Heritage Streetcars also salute the past and can interface with REAL and RESTORED streetcars
Heritage Streetcars are an opportunity for a family educational experience as well as career and technical training and scouting.

Toss in a Gift Shop
Trolley Cafe
Restoration Shop
Museum Display
and
Hand's on Youth Programs

And there is nothing else like it as an asset in the transportation world, and probably not in the industrial world.


OCKLAWAHA
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 01:23:39 AM by Ocklawaha »

AaroniusLives

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #22 on: February 24, 2010, 11:34:30 AM »
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Lake keep preaching someday people will get it.


You nut, I totally get it. It's why I moved to a place that actually has it.

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So to say that nothing has been done or that its hopeless to continue to fight is foolish at best.

Of course you should fight. I was merely suggesting that the parameters of said fight are determined. Considering your list, you clearly believe the political will is there. Right on! Bravo! Go forth!

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As for rail taking cars off the road, nothing does that.  The roads in NYC, Chicago and DC are some of the worst I've ever seen and they have large transit systems in place.  However, it does give residents a different option to get around the community.

Rail in the above cities did, in fact, take cars off the road. In the central cities of NYC, Chicago and DC, rail enabled "life without a car" to be possible. In the inner suburbs of those cities, rail enabled "life with an occasional car" to be possible. But as the regions expanded outward, like everywhere else in North America, people en masse wanted the car and the 'burbs. So the rail took people who would otherwise drive off the roads, while supercharging the regions, which put more cars on the roads.

And, as said many, many times...I totally support transit. I'm just a native Floridian, so I'm skeptical about the success of it, especially in Florida. Especially in Jacksonville. But, I totally hope is succeeds!   

thelakelander

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2010, 12:52:27 PM »
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Lake keep preaching someday people will get it.


You nut, I totally get it. It's why I moved to a place that actually has it.

Good for you.  I still travel to DC and other places on regular occassion and enjoy them as well.  However, I do enjoy being a part of a process of improving a community from the ground up.  Its not for all of us but someone has to do it.

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As for rail taking cars off the road, nothing does that.  The roads in NYC, Chicago and DC are some of the worst I've ever seen and they have large transit systems in place.  However, it does give residents a different option to get around the community.

Rail in the above cities did, in fact, take cars off the road. In the central cities of NYC, Chicago and DC, rail enabled "life without a car" to be possible. In the inner suburbs of those cities, rail enabled "life with an occasional car" to be possible. But as the regions expanded outward, like everywhere else in North America, people en masse wanted the car and the 'burbs. So the rail took people who would otherwise drive off the roads, while supercharging the regions, which put more cars on the roads.

The roads are still clogged in those communites and most in their MSAs drive.  That won't change until we limit sprawl development around these communities.  The true difference between these places and Jax is that they are on a much larger scale than a second tier younger community like Jacksonville.  Thus, they are really apples and oranges when compared in this type of format.  This is why we tend to do many more comparisons of Jax with its actual peers (ex. places like Charlotte, Memphis, Columbus, Nashville, Norfolk, Salt Lake City, etc.).  There are good and bad examples out there but there are several second tier communities proving that the integration of viable mass transit can be a success.   

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And, as said many, many times...I totally support transit. I'm just a native Floridian, so I'm skeptical about the success of it, especially in Florida. Especially in Jacksonville. But, I totally hope is succeeds!

Its okay to be skeptical.  But if things are to change, we have to make an attempt.  That's what this site is all about.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

stjr

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2010, 01:11:15 PM »
One of the best ways to motivate people to take mass transit is by saving time, maybe even more so than saving money, in commuting or transiting between points.  The best way to effect the time savings is to continuously upgrade mass transit while only maintaining roads, not substantially expanding their capacities.  As the roads reach capacity and their traffic flows slow, mass transit will become increasingly attractive by comparison.

This is why adding more lanes, building expensive interchange improvements, and, worst of all, building all new roads to alleviate existing congestion are counterproductive to the value and success of mass transit.
Hey!  Whatever happened to just plain ol' COMMON SENSE!!

JeffreyS

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Re: Affordable Streetcar: Vancouver's Olympic Line
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2010, 03:28:28 PM »
Quote
Lake keep preaching someday people will get it.


You nut, I totally get it. It's why I moved to a place that actually has it.


I really know that you do get it I have seen your posts on transit and other urban issues.  You seem pretty thoughtful and well informed. I was directing my comment to Lake who has to answer the same arguments over and over again.

In general I would say your posts are a little too can't do.  Transit does not have to apply just too mega cities. I know you know that I have seen you post that it is more about political will that ridership numbers before.  So stick to your guns.  I think you are a great addition to this site but hey I'm just a nut.
Lenny Smash