Author Topic: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis  (Read 24173 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« on: August 28, 2007, 04:30:00 AM »
I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis



The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) operates 6.7 miles of trolley lines with a fleet of 20 vintage and replica trolley vehicles.  As of July 2006, metroplitan Jacksonville had 17,416 more residents than metropolitan Memphis.

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http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/553

gatorback

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2007, 07:22:22 AM »
MetroRail was approved by Austin voters in 2004.  Since then Capital Metro has generally decided on the location of each station and work has been done so it looks like they will be on line fall 2008 as planned.  That's 4 years after the vote.  It took years to get to a vote.  Would Jacksonville follow a similar process?
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 07:37:21 AM by gatorback »
'As a sinner I am truly conscious of having often offended my Creator and I beg him to forgive me, but as a Queen and Sovereign, I am aware of no fault or offence for which I have to render account to anyone here below.'   Mary, queen of Scots to her jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet; October 1586

downtownparks

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2007, 08:54:39 AM »
That city looks remarkably like Jacksonville... only with a pulse.

downtownparks

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2007, 08:55:50 AM »
BTW, this can be tied in the the Stadium district and the sky way for a similar effect as extending the skyway to the stadium. You can do this and only lose two lanes, and it would be a draw. People like trolleys.

Ocklawaha

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2007, 09:22:17 AM »

No lanes lost to this Trolley in downtown Rotterdam

Downtown or the suburbs, you won't lose ANY lanes with Trolleys. Trolley lanes can be paved and they line up just like buses at the stoplights (if we want). Just like the old movies, you drive in the Trolley lanes too.

Portland has brought back an old idea that is interesting. They pave the Trolley lanes with paver stones (cobblestone). It is a bit rough and makes a distinct roar when you drive on them. The cool thing is, they retain the lanes for passing, or vehicle moves, but it discourages driving long distances in them (unless you are a Trolley nut). It just keeps traffic down and it is totally passive. The flip side of the stone lanes is it can be removable, whiich means that track adjustments can be done at a low cost and are easy to get to.

Why not Jacksonville? We need to look at the Convention Center funding ideas and tie a downtown redevlopment district, New Convention Center and Heritage Trolley all to a simple bed tax, airport tax, or other funding source. Then we need to start digging...


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« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 09:40:17 AM by Ocklawaha »

gatorback

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2007, 09:47:04 AM »
Oh god, not pavers!  People always wreck on those things isn't that why we got rid of them in the first place.  Try cycling on them at speeds greater then 15 you will wreck.  Add  rain and that new Avanti will need fender work for sure.  Since  my ride was manufactured in the UK, I'd be safe as my vechical is in the shop like 120% of the time.  ;D
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 09:52:43 AM by gatorback »
'As a sinner I am truly conscious of having often offended my Creator and I beg him to forgive me, but as a Queen and Sovereign, I am aware of no fault or offence for which I have to render account to anyone here below.'   Mary, queen of Scots to her jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet; October 1586

thelakelander

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2007, 09:50:21 AM »
MetroRail was approved by Austin voters in 2004.  Since then Capital Metro has generally decided on the location of each station and work has been done so it looks like they will be on line fall 2008 as planned.  That's 4 years after the vote.  It took years to get to a vote.  Would Jacksonville follow a similar process?

Imagine if we had to vote to approve BRT.  It would fall faster than Michael Vick's bank account.  The Austin system is a great one to look at in terms of affordability.

Quote
The American-Statesman also gives some hints as the to what Capital Metro planners are envisioning for the initital service:

Capital Metro says it will use diesel-powered cars, similar in scale and look to a light rail car, with an engine and driver's cab at each end, allowing cars to reverse direction without some sort of turnaround.

Initially, the agency would run about 14 trains a day, four or five south from Leander in the morning on 30-minute intervals, with one or two in the reverse direction, and the reverse of that approach going out from downtown Austin in the afternoon. There likely would be a couple of trains at midday, one in each direction.

The stations, by and large, would be simple affairs with a raised platform, some shelter, a ticketing machine and some seating. At busier stops, the stations could be more elaborate, and a few will have park-and-ride parking lots.

The agency also plans to have "circulator" buses waiting for the trains at its final stop near the Austin Convention Center to ferry people to the rest of downtown, the Capital complex and the University of Texas.


Buoyed by the overwhelming approval of rail, Capital Metro planners seem to be revving up plans for additional rail expansion. These includes two more regional "commuter" lines, a possible streetcar system, light rail lines in Central and South Austin, or the extension of some type of rail service across downtown.


http://www.lightrailnow.org/news/n_railvote2004-win.htm#AUS_20041103

Quote
Capital MetroRail is on track for service to begin on the Red Line in 2008. Sleek, new trains will take you to work in comfort and style, providing you with high-back seats, bicycle and overhead racks, and Wi-Fi connections. Some seating areas will feature tray tables. Capital MetroRail’s initial service will be during morning and afternoon peak hours. Regular and special shuttle buses will whisk you to your final destination.

The Red Line will run on 32-miles of existing freight tracks between Leander and Downtown Austin. It will provide convenient service for suburban and central Austin residents. Future connections are being studied along existing Capital Metro freight tracks from Downtown to Manor and beyond. Future extensions along TxDOT’s abandoned MoKan corridor are also possible.



http://allsystemsgo.capmetro.org/capital-metrorail.shtml

Quote
New contracts bring total to more than $10 million annually.


32 Miles of rail for $112 million, which is double the initial estimate of $60 million in 2004.  Our BRT is 29 miles of busway for $750 million and we have 18 years to go before it opens.  Whoever said rail costs more than dedicated busways is a flat out liar.

Quote
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Capital Metro board awarded a $112 million contract Monday to Veolia Transportation Services Inc., a French company, to run the agency's freight rail and commuter rail operations for the next six years and four months.

The initial cost to run commuter rail is $9.4 million a year, including separate debt payments for its rail cars: almost twice the $5 million annual operating cost estimate shared with the public during the 2004 campaign to approve the 32-mile line from Leander to downtown Austin. The line will begin operations in late 2008.


Rodolfo Gonzalez
AMERICAN-STATESMAN
(enlarge photo)

Jim Skaggs: Rail opponent says, 'Capital Metro has been deceptive at best, lying at worst,' in its presentation of the cost.


The operating cost could be higher if Capital Metro, as some board members want, brings all commuter rail workers under the agency's umbrella and union pay scale rather than having them work directly for Veolia. Furthermore, Rich Krisak, Capital Metro's rail manager, said the numbers do not include fuel costs. Capital Metro will pay those directly, including an estimated $700,000 annually to fuel the diesel commuter rail cars initially.

Taken together, that would bring the first-year operating cost to $10.1 million.

Right Track PAC, a political action committee that worked closely with Capital Metro during the 2004 election, said in a widely disseminated mailer during the campaign that "Cap Metro estimates the new commuter rail system will cost approximately $60 million in capital and construction costs, and will require an additional $5 million annually to operate the trains and to lease-purchase the rail cars."

"It's pretty clear that from the beginning, Capital Metro has been deceptive at best, lying at worst, in their presentation to the public of the cost of this commuter rail system," said Jim Skaggs, a retired high-tech executive who has opposed Capital Metro rail ventures for the past decade. "This just confirms that they can't afford to continue on the way they have."

Capital Metro spokeswoman Andrea Lofye, when asked about the increased costs, said, "First of all, we don't know who Right Track PAC was. What we put out had different costs. . . . Our operating costs in the Veolia contract are on par with our own independent estimates for commuter and freight services."

Right Track PAC's chairman was former Austin Mayor and now state Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat. Its treasurer was former Austin City Council Member and longtime civic leader Lowell Lebermann Jr. According to a "Long-Range Transit Vision Update" released by the agency in May 2004, "Initial operating costs are estimated at $5M — including lease-purchase of vehicles."

The $112 million bid award to Veolia includes:

• $35.6 million for commuter rail, not including the cost of the rail cars.

• $61.5 million for freight rail operations, beginning in October. Capital Metro has another subcontractor handling freight rail operations on its track, primarily runs to and from the Marble Falls area to haul rock.

• A $14.6 million contingency, or 15 percent of the total, for the company. Krisak said much of that contingency is in place to account for possible quick growth in both the commuter rail and freight rail systems. Capital Metro's six cars will handle just 2,000 passengers a day, running primarily at rush hour.

The payments to Veolia are based on an hourly rate, however, and would increase if the agency decides to run the commuter rail service on an all-day basis or extensively on weekends.

The agency is considering ordering more cars.

bwear@statesman.com; 445-3698

Commuter rail costs

• $35.6 million of the $112 million bid is for commuter rail.

• First-year operating cost would be $5.2 million.

• Agency has $4.2 million annual payments to retire rail car debt.

• Fuel would cost $700,000 a year initially.


http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...2capmetro.html
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 09:57:33 AM by thelakelander »
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gatorback

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2007, 10:06:20 AM »
Mark, my co-work and car-pooler lives in Leander and talks about how the property value has gone up since Capital Rail started building the train station there.  It was family fun at the Grand Opening of Leander Station -- Capital Metro's Newest Park & Ride.  The Red Line service will begin there in late 2008; however, the station is already open and you can park and ride the 983, 986 or 987 busses into town.  That day was June 2.  I like the marketing campain, "Dump the Pump".  Think your mayor wants that?  ha
'As a sinner I am truly conscious of having often offended my Creator and I beg him to forgive me, but as a Queen and Sovereign, I am aware of no fault or offence for which I have to render account to anyone here below.'   Mary, queen of Scots to her jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet; October 1586

avonjax

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2007, 11:06:00 AM »
I think the city's plan for the s-line is further proof that they and JTA are truly anti-rail.
For a city that wants to project an image of a progressive metropolis we sure have some small town minds running the place.
It's hard to believe that JTA is not looking to alternative transportation ideas when it's obvious that fuel prices are going nowhere but up.
I would still love to know why the JTA is so gung-ho on the BRT.


Ocklawaha

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2007, 11:25:09 AM »
Therein lies the problem. Jacksonville Mayor Peyton is tied to big oil and asphalt (an oil product). He knows that any successful transit system is going to cut the number of automobiles on the highway. He also knows that cutting automobiles on the highway will effect the family bottom line at Gate. Thus, he and his administration have no interest in seeing a REAL alternative to the freeway in Jacksonville, it's bad for business. Sad that these "public servants" value their own dollars more then the lives of the people they effect with their bad decisions.

How good an alternative is Light Rail? Well look at some overly simple math:
JTA operates over 1,476 miles of bus routes, and carrys right at 10 million passengers a year, (which is quite poor for a City of our size and population). That comes out to generating about 6,775 passengers per route mile, per year. On the other hand, Memphis Tennessee, operates 6.5 miles of Light Rail with heritage trolleys.
Memphis carried 1 million passengers on 6.5 miles for a total of 153,841 passengers per route mile, per year.

Do the math JTA... 6775 with a bus or 153,846 with a trolley...
For JTA and Peyton the answer is simple
You build the Bus!

Time for a Jacksonville Transit Revolution!


POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Ocklawaha

avonjax

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2007, 12:10:22 PM »
I just read the posts about the JTA meeting and I was both amused and horrified. As a 55 yr old lifelong Jax resident, I don't want the Insane Clown Posse, my apologies to the band but the name works so well here, to decide how my tax money and future of transportation in this city for the next few decades is determined. It sounds like a group of out of touch, and forgive me, over the hill citizens made up the committee? I shivered the whole time I read the account.
A note to the JTA rep who stated the cost of the BRT has gone down: SEEK PSYCHIATRIC HELP, or BEG GOD FOR FORGIVENESS FOR WE ALL KNOW LYING IS A SIN.
If anyone at that meeting believed that pile of dog poop, they need nightly supervison so they won't wander the streets and endanger themselves.
How could JTA have convinced all these people and sold them hook, line and sinker?
Oh wait Jim Jones did to 914 people and they all died.
The JTA may not be killing people but their trying to kill progress in our city.

gatorback

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2007, 12:20:10 PM »
Progress is in the eye of the beholder? 
'As a sinner I am truly conscious of having often offended my Creator and I beg him to forgive me, but as a Queen and Sovereign, I am aware of no fault or offence for which I have to render account to anyone here below.'   Mary, queen of Scots to her jailer, Sir Amyas Paulet; October 1586

thelakelander

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2007, 12:21:47 PM »
It would be interesting to see how many US cities our size are moving to implement trunk line BRT systems, as large as ours, over any form of rail.  Especially, when 3 of the 4 suggested BRT routes parallel existing rail or abandoned rail right-of-way.  Does anyone have any idea?
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Jason

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2007, 12:38:57 PM »
My gues is ZERO!

avonjax

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Re: I'm Smaller than Jax and I have Rail: Memphis
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2007, 12:42:51 PM »
Also another shocking comment from the meeting of "old minds" was something about the point of the meeting being about mass transit not downtown development.
Don't the two go hand in hand?
Isn't downtown going to be the location of the heart of mass transit?
Doesn't development in general help boost ridership?
Do any of these committee members give a hoot about downtown?
But the biggest question is, DO ANY OF THEM HAVE A CLUE?