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About traintrain

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  1. My Story:A few years ago, I was offerd the director position for a new Central Florida transit agency. The Board Members came out to my house for a casual interview over Ice Tea and cookies. When they walked into my HOME office, they noted a large Confederate flag hanging on the wall, surrounded by photos of my volunteer work in local schools as a "Confederate Soldier". I told them I don't re-enact in the field, but enjoy spinning history storys for the smaller children. About 2 weeks passed, then one night, about 10:30 PM, I got THE call. MY DREAM JOB! The Board had made a decision that I was to be named as the first director. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest. Then they said, "Of course the Board wants you to remove that flag from your wall, you understand, it's just bad politics."In about 2 seconds my anger flaired up from somewhere deep within, I responded in rather loud and absolute terms:"Let me tell you something, I AM A SOUTHERNER, My father was a Southerner, His father was a Southerner, and HIS father fought in Company E, 5Th Arkansas Infantry, Confederate States of America! I'm not taking that flag down for you, for your Board, for the Governor or for the President! THE FLAG WILL STAY ON THE WALL! GOOD NIGHT TO YOU SIR! SLAM! Buuzzzzzzzzzzzz.... Nope, haven't lost a bit of mine. Didn't get the job, and wouldn't have taken it after that. In the battle of the "Bloody Angle" our troops ran out of bullets, so they threw stones and drove the Yankees back. Ladies and Gentlemen, THROW YOUR STONES ! traintrain
  2. What Does Arizona and Texas Know About Light Rail -vs- Bus Transit, That JTA Hasn't Figured Out? JTA imagines this in downtown Jacksonville? When one holds their feet to this fire they quickly back-peddle to say the downtown transit mall will be more like surface streets. Sorry JTA, but if THAT is true then all of the "speed" benefits of BRT just flew out the window. Spell this delima as traffic, congestion and even less available parking. So JTA says they HAD to abandon Light Rail because it was far too expensive. They have convinced City Hall, Tallahassee, Washington and perhaps the Times-Union that BRT or "Bus Rapid Transit" is going t be the salvation of transportation in Jacksonville. No one in the media has called their hand on this, because no one still living in Jacksonville, has a clue what rail transit is all about. One has to wonder about loyalty's and preferences of a "Transportation Authority" that is also the local highway builder. This is rare indeed, so rare that Jacksonville is one of only TWO City's in the USA to have an agency with such conflicting purposes. Frankly, splitting up JTA into two separate agency's would be a real smart move. With highway trust fund, and Big Oil money, still rattling around in their pockets, they keep coming out with fuzzy math, right out of the highway lobby hand book. JTA, will parrot the numbers from the successful BRT system in Curitiba, Brazil and Bogota, Colombia, as examples of how attractive "quality bus" on it's own highway can be. They will quote ridership figures from the Los Angeles, Metro-Rapid bus system, to prove this concept will work in Jacksonville. Cheaper, and "just like rail" is their battle cry. Let's look at these claims under the crystal ball of a Transportation Consultant. JTA says BRT will cost us up to a billion dollars and 20 years. Is this cheap? For all of their plans they want to build a bus highway right alongside our railroads? How hard is this to figure out? Curitiba and Bogota, both have populations of about 5 million persons. Both cities are highly dense. Both cities have a poverty rate of about 50%. So I ask, is it any wonder that their transit ridership has soared with dedicated bus service? Not only did Bogota build bus freeways all over the mesa, they also moved the poor out of town and into miles and miles of new "social housing". All of this new housing is connected to the city center via the new BRT lines. It works! it works! Well duh? But pray tell Jacksonville, just what part of our city looks like Curitiba or Bogota? What about Los Angeles? Well a trip into the transit web sites for Metro-Rapid show very little gain in ridership except for stations shared with Metro-Rail. In other words Metro-Rapid is an extension of Metro-Rail, Light Rail, commuter rail and subway lines. Someone at JTA please explain where our own Light Rail, commuter rail and subway are? We don't have it! They are not even planning to tie the BRT into the Skyway, effectively neutering the Skyway as a critical transit link. You will remember, these are the same people that sold us the skyway as "cheaper and better then Light Rail" back in the 1980's. The whole system was designed around express bus service that would feed passengers into the system at end-point transfer stations. Now, hundreds of millions of dollars later, they have another idea? Someone please ask them to explain why New Jersey Transit, Pittsburgh and the Twin Cities dumped BRT? Why did Pittsburgh experience a crash in ridership in it's brand new Southside Busway, while experiencing a surge of riders in it's LRT system? When JTA tells you it's because a bridge was closed and it shut down the busway... well guess what Sherlock, it shut down the LRT line too! So what about Dallas and Phoenix? Read on Jacksonville:
  3. A Photo Report exposing JTA's Lies about Light Rail, Modern Streetcar and Heritage Trolleys Does JTA think we can duplicate the success of BRT in Curitiba? Why are they quoting ridership from a City of 5 million, with a 50% poverty rate? Is this what they really want in Jacksonville? Light Rail just COSTS TOO MUCH or so JTA would have you think. The boys at the TU didn't investigate those claims, just repeated them. Why? Because THIS is what they are quoting, LRT in a SUBWAY! No wonder it cost's so much! Will they put their numbers side by side with the Pittsburgh, Busway through the old Wabash Railroad tunnel? Of course not, THAT would be too honest, laying apples and apples next to each other isn't their style. This scene of St. Louis, Missouri, LRT. Jacksonville needs a mix. BRT has worked in Sprawling Los Angeles, because it is an EXTENSION of the Metro-Rail system. Without Metro-Rail, it's ridership would be about the same as the regular buses. Imagine, a regular bus route. and these dopes at JTA are going to pay 55 million a mile for it? How Stupid. The Times-Union, commented in 2004 that they "studied" LRT but it was just too costly. This proves two things. JTA is dumb as rock and The Times-Union is a trained parrot for Jacksonville's misleaders Memphis pulled this off for how much? JTA wouldn't say because the truth would indeed set you free! Is ANYBODY at the TU willing to check on what I am saying? WRITE TO ME GUYS... I'll get them the numbers! The new Streetcar line in Memphis has cost a whopping 3 million dollars a mile! The new buses in Eugene, Oregon's BRT system are costing them 950,000 per vehicle. For only 1.2 million per vehicle they could have had Modern Streetcars. Let's see now, the streetcars are bigger, they are faster, they don't pollute, they are MUCH more quiet, and they last about 20-30 years to 10 for the dumb bus. Oh, let's not forget that the road the BRT runs on will have to be resurfaced every 5 to 8 years. THAT ought to make them WAY cheaper then rail. NOT! JTA is telling lies and the public buys it hook line and sinker because they have never experienced REAL Transit. Shame on the City, JTA and the TU for not being "The Bold New City of the South." Sad...[/b] I want to know why Albuquerque, Austin, and Portland were able to do THIS, for less then the Billion dollars we are going to pay for another bus line? Could it be because they have more sense in 10 minutes, then JTA displays in a whole year? traintrain
  4. Where's the money? It works like this, the Transit Agency applies to the State and Federal Government for various grants. For example, to order 10 new Modern Streetcars (a much cheaper version of LRT) for a start-up system. First, the mode chosen, in this case Modern Streetcar, MUST be shown to be the best fit, ie: it will attract the most riders, save the most fuel, etc... Once the study is complete the agency might them apply for grants to purchase the vehicles. Usually done on a 80/20 scale, the Federal Government will pay 80% and the local agency 20%. For this reason, a public Transit Agency will usually go to the State. Each feature can be granted. For that 20% for example, the state might grant 15% and the City 5%. But at the same time, another grant for ADA might come from another Federal agency that has a certain program to provide wheel chair lifts. Same for certain safety features, or fuel savings features. There is no real short answer as it depends on how creative the agency can be in proof of need and features, and how good a job the grant writers do in digging up programs. Fire proof seats? Probably a grant for that somewhere. etc... Hope this helps. Traintrain
  5. All new projects, this is a different list from "LIGHT RAIL NOW!" A rail transit lobby group based in oil rich Texas. There may be some duplication from the previous list. Albuquerque - regional rail under construction, LRT proposed Atlanta - regional rail and streetcar projects in planning Austin - light railway project under way, streetcar proposed Bayonne - streetcar in development Birmingham - in planning Boise - streetcar proposed Boulder - streetcar proposed Charlotte - historic trolley upgrade under construction, modern LRT planned Charlottesville - streetcar proposed Cincinnati - LRT (interurban, streetcar) in planning Columbus - LRT (interurban, streetcar) in planning Corpus Christi - streetcar in planning Dayton - streetcar proposed Des Moines - LRT proposed Detroit - Interurban LRT and regional passenger rail proposed El Paso - LRT streetcar system proposed Fayette - LRT or regional rail proposed Ft. Lauderdale - streetcar and high-performance LRT proposed Glendale (Ca) - streetcar proposed Ft. Worth - streetcar proposed Harrisburg - regional rail in development Honolulu - light rail proposed Huntington, WV - heritage streetcar proposed Huntington Beach, Ca - LRT proposed Indianapolis - proposed Kansas City - proposed Lancaster - heritage streetcar proposed Las Vegas - proposed Louisville - LRT proposed Madison - regional rail and streetcar proposed Memphis - heritage streetcar in operation, modern LRT planned Miami - streetcar projects in planning Milwaukee - Interurban and streetcar LRT, regional passenger rail proposed Minneapolis - modern LRT in operation, streetcar proposed Montgomery - heritage streetcar proposed Nashville - regional "commuter" rail project under way Norfolk - LRT in planning Ogden - modern streetcar proposed Omaha - heritage streetcar proposed Orange County (Ca) - LRT (interurban or streetcar) in planning Orlando - in planning Phoenix - Interurban LRT project under construction; regional rail and streetcar system proposed Raleigh - regional rail system in planning Richmond - heritage streetcar proposed Roanoke - heritage streetcar proposed Rochester - proposed Salem, Or - streetcar proposed San Antonio - proposed Seattle - Regional rail and heritage streetcar in operation, interurban LRT and modern streetcar projects under way Spokane - light railway proposed Tampa - historic streetcar in operation, modern LRT streetcar proposed Toledo - streetcar proposed Tucson - heritage streetcar system being expanded, LRT proposed Union County, NJ - LRT project under development Washington - LRT in planning Winston-Salem - streetcar project in planning There are also two projects proposed in Oklahoma, Oklahoma City and Tulsa (which still has two shortline railroads that date to Interurban Trolley operations and may well return to same). These were not on the official list but I know about them from my work in this field. Feel free to ask questions, if I don't know, I can probably locate the answer for you. I am a member of many of the Transit Associations and get many of the journals and news items. traintrain
  6. Hello Ya'll: The following is a list from the LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT ASSOCIATION in England. It give you all of the current systems. I will follow with the proposed systems... "Tramway" is the European term for all Light Rail, Modern Streetcar, Rapid Streetcar and Heritage Trolley systems. ALL in the USA. Mod. Town/city, Type, Gauge in mm, Date, Notes Astoria Heritage tram 1435 1999 Atlanta Metro 1435 1979 Baltimore Light rail 1435 1992 Metro 1435 1983 Bayonne Heritage tram 1435 Proposed Boston Light rail 1435 1856 Some trolley poles Metro 1435 1897 Buffalo Light rail 1435 1984 Camden
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