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CLT2014

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  1. The JW Marriott is only about 600 feet away and would likely be able to accomodate any ACC visitors looking for an upscale hotel and would be roughly the same distance as a hotel at the Graham/Mint corner by the stadium. That said, I very much hope we get some other uses at this site. Hopefully some of the still vacant retail at Legacy could be filled by an ACC Fan Store.
  2. You can sit in the plaza and talk to the 15 security guards from Bank of America to break the awkwardness while they stand around and stare at you thinking "oh wow, the first person I've seen all day." They will greatly appreciate something else to do besides stare at an empty piece of grass.
  3. Atherton Mill is in the heart of a very active residential neighborhood. There are more reasonably priced spots for brunch / coffee that feel approachable / relaxing in the morning plus soft goods retail from Anthropologie, West Elm, Bonobos, Free People, Lululemon, Madwell, Sephora, et.... so if you are in a shopping mood (which could be your mood if you came to a shopping market), it is a good spot to go. Meanwhile walking along Tryon in Uptown..... there are a lot of grand lobbies, steakhouses, and fast casual spots, but if you are in a shopping mood..... where would you go? The Mint Museum Gift Shop? Merchant plazas tend to do best when there is anchor permanent retail as well lining the sidewalks. When you look at the non-food retail spots facing Tryon..... - Mint Museum Gift Shop - Betchler Museum Store - Bank of America branch - Welcome CLT Gift Shop (little booth at Wells Fargo Plaza) - Wells Fargo branch - FedEx Store - Emerson Joseph Grooming Lounge - Planet Fitness - US Bank branch - My Eye Dr. - Lash Boutique - First Citizens Bank branch - Fifth Third Bank branch - Allen Tate Realtors - Discovery Place Gift Shop - Woodie's Tires So yeah..... outside of special events and eating, Tryon in Uptown isn't a very interesting street for visitors or locals looking to shop / stroll. Hence people love places like Charleston, Asheville, Savannah, Wilmington, et.. cause you can walk around and explore little shops, art galleries, et... Here in Charlotte, there's more retail in Park Road Shopping Center alone.... I've had more fun strolling in the little towns around Charlotte from Waxhaw, to Belmont, to Matthews, et... simply because they have more stores in their little town than a multi-block stretch of Uptown. Thus Uptown is VERY event dependent to keep people interested / coming back because as a local you certainly don't head Uptown to shop.
  4. They show their only Charlotte location as inside Nordstrom: https://www.indochino.com/showrooms
  5. I'd honestly prefer the remaining parcel remains empty longer with the hopes it ends up being mixed use, retail, hospitality, residential, et.... versus just another office skyscraper that is 60% full on "peak days" with people anxious to run home at 5PM and emerge for a 1 hour period midday to get a grab and go lunch before returning to their cube.
  6. Would retired people want to show up to drive buses at 11PM in neighborhoods they don't feel comfortable in though? RATP outlined a couple of the nationwide themes causing 46% of newly hired bus drivers to quit within 3 months on the job when they presented to the MTC. Schedules -> people want flexibility and new hires are saying having to work weekends, special events, and late hours doesn't mix with their lifestyle. They are working on trying to revamp the scheduling model, but it will likely require more drivers than needed to minimize the amount of rotations on a weekend or late hour. Safety -> some drivers are uncomfortable with their routes... either the neighborhoods they drive through or the lack of separation from the passengers on their route. Drivers are lasting 3 weeks doing a route and don't feel safe, so they quit. Most of us on this board live in fairly safe / trendy areas of Charlotte, but bus drivers may be assigned routes through areas with gangs, gun violence, homicides, drug dealing, et... Think of the amount of people on this board that want the Uptown Charlotte Transit Center to go away due to loitering... that's one of the main places a CATS driver has to spend their day when not behind the wheel... This was a major factor employee surveys found people prefer to be a light rail operator versus a bus driver -> lack of public interaction + locked door Competition -> Big box stores have increased pay and they are seeing drivers take pay cuts to work at stores where the job is less demanding. They can text their friends while stocking shelves on a quiet aisle at Target versus being recorded on camera on a bus for professionalism. The store closes at 10PM, so no creepy 1AM bus routes with just you and a homeless man who seems unstable on the bus. Less arguments and conflicts about paying fares, fighting, et... Satisfaction -> Bus drivers largely spend their entire day alone, with minimal interactions with others, except passengers who are not necessarily nice. This contrasts with competing jobs like Trader Joe's where the cashiers are chatting, friendly with each other, and there is an overall upbeat energy in the store. In addition, because they are "public facing," bus drivers have to be alone AND professional at all times. Amazon delivery drivers can listen to the music they want, drive fast, text on the job, get out of their vehicle more often, et... with less repercussions than a bus driver who has a group of passengers who could complain about your driving and music is banned. RATP is trying to make the job more "fun" and "appealing," but younger works are finding a big bus an unrewarding thing to drive all day while sitting. https://charlottenc.gov/cats/boards/MTC Agenda Package/Final _MTC_Agenda_Packet_Wednesday_August_24_2022.pdf Here are some interesting Glassdoor and Indeed CATS Bus Operator employee reviews.... major themes are bad management, angry customers / safety, stress. Pay is usually mentioned as decent / good, so that doesn't seem to be the core reason for high turnover. "Overall it's a fine place to work if you approach it with the right attitude. If you are going to call out often, this isn't the job for you. If you have trouble dealing with the public, do something else. If you don't want to work at night or on the weekend, keep looking. Your experience can vary wildly depending on which routes you pick, but overall, if you come to work on time, don't argue with the customers, and don't hit anything with the bus, you have an easy, stress free job. You might be driving alone! People mostly fire themselves. You will need to educate yourself on the routes around the city and what they connect to, as well as landmarks, but that comes with time. You will need to be prepared to deal with angry customers on the weekend, since CATS is chronically understaffed then. If you are a chill sort of person who enjoys driving, you'll be fine. There are many who have been here for over 25 years. The top seniority person just retired with 47 years of service I believe. People wouldn't stay as long as that if it was a terrible job." "Very good training. The pay is decent. Seniority is first priority. They have a union. Driving in inclement weather. Dangerous passengers. Drunks and crazy people sometimes." "I just wish they had the drivers back. The managers I’ve encountered have been helpful. The starting pay does not match the stress and dangers that come with the position." "As I get older, I have come to realize that having a good work/life balance involves finding value in the job you have chosen to do. Sometimes value isn't about the money. And while I appreciate the opportunity CATS gave me to work there, I do not believe I would ever reapply." "I think that if you desperately need a job with great benefits especially a traditional pension and you are willing to deal with management that in some cases treat you like a number not a person, and if you are capable of dealing with some customers who are very rude, disrespectful and sometimes threatening this might be your cup of tea." "This place is the worst from the passengers to management. You have no life at all with the routes that you have to bid for. The money is great but you just have to work long hours in one day. The rules and regulations the company have in place keep you in fear of your job, with that being said run for your life!" "Unless you are focused on extended hours for monetary gain, this is not the company for you. No home/work balance. On an average a person will spend at least 12 hours dedicated to this job a day (4-5 hr break unless ur working 2nd shift 2 am)."
  7. That's probably true.... when you look at most of the city council members representing the districts that contain the Blue Line.... none of them are near it or bus routes. Victoria Washington, District 3 (West CLT, Steele Creek, South End) lives 8 miles away from the closest Blue Line station to her. There are no sidewalks to make the 17 minute walk to the nearest bus stop in her West Charlotte neighborhood. Most likely drives everywhere. Malcolm Graham, District 2 (North CLT, half of Uptown, et.) lives in suburban neighborhood off W.T. Harris (which is basically a highway with no sidewalks) nearly 4 miles from the University light rail. He's 25 minute walk on a portion of W.T. Harris with no sidewalks to a bus stop. Renee Johnson, District 4 (Northeast CLT, University) lives 8 miles from a light rail station. Tariq Bokhari, District 6 (South Park area) lives 4 miles from the Blue Line. 18 minute walk to nearest bus station. He's been pretty open on sharing his view of thinking CATS is a mess.... doubt he rides it. Larken Engleston (Dilworth to Uptown to Noda) lives 2 miles from the Blue Line. 5 minutes from the #9 bus.... there is a chance he could use public transit to get around based on central location. CMS buses are definitely a mess right now. A significant amount of bus routes haven't even been assigned due to a lack of drivers, hence traffic is so bad right now as many parents are driving their kids to school. They usually resolve it within a month though.
  8. It's like CATS wants people to stop using public transit. People have an experience waiting 45 minutes for a train and having it take forever to get home and go "WTH.... our buddies got home after the game driving all the way to Albermarle in the same time it took us to go from Uptown to Woodlawn on the train... why on earth did we do this?" They then don't repeat ever again and stay glued to their Jeep Wrangler for everything.
  9. The 11 does stop at the station for regular train service. TBD if CATS will do a special bus for this special Amtrak train.
  10. They could take the #21 or #11 bus that runs every 30 minutes on Sunday and will get them Uptown! You just have to run across 4 lanes of fast traffic without a cross walk to stand on a little concrete pad while you wait.
  11. Starting pay to be an Amazon driver and a CATS bus driver are pretty much the same.... except a bus driver has to deal with the general public all day, crazy people, enforce paying fares, homelessness, et..... and an Amazon driver gets to play the music they want, drive a more nimble vehicle, be more active / less sedentary by stopping to get out of the van and walk, your routes aren't always the exact same so you have some variety in your day, et.... There are definitely major downsides to Amazon and other delivery jobs as well, but it seems like they are having less of a challenge recruiting compared to public transit agencies. Amazon is just one of numerous companies competing with public transit agencies for job positions related to "driving." The general stigma Americans have against buses doesn't help either... entire generations of people have grown up seeing buses as only for the destitute, so driving one doesn't register as an appealing career to younger workers either.
  12. Centene got a new CEO in late March... as soon as she took over the "Wow this campus is going to be amazing and we're going to have 6,000 people someday" type of messaging stopped. Within 30 days she made a clear statement that she planned to SIGNIFICANTLY cut back on Centene's office footprint nationwide.... then they canceled a building expansion in St. Louis shortly after.... yet people in Charlotte thought we were immune even though Sarah London is never quoted being excited about the Charlotte campus like the old CEO who was a major booster. The writing was so clearly on the wall. It probably took a few months for the teams she had re-evaluating the campus to finish their report, deliver options for what to do with the campus, the CEO to secure board of directors approvals, the media communications plan to be announced, et.... She actually covered a lot in her first 5 months and the coincidence this announcement coincides with the close delivery of the campus probably has more to do with the timing of the new CEO coming to power versus the campus construction progress itself.
  13. We've seen time and time again that the pet project by one CEO to move a company to Charlotte (Chiquita, Sealed Air, Centene, et.) rarely is met with as much excitement by the next CEO who comes in and is like "WTF did we do this?!?!? What a waste of time and money! This isn't the solution to our problems." The writing was on the wall that Centene was committed to remote work since COVID... But our arrogance had us thinking we were the exception to moves they and their industry have been making to shed real estate. We thought we were likely to become the HQ rather than actually thinking about the behavior of this firm, their new CEO, and industry away from in person work. They won't meet hiring projections cause they can recruit a developer from anywhere in the country now.... Not just NC. And that's exactly what many developers want. The whole insurance industry is going largely remote.
  14. Charlotte is a massive connecting hub for domestic flights, with some international service largely focused on connecting leisure travelers going to the Caribbean or tourist destinations in Europe like Rome and Dublin. Domestic leisure is a profitable group of customers when you connect them through the cheapest hub you have and maximize the profit for selling 180 $400 fares on a Airbus A321. You don't want to connect those customers through airports with high costs or the profit margin on a $400 fare quickly gets eaten away because connecting customers rarely pay a "premium" and just search for the lowest cost ticket with schedule that works for them. If American ever offers a small fleet of 20 supersonic jets, it will be focused on point to point service for a few niche routes with very affluent residents between major cities where people can pay $8,000 for a seat like NYC - London, LAX - Tokyo, Miami - London, et... If people can afford an $8,000 supersonic seat... they don't want to be connecting with the cruise ship crowd going from Buffalo to Tampa via Charlotte.
  15. South End has decent structural density, but population density will lag IMO until we start having larger households living in apartments to compete with the most densely populated areas (not saying we want that -> just a reality to place high on those rankings). These South End apartments are largely occupied by white collar professionals. A 680 square foot 1 bedroom apartment usually has 1 - 2 people that live in it. In other areas of the country, a dense 680 square foot one bedroom apartment can be home to a family of four who does things we'd think unimaginable in South End such as separating the parents / kids area with a sheet or sliding divider, et.... I don't think we are even close to people doing that in luxury apartments in South End and would rather move to a more suburban area. I'd be surprised if many South End apartments are home to more than 2 occupants per bedroom.... just tough to compete from a rankings perspective when in other metros a similar size building might have 3 - 5 people in the same amount of space.
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