dmillsphoto

The "Nashville UrbanPlanet Solves Transit" Thread

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49 minutes ago, dmillsphoto said:

Either way... UP Nashville - solve our transit problem!

Thank you for the initiative and leadership! Can we suggest no anti-mass -transit postings on this particular thread - for obvious reasons?  Should be a fun, and hopefully, constructive ride!

 

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1 hour ago, Flatrock said:

Thank you for the initiative and leadership! Can we suggest no anti-mass -transit postings on this particular thread - for obvious reasons?  Should be a fun, and hopefully, constructive ride!

 

BOOOONDOGGLE!!!!

Edited by nativetenn
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Messaging will be a HUGE hurdle, unfortunately. What I witnessed with the previous proposal was unreal.

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Again the State legislature changed the rules so no Dedicated BRT lane could be done on state routes, therefore BRT is out unless the state changes the law. Dedicated lanes are the ONLY way BRT will work.

We did discuss at the meet that one thing that can be done is a regional light or heavy rail system. The only way this will work is from heavy involvement from the state. This could be done by using existing interstate corridors right of way for rail.

So what comes first regional or local mass transit. It is the chicken or the egg. If you have regional transit coming into downtown, how do you get those folks from point A to point B?

As discussed at the meet yesterday Nashville is not suited for mass transit because of the layout of the city and the downtown streets.

At some point someone will have to concede and resolve to fix the problem. It is a political problem no matter what we say or think on here and there is no avoiding that problem. 

When everything is gridlocked and tourist, companies and developers stop coming, then it will be a revenue problem not only for the city, but the state as well.

So, the only way this is going to be fixed is polical leaders from both sides, regional leaders, community leaders, and just your normal tax payer come together and agree to do something as it will not fix itself . It will involve compromise on both sides and not everyone will be please by the result.

 

Now lets here the ideas. Call your state representatives,  council person, senator,  mayor governor and any one else that has influence. 

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By a nearly 2-to-1 margin, Metro's $5.4 billion transit plan failed at the ballot box last week, leaving many Nashvillians wondering what comes next.

In the wake of the overwhelming defeat, Owain James with Mobility Lab — a Virginia-based mobility research and development group — offers his take on what Nashville's transit backers need to do differently next time.

"If Nashville gets another chance at transit, the city should learn from this failure," James writes. "It is a mistake to pin the blame entirely on the mayoral scandal, or on the Koch brothers’ 'dark money.' Though these were no doubt contributing factors, dismissing the results as due to outside forces shirks responsibility and dismisses legitimate critique of the plan."

While there are a variety of reasons Nashville's transit plan failed, James' article primarily explores the impact the plan's 28.4 miles of light rail had on the plan's ultimate reception by the public, as well as advocates' insistence that light rail was the best solution for Nashville since it would help control and focus development.

He writes:

For one, the project is quite expensive, costing more than $5.4 billion for initial construction. The cost per mile of light rail, the flagship of the plan, costs nearly $125 million per mile, while “gold standard” BRT (bus rapid transit) comes in at less than half that amount. …
Proponents of the plan defended the added expense of light rail as worth the price because of the permanency that would have given businesses and developers the confidence to invest in the high-density corridors. This is not incorrect, but the end goal of increased development is one that should be interrogated. …
The next plan should be focused on mobility, not on development. While the rejected plan included a massive investment in bus frequency and routing, this policy should be at the heart of the next proposal. Indianapolis, which recently held a successful referendum to increase transportation, asked for only a fraction of the money that Nashville did in a proposal that emphasized the increased connectivity for residents in ballot language and messaging to voters in the lead up to the election.

In many ways, Nashville’s transit plan was the city’s attempt to corral a boom that has run rampant all over town by funneling high-intensity growth onto select roads to create the concentration of residents, office workers and hotel guests needed to make transit viable. 

That piece of the plan, however, drew scrutiny throughout the campaign, as James acknowledges in his piece.

He also is right that the plan contained new money for the city's existing bus system, to the tune of $758.4 million worth of improvements. Those pieces of the plan were continually overshadowed by the plan’s rail component, which accounted for roughly 62 percent of the plan’s total $8.9 billion price tag, which included all costs estimated during the plan's 15-year construction period.

You can read James' piece here:
https://mobilitylab.org/2018/05/03/nashville-transit-referendum-mobility-not-development/

https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2018/05/07/nashvilles-transit-postmortem-next-referendum-must.html

 

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On 5/5/2018 at 2:24 PM, nashwatcher said:

dedicated BRT

Dedicated BRT is off the table because of State preemption.

I honestly don't know how we can provide Nashville with time-competitive mass transit. We can improve the existing bus system, but the people have rejected LRT and BRT is a no-go for the previously mentioned reason. 

1 hour ago, AronG said:

Dedicated lanes

I think this is a no go for any state route.

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1 hour ago, AronG said:

Avoid the tactic where the popular public champion of the plan implodes just as we get to the home stretch.

Haha I almost spit my drink out when I read this. “Tactic.” Brilliant! 

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On 5/5/2018 at 1:22 PM, dmillsphoto said:

While the setback is disappointing, our engagement will continue to be important.

While at the monthly meetup today, a great deal of time was spent discussing what didn't work, and the negatives that turned voters off the plan.  Costs, areas served, voter confusion about funding, and the tunnel were all topics discussed. What also was discussed, however, is that we must keep working toward a solution. Half jokingly, this thread was discussed. How can UrbanPlanet Nashville contribute to solving the Nashville Transit dilemma? Many of us attended the Nashville nMotion meetings and voiced opinions there, as did other Nashvillians. However those that attended likely were already pro-transit voters. What we'd like this thread to be is, separate from the main transit thread, a collection of ideas that could be actionable items toward finding a long term plan for the city.

 

We get lots of input here, and as always, play nice. We do think there are some great minds here with valuable input. With Mark's ability to connect with people in high places, maybe some of the ideas presented here make it to people that matter. Either way... UP Nashville - solve our transit problem!

So coming from a city that has mass transit and regional rail (we are in a fight up north for "true" regional rail) this has been something I love discussing and love reading and learning about. There is a non-profit group in Boston called TransitMatters (http://transitmatters.org/) and they have been advocating for MORE transit in and around greater Boston for years. Recently, they launched their Regional Rail Report as a guide for continued growth and efficiency of the MBTA.

http://transitmatters.org/regional-rail

Granted this is a report for an existing system, for improvements and expansion. I thought this would be a great report for some to look at and digest in terms of the transit problem here in Nashville. Something like this could also be used as a tool for those who are not familiar with the idea of mass transit and regional rail to see just what has to go into such a network. 

I apologize I was not able to get to the meetup this past weekend (had a wedding in Boston), but I am really excited to see what ideas come up here. Even if people want to get together off the board to talk about things, I would be very excited to talk ideas with people. I am in 100% agreement with smeag on the fact that this is totally a political problem - at the moment - but when the population grows further, and the tourism grows further, it will turn into a revenue problem as the city becomes too crowded for its own good.

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So, if East Nashville pays for their own line does that mean that the people that don't pay for it don't get to use it?

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9 minutes ago, grilled_cheese said:

So, if East Nashville pays for their own line does that mean that the people that don't pay for it don't get to use it?

Umm... correct. Unless they do some good ol' fashioned turnstile jumping!

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16 hours ago, 12Mouth said:

So I brought this up in the transit thread, but if you allowed anything besides brt to also use the dedicated lanes, it would not require state approval right now as the law is written. I suggest allowing lyft line/uberpool to pay for use of the lanes if they are carrying multiple passengers. This brings a heavy lobby if the state wants to rewrite the law and allows Nashville to control pickup/dropoff points along major arteries.

Correct, unless the slippery old fools change the law again.

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28 minutes ago, smeagolsfree said:

Correct, unless the slippery old fools change the law again.

Right, which is why I think we need to be creative about applying some political pressure (and give them some good reasons to not change the law). Uber and Lyft have fairly established lobbying arms, taking private money to subsidize transit (or to pay into the Barnes Fund) would be popular, Lyft employs a fairly significant labor force in Nashville (400-600 not including drivers, right?). There is also a conservative argument to be made here, in that we would be giving BRT and the private rideshare market an equal opportunity to compete. Maybe state politicians still wouldn't care...I don't know.

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17 hours ago, 12Mouth said:

So I brought this up in the transit thread, but if you allowed anything besides brt to also use the dedicated lanes, it would not require state approval right now as the law is written. I suggest allowing lyft line/uberpool to pay for use of the lanes if they are carrying multiple passengers. This brings a heavy lobby if the state wants to rewrite the law and allows Nashville to control pickup/dropoff points along major arteries.

If I were stuck in traffic and I saw an uber cruise by in the dedicated lane, I'd be pretty unhappy that a private company gets prioritized use of public roads that I don't have access to.  I also wouldn't be too thrilled if I were in an uber and had to stop at every bus stop along the way--might as well just get on the bus then call another uber once you reach the bus stop nearest your destination.  I like the outside-the-box thinking here, but I don't see this idea as a viable solution.  

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45 minutes ago, ruraljuror said:

If I were stuck in traffic and I saw an uber cruise by in the dedicated lane, I'd be pretty unhappy that a private company gets prioritized use of public roads that I don't have access to.  I also wouldn't be too thrilled if I were in an uber and had to stop at every bus stop along the way--might as well just get on the bus then call another uber once you reach the bus stop nearest your destination.  I like the outside-the-box thinking here, but I don't see this idea as a viable solution.  

Lyft/Uberpool to pay to use the dedicated lanes.  More money for metro. 

Lyft/Uberpool could get out of the dedicated lanes if the bus is delaying them. 

As for your last point on getting on the bus and then calling an uber nearest your destination--- isn't that what we want Nashvillians to do instead of driving? 

 

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13 minutes ago, nashvylle said:

Lyft/Uberpool to pay to use the dedicated lanes.  More money for metro. 

Lyft/Uberpool could get out of the dedicated lanes if the bus is delaying them. 

As for your last point on getting on the bus and then calling an uber nearest your destination--- isn't that what we want Nashvillians to do instead of driving? 

 

Uber is  hemorrhaging money at the moment. We have no idea if they would exist to the degree they do now if they charged rates they would need to in order to be profitable.  I am not as famiar with Lyft's finances but I would imagine them to be similar. 

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10 minutes ago, samsonh said:

Uber is  hemorrhaging money at the moment. We have no idea if they would exist to the degree they do now if they charged rates they would need to in order to be profitable.  I am not as famiar with Lyft's finances but I would imagine them to be similar. 

That's uber's issue, though. We could have the dedicated lanes for any sort of car pooling service agreed upon, not just uber. 

Edited by nashvylle
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35 minutes ago, nashvylle said:

Lyft/Uberpool to pay to use the dedicated lanes.  More money for metro. 

Lyft/Uberpool could get out of the dedicated lanes if the bus is delaying them. 

As for your last point on getting on the bus and then calling an uber nearest your destination--- isn't that what we want Nashvillians to do instead of driving? 

 

I imagine that Lyft/Uberpool would pass the costs of the dedicated-lane use fees onto their customers, who would essentially be paying a toll (to a private company) in order to avoid traffic on public streets.  If you want to allow people to buy their way out of traffic, why not just cut out the middleman and have the dedicated lanes be an HOV toll road with proceeds going directly to the city that built those dedicated lanes?  

And yes, we want people to potentially uber to/from mass transit stations/stops.  My point is that allowing uber in the dedicated lanes is redundant.  There's no need to incentivize uber trips along the exact same routes as mass transit (where the dedicated lanes would be) since we'd prefer they get out of the uber and ride the mass transit instead.

Edited by ruraljuror

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2 minutes ago, ruraljuror said:

I imagine that Lyft/Uberpool would pass the costs of the dedicated-lane use fees onto their customers, who would essentially be paying a toll (to a private company) in order to avoid traffic on public streets.  Why not just cut out the middleman and have the dedicated lanes be an HOV toll road?  

And yes, we want people to potentially uber to/from mass transit stations/stops.  My point is that allowing uber in the dedicated lanes is redundant.  There's no need to incentivize uber trips along the exact same routes as mass transit (where the dedicated lanes would be) since we'd prefer they get out of the uber and ride the mass transit instead.

I agree with your point, but approving toll roads in Tennessee is a death sentence for a politician.

Yes it is redundant, but it is the loophole needed to allow dedicated lanes in the first place, given current state law. 

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1 minute ago, nashvylle said:

I agree with your point, but approving toll roads in Tennessee is a death sentence for a politician.

 

Get me in office then. I'll gladly take the death sentence if the only thing I accomplish is getting toll roads...

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