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Urban_Legend

Jacksonville Transit

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Great idea...very necessary and today I rode the bus for the first time...there were some people talking about how you could go past the OP Mall on a bus, but If everybody collaborates, I'm sure one can go anywhere in the region, and that would be great for a lot of folks that rely on mass transit.

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I recently returned from Jacksonville on business. Whoever (and it is not in this thread) says that the Skyway is not used by workers OR tourists durring the day (and especially durring prime commuting hours) is dead wrong. I rode it for business from 4:45pm to 5:15pm and the trains that I was on were almost full. Now, I know that the skyway is/was an expensive system to install and expand; however, would it cost much more than a light rail line to actually just drop the skyway to grade and expand it that way? I do not see where it would. A major cost of the expansions is the elevated guide way and stations. Well, if it is droped to grade that would eleminate that cost. Is this an option or are there reasons already that this would not take place? It really is a good system and fun to ride, not to mention very affordable. It is a system that is already in place and the JTA has experience running it already which is an advantage.

Steve

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Hello, I've been looking all over the net for specific info on J-villes Masstransit to noooo avail. Hopefully I can get some help here. I'm moving to Jacksonville from the Fort Lauderdale area sometime in mid fall and I wont have a car for a while. Am i going to have a problem relying on the bus to get me to work? I'll be living right outside downtown, maybe 10 min away. I've been told by some that the bus isnt reliable and its scary. I dont know, scary to some people may not be scary to me. Anyone take the bus everyday ? I dont mind a few crazies here and there, but do students and middle class use it as well ? I'm a 27/female and I want to feel relatively safe. I've been relying on the bus in south fl and it hasnt been fantastic, but I get by. I'm wondering if its any worse or just the same in J-ville. the frequency of stops doesnt seem great, mostly, an hour apart and it doesnt run on sunday :/ Also, what is the major mas transit like? I'd really appreciate any information you guys can give me! Thanks in advance!

Aliza

Edited by jacksonviller

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Well, since no one from the jville forum is responding I will give it a small shot! :) I do not live there, but I do go there for business several times a year. I have not used the bus system, so I cannot comment on that; however, I do use the skyway when I am there. The skyway, if you are not familiar, is a samll elevated monorail in Down Town. There area several park and ride lots as well as connections with the bus system. The skyway is clean and safe, as well as well patronized by both locals and tourists. The trains a frequent and fast. One can get to most anywhere in Down Town from the skyway and a short walk. Other than that though I am sorry that I cannot offer more information! Good luck though!

Steve

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Hello, thanks for all the replys. I'll definitely have a look at that transit site. I cant beleive i missed that one in my exaustive research. To answer your question, I'll be moving near the St. Johns area. Is that far from downtown? ...I have a feeling i'll be the minority ( as in the only student or 27 yr old girl ) on those buses, but oh well...its not forever. why do people say they are innefficient? Not very reliable? I guess i'll find that out on the other transit forum....I think id only need to take one bus to get to downtown so it shouldnt be horrible. Thanks again!

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I merged a dozen or so scattered transit related threads so that all of it can be in one place, including the recent discussion on commuter rail. This thread is now dedicated to news and information, construction, projects, and any other kind of info on JTA.

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Is Jax to the point that JTA is attracting choise riders (those who don't have to take the bus, but do anyway)?

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A Photo Report exposing JTA's Lies about Light Rail, Modern Streetcar and Heritage Trolleys

tube_curitiba.jpg

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?

saint-louis-convention-center1.jpg

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

Trolley_at_Night-700_small.jpg

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]

modern-5.jpg

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

Edited by traintrain

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What Does Arizona and Texas Know About Light Rail -vs- Bus Transit, That JTA Hasn't Figured Out?

brt028.jpg

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:

More and more, Mesa's and Tempe's experiences with light rail are mirroring those of two Dallas suburbs. Which is good news for Tempe and not so good news for Mesa.

Plano, Texas, was progressive with its light-rail leg.

It had a mixed-use condo project up and running before the line opened. That project spurred other investments in the city's ailing downtown, and it wasn't long before folks started traveling the rail to eat or shop in a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly gathering spot.

On the other hand, Garland, Texas, hemmed and hawed about light rail.

It built an adjacent arts center facing away from the light-rail stop and didn't get any mixed-use projects under way before rail opened, so there are no new residents and nothing to woo customers a few blocks to the town square. Not surprisingly, the place still looks like a ghost town.

If history repeats itself, and you know it often does, Tempe is on track to be Plano, revitalizing Apache Boulevard as Plano revitalized its downtown.

And Mesa will end up like Garland, dooming itself to an endless game of catch-up.

From the Arizona Republic Newspaper as located by The Arizona Association of Railroad Passengers

Edited by traintrain

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^ used the trolley system in Memphis, TN and it was great! if you wanted to go anywhere in a N/S direction in the city it was very convenient. buses are garbage and the JTA/TU/etc. are out of their minds if they think it is the way to go... via light rail!

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Truth of the matter is that there are already tracks down...Jacksonville was famous for its streetcars. The JTA is actively paving over them or pulling them up in favor of their rapid bus system. The further truth is that Jax residents won't take the bus unless they're poor. If we had a rail system, everyone would use it. There's nothing sexy about a bus. Just sayin' is all....

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Jacksonville should look at the overwhelming success of Charlotte's new light rail line. Jacksonville is a similar sized city, with similar traffic problems, so it seems to me that a similar LRT system could be feasible. Obviously I don't know the details of why JTA went with BRT, but I'd like to think there is a good reason for it.

Also, buses are required to support a good fixed route transit service, be it BRT or LRT.

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