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monsoon

Metro with Best Transit Plans?

Which Metro has Best Mass Transit Plan?  

204 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Metro has Best Mass Transit Plan?

    • Miami/S. Fla
      34
    • Jacksonville
      7
    • Tampa
      3
    • Charlotte
      48
    • New Orleans
      7
    • Atlanta
      31
    • Memphis
      14
    • Dallas
      13
    • Houston
      0
    • DC
      46


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monsoon    0

I've limited this poll to cities that actually have operational rail systems in their metro. The question is which of these metros has the best plans for using and expanding their systems to provide for more sustainable growth with less dependance on the automobile. Please consider future plans, zoning and planning to encourage TOD around these systems, and local funding assuming the Federal government will be less able to build these systems.

Note: if I left out a city let me know and I will add it to the poll

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Topher1    0

Based on limited knowledge, I'd say Miami is #1, followed by Atlanta. DC already has a very functional system, so I'm reluctant to think that any new additions will be groundbreaking. And I'm not aware of any proposals from any other cities (except maybe Denver) that will completely transform the cities transportation.

Miami has literally a whole new system proposed, most of which is heavy rail. Off the top of my head, the new system includes extending the current Metrorail line south to Florida City, building a Kendall connector, a western N/S line, a E/W line to the Orange Bowl, Airport, and FIU, a northern coastal line along the rapidly growing Biscayne corridor, Baylink to S. Beach, and a line that will connect to Pro Player Stadium.

Also, I think Miami owns the list as far as TOD is concerned. Nearly every single Metrorail stop now has a mini-downtown (Coral Gables station, Douglas Rd., S. Miami), or even brand new, larger downtowns (Downtown Kendall/Dadeland). I'm only familiar with the southern end of the system, but I'm sure other TOD is happening along other parts of the track.

Atlanta's beltway proposal is very ambitious and will spark an incredible transformation of the city. But just the massiveness of Miami's planned expansion, as well as the current butt-kicking TOD projects cause me to consider Miami's transit plan slightly better...

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I agree with Topher1. Miami and indeed the Gold Coast area is fighting very hard to counteract their out-of-control westward expansion. The TOD concept extends now not just to Metrorail (remember when that used to be called Metrofail?) but to Tri-Rail as well (Try-a-rail), with the norther counties jumping on board the idea of TODs around each Tri-Rail stop. Fort Lauderdale already has a start at this with the Cypress Creek stop, and wants to expand that. I can't recall wich PBCo stop is the one currently slated for urban development; it might be Glades. I'd have to look it up again. Further, at least in Broward County there are plans on the board--though not yet funded and probably not really approved, either--to create a Metrorail-type link from the Tri-rail stops into the urban cores of the eastern cities. This is a terrific plan provided that more of the eastern cities take the steps Fort Lauderdale has to densify dowtown or some other neighborhood. Pompano and Deerfield, for example, which each have Tri-Rail stops, are still low-slung towns that lack the density to make light rail worthwhile. However, I can't count the county out anymore, not after seeing the transformation of Fort Lauderdale in just five years.

The single most impressive thing I saw in Miami, though (aside from the glorious 1925 courthouse), was that one of the new condos downtown (one of, what, 15?) is being built right on top of the Metrorail line. The line actually goes through the building, like the monorail through the resort at Disney World, and has a stop inside. That, my friends, that is absolute genious. I don't know how much the city paid the developer for that but it probably wasn't enough.

Also, I sort of have to laugh at Jacksonville's inclusion. I know we have light rail already, and maybe the new res areas downton will actually cause it to be used. But divorcing us from our cars... it'll be harder than in Atlanta. I'm sure some day we'll figure out mass transit, but I think the Super Bowl will return to town--maybe twice--before we do. Here's hoping.

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Viper    0

I'm not too familiar with the transit systems and their plans of other cities but Jacksovilles current system is deplorable. Thankfully the upcoming expansions will help considerably but they still aren't hitting the hot spots they need to once completed.

EDIT: You Charlotte people trip me out sometimes.

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monsoon    0

Make sure you understand the question. It isn't about the transit systems as much as how are they are being used, what plans are in place to expand then, and how will future expansions be paid for.

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bobliocatt    0

Out of all these, I'd say Miami/South Florida's plans are the most significant, by far. Expansion plans include adding a second 70 mile Tri-Rail communter line route, that's significant because the line will pass through the downtown of every significant city of size in Palm Beach and Broward Counties to downtown Miami. Fort Lauderdale is planning to begin construction soon on a new streetcar line. The city of Miami is also looking at adding a streetcar system, in addition to the other three rail systems running already. On top of this, as stated earlier, there are extensive plans to extend metrorail, as well. However, what places these plans on another level, is that South Florida isn't sitting around like most US cities, whining for federal money, thery're funding many of these things (ex. Fort Lauderdale streetcar, metrorail) themselves.

Just looking at the poll, could anyone explain their reasoning for voting Charlotte Tampa & Atlanta? Charlotte & Atlanta, in general, because I already know Tampa mass transit plans are pipe dreams that won't become reality for another 50 years. So how extensive is the light rail system Charlotte? When will the first be completed? Is it more significant than Houston's light rail plans?

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bobliocatt    0

Note: if I left out a city let me know and I will add it to the poll

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't think you need to add these to the poll, but two other Southern cities with rail systems, are Morgantown, WV (peoplemover) and Galveston, TX (streetcar).

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afh    0

Jacksonville doesn't have any plans for rail, light or heavy, that I have seen. They do have plans for a rapid bus system. Kinda like what we have here in metro Phoenix. Bus lanes on the expressways and park and ride lots in the burbs. The buses actually use the car pool lane. Drop off points are in downtown Phoenix at the major employers' offices such as the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County and the State of Arizona offices. Phoenix is building a rail system that should be completed in three years but it will only cover the areas that the bus system doesn't cover which is about a 20 mile stretch coming from Mesa/Tempe into a portion of downtown Phoenix. The transit system here still does not reach far enough out into the burbs b/c Phoenix metro is so spread out like J'ville.

MIA's system is nice and efficient. Used it numerous times when I lived down there. Caught the train in Hialeah and got off at the Downtown stop for work. I thought I read that Orlando was having problems trying to get the funding for their system. If the plans take place it seems that the system will be somewhat efficient but limited b/c of the lack of stations in the outlying areas. I haven't seen the full extent of Charlotte's system so I can't comment. MARTA in the "A" is nice b/c it covers a good number of areas. They should extend it outside of the perimeter. Especially in the north along GA 400 seeing as though most of the growth is occuring there and out in the western burbs.

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bobliocatt    0

Jacksonville doesn't  have any plans for rail, light or heavy, that I have seen.  They do have plans for a rapid bus system.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Since light rail was too expensive to initially build, JTA decided to purchase the right-of-way for a 29 mile system, before it gets too expensive. In the short term, the right of way will be used as electronic BRT with the first phase opening in 2009 . In the long term, the system will be converted into light rail.

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bobliocatt    0

Memphis has a rail line?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, there's a streetcar system that loops downtown, as well as connect downtown to Midtown. There are plans to extend it to the airport.

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Spartan    682

I vote Charlotte. I do have a bias since I am more familiar with that area. It requires much more initiative on the city's part to build a rail system from scratch than it does to extend an existing one. Charlotte is coming from nothing but a bus system to a citywide LRT/BRT system.

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I had to vote for New Orleans. I love the streetcars there. And, with the new Canal Street extension, it is more useful than ever. New Orleans never gets mentioned on here, but it is a very dense, urban environment. I love it. I couldnt be a homer and vote for Jax on this one.

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bobliocatt    0

I haven't been to New Orleans, since the Canal Street line opened last year, but the St. Charles line gets a lot of use from locals. There are plans to extend the streetcar system in this city, as well. We need to get someone from New Orleans on here to give us updates on what's happening in that city.

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Miami's transit is awesome...only wish it was physically connected to the airport. I was there 2 years ago..do you still have to ride a shuttle bus to the station? I had to wait 40 mins for a bus, which I thought was very inconvenient.

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Brickell    0

The first metrorail expansion which will begin work in 2006 I believe will be from the aiport/MIC to the existing line. This is already paid for with local and state funds. It will be part of a bigger expansion that will link FIU in the west and the Dolphin stadium in the north. This is in effect a brand new line and should be finished within the next 5-7 years. We in Miami voted to tax ourselves for these expansions. Each city in the county gets their own cut of the tax and some (Coral Gables, South Miami, Hialeah) are setting up successful trolley/shuttle services and the City of Miami is using theirs to build a street car line connecting downtown to the design district without any needed additional funds. There is also a huge surge in TOD around here.

check out some of the joint development plans here:

http://www.miamidade.gov/transit/joint_index.asp

There's also a smart transit intiative that makes it easier for people to buy homes near transit stops.

http://www.miamidade.gov/trafficrelief/smart_commute.asp

and of course the ever popular expansion plans for Dade County.

railcorridor.gif

The blue metrorail line and dashed green tri-rail line are existing. The green, orange and red lines will make up the "2nd" line of metrorail and close to construction. The rest are in various stages of planning.

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jandar    0

http://www.jaxrapidtransit.com/

Of course nothing is 100% final but it will be shortly.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:rofl:

Problem is, they are still neglecting the major areas with the BRT. By only placing the terminus on the westside of Jacksonville off of Wilson Blvd, instead of getting it out towards Orange Park, CR220/Fleming Island area, they are still going to have poor ridership.

Blanding Blvd corridor from Kingsley, under I295 and up to Collins Rd;

US17 corridor from Dr. Lake Bridge to NAS Jax

those are horrible traffic areas, for both Jacksonville/Duval County and Clay County. As the westside and northern clay county grow (especially with OakLeaf Plantation, a 6400 acre mixed use development) this can only get worse. It is already a ~50 minute commute from Old Jennings and Blanding Blvd to downtown Jacksonville regardless of the route taken.

Do you think by placing a bus station, even if BRT, on the westside will alleviate this? Those same people still have to go through that same traffic to get to that bus terminal.

Take me for example, if I have already driven ~15 miles to get to the BRT, do you think that I would stop and take the BRT the rest of the way? Or would I perfer to take the 8-10 miles the rest of the way in the car?

2/3 of my commute time is the Duval/Clay county border area, whether it be US17, or Blanding Blvd. Brannan Field/Chaffee does seem smoother, but it adds 4-5 miles onto my route and still takes the same time, plus I now have to face the I10/I95 interchange construction for the nex 6-7 years.

Pee poor planning by the JTA once again. (not even taking into account the Clay County Commissioners)

I could write paragraphs about missing out on Northern St Johns County as well

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Viper    0

You must have missed my first post where I also slammed the poor planning.

I'm not too familiar with the transit systems and their plans of other cities but Jacksovilles current system is deplorable.  Thankfully the upcoming expansions will help considerably but they still aren't hitting the hot spots they need to once completed.

EDIT: You Charlotte people trip me out sometimes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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bobliocatt    0

:rofl:

Problem is, they are still neglecting the major areas with the BRT. By only placing the terminus on the westside of Jacksonville off of Wilson Blvd, instead of getting it out towards Orange Park, CR220/Fleming Island area, they are still going to have poor ridership.

Blanding Blvd corridor from Kingsley, under I295 and up to Collins Rd;

US17 corridor from Dr. Lake Bridge to NAS Jax

those are horrible traffic areas, for both Jacksonville/Duval County and Clay County. As the westside and northern clay county grow (especially with OakLeaf Plantation, a 6400 acre mixed use development) this can only get worse. It is already a ~50 minute commute from Old Jennings and Blanding Blvd to downtown Jacksonville regardless of the route taken.

Do you think by placing a bus station, even if BRT, on the westside will alleviate this? Those same people still have to go through that same traffic to get to that bus terminal.

Take me for example, if I have already driven ~15 miles to get to the BRT, do you think that I would stop and take the BRT the rest of the way? Or would I perfer to take the 8-10 miles the rest of the way in the car?

2/3 of my commute time is the Duval/Clay county border area, whether it be US17, or Blanding Blvd. Brannan Field/Chaffee does seem smoother, but it adds 4-5 miles onto my route and still takes the same time, plus I now have to face the I10/I95 interchange construction for the nex 6-7 years.

Pee poor planning by the JTA once again. (not even taking into account the Clay County Commissioners)

I could write paragraphs about missing out on Northern St Johns County as well

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This may have something to do with the Clay County officials not stepping up to pay to connect they're county to the Westside BRT route. Personally, I think JTA, should eliminate the proposed Westside BRT line and run commuter rail line on CSX tracks from Orange Park to Prime Osborn, in downtown. Since that rail line as direct access to Orange Park, NAS Jax, Ortega, Roosevelt Square, FCCJ, Murray Hill, Avondale, Riverside, McCoy's Creek, the skyway and downtown. A commuter rail line connecting all these major destination areas, would be cheaper and have higher ridership levels than BRT on the Westside.

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jandar    0

^ that is a good idea to use exsiting railways. That track goes straight into town basically anyway.

There more than just Clay County residents affecting roadways out this way.

Argyle (80% duval county)

Housing going up everywhere off of Old Middleburg and Shindler.

You must have missed my first post where I also slammed the poor planning.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not laughing at you, but at the JTA site.

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The single most impressive thing I saw in Miami, though (aside from the glorious 1925 courthouse), was that one of the new condos downtown (one of, what, 15?) is being built right on top of the Metrorail line.  The line actually goes through the building, like the monorail through the resort at Disney World, and has a stop inside.  That, my friends, that is absolute genious.  I don't know how much the city paid the developer for that but it probably wasn't enough.

you mean this one:)

loft2.jpg

42_cs_detail_img1_lg.gif

there is already activity on the site:D

1109692765629782.jpg

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