04 February, 2009

THIS IS WHAT YOU GET JACKSONVILLE - PART 1

So you'd like Jacksonville to become the rail hub of Florida again says Mayor Peyton. I'm certain that he See's that as some sort of airport where trains come and go daily with a few crew jobs and lots of seats for our citizens.
I doubt anyone in power has ever looked behind the scenes in a real railroad passenger hub, all of the hundreds of jobs and businesses that will spring to life in our city as we grow Amtrak, Commuter Rail and Regional Rail with Orlando and Tampa. We could be working with Georgia on a 3 times daily Jacksonville-Valdosta-Macon-Atlanta train... We could be fighting to get the Palmetto back, the Sunset Route and get trains back to Ocala... We could be doing a lot of things that would spell far more jobs then just building a new convention center and decent COMPACT station.
You really think this is what you want Jacksonville? Well here is PART 1 of What You Get!
Servicing the Dining Cars, food vendors, storage, master kitchens, stock tableware.

A Live Union Station with the possibility of Light Rail/Streetcar/Skyway/Amtrak/Commuter Rail all side by side.


Fuel and Water service, sand storage and supply, fuel racks and tanks


Rolling repair shop, light maintenance, full staff, highly skilled workforce



A new drive through car wash in town, with all the features, including skilled workers to polish the stainless steel.




THE EYE'S HAVE IT

Ha Ha! We see who you are and know what you are doing!

• Apollo Video Technology obtained a contract from the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to provide a state-of-the-art command center for viewing and monitoring video. The command center will serve JTA's Skyway operations in Jacksonville, Fla., and provide access to real-time and historical video of Skyway trains and stations. Skyway's 10 trains will be equipped with Apollo Video Technology's RoadRunner™ digital video recorders (DVRs) and four surveillance cameras, which will monitor riders entering and exiting trains. Stations will be equipped with a RoadRunner DVR designed for facilities and four to eight surveillance cameras.
(Progressive Railroading)




VITAL MAYPORT FERRY DOWN FOR THE COUNT?

I'm Your Captain
Everybody, listen to me,
And return me, my ship.
Im your captain, Im your captain,
Although Im feeling mighty sick.
Ive been lost now, days uncounted,
And its months since Ive seen home.
Can you hear me, can you hear me,
Or am I all alone.
If you return me, to my home port,
I will kiss you mother earth.
Take me back now, take me back now,
To the port of my birth.
Am I in my cabin dreaming,
or are you really scheming,
To take my ship away from me?
Youd better think about it,
I just cant live without it.
So, please dont take my ship from me.
(Grand Funk Railroad)
Starting tomorrow, Thursday, February 5th, and for 19 long days The JEAN RIBAULT, St. Johns River Ferry at Mayport will be closed for routine dry-dock maintenance. The ferry should resume service on Tuesday February 24th at 6 a.m.



JAXPORT regrets any inconvenience posed by this planned outage. Next month's required maintenance on the Jean Ribault will help ensure safe and efficient ferry service in the future.



Drivers will need to use Heckscher Dr., Broward Bridge/SR 9-A Eastern Beltway, or I-95 as alternate routes.



For more information call JAXPORT at 904-357-3006 or Hornblower Marine Services at 904-241-9969.




Let's hope this isn't a sign of things to come, through a test of service demand. "Let' Em Have It Mates!" Call JAXPORT TODAY and tell em we love um, and will float Em in rum when they give us back our ship.











Florida Chamber Supports Massive Commuter/Regional Rail build-up

North Carolina Supported Regional and Commuter Train, "The Piedmont".

IS PASSENGER RAIL OUT OF THE CLOSET IN FLORIDA?

Incredible, fantastic and nearly unbelievable news has just rolled out of the Florida Chamber of Commerce in Tallahassee. Bottom line? The Chamber is loudly supporting Commuter Rail in Jacksonville (by name), SunRail (Orlando) and Tampa (implied). Continued pressure on the powers that be are pushing our state in a bit of a different direction then pure Chicago or New York style Commuter Rail. Being narrow and long, Florida, without even realizing it seems to have all of the ducks in a row for Tampa - Orlando - Jacksonville to launch a massive regional rail system. Certainly many of the trains would be limited to each market, but with the systems connecting or nearly connecting end to end, it's just a matter of time until we follow California into ordering our own bi-level "Florida Cars". Coaches and lounges will connect the North and Central Florida metros with increasing speed, comfort and safety, in a sunshine regional bullet network. Lead on CofC, and if in your quest you desire to talk to the old railroad guy, send me a note.

California Pacific Surfliner took the worlds most auto centric society out of their cars!

Florida Chamber of Commerce Breaks Silence on Rail:

America is in a recession, and Floridians have not been spared. Florida's unemployment rate is 8.1 percent, higher than the national rate of 7.2 percent.Florida has lost 255,000 jobs over the past 12 months.The full attention of our elected leaders should be given to economic recovery, transition and job growth. While Florida is faced with the same economic challenges as the rest of the nation, we are fortunate to have a governor who understands the need to invest in long-term transportation solutions even in these tough times.Last year, Gov. Charlie Crist announced his Accelerate Florida program to advance investment in infrastructure projects that will create jobs and encourage economic growth.The wisdom of the governor's initiative is evidenced by the strong return on investment generated by infrastructure projects. For example, for every dollar invested in transportation projects, $5.60 in economic benefit is gained. That is a smart investment.In addition to backing the Accelerate Florida initiative, the Florida Chamber of Commerce joined Crist in his call for national leaders to invest in our state's more than $7 billion in "shovel ready" transportation projects that can be started in less than four months, delivering a quick return on investment.In addition to those important projects, our state has even more work to do to prepare our transit infrastructure before we add another 7 million residents by the year 2030. Florida must continue to diversify and expand its mix of transit solutions to move goods and people.One significant transit solution Florida should build upon is the expansion of commuter rail. While commuter rail systems are being planned in several regions, the Central Florida region's proposed SunRail system provides the most immediate opportunity for construction activity that could leverage federal funding and quickly create thousands of jobs.The economic benefit of SunRail is not limited to Central Florida. As part of its agreement to purchase 61 miles of track for SunRail, the state will direct reinvestment of private money in roadways, railroads and other transportation facilities throughout Florida.In addition to an existing South Florida system, SunRail will also lay the foundation for passenger rail systems in Jacksonville and other Florida regions desperate for multi-modal transportation solutions.Expanding commuter rail in Florida is a great opportunity to leverage federal funding, create thousands of jobs, and gain economic benefits that accompany transportation improvements. Action this coming legislative session will enable the SunRail project to serve as a much-needed stimulus to our state's economy. The time to act on commuter rail is now. MARK WILSON, CEO. Florida Chamber of Commerce, Tallahassee.








TAKE A FREE TOUR OF THE JACKSONVILLE SKYWAY

The arguments rage to this date, "Should have never been built," "waste of taxpayer money," "Doesn't go anywhere," "Nobody rides it..." etc. Bottom line is we have it, and it is finally showing signs of life. Simple extensions to the Stadium, San Marco, and the area of Blue Cross in North Riverside would turn this little train around. Addition of Park and Ride garages and multimodal transit terminals at the end points would bring on the crowds. The video must have been shot on a Sunday Morning, as downtown is certainly as packed with life as any other major City on weekdays. Jacksonville is a city of Bikes, joggers, walkers, buses and cars, one almost wonders how the photographer managed to find this quiet moment.

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