[tabi] Nova 2010 Plan

  • From: "blindwilly" <blindwilly@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2009 17:39:37 -0400



The following is an on going discussion I have been having with Sam Scheiv of 
Star Metro.   In fact here is his first message, back to me.



Dear Mr. Benjamin:


It was nice speaking to you yesterday.  Please find attached the document 
describing the Nova 2010 project.  Below I have written descriptions of each 

as they are now.  I have not included every turn or small street, but enough to 
understand the general direction.  These routes are still in flux.  In

fact I just made a change this morning.  So this is not final.  We are taking 
suggestions from the public and incorporating them into the plan.  That means

we need to know what people DO like as much as what people don't like.  I hope 
you find this interesting and I appreciate you calling.




Samuel L. Scheib

Senior Planner

Nova 2010 Overview


For many years transit concentrated in downtown Tallahassee where shoppers, 
moviegoers, employees, and diners invariably traveled.  Over the ensuing 
decades, the downtown share of the city's employment decreased as shopping 
centers, restaurants, movie theaters, and even government jobs relocated to the 
periphery (Tax World, Koger Center, CCOC, etc.).  


The practice of transit is changing, and a growing number of agencies have 
found serving multiple destinations has been tremendously successful, starting 
with West Coast transit properties in Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, 
California and then spreading to places like Colorado Springs and Madison, 
Wisconsin, a state capital with a large university presence like our own.  In 
Florida, Pinellas and Broward Counties have similarly restructured their 


Concurrent with the 2005 StarMetro Renaissance Plan, the 2005 Transit 
Development Plan, the November 2008 City Commission Target Issue Meeting and 
the City Manager's 2009 Resolutions, StarMetro has taken preliminary steps to 
create a decentralized route structure plan for the City of Tallahassee.  Once 
implemented, the plan, known as Nova 2010, would distribute transit services 
mostly along major roadways in Tallahassee; several routes will not serve 
downtown at all.  By not sending every route to C.K. Steele Plaza, passengers 
would experience greater frequency of service and a system that more closely 
resembles contemporary vehicular travel patterns.  


In developing the draft plan, there were several assumptions about conditions 
in Tallahassee.  First, the system would, like the present one, serve the city 
of Tallahassee with the few exceptions currently in place, such as 
Bradfordville on the 80x.  Second, we would work to use, to the best extent 
possible, existing facilities.  We have Steele Plaza and approximately 105 bus 
shelters, and have adapted a draft plan to use these resources as a starting 
point on implementation day.   Expanding with additional facilities would be 
added as the plan gains popularity, as needed and as fiscally feasible.  
Lastly, we assumed two lanes on Tennessee Street between Monroe and Ocala would 
be converted to transit-only use, as is currently recommended in a study by 
Genesis Group.  Beyond that, our goal was to use similar existing resources-the 
number of buses and drivers, the funding level-all would remain as close as 
possible to current levels.  The above is based on our cursory draft plan.  
This draft plan is subject to changes based minimally on a full system 
analysis, review of alternatives, considerable public involvement, a thorough 
origin and destination study and Commission approval.


We focused our analysis on employment density, as the planning literature 
consistently points to employment density being better at generating transit 
trips than population density; although having high densities of both is best.  
Since employment densities are highest on major roadways, we assigned routes to 
these roads while trying to approximate a grid network as seen on the attached 


Nova 2010 is intended to accomplish several things:


q       Reduce Downtown Trips: The most common customer complaint is that all 
the buses go downtown.  At a recent listening session, a customer lamented the 
only way to get from one section of Orange Avenue to another was to first go to 
Steele Plaza at the corner of Tennessee and Adams Streets.  In order to mimic 
contemporary travel patters (i.e. to go to jobs on the periphery) passengers 
often must make the V-shaped trip of going downtown first and then back out 
again to the customers final destination.

q       Reduce Redundancy: The current hub and spoke system requires all buses 
to meet at the same time at the central hub. Since C.K. Steele Plaza is located 
along a major arterial (W. Tennessee Street, near the intersection with Monroe 
Street), every bus must travel along this corridor at the same time in order 
for passengers to make their transfers. This results in two or more buses 
arriving and leaving from the plaza in tandem to travel along the same corridor 
for a significant distance, passing the same stops. With the concept Nova 2010 
plan, the importance of C.K. Steele Plaza is downplayed as buses operate 
independent of each other. This allows for one bus to cover an entire corridor, 
instead of five buses covering the same corridor, as is the case of W. 
Tennessee Street. 

q       Increase On-Time Performance: Another complaint staff receives is buses 
run behind schedule. This is primarily due to two reasons - buses traveling at 
lower speeds in neighborhoods, and routes being dependent on each other for 
transfers (i.e. if one arrives late, the other buses are held for transferring 
patrons). Under Nova 2010, buses will remain on the major roads allowing for 
higher travel speeds as  applicable. In addition, the routes operate 
independent of each other. This means if one arrives late, it does not affect 
the operation of the other routes. Patrons are would be accommodated better 
with Nova 2010 with higher service frequency leading to shorter wait times (10 
to 30 minutes during peak hours verses up to an hour with the current system).

q       Increased Ridership/Decreased Carbon Footprint:  StarMetro expects Nova 
2010 to make transit significantly more attractive to a much broader part of 
the community, and each single-occupancy-vehicle driver that shifts to transit 
represents reduced carbon emissions, cleaner air, reduced congestion, less road 
maintenance, etc.

q       Reduce travel time for patrons using transit: Instead of going in and 
out of neighborhoods, the Nova 2010 plan would have more direct service to 
major employment and shopping/recreation centers.

q       Increase frequency: Buses will arrive more often giving our customers 
more options for using transit service with greater convenience.

q       Increased Opportunities for Regional Travel: With few exceptions (80X, 
Route 17, and Route 21), there are no opportunities for regional travel in the 
current system. By decentralizing the system, independent cross-town routes 
along major corridors create the opportunities for regional expansion.


While there are many distinct advantages in addition to the aforementioned ones 
of the Nova 2010 concept plan, there are a few perceived disadvantages, which 
have proven to be advantages across the country:


q       Routes would no longer circulate within neighborhoods. This will, 
however, allow StarMetro to serve a larger population by providing higher 
frequency and better service to the most popular destinations.

q       Related to the above, walking distances to StarStops are anticipated to 
increase. On the other hand, this will lead to fewer stops, increased mobility, 
a more pleasurable riding experience and a healthier community.


The benefits, however, would far outweigh the few discrete disadvantages, which 
are better communicated in a longer visual presentation.  StarMetro would have 
a more dependable system going where our patrons want to go doing so in a 
timely, efficient fashion.



After I got this message, as per Sila requested, I asked for a discription of 
the routes for the eleven bus routes, and they are as follows..



US 90 (1), 20 minutes: Fallschase, W US 90, S Appleyard, W Pensacola, N 
Blountstown, E US 90


US 90 (2), 20 minutes: Fallschase, W US 90, N Capital Circle, loop through 
Commonwealth, S Capital Circle, E US 90


Orange, 15 minutes:  Loop through Paul Dirac, W Roberts, S Eisenhower, E Lake 
Jackson/Orange Ave, S Capital Circle, loop through Capital Circle Office Center


East, 15 minutes.  Village Square, Capital Circle, Southwood/Capital Circle 
Office Center


Southside, 15 minutes: Ross Road, N Shelfer, N Crawfordville, Gaile Ave, N 
Monroe Street, Steele Plaza


Frenchtown/Bond, 15 minutes: Orange, Saxon, Wahnish/Macomb/Old Bainbridge, 
Volusia, Alabama to Preston Loop, and back.


Pensalachee, 20 minutes:  Pensacola, Gaines, Lafayette, Apalachee Parkway


Hospitals, 30 minutes:  Woodland, Tuscan, Sunnyside, N. Ridge, E Springsax, E 
Bragg, E Paul Dirac, N Jim Lee, N Magnolia, E Miccosukee, Capital Medical,

Bufford, NE Centerville, SE Fleischmann, W Misscosukee


West Loop, 30 minutes (both directions): N Monroe, SW Fred George, S Mission, S 
Appleyard, E Jackson Bluff, N Woodward, E St. Augustine, through downtown

to Monroe


NE to Innovation:  N Pottsdamer, E Iamonia, N Lake Jackson, E Gaines, Gadsden, 


North Mover, 30 minutes: Commonwealth, Hartsfield, Pullen, Allen, Henderson, 
Meridian, Bradford/Betton


CommonWalmart, 30 minutes: Commonwealth, Tharpe, MLK/Duval/Bronough, Park, Gov. 
Square Blvd, Park Conner Blvd, Walmart.



It has been that discriptions brings up more questions than answere, so here it 
is to work with.\



William benjamin

William Benjamin, Piano Tuner Extraordinaire.
The tuner alone preserves the tone.

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