[tabi] Re: Nova 2010 Plan

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2009 17:53:33 -0400

Hi William and all,
thank you for the posting.
I'd like you to know I've been speaking with another blind individual,
who is neither associated with TABI or TCB, so most of us are unlikely
to know what he knows and vice versa.
He in turn has been speaking with Sam, and has mentioned to him that the
new routes as planned, do not go directly up to the malls (such as
Governor's Square), but only approach a near-by street corner (I believe
he said the Parkway and Park Avenue for instance).
This would mean quite a walk for someone going to Gov Square, and even
worse, part of it would have to be across the parking lot without any
He has also mentioned that several routes would require transferring by
walking across a difficult to cross street such as ThomasVille Road or
Capitol Circle, in order to achieve certain routings.
In general, he believes Star Metro has made these decisions without
considering the difficulty a blind pedestrian would face in following
the plan.
I don't know if his understanding is correct, and even if the current
plan is still this way, but I thought I'd point it out for those who are
interested as an item I would judge to be of importance.


Chip Orange
Database Administrator
Florida Public Service Commission

(850) 413-6314

 (Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect those of the Florida Public Service Commission.)



        From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of blindwilly
        Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 5:40 PM
        To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
        Subject: [tabi] Nova 2010 Plan



        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



        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 route

        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 systems.


        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 map.


        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

        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

        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


        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

        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



        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, Thomasville


        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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