Author Topic: Streetcar in Tampa  (Read 720 times)

fsu813

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Streetcar in Tampa
« on: August 07, 2022, 08:58:53 PM »
....is booming!

Huge increase in ridership, with expansion coming:
https://www.masstransitmag.com/rail/news/21272783/fl-tampas-historic-streetcar-is-back-big-time-wait-till-you-see-whats-next

https://www.tampabay.com/news/transportation/2022/06/29/tampas-historic-streetcar-is-back-big-time-wait-till-you-see-whats-next/

Really, really wish JTA was all in for fixed rail streetcar in lieu of autonomous shuttles. Question: is Jacksonville making the largest municipal bet on autonomous shuttles in the US, or are other cities betting big, as well?
« Last Edit: August 08, 2022, 12:28:22 AM by fsu813 »

thelakelander

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Re: Streetcar in Tampa
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2022, 07:04:45 AM »
I'm glad to see Tampa is rallying around their streetcar system. The place has totally changed with the amount of TOD built along that streetcar route over the last 20 years. It's unfortunate to see peer communities doubling down on proven transit enhancements while we spend more money on things that will probably never work, largely against the will of the overall community. I do hope that its not too late for us to come back to reality.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

marcuscnelson

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Re: Streetcar in Tampa
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2022, 10:30:06 AM »
I rode Amtrak down to Tampa a few weeks ago (as documented in this Twitter thread) and part of the trip included riding the Streetcar into downtown. It’s really impressive infrastructure that was decently well-ridden, and I can see how these improvements are going to make it even more useful.

If I recall correctly, a number of articles related to JTA’s press releases about the Bay Street project herald it as the “largest autonomous vehicle deployment in the United States,” and generally JTA’s attitude about the project has somehow simultaneously been that it’s proven globally and we’re actually behind the 8-ball while also being so innovative that people are going to move from around the world to develop it.

Bay Street is arguably set in stone at this point, but City Council could revise the LOGT project list at basically any time to reallocate the funds for converting the Skyway to a number of other solutions, like a more minor overhaul of the Skyway and funding for the commuter rail proposal they made a big deal of a few weeks ago, or the Red Line extension to Town Center and other BRT improvements. For whatever reason they’ve instead so far just declared their faith in Nat Ford to deliver somehow.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jcjohnpaint

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Re: Streetcar in Tampa
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2022, 12:34:58 PM »
I think it is time for Nat Ford to move on.

thelakelander

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Re: Streetcar in Tampa
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2022, 12:40:46 PM »
Bay Street is arguably set in stone at this point, but City Council could revise the LOGT project list at basically any time to reallocate the funds for converting the Skyway to a number of other solutions, like a more minor overhaul of the Skyway and funding for the commuter rail proposal they made a big deal of a few weeks ago, or the Red Line extension to Town Center and other BRT improvements. For whatever reason they’ve instead so far just declared their faith in Nat Ford to deliver somehow.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Bay Street to come online anytime soon. Unless the plan is just to do a slow moving, super low capacity Lake Nona type demonstration (nothing groundbreaking here), the technology isn't there yet for the urban environment they want to experiment with.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

marcuscnelson

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Re: Streetcar in Tampa
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2022, 09:47:39 PM »
I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Bay Street to come online anytime soon. Unless the plan is just to do a slow moving, super low capacity Lake Nona type demonstration (nothing groundbreaking here), the technology isn't there yet for the urban environment they want to experiment with.

In my opinion, that’s exactly what will happen. JTA had every excuse in the book last year about how low-speed would be fine, or how there’d still be attendants, and all the other violations of their “Golden 20” aspirations for this plan. Unless they’re wrapping up design right about now on a next-generation vehicle that solves all these problems, then what we’re probably going to get is a slow demonstrator-style project that you have to pay to use because that’s what the federal grant stipulated.

I think it is time for Nat Ford to move on.

I think Ford has done reasonably well in other areas of running JTA, but what they need is a Board of Directors that is actually going to have a feasible vision for transportation that doesn’t put hundreds of millions of public dollars at risk in order to build an experiment instead of public transportation. More importantly, we need a City Council that does their own homework and makes sure that the money they raised isn’t going into frivolous things like this. Nat Ford doesn’t have the power of the purse, the people signing off on his proposals do.
So, to the young people fighting in this movement for change, here is my charge: march in the streets, protest, run for school committee or city council or the state legislature. And win. - Ed Markey

jaxlongtimer

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Re: Streetcar in Tampa
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2022, 11:03:53 PM »
^If Nat Ford withdrew support for AV's, no way the City Council and JTA Board would fight him.  Those last 2 are relying on the "transportation professionals" to give them cover for authorizing the spending. 

The reality is Ford will probably be retired by the time the obvious verdict comes in on the AV debacle and we will have an all new City Council and JTA Board.  As usual, the current decision makers will, thus, not be held accountable for this waste of taxpayer dollars.  Echoes of the Skyway failure.  Those who approved that project are out of the picture or dead and history will repeat here.

This scenario is what allows poor decisions to be made.  In business, failure to succeed usually hits bad decision makers in the pocketbook.  Not so with elected officials and ever changing agency heads who feast on "sexy today", failing tomorrow projects and an inattentive electorate to boot.