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Unread 01-07-2014, 07:52 AM
 
Location: CNJ Frost hollow
4,976 posts, read 1,324,516 times
Reputation: 1979
So, Why doesn't Tampa Have a proper public transit system. It baffles me. Such a large city with pathetic public transit just seems out of place. With the year round walkable climate you guys have, public transit in Tampa would gain more ridership than, say Frigid Minneapolis or incinerating Phoenix where walking is a seasonal activity.
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Unread 01-07-2014, 05:41 PM
 
6,697 posts, read 6,801,322 times
Reputation: 7982
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
So, Why doesn't Tampa Have a proper public transit system. It baffles me. Such a large city with pathetic public transit just seems out of place. With the year round walkable climate you guys have, public transit in Tampa would gain more ridership than, say Frigid Minneapolis or incinerating Phoenix where walking is a seasonal activity.
Tampa by no means has a year round walkable climate....LOL.
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Unread 01-08-2014, 01:42 AM
 
17,675 posts, read 12,108,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
So, Why doesn't Tampa Have a proper public transit system. .
Because every one prefers to drive their car..
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Unread 01-09-2014, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Miami Beach, FL
1,753 posts, read 1,362,000 times
Reputation: 564
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Because every one prefers to drive their car..
LOL...the same way (almost) everyone prefers to live in a house, so that's why we shouldn't have condos and apartments.
Actually, many people own cars but prefer NOT to have to use them to go everywhere, every time, especially when there is heavy traffic congestion, of which Tampa has more than enough of it's fair share! Many people prefer to have options, especially in a major city.
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Unread 02-04-2014, 09:18 AM
 
748 posts, read 808,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
Tampa by no means has a year round walkable climate....LOL.
I read on CD that Miami has the best climate in the country. Now if Tampa was only hot or humid enough year round it could be walkable too. Of course LA is just too cold and too dry to be walkable. After all who wants to be walking a mile to the train station all dressed for work when it is a chilly 62 degrees and clear skies. Better it be a muggy 84 with scattered thundershowers to make your day
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Unread 02-04-2014, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
9,617 posts, read 5,942,882 times
Reputation: 3258
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigh110 View Post
...Where I live now in the suburbs of Philly, I can walk two blocks to a septa bus stop. that bus will take me to a regional rail line that will take me into the city of Philadelphia. Once in the city by walking no more than two blocks i can then get on the elevated train or a septa bus and get to any part of the city i need to go to or the airport just outside the city. Can this be accomplished in all 5 major metropolitan areas of Florida?
As a practical matter though - what do you actually do in real life in terms of using public transport? I used to (a super long time ago) drive to a station in south Jersey - take the train to downtown Philadelphia - and get out and walk a few blocks to work. IOW - I used what is essentially a commuter line (and it worked ok).

Unlike a fair part of the metro Philadelphia area - most places in Florida don't lend themselves to "hub and spoke" commuter networks. Because the jobs aren't concentrated in one place and many/most people don't work in a "downtown" or anywhere near one. They work here/there/everywhere and often in the suburbs. That's certainly the case with the metro JAX area (where I live now). Even when I worked in downtown Miami - using Metrorail in Miami wasn't an attractive option (I guess I could have gone from Key Biscayne to a Metrorail station on the mainland by car - taken Metrorail into downtown - and then done the reverse at the end of the day). But what would be the point?

Also - once you start talking about connections/multiple connections - especially on buses - these transportation options become extraordinarily unattractive. Even if bus service in major Florida cities was good (it isn't) - who wants to wait outside at a bus stop for 20 minutes when it's 90 degrees outside.

Note that a commuter system is very different than an inter-city system. I've used a few in countries outside the US - like Germany and Japan. And they tend to work well if people are going from inside one city to inside another city. But - for example - when we went to Cologne Germany and were staying in a town about 45 minutes away - it was necessary to use car transport to get from the Cologne train station to the town we were visiting.

Also - even in extremely dense areas (like the parts of Japan where the high speed trains run) - travel on the trains is very far from cheap (even though they're government subsidized and run at a loss). The best train trip I ever took was the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. It's about 300 miles - less than the distance from Miami to JAX. A second class RT ticket costs > $100 (our first class tickets cost more - but you only live once). Slower trains on that route (the kind that make 25 stops instead of 4) are cheaper - but none could be considered cheap. Which is why budget conscious families don't take trains to travel to visit family/go on vacation. They take their cars. These trains are most attractive for business people who have to go from X to Y - and want to save time. And people like me who wanted to try a bullet train .

FWIW - I think one option that is attractive in many places in Florida (and elsewhere) is jitney type service. It's inexpensive (especially in terms of infrastructure cost) - and super flexible. And it gets away from the 1 person/1 vehicle thing (which clogs roads). But apparently the people who run the high priced awful cabs in Florida always win in terms of limiting/prohibiting jitney service. And this is certainly not an outdated concept. Modern companies in Silicon Valley (like Google) run jitneys/buses to take their employees to work and home again. It's a very inexpensive efficient point-to-point transportation option. Robyn

P.S. I thought it was a no-brainer for Governor Scott to 86 the Tampa to Orlando line. And I also think what FEC is proposing in terms of Miami/Orlando is promising. Note that FEC is doing what a government program could/would never do. It is only having a very limited number of stops (which caused a lot of howls from every half-baked town along the proposed route). Stops that make sense both from its POV and the POV of most of its intended users.

Last edited by Robyn55; 02-04-2014 at 03:34 PM..
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Unread 02-04-2014, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
9,617 posts, read 5,942,882 times
Reputation: 3258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
I still don't understand why Intrastate rail will not work in Florida . Population density is high across most of the state, there are several major cities within a couple hundred miles of each other, traffic situation is worsening day by day (According to what I hear. I have never ever actually been to Florida. I am sensitive to heat and would most likely die down there.), inclement weather is uncommon (brutally hot weather year round without Ice/Snow on the tracks makes it ideal to construct railroads), and the land is flat with no geographical barriers. These advantages should imply that intrastate rail service within Florida will be successful in the long run. Like I mentioned before, take a look at NCDOT and the Missouri river runner to get an Idea of recently developed intrastate rail services which are succeeding.
You have never been to Florida? Well come on down and take a look . SE Florida is very dense (one reason we left in 1995). Parts of SW Florida and the Orlando metro area are kind of dense. But - otherwise - you're talking about miles of low density or nothing. I don't know how old you are. But think of south Jersey in the 60's (when I first moved there). It's pretty much like that (except for SE Florida).

All these SE Florida types are the ones who bit** and moan the most. Ask how many would ever go to Tampa - much less JAX - or especially Tallahassee (where one vocal poster here lives) if we had decent rail connections. I'm sure there are some who would visit the Orlando theme parks using a rail connection - but FEC will be obliging SE Florida with a *private* rail connection for that. Let's see if the people in SE Florida use it. And I am perhaps the only person here who doesn't work in Tallahassee who has ever stepped foot in Tallahassee except as a student (OTOH - no one IIRC has ever proposed linking Tallahassee or any other part of the Panhandle to any proposed rail system). Robyn
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Unread 02-04-2014, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
9,617 posts, read 5,942,882 times
Reputation: 3258
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
...In San Francisco, where I currently live, you can take Caltrain for example from San Jose to San Francisco, then you get out of the station and there are a ton of public transportation options to get you wherever you need to go whether you are going to your residence or a business. You can take BART for example from San Francisco to Berkeley and once again have plenty of options of getting around...
So if the public transportation is so great - why do so many tech companies in Silicon Valley/San Jose have their own fleets of shuttle buses?

Shuttle buses taking over Silicon Valley, awesome visualization shows | VentureBeat | OffBeat | by Dylan Tweney

Robyn
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Unread 02-05-2014, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Delco and or lower Florida keys
540 posts, read 380,752 times
Reputation: 484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
So if the public transportation is so great - why do so many tech companies in Silicon Valley/San Jose have their own fleets of shuttle buses?

Shuttle buses taking over Silicon Valley, awesome visualization shows | VentureBeat | OffBeat | by Dylan Tweney

Robyn
I believe this direct quote from the referenced article answers the question. I suspect it also has some good tax benefits for the tech companies too.

"Companies win, too: With Wi-Fi on these buses, employees can start working the instant they hop on the bus instead of waiting until they walk in the door an hour later.
Stamen estimates that the number of people taking these shuttles is huge: over 14,000 people per day, or 35 percent as many as train service Caltrain, which also runs between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
That could be a sign that something is not working with public transit. If so many companies are forced to pay buses to carry workers to and fro, it’s probably a safe bet the existing train systems aren’t convenient enough.
On the other hand, at least those 14,000 people aren’t driving their own cars up and down 101 and 280, adding to traffic congestion and pollution."
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Unread 02-06-2014, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
9,617 posts, read 5,942,882 times
Reputation: 3258
Well - a system that has fixed "stops" is always going to be less convenient than "door to door" (or almost "door to "door"). You can't have a fixed system - especially a rail system - that stops on every block. Perhaps local buses - like the kind you find in Manhattan - come the closest to stopping on every block. But - based on my last use (an involuntary one during a business trip when there was a problem with the subways) - it takes forever to get from "here" to "there" when a bus spends more time at stops than on the road.

I really think bus/jitney systems hold a lot of promise. Especially in "non dense" areas* if you're dealing with major employers. Something like sending vehicles out on school bus type routes to pick up employees - drop them off at work - and take them home again. We have several parts of town with large employer complexes built in "campus like" settings. Not Google of course. But places like Florida Blue (which is close to several other large employers). It would be impossible to build any kind of viable rail system here IMO. But a commuting bus/jitney system would be entirely workable.

I don't know if you've ever been to Silicon Valley - but it isn't dense like a big city. More like a suburb on steroids. There are major employers - but each has its own large (or super large) "campus". There are major roads with lots of traffic. Hills too. So - even a relatively short walk from a transit station wouldn't be a whole lot of fun. The Microsoft "campus" in Redmond is a monster. IOW - these places look more like a lot of Florida than center city Philadelphia (except for the hills). And all of these tech companies - which have changed the way we live - can teach us something about how we get to/from work (and perhaps other activities too):

Hidden Transit: How Companies are Going the Last Mile - Urban Land Magazine

To me - it's an obvious no-brainer in terms of giving it a try. Robyn
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