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Old 06-27-2009, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Montverde, Florida
86 posts, read 390,650 times
Reputation: 84

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As a former Pittsburgh resident, and a former operator of a light rail car, I would like to discuss light rail.

At PAT (transit authority) at one time had a massive trolley system. 666 miles of it at one time. they gave most all of it up in the early 60's and kicked themselves in the butt everyday after...

We did finally re-open light rail up there in 82. It was a resounding success! Way better than anyone had projected. It became the "baby" of the authority, and was well received by all who rode it. shave lots of time off commutes, virtually pollution free, and very safe. The cars were of high capacity, approx 180 per car, 2 cars to a train. We moved a LOT of people VERY quickly and efficiently. We had 85 cars.

On the flip side, we also had a commuter train that went McKeesport to Pittsburgh. That was a major flop. Very slow and smelly, It was abandoned in the early 80's in favor of buses, which were, more efficient than the train was.

We also built three busways, which were a great idea, like Harts idea for the BRT. The BRT is a good idea as well, but if only they could build a bus only roadway.

I understand there are differences between Pittsburgh and Tampa, and now that I am a Hart operator, I look so forward to the future of transit here in Tampa. I believe that it is going the right direction, and will do so pretty fast!

Here is a link to my LRT page on my Pittsburgh transit History Site. I am currently doing one for Tampa, since this is now home. take a look at what we had there...

Pittsburghs Light Rail...The "T"

Shawn

http://www.tampabaytransit.info
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:35 PM
 
2,542 posts, read 3,621,322 times
Reputation: 994
Like you said, "this isn't Pittsburgh". The largest part of this type of transportation ends up running in the red and has to be subsidised by the taxpayers through increased taxes on gas and fees for car owners and of course the federal government, which is paid by everyone then. They never reach full capacity. I'll take my car and sit in traffic before I sit in one of them...
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:49 AM
Nav
 
346 posts, read 1,304,479 times
Reputation: 254
Tampa is know for mismanaging funds. Take the trolley fiasco for instance. Millions of dollars wasted for a tourist ride that goes nowhere. It runs in the red every year. And Tampa is very proud of their trolley

Light rail would work in Tampa if it offered express routes from suburban destinations to the work centers of the Bay area (Down Town, Westshore, TIA, Dale Mabry, Feather Sound, etc.) Connections at the sports venues need to be included as well. Light rail will only be accepted if people can get to their jobs faster than if they were to drive themselves. This is the problem with the Bus service. There are so many stops that it is faster to drive yourself. Also, the Hartline routes have all but abandoned the suburban commuter and focus mainly of providing shuttle service for inner city residents. Its sad, but they dont really go anywhere useful. People do not feel safe riding them. And, as bnepler pointed out, they end up being subsidized but the taxpayer.

Light rail would be great for Tampa, but the stigma over public transportation caused by Hartline has frightened many drivers away. People in Tampa are not accustomed to light rail since Florida has never really had it so adoption will be very difficult.

Nav
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:27 AM
 
17,002 posts, read 20,676,296 times
Reputation: 33988
By the time Tampa gets a light rail people will be traveling by spaceship.
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Old 06-29-2009, 02:22 PM
 
2,414 posts, read 4,991,898 times
Reputation: 1192
Quote:
Originally Posted by bnepler View Post
Like you said, "this isn't Pittsburgh". The largest part of this type of transportation ends up running in the red and has to be subsidised by the taxpayers through increased taxes on gas and fees for car owners and of course the federal government, which is paid by everyone then. They never reach full capacity. I'll take my car and sit in traffic before I sit in one of them...
It people like you who are holding back from reaching its full capacity.
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:29 PM
 
2,542 posts, read 3,621,322 times
Reputation: 994
I been to other countries that use the rail system. Americans will have to be forced to ride it and live in the inner cities for it to be a success. I'm not ready to live in the cities nor give up my car. Spend a couple weeks in Europe, Asis or any other continent that depends on trains and you'll see why they don't go over big here. It's called "freedom". It's something we have and most others don't.
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Old 07-01-2009, 02:41 AM
 
5,368 posts, read 5,152,116 times
Reputation: 3308
Generation Y is extremely supportive of public transit options. As that generation starts hitting the polls, more public transit systems (namely light rail) will start dotting the country. This is already being seen in Denver, Seattle, Houston, Dallas (too many to name). Light rail is being embraced across America. It is only a matter of time before it comes to Tampa as well.

Public transportation took a massive reputation hit after the de-industrialization and white flight of the North from 1960 to 1990. Eventually, it developed a negative connotation to it like 'if you use public transit, you must be a poor person'. This didn't happen in Europe or Eastern Asia, so their public transit didn't go into decline. Its not that Americans are 'free', its that our middle class decided they were too good to use public transit for 30 years.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,333,602 times
Reputation: 3488
Nicely done pages, Shawn.

Tampa, sadly, is a victim of both relentless sprawl and the attitudes of many of those in the sprawliest edges. Public transportation, in most minds, equal buses, which (though it isn't always said) equals Certain Kinds of People. For the Humvee population out beyond Port Lando'wesleyhillsville, it just isn't happening.
OTOH, for the last two years of his Clearwater-downtown Tampa commute, my husband rode a PSTA commuter bus. As gas prices rose, so did ridership-- drastically. If the entire area can ever work together (and that may involve Four Horsemen, given the history of Pinellas/Hillsborough cooperation, let alone trying to pull in Manatee or Pasco), I think it's a possibility.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:51 AM
 
15,194 posts, read 31,143,494 times
Reputation: 18364
Are none of you aware that the area has already adopted a long term master plan? Below is the link to the detailed PDF file:

http://www.tbarta.com/sites/tbarta.c...aster-plan.pdf

They can't build this stuff overnight, you know.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:54 AM
 
17,002 posts, read 20,676,296 times
Reputation: 33988
LOL.... A powerpoint presentation, big deal, nothing is in the works.

Like I said people will be traveling by spaceship before you see a lightrail.

Road construction here takes way too long, never mind the implementation of a major transit system.

Everyone on this board will be long gone before a lightrail system is in place here.
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