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Tampa's history and its future: Bullfights, trolleys and lessons learned


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It's perhaps interesting to contrast Tampa's travails with its streetcars to Orlando's existing Lymmo system, which was itself conceived as a streetcar (OSCAR), and then converted to BRT due to challenges with the grade and costs before it ever started:


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Why not a) give people a reason to ride teh streetcar, i.e. do something downtown to draw visitors and residents there, and b) make it useful as a transportation system instead of just a bset piece - running it when people are going to use it, making the stops useful, connecting to hotel areas and the airport, etc.

Orlando could really use a streetcar to bring in people downtown, as it has reasons to go there. Downtown Tampa right now offers little to the rider. The waterfront is at best hard to get to, at worst totally walled off. There is nothing worth going to at channelside, no pleasant places to be, and it is a barren wasteland of empty lots. And as most people are going to be driving into downtown from elsewhere as they live there or are staying outside of the area, they will just park in the centrally located garage.

The lesson here is that just HAVEING something doesn't do it. You have to make it work. They thought they could just create it and people would magically come. They thought they could cut service and somehow find a way to profitability and ridership. Doesnt work that way. Now they're behind the 8 ball.

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