Will Tampa Bay Solve its Transit Equation?

Robert Trigaux wonders if the Tampa Bay metro area will be wake up to the country’s changing demands of transportation and end “the parochial arm wrestling over what kind (if any) of mass transit lies in its future.”
April 22, 2014, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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A new column by Robert Trigaux provides a recap for those who haven’t heard the urban narrative, specifically how it applies to the Tampa Bay metro area: “More people are moving to walkable, less car-dependent downtowns like St. Petersburg — witness the apartment building boom under way.”

Trigaux laments the city’s recent mass-transit history (“including the rejected transit referendum in Hillsborough County and the November referendum in Pinellas County seeking funding for improved bus service and a 24-mile light-rail line”) and fears the consequences.

But Trigaux also sees a few bright spots for the technologically enhanced, multi-modal potential of the metro area, even if change is occurring slowly:

  • Lyft and Uber began operating in Tampa: “While the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission has warned they do not meet the requirements to operate here legally, some state legislators are looking to amend those rules.”
  • And, “a bike-sharing company called Coast Bike Share won a contract to provide Tampa with kiosks with bicycles that, also via a smartphone app, rent for $5 an hour. The goal is to provide the bikes across the metro area.”
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Published on Friday, April 18, 2014 in Tampa Bay Times
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