SkyscraperCity banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,967 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Keeping in tune to what Brian72 posted earlier. This thread will be dedicated to discussing potential Local, Express, and Bus Rapid Transit routes throughout Tampa Bay.

I specifically would like to get some discussion going in regards to corridors where BRT isn't being talked about widely yet. This includes the future Gateway Express, Hillsborough Ave/Tampa Road in the west, and possible usage of either US 41 or I-75 for a BRT line from SouthShore to Downtown Tampa.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
21,548 Posts
I found an awesome idea to boost Downtown transit service even further...

Why not extend the current In-Town Trolley service to serve even more areas around Downtown?

I looked at the current route layout of the In-Town Trolley and considered the underserved Union Station east of Downtown, in which I think it can be better served by a full-time Downtown Circulator service...

Clockwise Map (via Channelside Drive and N Florida Avenue)
Counterclockwise Map (via N Tampa Street and Meridian Avenue)

Those line maps I custom-built can be...

- used with an actual 30- or 35-footer bus to accommodate more riders, especially if more services to and from Union Station is realized;
- done in clockwise and counterclockwise loops to allow more passengers to travel within the downtown area in one sitting;
- developed in a way that in terms of scheduling, one trip can be done in around 20 to 30 minutes (depending on traffic congestion);
- implemented with an all-day service (provided that rail services to and from Union Station can be improved to allow more trains to be operated there) to bring in even more transit riders to downtown; and
- improved to meet future demand for residents and businesses living along those proposed bus lines.

The new lines can also provide expanded service areas, such that it will serve the Courthouses, Channelside Drive (Wharf Area and the Florida Aquarium), and Union Station more effectively. And, if done successfully, it can be operated until late nights to accommodate future demand for events downtown. And also, I posted two different alignments for the clockwise and counterclockwise loops so that we can examine which of those roads would be better used by residents and visitors alike.
 

·
Keeping Things Rolling
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
HART previously had four circulator routes running around downtown: 96 Purple/North-South, 97 Green/East-West, 98 Hyde Park and 99 Channelside (the "Hooters" shuttle), all four of which were either eliminated or heavily cut back by budget cuts in 2007. Of the circulators, only 96 remains, during weekday peak only.

Hillsborough MPO just completed a study on that specific topic, looking to restore services in preparation for transit expansion and address falling ridership on Route 96.

http://www.gohart.org/departments/e...s_and_Opportunities_Study-Short_Version-F.pdf
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
21,548 Posts
^^ Very interesting... I wonder if any of my two proposals could work in tandem with the light rail proposals so that more people can go around downtown in one sitting? I mean, I notice that only one HART line (2) that runs through Tampa Union Station, and it can be bolstered together with more regional rail service if we consider a circulator route that serves Union Station as well...
 
  • Like
Reactions: HARTride 2012

·
Keeping Things Rolling
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
2, 9, 12, 46 and 400 service Union Station. The southbound MetroRapid stop is directly in front of the station, northbound is on the other side of Nuccio Parkway. If the Above the Vision plan becomes a reality, buses will be passing by Union Station every few minutes (9/12 running every 15 mins, 400 running every 10 mins, Circulator running every 10 mins).

Union Station itself will likely be replaced with a new intermodal station located along I-275 at some point, with the existing facility remaining for Amtrak and historical value.

I'm hoping that we can move HART vehicles into the new intermodal station and re-use Marion Transit Center as a Greyhound/Megabus/Redcoach/other long range bus hub. Our Greyhound facility is in dire need of an overhaul and redevelopment. MTC, as it stands now, is not large enough for a large degree of service expansion, plus it cannot handle 60ft articulated vehicles on any platform other than the East/West islands without combining bus bays (and the side islands aren't all that friendly to use for regular service). That, and it's directly next to where the intermodal center will be.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
21,548 Posts
^^ Ah. But how come that station was not developed as a multi-modal transit hub to begin with and instead built Marion Transit Center which is closer to a freeway than downtown? If I were there in Tampa, I would have asked the city government to develop a transit center next to the Amtrak station (can be challenging, especially with the road layout) so that all transit vehicles can meet at one large transfer point, reducing confusion among riders. That transit center could also host to Greyhound, Megabus, Bolt Bus, and other long-haul and intercity coaches as well, making it a really valuable place for business and residential development (tied to transit-oriented development).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brian72

·
Keeping Things Rolling
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Need a history lesson for this one: for decades, bus service in Downtown Tampa was split between two transit centers. The first and largest, Northern Terminal, was underneath the I-275 viaduct and primary served all routes heading north or east. Southern Terminal was the other transportation hub, primarily servicing Westbound routes. ST is currently known as Dick Greco Plaza and serves as a transfer point between the TECO Line Streetcar system and the In-Town Trolley. Union Station and Tampa Greyhound also had their own facilities independent of the other terminals, which have not changed in a very long time.

In the mid-1980s, Marion Street Transitway was constructed to give buses a path to travel between the two transit centers, as a means to make transfers more convenient for passengers connecting with routes serving different transit centers. The situation was still pretty convoluted, so in the late 1990s, plans began to construct Marion Transit Center as a replacement for the NT/ST arrangement. Once MTC opened in 2001, Marion Transitway was repurposed toward primarily being a facility for express routes to pick up/drop off passengers downtown, with former ST routes using the corridor to pass through downtown.

The 2000s saw a voter-approved mandate for High Speed Rail connecting Tampa with Orlando and Miami. As part of the project, rail would shift away from Union Station to a new downtown intermodal center located adjacent to MTC and I-275, which would end up being the all things transit facility you describe (see the downtown study, page 9 for the basic location). That facility was planned out, but eventually killed when the FHSR project was cancelled. Florida DOT, HART and the State of Florida still own most of the land that would have been used for the intermodal center.

At some point, if current ambitions remain as they are now, All Aboard Florida will build a rail line between Orlando and Tampa, likely in the middle of I-4 in place of the former Florida High Speed Rail right of way. The terminus for that line would likely be at the former proposed intermodal center, which would functionally replace Union Station. Megabus already picks up at MTC, sharing bus bays with cross-bay commuter service from neighboring transit agency PSTA on the MetroRapid island. Redcoach prefers Tampa International Airport and the University of South Florida for their pickup/dropoff points as a sort of long distance student shuttle service for USF students. Greyhound remains a huge question mark.

In other words, transit is slowly consolidating into a single site, but it's taking a really, really long time to pull it off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brian72

·
Moderator
Joined
·
21,548 Posts
^^ I didn't know the complicated history of Tampa's transit service... thanks, Michael, for explaining that bit. I was really thinking a lot about repurposing Union Square to become a transit hub, not realizing that there was a huge problem having separate termini to begin with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,420 Posts
Well, Union Station would then become some sort of museum of sorts.

I would still like to see the Streetcar make a stop there by running down Nuccio and Cass as a loop. This would also connect or bring the streetcar close to the intermodal location. What better way to include Union Station that have the historic Streetcar bring you there.

As Tampa has done recently with other old historic buildings the federal courthouse ( Le Meridien) and old water works building (Ulele) by turning this into a private venture that maintains the history while providing a reason to go there other than 'history'. I see this as a great location for an Amtrak museum / gift shop that includes Tampa's rail history also.
 

·
Senior Button Pusher
Joined
·
17,148 Posts
^There are certainly numerous ways the streetcar can be looped back around on itself. I don't really have a preference as to where it should go, but I've sort of clung to the idea for a while now of it going up Franklin and using Zack (which is one block short of having to again cross CSX's tracks, which unfortunately has to be avoided if at all possible) to run east and then use Twiggs to loop on itself... Then in a later phase, further extend it up Franklin (with a jog over to MTC), all the way to Palm Ave, which could potentially be used to run the streetcar all the way down to 20th if need be.


Need a history lesson for this one: for decades, bus service in Downtown Tampa was split between two transit centers. The first and largest, Northern Terminal, was underneath the I-275 viaduct and primary served all routes heading north or east. Southern Terminal was the other transportation hub, primarily servicing Westbound routes. ST is currently known as Dick Greco Plaza and serves as a transfer point between the TECO Line Streetcar system and the In-Town Trolley. Union Station and Tampa Greyhound also had their own facilities independent of the other terminals, which have not changed in a very long time.

In the mid-1980s, Marion Street Transitway was constructed to give buses a path to travel between the two transit centers, as a means to make transfers more convenient for passengers connecting with routes serving different transit centers. The situation was still pretty convoluted, so in the late 1990s, plans began to construct Marion Transit Center as a replacement for the NT/ST arrangement. Once MTC opened in 2001, Marion Transitway was repurposed toward primarily being a facility for express routes to pick up/drop off passengers downtown, with former ST routes using the corridor to pass through downtown.

The 2000s saw a voter-approved mandate for High Speed Rail connecting Tampa with Orlando and Miami. As part of the project, rail would shift away from Union Station to a new downtown intermodal center located adjacent to MTC and I-275, which would end up being the all things transit facility you describe (see the downtown study, page 9 for the basic location). That facility was planned out, but eventually killed when the FHSR project was cancelled. Florida DOT, HART and the State of Florida still own most of the land that would have been used for the intermodal center.

At some point, if current ambitions remain as they are now, All Aboard Florida will build a rail line between Orlando and Tampa, likely in the middle of I-4 in place of the former Florida High Speed Rail right of way. The terminus for that line would likely be at the former proposed intermodal center, which would functionally replace Union Station. Megabus already picks up at MTC, sharing bus bays with cross-bay commuter service from neighboring transit agency PSTA on the MetroRapid island. Redcoach prefers Tampa International Airport and the University of South Florida for their pickup/dropoff points as a sort of long distance student shuttle service for USF students. Greyhound remains a huge question mark.

In other words, transit is slowly consolidating into a single site, but it's taking a really, really long time to pull it off.
Thank God I scrolled down a bit before responding... Saved myself some time, and you did waaay it better anyways. :)


To me, the best thing about Union Station eventually closing is that SR60 can then be extended across the tracks to Nuccio. And with the eventual redevelopment of Tampa Park Apartments, SR60 could be further extended and realigned with Scott St, giving drivers much easier access across the top of DT to Nebraska and the interstate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,967 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
^^
I agree. Union Station's days as a functional train station are numbered.

We have to hope now that the FDOT-owned land by the MTC does not suffer the result of an ill-fated mistake in Tallahassee by having that land turned into a dump-off point for the Tampa Bay Express Lanes (TBX). I swear, if this happens, I will be beyond pissed! FDOT needs to consider instead re-configuring the Ashley and Jefferson exits to allow the lanes to merge onto existing streets. I know some members have brought this matter up in the Toll Roads or Interstates thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,499 Posts
Why would Union station need to be shut down? If commuter rail gets up and running here like it did in Orlando why couldn't it be just another stop? they didn't shut down the Orlando amtrak station after Sunrail was implemented even though lynx has a giant transfer center downtown. the distance from MTC to Union is about the same as Lynx central station to Orlando amtrak. It carry's 150,000 passengers a year which isn't too shabby considering it only makes 1 trip north and 1 trip south a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,967 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Problem is, Union Station is too distanced from the DT core and the MTC, even though in reality the distance is only several city blocks. It would make more sense in the long run to have everything in one hub, especially should AAF come our way and utilize I-4 instead of CSX.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,420 Posts
I recall when in Chicago, we took a train in from Schaumburg to DT and wanted to connect to the Lake Shore train to go to South Bend. We were shocked to find out we had to walk several city blocks with our bags to make the connection.

Subsequently, we missed the train by minutes and ended up going to do some shopping ( with our luggage ) until the next train arrived.

I agree that the Union Station has no room for expansion and isn't a good location in terms if DT.

What about if the flour mill were to move, could the lines extend down to a possible new terminal using that rail corridor?
 

·
Keeping Things Rolling
Joined
·
1,596 Posts
Personally, I'd be happy with Tampa Union becoming a rail museum, but there's the major issue of what to do with any rolling stock exhibits when a hurricane rolls in. As it stands, the TECO Line Streetcars have to be put on flatbeds and evacuated to higher ground every time a Cat1 or higher threatens the area. That gets expensive real quick, and I'm not sure a niche museum would have the funding for something like that when THS still hasn't found the money to rebuild TECO Line #402 (the legacy streetcar currently hanging out at Rustic Steel Creations near MLK and Highland).

Also, Amtrak's still going to want somewhere to pull in for the foreseeable future if they can't use the AAF tracks, so it's likely we won't see any changes to TUS for a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,420 Posts
Personally, I'd be happy with Tampa Union becoming a rail museum, but there's the major issue of what to do with any rolling stock exhibits when a hurricane rolls in. As it stands, the TECO Line Streetcars have to be put on flatbeds and evacuated to higher ground every time a Cat1 or higher threatens the area. That gets expensive real quick, and I'm not sure a niche museum would have the funding for something like that when THS still hasn't found the money to rebuild TECO Line #402 (the legacy streetcar currently hanging out at Rustic Steel Creations near MLK and Highland).

Also, Amtrak's still going to want somewhere to pull in for the foreseeable future if they can't use the AAF tracks, so it's likely we won't see any changes to TUS for a while.
That is why I was thinking a public / private partnership. The costs of some building expenses could be tax funded and the rest by rent or lease of the space. There could be a Kawa or Buddy Brew kiosk there!
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top