With the last day of Mayor Pam's light rail tour being today, I thought it would be good to shoot some You Tube's of the city light rail systems that she and the other mayors visited. It's kind of like taking the very same tour in the space of time it takes to glean a blog posting.
Charlotte North Carolina
Charlotte opened its LYNX system to much fanfare last November. It is therefore the freshest operating light rail system in the country, and at just 9.6 miles, is about 10 miles shorter than our own anticipated starter system between USF and Westshore.
Here's some previous TR attention we gave regarding Charlotte's system:
Denver's implementation of light rail is part of its wider FasTracks project to slowly roll out 122 miles of light and commuter rail services over 12 years. I can't find a specific "name" for the light rail system itself (really odd), but Wikipedia refers to it as TheRide Light Rail, where "TheRide" is the Denver transit agency's general catch phrase for all its services.
The video below takes you on a 7 minute ride with the point of view of a passenger looking ahead. It's about as good as being there, really, and is surely something our Mayor experienced.
You might say Dallas Texas kicked off the "Railvolution" for southern states like Charlotte and Tampa, and countered the strongest grist against such initiatives which goes along that lines that rail can't work in sprawling cities where cars took over long ago. DART proved that notion to be a big Texas tale because DART is by far the most successful and popular light rail system implemented in modern times.
Sure, this video is a little campy, but it was produced to celebrate its 10th year anniversary. With its fantastic reception and wonderful adoption by a city sorta and kinda like Tampa in its present car-captive ways, I say, hey it can be as campy as it wants. Where do you think Hillsborough County will be in 10 years?
Light rail is coming to the Tampa Bay region. People are working hard now to make the case, chart the plans, and pitch for real-world funding.
There's a reason Mayor Pam and the other mayors are out scoping these systems and talking to the bigwigs that are driving them. All three systems are predicated on winning battles against rail foes and their inept strategies to keep transportation choice at bay. When the group returns from their tour, we are ever closer to the eventuality of light rail groundbreaking in Tampa.
Y'all, don't get envious about something that is going to happen here, and that, in all likelihood, will happen in your lifetime. Just be at the ready to support.