I thought I'd take a quick breather this morning to keep Tampa Rail oiled a little. While I don't necessarily post during my ongoing woes up here, I am paying attention.
It did not escape my notice, for example, that Tampa's Transit manager Elaine McCloud has prosposed and is actively pursuing a transit based website. Much like Tampa Rail dot org of past, McCloud envisions an in-house website exhibiting transit options and Tampa's future adoption of them. Excellent idea, this very site as Exhibit A. The key difference between McCloud's proposal and a site like this of course is that the site would be run in-house, and, perhaps to notable underscore, lack the voice of a one David E. Pinero. As an in-house operation the site would be politically safer while its proven need met, and its proven value, appreciated. An official Tampa Transit website would validate Hillsborough County's quest toward mass transit and control the message more precisely. On the downside, as I say, it would lack the voice of a one David E. Pinero (wink!), but that's a plus or minus depending on who you talk to.
An official website cast during the uptick of rail interest in Tampa was attempted once before. Recall the Tampa Rail website run back 2001. I forget the specific agency behind it, but it was a straight up exhibition by parties close to the Tampa Rail Project that unfortunately, didn't sustain its walk.
Also, the streetcar continues to thrive even during hard times. My thanks to Mellow Joe for attempting to publicize this fact in the hollow drifiting shell of Tampa Rail. During this year's Streetcarfest, the streetcar served up 14,000 rides. Overall for the operating fiscal year ridership was also up - which is, as Mellow Joe indicates, astounding in the current economic climate. I remain convinced that when the water of high times recedes, Tampa citizens are going to cling to the few precious accomplishments that stick to the shoreline; one of which the Teco Line Streetcar will be. See the official report.
This of course is but a scant bit of coverage. TBARTA continues its search for an executive director, for instance. My battery power hastens me to wrap.
But, quickly, my efforts to settle in New York City continues - but it's not going well. The battle continues, however, and to maintain more intimate contact with Tampa Rail drop-ins, I developed a custom Twitter badge for the top of this site. This will bridge my place in the universe to those TR readers curious about how I'm doing and perhaps the direction Tampa Rail is going in. For the forseeable future it will lead the content on this page, even ahead of these occassional articles.