Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hillsborough's Leaders Ride the Train to Failure

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

Yesterday a group of "Hillsborough leaders" took a tour of SunRail SunFail, Orlando's commuter rail that has been the envy of our "leaders" for years. But the horror! The county commissioners got stuck in traffic, and they missed their train!
People are spending hours sitting on I-4 trying to get from one place to another,” SunRail’s deputy program manager Sandra Gutierrez told the Hillsborough contingent.
“You talk to these people who have transformed their commute from a highway system to a commuter rail system, and it’s just night and day.”  I think we had that true life experience today,” Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp quipped, after meeting up with the others later in the morning.
What a nightmare! If we only had SunRail in Tampa Bay we'd never experience traffic jams again. 
Yet the real horror is Hillsborough's leaders plans to replicate SunRail failures in Tampa Bay.
Driving I-4 through Orlando these days is a horror. Most of it is under construction throughout Orlando to improve driving conditions as part of the Ultimate I-4 FDOT project. Yet most sections of I-4 in Orlando have 150,000 riders per day, compared to SunRail's 150,000 per year. Why would drivers put up with the mess and congestion and unforeseeable delays on I-4 when they have SunRail?

SunRail suffers from the usual maladies of rail. It goes where the tracks are laid, not where you want to go. It takes longer door to door. It does not leave or arrive when you need. 

Much of the article reads like a fan magazine for rail and our Hillsborough (cheer)leaders. 
Transit supporters are hoping that SunRail, a freight-turned-commuter rail service, could be a model for a similar venture using CSX rail lines in Tampa. 
[Hillsborough County BOCC member Mariella] Smith left the two-hour session with Orlando transit officials with one prevailing feeling: envy. 
“It seems like a lot of community partners and energy, from private sector to public grant funding," Smith said while waiting on a platform to catch a train back to the cars that brought them. "A lot of things came together and it happened very quickly.”
Envy. Not common sense.

READ ENTIRE POST AT: Train to Failure

This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the blog publisher's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

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