Tampa is like a Little Los Angeles in the making.

But we could be a Little Bogotá in the making.

A great video on BRT in Bogotá makes Hillsborough look like a 3rd world country:

An interesting study by the RAND Corporation on the city of Los Angeles, California has some things to say that might also get Tampa further down the road to relieving congestion.

None of the suggestions say to build light-rail.

Plain Old Bus (POB) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) hold
the most cost-effective promise.
 

A key finding from the RAND Corporation study is that strategies that rely on pricing to manage the demand for driving—e.g., by charging more for driving and parking during peak hours in the most congested locations—are extremely effective in producing sustainable reductions in congestion. 

Pricing strategies lead to more-efficient use of existing road capacity and can raise substantial revenues to fund needed transportation improvements.

Summary: www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG748.sum.pdf
Entire Study:  www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG748.pdf

 The recommendations:

  • Install curbside parking meters that charge more during peak business hours for parking in congested commercial and retail districts.
  • Implement local fuel tax levies at the county level to raise transportation funds.
  • Develop a network of high-occupancy/toll lanes on freeways throughout Los Angeles County.
  • Evaluate the potential for implementing tolls on those entering major activity centers, like those that exist in London and Singapore.
  • Expand rapid bus transit with bus-only lanes on arterial streets and express freeway service in the high-occupancy/toll lanes.
  • Offer and aggressively market deeply discounted transit passes to employers, who would purchase passes for all employees, allowing those who commute by transit to ride at reduced cost.
  • Develop an integrated, region-wide network of bicycle pathways.
  • Restrict curb parking on busy arterial streets.
  • Convert selected major surface streets to one-way streets.
  • Prioritize and fund investments in upgraded signal timing and control.
  • Bolster outreach efforts to assist businesses in promoting ridesharing programs, telecommuting and flexible work schedules.
  • Evaluate the costs and benefits of implementing a regional incident management system on the arterial streets to reduce congestion caused by traffic accidents.

Some of this stuff we can figure out now,
Some will need to wait until 2012 when we get the rest of it figured out.

But what it appears is that if the number one reason to have public transit is to move people around from one place to another within the count;, we don’t need the light-rail system first proposed 20 years ago.

Regional light-rail connecting surrounding communities might make more sense.
TBARTA should be the driver, not HART.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

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