Perhaps we need more than just a streetcar, some buses and an occasional ferry.
A recently released report places Tampa Bay among the bottom of the country’s largest metros for public transportation.
The report, created by insurance website Fabric, placed Tampa Bay at number 8 on their national survey, which took into account data from the American Housing Survey and the Federal Transit Authority to look at quality, usage, and public approval of public transportation systems.
Overall, Tampa Bay scored pretty low across the board. Their data showed that the Bay area currently has the 14th lowest approval rating for public transportation of all major metros, only 0.012% of workers in Tampa Bay use public transportation, and the average resident only takes about 11 trips each year.
The report also placed Tampa Bay 14th for ADA accessibility, and 10th lowest for miles traveled using electric power.
Of course, many of these problems could be solved if we stopped trying to build more roads, and actually made public transportation a better option than cars — for example: TAX THE RICH AND BUILD FREE LIGHT FUCKING RAIL.
But it’s worth noting that Tampa Bay has made some notable efforts over the last couple years.
FDOT is finally allowing buses to drive on I-275 in Pinellas County, a first for Florida. Hillsborough County officials are actually looking into whether or not it’s a good idea to completely rip out their section on I-275 and turn into a boulevard, which we definitely should do. And, since introducing free service, ridership on Tampa’s TECO Streetcar has tripled.
As for the Cross-Bay Ferry, well, that’s pretty much a lost cause at this point.