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Special for the August 6 Transportation Hearing

August 5, 2013

In Hillsborough County, this Tuesday, August 6, there will be a public hearing at the County Center regarding transit – sort of – at 6 pm.  (Even if you are going to the meeting on August 6, we suggest you email comments about your view of the state of transportation in Hillsborough County to the County Commission here, the Tampa City Council here, and Tampa’s Mayor here.)

— The Meeting Notice

The announcement from the Hillsborough County website says this:

Transportation for Economic Development Public Meeting

Tuesday, August 6

This meeting is being held to gain public input on the issues before the Transportation for Economic Development in Hillsborough County leadership group. The group is comprised of the Mayors of Plant City, Tampa and Temple Terrace; Hillsborough County Commissioners; and a representative from HART.  

Why is the only transportation to be discussed by the “leadership” group that which involves “economic development,” and what game is whoever described it that way playing? Why is it the County always needs to create ambiguity and wiggle room when discussing something?  Why not just work on transportation generally – that will lead to economic development?  In any event, for now, we will set aside these questions.

— The List

We often note that the Tampa Bay area is behind in transportation and that areas that we compete with are consistently moving farther ahead.  It seems that it would be helpful to the public and the “leadership group” to actually illustrate the point.  We did a search for transit projects in the US and found a list from Jan 1, 2013.   (There is a more detailed list here, but it’s format makes it more difficult to display here.)

We divided the list between rail and “BRT”-ish.  Please note that we include rail stations in the rail section, even if there is bus service, unless there is clear “BRT”-ish or a huge amount of bus traffic.  We also limited the list to US cities.  Additionally, we did not double check every entry on the list, but the list does contain links you can use to check entries. (And please note that newer developments, such as those in Ft. Lauderdale, are not on the list. )

The list below illustrates 1) how far behind the Tampa Bay area really is and 2) how, unlike the Tampa Bay area, so many other metropolitan areas seem to have no problem planning and building proper transit.  It also shows that in top 30 metro areas, most BRT is being built in areas that are also expanding/building rail.  Clearly, BRT (or BRT lite or just properly run buses) is not a panacea.

(Once again, the original list can be found here.  We are not sure why the list features stars rather than bullet points, but so be it.  At least it is festive.)

*** RAIL ***

New Transit Capital Projects Opening in 2013

  • Atlanta Downtown Streetcar (2.6-mile streetcar), opening in late 2013 from Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site to Centennial Olympic Park
  • Boston Fairmount Line Improvements, adding Four Corners and Newmarket stations to Fairmount Commuter Rail Line.
  • Denver West Line (12-mile light rail), part of Denver’s FasTracks program, from Union Station to Jefferson County Government Center/Golden.
  • Miami Central Station, new interchange between commuter rail, metro, and AirportLink.
  • New Orleans UPT/Loyola Avenue Corridor (1-mile streetcar), opening in January from Union Passenger Terminal to Canal Street.
  • Salt Lake City Sugar House Streetcar (2-mile streetcar), opening in December 2013.
  • Salt Lake City Airport TRAX (6 mile light rail), from Downtown Salt Lake City to Salt Lake International Airport, part of Salt Lake FrontLines 2015 program.
  • Tucson Modern Streetcar (3.9-mile streetcar), from University of Arizona to Downtown Tucson.
  • Washington, DC Dulles (Silver Line) Metrorail Extension Phase 1 (11.6-mile metro rail), from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue.
  • Washington, DC H Street/Benning Road Streetcar (streetcar), from Union Station to Oklahoma Avenue.

New Construction Starts in 2013

  • Charlotte Blue Line Extension (9.3-mile light rail), opening in 2017 from Center City Charlotte to UNC Charlotte.
  • Cincinnati Downtown Streetcar (2-mile streetcar), opening in 2015 from Over-the-Rhine to Riverfront.
  • Dallas Oak Cliff Streetcar (1.5-mile streetcar), opening in 2014 from downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff.
  • Detroit M1 Rail (3.4-mile streetcar), opening in 2015 from downtown Detroit to New Center.
  • Kansas City Streetcar (2-mile streetcar), opening in 2015 on Main Street Downtown.
  • Los Angeles Downtown Streetcar (streetcar), opening in 2015 in a loop from Civic Center to Fashion District and Staples Center, via Financial District.
  • New Orleans French Quarter Expansion Project (2.5-mile streetcar), opening in 2015 from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue.
  • Phoenix Northwest Extension Phase 1 (3.2-mile light rail), opening in 2016 from Montebello Avenue to Dunlap Avenue. Phase 2 will extend line to Metrocenter Mall.
  • St. Louis Loop Trolley (streetcar), opening in 2014 from Missouri History Museum to University Gate.
  • Seattle North Link (4.3-mile light rail), opening in 2021 from Brooklyn to Northgate.
  • Seattle South Link (1.6-mile light rail), opening in 2016 from SeaTac Airport to South 200th Street.

Already Under Construction, Opening After 2013

Opening in 2014

  • Anaheim ARTIC Station, opening late 2014 as a multimodal transit station.
  • Boston Assembly Square Station, opening in fall 2014 as an infill station to Orange Line.
  • Dallas Orange Line Phase 2 (4.7-mile light rail), from Belt Line to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
  • Denver Union Station, redevelopment of city’s major transit hub, part of Denver’s FasTracks program.
  • Houston East End Line (3-mile light rail), opening mid-2014 from downtown to Altic/Howard Hughes. Later extension to Magnolia Park Transit Center.
  • Houston North Line (5.2-mile light rail), opening mid-2014 from downtown to Northline Transit Center.
  • Houston Southeast Line (6.1-mile light rail), opening mid-2014 from downtown to Palm Center, via University of Houston.
  • New York City 7 Line Extension (1.3-mile metro rail), from Times Square to 34th Street.
  • New York City Fulton Street Transit Center, redevelopment of downtown’s largest subway interchange, opening in June 2014.
  • New York City WTC/PATH Transportation Hub, redevelopment of downtown’s station for subway service to New Jersey.
  • Orlando SunRail (31-mile commuter rail), opening in May 2014 from DeLand to DeBary. Phase II will extend project by an additional 30 miles.
  • Salt Lake City Draper Transit Corridor (3.8-mile light rail), from Sandy Civic Center to Pioneer Road, part of Salt Lake FrontLines 2015 program.
  • San Francisco Bay Area Oakland Airport Connector (3.2-mile metro rail), from BART Coliseum Station to Oakland Airport.
  • Seattle First Hill Streetcar (2.2-mile streetcar), from Capitol Hill to King Street Station, via Broadway.
  • Twin Cities Central Corridor (11-mile light rail), from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis to Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.

Opening in 2015

Opening in 2016

  • Denver Northwest Rail Segment (2-mile electric commuter rail), from Pecos St Station to South Westminster, part of Denver’s FasTracks program.
  • Denver East Corridor (22.8-mile electric commuter rail), from Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport, part of Denver’s FasTracks program.
  • Denver Gold Line (11.2-mile electric commuter rail), from Denver Union Station to Ward Road, part of Denver’s FasTracks program.
  • Denver I-225 Line (10.5-mile light rail), from Nine Mile to Peoria/Smith.
  • New York City Second Avenue Subway Phase 1 (2-mile metro rail), opening December 2016 from 63rd Street to 96th Street.
  • San Francisco Bay Area eBART (10-mile commuter rail), from Pittsburgh/Bay Point to Hillcrest Avenue.
  • Seattle University Link (3.2-mile light rail), from Capitol Hill to University of Washington.

Opening in 2017

Opening in 2018

Opening in 2019

  • Boston Green Line Extension Phase 2 (light rail), from Washington Street Station to College Avenue Station.
  • Honolulu Rail Transit Phase 2 (metro rail), from Ala Moana Center to Aloha Stadium, via Airport.
  • Los Angeles Regional Connector (2-mile light rail), from Union Station to 7th Street/Metro Center and unifying the Gold Line with the Expo and Blue Lines.
  • New York City Long Island Railroad Eastside Access (4-mile commuter rail), connecting Long Island rail lines to Grand Central.
  • San Francisco Central Subway (1.7-mile light rail subway), from 4th and Brennan Station to Chinatown.

*** “BRT” ***

New Transit Capital Projects Opening in 2013

  • New York Nostrand/Rogers Avenues BRT (9.3-mile BRT), opening in late 2013 from Williamsburg Bridge to Sheepshead Bay.
  • Roaring Fork Valley VelociRFTA (BRT), from Aspen to South Glenwood.
  • Seattle RapidRide E Line (BRT), opening in September from downtown to Shoreline.
  • Seattle RapidRide F Line (BRT), opening in September from Burien to Renton via Tukwila.
  • Tampa MetroRapid North-South (17.5-mile BRT), from downtown to Temple Terrace Park and Ride, via Nebraska and Fletcher Avenues.
  • Twin Cities Cedar Avenue BRT (16-mile BRT), opening in the Spring from 28th Avenue Station and Mall of America in Bloomington to 215th Street in Lakeville, via Eagan and Apple Valley.

Already Under Construction, Opening After 2013

Opening in 2014

  • Fort Collins Mason Corridor (BRT), from South Transit Center to Downtown Transit Center.
  • Hartford CTfastrak (9.4-mile dedicated-guideway BRT), from downtown Hartford to New Britain.
  • San Bernardino sbX (15.7-mile BRT), opening in 2014 from downtown to Cal State San Bernardino on E Street.
  • San Francisco Bay Area Santa Clara-Alum Rock (7.4-mile BRT), from Eastridge Transit Center to HP Pavilion.

Opening in 2017

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