Go to Atlanta and you can jump on the MARTA to get where you’re going. Visit San Francisco and there’s the BART standing ready to help you get around. New York City has its subway and Chicago has the “L.”
Commuter rail and extensive mass transit systems are a way of life in most major metropolitan areas in America.
What about Tampa Bay?
Live or visit here and the best you can do to get around without hoofing it is to get a car, call a taxi or hop on a bus (in areas that have bus service at all).
A new poll sponsored by Bay News 9, The Tampa Bay Times and AM 820 News Tampa Bay seems to indicate the winds are changing in favor of the Bay area getting its own commuter light rail system.
While a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase to fund mass transit improvements in Hillsborough was shot down by voters in 2010, the new poll shows growing support for spending public money to improve transit. In fact, 56 percent of respondents to that poll in Hillsborough favored spending public money to bring light rail here. Only 35 percent were against. Nine percent said they didn’t know or were unsure, the Times reported.
The numbers were higher in Pinellas. There 60 percent of poll takers favored spending public money on light rail.
What do you think? Has the time come for light rail in the Tampa Bay area? Would you be willing to pay higher taxes for the service? Do you think there’s a better solution? Share your thoughts in the comments section.