Downtown Partnership focuses on transportation listen06/18/08 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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The Tampa Downtown Partnership held its 22nd annual meeting today at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel. Transportation issues were a recurring theme.
The incoming chair of the Tampa Downtown Partnership is Chuck Davis of Met Life. He outlined some of the initiatives the partnership hopes to accomplish under his leadership.
Tampa City Council member Rev. Thomas Scott performed the invocation, which included an unconventional prayer. "Today we pray for mass transit. We pray for light rail."
The keynote speaker, Carol Coletta, is president and CEO of CEOs for Cities and is the host and producer of the public radio program Smart City. "Strong cities are the only path to a strong America."
On average, people in Tampa Bay drive much more than other Americans.
Last week, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio and other members of the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) visited Dallas, Charlotte and Denver to see how they developed mass transit systems.
But on Tuesday, the Miami-Dade County Commission refused to consider a referendum to ask voters to increase their local sales tax by a half percent to rescue their financially strapped transit system. If passed, it would have allowed everyone to ride that system for free.
Iorio suggested that Tampa could learn from Miamiâ€™s mistakes.