HART looks at New Tampa for a light rail stop

02/15/10 Joshua Lee Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

There are seriously crowded roads in the New Tampa area. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit board members decided today that they may have a remedy for the traffic jams. HART officials in Ybor City agreed to look at improving congestion on Bruce B. Downs.

HART is seeking to provide some alternatives to the use of cars, such as express buses, road improvements and a light rail network. HART’s Chief of Planning & Program Development Mary Shavalier says that in addition to the USF, Downtown, and Airport connections, HART is now looking at extending its analysis north to I-75.

Bruce B. Downs has some of the worst traffic in Tampa, and Tampa City Councilmember John Dingfelder says this gives New Tampa residents the right to be considered for a light rail station.

Ed Turanchik suggested that the rail stop at the Tampa Airport needed some reworking. He is president of the high speed rail advocacy group ConnectUs, and suggested ways for improving the light rail system. Shavalier responded to Turanchik’s comments.

HART’s Executive Director David Armijo, says the county’s transit agency will need to administer future grant revenue and income from the penny sales tax if it passes in November. So today HART created a Capital revenue fund to manage that money.

Armijo says that rail deserves more of the referendum funding than roads, because he predicts many Hillsborough County residents will ride rail.

On February 25, The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners will decide who will oversee 25 percent of the revenue from the referendum that goes to non-transit projects. HART will continue to host community open houses over the next few days to provide information, and take public input.

Community 0pen Houses:

Westshore Area

  Tuesday, February 16, 2010
  Loretta Ingraham
  Recreational Complex
  1615 Hubert Street Tampa, FL 33607
  11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  HART Routes: 7,10,15,30,45 & 89

USF Area

  Wednesday, February 17, 2010
  University Mall
  2200 East Fowler Ave.
  Tampa, FL 33612
  3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  HART Routes: 1,2,5,6,9,12,18,33,45 & 57

Downtown Tampa

  (2 locations)
  Friday, February 19, 2010
  Tampa Downtown Market
  Exhibit on Madison St. between Franklin             St. and Florida Ave.
  10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

  One Tampa City Center
  201 N. Franklin St.
  Tampa, FL 33602
  11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

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