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Tampa Bay transit authority working on plan for freeway-based bus service along I-275

Three workshops planned to get feedback
Posted at 5:04 AM, Dec 05, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay has an opportunity to learn more and comment on TBARTA’s plan to connect Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties along I-275 with freeway-based bus rapid transit service.

Three community workshops are scheduled, one for each of the counties RRT will serve.

“Right now, we’re conducting a project development and environmental study, and public input is an important part of the decisions we’re making,” said David Green, TBARTA Executive Director. “These workshops are not just to educate the public, they’re also the chance for people to speak out and be heard so we can prioritize their needs into the plans. We encourage anyone interested in the future of regional transit in Tampa Bay to come see us at one of these workshops.”

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Workshops are scheduled in Wesley Chapel, Tampa and St. Petersburg:

Thursday, December 5, 4:30-6:30pm – Wesley Chapel
Pasco-Hernando State College – Porter Campus
2727 Mansfield Blvd., Wesley Chapel 33543

Tuesday, December 10, 4:30-6:30pm – Tampa
International Plaza – Corporate Center 3
4221 West Boy Scout Road, Tampa 33607

Wednesday, December 11, 4:30-6:30pm – St. Petersburg
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
3201 Scherer Drive, St. Petersburg 33716

Using bus rapid transit, RRT is designed to provide fast, comfortable, and cost-effective transportation, and is a type of transit increasingly being implemented around the world.

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Cities in the U.S. now operating bus rapid transit include Eugene, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Las Vegas. Cities operating freeway-based bus rapid transit service include Minneapolis, Seattle, Cincinnati and San Diego. New service is being planned in Miami, Jacksonville, St. Petersburg, Kansas City and Albuquerque, among others.

TBARTA’s proposed route would begin in downtown St. Petersburg and travel north on I-275 through downtown Tampa before ending in Wesley Chapel. At the workshops, project managers will be on hand to discuss the project, and why it can also serve as a catalyst to the future of a regional transit network that benefits all five counties in the TBARTA region, including Hernando and Manatee.

“This project represents a phenomenal opportunity for Tampa Bay,” said Jack Gonsalves, WSP USA’s national BRT design expert, part of TBARTA’s consultant team. “We have an opportunity to push the envelope of BRT design and technology while re-imagining how our interstates can better serve all, connecting the region in ways that are not available today.”