November was a momentous month for transit in Tampa Bay. The Florida Department of Transportation’s District Seven announced that it intends to fund several of the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s major transit priorities. These projects have been included in the District’s tentative work program for FY 2017 – 2021.
- $4 million for bus replacements in FY 2021, supporting conversion of HART‘s fleet to CNG fuel – this is in addition to $23.7 million already programmed over the next four years
- $2.5 million for a Project Development & Environmental (PD&E) study and design of HART’s next MetroRapid project on Kennedy Blvd between downtown Tampa and Tampa International Airport
- A comprehensive study of premium transit feasibility throughout the region, including potential use of CSX corridors from Tampa to Pinellas and from Tampa to Hernando Counties – HART will manage the study, funding amount to be determined
Earlier this year, FDOT committed $1 million to fund a PD&E study to modernize and extend the streetcar system through downtown to the Marion Transit Center. Also last month, FDOT announced it was bidding on the site for the Westshore Regional Intermodal Center, and was hopeful that a reasonable selling price would result.
Other noteworthy transit grants in District 7’s work program include $900,000 to HART for first-mile/last-mile transit demonstration project and $450,000 to the Tampa Downtown Partnership for a downtown shuttle service, to be matched by local funding.
FDOT will finalize its work program in December and hold a statewide public hearing on January 11, 2016. It then goes to the legislature as part of the Governor’s budget package. Once approved by the Florida Legislature, the adopted work program takes effect on July 1, 2016.
For more information, contact Rich Clarendon at 813/273-3774 x368.