The MPO’s Transportation Improvement Program is a list of transportation projects to be funded over the next five years. There are so many transportation needs in our county that a priority list helps direct the limited money available and helps us keep track of how well we’re doing at reaching goals set in our Long Range Plan, like reducing crashes, replacing aging buses, having reliable travel times during rush hour, and having more people closer to better trails and bus service.
The latest list of priorities includes projects to make our traffic signals work better, to make walking and cycling safer, to widen roads, AND a number of projects to make taking transit easier and more efficient.
Transit priorities include:
- Maintaining current bus service – $4 million for bus replacements and converting the fleet to cleaner, compressed-natural-gas-fueled vehicle
- East-West Metro Rapid – $30 million requested from the New Starts grant programs to build HART‘s second Metro Rapid line running from the airport to Temple Terrace
- Modern Streetcar Extension – a design & engineering phase for the future connection through the Downtown core to Marion Transit Center
- Additional Metro Rapid Corridors – funding for a project development & environmental study for the next Metro Rapid, which could run on Kennedy Blvd, Brandon Blvd, Bruce B Downs Blvd, Dale Mabry Hwy, or Busch Blvd
A number of walk-bike projects were also prioritized, which can improve access to the bus system from neighborhoods and destinations.
It takes time, but we’re getting there… on transit