Hart Board Broadens Study Area for Rapid Transit

February 15, 2010 – Increased traffic congestion along overcrowded Bruce B. Downs Boulevard could be mitigated in future years as a result of a unanimous decision today by HART’s board of directors to analyze the feasibility of extending a rapid transit line from Skipper Road to Cross Creek in New Tampa.

The intent is to better serve Hillsborough residents who commute south along one of Hillsborough County’s most congested roads to work at the University of South Florida, in Downtown Tampa and in the West Shore business district.

A motion made by board member David Mechanik and seconded by board member Fran Davin authorizes HART (Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority) to broaden the scope of a study of the Northeast rail corridor to better serve anticipated growth in North Hillsborough near the Interstate 75 interchange.

The move comes as part of the process HART is conducting to properly assess and address mass transit needs in Hillsborough County well into the future.

HART is currently holding meetings around the county to provide information and seek public input on future transit options.Upcoming community meetings include:

  • Feb. 18th, 5:30 pm, Freedom High School Cafeteria, 17410 Commerce Park Boulevard, Tampa
  • Feb. 22nd, 5:30 pm, All Peoples Life Center, 6105 East Sligh Avenue, Tampa
  • Feb. 23rd, 5:30 pm, University Area Community Development Center, 14013 North 22nd Street, Tampa

Upcoming meetings on HART’s Alternative Analysis include:

  • Feb. 16th, 11 am-2 pm and 4 pm-7 pm, Loretta Ingraham Community Center, 1611 N. Hubert Ave., Tampa
  • Feb. 17th, 3 pm-7 pm, University Square Mall Center Court, 2200 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa
  • Feb. 19th, 11 am-2 pm, Tampa City Center/Esplanade, downtown Tampa

The board also unanimously agreed to continue to set aside excess reserves into a special capital budget for rapid transit and supporting initiatives, such as preliminary engineering and maintenance funds.

 The decisions help move HART forward in its mission to enhance mass transit services in Hillsborough County, and explore options to sync up with a proposed high-speed rail line connecting Tampa to Orlando. 

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