Transit eNews of the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

and its Transportation Disadvantaged Coordinating Board (TDCB)

Issue 23 | June 2017


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In this Issue

Upcoming Meetings 
June 13 -

June 14 - CAC
June 14 - BPAC
June 19 - TAC

June 21 - LRC

June 23 - TDCB

June 27 - POLICY 
June 28 - STWG 
MPO Board Meeting

County Center
601 E Kennedy Blvd
Downtown Tampa 
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
601 E Kennedy Boulevard, 2nd Floor, Tampa, FL

At this Public Hearing, the MPO Board will consider adoption of the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), a list of transportation projects in Hillsborough County to be funded over five years (October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2022), and a list of priorities to be considered for any funding that becomes available. Details and project design will be determined by the agency implementing the project, typically in a future year. Projects with new funding this year include:

* Improving bus service and replacing old vehicles
* Repaving roadways to preserve our system
* Improving walk/bike safety with new sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes
* Traffic signal upgrades
* SR 60 widening between Valrico Rd and Dover Rd | $10M added to FY22 for ROW, construction beyond FY22 (FDOT)
* I-75 at Gibsonton Dr eastbound turn lane to northbound on-ramp|
  $694K for design - FY22 (FDOT)
* I-75 at Big Bend Rd extend southbound off-ramp lanes | $3M for
  construction - FY21 (FDOT)
* Tampa Bypass Canal Trail | $750K for Project Development & 
   Environment Study - FY18 (Hillsborough County)
* Green Spine Cycle Track extension from Doyle Carlton Dr to Willow Ave | $544K for construction - FY20 (City of Tampa)

Tampa Bay Express (TBX) express toll lanes on I-275 and I-4
(visit project funding has been revised to include only:
* I-275 Howard Frankland Bridge Replacement 8 free lanes total plus
   express toll lanes
| $25M for design-build in Hillsborough - FY20 
* I-275, Lois to Willow Ave (Segment 5) express toll lanes | $101M for design-build - FY22 (FDOT)
* All Other TBX Segments: Environmental Impact Studies underway | No construction funded thru FY22
* New funding for ROW from willing sellers at SR 60 interchange

* TBX Reserve Box
for projects to be determined | $158M - FY21-22 (FDOT)
Priority projects for future funding include:
* Preserving the System | HART vehicle replacements and transit center maintenance
* Reducing Crashes & Vulnerability | Safety improvements on Busch, Hillsborough, Florida/Tampa, Kennedy, Channelside, Morris Bridge & others
* Managing Congestion | Turn lanes on Gibsonton, Alexander, Park; a short extension of Davis Rd near US 301 & Harney; fiber optics
* Real Choices When Not Driving | HART Airporter Express, and trail projects in all jurisdictions
* Express Toll Lanes with Express Bus on I-275, I-4, and I-75
* Transit Connection from Downtown Tampa to Westshore Intermodal Center to Airport | Modern streetcar and/or people-mover extensions
* US 41 Rail Corridor Joint Use | Add commuter rail service on CSX-owned freight rail corridor running north of Downtown to USF & Pasco, near US 41
* US 41/ 50th St/ CSX/ Causeway Blvd | Grade separated interchange and rail-crossing fly-over east of Port Tampa Bay
* I-75 Big Bend Rd Interchange| Major project at northbound on-ramp

Please participate in this TIP Public Hearing!
We want to hear from you! This public hearing will be broadcast live on HTV, and there are many ways for you to participate.
Planning to speak in person at the June 13th Public Hearing? Sign up to speak on June 13th from 4pm until 8pm in the first-floor lobby of County Center. If you intend to transfer your minutes to another speaker, you must sign up together, notifying staff to obtain consecutive speaker numbers. No late sign ups or transfers will be honored.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can still participate:
* Attend online | Live streaming broadcast with live chatroom online at: Live chat will be viewable to MPO Board members!
* Email comments in advance to: 
* Leave a voicemail message in advance at: 813/273-3774 x369
* Leave comments on Facebook in advance on the MPO's Facebook Event Page
Please note: Email, voicemail, and Facebook Event posts received BEFORE noon on June 13will be distributed to the MPO Board prior to the public hearing. All comments received are public record.

Beth Alden appointed to national committee        

The National Research Council and the Transportation Research Board have appointed Hillsborough MPO Executive Director Beth Alden, AICP, to the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project Panel. This distinguished appointment requires Ms. Alden to contribute her technical expertise for the public good. We are proud that Beth has been recognized for what we all locally know - that she is a leader in developing innovated solutions to transportation planning challenges.  

TBX reset brings Tampa Bay NEXT launch        

FDOT has launched Tampa Bay Next, a program to modernize Tampa Bay's transportation infrastructure and prepare for the future. District Seven has taken a comprehensive approach to transportation planning and development for a truly integrated, multimodal regional transportation system.
"Tampa Bay Next breaks down silos and allows for greater public involvement in determining the best solutions for Tampa Bay's complex transportation challenges," said Bill Jones, District Seven Director of Transportation Development.
FDOT is engaging Tampa Bay in open and transparent dialogue about the community's transportation needs and core values. Public input matters to FDOT and will help inform our decisions as an agency. If you would like FDOT to participate in your community event or provide an update to your organization, email

Potential streetcar extensions identified     

The Tampa Historic Streetcar System is a 2.7-mile long streetcar transportation network that provides a unique connection from downtown Tampa and the Channelside District to the Ybor City historic district. The City of Tampa is exploring a future for the streetcar as a true transportation option for residents, visitors, and employees in the downtown core through a public involvement process called InVision: Tampa Streetcar

The latest study results identify alignment options that include a north to south route along Franklin Street or Tampa and Florida Avenues, east to west routes between North Hyde Park and the Channel District and the Tampa Convention Center and two loops between downtown and the Channel District and downtown and Ybor City.

Transportation leaders meet to coordinate regional transportation     

On May 12, leaders from across the greater Tampa Bay area met at Collaborative Labs in Clearwater to discuss a range of transportation issues facing our communities, including a Planning & Best Practices Study and a Regional Transportation Leadership Workshop

Some of the objectives of meeting were:
  • Greater understanding of factors driving exploration of greater regional transportation coordination
  • Identification of the most important outcomes desired from potential greater regional transportation coordination
  • Identification and consensus-testing of guiding principles to guide exploration of greater regional transportation coordination
Small groups first discussed desired benefits/outcomes & guiding principles for regional transportation coordination such as:  
  • What benefits and outcomes would you hope for from greater regional coordination?
  • What principles should guide further study and exploration of regional transportation coordination?
Then the groups each discussed and reported their answers to these questions in one of the following areas:
  • Group(s) 1 - Processes for identifying and advancing priority projects
  • Group(s) 2 -- Linking unique communities - protecting local character while strengthening regional systems
  • Group(s) 3 -- Mission, roles and areas of responsibility of an ideal regional agency/coordinating structure
  • Group(s) 4 - Housing and funding a regional agency or coordinating structure

Afterward they reviewed  the results of the discussions and identified the most important outcomes and benefits and identified and refined the key guiding principles. The meeting was covered by ABC Action News, watch here.   


TBARTA will be awarding a contract to a consultant to begin work in July 1st on the Regional Transportation Best Practices Study. More public meetings are expected early fall 2017.

MPO wins grant to study Equity in Transportation
Evaluating the Distributional Effects of Regional  Transportation Plans and Projects 

The National Institute for Transportation & Communities selected a joint proposal from the Hillsborough MPO, the Center for Urban Transportation Research, Portland State University, and Oregon Metro MPO to study how transportation-related benefits and costs are shared by all residents of Hillsborough County. Only 14 grants were awarded across the country!

Social justice in transportation is demonstrated when costs and benefits are equally shared by all segments of society. The analysis looked at average travel time, access to jobs, bus service availability, crash rates, and air quality. Using this data along with best practices from around the country will help in the development of the 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan as well as provide guidance in other planning efforts, particularly transit and non-motorized transportation.

For greater detail please take a look through the slide presentation summarizing the project. The MPO is proud this study was selected to be presented by MPO Planner Wade Reynolds, AICP, (pictured on left) at the American Planning Association's 2017 National Planning Conference recently held in New York City.

HyperLINK cars hit the streets   
Tesla Electric last mile HyperLINK vehicles
There is a new service to connect riders to our existing transit system called HyperLINK. The innovative transit solution will extend the footprint of HART's network direct to your doorstep, delivering rides to and from local bus stops for passengers in the University of South Florida, Carrollwood, and Brandon areas.

New public-private partnership aims to ease Tampa Bay school traffic; encourage ridesharing  
This past April, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) announced a partnership with local education-technology company PikMyKid to bring their real-time mobile app dismissal management system to 20 select schools across the Tampa Bay area.

Through a $115,000 grant provided by the Florida Department of Transportation, District 7, TBARTA will be covering the full-cost of the yearly licensing fee for schools identified in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties, with the goal of reducing school traffic congestion created by pick up and drop off lines, as well as improving the safety and reliability of transportation in getting students to and from school. For the full report and findings, read more.

Five routes for future premium transit    
Five potential routes for a future transit system in Tampa Bay have been determined, making this the first big step in the Regional Transit Feasibility Plan. The study will identify whether rail, express bus, or other types of transit will best serve the region.

"A team from Jacobs Engineering expects to narrow that list and recommend three specific projects - including the exact routes and the type of transit that will operate on them - by November," said Jacobs executive Scott Pringle.

Politicians and transit advocates alike are anxiously awaiting this 2-year study, which the Florida Department of Transportation paid $1.5 million for and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority is overseeing. They hope it can provide some sort of blueprint for one day solving the bay area's transportation woes.

Cross-Bay Ferry passes the test!   
Cross Bay Ferry Now that the sixth-month test period has come to a close, the Cross-Bay Ferry made its last run on April 30. But action taken by the Hillsborough County Commission indicates it will likely be back.

The commissioners directed county staff to find funds in the 2018 budget that could be invested in a seasonal ferry linking the downtown's of Tampa and St. Petersburg. Last year, Hillsborough allocated $350,000 to the pilot program, along with Pinellas County, Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman says the county received somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 back on its initial investment and the ferry project is headed in the right direction. Read more at 83degrees media. 

TED: The future of transportation is already here 
Future of Transporation "Let's shake ourselves out of our four-wheeled stupor, look at the vehicles and devices being developed, and reimagine how we'll move around our cities," says TED technology curator Alex Moura.

Humanity has come a long way from traveling by horse, but when we consider the future of transportation in cities, too many of us are still stuck in the 18th century.We still envision our streets full of four-wheel chariots (minus the horses), and our future as relying on cars or car-like vehicles, because that's all we know. Why this myopia? For most automakers and transportation companies, adhering to the status quo is more profitable than experimenting; their business models, even for forward thinkers like Tesla, depend on their keeping drivers tethered with maintenance and service. And builders and urban planners have learned to limit their thinking because existing regulations and clunky political processes have made it nearly impossible to innovate without years of negotiations. As a result, we're laying the foundations for a transportation future that carries forward the problems of the past.

But there can be another way forward, a new vision of transportation that upsets the four-wheel chariot model. And signs of it are already rolling across the landscape. By looking at some of the most advanced vehicles and devices out there - not just concept cars and prototypes but vehicles that are already in use or being road-tested in the real world - we can start to see a more interesting, less car-based future. Read more.

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