Transportation is the greatest economic challenge facing the Tampa Bay region today. Our lack of regional connectivity and limited mobility options inhibit our residents’ access to jobs, our businesses’ access to workers, and the efficient movement of goods and commerce that drive economic growth. To address this critical issue, the Tampa Bay Partnership supports:
- The development of a multi-modal regional transportation system
- Governance structures that promote a regional approach to transportation planning and operations
- Transportation policies that enhance connectivity and mobility for all residents of the region
- Transportation projects that maximize infrastructure investments and imporve the movement of people and commerce throughout Tampa Bay
Our 2017 Policy Agenda includes:
Regional Transit Operations
Support the establishment of a regional structure for transit operations
With nearly 3 million people, the Tampa Bay MSA is the 18th largest metro area in the country. While 20 percent of workers are currently commuting to jobs outside their county of residence, there are few options to do so using our existing county-based transit systems, given their limited or non-existent service across county boundaries. This creates a competitive disadvantage for the region, which ranks 77th among the top 100 metro areas in access to jobs by transit. Establishing a cooperative structure between Tampa Bay’s primary transit agencies and departments, to plan, implement and operate regional transit services, would be a strong first step toward creating a transit system that embraces and maximizes regional connectivity.
We will provide leadership related to efforts to create a regional transit operations structure in Tampa Bay, and advocate for any legislative actions the adoption of such a structure may require.
Regional Transportation Planning
Support the creation of a regional Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)
Multiple county-based decision-making channels hinder the planning, development and implementation of an effective regional transportation system connecting all of Tampa Bay. A consolidated, multi-county MPO would make Tampa Bay more competitive in pursuing state and federal transportation funding, and facilitate a regional decision-making process for long-range transportation plans.
We will provide leadership related to efforts to create a regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, and advocate for any legislative actions such a consolidation may require.
Regional Mobility Options
Support the development of a uniform, statewide regulatory framework for rideshare operations
Ridesharing cuts transportation costs and reduces traffic congestion and pollution. It’s a cost-effective, private sector option to promote seamless connectivity throughout the region. It’s an integral component of a regional transportation system, and offers a creative solution to the issue of moving people the “first and last mile” when relying on mass transit options.
We will advocate for and support legislation that allows ridesharing companies to seamlessly operate throughout the Tampa Bay region.
Regional Transportation Infrastructure
Support interstate infrastructure investments that improve regional mobility and align with a multi-modal regional transportation plan
Tampa Bay Express (TBX) is a major interstate improvement program that will modernize key interchanges, replace aging infrastructure, and improve mobility on portions of I-275 and I-4. Key components of TBX include the reconstruction of the Howard Frankland bridge, the Westshore interchange and the downtown interchange; the addition of express lanes and intermodal facilities; and the preservation of a right-of-way corridor for future transit options. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 7 is currently engaging in efforts to “reset” the project by researching best practices, reevaluating community impact and responding to public input.
We will advocate for and support the timely completion of Phase I of the Tampa Bay Express project, and continue to facilitate improved communication between the affected communities and FDOT.