Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project Advances Along Florida's Gulf Coast
TBARTA, the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority, has proposed bus rapid transit to provide regional service in a three-county area. The project took a major step forward when the TBARTA board approved a contract with WSP USA to conduct a Project Development and Environmental Study (PD&E).
Bus rapid transit (BRT) is high-quality bus-based transit designed to provide fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services. The route under study begins in downtown St. Petersburg and travels north on I-275 through Tampa before ending in Wesley Chapel. The route will provide regional transit to Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties.
“TBARTA is committed to developing a world-class regional transit system in Tampa Bay, and bus rapid transit moves us in that direction,” said Jim Holton, TBARTA Chairman. “It’s the right step at the right time.”
WSP USA is a worldwide transportation and infrastructure firm with local offices in Tampa. The company has experience in BRT development and funding, covering all components including bus lanes and busways, stations and maintenance facilities. Over a proposed 28-month timeline, WSP will coordinate with stakeholders and the public to develop design alternatives, study their social, environmental and economic impacts, and use the findings to develop an application for a capital investment grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The TBARTA contract is for three years in an amount not to exceed $5 million.
“Not only will this project provide a more extensive and efficient means to get people where they want to go, it will also serve as a catalyst for future regional transit development,” said David Green, TBARTA Executive Director. “BRT is one of the fastest growing public transport systems, and Tampa Bay is increasingly a regional community with a need for enhanced connectivity that benefits residents, workers, and visitors.”
The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transit Authority (TBARTA) works to advance regional transportation needs in Florida's Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco and Pinellas counties. It is authorized by the state legislature to plan, develop, fund, implement, and operate a world-class regional transit system in Tampa Bay.
For more information about TBARTA and the 41-mile regional BRT project, contact Chris Jadick, TBARTA Director of Communications, at Chris.Jadick@tbarta.com or 813-639-7743