HART and the Penny Tax

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit

HART: #1 bus transit in the nation

HART could get this sales tax increase approved by the voters if they would just say no to Tampa property owners
and yes to transit riders. 

This has never been about getting people from one place to another.

It has always been about increasing property values near Tampa light-rail lines and stations. 

If the BOCC truly cared about public transit they would have earmarked more than $40 million for HART
from the $4 billion CIT.
This represents only 1% of that last sales tax increase, for which we are still paying. 

Buses will take as many cars off the street, serve transit users and enhance the environment as would light-rail transit.

There may be as many as 100 buses sitting idle in HART parking lots today. Why is that? 

With minimal income from the fair box, the majority of transit funding comes from local, state and federal taxes.
75% of the penny tax increase is earmarked just for transit. The mode has yet to be determined by HART. 

There are only four major cost factors for public transportation:

1. Buying equipment, consultants, ROW and infrastructure,

2. Operations

3. Maintenance

4. Replacing worn-out equipment and infrastructure. 

You only need to compare two numbers to understand that moving people is not the top reason for the tax increase:

1. The TOTAL cost for new light rail vs.

2. The TOTAL cost for increased plain old bus (POB). 

I believe that you will find that with that 75% of the tax increase,
HART could DOUBLE bus and MetroRapid services, with limited BRT,
and not charge a dime to the riding public;
for less than half of what a light-rail system alone will cost to buy, operate, maintain and replace.

Why are we even thinking about light-rail during these recessionary times?

Let HART do what they do best: county bus service.

Let TBARTA do what it should do best: regional transit.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


One Response to “HART and the Penny Tax”

  1. Marilyn Smith Says:

    Wise words my friend. You make a great deal of sense and you also have the facts correct. DEALING IN REALITY IS NOT WHAT THE RAIL GOONS WANT. The same frame of mind that got the TECO TROLLEY AND WE ARE STILL PAYING FOR THAT AND IT IS ‘BOUT BROKE. Mayor Sandy told them they could not build that TOONERVILLE CHOO FOR WHAT THEY PROPOSED. so after Sandy termed out…DICKIE found a way to used HARTLINE MONEY….TOOK THE MONEY FROM THE BUSES WHICH WORKING PEOPLE WERE RIDING TO WORK and moved that money into the funding for a TECO TROLLEY/CHOO CHOO which NO ONE RIDES.

    WHO DO YOU KNOW THAT GOES TO WORK AT 11AM….and even they no
    one is riding the TPY THAT MAYOR DICKIE BUILT…

    THESE MOVING FOWARD TO THE FINANCIAL DITCH BUNCH WILL APPLY THE TO BE USED FOR TRANSIT. to rip of the buses part of the proposal and cannibalize the plan so the RAILS CAN TAKE 75%…
    JUST ANOTHER LIE…CIT… NOT USED FOR THE INFRASTRUCTURE of taking care of the roads and sidewalks….OH, instead we got another sucker of PUBLIC MONEY…RAY JAMES STADIUM AND TAMPA HISTORY MUSEUM…both OOZING RED INK….. oh yeah, they we tell us all about how the plan will work…SURE THEY WILL…..

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